Protecting Your Arizona Physician Assistant License
It took a great deal of time and effort to become a physician assistant, and you love what you do. So it’s painful to face allegations of misconduct or charges that could threaten your ability to practice. But downplaying the situation or attempting to handle it without legal assistance could have disastrous results.
When you learn that someone has filed a complaint against you with the Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants, it’s imperative that you consult with an experienced licensure defense attorney as soon as possible. The Board’s primary responsibility in these proceedings is to protect the public interest. You need a professional on your side, someone who’ll guard your interests.
The Stewart Law Group’s licensure defense attorneys are dedicated to defending the licenses of healthcare professionals. Our years of experience have given us a profound understanding of the Board investigation process and know how to make it work to your benefit. We leave no stone unturned in our efforts to obtain the best results possible.
We defend physician assistants against a range of allegations, including:
- Medical incompetence
- Unprofessional conduct
- Mentally or physically unable to safely execute healthcare duties
- Exceeding scope of practice
- Criminal arrests, charges or convictions
If the Board has informed you that someone has filed a complaint against you, contact a knowledgeable license defense lawyer immediately to start developing a tight strategy.
Potential Disciplinary Actions against Physician Assistants
As you may know, the Board of Physician Assistants investigates all complaints against physician assistants and assesses whether the assistant has violated the Arizona Medical Practice Act. Following the investigation, the Board will either dismiss the complaint or recommend disciplinary or non-disciplinary actions. These actions may include:
- Filing an advisory letter
- Order for Continuing Education courses
- Order for rehabilitation
- Order for retraining
- Letter of reprimand
- A decree of censure
- Restitution of patient fees
- Restrictions on scope of practice, including prescription writing.
- Suspension of your license.
- Revocation of your license.
Physician Assistant License Attorney Representing Your Interests During the Investigation
According to Arizona law, anyone may file a complaint against a physician assistant, including a patient, a healthcare facility, the physician assistant’s supervising physician, or even the Board of Physician Assistants itself. After receiving the complaint, Board completes an initial assessment to determine whether the allegations are a potential violation of the Medical Board Practice Act. If so, an Investigator will continue the inquiry.
The Investigator will notify the physician assistant of the complaint, at which time the physician assistant must provide the name and address of the supervising physician. Both the physician assistant and supervising physician should prepare to participate in informational interviews. The physician assistant should also be prepared to take a mental, physical or medical competency examination, if asked.
Following the investigation, the Board will make its determination. If the Board is considering direct action against the physician assistant’s license, the Board may request a formal interview with both the physician assistant and supervising physician before making a decision.
When the Board notifies you that an investigation is underway, it’s critical to immediately contact an experienced physician assistant license defense attorney. The Stewart Law Group’s license defense team can help you gather evidence and establish a forceful defense strategy. We understand that these situations often arise from misunderstandings and unfounded allegations, and we pride ourselves on ability to present a clear, reasonable response and negotiate a favorable resolution.
Attorneys Protecting Your License after a Criminal Arrest or Conviction
Arizona law requires physician assistants and all licensed health professionals in Arizona to report almost any misdemeanor arrest or conviction that might affect patient safety or any felony to the Board of Pharmacy within ten working days after the charge is filed. If you fail to do so, the Board may initiate disciplinary action or a civil penalty up to $1,000.
Reportable crimes include, among other things, assault, arson, theft, fraud-related offenses, abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child or vulnerable adult, sexual offenses, drug or alcohol-related offenses (including a DUI), and crimes relating to the abuse of an animal.
Before reporting your misdemeanor or felony to the Board, speak to the license defense lawyers of the Stewart Law Group to review your rights and options.
Physician’s Health Program
Anyone concerned about a physician assistant’s ability to practice medicine safely due to substance abuse, chemical dependency, or medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health disorders may report the physician assistant to Arizona’s Physician’s Health Program (PHP). The PHP is responsible for protecting the public health and safety through the education, intervention, post-treatment monitoring and support for physicians and physician assistants.
If an investigation indicates that you are not safe to practice medicine, the Board may advise you to participate in a PHP monitoring agreement. The applicable agreement depends on your particular problem and situation. Monitoring may last for as little as six months or as long as five years. Some agreements are confidential; others are not. You can learn more about these agreements here.
Physician assistants eligible to participate in the PHP should speak with a knowledgeable attorney, such as those at Stewart Law Group, as soon as possible to review your options and rights.
Physician Assistant License Defense Attorneys, Standing Up for You
At Stewart Law Group, our licensure defense lawyers have represented physician assistants at every stage of a disciplinary action. We understand how hard you’ve worked to obtain your license and we’re determined to do everything possible to help you protect it. We guide you through the process with both compassion and honesty and will staunchly fight to protect your rights and interests.
To learn more about how we can help you protect your license, contact the Stewart Law Group without delay at 602-548-3400.