The job of the Arizona Naturopathic Board (located in Phoenix, AZ) is to protect and promote the medical welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each professional who holds a license as a naturopath in Arizona is able to practice safely and promote health. This means the Board has the authority to discipline the license and practice of any naturopath that comes in contact with Arizona. Chelle Law’s Arizona Naturopath Board Attorney has represented over 1000 health care professionals before the Board and have the professional licensing defense experience needed to defend the rights of naturopaths with healthcare defense matters. Our defense lawyer assists:
Arizona Naturopathic Board License Complaint and Investigation
Who can file a complaint against a naturopath? Patients, Health Care Facilities, naturopaths, other medicine health care professionals, among others can contact the Board and allege legal violations. When the Arizona Naturopathic Board receives a complaint the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed) and a case is opened. After this happens, the naturopath receives notice and the Board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an lawyer during this step can be crucial and can protect your rights. This is because a naturopath must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at a Board Meeting. Our office can assist naturopaths with interpreting Arizona law.
Naturopath Board Application Denial Assistance
Applicants to the Arizona Naturopathic Board who have a criminal history from years ago (like a DUI) or previous case discipline by the Arizona Naturopathic Board (or any other Naturopathic Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure. Thus, those with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards will be investigated by the Arizona Naturopathic Board after receiving contact of an investigation.
Reporting a Misdemeanor to the Board
Naturopaths who currently hold a valid license with the Arizona Naturopathic Board or pending applicants must notify the Board of any criminal charge that may affect patient safety within ten (10) business days (like a DUI). Naturopaths should learn what crimes an individual must report and the potential discipline that can come with it (similar to the medical board).
Naturopath Health Care Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any professional naturopath licensee may request a legal appeal of an Arizona Naturopathic Board disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The OAH hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The administrative process is not as formal as a trial, but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A naturopath’s lawyer can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
Naturopath Practice Disciplinary Actions
Naturopaths who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face license actions by the AZ Naturopath Board for any investigatory matters. If the Board determines formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Naturopathic Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Naturopathic Board Meeting (see old Minutes and Agendas) the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense lawyer may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the naturopath formal discipline.
Examples of Disciplinary Actions include:
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board may dismiss a case if they determine there was not a violation of Arizona law.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the naturopath’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate Arizona law. (Not uncommon for a first time DUI)
- NON-DISCIPLINARY ORDER: The Board will require a prescribed number of hours of continuing education that provides the necessary understanding of current developments, skills, procedures or treatment.
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements.
- CIVIL PENALTY: This is similar to a Decree of Censure. The difference is a naturopath can receive a fine (up to $2000 per violation).
- PROBATION: Probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the naturopath to do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (unsupervised care, using alcohol, etc.).
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the naturopath from practicing as a naturopath for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a naturopath‘s license the naturopath will be unable to provide care for a minimum amount of time. After the period the naturopath will have to reapply for their license after the five year period has ended. If the naturopath reapplies for licensure the nurse must must demonstrate that the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions, medical issues) has been rectified.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The naturopath voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of a voluntary surrender is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a naturopath can reapply (between 2 to 3 years).
Contact Our Arizona Professional Board Lawyer
If you’re interested in learning more about our license defense lawyer services (located in Phoenix) and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Naturopath Attorney reach out to us today.