Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney

Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney

The job of the Arizona Behavioral Health Board is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each person who holds a license as a behavioral health professional in the State of Arizona is competent to practice safely. This means the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners has the authority to discipline the license of any behavioral health professional. Chelle Law’s Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorneys have represented over 1000 health care professionals before Arizona licensing boards and have the experience needed to help behavioral health professionals with Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners matters. We can assist all behavioral health professionals with Arizona Behavioral Health Board issues, including:

  • Licensed professional counselor.
  • Marriage and family therapist.
  • Social worker.
  • Substance abuse counselor.

Arizona Behavioral Health Board Complaint

Who can file a complaint against a behavioral health professional? Patients, Health Care Facilities, other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Behavioral Health Board receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the complaint isn’t dismissed).  After this happens, the behavioral health professional will receive notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for behavioral health professionals as they must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at a Arizona Behavioral Health Board Meeting.

Behavioral Health Board Application Assistance

Applicants to the Arizona Behavioral Health Board who have a criminal history or previous discipline by the Arizona Behavioral Health Board (or any other 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 Board. 

Reporting a Criminal Charge to the Behavioral Health Board

Behavioral health professionals who currently hold a valid license with the Arizona Behavioral Health Board or pending applicants must notify the Board of any criminal charge that may affect patient safety within ten business days Learn what crimes an individual must report and the potential discipline that can come with it.

Impaired Professional Program (IPP)

In lieu of disciplinary action the Arizona Behavioral Health Board may allow a behavioral health professional to enter into an IPP Stipulated Confidential Recovery Agreement (SCRA).  The IPP is a confidential program which monitors behavioral health professionals who are chemically dependent or have psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health disorders that impacts their ability to safely practice.  The behavioral health professional will likely be offered entry into the Impaired Professional Program if:

  1. The behavioral health professional voluntarily requests admission to IPP.
  2. The licensee undergoes a substance abuse or psychological evaluation.
  3. The behavioral health professional agrees to follow all of the stipulations in the SCRA.
  4. The licensee admits to chemical dependency, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health disorders that impair their ability to safely practice.

Behavioral Health Administrative Appeal and Hearing

Any licensee may request an appeal of an Arizona Behavioral Health Board disciplinary action; however, any Board appeal is not heard by an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).  This Board oversees their own hearings.  In some circumstances, a case can also be sent automatically to hearing. The hearing 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 the Board should rule one way or the other. A behavioral health professional’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After the hearing the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify their original decision.  If a professional feels there has been an error they can request a rehearing.

Arizona Disciplinary Actions

Behavioral health professionals with a license or certification in Arizona can receive Arizona Behavioral Health Board disciplinary actions. If the Board determines formal disciplinary 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 laws and regulations.  Thus, at an Arizona Behavioral Health Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation.  The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the behavioral health professional formal discipline.  Disciplinary actions can include:

  • Dismissal.
  • Letter of concern.
  • Decree of censure.
  • Probation.
  • Non-disciplinary order for continuing education.
  • Suspension.
  • Revocation.

To set up a consultation with our Arizona Behavioral Health Board Attorney at Chelle Law or to learn more about the services we provide to Arizona behavioral health professionals we invite you to reach out to us today.