The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 54th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 54th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2020.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
32-1551. Disciplinary action; duty to report; investigatory powers; immunity; hearing; appeal; notice
A. The board on its own motion may investigate any evidence that appears to show that a doctor of naturopathic medicine is or may be medically incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable to engage safely in the practice of naturopathic medicine. Any person may, and a doctor of naturopathic medicine, the Arizona naturopathic medical association, a component society of that association and any health care institution shall, report to the board any information that appears to show that a doctor of naturopathic medicine is or may be medically incompetent, is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or is or may be mentally or physically unable to engage safely in the practice of naturopathic medicine. The board or the executive director shall notify the doctor as to the content of the complaint as soon as reasonable. Any person or entity that reports or provides information to the board in good faith is not subject to an action for civil damages. If requested, the board shall not disclose the name of a person who supplies information regarding a licensee's drug or alcohol impairment. It is an act of unprofessional conduct for any doctor of naturopathic medicine to fail to report as required by this section. The board shall report any health care institution that fails to report as required by this section to that institution's licensing agency.
B. The board or, if delegated by the board, the executive director shall require any combination of mental, physical or oral or written medical competency examinations and conduct necessary investigations including investigational interviews between representatives of the board and the doctor to fully inform itself with respect to any information filed with the board under this section. These examinations may include biological fluid testing and psychological or psychiatric evaluation. The board or, if delegated by the board, the executive director may require the doctor, at the doctor's expense, to undergo assessment by a board approved rehabilitative, retraining or assessment program.
C. If the board finds, based on the information it receives under this section, that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, the board may restrict, limit or order a summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. If the board takes action pursuant to this subsection it shall also serve the licensee with a written notice that states the charges and that the licensee is entitled to a formal hearing before the board or an administrative law judge.
D. If, after completing its investigation, the board finds that the information provided pursuant to subsection A of this section is not of sufficient seriousness to merit disciplinary action against the license of the doctor, the board may take any of the following actions:
1. Dismiss if, in the opinion of the board, the information is without merit.
2. File a letter of concern.
3. Issue a nondisciplinary order requiring the licensee to complete a prescribed number of hours of continuing education in an area or areas prescribed by the board to provide the licensee with the necessary understanding of current developments, skills, procedures or treatment.
E. If the board finds that it can take rehabilitative or disciplinary action without the presence of the doctor at a formal interview, it may enter into a consent agreement with the doctor to limit or restrict the doctor's practice or to rehabilitate the doctor in order to protect the public and ensure the doctor's ability to safely engage in the practice of naturopathic medicine. The board may also require the doctor to successfully complete a board approved rehabilitative, retraining or assessment program.
F. If after completing its investigation the board believes that the information is or may be true, it may request a formal interview with the doctor. If the doctor refuses the invitation or accepts and the results indicate that grounds may exist for revocation or suspension of the doctor's license for more than twelve months, the board may issue a formal complaint and order that a hearing be held pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10. If after completing a formal interview the board finds the information provided under this section is not of sufficient seriousness to merit suspension for more than twelve months or revocation of the license, it may take the following actions:
1. Dismiss if, in the opinion of the board, the complaint is without merit.
2. File a letter of concern.
3. File a letter of reprimand.
4. Issue a decree of censure. A decree of censure is an official action against the doctor's license and may include a requirement for restitution of fees to a patient resulting from violations of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.
5. Fix a period and terms of probation best adapted to protect the public health and safety and rehabilitate or educate the doctor concerned. Probation may include temporary license suspension for not to exceed twelve months, restriction of the doctor's license to practice naturopathic medicine, a requirement for restitution of fees to a patient or education or rehabilitation at the licensee's own expense. If a licensee fails to comply with the terms of probation, the board shall serve the licensee with a written notice that states that the licensee is subject to a formal hearing based on the information considered by the board at the formal interview and any other acts or conduct alleged to be in violation of this chapter or rules adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter including noncompliance with the terms of probation, a consent agreement or a stipulated agreement.
6. Enter into an agreement with the doctor to restrict or limit the doctor's practice or medical activities in order to rehabilitate, retrain or assess the doctor, protect the public and ensure the physician's ability to safely engage in the practice of naturopathic medicine. The board may also require the doctor to successfully complete a board approved rehabilitative, retraining or assessment program at the doctor's own expense pursuant to subsection E of this section.
7. Issue a nondisciplinary order requiring the licensee to complete a prescribed number of hours of continuing education in an area or areas prescribed by the board to provide the licensee with the necessary understanding of current developments, skills, procedures or treatment.
G. If the board finds that the information provided in an investigation warrants suspension or revocation of a license issued under this chapter, it must initiate formal proceedings pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10.
H. Any doctor of naturopathic medicine who after a formal hearing is found by the board to be guilty of unprofessional conduct, to be mentally or physically unable to safely engage in the practice of naturopathic medicine or to be medically incompetent is subject to censure, probation as provided in this section, suspension or revocation of a license or any combination of these under any conditions as the board deems appropriate for the protection of the public health and safety and just in the circumstance. The board may charge the costs of formal hearings to the licensee who it finds to be in violation of this chapter.
I. If the naturopathic physicians board of medical examiners acts to modify any doctor's prescription writing privileges, it shall immediately notify the Arizona state board of pharmacy of the modification.
J. If the board, during the course of any investigation, determines that a criminal violation may have occurred involving the delivery of health care, it shall make the evidence of violations available to the appropriate criminal justice agency for its consideration.
K. The board shall deposit, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, all monies collected from civil penalties paid pursuant to this chapter in the state general fund.
L. Notice of a complaint and hearing is effective by a true copy of it being sent by certified mail to the doctor's last known address of record in the board's files. Notice of the complaint and hearing is complete on the date of its deposit in the mail.
M. The board may accept the surrender of an active license from a person who admits in writing to any of the following:
1. Being unable to safely engage in the practice of naturopathic medicine.
2. Having committed an act of unprofessional conduct.
3. Having violated this chapter or a board rule.
N. The board may administer the oath to all witnesses and shall keep a written transcript of all oral testimony submitted at the hearing and the original or a copy of all other evidence submitted. The board may waive the technical rules of evidence at any hearing conducted under this section.
O. Except as provided in section 41-1092.08, subsection H, an appeal to the superior court in Maricopa county may be taken from decisions of the board pursuant to title 12, chapter 7, article 6.