The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2022.
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.
32-1263.02. Investigation and adjudication of complaints; disciplinary action; civil penalty; immunity; subpoena authority; definitions
A. The board on its own motion, or the investigation committee if established by the board, may investigate any evidence that appears to show the existence of any of the causes or grounds for disciplinary action as provided in section 32-1263. The board or investigation committee may investigate any complaint that alleges the existence of any of the causes or grounds for disciplinary action as provided in section 32-1263. The board shall not act on its own motion or on a complaint received by the board if the allegation of unprofessional conduct, unethical conduct or any other violation of this chapter against a licensee occurred more than four years before the complaint is received by the board. The four-year time limitation does not apply to:
1. Medical malpractice settlements or judgments, allegations of sexual misconduct or an incident or occurrence that involved a felony, diversion of a controlled substance or impairment while practicing by the licensee.
2. The board's consideration of the specific unprofessional conduct related to the licensee's failure to disclose conduct or a violation as required by law.
B. At the request of the complainant, the board or investigation committee shall not disclose to the respondent the complainant name unless the information is essential to proceedings conducted pursuant to this article.
C. The board or investigation committee shall conduct necessary investigations, including interviews between representatives of the board or investigation committee and the licensee with respect to any information obtained by or filed with the board under subsection A of this section or obtained by the board or investigation committee during the course of an investigation. The results of the investigation conducted by the investigation committee, including any recommendations from the investigation committee for disciplinary action against any licensee, shall be forwarded to the board for its review.
D. The board or investigation committee may designate one or more persons of appropriate competence to assist the board or investigation committee with any aspect of an investigation.
E. If, based on the information the board receives under subsection A or C of this section, the board finds that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, the board may order a summary suspension of a licensee's license pursuant to section 41-1092.11 pending proceedings for revocation or other action.
F. If a complaint refers to quality of care, the patient may be referred for a clinical evaluation at the discretion of the board or the investigation committee.
G. If, after completing its investigation or review pursuant to this section, the board finds that the information provided pursuant to subsection A or C of this section is insufficient to merit disciplinary action against a licensee, the board may take any of the following actions:
1. Dismiss the complaint.
2. Issue a nondisciplinary letter of concern to the licensee.
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.
4. Assess a nondisciplinary civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500 if the complaint involves the licensee's failure to respond to a board subpoena.
H. If, after completing its investigation or review pursuant to this section, the board finds that the information provided pursuant to subsection A or C of this section is sufficient to merit disciplinary action against a licensee, the board may request that the licensee participate in a formal interview before the board. If the licensee refuses or accepts the invitation for a formal interview and the results indicate that grounds may exist for revocation or suspension, the board shall 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 that the protection of the public requires emergency action, it may order a summary suspension of the license pursuant to section 41-1092.11 pending formal revocation proceedings or other action authorized by this section.
I. If, after completing a formal interview, the board finds that the information provided under subsection A or C of this section is insufficient to merit suspension or revocation of the license, it may take any of the following actions:
1. Dismiss the complaint.
2. Order disciplinary action pursuant to section 32-1263.01, subsection A.
3. Enter into a consent agreement with the licensee for disciplinary action.
4. Order nondisciplinary continuing education pursuant to section 32-1263.01, subsection B.
5. Issue a nondisciplinary letter of concern to the licensee.
J. A copy of the board's order issued pursuant to this section shall be given to the complainant and to the licensee. Pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10, the licensee may petition for rehearing or review.
K. Any person who in good faith makes a report or complaint as provided in this section to the board or to any person or committee acting on behalf of the board is not subject to liability for civil damages as a result of the report.
L. The board, through its president or the president's designee, may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and may administer oaths, take testimony and receive exhibits in evidence in connection with an investigation initiated by the board or a complaint filed with the board. In case of disobedience to a subpoena, the board may invoke the aid of any court of this state in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence.
M. Patient records, including clinical records, medical reports, laboratory statements and reports, files, films, reports or oral statements relating to diagnostic findings or treatment of patients, any information from which a patient or a patient's family may be identified or information received and records kept by the board as a result of the investigation procedures taken pursuant to this chapter, are not available to the public.
N. The board may charge the costs of formal hearings conducted pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 10 to a licensee it finds to be in violation of this chapter.
O. The board may accept the surrender of an active license from a licensee who is subject to a board investigation and who admits in writing to any of the following:
1. Being unable to safely engage in the practice of dentistry.
2. Having committed an act of unprofessional conduct.
3. Having violated this chapter or a board rule.
P. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action under this section, the board may consider any previous nondisciplinary and disciplinary actions against a licensee.
Q. If a licensee who is currently providing dental services for a registered business entity believes that the registered business entity has engaged in unethical conduct as defined pursuant to section 32-1263, subsection D, paragraph 16, the licensee must do both of the following before filing a complaint with the board:
1. Notify the registered business entity in writing that the licensee believes that the registered business entity has engaged in a policy or practice that interferes with the clinical judgment of the licensee or that compromises the licensee's ability to comply with the requirements of this chapter. The licensee shall specify in the notice the reasons for this belief.
2. Provide the registered business entity with at least ten calendar days to respond in writing to the assertions made pursuant to paragraph 1 of this subsection.
R. A licensee who files a complaint pursuant to subsection Q of this section shall provide the board with a copy of the licensee's notification and the registered business entity's response, if any.
S. A registered business entity may not take any adverse employment action against a licensee because the licensee complies with the requirements of subsection Q of this section.
T. For the purposes of this section:
1. "License" includes a certificate issued pursuant to this chapter.
2. "Licensee" means a dentist, dental therapist, dental hygienist, denturist, dental consultant, restricted permit holder or business entity regulated pursuant to this chapter.