The State of Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners is pleased to offer the information on this page to assist the public and doctors of chiropractic in understanding their options when confronted with a quality of care issue or possible violation of state law.
Our Mission Statement
This Website is part of our continuing effort to achieve the mission of this agency to protect the health, welfare, and safety of Arizona citizens who seek and use chiropractic care.
The Board of Chiropractic Examiners and its staff carry out the stated mission. The authority of the Board and the laws governing the practice of chiropractic are defined in statute and rule. The Board must comply with all state laws; therefore, Board operations and decisions are based on those laws. As you review the complaint process, it is essential to remember the Board cannot act outside of its statutory authority or outside of the law, nor can the Board ignore its mandated responsibility to enforce the laws.
Filing your complaint
To initiate a board investigation, the Board must receive a written complaint. The Board has an online complaint form to assist you with this process. You can add information and upload supporting documentation. It may be helpful for you to review the "What to Include in My Complaint" section of the FAQs listed below to ensure the Board has enough information to open your complaint. You can also submit your complaint in writing by sending a letter with the necessary information or email to [email protected].
Please provide your name, address, and daytime telephone number, as well as the name and address of the chiropractor. When writing your narrative, include dates of treatment and an explanation of what you feel the chiropractor did wrong. The information requested is essential for conducting a thorough investigation of the allegations. A lack of the needed information may result in your complaint form being returned to you. You may attach as many pages of comments and supporting documents as necessary.
Although the Board accepts anonymous complaints, state law requires that you provide your name. Your identity will be kept confidential from the public; however, the Board will need to release your name to the doctor involved in your complaint.
Upon receipt of your complaint, a copy will be sent to the chiropractor with instructions to respond in writing. The Board's Investigator will review your complaint and the doctor's response. The Board Investigator may contact you for an interview for additional information or clarification. Once the Board Investigator completes their investigation, your complaint will be placed on a future agenda for the Board to review and determine what action, if any, is necessary. You will be notified of the Board’s meeting date, time, and location and are encouraged to attend and discuss the complaint with the Board.
Please note the Board does not have jurisdiction over the following issues: Billing or fee disputes (the amount a chiropractor charges for services), personality conflicts, bedside manner or rudeness of practitioners and or their staff, business or contract disputes, and employment matters or disputes.
If you have additional questions, contact the Board office at (602) 864.5088 and select Investigations and Complaints from the menu to speak with a Board Investigator. You can also email the Board’s Investigator at [email protected].
Frequently Asked Questions about Complaints and Board Investigations
How is a Complaint Filed?
Anyone, including the Board, may file a complaint against a licensed doctor of chiropractic. The Board can not accept complaints over the phone. The Complaint must be made in writing. You can submit your complaint in writing and mail it to the Board's Office, Email the complaint to the Board's [email protected] email, or use the Online Complaint Form.
What to Include in My Complaint?
When a complaint is filed. It must have the following information:
- The complainant's name, address, and phone number: Although this Board does accept anonymous complaints, the Board may not be able to process an anonymous complaint if the nature of the complaint requires a witness or testimony from the complainant.
- The name and clinic address of the doctor against whom the complaint is being filed: The Board cannot assume a complaint has been filed against a doctor when a name has not been provided. If a complaint is filed against a clinic or business, the owner of the clinic or business will receive a notice of the complaint.
- The nature of the complaint: The complaint should provide as much detail as possible.
- The complaint must be made in writing. You are not required to use the Board's complaint portal. You can submit your complaint via email or mail to the Board's office. The Board can not accept complaints over the phone.
Is there a Statute of Limitations?
A.R.S. § 32-3224 states that complaints must be filed no later than four (4) years after the incident. It does not include medical malpractice settlements or judgments or allegations of sexual misconduct or conduct involving a felony, a controlled substance, or impairment while practicing.
What Will Happen Once a Complaint is Filed?
- All complaints filed with the Board against a licensed doctor of chiropractic must be investigated and brought before the Board for action.
- A complaint number will be assigned, and a file will be opened.
- A copy of the complaint will be sent to the doctor against whom the complaint has been filed with a request for a response within ten (10) business days of receipt and a subpoena requiring the licensee to provide a copy of the patient's records, if applicable.
- Once the investigation is completed, the complaint is scheduled for the next available Board meeting.
- Prior to the Board meeting, the investigator may contact the doctor and/or the complainant to clarify the complaint and response. Also, to fill in any additional information that may be lacking. You are also welcome to call the Board office and speak with the Investigator or Executive Director.
- At the Board meeting, the Board will review the file for the first time. This is not a hearing. It is important to remember that the Board is merely looking at the allegations and facts presented in the complaint, response, and records. There is no assumption that law the as or was not violated. It is simply a review of the facts as presented. Each complaint is treated the same. When the complaint is put on a Board meeting agenda, you will receive a notice of the meeting date, time, and location. You are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you or your representative is present, you can address the Board regarding your complaint.
- The Board will review the complaint to determine one of the following:
- Is the nature of the complaint under the Board's jurisdiction? If not, the Board will not have authority and must dismiss the complaint.
- Is there a basis on which to believe a law may have been violated? The complaint will be dismissed if there is no substantive basis on which to proceed. If the Board is either concerned that a law may have been violated or the Board does not have enough information to decide, the complaint will be held open for further investigation.
- When a complaint is dismissed, it does not necessarily mean that the Board agrees with or condones the doctor's actions; it simply means that the Board had no jurisdiction or could not find evidence of a violation of the law.
- If the Board is concerned that there is a substantive basis to believe a law has been violated, they may vote for the matter for a formal hearing.
- The term "substantive basis" is significant at this point. The Board will not vote a matter to a hearing if they do not believe sufficient evidence exists to demonstrate that a law has been violated.
- You will be notified by letter if the complaint is dismissed or open for further investigation will take place; the Board's investigator will keep you informed when the matter is scheduled for the Board review again.
- If the matter is voted to hearing, the doctor will be noticed through a formal process called a Complaint and Notice of Hearing. The Complaint will identify the hearing's date, time, and place. It will outline the factual allegations and charges against the doctor by the State of Arizona. The doctor will have the right to be represented by an attorney. The complainant should be prepared to act as a witness at the hearing.
How Long Will This Process Take?
It can take anywhere from thirty (30) days to years to resolve a complaint, depending on when the complaint is filed, the complexity of the investigation, and whether or not there is a criminal matter is being investigated. We ask for your patience. The complaint process can seem a long time only because we are committed to ensuring that all decisions are made based on the most complete set of facts.