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Complaints

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 are responsible for carrying 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, and therefore, Board operations and decisions are based on those laws.  As you review the complaint process, it is important 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.

How is a complaint filed?

Anyone, including the Board, may file a complaint against a licensed doctor of chiropractic.

When a complaint is filed. It must have the following information:

  • The complainants 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 will require 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 the notice of the complaint.
  • The nature of the complaint: The complaint should provide as much detail as possible.

Is there a Statute of Limitations?

  • A.R.S.§32-3224 states that complaints must be filed no later than 4 years after the incident occurred. This 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 that are 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 days of receipt, and a subpoena requiring the licensee to provide a copy of the patients records, if applicable.
  • The complaint is then scheduled for the next available Board meeting.
  • Prior to the Board meeting, the investigator may contact the doctor and/or the complainant in order 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 then review the file for the first time. This is not a hearing. It is important to remember, at this time, the Board is merely looking at the allegations and facts presented in the complaint, response, and records. There is no assumption that a law was or was not violated. It is simply a review of facts as presented.  Each complaint is treated the same. When the complaint is put on a Board 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 will have an opportunity to 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? If there is not a substantive basis on which to proceed, the complaint will be dismissed. If the Board is either concerned that a law may have been violated or the Board does not have enough information to make a determination, 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 actions of the doctor, it simply means that the Board had no jurisdiction or could not find evidence of a violation of law.
    • If the Board is concerned that there is a substantive basis to believe a law has been violated, they may vote the matter to go to a formal hearing.
    • The term "substantive basis" is very important at this point. The Board will not vote a matter to a hearing if they do not believe that sufficient evidence exists to demonstrate that a law has been violated.
  • If the complaint is dismissed or open for further investigation, you will be notified by letter. If an investigation will take place,  the Board's investigator will keep you informed when the matter will be 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 date, time and place for the hearing.  It will outline the factual allegations and charges, made 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 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 related criminal matter being investigated. We ask for your patience. The complaint process can seem to take a long time only because we are committed to ensuring that all decisions are made based on the most complete set of facts.

I would like to file my complaint online.

Below you will find the complaint form you requested.  Please provide your name, address, daytime telephone number, as well as the name and address of the chiropractor.  When writing your narrative, be sure to include dates of treatment and an explanation of what you feel the chiropractor did wrong.  The information requested is essential in 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 you feel are 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 may be compelled 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.  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 welcome 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, employment matters or disputes.

 If you have additional questions, you may contact the Board office at 602.864.5088.