Report: Arizona Violated Medical Board Laws

The state board responsible for regulating doctors put the public at risk by failing to properly investigate their licensing credentials as required by Arizona law, according to a state report issued Wednesday.
October 11, 2013

The state board responsible for regulating doctors put the public at risk by failing to properly investigate their licensing credentials as required by Arizona law, according to a state report issued Wednesday.

The findings against the Arizona Medical Board were contained in a 192-page report released Wednesday by the Arizona Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide, an independent state panel that investigates agencies accused of violating rules and statutes.

The report, the agency’s lengthiest in recent memory, substantiated 19 of 20 allegations brought by current and former medical board employees. It also issued 20 recommendations to get the agency on track.

The allegations include everything from improperly reviewing key information about doctors’ education and disciplinary actions to allowing physicians to illegally dispense prescription drugs and not provide adequate documentation of citizenship.

The ombudsman suggests the state Auditor General review qualifications of all physicians licensed by the board since September 2011.

The ombudsman’s office has also asked the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate allegations of violations of state law by the board’s director and deputy director.

The alleged licensing lapses involved newly licensed physicians, renewal applications and doctors who claimed specialty board certification.

It is unclear how many physicians may be affected; about 21,300 allopathic physicians are now licensed. Licenses must be renewed every two years.

State lawmakers called the board’s policies “reckless” and said they couldn’t confidently say whether the public was harmed by the board’s actions.

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