Complaints

The 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 WEB site 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. A complaint form can be obtained from the forms page or from the Board office at:

5060 N. 19th Ave. Suite #416, Phoenix, AZ, 85015
Or 
Call: (602) 864-5088

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.

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.

When the doctor's response has been received, a copy of the response will be sent to the complainant.

The complaint is then scheduled for the next available Board meeting.

In most cases, prior to the Board meeting, the investigator will contact both the doctor and 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 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. The majority of complaints are resolved in 2.2 months. 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.