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Arizona Physical Therapy Unprofessional Conduct

When am I obligated to report to the board?

Failing to report to the board any direct knowledge of an unprofessional, incompetent or illegal act that appears to be in violation of the statue or board rules.

Interfering with an investigation or disciplinary proceeding by failing to cooperate, by willful misrepresentation of facts or by the use of threats or harassment against any patient or witness to prevent the patient or witness from providing evidence in a disciplinary proceeding or any legal action.

An applicant, licensee, or certificate holder who is charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony shall provide written notice of the charge to the Board within ten (10) working days after the charge is filed.

Documentation

Failing to maintain patient confidentiality without prior written consent of the patient or unless otherwise required by law.

Failing to maintain adequate patient records. For the purposes of this paragraph, “adequate patient records” means legible records that comply with board rules and that contain at a minimum an evaluation of objective findings, a diagnosis, the plan of care, the treatment record, a discharge summary and sufficient information to identify the patient.

Supervision

Failing to supervise assistive personnel, physical therapy students or interim permit holders in accordance with this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.

Incapacity

Practicing as a physical therapist or working as a physical therapist assistant when physical or mental abilities are impaired by disease or trauma, by the use of controlled substances or other habit-forming drugs, chemicals or alcohol or by other causes.

Having been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction.

License

Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license or certificate by fraud or misrepresentation.

Having had a license or certificate revoked or suspended or other disciplinary action taken or an application for licensure or certification refused, revoked or suspended by the proper authorities of another state, territory or country.

Aiding or abetting a person who is not licensed or certified in this state and who directly or indirectly performs activities requiring a license or certificate.

Failing to complete continuing competence requirements.

Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope of the practice of physical therapy.

Failing to adhere to the recognized standards of ethics of the physical therapy profession.

Patient Interaction

Engaging in the performance of substandard care by a physical therapist due to a deliberate or negligent act or failure to act regardless of whether actual injury to the patient is established.

Engaging in the performance of substandard care by a physical therapist assistant, including exceeding the authority to perform tasks selected and delegated by the supervising licensee regardless of whether actual injury to the patient is established.

Making misleading, deceptive, untrue or fraudulent representations in violation of this chapter or in the practice of the profession.

Engaging in sexual misconduct. For the purposes of this paragraph, “sexual misconduct” includes:

    • Engaging in or soliciting sexual relationships, whether consensual or nonconsensual, while a provider-patient relationship exists.
    • Making sexual advances, requesting sexual favors or engaging in other verbal conduct or physical contact of a sexual nature with patients.
    • Intentionally viewing a completely or partially disrobed patient in the course of treatment if the viewing is not related to patient diagnosis or treatment under current practice standards.

Charging unreasonable or fraudulent fees for services performed or not performed.

Promoting an unnecessary device, treatment intervention or service for the financial gain of the practitioner or of a third party.

Providing treatment intervention unwarranted by the condition of the patient or treatment beyond the point of reasonable benefit.

Failing to demonstrate professional standards of care and training and education qualifications, as established by the board by rule, in the performance of dry needling when provided as a therapeutic modality.

Arrests, convictions, lawsuits

Conviction of a felony, whether or not involving moral turpitude, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. In either case conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive evidence of the commission and the board may take disciplinary action when the time for appeal has lapsed, when the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order.  For the purposes of this paragraph, “conviction” means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.

As required by A.R.S. § 32-3208, an applicant, licensee, or certificate holder who is charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony shall provide written notice of the charge to the Board within ten (10) working days after the charge is filed.

References

A.R.S. § 32-2044

A.A.C. R4-24-312

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