Board of Podiatry Examiners Performance Audit Highlights
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Board of Podiatry Examiners Performance Audit Highlights

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2 Pages
English

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Board of PodiatryExaminersBoard needs to improveREPORTHIGHLIGHTS complaint-handlingPERFORMANCE AUDITprocessSubjectIn 1998, we recommended that thePodiatry is a branch ofBoard follow the Attorney General’smedicine dealing withadvice to separate its complaintthe diagnosis andinvestigation from its complainttreatment of diseasesadjudication. Although the Board hadand malfunctions of thefoot and its related implemented this recommendation, itstructures. Established in again should address this issue. In1964, the Board of addition, the Board needs to resolvePodiatry Examiners needed, and then provide the informationcomplaints in a more timely manner and(Board) regulates the to the Board. The board member shouldensure its complaint handling ispractice of the 360 then recuse him/herself from theadequately documented.podiatrists licensed in adjudication.Arizona. Board should separate investigation from• The Board could determine whether thereadjudication—The Board investigatesare retired or active podiatrists who may beOur Conclusion complaints during its monthly boardinterested in volunteering as investigators.meetings. This includes reviewingThe Board needs to medical records and otherimprove complaint Board's complaint handling untimellyy——documentation, and interviewinghandling by separating Arizona health regulatory boards shouldcomplainants, licensees, and othercomplaint investigation typically resolve complaints within 180witnesses. However, the ...

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Board of Podiatry
Examiners
Board needs to improveREPORT
HIGHLIGHTS complaint-handling
PERFORMANCE AUDIT
process
Subject
In 1998, we recommended that thePodiatry is a branch of
Board follow the Attorney General’smedicine dealing with
advice to separate its complaintthe diagnosis and
investigation from its complainttreatment of diseases
adjudication. Although the Board hadand malfunctions of the
foot and its related implemented this recommendation, it
structures. Established in again should address this issue. In
1964, the Board of addition, the Board needs to resolve
Podiatry Examiners needed, and then provide the informationcomplaints in a more timely manner and
(Board) regulates the to the Board. The board member shouldensure its complaint handling is
practice of the 360 then recuse him/herself from theadequately documented.
podiatrists licensed in adjudication.
Arizona. Board should separate investigation from
• The Board could determine whether thereadjudication—The Board investigates
are retired or active podiatrists who may beOur Conclusion complaints during its monthly board
interested in volunteering as investigators.meetings. This includes reviewing
The Board needs to medical records and other
improve complaint Board's complaint handling untimellyy——documentation, and interviewinghandling by separating Arizona health regulatory boards shouldcomplainants, licensees, and othercomplaint investigation typically resolve complaints within 180witnesses. However, the Attorneyand adjudication, days. The Board's own goal is toGeneral's Arizona Agency Handbookprocessing complaints in
complete complaint investigations withinstates that decision-makers, such asa more timely manner,
70 days. However, 25 percent ofand better documenting board members, who will adjudicate a
its actions. The Board complaint should consider not partici- complaints (27 of 106) received between
should also improve the pating in investigating that complaint. July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2007,
information it provides to Separating the two functions can help were open longer than 180 days. This
the public. ensure objectivity and avoid the includes 5 complaints against one
appearance of bias against the licensee. licensee. As of June 2008, one licensee
had 7 open complaints, including 5 thatThe Board reported that it conducts
had been open from 200 to over 920investigations because its staff do not
days. The first of these complaints washave the time or medical knowledge to
complete investigations, and the Board filed in November 2005. The complaints
does not have the resources needed to allege excess billing, unsanitary office
hire an investigator who is knowledgeable conditions, practice below the standard
in the field of podiatric medicine and of care, and unprofessional conduct.
expert enough to begin investigations on
his/her own. However, the Board has at Two factors contribute to these delays:
least two other options for addressing
• The Board meets only once per month andthis situation:
conducts investigations only during board2008
• One of the professional board members meetings. Therefore, when additional
could conduct the investigation. The information is needed or a person cannot
September • Report No. 08 – 06
member could review the medical records, appear, the complaint investigation cannot
interview the licensee and complainant as continue until the next board meeting.• Licensees do not always provide Complaint-hhandling sufficiency unclleeaarr——
information to the Board in a timely manner. Because the Board does not sufficiently
Twelve of the 27 complaints that took document various aspects of its
longer than 180 days to resolve involved complaint handling, it is unclear whether
licensees' delays in sending information to it is fully carrying out some functions.
the Board. For example, in January 2006, Although we noted some of these same
the Board requested a licensee to provide issues in 1998 and the Board had taken
information regarding a complaint from a
steps to address them, we could notpatient whose toe was amputated. The
always determine:licensee did not provide the medical
records until April 2006 and did not provide • Whether the Board addressed all
a written explanation of the case until May allegations in a complaint.
2006. Further, according to Arizona Revised • Why the Board dismissed complaints or
Statutes (A.R.S.) §32-854.01(17), it is an act issued letters of concern.
of unprofessional conduct when a licensee • Whether the Board considered a licensee's
fails to provide the Board with certain disciplinary history.
information; however, the Board has not • Whether the Board always informed the
generally used this statute to take action. complainants of their complaints'
outcomes.
Recommendations
The Board should:
• Separate its investigative and adjudicative functions.
• Take action when licensees do not provide requested information.TTOO OOBBTTAAIINN
• Ensure that complaints are completely addressed and documented.MORE INFORMATION
A copy of the full report
can be obtained by calling Board should improve public information(602) 553-00333
The Board does not provide complete and many of the entered records are
and accurate podiatrist complaint and incomplete.
disciplinary history information over theor by visiting Limited staff and budget resources arephone or on its Web site. The Board'sour Web site at: the main reasons for the incomplete and
www.azauditor.gov database serves as the basis for staff
inaccurate information in the database.responses to public information inquiries
However, board staff reported addingContact person for and for information on its Web site.
this report: missing information and fixing the dataAlthough the Board took steps to
Dale Chapman inconsistencies as they are found.implement procedures to ensure the
accuracy and completeness of its Finally, although the Board developed
database in response to our 1998 report, guidelines for its staff in 2006 on what
the database continues to be incomplete types of information should be provided
and inaccurate. Not all complaint records to the public, such as the numbers of
have been entered into the database, open and dismissed complaints, the
guidelines were not written, and staff
Recommendations were unaware of them.
The Board should:
• Continue to add missing information to its database, ensure the information is
correct, and develop and implement data entry and verification processes.
• Develop and implement written policies to guide staff on what information should
be provided to the public.
REPORT
Board of Podiatry HIGHLIGHTS
PERFORMANCE AUDITExaminers
September 2008• Report No. 08 – 06
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