Filing a Complaint

Complaints must be written and signed. The Board will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, initiate a preliminary review and open a case file if warranted. There is basic information that is required with your complaint:
  • Name of the health care professional
  • Description of actions prompting the complaint and the time of occurrence
  • Name and address of the individual filing the complaint
  • Telephone number is optional, but helpful
  • Signature is required

The following forms are provided for your convenience (a handwritten and signed document with the information listed above is accepted). Print, complete, and mail or fax the form of your choice to the Board of Medicine. Forms must have a signature to be valid.

What Happens Next?

Evaluation

The staff will review each complaint, considering the Board's authority to act, the adequacy of information, the need for consultants, and the form and extent of investigation. You may be contacted  and asked to provide additional information regarding your complaint.

Notification

The Board will notify the professional and secure any needed documents, including the professional's response and the patient's medical records.

Review

The Board staff will review the information received and develop a report to be submitted to the Committee on Professional Discipline for physicians, or the appropriate licensing board for other professionals under the Board's jurisdiction. The Committee on Professional Discipline or the other licensing board provides its recommendation to the Board of Medicine. 

Board Action

The Board of Medicine will consider that recommendation and may take one of the following actions:

  • Close the case with no further action if there is no evidence of a violation of the practice act or the rules of the Board of Medicine. 
  • Request further investigation to obtain additional information.
  • Close with an informal action such as a letter of concern, or other informal action. These actions are used to direct attention to area of concern or direct education.
  • Initiate the formal disciplinary process.
Acknowledgement

The receipt of each complaint is acknowledged in writing.  The complainant and the professional are then updated every 45-60 days until the case is resolved. The individual initiating the complaint is notified of the outcome. Some actions taken by the Board are not public information and may not be released even to the complainant.

Care Standards

Equally competent practitioners often differ on matters of diagnosis and treatment. Deviations from community standards of care will be established by expert testimony.



Terms and Facts

Advice

The Board cannot provide legal advice, nor is it constituted to provide medical advice.

Confidentiality

Medical records, staff reports and investigative materials are confidential and unavailable to any source for review during the investigation. Formal actions are public records.

Disputes

The Board does not take part in disputes between individual patients and professionals. Civil courts resolve negligence and malpractice issues. The Board cannot resolve Workers Compensation disability evaluation disputes.

Due Process

Rights to due process, including adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard, are assured by law. Decisions of the Board can be appealed to district courts, and to the Idaho Supreme Court. 

Fees

The Board does not regulate professional fees nor does it arbitrate disputes between patients and professionals regarding fee issues.

Formal Action

If the Committee on Professional Discipline elects to file a formal complaint, it may be resolved by stipulation. A formal complaint may also result in a formal administrative hearing, which is similar to a trial and can take several days. The hearing officer reports to the Board with a transcript and a recommendation, which may or may not be accepted. After complete review of the transcript and exhibits, the Board makes its finding.

Screening

The Board arranges for prelitigation screening of negligence complaints. The process is not a professional disciplinary activity.

Time

Because of intricacies of investigation and the formalities involved, final resolution of complaints can take several months. District and higher court appeals may take additional time. Your patience during the process will be appreciated.

About Formal Discipline

Idaho laws requiring licensure or registration exist to protect the public health by assuring the competence of professionals practicing in the state.

The Board investigates an applicants background and qualifications before a permanent license is issued. The Board takes action when violations of the practice act can be proven.

Idaho law provides specific grounds and guidelines for professional discipline. For disciplinary sanctions to be imposed, evidence must be obtained, verified, and presented to the Committee on Professional Discipline or appropriate licensing board who then makes a recommendation to the Board of Medicine. The Board of Medicine is the final authority in matters of discipline.

Usually, formal disciplinary action results when there is a provable pattern of unfavorable practice. In isolated errors of practice  corrective efforts such as education, treatment, mentors or voluntary or involuntary limitations of practice may initiated. These actions may or may not be public information. Public Board actions are available for review on the license verification portion of this web site.

A complainant's request for confidentiality cannot be respected, and such requests may make investigation impossible.

22.01.14 - RULES RELATING TO COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION