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Complaint Process

The Board of Naturopathic Medicine is the intake point for complaints regarding the conduct of Naturopathic Doctors licensed in the State of Oregon.  Click here to submit a complaint.

 

List of Naturopathic Disciplinary Action click here.

 
How do I know if the Naturopathic Doctor is licensed in the State of Oregon?
Check Find a Physician to verfy licensure.


What behavior / conduct may I report?

The Board investigates allegations of misconduct by Naturopathic Physicians licensed in the State of Oregon.  Allegations include, but not limited to: prescribing practices, patient treatment, ethics, doctor/patient boundaries. 

Who may file a complaint?
Complaints may be made by patients, other medical providers, or third parties.  Complaints may also be made anonymously.  All complaints are confidential (in accordance with ORS 676.160 - 676.180).

How do I submit a complaint?
For efficient processing, complaint forms are available on the Board website and may be submitted directly via the website or by email.  

Can I find out if the ND has any prior complaints?
No, complaints and complaint investigations that do not result in discipline are confidential.

What happens when a complaint is submitted?
All complaints are assigned to the Board investigator who interviews the complainant(s), all available and relevant witnesses, and depending on the nature of the complaint all relevant medical records.

What is the investigative process?
After the Board investigator gathers all relevant evidence, s/he writes an investigation report. All investigation reports are reviewed by the Executive Director to ensure they are thorough and impartial.  The Executive Director submits all completed reports and relevant evidence for the Board to review at their bi-monthly Board meetings. 

What is the Board's role in the complaint / investigation process?
Each member of the Board receives a copy of the investigation and any relevant evidence. The Board members discuss the complaint and subsequent investigation at their bi-monthly Board meetings.  The Board determines, by the preponderance of the evidence (i.e. whether it is more likely than not) whether the licensee's conduct violated an Oregon Revised Statute or Oregon Administrative rule.  If the Board finds a violation, they may impose discipline.

What happens if the Board does not find a violation of a Statute or Rule?
If the Board does not find by the preponderance of the evidence that the licensees conduct did not violate a statute or rule, the case is closed without discipline. The Board will notify the complainant of the Board's decision. Investigations remain part of a licensee's record. 

What happens if the Board finds a violation of a Statute or Rule?
When the Board finds by the preponderance of the evidence a licensee's conduct violated a Statute or Rule, the Board determines the appropriate level of discipline.  In determining whether to recommend discipline, the Board considers the severity of the conduct, the number of violations found, the licensee's previous discipline, and discipline imposed on similarly situated licensees / similar fact patterns.

What happens when the Board recommends discipline for a licensee?
The Executive Director informs the licensee, or the licensee's attorney, of the Board's proposed discipline.  The licensee may accept the proposed discipline, and the Board and Licensee will enter into a formal settlement agreement and consent order.  The agreement and order is public and permanently remains on the licensee record.  The Board will notify the complainant of the disposition of the case.

The Licensee may also request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings.  An administrative law judge conducts the hearing, and a hearings panel issues a proposed order for the Board review.  The Board issues the final order.   The licensee can appeal the Board's final order to the Court of Appeals.  All final orders are public and permanently remains on the licensee's record.  The Board will notify the complainant of the disposition of the case.

How long does the complaint / investigative / discipline process take?
Depending on the nature of the complaint and volume of evidence, it takes approximately four – six months from the date of the complaint to Board disposition / recommendation.   If the Licensee agrees to the Board's discipline recommendation, the final order is customarily issued with-in four weeks of the recommendation.  The hearing process is lengthy and difficult to estimate based on many factors.  The Board will keep the complainant apprised throughout the discipline process.
 













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