Regulatory / Legislative Committee Nancy Ehrlich, RVT - Chair and Liaison
A CaRVTA Regulatory/Legislative Committee member is in attendance at all VMB, RVT Task Force, and MDC meetings to report on information that is important to our members, as well as to represent CaRVTA when appropriate. The Leg/Reg Committee is looking for more committee members. If you are interested, be sure to e-mail Nancy Ehrlich at email@example.com. Most state meetings take place in Sacramento, although VMB meetings sometimes are scheduled for Southern California.
CaRVTA works hard to make sure our members' voices are heard in Sacramento, from representation at California's Veterinary Medical Board meetings, VMB committee meetings and the State legislature to member e-news and alerts. Your CaRVTA Board also works with the State government to promote legislation favorable to the RVT profession, such as adding an RVT to the VMB and granting title protection for RVTs. In addition to regulations and laws, the VMB is also the RVT licensing body. Below, we have listed important VMB tools and resources that student and professional RVTs will find useful throughout their careers.
The Emergency Fee Increase was approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on January 27, 2020 and went into effect on that date. Anyone whose application was sent in prior to January 27 and included the fee payment, will not be charged the new fees.
Nancy Ehrlich, RVT
Regulatory/Legislative Advocate, CaRVTA
May 15, 2020
The Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) held a meeting via the web on May 14. All members were present except for Dr. Christina Bradbury.
The first item on the agenda was a discussion of the current regulation on telemedicine and whether it needed to be updated. Current rules allow a veterinarian to conduct a video visit only for established patients with known problems. The current pandemic has exposed the need for video visits for new problems. After much discussion, the VMB voted to ask the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to issue a temporary waiver of the requirement that a video visit be only for a known problem and allow new problems for established patients to be discussed. They also voted to ask for a waiver of the requirement for an exam within 12 months prior to filling or refilling a prescription. The VMB is asking that the exam requirement be changed to 18 months prior until the end of the declared emergency.
The VMB then moved on to discuss legislation of interest. Jessica Sieferman, the VMB Executive Officer, announced that the VMB’s Sunset hearing has been postponed for a year. The VMB voted to Support If Amended, SB627, the bill that allows veterinarians to recommend cannabis products. The VMB would like to see the bill amended to allow sales of animal cannabis products only in medical dispensaries, not recreational ones. The VMB also voted to Watch SB1115, the bill that would eliminate closed blood bank colonies in favor of community sourced donors. While the VMB members were sympathetic to the idea of ending the use of closed colonies, there was evidence presented that closed colonies are necessary, especially during an emergency. The VMB voted to Oppose SB1347, which would exempt shelters from the need to use licensed personnel to administer vaccines, first aid and euthanasia.
Next on the agenda was a discussion of the Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee’s (MDC) recommendations for changes to the statutes to deal with the corporate ownership of veterinary practices. The changes include requiring the names and contact information for all owners of the corporation. The VMB approved the MDC’s recommendations with a minor change that clarifies that it is a violation to coerce by any means a DVM or RVT to perform in a manner that is not consistent with current veterinary standards. It also reaffirms that only a CA licensed veterinarian may make any decisions regarding prescribing treatment for a patient.
The VMB decided to hold its July meeting via the web and the October meeting in Sacramento if the emergency has been lifted.
Laws and Policies Regarding Marijuana, Hemp and AnimalsAB-485 - Mill Bred Dogs, Cats, RabbitsAB-1522 - Sick Leave ActVeterinary Assistant Controlled Substance Permit
Unlicensed Veterinary Activity
When the VMB receives a complaint about unlicensed activity, it first investigates the complaint. Second, it sends a Cease & Desist letter to the individual, giving them an opportunity to explain whether or not they are actually engaged in the unlicensed activity. If they are performing the activity and do not desist, they are issued a citation and fine. They may also be referred to the local District Attorney for criminal prosecution. The VMB has passed a motion to direct its legal counsel to investigate further enforcement options.
For information about how to file a complaint - CLICK HERE
FINGERPRINTING OF VETERINARY LICENSEES
Some veterinarians and RVTs are receiving notifications from the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) that they need to be fingerprinted in order to renew their license. We received the following information from VMB regarding this requirement.
“The fingerprint requirement is not a new requirement. California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 2010.05 states, in part, the following:
As a condition of renewal of a license, a veterinarian who was initially licensed prior to January 1, 1960, a registered veterinary technician who was initially licensed prior to January 1, 2004, or any licensee for whom an electronic record of the submission of fingerprints no longer exists or was never created, shall furnish to the Department of Justice a full set of fingerprints for the purpose of conducting a criminal history record check and to undergo a state and federal level criminal offender record information search conducted through the Department of Justice.
This regulation took effect in 2012 after a legislative change to BPC section 144 requiring fingerprint results from DOJ and FBI (only DOJ was required prior to that). At that time, all boards listed under BPC section 144 underwent rulemaking to bring current licensees into compliance during their renewal period. Unfortunately, the licensing system at the time was not designed to check for or hold renewals in the absence of fingerprint results. BreEZe, however, was recently designed to check for DOJ and FBI results. If results are missing, licensees are notified accordingly.
If a licensee/registrant was fingerprinted before, but the system is indicating the need for fingerprint results, it’s possible it was before the fingerprints were required to go to the FBI. It’s also possible that when a licensee/registrant submitted fingerprints, the box was not checked to send to the FBI. Regardless, if a licensee/registrant received notification from the Board indicating the need for fingerprint results, it’s because an electronic record of the submission of fingerprints no longer exists or was never created.”
VMB FEE INCREASE (3.8.18)