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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
October 23, 2020
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MDC) – The MDC met on October 21 via the internet, with all members present. The first order of business after approval of the minutes was a discussion about regulations concerning Telemedicine and Prescription Refills. A representative of the SFSPCA suggested that if a VCPR is already established, the veterinarian ought to be able to decide if telemedicine is appropriate for a new condition. She pointed out that other sates already allow this. She also recommended that Rx refills be able to be provided for 18 months without a re-exam. A representative of the CVMA suggested that an in-person examination is necessary for a new problem even if a VCPR already exists. The MDC plans to continue to discuss these issues.
The MDC next discussed whether a proposed regulation specifying additional responsibilities of the supervising veterinarian should move forward. After discussion, the MDC voted to recommend withdrawing the reg package as unnecessary and duplicative.
The committee then went on to discuss changing the way Premise Permit fees are charged to a sliding scale based on the number of DVMs employed by the practice. The ultimate goal is to raise the Premise Permit fees sufficiently to be able to lower the RVT fees to be closer to what they were before the recent increases. The MDC will continue to explore the feasibility of changing the Premise Permit fee.
Next on the agenda was a discussion about foreign graduate RVTs. There is currently no specific pathway for foreign RVTs to become certified in the US or California. VMB member Jennifer Loredo, RVT reported that she is a member of a Task Force of the American Association of State Boards (AAVSB) that is working on creating a pathway for foreign RVTs similar to the PAVE program they have for veterinarians.
The MDC agreed that they would continue discussing the issues raised in this meeting. There next meeting will be on January 27, 2021.
VETERINARY MEDICAL BOARD (VMB) - The VMB met on October 22-23 with all members except Alana Yanez present. Maria Solecito DVM was sworn in as a new member, replacing Dr. Waterhouse whose term had expired.
Nancy Grittman from the AAVSB told the VMB that they are hoping to have the RVT “PAVE” program ready within 1 year for foreign graduate RVTs.
The VMB voted to eliminate the California State Board exam for veterinary candidates as they are convinced that the NAVLE (national exam) is sufficiently comprehensive. They also voted to make no changes to the proposed regulation
regarding the VCPR in the absence of client communication and written Rx’s in the absence of the originally prescribing veterinarian. They also approved moving forward with the proposed regulations regarding animal physical rehabilitation and emergency animal care. They made some changes to the proposed regulation on drug compounding and will be opening a 15 day comment period on that regulation.
The VMB reviewed, updated and approved their Strategic Plan. Valerie Fenstermaker, Executive Director of CVMA, announced that she will be retiring as of October 31 and will be replaced by Dan Baxter, the current Director.
Jennifer Loredo, RVT gave the RVT Report. She said the VMB is working with the AAVSB to get reports on the RVT pass rates by school as required by our Practice Act. However, it turns out to be very expensive to produce these reports, so the VMB is working with the AAVSB to see how they can get the information . She also reported that she is interested in revisiting the name badge issue to help the public know the qualifications of the personnel they are dealing with. She also said that issues with who can do what in animal shelters is on-going, as is the problem of RVT students getting all the classes they need during the pandemic.
Jessica Sieferman, the Executive Officer of the VMB, reported that the VMB is working on rules for the approval of Alternate Route programs. There is currently a regulation going through the process that will eliminate the “ad hoc” Alternate Route and require the VMB to approve Alternate Route programs by 2024.
The VMB voted to elect Dr. Mark Nunez as its new President and Kathy Bowler to be Vice President.
The next meeting will be on January 28-29, 2021.
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.”