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
February 2, 2021
The Veterinary Medical Board’s (VMB) Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) met on January 27, 2021 via the internet. The first issue on the agenda was a presentation by Nancy Grittman of the American Association of State Boards (AAVSB). She explained that the AAVSB was completing work on their Pathway for Veterinary Assessment Program (PAVE) for RVTs. That program will allow the AAVSB to assess the qualifications of foreign graduate RVTs and their eligibility to sit for the VTNE. They expect to launch the program by the end of the year. The MDC voted to amend Sec. 4841.5 through the Sunset legislation to include language to would create a category for foreign graduate RVTs who successfully complete the PAVE process.
The next item on the agenda was a discussion about the future of telemedicine. The MDC voted to recommend the development of the definitions of telemedicine, telecommunication, and tele-triage The MDC also voted to recommend that the VMB lower the RVT fees from $350 to $225 and raise the Premise and DVM fees. (See attachment)
The next meeting of the MDC will be on April 21.
The Veterinary Medical Board met on January 28-29. Carrie Holmes from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) reported that training for new Board members was on-line. She also mentioned that all Board members and employees must take sexual harassment training.
Kristi Pawlowski, RVT, Chair of the MDC, gave the MDC report. It was brought up that the new PAVE program for RVTs may not include foreign graduate veterinarians who want to become RVTs. The VMB will look into it. Ms. Pawlowski also stated that the MDC is working on an assessment of the Premise Permit fee. The MDC would like to add a question to the Premise Permit renewal form asking how many full-time equivalent DVMs work in the practice. If possible, the MDC would like to change the Premise Permit fee to a sliding scale based on the number of veterinarians working in the practice. They plan to bring a proposal to the VMB at their next meeting. The VMB voted to appoint Maria Salazar Sperber, J.D. as a new public Member for the MDC.
Nancy Grittman from the AAVSB made a presentation about Racetrack, the new Board Suite that allows Boards to track licenses and CE. They have created 3 types of accounts – 1 is free, one costs $29/yr. and 1 costs $99/year. The VMB has uploaded licensee data to Racetrack, but individual licensees will have to opt in to use it. RACE approved providers will be uploading attendance information directly to Racetrack. To check out the Racetrack options, go to: https://aavsb.org/veterinary-continuing-education-tracking/
The VMB voted to eliminate the California State Board Exam for veterinarians as duplicative and unnecessary. The VMB hopes that eliminating this exam will make it easier for veterinarians to move to California. After a discussion about lack of access to veterinary care by the SF SPCA, the VMB approved a motion to create a committee to work on finding solutions. The VMB also voted to recommend that the waiver for Rx refills be continued to allow refills up to 18 months after a visit and to continue to allow veterinarians to use telemedicine for new problems until the pandemic is over.
The VMB then moved on to discuss proposed regulations.
Animal Rehab – The VMB voted to approve the responses to the 2 letters received
Disciplinary Guidelines – The VMB made some non-substantive changes and will put the amended regulation out for a 15-day comment period.
Board Fees – The VMB will be raising the statutory cap on all fees, including the VACSP. They also voted to adopt the responses to the many letters they received.
Drug Compounding – The VMB voted to approve the responses to the comments they received.
Jennifer Loredo, RVT, the VMB RVT member, gave the RVT Report. She informed the VMB that the VTNE pass rates were finally available by school. After reviewing the pass rates, it appears that 1 school, San Joaquin Valley College, fell more than 10% below the statewide average for 2 consecutive years. Regulations require the VMB to consider placing such schools on probation. An inspection of the school will be scheduled.
Kathy Bowler, Public Member, gave a report on national veterinary issues. She reported that Idaho is discussing creating more levels for RVTs – comparable to Nurse Practitioner.
After presenting the Examination report, the VMB voted to put San Joaquin Valley College on probation. Five other RVT schools had a pass rate more than 10% below the state average for 1 year. The VMB will be sending a letter to the schools telling them they are not in compliance and will be subject to inspection.
The VMB is hoping to go completely paperless for licensing. They also stated that some applications are being held back because fingerprints are not on file. Anyone who has paid their fees but not received their license should check to see if their fingerprints are on file.
The next meeting of the VMB will be on 4/22-23. At that meeting, they will be interviewing candidates for an RVT position on the MDC. Interested candidates should send a letter of intent to the VMB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”