Click here to read submitted testimony by KVMA.
Click here for the Kansas Legislature.
Legislative Committees Approve NBAF Bonding
Click here for the KVMA letter sent to Governor Brownback on Wednesday, May 8 requesting that the Kansas Legislature provide the additional $202 million required to meet Kansas’ financial commitment of 20 per cent of the total cost of the National Bio - and Agro- Defense Facility (NBAF).
On Thursday, May 9, the Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the issuance of the additional $202 million in revenue bonds for a total of $307 million from Kansas for the NBAF project.
The House Appropriations Committee approved similar language for the bonding authorization in a Governor’s budget amendment.
The increase bonding is needed to ensure the federal government that the state is on board with seeing that the facility is properly constructed to defend against natural or manmade threats.
Help Ensure that Veterinarians Can Provide Complete Care to Their Animal Patients
Veterinarians treat multiple species of animals in a variety of settings. Unfortunately, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) makes it illegal for veterinarians to take and use controlled substances outside of the locations where they are registered, often their clinics or homes.
This means that it is illegal for veterinarians to carry and use vital medications for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia on farms, in house calls, in veterinary mobile clinics, or ambulatory response situations.
Veterinarians must be able to legally carry and use controlled substances for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, to safeguard public safety and to protect the nation’s food supply.
We encourage you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528), which would amend the CSA that currently prohibits veterinarians from transporting controlled substances to treat their animal patients outside of their registered locations.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which enforces the law, has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, veterinarians are in violation of the CSA and cannot legally provide complete veterinary care. The DEA has already notified some veterinarians in California and Washington State that they are in violation of this law.
The practice of veterinary medicine requires veterinarians to be able to treat their animal patients in a variety of settings, such as in:
- rural areas - for the care of large animals where it is often not feasible, practical or possible for owners to bring livestock (i.e., cows, pigs, horses, sheep, and goats) into a veterinary hospital or clinic;
- “house call” services or mobile clinics - where veterinarians offer a variety of veterinary services for their patients or in the communities;
- research and disease control activities - where it may be necessary to conduct research away from the veterinarian’s principal place of business;
- emergency response situations – where injured animals must be cared for onsite; and
- the removal or transfer of dangerous wildlife (e.g. bears, cougars) or to rescue trapped wildlife (e.g. deer trapped in a fence).
Tell Congress that veterinarians need to legally be able to transport controlled substances to the locations of the animal patients, not only for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, but for public safety.
Board of Pharmacy Seeking Complaints
The Kansas Board of Pharmacy is urging Kansas veterinarians to forward complaints to them in regard to pharmacists changing veterinary prescription dosages or meds without consulting with the prescribing veterinarian after the KVMA took action on the issue last fall.
The KVMA sent a letter to the Kansas Board of Pharmacy citing several specific examples of Kansas pharmacists changing veterinary prescriptions.
One example detailed a Johnson County pharmacist reducing the dosage on a thyroid medication to meet human standards, therefore rendering it ineffective for the animal receiving it. Another involved a Kansas City, Kansas pharmacist telling a veterinary client they could substitute ibuprofen for rimadyl for an animal. The KVMA letter, sent from KVMA president Dr. Tom Jernigan, noted that pharmacists are uniquely educated to deal with humans, they aren’t specifically trained to treat non human species.
“The KVMA respectfully requests that pharmacists be directed to communicate directly with referring veterinarians before making any therapeutic or management recommendations or suggestions for alternative animal medications or dosages,” Dr. Jernigan stated in the letter.
In addition, KVMA representatives Dr. Beth Davis, Dr. Shirley Arck, Dr .Marty Vanier and Gary Reser met personally with the Kansas Board of Pharmacy in Topeka and expressed the same concerns.
Jim Garrelts, Board of Pharmacy president, responded to the KVMA with a letter of his own declaring the Board would take the expressed concerns seriously and investigate thoroughly any complaints filed with them by veterinarians relating to the issue.
“The Kansas Board of Pharmacy reaction to the KVMA letter and visit with Board members was extremely enthusiastic and encouraging,” Reser said. “The KVMA is very pleased with the manner in which its efforts on the issue were received by the Board of Pharmacy.”
Veterinarians can register complaints by visiting http://ww.kansas.gov/pharmacy. Click on the Legal Division link on the left side of the page, then Consumer Complaint Form. Fill out the form and send it to Kansas Board of Pharmacy, 800 SW Jackson, Suite 1414, Topeka, Kansas 66612. Complaints can also be e mailed to Debra Billingsley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KVMA Worked Diligently on Proposed Merger
The KVMA has spent a considerable amount of time and effort during the 2013 Kansas legislative session heading off a proposed merger of the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners with the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture (KDA). The proposal was part of Governor Sam Brownback’s budget message to the Kansas Legislature at the beginning of the session and was going to be accomplished through an executive reorganization at that time. Executive reorganizations are difficult to defeat because they go into effect automatically within sixty days of introduction unless the Legislature takes proactive steps to defeat it.
The KVMA immediately took a position opposing the merger and the KVMA staff and members of the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners began lobbying key legislators one on one and presenting reasons why moving the Board of Examiners to the KDA was not good for the profession, veterinary clients or public health, safety and welfare. The legislative visits appeared to make a real impact and, along with KVMA members contacting legislative budget subcommittee members reviewing the Board’s budget and their own individual legislators, slowed the executive reorganization approach. Some within the executive branch began talking about the merger being realized through introduction of legislation instead of via the executive reorganization. This was a positive development as generally it is easier to make a case against legislation as it winds its way through the legislative process.
Because one of the two subcommittees handling the Board of Examiner’s budget planned on considering it as part of the KDA budget, there was a risk that the subcommittee might approve the budget in that manner and perhaps even pass a proviso with it finalizing the move. At that point the Board of Examiners and the KVMA presented a plan to each subcommittee calling for a task force study over the next year that would recommend where the Board would be located and how the “administrative efficiencies” mentioned in the Governor’s message could best be accomplished. The task force has an open ended assignment and doesn’t have to proceed in any particular direction.
Discussions at several levels on the size and composition of the task force resulted, at this point, in it being crafted so that five of the six task force members are as the Board and the KVMA suggested. This is a very positive outcome for the Kansas veterinary profession and the KVMA will be participating in the work of the task force. Thank you to all of you who contacted legislators and expressed your opposition to the merger. Your efforts were invaluable and are deeply appreciated.
KVMA Seeking Comments on Non Veterinary Practitioners
At the KVMA Board of Directors meeting held during June Conference last summer, a task force from the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) shared information concerning its research on the practice of animal chiropractic and animal physical therapy by veterinary and non veterinary practitioners. The KBVE task force was looking at how licensing boards in other states were addressing the need to require veterinarians and non veterinary practitioners providing service in animal chiropractic and/or animal physical therapy to show evidence of qualified advanced training and expertise prior to being allowed to perform therapy on animals.
The goal of the KBVE task force was to identify whether or not there was a need in Kansas to pursue a legislative change to create a proactive approach for certifying veterinarians and non veterinary practitioners choosing to practice veterinary chiropractic and/or animal physical therapy in the state.
In response to the KBVE, a KVMA committee was appointed and directed to work with the KBVE task force as it continued to research the current training and qualifications of those providing veterinary chiropractic and animal physical therapy and to look at how other states were certifying and regulating veterinarians and non veterinary practitioners providing those forms of integrative therapy on animals.
The KVMA committee reported its findings to the KVMA Board of Directors in November, sharing the information it has gathered along with input received from the KVMA membership. The KVMA Board of Directors will use that information and feed back to direct its future course of action.
The KVMA and KBVE will provide opportunities for you to obtain information on this important subject at KVMA District meetings in the near future. Your attendance at these meetings is crucial in order for you to become well informed on a current issue that could prove extremely important to the future practice of veterinary medicine in Kansas. If you are unable to attend the district meetings, please pay particular attention to the information provided by the KVMA and KBVE in electronic communications and printed newsletters over the next several months.
THE KVMA NEEDS YOUR INPUT ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE AS IT ESSENTIAL THAT THE ASSOCIATION’S FUTURE DIRECTION REFLECTS THE DESIRES OF ITS MEMBERSHIP.
We must insure that decisions on this issue reflect a proactive approach to potential changes affecting our profession rather than reacting to those changes at a later date.
Thank you in advance for your participation and valuable input.
Veterinarians Asked to Request Clarification on AVMA GHLIT Status
The AVMA GHLIT is asking veterinarians to contact their state congressional delegations and request clarification from the U.S. Dept. of Human Services (HHS) on how the AVMA GHLIT fits into the Affordable Care Act.
The AVMA GHLIT is in danger of no longer being available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Currently, HHS has decided that a provision of the act precludes the AVMA from providing health insurance for AVMA members.
The desired outcome is for HHS to take the time to review the position of bona fide association health plans like the AVMA GHLIT and provide them the guidance they are seeking.
Visit the AVMA GHLIT web site at www.avmaghlit.org to learn more about the issue via a video and/or clicking on the Action Alert in the lower left corner of the home page.
Simply go to www.kansascongressionaldelegtion.org to find contact information for the Kansas congressional delegation.
KVMA’s S.B. 289 Signed Into Law
S.B. 289, relating to the Kansas Veterinary Practice Act and supported and ushered through the legislative process by the KVMA, was signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback on Friday, March 9, 2012.
The KVMA thoroughly reviewed the six changes in the Practice Act over a four month period last fall at the committee, executive committee, and board levels. The modifications are housekeeping and updating for the most part, though one was sought by veterinary technicians and one by veterinarians for a number of years.
S.B. 289 passed the Kansas Senate 38-1 but the KVMA had to scuttle an eleventh hour effort in the House on the day the bill was debated that would have added an e verification of U.S. citizenship amendment to the bill. It ultimately passed the House without amendments 112-11.
PMP Task Force Conclusion an Important Victory for Veterinarians
The Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Task Force has reached the conclusion that veterinarians should not be included in the Kansas PMP.
The KVMA worked tirelessly in 2008 to get veterinarians exempted from legislation establishing the the program, which requires the electronic reporting twice monthly of controlled substance prescriptions written by physicians and designed to prevent “doc hopping” or “doc shopping.”
The PMP Task Force, comprised of representatives from the KVMA, the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners, and the Kansas Board of Pharmacy, then conducted a five year study mandated by the Kansas PMP to determine “whether or not” veterinarians should be included in it.
The PMP Task Force decided to recommend to the PMP Advisory Committee that veterinarians not be included in the program in Kansas, based on the experience of the Kansas Board of Pharmacy in managing the program for the last five years and the same recommendation made recently by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to the Minnesota Legislature.
This is great news for Kansas veterinarians and a further indication of positive results arising from the KVMA ‘s vigilance of legislative and regulatory bodies on behalf of it members.
Kansans Make Crucial Congressional Contacts
Dr. Vern Otte, AVMA delegate from Kansas, and Dr. Mike Whitehair, KVMA nominated candidate for the District IX representative to the AVMA Board, recently made extremely important contacts with members of the Kansas Congressional delegation in Washington, D. C.
Drs. Otte and Whitehair were part of an AVMA Fly In to the nation’s capital that provided them and other veterinarians from around the country the opportunity to visit with their Congressmen about veterinary issues.
Other Kansans participating in the Washington visits were Dr. Mark Spire, representing the American Assn. of Bovine Practitioners, and Dr. Brian Huseman, American Assn. of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians.
The four Sunflower State veterinarians met with U. S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and U. S. Representatives from Kansas Kevin Yoder, Tim Huelskamp, and Lynn Jenkins. They also talked to U.S Rep. Kirk Schrader, the only veterinarian currently serving in Congress.
Walmart has Veterinary Medicine in the Crosshairs
Tell Congress to Oppose the Fairness to Pet Owners Act
Contact Kansas U.S. Congressman
Once again, giant box store Walmart is in the business of going after small businesses. This time it’s veterinary clinics. They have launched an aggressive campaign aimed at their customers, urging them to take action and call on Congress to require mandatory prescription writing by passing H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act.
Walmart just sent out this message in support of the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011. This bill requires veterinarians to write a prescription at the time of prescribing a product for a companion animal, regardless of whether or not you would also be dispensing the product to your client. Veterinarians would also be required to provide a written disclosure notifying the pet owner that they may fill the prescription through you, the prescriber, or another pharmacy.
This legislation is unnecessary and redundant. AVMA has a long standing policy encouraging veterinarians to write a prescription in lieu of dispensing when asked by a client. And pet owners already have the freedom to take a prescription to be filled at the pharmacy of their choice.
Tell your Member of Congress why they should oppose this bill:
This legislation is unnecessary and redundant.
The American Veterinary Medical Association is supportive of a client’s right to have their prescription filled at the pharmacy of their choice and encourages veterinarians to write a prescription when asked by a client.
Pet owners have the freedom to take a prescription to be filled at the pharmacy of their choice.
State laws already govern veterinary prescription writing making this bill unnecessary.
The interests of large retail stores shouldn’t dictate how veterinarians operate their practice.
AVMA believes that the prescribing veterinarian is the most appropriate professional to provide guidance and education when dispensing a prescription product.
It’s time for veterinarians to take action! If you don’t speak up, the only message Congress will hear is Walmart’s!
If you have questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Ashley S. Morgan, Assistant Director, at the American Veterinary Association’s Governmental Relations Division at email@example.com.