Legislative Update: October 2018

A draft bill is in the works to present to the 2019 Legislative session which begins January 2019.  Bill proposes to open the Veterinary practice act to identify and define the Licensed Veterinary Technician apart from other “support personnel”.  It will also set up the scope of practice of Licensed Veterinary Technicians to “be determined by administrative rule.” This will be done by the Veterinary state board.  This will allow more flexibility in the development of tasks that can be performed by LVT’s as the profession progresses throughout the years. Bill sponsor is Rep Alan Redfield, Livingston MT if he is reelected, Sen Mike Lang, Malta, MT if Rep Redfield is not reelected. Below you will find talking points to discuss with those interested.  If questions come up that are not addressed below, please note them and forward to BSVTA legislative committee to address and answer.

Talking Points:
  • The goal is not to limit what people are doing right now, but to expand what LVT’s can do
  • Public protection: Clients will know that if their veterinarian hires an LVT, that person has a certain standard/level of education.
  • Licensure will NOT require Veterinarians to employ LVT’s.
  • Licensure will provide Standardization in level of care and client/patient support
  • Continuing education will be required which will increase abilities and level of care
  • Shows a commitment to the profession by committing to Continuing Education
  • More education increases value to profession
  • Practice benefits will include increase service to customers through great use of licensed techs
  • Practices using licensed technicians as “force multipliers”, i.e. extending the abilities of the veterinarians utilizing and supervising them, should see increased revenue.Veterinarians will be able to use their LVT’s as extensions of themselves without having to be right there.
  • Accountability:there will now be an avenue to lodge a complaint and that will follow an LVT through their career.  Licensure will increase Accountability and allow for punitive remedies by the Board
  • Licensure will allow current Vet Techs to be grandfathered in without having to go through a tech school because it will give credit for their time in practice and by taking the VTNE will still standardize the level of professionalism and care for anyone carrying the title Licensed Veterinary Technician. The particular time frames are being worked out, with a tentative plan of requiring 5 years of consecutive employment with a Montana Veterinarian or 5000 logged hours immediately preceding the passing of the bill. Please feel free to offer any ideas.
  • Evidence has shown that although insurance rates don’t necessarily go down, having licensed vet techs helps decrease liability.

Please advise all that another round of “Regional Meetings” will be scheduled in November / December to distribute a final draft and it would be a really great time to attend with any input.

A few questions and answers that were addressed during the most recent Veterinary Board Meeting (Oct. 26,2018)

Q) Why are there 3 tasks listed in the new Section 2?

A) Our draft writer let us know that we could not leave the entire scope of practice to “be determined by administrative rule.” Because of this we needed to pick a few tasks that LVT’s are taught in school, require a higher level of education to perform and that Veterinarians would not be likely to have support personal perform, because if it is listed, then only a LVT would be allowed to perform.

Q) Why require 5000 hrs of on the job training before being allowed to sit for the VTNE?

A) If you do the math, someone working full time could potentially sit for the test in just over 2 years of on the job training. We feel that anything less than 2 year of on the job training is not enough time to obtain sufficient training.  AVMA approved programs are 2 year programs.  It does not seem unreasonable to require some one to stay on a job for  a minimum of 2 years before receiving a license to do that job.  Conversely someone who works part time (20 hrs / week) will still be able to acquire the hours in 5 years.

Q) What is the process for the rule making portion of this process?

A) After the law passes, the Veterinarian Board will go to work making rules. This process will include holding public hearings to hear from all those who have an interest. You will need to be proactive during this process to have your voice heard. Public comment is very important, and the more comments they receive will make the rules better.  This is the reason we have approached our bill by having most of the scope of practice in Rules rather that statute as it is much easier to change rules than it is to change statute.

Questions? Contact Us!
President Eli Olind ropentie_eli@hotmail.com 406-533-5987
President Elect Shawni Hanson shawni.hamilton@yahoo.com
Treasurer Dixie Mack bpvet@mtintouch.net 406-265-8901(w)
Secretary/Newsletter Committee Chair Leah Anderson Leahanderson89@gmail.com 303-345-5483
Certification Coordinator Marcia Cantrell marciacantrellcvt64@gmail.com 406-220-3033
Director 1 Kristen Baily k_bailey06@yahoo.com
Director 2 Billin Manning frogloveringf@hotmail.com 406-761-8282
CE Committee Chair Anni O’Hara annicohara@gmail.com 406-282-7816

 

View our 2018 Regional Meetings