2019 Legislature Objective
Legislative Update | July 2018
A draft bill is in the works to present to the 2019 Legislative session which begins January 2019. We’re hoping to have first draft before Fall Symposium in Sept. 2018. This 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. The sponsor for this bill is Rep. Alan Redfield from Livingston, MT.
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.
- 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 of education.
- 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.
- This shows a commitment to the profession by committing to Continuing Education. More education increases value to profession.
- Practice benefits will include increased 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 5,000 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.
- Vet techs can take over a large part of the role of training OTJ of employees coming in “off the street” all under the supervision and auspices of the individual veterinarian. This may have the added benefit of increasing the desire of these OTJ trained staff to further their education either on line or in a tech or veterinary school.
Please be advised that another round of “Regional Meetings” will be scheduled in late September/October to distribute a final draft and it would be a great time to attend with any input. Please help gather Veterinarian and Technician input on what tasks they feel should be allowed by a trained licensed Technician that should not be performed by a support person.
Additional thoughts on rules:
- Most Sample collections where surgery is not required
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