By Attorney Jordan Lamb, DeWitt LLP
In January, the Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board (VEB) formalized the 13 members of its new Telehealth Advisory Committee. The Committee will assist the VEB with evaluating and developing a recommendation for a Wisconsin administrative rule to regulate veterinary services through telehealth technologies. Current state regulations do not allow for the use of telemedicine for veterinary services.
Committee members include:
1. Stacey Adams, DVM (WVMA representative)
2. Randall Lee Bond, DVM
3. Melanie Goble, DVM
4. Karen Hershberger-Braker, DVM
5. Shawn Hook, DVM
6. Susan Krebsbach, DVM
7. Rebecca Krull, DVM
8. Bob Nagel, DVM
9. Wilfred Schuler, DVM
10. Scott Spaulding, DVM
11. Erika Froeming, CVT
12. Chanda Holschbach, CVT
13. Teri Kleist, CVT
The VEB selected committee members – including several WVMA members – from applications submitted in November 2020. The Committee is expected to meet three times between March and April of 2021. All meetings will be held virtually and will be open to the public. The complete process for the change or addition of an administrative rule in Wisconsin takes approximately 36 months.
The proposed regulation of telehealth technologies is part of a larger request by the VEB that was approved last May by Governor Tony Evers. The VEB has opened an administrative rule procedure that will revise codes that govern the practice of veterinary medicine in Wisconsin. The first step was an approval of a “Scope Statement.” Statement of Scope SS 064-20 explains that the objective of this proposed rule is to make Wis. Admin. Code chs. VE 1 through 11 easier to access and understand for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and the Veterinary Professional Assistance Program.
In addition to simplifying the administrative codes and addressing the use of telehealth technologies, the VEB will evaluate the circumstances under which a veterinarian may dispense a drug for a patient of another veterinarian. Telemedicine and drug dispensation are issues that the WVMA has specifically brought to the attention of the VEB on behalf of our membership.
The WVMA formed its own internal Telehealth Task Force during the fall of 2019. The Task Force researched and prepared recommendations on the use of telehealth technologies. In December 2019, the WVMA sent a formal request to the VEB with the Task Force’s recommendations asking that the VEB develop a regulation that would allow for the use of telemedicine in Wisconsin veterinary medicine. In addition, the WVMA also requested that the VEB clarify the circumstances under which a veterinarian may dispense medication for another veterinarian. In response, the VEB included both topics to the rule’s Scope Statement.
The WVMA advocacy team will be monitoring these meetings and providing updates to our membership as the process moves forward.