Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

126 th General Assembly of Ohio

Ohio Legislative Service Commission

77 South High Street, 9th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215-6136 Phone: (614) 466-3615

Internet Web Site: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/

BILL:

H.B. 458

DATE:

January 31, 2006

STATUS:

As Introduced

SPONSOR:

Rep. Core

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No

No local cost

 


CONTENTS:

Revises the Veterinary Practice Law

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

STATE FUND

FY 2006

FY 2007

FUTURE YEARS

Occupational Licensing and Regulatory Fund (Fund 4K9) Veterinary Medical Licensing Board

Revenues

Potential gain of $30,000 to $40,000 from limited licenses; negligible loss from fewer temporary permits

Potential gain of $30,000 to $40,000 from limited licenses; negligible loss from fewer temporary permits

Potential gain of $30,000 to $40,000 from limited
licenses; negligible loss
from fewer temporary
permits

Expenditures

Increase of $500 to $1,000 for printing costs

Increase of $500 to $1,000 for printing costs

Increase of $500 to $1,000
for printing costs

Note: The state fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. For example, FY 2006 is July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006.

 

        Limited Licenses. This bill provides for the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board to issue limited licenses to practice veterinary medicine to individuals (not already licensed by the Board) whose sole professional capacity is with a veterinary academic institution or veterinary technology institution. This provision mainly applies to the Ohio State University Veterinary College and the Ohio Department of Agriculture and will likely result in a small, but appreciable revenue gain of $30,000 to $40,000 to the Occupational Licensing and Regulatory Fund (Fund 4K9) contributed by the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board. The Board does not anticipate any increase in costs associated with issuing and renewing limited licenses, as the number would be very small compared to the total number of veterinary licenses the Board handles.

        Printing Costs. This bill will require the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board to print new copies of the Veterinary Practice Act to veterinary schools and students. The Board produces these copies in-house and estimates that they will cost approximately $500 to $1,000 to print.

        Temporary Permits. This bill removes a situation in which a temporary permit may be issued for applicants for admission to an examination. The fee for the permit is $100. This provision may result in a negligible loss to the Occupational Licensing and Regulatory Fund (Fund 4K9) as only three to six of these temporary permits have been issued per year.


Local Fiscal Highlights

 

        No direct fiscal effect on political subdivisions.

 


 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

Revised Definitions

 

This bill includes several changes to the definition of "practice of veterinary medicine" to remove from the definition the requirement that the veterinarian receive compensation for their services. In removing this requirement, veterinarians who would refuse to be paid in order to avoid the potential of lawsuits for malpractice under current law would still be liable for the services rendered. The bill would also add to the definition of "practice of veterinary medicine" the rendering of professional advice or recommendation by any means, including telephonic or other electronic communication. Various other definitions and terms are also modified to reflect the current state of the practice. The Veterinary Medical Licensing Board, the state agency responsible for regulating the practice of veterinary medicine and licensing veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians, noted that the bill would not have an appreciable effect on the number of licenses issued by the Board. The Board licensed 3,660 veterinarians and registered 1,611 veterinary technicians in FY 2005.

 

Limited Licenses

 

Current law exempts faculty members of colleges of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association from having to be licensed by the Board, provided that the individual is a veterinarian and only is practicing in conjunction with teaching duties at the school or college or in its main teaching hospital. This bill eliminates this provision and requires the issuance of limited licenses to practice veterinary medicine to an individual whose sole professional capacity is with a veterinary academic institution or veterinary technology institution that does not already have a valid license. A person holding a limited license is authorized to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine only to the extent necessary to fulfill the person's employment or educational obligations as an instructor, researcher, diagnostician, intern, or resident in a veterinary, specialty, or graduate student. The bill specifies that the fee for this limited license is the same as that for regular veterinary licenses, which is $375 in even-numbered years and $250 in odd-numbered years. The biennial renewal fee for the limited license is as follows: $155 for applications postmarked no later than March 1, $225 for applications postmarked after March 1 but no later than April 1, and $450 for applications postmarked after April 1.

 

The Veterinary Medical Licensing Board stated that this provision applies mostly to the Ohio State University Veterinary College and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. It is the Board's understanding that all of the veterinarians at the Department of Agriculture are currently licensed. According to the OSU Veterinary College, of the approximately 100 faculty members, only a small portion have obtained licenses from the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board and would not be required to obtain the limited license. Faculty members that have already obtained a license usually practice veterinary medicine on breaks and sabbaticals and consult. This provision is likely to result in a revenue gain to the Occupational Licensing and Regulatory Fund (Fund 4K9), where license revenue received by the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board is deposited.

 

While the exact amount of the gain would depend on how many faculty would require the license, it is likely to be a small but appreciable amount (approximately $30,000 to $40,000) in comparison to the Board's biennial revenue. For instance, the Board received $633,755 in FY 2004 and $183,810 in FY 2005 (the Board's "off-year" in license renewals) for a FY 2004-2005 total of $817,565. The Board's budget for FY 2006 is $353,691, which includes $60,000 for a veterinary student loan repayment program. The Board does not anticipate any increased costs associated with issuing and renewing limited licenses, as the number would be very small compared to the total number of veterinary licenses the Board handles.

 

Permit and License Change

 

This bill removes a situation in which a temporary permit may be issued for applicants for admission to an examination. These temporary permits were granted to persons (typically students) taking the examination but not having passed it. Under this situation, a person could fail the examination and still be permitted to practice as if he or she had a full license. The requirements for the temporary license are that the person attend an accredited school and are going to take the licensure examination. The Board has typically issued only three to six of these temporary permits per year. The fee for a temporary permit is $100. Removing this type of temporary permit will likely result in a negligible loss in revenue to the Occupational Licensing and Regulatory Fund (Fund 4K9) contributed by the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board.

 

Changes to Existing License Fees

 

This bill creates a fee of $75 that a license applicant must pay to the Board for the reinstatement of a license issued under the Veterinary Practice Law that has lapsed more than one year. Instances where an applicant applies for reinstatement after a license has lapsed for more than a year occur infrequently, thus this provision would likely result in a negligible amount of additional revenue received by the Board and deposited into Fund 4K9. The bill eliminates current law specifying that the Board, subject to the approval of the Controlling Board, may establish fees in excess of the amounts provided in statute in the Veterinary Practice Law, provided that the fees do not exceed the amounts permitted by statute by more than 50%. The bill also extends a waiver of the registration fee during the time period when a licensed veterinarian is on active military duty to registered veterinary technicians.

 

Rule Adoption and Printing Costs

 

The bill notes several instances where the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board is to adopt rules, such as those relating to examinations and limited license issuance. The Board anticipates having to adopt several new rules but no more than ten. The Board has a standing rules committee that would develop the new rules, which would follow the normal Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review procedures. Therefore, the adoption of these rules would not pose a significant cost to the Board. The Board also would be responsible for reprinting copies of the Veterinary Practice Act that are included with each license application and distributed to veterinary schools for students or use as teaching tools. The printing of these copies is performed by Board staff and estimated to cost between $500 and $1,000.

 

Other Changes

 

The bill reduces the term of Veterinary Medical Licensing Board members from five years to three years and modifies how many terms may be served. Currently, Board members only serve one five-year term, with the exception that the time they serve if appointed to fill an unexpired term does not count toward the one five-year term limit. This theoretically allows a Board member to serve nearly ten years. The bill would provide for a maximum of three three-year terms and for appointment to unexpired terms provided that the total length of the member's service does not exceed ten years.

 

The bill renames the "Executive Secretary" of the Board to the "Executive Director" of the Board throughout the bill. It does not appear as if this change in title will result in a change in compensation for this position. The bill also makes changes to the language regarding examinations for license applicants. Current law requires that the Board hold at least one examination during each calendar year for license applicants. The bill would change this language to require the Board to accept and review applications for admission to an exam in accordance with section 4741.09 of the Revised Code, which sets out the qualification and application requirements for admission to examinations for licensure. The language will not result in a change in the amount of times examinations are offered as the North American Veterinary License Examination (NAVLE) is a national examination given on the same dates in every state, and thus no new cost is anticipated.

 

Allied Medical Support

 

The bill allows for "allied medical support" (meaning a licensed dentist, physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist who is in good standing) under certain circumstances to assist a licensed veterinarian to the extent that the law governing the individual providing the support permits. Specifically, allied medical support may be provided if a valid veterinary-client-patient-relationship exists, the individual acts under direct veterinary supervision, the allied medical support individual receives informed, written, client consent, and the veterinarian maintains responsibility for the patient and keeps the patient's medical records. In addition, the Board may inspect the facilities of an allied medical support individual in connection with an investigation based on a complaint involving that individual. The Board is uncertain how often such allied medical support will occur as it is currently prohibited.

 

Civil Penalties

 

This bill modifies the civil penalty that may be used to sanction violators of various sections of Revised Code section 4741. Specifically, the bill increases the minimum civil penalty upon the holder of a license, permit, or registration from at least $50 to at least $100. The bill retains the maximum penalty of $1,000. It also gives the Board greater flexibility in issuing civil penalties by eliminating specific penalties for first offenses and subsequent offenses. Consequently, the bill would allow the Board to issue a civil penalty to violators from $100 to $1,000 irrespective of the number of offenses a violator has committed.

 

It is uncertain what effect these changes will have upon the fine revenue contributed to the Occupational Licensing and Regulatory Fund (Fund 4K9) by the Veterinary Medical Licensing Board due to the greater flexibility the bill offers in the allotment of penalties and the fact that the particular penalty opted for depends on the circumstances of each case. The Board noted that first time offenders of minor infractions would typically receive the minimum penalty while higher penalty amounts would be reserved for repeat offenders or first time offenders of egregious violations (for example, taking on a case that the veterinarian was not qualified to handle that had dire results). In FY 2005, the Board collected approximately $33,100 in civil penalties. In addition to the changes to the civil penalties available, the bill makes various changes to the grounds for disciplinary action.

 

 

LSC fiscal staff: Jason Phillips, Budget Analyst

 

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