VEB Docket No. 16-VER-7 Final Rule
Rules Clearinghouse No. 17-084 October 11, 2019
OF THE WISCONSIN VETERINARY EXAMINING BOARD
The Wisconsin veterinary examining board hereby proposes the following rule to create VE 7.02 (3) (d) and VE 7.025; relating to the provision of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, and affecting small business.
Analysis Prepared by the Veterinary Examining Board
The Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board (VEB) proposes a rule revision in ch. VEB 7, Wis. Adm. Code, to clarify the circumstances under which a veterinarian may make a referral of a veterinary client to another licensed professional, or supervise a certified veterinary technician, for the provision of complementary, alternative, or integrative therapies (CAITs), as defined in s. VEB 1.02 (3m), Wis. Adm. Code, on the client’s animal.
Statutory Authority: s. 89.03 (1), Stats.
Explanation of Statutory Authority
VEB has specific authority, under the provisions cited above, to adopt rules establishing the scope of practice permitted for veterinarians.
Related Statutes and Rules
VEB administers ch. 89, Stats., as well as the administrative rules in VE 1-10, Wis. Adm. Code, and in the administration of these statute and rules, VEB may issue administrative orders imposing discipline for unprofessional conduct related to the practice of veterinary medicine, including issuing an administrative warning to, or reprimanding, any person holding a veterinary medical license, or denying, revoking, suspending, limiting, the person’s license, as specified by statute.
Plain Language Analysis
There is a current definition, in s. VE 1.02 (3m), Wis. Adm. Code, of veterinary complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. However, that definition does not specify how these CAITs are to be treated within the practice of veterinary medicine. There have been numerous requests made to the VEB, from veterinarians, certified veterinary technicians, and members of other licensed professions, to clarify the referral relationship that a veterinarian may have with these other professionals for the veterinarian’s clients, and the delegation to certified veterinary technicians for the provision of CAITs upon a veterinarian’s animal patients. The VEB proposes to create a rule, s. VE 7.025, Wis. Adm. Code, specifying that a veterinarian may make a referral to another Wisconsin-licensed professional, so long as the other professional gives evidence to the veterinarian of his or her license in good standing with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, to perform the type of CAITs for which the referral is made, and his or her education, training, and experience in performing that type of CAIT on an animal. The proposed rule includes a provision that the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (“VCPR”), as defined in s. 89.02 (8), Stats., does not extend to the CAITs provided by the other professional, where the veterinarian demonstrates meeting the requirements in making the referral or the client obtains a therapy provider for the client’s animal without a referral. In addition, the VEB proposes to create an additional provision, within s. VE 7.02, Wis. Adm. Code delegation of veterinary medical acts, for the veterinarian to delegate to a certified veterinary technician the performance of CAITs on an animal patient, where the certified veterinary technician is not a licensed professional performing CAITs. By including this provision in the section on delegation of veterinary medical acts, the VEB makes clear that the technician’s CAIT performance is under the direct supervision of the veterinarian, who will continue to have all of the supervisory responsibilities specified in this section, and within the VCPR.
Summary of, and Comparison with Existing or Proposed
Federal Statutes and Regulations
There are no federal regulations governing the practice of veterinary complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies.
Comparison with Rules in Adjacent States
Illinois’ veterinary medicine and surgery practice act defines CAITs very similarly to the current definition in s. VE 1.02 (9), Wis. Adm. Code. The act specifically allows a member in good standing of another licensed or regulated profession within any state or an Illinois-approved member of an organization or group to provide hands-on active participation in the treatment and care of a patient, within a veterinarian-client-patient relationship and with informed consent from the client, so long as the member works under the supervision of the veterinarian. The veterinarian maintains the veterinarian-client-patient relationship, but is immune from civil and criminal liability for the member’s assistance, except for willful and wanton conduct. The other professional may not state or imply in any way that they are licensed or engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine.
Iowa’s and Michigan’s veterinary statutes and rules do not address this issue.
Within Minnesota’s practice of veterinary medicine act, there is a provision that specifically states that the act does not prohibit a licensed chiropractor from registering with its chiropractor board and performing animal chiropractic on animals that have been referred to the chiropractor by a veterinarian.
Analysis and Supporting Documents Used to Determine Effect on Small Business
This rule was developed with the assistance of a VEB-appointed rules advisory committee that included five Wisconsin-licensed veterinarians, two Wisconsin-certified veterinary technicians, two Wisconsin-licensed members of other professions who provide complimentary, alternative, or integrative therapies on animals, two public members, and a VEB member as a liaison to the Board. The committee looked at practices in other states, consulted with veterinary medical groups, and brought expertise on the use of these CAITs in assisting animals for their health and well-being. Written comments were collected after posting the rule for a 30-day period, oral comments were made during the four rule hearings in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Waukesha and Madison, and additional written comments during the remainder of the public comment period, which ended on January 31, 2018.