Information from DSHS: Relating to Veterinarians and COVID-19 Vaccine
According to the guidelines issued by the Department of State Health Services, veterinarians and their employees are not considered front-line healthcare workers and may not be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under this eligibility. Questions about vaccine eligibility should be directed to either the Department of State Health Services or your local health authority.
Sunset Advisory Commission Invites Public Input on the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
The Sunset Advisory Commission is reviewing the mission and performance of the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (SBVME) and welcomes public comments on whether the agency is still needed and ideas to improve its operations and services. SBVME underwent Sunset review during the 2016-2017 biennium, and the Sunset Commission’s statutory recommendations for the agency passed into law during the 85th Regular Session. The Legislature continued SBVME for four years and placed the agency under Sunset review again. The current Sunset review of SBVME will focus on the effectiveness of recommendations made by the Sunset Commission to the 85th Legislature.
The Sunset process has three stages. First, Sunset staff will evaluate SBVME, seek public input, and issue a report recommending solutions to problems found. Second, the Sunset Commission will hold two public meetings: a hearing on the staff report and the agency, and a decision meeting to adopt recommendations to the Legislature based on the report and public comments. Third, the Legislature will convene in January 2021 and will consider Sunset’s statutory recommendations in a Sunset bill for SBVME.
If you would like to share any concerns or ideas about the effectiveness of the previous Sunset recommendations you can:
- Send an email to email@example.com
- Submit comments online at www.sunset.texas.gov
- Send a letter to Sunset Advisory Commission, Attn: SBVME, P.O. Box 13066, Austin, Texas 78711
- Call (512) 463-1300 to speak to Morgan Constantino, project manager of the SBVME review
Please provide your comments by September 30, 2020 to ensure Sunset staff can fully consider your input while conducting their review. Comments submitted before the staff report is published in November 2020 will remain confidential.
Stay informed! Visit www.sunset.texas.gov to sign up for email alerts on the Sunset staff report and the Sunset Commission’s public meetings on SBVME.
Information on TBVME's Response to COVID-19
In the wake of the Governor’s Emergency Declaration, TBVME will be waiving some continuing education requirements during the emergency and staff has moved to working remotely.
For any license renewals occurring during the emergency declaration period, continuing education requirements will be waived. We understand that due to the cancellation of conferences and meetings, the requisite number of hours may be difficult to obtain and thus waiving the continuing education requirement for all license renewals for as long as the emergency declaration continues.
The statute and rule on telemedicine allow for veterinarians to provide care via telemedicine to existing patients. However, a veterinarian client patient relationship may not be established solely through telemedicine. There is no written guidance on how often a veterinarian must see an animal to maintain the valid client-patient relationship. During these times, we encourage our licensees to use their best judgment and use telemedicine where they can to meet the needs of their clients and patients.
In addition, to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and based on the latest recommendations from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), TBVME has moved to remote operations at least through April 30. This means that our offices will be closed to the public, and we will not be offering in-person scheduled or walk-in appointments.
During this time, our staff will work diligently to ensure that all operations of the agency continue uninterrupted during this period of remote operation.
We encourage our members to stay up to date on the latest news about the virus and necessary safety precautions by visiting the DSHS website. The TBVME Board and executive leadership will continually assess the situation before determining when to reopen the agency to the public. We will actively update our website and social media feeds as the situation evolves.
Information on S.B. 1947 relating to Opioid & Controlled Substance Education
S.B. 1947, passed in the 86th legislative session, requires veterinarians to obtain 2 hours of continuing education related to opioid abuse and controlled substance diversion, inventory, and security every two years to renew a license to practice veterinary medicine.
** UPDATE** - A licensee is required to complete this training beginning on September 1, 2020. A license may not be renewed on or after September 1, 2022 without having completed the legislatively required training
The TBVME is currently working with the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), Texas A&M, and others to offer courses that will meet this legislative mandate. Currently, the TBVME is offering a 4-hour Regulatory Awareness course at various locations across the state that satisfies the legislative mandate.
The Board has jurisdiction over all veterinary medicine offered or provided to clients and patients located within the state of Texas.
Veterinarians must adhere to Texas laws and regulations regardless of whether they’re offering face-to-face services or services by telephone, internet, or other electronic means.
The veterinarian must hold an active Texas license, even if they are licensed and located in another jurisdiction.
Before offering or practicing veterinary medicine, a veterinarian must establish a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Texas law prohibits a veterinarian from forming a VCPR solely by telephonic or electronic means. To form a VCPR with a dog, cat, or any animal that trains or competes individually, the veterinarian must perform an in-person examination. To form a VCPR with a member of a herd, the veterinarian must make medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises on which the animal is kept. (Please see Section 801.351, Occupations Code, and Board Rule 573.20(b) for the full list of requirements to form a valid VCPR).
In addition to adhering to all other Texas laws and regulations, veterinarians providing telemedicine services are subject to the standard of care that would apply to the provision of the same services in an in-person setting.
TAMU April 2019 Exam Results
The TBVME Examination Results from the April 11, 2019 examination are available for viewing. Please click here for Scores
Fingerprinting Required for New Applicants & Renewals in 2019
Recent changes to Texas law (Chapter 801, Occupations Code) require that all licensed veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians (LVTs), and licensed equine dental providers (EDPs) submit fingerprints to the Board for purposes of performing a criminal history record information check.
***Licenses expiring in January 2019, will not be permitted to renew until the licensee's fingerprints have been submitted to the Board. Applicants for a new license must submit fingerprints before a license may be issued. ***
Pharmacy Board Registration of DVMs to the PMP
The Pharmacy Board has started the implementation of H.B. 2561 which passed in the 85th legislature. During this implementation an e-mail was sent from the Pharmacy Board’s PMP vendor to licensees which may appear to be spam. The Pharmacy Board confirmed that the email is authentic.
Below is the original information sent by TBVME to licensees in November 2017 about H.B. 2561:
The 85th legislature passed H.B. 2561 which in part requires health care practitioners to report dispensing of controlled substances to the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) at the Board of Pharmacy. Veterinarians were specifically exempted from the requirement to review the PMP prior to prescribing medications to a patient. However, the requirement placed upon the Board of Pharmacy to automatically create a user account for the health care practitioner does apply to Veterinarians.
To comply with H.B. 2561 the Board of Pharmacy is requiring that the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME) provide the e-mail address for each veterinarian licensed in Texas. TBVME has provided the e-mail address under “Business e-mail” as the primary email address. The Board of Pharmacy will then automatically create a PMP account and email the information to the business address. If you would like to change the e-mail address for receiving PMP notifications after the PMP account is created, you will need to contact the Board of Pharmacy to initiate the change of PMP email address.
Important Information Pertaining to TBVME Enforcement of DEA Registrations
Austin, Texas - April 5, 2018 - Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiner's Executive Director, John Helenberg, has released a statement regarding the Board's enforcement of Rule 573.43 (Controlled Substance Registration) which clarifies the DEA Registration requirements.
New Licensing Fees as of January 1, 2018
At the December 5th, 2017, the TBVME Board voted and passed new licensing fees that went into effect January 1, 2018. A complete list of fees can be found by clicking here or you may download a copy of the Rule in Adobe PDF format by clicking here.
Notice to Military Veterans, Active Service Members, and Military Spouses
Senate Bill 807 (84th Legislative Session) eliminates the application and examination fees for military veterans, active military service members, and military spouses. To implement this change, the application instructions have been changed to reflect the type of documentation required to claim the military fee waiver. The fee waiver applies only to applications received after September 1, 2015. Please see the application instructions for more information. All license types are eligible for this fee waiver.