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RULE PROPOSAL
VOLUME 43, ISSUE 16
ISSUE DATE: AUGUST 15, 2011
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EXAMINERS

 

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:44-4.10

Continuing Education
 
Authorized By: State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Francine Widrich, Acting Executive Director.
 
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:16-3.
 
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
 
Proposal Number: PRN 2011-177.
 
Submit comments by October 14, 2011 to:
   Francine Widrich, Acting Executive Director
   State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
   PO Box 45020
   Newark, NJ 07101
 
The agency proposal follows:
 
Summary
P.L. 2010, c. 89 amended N.J.S.A. 45:16-9.4 to grant the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (Board) the authority to determine the number of continuing education hours a licensee must complete in order to renew a license. P.L. 2010, c. 89 also authorizes the Board to establish specific courses or topics that every licensee must complete as part of continuing education requirements. The law permits the Board to recognize volunteer veterinary medical services as satisfying up to 10 percent of the continuing education hours required in order to renew a license. "Volunteer veterinary services" are defined as veterinary care provided without charge either to a person participating in a program enumerated in section 3 of P.L. 1983, c. 172, for a shelter or pound licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services or for a municipally approved cat colony. The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44-4.10 to effectuate P.L. 2010, c. 89.
The Board proposes to increase the number of required continuing education credit hours from 20 to 22. Of these 22 credit hours, 17 must be in surgery, medicine or dentistry and no more than four may be in courses related solely to business management. This provision establishes the specific topics every licensee must complete as envisioned in P.L. 2010, c. 89. Proposed amendments increase the number of credit hours an individual licensed in the second year of a biennial renewal period must complete from 10 to 11 credit hours.
Proposed new subsection (k) permits licensees to complete two continuing education credit hours by providing volunteer veterinary services. A licensee will earn one credit hour for every two hours spent providing such services (subsection (l)). Credit hours earned by providing volunteer veterinary services will not count towards the 17 credit hours in surgery, medicine or dentistry (subsection (m)). The rule permits the Board to deny a licensee the opportunity to earn credits through volunteer veterinary services if the licensee has to complete continuing education credit hours to maintain competence or to address developments in science or technology (subsection (n)).
As the Board has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.
 
Social Impact
The proposed amendment will benefit society by encouraging licensees to provide volunteer veterinary services.
 
Economic Impact
The proposed amendment will have a positive economic impact on licensees who provide volunteer veterinary services. These licensees will obtain continuing education credit hours for completing such services, saving them the money they would otherwise have to pay to continuing education course sponsors to take continuing education courses. These savings would be offset by income licensees lose through providing volunteer services as opposed to providing services for a fee.
 
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendment.
 
Jobs Impact
The proposed amendment will not increase or decrease the number of jobs in New Jersey.
 
Agriculture Industry Impact
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.
 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
Since licensed veterinarians are individually licensed by the Board, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., they may be considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act.
The proposed amendment will have the same economic impact on small businesses as it does on all businesses as outlined in the Economic Impact above. The Board does not believe that licensees will need to employ professional services in order to comply with the proposed amendment. The proposed amendment imposes compliance requirements as detailed in the Summary above. The proposed amendment does not impose any recordkeeping or reporting requirements.
As the proposed amendment benefits the public by encouraging licensees to provide volunteer veterinary services, the Board believes that the proposed amendment must be applied uniformly to all licensees regardless of the size of the business.
 
Smart Growth Impact
The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendment will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.
 
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis
The proposed amendment will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the amendment would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendment concerns continuing education requirements.
 
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis
The proposed amendment will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the amendment would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendment concerns continuing education requirements.
 
Full text of the proposed amendment follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
 
SUBCHAPTER 4.    GENERAL RULES OF PRACTICE
 
13:44-4.10   Continuing education
 
(a) (No change.)
 
(b) Each applicant for biennial license renewal shall complete [20] 22 credit hours of continuing education in the preceding biennial license period. Of these 22 credit hours, at least 17 shall be in surgery, medicine or dentistry and no more than four shall be in courses related solely to business management.
 
(c) An applicant who is licensed in the second year of a biennial renewal period shall be required to complete [10] 11 credit hours of continuing education in the preceding biennial license period.
 
(d)-(h) (No change.)
 
(i) The Board may direct or order a licensee to complete continuing education credit hours:
 
1. As part of a disciplinary or remedial measure in addition to the required [20] 22 hours of continuing education credit; or
 
2. (No change.)
 
[page=2151] (j) (No change.)
 
(k) A licensee may obtain up to two continuing education credit hours per biennial period by providing veterinary care without charge:
 
1. To an animal owned by a person eligible for:
 
i. The New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Pub.L. 110-246 (7 U.S.C. §§2011 et seq.);
 
ii. The Supplemental Security Income Program established pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§1381 et seq.;
 
iii. The program for aid to families with dependent children, pursuant to P.L. 1959, c. 86 (N.J.S.A. 44:10-1 et seq.);
 
iv. The program for general public assistance, pursuant to the provisions of the "General Public Assistance Law," P.L. 1947, c. 156 (N.J.S.A. 44:8-107 et seq.);
 
v. The program of medical assistance pursuant to P.L. 1968, c. 413 (N.J.S.A. 30:4D-1 et seq.);
 
vi. The program of "Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled," established pursuant to P.L. 1975, c. 194 (N.J.S.A. 30:4D-20 et seq.);
 
vii. The rental assistance program authorized pursuant to section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 as added by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Pub.L. 93-383 (42 U.S.C. §1437(f));
 
viii. The "Lifeline Credit Program" established pursuant to P.L. 1979, c. 197 (N.J.S.A. 48:2-29.15 et seq.); or
 
ix. The "Tenants' Lifeline Assistance Program" established pursuant to P.L. 1981, c. 210 (N.J.S.A. 48:2-29.30 et seq.);
 
2. To a feral or stray cat with no known owner in a shelter or pound licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services provided that the shelter or pound attests to the licensee that the cat being treated is feral or stray with no known owner; or
 
3. To a cat in a municipally approved managed cat colony provided the colony attests to the licensee that the cat being treated is feral or stray with no known owner.
 
(l) A licensee shall obtain one continuing education credit hour for every two hours spent providing volunteer veterinary services pursuant to (k) above.
 
(m) Continuing education credit hours obtained pursuant to (k) above shall not count towards any of the 17 credit hours of continuing education in surgery, medicine or dentistry required by (b) above.
 
(n) The Board may deny a licensee an opportunity to obtain any or all continuing education credit hours pursuant to (k) above if the Board determines that:
 
1. The licensee must complete continuing education credit hours in order to maintain or restore professional competence pursuant to (i) above; or
 
2. All licensees must complete continuing education credit hours in order to address developments in science or technology.

   
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