June 5 , 2010
Volume VII, No. 25
It is Time to Renew Your ISVMA Membership Dues
• Pay Your ISVMA Membership Renewal Dues Online!
• If you have changed practices or moved in the last year, please contact us so that we can forward your renewal invoice to your new practice/address.
ISVMA members can now pay their dues online with a VISA or MasterCard. This added convenience is available through the ISVMA Member Center. When you click on the link, you will be asked to login to go to your account. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, click on the reminder link and the information will immediately be delivered to your email address.
ISVMA member dues invoices have been mailed and are due on June 30, 2010. Please pay your dues before the deadline to avoid any interruption in your membership status. When you pay your dues this year, please notice that the invoice form allows you to make additional contributions to the Veterinary Medicine Political Action Committee (VMPAC) and the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation (IVMF). I hope that you take advantage of the opportunity to contribute whatever you can afford to these two other organizations that support the activities of ISVMA:
Your support and participation are greatly appreciated. If you know a colleague or associate that is not a member of ISVMA, please encourage them to join now! Some of the benefits of membership are listed on the ISVMA website.
Thank you for your continued support and participation.
Important Survey on Staff Usage/Supervision
As you should be aware, the Illinois Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act was recently updated by legislative amendment. One of the outcomes of this amendment is the opportunity to review and adopt a regulation to allow for more effective and practical use of Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVTs).
The ISVMA CVT Roles & Responsibilities Task Force has developed a survey which will be used to help evaluate what regulatory changes ISVMA will advocate concerning the appropriate roles and responsibilities of CVTs and un-lincensed practice staff.
This survey differs from a similar survey that was conducted last year in which we assessed your thoughts on what level of supervision should be necessary to perform certain procedures. We are now trying to assess what is currently occurring in practice.
We have also collected information from all of the accredited schools of veterinary technology in Illinois on what procedures they are teaching CVT students and what procedures other states specifically allow CVT employees to perform. The compilation and analysis of all this information will be very helpful to ISVMA as we prepare draft rules for the roles and responsibilities of CVTs in Illinois regulations.
We will retain the privacy of all information provided. The particulars of to whom and where something occurred are not what we are focused on. What is important is that we have an accurate picture of what is actually occurring in our veterinary practices. Your answers will be kept confidential.
Please take a few minutes and fill out the short information survey which assesses whether your practice currently allows CVTs or veterinary assistants to perform any of the specified tasks.
IMPORTANT LETTER TO PARTICPANTS IN FEDPAY, USA CHECK COLLECTION SERVICE (formerly Federal Check Recovery)
In the past few months, ISVMA received a number of inquiries from veterinary practices which have been participating in FedPay, USA (formerly Federal Check Recovery). This company came to ISVMA several years ago with a proposal to collect revenue from the accounts of your clients that write checks with insufficient funds. For the first few years of the program (which had many referrals and is in a sponsorship relationship with many other veterinary associations) the program worked very well.
Federal Check Recovery changed their name to FedPay, USA more than a year ago. What we were not told was that the company had been sold to Federal Payments, LLC. Apparently, that sale was the beginning of serious issues with practices receiving money owed to them for debt collected on checks written with insufficient funds. I have invested a lot of time over the past few weeks trying to force payment for ISVMA members that have contacted ISVMA about their problems with the company and quickly realized that the problem was severe enough to end the ISVMA relationship with FedPay, USA. We also demanded an accounting of all the ISVMA practices in the program and how much money they are owed.
ISVMA is going to file formal consumer fraud and interstate wire fraud complaints with the Illinois Attorney General, the Colorado Attorney General (where Federal Payments, LLC is incorporated) and the appropriate federal government agencies in an effort to collect from the company any money owed to Illinois veterinary practices.
In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you sever your relationship with FedPay, USA. In order to suspend all activity with them, we recommend the following procedure:
ISVMA has notified the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (ASVMAE) and the 34 other veterinary associations participating in the program of the problems with this company.
ISVMA will continue to pursue any legal action we can take on behalf of our members that have been cheated by Federal Payments, LLC in an effort to get your monies returned. We also hope that state and federal governments will take action against the company for their fraudulent behavior.
FTC (Again) Delays Implementation of Red Flags Rule
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it will once again delay enforcing the Red Flags Rule, intended to protect consumers from identity theft, through December 31, 2010. Here is a link to the press release: http://ftc.gov/opa/2010/05/redflags.shtm.
AVMA will continue to pursue federal legislation to exempt various small businesses, including veterinary practices, from the rule. The House of Representatives approved H.R. 3763 on Oct. 21, 2009 by a 400 to 0 vote.
Visit the AVMA identity theft Web page, http://www.avma.org/issues/FTC_red_flags_rule.asp, for further updates and developments.
AVMA Announces Roster of 20/20 Vision Commission
(SCHAUMBURG) The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has announced the appointees to the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission, charged with creating a vision for the future of the association.
The 11-member commission will be chaired by Dr. Lonnie King, dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
“I’m pleased and excited to be selected as chair of this commission,” said Dr. King. “We have terrific commission members with diverse backgrounds who bring many perspectives and views to the table. I think this is one of the more important things AVMA has decided to put together in recent years and I commend them on their decision.”
The remainder of the 20/20 Vision Commission is comprised of:
• Dr. Bonnie Beaver: Past-president of the AVMA; professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine—College Station, Texas
• Dr. Grace Bransford: Companion animal practitioner—San Anselmo, Calif.
• Dr. Anne Hale: CEO of Animal Blood Resources International—Stockbridge, Mich.
• Mr. Steve Kess: Former board member for the American Dental Association Foundation; vice president, global professional relations, Henry Schein, Inc.—Melville, N.Y.
• Ms. Joanna Morel: Student at Tufts University College of Veterinary Medicine; Student Chapter of the AVMA (SCAVMA) delegate; Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) officer—Shrewsbury, Mass.
• Dr. Stacy Pritt: Director, Biological Test Center, B. Braun Medical, Inc.; American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners delegate; member of the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee—Chino Hills, Calif.
• Dr. Stephan Schaefbauer: Epidemiologist, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—Raleigh, N.C.
• Dr. Christina Tran: Companion animal practitioner—North Plains, Ore.
• Mr. Peter Weber: Executive director, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association—Springfield, Ill.
• Dr. Mike Whitehair: Past chair of the AVMA House Advisory Committee; mixed animal practitioner—Abilene, Kan.
The AVMA Executive Board approved the creation of the 20/20 Vision Commission at its January 2010 meeting. In addition to creating a vision for the future of the AVMA, the commission will work to ensure that the association’s programs, strategies, communications and other entities remain relevant and responsive to its members and the profession 6 to 10 years into the future.
Dr. King said that commission members currently are working on the agenda for the group’s first meeting. The work of the commission will last about a year, Dr. King said.
For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations assistant, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vt. Court: Man's Best Friend Is Mere Property
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) ― The owners of a dog that was shot to death have lost their bid to win financial damages for loss of companionship.
The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a lower court ruling saying Vermont doesn't recognize noneconomic damages for the malicious destruction of personal property, even if it's a beloved pet.
Denis and Sarah Scheele (SHE-lee), of Annapolis, Md., sued Lewis Dustin after their mixed-breed dog Shadow wandered onto Dustin's property and he shot it. That was in 2003.
Dustin, of Northfield, said he was aiming at the dog's rear end and trying to shoo it away, never intending to kill it. The Scheeles say the dog was part of their family, not mere property.
About the Photo
The Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi) is a common Central American bird of the thrush family. It is the national bird of Costa Rica. In general appearance and habits it resembles other Turdus thrushes such as the American Robin. It is about the same length or slightly smaller: 23-27 cm (9-10.5 in), and weighs 74-76 g (2.6 oz.) on average. The plumage is brownish, somewhat lighter below than above, lightest on the flanks. Birds from humid regions are darker than those from dry regions. The throat is faintly streaked. Immature birds have faint mottling on the back and underparts. The bill is greenish-yellow with a dark base, the legs are pinkish or flesh-colored, and the irides (= plural of iris) are reddish-all useful identification points.
This species ranges from eastern Mexico to Columbia; occurs casually in lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. It inhabits open or semi-open areas; also forest edges, gardens, and suburban lots. The Clay-colored Thrush forages for its food including fruit and small invertebrates. They will sometimes follow army ants to eat animals disturbing their ant hills. This species will also frequently build its nests in human habitats, such as man-made buildings or homes. Currently, the conservation rating for the Clay-colored Robin is Least Concern.
Interesting Fact: a group of robins are collectively known as a "worm" of robins.
I photographed this Clay-colored Thrush at Bentsen State Park in the lower Rio Grande Valley, TX in February 2010.
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