Advocacy Update: CVMA’s Legislative Watchlist for Colorado Veterinarians

Advocacy Update: CVMA’s Legislative Watchlist for Colorado Veterinarians

February 23, 2024— In the dynamic realm of Colorado’s state legislative affairs, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is an active, proud voice for veterinary medicine and veterinary professionals in Colorado. It is vital that the association shares timely information and visibility into state legislation that affects our community as it becomes available. 

The CVMA team remains vigilant, tirelessly monitoring several bills that could impact the veterinary profession and animal medical care across the state. Let’s delve into the bills currently under CVMA’s watchful eye: 

1. HB24-1047 Veterinary Technician Scope of Practice 

This bill, sponsored by Representative Karen McCormick, D-Dist. 11, is crucial in recognizing the valuable contributions of veterinary technicians and ensuring they can perform duties commensurate with their training and expertise. By defining their scope of practice, the bill promotes efficiency in veterinary practices, enhances sound medical care, and strengthens the veterinary workforce.  

CVMA supports this bill because it addresses challenges that Colorado’s veterinary profession currently faces and would expand veterinarians’ capacity to more effectively protect animal and human health in Colorado. 

• This bill would result in more effective and efficient utilization of all veterinary professionals and increase access to veterinary care.  

• It would define and clarify delegation and supervision of veterinary tasks.  

• It would allow veterinary technicians and veterinary technician specialists to more fully use a broader scope of their education and training and improve retention of veterinary professionals. 

CVMA believes that passing this bill will not only benefit veterinary technicians but also elevate the standard of care for animals across Colorado. The Board of Directors approved a Position Statement, stating support for HB24-1047 on Friday, 23, 2024.

2. HB24-1048 Providing Veterinary Services Through Telehealth 

Another bill introduced and sponsored by Rep. McCormick, HB24-1048 would amend the Veterinary Practice Act to provide essential guidance on, framework for and clarity on the usage of telehealth and telemedicine in our state.  

The existing Veterinary Practice Act (VPA) was originally signed into law many years ago and makes no mention of telehealth or telemedicine. To address this statutory gap, HB24-1048 sets out the best practices in veterinary telehealth and telemedicine. It reflects current practice in telemedicine in Colorado and has been carefully developed to safeguard the people and animals of Colorado, to protect public health, food safety and animal welfare. 

As a long-standing proponent of telehealth as a cost-effective component of a care plan that enhances communications between veterinarians and their patients, CVMA has released a detailed Position Statement in strong support of HB24-1048’s amendments to the Veterinary Practice Act. HB24-1048 establishes standards, best practices and clarity around definitions of care when using telehealth technology.  

This bill will ultimately expand access to care in our state as it upholds accurate diagnosis and appropriate veterinary treatment for Colorado’s animals. The bill was amended today (February 23, 2024) during its second Senate hearing. With clarifications added to Tele-advice and Teletriage definitions, and an expansion of  the existing emergency extension of the VCPR in 12-315-105 (2)(b) that would permit the extension of the VCPR held by one veterinarian to allow another Colorado licensed veterinarian without an established VCPR, to dispense or prescribe medications through telemedicine in emergency situations based on the examining veterinarian’s expertise and VCPR.  

Considerations by the Senate and House will continue in the upcoming week. CVMA’s goal remains to see both bills passed into law and will advocate for that outcome as we continue to monitor their progress. 

For more information on the advocacy and legislative affairs CVMA monitors, visit our Advocacy & Legislation Center.