Fountain Report Excerpts Sep 26, 2023

Fountain Report Excerpts
  1. Legislation that would help increase rural access to veterinary care has been reintroduced into both chambers of Congress. Formerly known as the VMLRP Enhancement Act, the bipartisan Rural Veterinary Workforce Act would help attract more veterinarians into rural areas by expanding the reach of the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. The VMLRP places food animal and public health veterinarians in high-need communities by repaying up to $75,000 in educational debt in exchange for their service. But unlike similar programs for physicians and other human health care providers, VMLRP awards are federally taxed. The USDA, which oversees the VMLRP, is required by law to pay the tax on behalf of the award recipient. The department currently pays out 39% of VMLRP’s annual congressional funding in taxes. The proposed law would end the federal tax on the program, making its full funding available to veterinarians.
  1. New Jersey pet insurance costs are far exceeding the cost of veterinary care as insurers seek double-digit increases, according to state filings. Figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that as of August, national veterinarian costs increased 8.5%. But three pet insurance companies are asking the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to approve much higher rate increases, reports. Pet insurance company Trupanion is asking for a 33% increase, Healthy Paws Pets is asking for a 44% increase, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company, typically called MetGen, is seeking a 56% increase. U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer said he was formally asking the state to deny the requests. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average annual premium was $640.04 for dogs and $387.01 for cats in 2022. For comparison, in 2018, premiums were $560.06 for dogs and $359.56 for cats, or a 16% and 7.6% increase respectively.
  1. Twenty-eight veterinary management professionals recently earned the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager credential from the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. According to the announcement, the CVPM credential is awarded to those professionals who demonstrate the knowledge and experience necessary to manage the ever-changing operations of today’s veterinary practices successfully. Before sitting for the CVPM exam, applicants must meet practice management experience requirements and demonstrate they’ve earned sufficient formal education and continuing education credits.

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