Legislative Advocacy Means Savings for Members

$32 Million Isn’t Exactly Chump Change

Starting with the 1989 legislative session in Salem, the OVMA increased its advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues. Since this period we have saved the aggregate number of veterinary practices in Oregon over $32 million.

That’s correct: $32 million. And the amount grows each year.

During this same period we have spent approximately $500,000 for the services of our legislative advocate. We say this is a pretty good return on investment.

But we couldn’t do this without you – without your membership support. Your membership enables us to conduct an effective legislative and regulatory program.

So what exactly does this mean? Since 1989 we have saved the average veterinary practice over $4,210 each year.

Following is a synopsis of how we have accomplished this:

  • Savings: $14,820,000+ We amended legislation to exempt veterinary practices from separate disposal of biological and pathological wastes (this initially included the Portland metro area, but the tri-county now requires special disposal of these wastes). The savings is based on waste disposal costs (sharps are excluded) of $200 per month per clinic.
  • Savings: $5,525,000+ The OVMA was the only organization to question, challenge and defeat a Department of Agriculture point-of-sales tax on animal remedies, biologicals and pharmaceuticals. The proposal called for an initial tax of ½ percent on gross sales, but there was no ceiling on the tax. Savings are estimated on an average assessment of $1,000 per practice per year.
  • Savings: $550,875+ After years of trying, we successfully reduced the X-ray machine registration fee from a $100 annual expense to an $87 bi-annual cost.
  • Savings: $2,000,000+ The OVMA stopped the Oregon Health Division from doubling the training requirements for certifying veterinary X-ray operators from 20 hours to 40 hours. The estimated savings covers the cost of staff training at $700 each. This includes two people from the clinic and covers the course fee, hourly wage for staff while enrolled in the required course, incurred meal and/or hotel expenses, and it also includes coverage of duties of the absent employees by other staff members at the practice.
  • Savings: $1,000,000+ The OVMA introduced and championed through a bill that exempts veterinarians and their staffs from having to become licensed pesticide applicators (this is different than the PURS reporting requirements). Under Oregon statute, this would have included anyone in the practice that sold or applied flea products, ear mite medication, etc. The savings are based on per practice expenses associated with pesticide licensing for veterinarians, technicians, and assistants, the initial application fee, as well as the required ongoing educational courses the law requires.
  • Savings: $2,112,000 We also advocated to have veterinary practices exempt from a mandatory annual inspection of X-ray equipment. Costs per clinic would have included an associated inspection fee and the expense for calibrating the X-ray equipment.

Published: September 4, 2009;    Updated: October 24, 2011

Filed Under: Advocacy Government Affairs, Regulatory

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association

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