Florida Senate - 2021                      CS for CS for SB 1370
       By the Committees on Agriculture; and Regulated Industries; and
       Senator Rodriguez
       575-02983-21                                          20211370c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the medical treatment of animals;
    3         amending s. 474.202, F.S.; revising the definition of
    4         the term “veterinarian/client/patient relationship”;
    5         defining the term “veterinary telemedicine”; creating
    6         s. 474.2021, F.S.; authorizing veterinarians to
    7         practice veterinary telemedicine; specifying the
    8         services a veterinarian may provide without first
    9         establishing a veterinarian/client/patient
   10         relationship by a physical examination; prohibiting
   11         veterinarians from prescribing controlled substances
   12         under certain circumstances; providing exceptions;
   13         providing licensure requirements to practice
   14         veterinary telemedicine; providing jurisdiction of the
   15         Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine; providing
   16         construction; amending s. 474.203, F.S.; revising
   17         exceptions to who may immunize or treat an animal for
   18         certain diseases; amending s. 474.214, F.S.; revising
   19         grounds for disciplinary action against a
   20         veterinarian; amending s. 828.30, F.S.; authorizing
   21         employees, agents, or contractors of animal control
   22         authorities to administer rabies vaccinations under
   23         certain circumstances; providing that a supervising
   24         veterinarian assumes responsibility for any person
   25         working at his or her discretion or under his or her
   26         supervision; defining the term “indirect supervision”;
   27         providing requirements; authorizing a veterinarian who
   28         indirectly supervises the administration of the rabies
   29         vaccination to affix his or her signature stamp on a
   30         rabies vaccination certificate; providing an effective
   31         date.
   33  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   35         Section 1. Subsection (12) of section 474.202, Florida
   36  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (14) is added to that
   37  section, to read:
   38         474.202 Definitions.—As used in this chapter:
   39         (12) “Veterinarian/client/patient relationship” means a
   40  relationship where the veterinarian has assumed the
   41  responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health
   42  of the animal and its need for medical treatment. Such
   43  relationship may be established in person or by means of
   44  veterinary telemedicine if audio-visual technology is used to
   45  establish such relationship.
   46         (14)“Veterinary telemedicine” means the practice of
   47  veterinary medicine in a remote setting, including through the
   48  use of telephone or audio-visual technology or by other means
   49  consistent with the veterinarian’s professional judgment, as
   50  long as the veterinarian/client/patient relationship is
   51  established either in person or by audio-visual technology.
   52         Section 2. Section 474.2021, Florida Statutes, is created
   53  to read:
   54         474.2021Veterinary telemedicine.—
   55         (1)A veterinarian may practice veterinary telemedicine. A
   56  physical examination is not required for the veterinarian to
   57  assume responsibility for making medical judgments or providing
   58  treatment by means of veterinary telemedicine in a manner
   59  consistent with the veterinary standard of care.
   60         (2)(a)A veterinarian who establishes a
   61  veterinarian/client/patient relationship without a physical
   62  examination may only provide the following services through
   63  veterinary telemedicine:
   64         1.Triage of patients in first aid and emergency cases.
   65         2.Consultation and prescription of drugs for the following
   66  areas of care: nutrition, training, dermatological conditions,
   67  and anxiety.
   68         (b)Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a veterinarian may not
   69  prescribe drugs for extralabel use or veterinary feed directive
   70  drugs without a veterinarian/client/patient relationship that is
   71  established through a physical examination and is otherwise
   72  consistent with federal law.
   73         (3)A veterinarian may not prescribe controlled substances
   74  if the veterinarian/client/patient relationship has been
   75  established by means of veterinary telemedicine under this
   76  section and the veterinarian has not previously performed a
   77  physical examination.
   78         (4)A veterinarian must hold a current license to practice
   79  veterinary medicine in this state in order to practice
   80  veterinary telemedicine.
   81         (5)The board has jurisdiction over a veterinarian
   82  practicing veterinary telemedicine in this state, regardless of
   83  where the veterinarian’s physical offices are located. The
   84  practice of veterinary telemedicine in accordance with this
   85  section is not itself a standard of care violation, and a
   86  veterinarian may not be disciplined solely for practicing
   87  veterinary telemedicine. The same veterinary standard of care
   88  applies to services provided through veterinary telemedicine as
   89  applies to veterinary care provided during an in-person visit.
   90         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
   91  474.203, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   92         474.203 Exemptions.—This chapter does not apply to:
   93         (5)(a) Any person, or the person’s regular employee,
   94  administering to the ills or injuries of her or his own animals,
   95  including, but not limited to, castration, spaying, and
   96  dehorning of herd animals, unless title is transferred or
   97  employment provided for the purpose of circumventing this law.
   98  This exemption does not apply to any person licensed as a
   99  veterinarian in another state or foreign jurisdiction and
  100  practicing temporarily in this state. However, except as
  101  provided in s. 828.30, only a veterinarian may immunize or treat
  102  an animal for diseases that are communicable to humans and that
  103  are of public health significance.
  105  For the purposes of chapters 465 and 893, persons exempt
  106  pursuant to subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (4)
  107  are deemed to be duly licensed practitioners authorized by the
  108  laws of this state to prescribe drugs or medicinal supplies.
  109         Section 4. Paragraph (y) of subsection (1) of section
  110  474.214, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  111         474.214 Disciplinary proceedings.—
  112         (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which
  113  the disciplinary actions in subsection (2) may be taken:
  114         (y) Using the privilege of ordering, prescribing, or making
  115  available medicinal drugs or drugs as defined in chapter 465, or
  116  controlled substances as defined in chapter 893, for use other
  117  than for the specific treatment of animal patients for which
  118  there is a documented veterinarian/client/patient relationship.
  119  Pursuant thereto, The veterinarian shall:
  120         1. Have sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at
  121  least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical
  122  condition of the animal, which means that the veterinarian is
  123  personally acquainted with the keeping and caring of the animal
  124  and has recently seen the animal or has made medically
  125  appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal
  126  is kept.
  127         2. Be available or provide for followup care and treatment
  128  in case of adverse reactions or failure of the regimen of
  129  therapy.
  130         3. Maintain records which document patient visits,
  131  diagnosis, treatment, and other relevant information required
  132  under this chapter.
  133         Section 5. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 828.30,
  134  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  135         828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.—
  136         (1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), all dogs, cats,
  137  and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a
  138  licensed veterinarian against rabies with a vaccine that is
  139  licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for use
  140  in those species.
  141         (b) An employee, an agent, or a contractor of an animal
  142  control authority acting under the indirect supervision of a
  143  veterinarian may vaccinate impounded animals that will be
  144  transferred, rescued, fostered, adopted, or reclaimed by the
  145  owner. As used in this subsection, the term “indirect
  146  supervision,” means that the supervising veterinarian is
  147  available for consultation by telecommunications but is not
  148  required to be on the premises during such consultation. The
  149  supervising veterinarian assumes responsibility for the
  150  veterinary care given to the animal by any person working under
  151  or at his or her direction and supervision.
  152         (c) The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the
  153  animal revaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination.
  154  Thereafter, the interval between vaccinations shall conform to
  155  the vaccine manufacturer’s directions. The cost of vaccination
  156  must be borne by the animal’s owner. Evidence of circulating
  157  rabies virus neutralizing antibodies may shall not be used as a
  158  substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposure
  159  or determining the need for booster vaccinations.
  160         (3) Upon vaccination against rabies, the licensed
  161  veterinarian shall provide the animal’s owner and the animal
  162  control authority with a rabies vaccination certificate. Each
  163  animal control authority and veterinarian shall use the “Rabies
  164  Vaccination Certificate” of the National Association of State
  165  Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) or an equivalent form
  166  approved by the local government that contains all the
  167  information required by the NASPHV Rabies Vaccination
  168  Certificate. The veterinarian who administers the rabies
  169  vaccination, or who supervises an employee, an agent, or a
  170  contractor of an animal control authority administering the
  171  rabies vaccination, vaccine to an animal as required under this
  172  section may affix his or her signature stamp in lieu of an
  173  actual signature.
  174         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.