Kentucky’s proposed overhaul of the State’s Veterinary Practice Act could have a big upside for AAHA-accredited practices

Currently, a combined 161 AAHA-accredited practices in Ohio and Alabama are exempt from inspection due to their accredited status.

Next year, it could be a combined 201 if you add Kentucky to the list.

Call it another perk of accreditation.

In 2013, Alabama became the first state to accept AAHA accreditation in place of an inspection by the state veterinary board.

“The Alabama Practice Act allows the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to issue a premise permit to any premise which is accredited by a recognized organization whose standards meet or exceed minimum board standards,” said then-ASBVME President Robert Pitman, DVM, at the time.  “Clearly AAHA standards exceed those minimum standards.”

He was referring to the more than 900 standards hospitals have to meet to qualify for AAHA  accreditation.

Pitman also said the decision benefits AAHA-member hospitals by not requiring a redundant inspection: “It can be considered a member benefit of AAHA and encourage other hospitals that may be considering AAHA membership to take the big step. Also, it allows for more efficient use of our evaluators’ time by not having to inspect member hospitals that exceed state standards. There are many reasons to do it. I think other states will at least consider it.”

Ohio did more than consider it.

In 2015, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board (OVMLB) voted to deem AAHA-accredited veterinary facilities as having met the requirements of Ohio’s compliance inspection,  making Ohio the second state to accept AAHA accreditation in place of a state inspection.

“Our board's view is that Ohio veterinarians whose hospitals have achieved AAHA accreditation have met and exceeded Ohio's standards for their facility,” said Tim Kolb, DVM, at the time, then president of the OVMLB. “They exemplify ‘good behavior’ as veterinarians and business leaders in their communities.”

It’s been a few years, but now another state is considering it.

The Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) is considering an overhaul of the Kentucky Veterinary Practice Act—the first major updating in more than thirty decades. Proposed updates include exempting AAHA-accredited practices from KBVE inspection requirements (except in the case of a citizen complaint or grievance investigation, a condition that also pertains in Ohio and Alabama).

You can read about the proposed changes in this White Paper.

Former AAHA-president Darren Taul, DVM, (2018-2019) who owns AAHA-accredited Animal Hospital of Danville in Danville, Kentucky, and is the Director of Business Development for the Lakeview Veterinary Group, called the proposed legislation “a huge win for AAHA if it goes through.”

Unlike Ohio and Alabama, Kentucky does not currently require inspections of veterinary hospitals, so if the legislation goes through it’s likely to be a big game-changer in the Bluegrass State, as the new legislation would require inspections of all but AAHA-accredited practices.

Taul added that right now we’re in the “making people aware” stage, and the proposed legislation is unlikely to be voted on until 2023—which gives non AAHA-accredited practices in Kentucky time to get the accreditation ball rolling.

Find out more about the many advantages of AAHA accreditation here

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