Indiana Veterinary License Defense Attorneys
The path to becoming a veterinarian is lengthy, laborious, and expensive. Individuals who choose this career invest a significant amount of time and money to achieve their goals. And the work doesn’t stop there. Like many jobs in the medical field, veterinarians and veterinary technicians must maintain their skills and knowledge through continuing education. If your veterinary license in Indiana is threatened, you need the Indiana veterinary license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP to protect your license, practice, and career.
When Do You Need Indiana Veterinary License Defense?
As licensed medical providers with the authority to prescribe, dispense, and administer prescription medications, veterinarians are regulated by various provisions of the Indiana Code as well as rules set forth in the Indiana Administrative Code. The Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners manages licensing and disciplinary actions in the field with the oversight and support of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA).
The Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Providers maintains sole authority over the following for Indiana veterinarians and veterinary technicians:
- Determining the requirements for professional examinations and continuing education
- Evaluating the qualifications of applicants for veterinary licenses and veterinary technician permits
- Issuing, denying, revoking, or suspending licenses and permits
- Establishing professional standards and rules
- Inspecting facilities
- Investigating breaches of professional standards or claims of such matters
- Disciplining licensees as deemed appropriate by state law and administrative rules
Additionally, the board is authorized to conduct hearings and court proceedings, with one or more members of the board serving as hearing officers, for the enforcement of matters under their governance. In the course of these actions, the board may:
- Subpoena witnesses for attendance, testimony, or production of documentation or records
- Commission depositions
- Administer oaths
- Receive evidence
- Make findings
- Enter orders
Veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are at risk of license denial, revocation, or suspension or other discipline by the board need to enlist the services of experienced Indiana veterinary practice attorneys who are knowledgeable in the intricacies of Indiana veterinary license defense and permitting issues.
Some violations of the laws and rules governing veterinary practice in Indiana—or even allegations of violations—can result in malpractice claims and even misdemeanor charges. In these cases, the experience of Keffer Hirschauer’s legal team in civil and criminal defense is similarly invaluable. We are your Indianapolis veterinary medicine professional liability lawyers and so much more.
Licensing Requirements and Veterinary License Defense in Indiana
In Indiana, those who wish to practice veterinary medicine must be licensed by the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Providers and obtain a permit, also issued by the board. To obtain a veterinary license in Indiana, an individual:
- Must complete a veterinary medicine program from an accredited college of veterinary medicine
- Must successfully complete the required examinations
- Must pay all applicable fees
- Cannot have a conviction on record for certain crimes that indicate inability to practice ethically and competently
- Cannot have committed any acts that violate the established standards of general professional practice under Indiana Code § 25-1-9-4
- Cannot have committed acts in violation of Indiana Code § 25-1-9-6 regarding animal cruelty
The application for veterinary licensure may be submitted to the board after the completion of the necessary schooling or in the final term with additional information verifying anticipated successful completion. Veterinarians who obtained their license to practice prior to August 31, 1979, are not required to have completed an accredited degree program or passed the exams currently required for licensure.
Once a practitioner obtains a veterinary license, failure to properly renew that license will render it invalid. No action is required by the board for this to occur, so maintaining your license status is essential if you wish to continue to practice veterinary medicine. If your license has expired and you need veterinary license defense in Indiana to help you with the process of regaining your license and livelihood, contact the Indiana veterinary license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer.
Professional Privileges, Responsibilities, and Indiana Veterinary License Defense
Licensed veterinary medical providers in Indiana are granted certain privileges and must maintain compliance with all relevant laws and rules under the Indiana Code and Indiana Administrative Code (IAC), specifically:
- Indiana Code chapter 25-38.1, governing veterinarians
- Indiana Code articles 25-0.5 and 25-1, governing professional licensure in general
- Indiana Code article 23-1.5, governing professional corporations (as applicable)
- Indiana Code chapter 4-6-14, governing health records and identifying information
- Title 888 IAC, setting forth rules established by the board
In Indiana, a licensed veterinarian may prescribe, dispense, or administer medications with the same authority as a medical doctor. If prescribing, dispensing, or administering controlled substances, the provider must obtain an Indiana practitioner controlled substances registration and a federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration unless exempt. In addition, prescription medications can only be given when a veterinarian-client-patient relationship exists.
Under 888 IAC 1.1-1.1, a licensed veterinarian is deemed competent when he or she practices with the diligence and reasonable care generally observed by professional veterinarians under the same circumstances. This subjective definition leaves much room for interpretation. However, some requirements are specifically outlined in 888 IAC 1.1-5-1. These rules state that a veterinarian may be deemed incompetent for any of the following:
- Failing to properly maintain medical records as required by law and administrative rules
- Dispensing, prescribing, or administering drugs without proper registrations or an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship
- Providing prescription drugs for improper use
- Performing treatments or procedures that are known to be outside his or her skill level
- Allowing or requiring a supervised employee to provide improper care
Other oversights or issues can also put your veterinarian license at risk. For example, not meeting or properly reporting continuing education requirements can put a license at risk as can failure to notify the board if you are aware of an issue involving psychiatric impairment or alcohol/substance abuse by another provider. When your veterinary license is at risk for any reason, you need the Indiana veterinary license defense lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
Like other medical providers, veterinarians are also at risk of liability and malpractice claims that can threaten their licensure, livelihood, reputation, and more. However, there are some protections for licensed veterinarians under Indiana law, and an experienced Indiana veterinary medicine professional liability defense lawyer is best suited to help you evaluate the laws and determine how they apply to your specific set of circumstances.
Indiana Veterinary License Defense for Veterinary Technicians
Veterinary technicians in Indiana must have a permit issued by the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. To obtain a veterinary technician permit in Indiana, a person must meet the following criteria:
- Age of 18 or older
- High school graduate or higher academic achievement
- Completion of an accredited veterinary technician program unless registered as a veterinary technician before August 31, 1981
- Successful completion of all examinations required by the board to demonstrate knowledge and skills
- Lack of convictions that reflect poorly on the candidate’s ability to perform the job competently
Once registered as a veterinarian technician in the state of Indiana, a person is subject to oversight by the board and may be disciplined or have his or her permit revoked or suspended if the board deems it appropriate. Indiana Code § 25-38.1-4-9 states that registered veterinary technicians in Indiana may be disciplined for the following actions:
- Obtaining a permit by providing inaccurate or fraudulent information
- Presenting or representing themselves as a licensed veterinarian
- Being unlawfully intoxicated or using controlled substances
- Using advertising or solicitation prohibited by the board or state law
- Having a felony or misdemeanor conviction (or pleading guilty) for a crime that involves moral turpitude
- Being unable to competently perform veterinary technician duties
- Acting with gross negligence in performing professional duties as a veterinary technician
- Committing malpractice
- Committing animal cruelty
- Receiving relevant disciplinary action in another jurisdiction
Like veterinarians, veterinary technicians work hard to achieve their career goals and provide compassionate services to their clients and patients. Veterinary technicians accused of wrongdoing or negligence and at risk of losing their Indiana permit should reach out to the Indiana veterinary practice attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. We can review your case and determine the best course forward to retain your permit or reduce any disciplinary action taken against you.
Requirements for Veterinary Facilities in Indiana
In addition to the professional standards placed on veterinary practitioners in Indiana, veterinary facilities are also regulated and must meet certain guidelines under Indiana Code and administrative rules. The rules for facilities in a fixed location vary slightly from those that apply to mobile veterinary operations and services.
Veterinary facilities in Indiana that maintain a permanent location may be inspected by representatives of the board and must meet these criteria:
- Facilities must be appropriate for the medical treatment and convalescence of animals
- Buildings must have adequate heating and ventilation
- Facilities must have adequate lighting
- Facilities must comply with any applicable state and local ordinances, including having hot and cold running water, clean toilets and lavatories, and sanitary disposal of animal remains
- Storage of supplies must ensure protection from infestation, contamination, or deterioration
- Excrement must be promptly removed and properly discarded
- All grounds must be clean and maintained
- Facilities must include signage or other exterior identification of the facility as a veterinary medical provider
- All indoor areas must be clean, well-maintained, and free of potential hazards
- Specific equipment including clean towels, waste receptacles, and certain medical devices and implements must be present
If surgery is performed, the facility must meet additional specific requirements
For some veterinarians, like those tending to horses or farm animals, for example, traveling to the site where the animals are kept makes more sense than treating them at a stationary veterinary facility. Practitioners who provide mobile veterinary services in Indiana must maintain the standards set forth in 888 IAC 4-2:
- The facility must have a permanent location with a published telephone number and address for making appointments or use in emergencies
- The owner or operator must maintain medical records in a manner that is readily accessible at the permanent location
- Any vehicle used for mobile veterinary services must be clean, orderly, and functional
- The service provider must have clean outer garments for each call
- The service provider must wear footwear that can be easily disinfected
- If surgeries are performed, the mobile facility must meet the standards set forth in 888 IAC 1.1-4-1(2)
The consequences for failure to comply with the law and rules for veterinary facilities can have a tragic impact on the providers who work within or for the facility. If you need Indiana veterinary license defense or your business is at risk due to a facility compliance matter, contact the Indiana veterinary practice attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer as soon as possible to get a case evaluation.
Keffer Hirschauer LLP for Indiana Veterinary License Defense and More
Most veterinarians and veterinary technicians are committed, caring professionals who love the work they do and have worked hard to build a career in the industry. If your veterinary license or permit is threatened for any reason or your veterinary facility faces a complaint, don’t go it alone. The assistance of an experienced Indiana veterinary license defense attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP could make the difference between having the future you planned or something very different. Call us today to schedule your consultation by calling (317) 857-0160 or completing this online contact form.