Vet telemedicine bill moving forward in Florida

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

To keep up with the latest local news subscribe to our TV20 newsletter HERE and receive news straight to your email every morning.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - Legislation expanding the use of telemedicine for Florida licensed veterinarians is ready for a vote by the full House after a bipartisan committee vote Monday morning.

The vote came after more limits were placed on what vets could treat remotely.

Veterinarian Julie Moodoyan has been a vocal critic of legislation allowing vets to treat animals remotely.

“Some of those animals will get misdiagnosed or their care will be delayed and that will lead to outcomes that are not good for those pets,” said Dr. Moodoyan.

Vets like Julie have been complaining loudly.

“And you know these big corporations are going to come in looking only to make a profit. And it is in their best interest for the pet to stay unhealthy so they can continue to make money off prescriptions,” said Moodoyan.

Lawmakers listened.

The legislation was watered down to limit what vets can treat, and what drugs they can order remotely without first seeing the patient.

“Remaining in the bill is a provision that allows vets to practice from anywhere, as long as they are Florida licensed,” said House sponsor Rep. James Buchanan.

Under the legislation, animal control staff will be allowed to administer rabies vaccines without a vet present.

That will save shelters and owners money.

TRENDING STORY: GOP targets ballot drop boxes in Georgia, Florida, elsewhere

Rep. Buchanan counters fears of misdiagnosis, saying it’s up to the vet to do what’s best for the animal.

“It’ll be their obligation to indicate, hey, you need to come in and have a conversation and let me take a physical look at the animal,” said Buchanan.

Moodoyan told us the legislation could also impact vets’ wallets.

“I don’t doubt that this would impact the business financially to some degree,” said Moodoyan.

But she said her first priority is helping animals who can’t help themselves.

Vets in Florida are not allowed to prescribe medications if they have not seen the patient in the last 12 months.

The legislation waives the requirement for future telemedicine visits.

Copyright 2021 WCJB. All rights reserved. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.