Employee Discounts: Do You Know the Rules?
Like most practices, yours probably offers discounts to employees on veterinary services and products. Although the amount of the discount varies widely from practice to practice, this is a very common fringe benefit in the industry. Many owners offer discounts as a way to provide a valuable benefit to their employees, and since most practice employees have pets, no doubt this is truly appreciated by those employees. Seems logical, doesn't it?
Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act
(Health Care Reform Developments)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"), enacted March 23, 2010, will affect employers and human resource professionals throughout the United States. While the effective dates of many provisions are several years down the road, some significant reforms are effective almost immediately. Even provisions that do not go into effect in the immediate future require planning. Most Practices are not comfortable with their knowledge about the law, they do not have an understanding of the phased in timeline for the various provisions and they are worrisome regarding the potential implementation costs.
Red Flag Alert Update
Courtesy of Summit Veterinary Advisors
The U.S. Senate and House just agreed in the "Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010" (which pertains to the Federal Trade Commission Red Flag Rules) that these rules will not apply to all businesses that extend credit as was previously determined. (Click here to read Bill S.3987) The original rules provided that businesses who offered credit to their clients or customers were subject to strict rules aimed at preventing identity theft.
Now, however, these complicated rules will only apply to a business that "regularly and in the ordinary course of business:
- obtains or uses consumer reports, directly or indirectly, in connection with a credit transaction,
- furnishes information to consumer reporting agencies...in connection with a credit transaction, or
- advances funds to or on behalf of a person, based on an obligation of the person to repay the funds or repayable from specific property pledged by or on behalf of the person [i.e., lends money]."
The Act goes on to say that the rules specifically do not apply when advancing funds incidental to providing services. Therefore, veterinary practices will not be subject to these rules.
New Jersey Veterinarians Can Earn CE For Providing Free Veterinary Services
VBA thought it would be of interest to our New Jersey licensed veterinary clients, that Governor Chris Christie signed a law allowing physicians and veterinarians to earn continuing education credits for providing free medical and veterinary services. "Doctors and vets should be able to earn continuing education credits for the services they provide every day," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Allowing them to do so will help them stay at the top of their game while providing much needed medical services to those residents who otherwise would not have access to them."
Under the Vainieri Huttle / Johnson / Coutinho [ Click here to read Bill A928/S515] the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners (BME) and the New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (BVME) would be given discretion to determine an appropriate level of required continuing education and the authority to allow volunteer services to offset up to 10 percent of that continuing education requirement. The bill, with some changes made through a conditional veto by the governor, recently passed the Assembly 77-1-1 and the Senate 38-0.