VAINIERI HUTTLE, JOHNSON & COUTINHO BILL TO PROVIDE DOCTORS, VETS WITH CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS FOR FREE SERVICES GETS FINAL LEGISLATIVE OK

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gordon M. Johnson and Albert Coutinho sponsored to allow physicians and veterinarians to earn continuing education credits for providing free medical and veterinary services has received final legislative approval.

“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 bill (A-928) the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners (BME) and the New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (BVME) would be required to establish specific courses, topics and core requirements for continuing medical and veterinary education.

The BME would be instructed to allow physicians to replace 10 of the 100 continuing medical education credits they are required to complete every two years through volunteer medical services, at a rate of two hours per credit. Likewise, the BVME would similarly be instructed to allow veterinarians to replace 10 of the 20 continuing veterinary education credits they are required to complete by providing free spaying or neutering services.

Veterinarians would earn one credit for every two cats or dogs spayed or for every four cats or dogs neutered. The changes would take effect six months after the date of the bill’s enactment.

“Requiring the continuing education credits to be earned through volunteer services is a win-win,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “Doctors and vets receive the credits they need to stay current and licensed and underserved communities gain access to services they otherwise would not be able to obtain.”

“Incentivizing a necessary service helps New Jersey communities and the doctors and vets who serve them,” said Coutinho (D-Essex). “It provides a way to keep residents without insurance healthy and provides necessary hands-on training for doctors and veterinarians.”

The bill was recently approved 75-1-2 by the Assembly. It was approved 37-2 by the Senate in February. It now heads to the governor for his consideration.

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