President Letter : Summer 2013

Colleagues:

Summer has almost elapsed and our kids are back to school or college and another fast and furious summertime has flown past! In our practices, the summer has kept us busy with ticks and fleas, parvovirus outbreaks, trauma, allergies, dietary indiscretions and intolerance and weather concerns. The Tick Borne diseases, such as Erhlicha and C. felis, have been rampant in parts of the state that have a large tick population. Fleas have continued to pester our patients with a vengeance this year. Some may call this ‘job security’ as these issues keep our patients coming through our doors, but some may wonder if we ever make progress in our world of veterinary medicine. Of course we do! Look at what we have just learned about heartworm disease in Arkansas.

Independent researchers have confirmed that strains of Dirofilaria immitis from the Mississippi River Valley have reduced susceptibility or resistance to all approved heart- worm preventives of the Macrocyclic lactone class (including ivermectin, moxidectin, selamectin and milbemycin oxime). This means that veterinarians must play a more assertive role in containing the spread of resistance or the effective- ness of current preventive therapies could be threatened. The new recommendations and guidelines are available from Novartis, The American Heartworm Society and The Companion Animal Parasite Council.

As practice owners and health care insurance providers, the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or “ObamaCare” will affect us all. As you are aware, the PPACA means that ALL AMERICANS WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, with some exceptions. The AVMA GLIT insurance and ARHealthNetworks and most likely most other private healthcare insurance options do not qualify under the PPACA. On 1 JAN 2014 these options will no longer be available. So, very soon we have to make decisions about our health care options. Employees will enroll in a group plan or go to the “ex- change or marketplace”. There are companies, such as Watershed Benefits Consulting, LLC, that can help us comply with the new regulations. See newsletter for more details.

Congratulations to Dr. “Chip” Price, our AVMA District VIII representative who was just elected to the AVMA Executive Board as Vice Chair.

Any donations to the ArVMA PAC are greatly appreciated. Please make sure you check memo depicts “PAC” so that we can make sure it is deposited into the correct account and to comply with “PAC” regulations.

The state of Arkansas has honored its commitment to all the 77 ARHEG students for school year 2013-2014. The Arkansas Legislative Council approved transferring money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to the Health Education Grant program that pays the out-of- state tuition for Arkansas students. Thank you all that petitioned Gov. Beebe, Mr. Broadway, the ALC and the Arkansas Legislature. Your voices count and thank you for your dedication and hard work!

If we can do anything for you or you have any questions or comments, please do hesitate to contact me or Maggie. Your input, opinion and suggestions for the Association are always welcome and encouraged.

Kate  Williams,  DVM

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