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Brian L. Anderson, DeWitt Ross Stevens s.c.

Does your veterinary practice, in lieu of providing group health insurance coverage, pay (either directly or as reimbursements) the health insurance premiums for an individual policy in the name of any employee? If the answer is yes, then such payments must stop.

Over the last two years, the IRS stated several times that, beginning January 1, 2014, such payments are considered a group health plan that violates the Affordable Care Act and that results in a penalty tax of $100 per day per benefited employee. If you were to make such payments for two employees for 365 days, therefore, you would incur a penalty in the amount of $73,000 (365 times 2 times $100).

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April 1, 2015 marked a new chapter for the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) with a move to a new office. From humble beginnings in the basement of a funeral home, the new office is a great example of how much the WVMA has grown since its founding in 1915.

"The new office space showcases how the WVMA has grown over the last 100 years," says Kim Brown Pokorny, WVMA executive director. "We now have the room to grow to best meet the changing needs of our members."

In 1967, the WVMA established its first office in the basement of a funeral home in Madison, Wis. With the retirement of long time Executive Secretary, Dr. Bill O'Rourke, in 1987, the WVMA looked to a new office with full-time staff.

"A new chapter for the association began with the Broom Street office," says Brown Pokorny. "For the first time, the association was hiring someone who wasn't a veterinarian to make decisions and direct the membership."

After over 20 years in downtown Madison, the Executive Board decided it was time to look for a new location. To help make commuting easier for meetings held at and away from the office, the Executive Board made the decision to move to the east side of Madison in 2010.

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Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Recently reported in the Chicago area, canine influenza virus (CIV) has affected at least 1,000 dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Owners are advised to seek veterinary care for dogs exhibiting clinical signs including cough, nasal discharge, and fever. A small percentage of dogs will develop more severe clinical signs and somedogs may not have any clinical symptoms at all.

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Part 2 of a 2-part article
Stephen A. DiTullio, DeWitt Ross & Stevens s.c.

In the first part of this two-part series, I addressed issues concerning OSHA inspections. This article will focus on what occurs after the OSHA inspection has been completed.

OSHA inspectors are required to conduct a closing conference which may take place immediately after a very simple inspection or may follow a major inspection by several weeks. During the closing conference with the OSHA investigator, you should promote your clinic's safety programs and overall commitment to safety and health. If you have had no prior citations, point this out, as it is a factor in establishing penalty amounts. Be a good listener and take notes on all of the specific violations listed by the inspector. You may be asked to establish timelines for corrective action/abatement for alleged violations. Be cautious in setting dates and allow ample time for corrective action/abatement. Point out any obvious mistakes of fact or disputed issues with respect to citations, but do not enter into a discussion or arguments with the inspector at the closing conference.

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Scientists have noticed the similarity between diseases in animals and humans since the 1800's. It was during this time that Rudolph Virchow, a German physician, coined the term zoonosis and famously said, "Between animal and human medicine there are no dividing lines – nor should there be. The object is different but the experience obtained constitutes the basis of all medicine."

Dr. Jim Kazmierczak, Wisconsin State Public Health Veterinarian and member of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA), has seen the veterinarian's role in public health grow tremendously since he was a veterinary medical student during the 1970s.

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Many children look up to their parents and dream to be just like their Mom or Dad. New dreams and life changes lead people in different directions and down other career paths. But sometimes the passion for a career can start at a young age and never burn out.

Dean-and-Ray-Pawlisch-for-webDrs. Dean and Ray Pawlisch are one father-son pair with the same passion for the veterinary medical profession. Both faced hurdles and difficulties while pursuing their doctorate in veterinary medicine. They found an area they loved to practice in, witnessed change in agriculture and veterinary medicine and both gave back to their profession by serving as president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA).

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in Large Animal 13389
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With the invention of kitty litter in 1947, cats began to make the transition from outdoor pest control to indoor family members, chasing fake mice instead of real ones. As cats started to have a bigger role in the lives of their humans, members of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) began learning and developing more methods to provide the best care possible for your feline friend.

"Prior to cats becoming indoor pets, they were receiving little to no veterinary care, and sick cats were often treated with home remedies or by donation funded organizations that had no veterinary training," says Dr. Ann Sosalla, WVMA member and veterinarian at Antigo Veterinary Clinic.

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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds pet owners that if you're planning to make a New Year's resolution for 2014 to lose weight that you should include your pet in your plans for a healthier life.

It's estimated that between 25 and 40 percent of dogs and cats and 31 percent of people in this country are overweight. Studies have found that other domesticated animals, including horses, are also prone to obesity.

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The agency has repeatedly issued alerts to consumers about reports it has received concerning jerky pet treat-related illnesses involving 3,600 dogs and 10 cats in the U.S. since 2007. Approximately 580 of those pets have died.

To date, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has conducted more than 1,200 tests, visited jerky pet treat manufacturers in China and collaborated with colleagues in academia, industry, state labs and foreign governments. Yet the exact cause of the illnesses remains elusive.

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Gregory E. Scallon, Esq., DeWitt Ross & Stevens, s.c.

In addition to my law practice advising professional service practices, practitioners and owners of professional services organizations and other businesses, I frequently consult regarding estate planning. A question that I've often gotten is how the owners of pets can be sure that their pets are adequately provided for after the owners' deaths.

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4610 S. Biltmore Lane, Suite 107
Madison, WI 53718
Phone: (608) 257-3665
Fax: (608) 257-8989
Email: wvma@wvma.org

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