State specific questions for Idaho – Essential services, taxes, telehealth

State specific questions for Idaho – Essential services, taxes, telehealth





At 1:30 pm yesterday, Governor Little issued a statewide stay-home order and signed an extreme emergency declaration. On the attached Guidelines Poster, you will see that “veterinary services” are listed under Essential Facilities. Around 5:00 the actual order outlining details of essential and non-essential services was released. The Order to Self-Isolate (See attachment) Section 8 Definitions and Exemptions subsection b states: 

For the purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any “Healthcare Operations” including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities. 

We encourage you to follow AVMA Guidelines for use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic when demand exceeds supply. Postponing elective procedures that require the use of PPE is one way of conserving.  Conservation strategies can also include safely extending the use of disposable PPE, re-using disposable PPE, or increased use of washable PPE. Visit the IVMA’s COVID-19 Resource page to view AVMA Guidelines for use of PPE.

The IVMA board of directors, along with our lobbyist, Martin Bilbao, have been proactive regarding a potential stay at home order to ensure that veterinary services were included in the essential services. IVMA leadership held several discussions about a preemptive letter to our governor to request that veterinary services were included in essential services. On March 23, the IVMA sent a letter to the Governor’s office requesting veterinary services be deemed essential and Mr. Bilbao had multiple conversations with the Governor’s office to stress the importance of veterinarians being excluded from a stay at home order. During this difficult time we encourage you to reach out to us with questions and concerns you have that we may be able to help with. Our website has pertinent information and links. 



In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Little has extended the 2019 Idaho income tax filing and payment deadlines from April 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. The extension applies to all taxpayers – including individuals, businesses, and entities – regardless of the amount owed. Penalty and interest won’t apply if taxpayers file their return and pay the income tax they owe by June 15. Read more –




Policy: Definitions:
1. Client means an entity, person, group or corporation that has entered
into an agreement with a Veterinarian for the purposes of obtaining
veterinary medical services.

2. Consultation means when a Veterinarian receives advice or
assistance in person, telephonically, electronically, or by any other
method of communication, from a veterinarian or other person whose
expertise, in the opinion of the Veterinarian, would benefit an
Animal. Under any circumstance, the responsibility for the welfare
of the Animal remains with the Veterinarian receiving consultation.

3. Informed consent means the veterinarian has informed the client or
the clients authorized representative, in a manner understood by the
client or representative, of the diagnostic and treatment options, risk
assessment, prognosis, and the client has consented to the
recommended treatment.

4. Telehealth is the overarching term that encompasses all uses of
technology geared to remotely deliver health information or

5. Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) exists when both
the veterinarian and client agree for the veterinarian to assume
responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of
the patient(s).

A veterinarian or veterinary Technician must be licensed, or under the jurisdiction, of the Board
of Veterinary Medicine in the state or province where the patient is located. The practice of
veterinary medicine occurs where the patient(s) or client is located at the time Telehealth is
used. Veterinarians who treat through online service sites are practicing veterinary medicine
and must possess appropriate licensure in all jurisdictions where patients receive care. Should
a veterinary technician be utilized in the delivery of animal care, the veterinarian and veterinary
technician must possess appropriate licensure in the jurisdiction where the patient(s) is
receiving care.

The veterinarian must employ sound profession judgment to determine whether using
Telehealth is appropriate in particular circumstances each and every time animal care is
provided and only provide medical advice or treatment via Telehealth to the extent that it is
possible without a hands on examination. A veterinarian using Telehealth must take
appropriate steps to obtain Informed Consent, establish the VCPR and conduct all appropriate
evaluations and history of the patient consistent with traditional standards of care for the
particular patient presentation. As such, some situations and patient presentations are
appropriate for the utilization of Telehealth as a component of, or in lieu of, hands on medical
care, while others are not.

The veterinarian must ensure that he or she safeguards a client’s privacy when practicing via
Telehealth by taking appropriate precautions and confirming that the technology and physical
setting being used by the veterinarian and the client have adequate security protocols in place to
ensure compliance with the Veterinarian’s legal and professional obligations to protect clients’
privacy and confidentiality.

Evidence documenting appropriate consent for the use of Telehealth must be obtained and
maintained. The veterinarian must ensure that the client is aware of the Veterinarian’s identity,
location, licensure state or province, number and status, and the privacy and security issues
involved in accessing veterinary care via Telehealth.

Appropriate medical records must be maintained in a secure and confidential manner. The
medical record should include, but not be limited to, if applicable, copies of all patient related
electronic communications, including prescriptions, laboratory and test results, imaging,
evaluations and consultations, and instructions obtained or produced in connection with the
utilization of Telehealth. Informed Consents obtained in connection with an encounter
involving Telehealth should also be filed in the medical record.

In order to prescribe medication when practicing via Telehealth, the veterinarian must have
sufficient knowledge of the animal or group of animals by virtue of a history and inquiry and
either physical examination or medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where
the animal or group of animals is kept. Prescribing medications, in-person or via Telehealth, is
at the professional discretion of the veterinarian. The indication, appropriateness, and safety
considerations for each Telehealth visit prescription must be evaluated by the veterinarian in
accordance with current laws and standards of care and consequently carry the same
professional accountability as prescriptions delivered during an encounter in person.