Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

CONSUMER COMPLAINTS / INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS

The Nevada Legislature has given the Board the authority (NRS 638.1413) to investigate written complaints on Licensed Nevada Veterinarians or Veterinary Technicians. However, please be aware that we do not handle complaints relating to financial matters of any kind. Financial complaints should be addressed through other sources. Please submit the attached form and any supporting documentation to:

State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
4600 Kietzke Lane, Bldg. O, #265
Reno, Nevada 89502
Phone: (775) 688-1788 Fax: (775) 688-1808
Email: vetbdinfo@vetboard.nv.gov

Complaints:

Once the Board receives a complaint about a Licensee’s alleged wrongdoing the Licensee (Veterinarian or Veterinary Technician) is noticed of the complaint and has 14 days to submit original medical records to the Board office. The Complainant is noticed that the complaint has been received. Once all medical records are received, including any secondary veterinarian’s medical records, all documentation is sent to an investigator to begin the investigative process. A considerable amount of time is invested in each investigation prior to review of the results by the Board, so it may take several weeks after the complaint is received at the Board office before your hear from the Boards’ investigator.

Investigation:

The purpose of the investigation is to gather sufficient information from the view of the Complainant and the Licensee in order for the Board to determine if the facts support a violation of NRS 638/NAC 638.

To obtain sufficient information the investigator may:
  1. Interview all parties involved;
  2. Obtain medical records for all veterinarian’s involved in the specific treatment of the complainant’s animal;
  3. Consult with Specialists (Radiology, Internal Medicine, etc), research literature, and consult with legal counsel;
  4. Examine the current history of the Licensee that the complaint is filed against.

After gathering the information, the investigator writes a summary report explaining the basis of the complaint and the findings. This information is assessed by a Review Panel that is comprised of a Board Member assigned to the case, the Board's Investigator, the Executive Director, and if necessary, legal counsel.

Review Panel:

The review panel meets prior to the next scheduled board meeting and reviews all investigative materials, including your complaint, the medical records, findings, and the assessment. If the review panel determines that there is no probable cause of any violation of any statute (NRS638) or Board rule (NAC 638) against the licensee or the facility, a recommendation will be made to the Board to dismiss the complaint. The Review Panel's recommendation and findings will be presented to the full Board for a vote. If the Board votes to accept the Review Panel's recommendation, there will not be formal discussion of the case at the Board meeting.

Board Decision:

The Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners meets every three months (January, April, July, and October). Complaints will be placed on the agenda once the investigation is complete and the Licensee and the Complainant will be noticed of the meeting. Each Board member receives the Board Investigator's anonymous reports on the investigations of all the complaints prior to the Board meeting. No testimony is taken from the Licensee or the Complainant at the Board meeting.

The Board will consider the Review Panel recommendations and dismiss cases where there is not any evidence to proceed with disciplinary action. For complaints where the Review Panel has concerns, the full Board will discuss the complaint assessment and will vote to take one of the following actions:

  1. Dismissal of the complaint; the complaint is closed without any disciplinary action;
  2. Continues the investigation by:
    1. Referring the case back to the investigator;
    2. Referring the case to an expert (Surgeon, Radiologist, Internal Medicine Specialist, etc.)
    3. Requests that a hospital inspection be conducted;
  3. A determination is made that there is sufficient evidence to believe that a Licensee has breached the standard of care which constitutes a cause for disciplinary action. Once the Board determines that disciplinary action is appropriate, the case is either negotiated for a settlement or proceeds to a disciplinary hearing.

The Complainant and the Licensee will be noticed by mail of the Board’s decision.

What is Public information and What is Not

When a complaint is in the investigative stage, the complaint and all documents and other information compiled as a result of the investigation conducted to determine whether to initiate disciplinary action against a Licensee are confidential. All proceedings and investigations after the filing of a complaint are confidential, except to the extent necessary for the conduct of the investigation, until the Board determines to proceed with disciplinary action. If the Board dismisses the complaint, the proceedings remain confidential. If the Board proceeds with disciplinary action, confidentiality concerning the proceedings is no longer required.