Illinois senator wants pet owner consent for veterinary charges of more than $250

Bill calls for disciplinary action against veterinarians who don't obtain 'express prior authorization.'
May 01, 2012
By staff

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — Veterinarians in Illinois may have to gain owner consent if costs climb above $250.

Senate Bill 3590, introduced Feb. 10 by Sen. Larry K. Bomke (R-Springfield), calls for disciplinary action against veterinarians under the state's Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act if they charge more than $250 for services without "express prior authorization" from the animal's owner.

In Illinois, disciplinary actions for violating the practice act include refusal by the state veterinary board to issue or renew a veterinary medical license. The board may also revoke or suspend a veterinarian's license, place him or her on probation, reprimand the veterinarian, or levy fines of up to $1,000 for each offense.

A spokesperson for Bomke's office says he introduced the bill in response to a complaint from a constituent, who was surprised by a bill of more than $600 from her veterinarian. The constituent contends that she was dismayed to find out that her dog underwent surgery without her notification after a routine visit. When she picked up the dog, she had to settle up for an unexpectedly large bill.

The proposed legislation has been referred to the Illinois Senate's Assignments Committee.