Today's Veterinary Business

DEC-JAN 2017

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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20 Today's Veterinary Business Business Wellness plans help increase the number of client visits per year. According to "The Market for Veter- inary Services," a 2016 report from the American Veterinary Medical Association, client visits within a constant sample size fell by 2.6 percent a year from 2005 to 2014. In one case study, "How Wellness Plans Grow Veterinary Practice," clients who participated in wellness plans went from a mean of 3.3 visits a year before enrollment to 5.5 visits a year after enrollment. Why might wellness plans positively influence the number of patient visits? Consider: • Wellness plans create oppor- tunity for more robust client education and encourage owners to be proactive with their pets' health care. Early detection of disease allows for better patient care and out- comes. Management of these patients often necessitates additional services and visits. • Seeing clients more fre- quently encourages veteri- narians to nurture a better partnership, improving the hospital-client bond. • Most wellness plans incorpo- rate semiannual examinations, providing a perfect way to transition to forward-booked appointments. The American Animal Hospital Association's 2015 "State of the Industry way to differentiate your clinic. One hospital profiled in a case report noted an increase in new-patient numbers of 30 to 40 a month, all of which were tracked directly to wellness plans. Veterinarians in that practice noted that most of these new clients were new pet owners who gravitated toward the plans for two major reasons: • The plans provided monthly budgeted payments for a pet's health care expenses. • The plans directed the own- ers toward important preven- tive care services. As cited in multiple studies, the statements above support the important finding that pet own- ers want routine care delivered in monthly payments. While clients have made their preferences known, the veterinary profession has been slow to respond to their needs. Insiders' Insight, published Bundled wellness services are not new to veterinary medicine. A 2015 survey performed by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association found that almost 14 percent of respondents reported offering wellness plans in their hospitals for seven or more years. Why are these hospitals such advocates of wellness plans? Consider the following five reasons to implement wellness plans in your hospital. Report" found that 6 in 10 pet owners would forward-book their next appointment before leaving the practice. The com- bination of forward-booking and monthly paid wellness plans that incorporate semian- nual visits provides powerful motivations for owners to ensure their pets receive these valuable services. Wellness plans may set you apart from neighboring hospitals. The benefits to offering wellness plans are many. First, they are marketing tools. If your hospital is in an area of increasing competitive pressure, they provide an excellent By Wendy Hauser, DVM Wellness plans make great Business 1 2 More client visits and more spending occur when pet owners choose packaged preventive care, especially when they can make monthly payments. business sense

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