Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

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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14 Today's Veterinary Business Business insurance benefits, some alternate but often-unexplored solutions are worth considering. The Big Guys Large hospitals or practice groups — those with 200 or more employ- ees — should consider self-insur- ing their health plan. Self-funding is an effective way to take control of rising health care costs. Self-funding works this way: Instead of buying traditional health insurance from a provider, an employer pays the staff 's medical bills directly and purchases medi- cal stop-loss insurance to protect against catastrophic large claims. Self-funding divides the financial risk into two layers: • An employer layer (below the stop-loss threshold). • A stop-loss layer (above the threshold). Employers hire a third-party administrator to handle day-to-day tasks such as processing claims, de- termining eligibility and providing customer service. These practices typically use a preferred provider organization (PPO) network such as Cigna or Aetna to access discount- ed medical services. Why do employers self-fund? The main reasons are transparency and control. A self-funded plan is customizable, which allows em- ployers to manage the costs while providing employees with the benefits they want and need. For example, if you wanted to increase the number of covered physical therapy visits, you could. The Middle Rung Self-funding might not be best for midsize practices (50 to 200 em- ployees). A self-funded plan creates a risk/reward trade-off. The more risk an employer takes on, meaning the more employee claims a prac- tice owner is willing to pay out- right, the lower the program's fixed expenses. If you want to transfer risk to someone else, fixed costs rise because you have to buy more insurance. This type of insurance is known as stop-loss coverage. An employer trying to lower fixed costs can buy less stop-loss in- surance, but the result can be more year-to-year volatility. If an employ- er buys more stop-loss insurance, the fixed costs will be higher. This is why deep-pocketed larger practic- es and hospital groups are more likely to self-insure than smaller independent practices are. They can afford to buy less stop-loss insurance and absorb each year's financial ups and downs. For midsize practices that want to self-fund, viable options exist. A group health insurance captive, or solution, allows midsize employers to join forces and mimic a large company's size, giving them the same advantages when buying health care coverage. The captive becomes a shared- risk pool spread among all participat- ing employers and pays members' claims that are above the individ- ual employee stop-loss insurance maximum. Since the captive takes on some of the risk, the participating employer can transfer risk without having to buy more stop-loss insur- ance. Captives allow like-minded employers to collaborate and take advantage of the benefits of self- insurance when they might be too small to do it on their own. The Small Fry That leaves the small practices, or those with less than 50 employees. If you run one of these practices and offer health insurance, your 090340591/0 NADA 141-273, Approved by FDA Vetmedin ® (pimobendan) Chewable Tablets Cardiac drug for oral use in dogs only Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Description: Vetmedin (pimobendan) is supplied as oblong half-scored chewable tablets containing 1.25, 2.5, 5 or 10 mg pimobendan per tablet. Pimobendan, a benzimidazole-pyridazinone derivative, is a non-sympathomimetic, non-glycoside inotropic drug with vasodilatative properties. Pimobendan exerts a stimulatory myocardial effect by a dual mechanism of action consisting of an increase in calcium sensitivity RIFDUGLDFP\RÀODPHQWVDQGLQKLELWLRQRISKRVSKRGLHVWHUDVH7\SH,,,3LPREHQGDQH[KLELWVYDVRGLODWLQJ DFWLYLW\E\LQKLELWLQJSKRVSKRGLHVWHUDVH,,,DFWLYLW\7KHFKHPLFDOQDPHRISLPREHQGDQLVGLK\GUR> methoxyphenyl)-1H-benzimidazole-5-yl]-5-methyl-3(2H)-pyridazinone. Indications: Vetmedin (pimobendan) is indicated for the management of the signs of mild, moderate, or severe PRGLÀHG1<+$&ODVV,, a ,,, b RU,9 c FRQJHVWLYHKHDUWIDLOXUHLQGRJVGXHWRDWULRYHQWULFXODUYDOYXODULQVXIÀFLHQF\ $99,RUGLODWHGFDUGLRP\RSDWK\'&09HWPHGLQLVLQGLFDWHGIRUXVHZLWKFRQFXUUHQWWKHUDS\IRUFRQJHVWLYH heart failure (e.g., furosemide, etc.) as appropriate on a case-by-case basis. a $GRJZLWKPRGLÀHG1HZ

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