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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15 Cory Friedman is vice president of benefits consulting at Alera Veterinary, a division of Alera Group. Why treat just the signs of canine osteoarthritis when you can proactively treat the disease? Only Adequan ® Canine (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) empowers you to proactively treat the disease and not just the signs of canine osteoarthritis (OA). In fact, it's the only FDA-approved injectable, disease- modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) that inhibits cartilage loss in a dog's joint. * It may also help to: 1 ▪ restore joint lubrication ▪ relieve infl ammation ▪ renew the building blocks of healthy cartilage * The specifi c mechanism of action of Adequan ® in canine joints is not known. Discover if Adequan ® Canine is the right choice for your patients. The difference between feeling better and getting better. TM Visit adequancanine.com or contact your distributor. INDICATIONS Adequan ® Canine is recommended for intramuscular injection for the control of signs associated with non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic arthritis of canine synovial joints. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Adequan ® Canine should not be used in dogs who are hypersensitive to PSGAG or who have a known or suspected bleeding disorder. It should be used with caution in dogs with renal or hepatic impairment. Adverse reactions in clinical studies (transient pain at injection site, transient diarrhea, and abnormal bleeding) were mild and self-limiting. In post approval experience, death has been reported in some cases; vomiting, anorexia, depression/lethargy and diarrhea have also been reported. The safe use of PSGAG in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. Please see Full Prescribing Information at adequancanine.com. 1. Adequan Canine Prescribing Information, Rev. 1/18. Adequan and the Dog Head design are registered trademarks of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. © Luitpold Animal Health, a division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2018. PP-AC-US-0014 6/2018 re rethink restore relieve renew plan is probably fully insured and you likely purchase coverage from UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna or Anthem/Blue Cross. Self-funding would be challenging. The benefits of being fully insured include: • Administrative ease. You can "set it and forget it." • The practice faces no addi- tional financial exposure be- yond the monthly premium. • Monthly payments change only if employees are added or removed from the plan. Utilization of the plan doesn't affect the premium. If your staff is older than aver- age or if you employ some high-risk individuals — those who need a joint replacement, take an expen- sive medication or receive oncology care, for example — you aren't penalized. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014, insurance carriers could no longer price small-group plans on the ba- sis of employee health or utilization. By the same logic, because there is no longer medical underwriting in the small-business segment, young- er or healthier groups aren't reward- ed. You can find insurance programs designed for small businesses that reward healthier groups by return- ing surplus premiums at the end of the year, which is the difference between what is paid in premiums versus what the insurance company paid in claims plus expenses. These programs are known as level-funded health plans and have many of the same benefits as fully insured plans. Weigh Your Choices Whether you run a large hospital or own a small general practice, know that you have options with em- ployee health insurance. Consider self-insurance, a captive program or a level-funded offering. Design a health plan that meets your em- ployees' needs and budget. Over time, you can go further and design a plan that incentivizes the use of primary-care physicians and rewards other choices, like staying out of the emergency room in non-emergent situations and switching to generic medications over costly brand-name drugs. Once you've designed a quality and affordable health plan, you must effectively communicate the value of the benefits to employees. Ask your insurance broker or consul- tant for benchmarking data and see how your plan compares. If it isn't as rich as what other hospitals offer, or if it's more expensive, work with your broker to make improvements. If your plan is richer or costs employees less, make sure to share the data with them. Show the benchmarks, and then show how your plan compares. This will help with value perception, recruitment and retention. In addition, work with your broker to create an education campaign, especially around open-enrollment time, and create custom benefit guides and hand- outs that reflect your practice's brand. The more unique your benefit program feels, the more valued it will become.

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