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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8 Today's Veterinary Business Business Business PET HEALTH INSURANCE A national survey conducted by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the trade association that represents virtually all the pet insurance companies serving the United States and Canada, found that veterinarians identified improved compliance as the No. 1 benefit of pet health insurance. Yet, one of the most important reasons to recommend pet health insurance is financial. Pet health insurance generates added rev- enue for the practice and added income to individual veterinarians paid on production. It Adds Up Let's review the math. According to consumer research done by NAPHIA, pet owners spend 29 percent more annually on veterinary care for in- sured dogs versus uninsured dogs and 81 percent more on insured cats. This was an apples-to-apples comparison; both the insured pets and uninsured pets visited the veterinarian regularly. The American Veterinary Med- ical Association approached the issue differently. It engaged experts at Mississippi State University to conduct an economic study on the impact of pet health insurance. Using a sophisticated economet- ric model, the Mississippi State researchers calculated that a dog owner with pet health insurance was likely to spend $211 a year more for veterinary services than those without insurance. If you're an associate veteri- narian, pet insurance can make a meaningful contribution to your annual income. To demonstrate, let's use the AVMA's number. As- sume that only 25 of your canine patients are insured, a reasonable expectation. That's $5,275 in addi- tional veterinary expenditures per A veterinarian has many reasons to recommend pet health insurance to her clients. Among them is the fact that insured pet owners are more likely to bring the animal in at the first sign of illness or injury rather than hold back out of "fear of the big bill." And they are much more likely to say "yes" to optimum treatment rather than look for corners to cut. By John Volk year. If you are paid on production at a rate of 22 percent, that's more than $1,000 — $1,160.50, to be ex- act — in added income. Double the number of insured dogs to 50 by actively recommending insurance to your clients and you could make a total of $2,321 more per year in production pay. It doesn't take very many insured pets to impact the practice financially. Let's assume you have a three-doctor practice. Probably 80 to 100 of your patients have pet health insurance. Just 100 more insured dogs could add more than $20,000 in revenue to your practice in a year's time. With a little effort and consistent focus, especially on clients with new puppies and kittens who want to do the best for their pet, it's entirely reasonable In- -ance Persuading clients to sign up for coverage can ensure top-notch patient care, improve a clinic's bottom line and boost a veterinarian's production pay. Try these seven strategies.

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