Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 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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Business FINANCING easily apply themselves, often from a smartphone. "Financing programs for veterinary clinics fundamentally function the same way they did 10 years ago," said Terry Fuller, busi- ness development manager for Wells Fargo Retail Services, which provides a credit card to veterinary clients. "The way clients access these programs, however, is very different. We've seen strong migra- tion away from old paper process- es and credit card terminals to online and mobile applications, and integration with practice management software." Benefits to the Clinic When the treatment plan for a sick or injured pet will run into the thousands of dollars, informing the already emotional owner can be difficult. With third-party financing, CareCredit's Keefe said, "Practices are able to have a payment solution which can help make the financial conversation easier." Clients who opt for a line of credit might feel more comfort- able authorizing treatment of an ongoing medical problem or even a future issue, he said. "On average, CareCredit card- holders who opened their account at a veterinary office used their card 5.25 times per year for veteri- nary services in 2016," Keefe said. The value to the clinic is being paid upfront without having to fol- low up with the client for monthly payments. The finance company assumes full liability on the debt so that if the client defaults, the practice owner is unaffected. "We don't want to see our customers default," said Fuller, with Wells Fargo. "If a customer has diffi- culties, we want them to contact us and we will work with them to find a resolution." Benefits to Clients Third-party financing gives clients the peace of mind that they will be able to afford needed care for their pets. Typically, many financing plans are like other consumer credit cards. "It is a credit card with a revolving line of credit that can be used repeatedly, subject to credit approval and availability, to pay at any location within CareCredit's network of over 200,000 enrolled providers and select retail loca- tions," Keefe said. Alternatively, Scratch's payment plans allow clients to pay a large bill over time without the need for a credit check. Customers can choose from one of two plans. "Scratch's Pay Later product gives customers 30 days to pay a bill with no interest and without any hard credit inquiry," Stanga said. "Clients with pet health insurance often use Pay Later so they don't have to outlay all of the money upfront and wait to be reimbursed by the insurance company." Ninety-five percent of Scratch customers choose the other option, Pay Over Time, a simple-interest, 12-month payment plan, Stanga said. One choice doesn't always work for all clients, so the best approach for a veterinary practice might be to offer a variety of finan- cial options, including credit cards and third-party payment plans. In some cases, in-house payment plans might be an option for clients unable to get credit approval. " On average, CareCredit cardholders who opened their account at a veterinary office used their card 5.25 times per year for veterinary services in 2016." — Patrick Keefe, director of veterinary health, CareCredit WORK HOME VETFOLIO WORKS FOR YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE See how VetFolio can work on your time! Individual and practice subscriptions are available at • Train Your Staff • Host a Lunch & Learn • Recommend Courses • Research Tough Cases • Build Your Resume with Certificate Courses • Explore our Surgery Video Library • Get CE on the Go! • Learn Your Way: Watch, Read or Listen • Find Your Center with our Wellbeing Resource Center • Hone Your Passion with our Forensics and Specialty Courses • Stay Informed on Changes in the Profession with our Telehealth Resources Off the Clock: On the Clock:

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