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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18 Today's Veterinary Business Business Dr. B's day was similar to those faced by thousands of other veterinarians: • Appointments packed with pet owners pleading for free or discounted care. • Families under financial con- straints forced to decide the fate of a beloved pet. • Veterinary professionals eco- nomically hobbled from pur- suing best treatment options. The fact is that economic lim- itations affect our ability to care for the animals we love to serve, and these restraints potentially damage our desire, enthusiasm and passion to practice. While I can't promise to deliver you from all these issues, I can offer one solution that may improve staff morale, restore your passion and potentially save your career: pet insurance. Juggling Pocketbooks Many veterinarians spend much of their day desperately balancing best patient care with tight pet care budgets. Some days we feel more like an accountant or financial con- sultant than an animal doctor. This pocketbook juggling takes its toll on our morale and intellect. Instead of focusing on the best medical options, we're often forced to pinch pennies and beg permission to provide basic medical care. Eventu- ally, we may stop offering optimal care and begin the march toward compassion fatigue and burnout. Business PET INSURANCE A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical As- sociation — — revealed that about half of small animal practitioners reported feel- ings of burnout. Other findings: • 77 percent declared that their clients' economic limitations contributed to professional burnout. • 57 percent of veterinarians complained that owners' economic limitations resulted in less-than-optimal patient treatments at least once a day. • 37 percent of general practi- tioners acknowledged they didn't offer "ideal treatment options" mainly because of prior experiences with refusal. These feelings of financial responsibility can wear you down. We've got to find better ways than post-dated checks and payment plans to deal with these constant monetary tensions. I've found pet in- surance to be one of those solutions. It's Come a Long Way Pet insurance has progressed great- ly over the past 30 years. Pet owners can choose improved coverage plans, more pets can receive ideal medical care, and veterinarians can be confident that clients will receive better customer service. If you haven't evaluated pet insurance in a while, I encourage you to discover how good it has become. "I can't do this anymore. This is not how I thought my life would go." Dr. B stared at the appointment schedule a moment longer before shrugging and walking to the controlled-substances cabinet. Her day would begin with a euthanasia, accented by an early-afternoon end-of-life visit, and finish with a final eternal farewell visit. This was absolutely not what she imagined veterinary medicine was like when she was an optimistic 9-year-old. Twenty years later, all that remained was a hollow husk of that passion. She really couldn't do this anymore. By Ernie Ward , DVM, CVFT Insured clients, job satisfaction and our ability to provide the best care for pets are all intertwined. How pet insurance may save your career

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