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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about pet insurance. Peek in on any pet-oriented social media site. When someone shares how pet insurance covered a pet's condition, many posters will comment that they had never heard about pet insurance. The next question they have is, "What does it cost? What does it cover?" Those are basic questions that any veterinary professional should be able to answer. Younger pet owners prefer the convenience of online and app-driven pet insur- ance and will continue to demand better pet health care access. We must continue to respond to changing pet owner desires and embrace pet insurance as part of every client interaction. If we don't provide next-gen pet own- ers with this information, they're going to get it somewhere. I want our profession to remain relevant in this rapidly emerging world of telehealth and telemedicine, and I believe strongly that pet insurance will be a major driver of change and progress. The Millennial Era Pet insurance is critical in encour- aging first-time pet ownership. As Millennials gain financial indepen- dence, they're looking for novel ways to care for their pets. They're looking to pet insurance as a way to afford advanced veterinary care. They realize the amazing tech- nology and advances veterinary medicine has made and want it for their dog or cat. They understand that pet insurance allows them to seek specialists and cutting-edge diagnostics, and ultimately prolong their pets' quality of life. Middle-class families are also eager to give their pets the high- est quality care. A diagnosis of hip dysplasia, pancreatitis or cancer can be budget busters and force serious comprises. Pet insurance can bridge these financial gaps and avoid painful payment debates. If you fear bringing up pet insurance with an overwhelmed parent of three toddlers, you're going to hate haggling over life-and-death options with an inconsolable mom frantically figuring out how to tell her husband and children that they don't have the money to treat Bust- er. Painfully true. I want to avoid that at all costs for everyone's sake. The Emotional Connection I want to remind you of the emo- tional connection between pet insurance, our job satisfaction and our ability to provide the best care for pets. The veterinary profession is uniquely challenging. Daily strug- gles with money and euthanasia top the list of the factors leading to burnout. Third-party payment can help offload some of that stress and free us to do our jobs as healers. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm and joy in your work, ask yourself if you're dying a death of a thousand cheap cuts. If so, you may want to explore offering pet insurance to clients. Not in a casual "Here's a brochure" manner, but in an authentic "Pet insurance may help save your pet's life (and my staff a lot of stress)" way. I believe that part of our pro- fession's future financial solvency is dependent on getting more pets in- sured. I'm not saying we won't face challenges during this progression, but I think pet owners will increas- ingly demand we take it seriously in the years ahead. Take the time to learn more about pet insurance. It just may save your career. Dr. Ernie Ward is a speaker, entrepreneur and owner of the veterinary consulting firm E3 Management. He serves on the Today's Veterinary Business editorial advisory board.

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