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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How many clients have you turned away because they could not pay in full at the time of service? How many appointment slots remain unfilled? Should the veterinary profession do what human medicine is doing? The benefits to offering additional payment alternatives are many: • Increased patient visits. • More new clients. • Better compliance with nec- essary procedures. • An enhanced quality of life for animals, pet owners and the veterinary team. In-House Billing Can Be Trouble But who wants to manage multiple payment options? Sure, you can manage accounts receivables your- self. Gone are the days of stuffing envelopes and mailing statements. Everything is electronic, and plenty of software options are available. Technology puts many resources at your fingertips to ensure a success- ful accounts receivables system. However, I would not recommend this option if you don't have the staff to properly manage and fol- low up on client bank changes and missed payments. The better solution might be to outsource receivables, similar to what many human hospitals have done, to a company that is experienced in handling veterinary accounts and that can give you and your clients more options and proper customer service. Clients are more likely to pay a bank or billing company than they are to pay your practice directly. These companies will typically work to collect a debt, while hospitals are traditionally more relaxed when it comes to debt collection. Some of the no-interest companies that hospitals use offer payment plans regardless of a client's credit score. Hospitals also have total control over the length of time extended. April York, senior director of pa- tient finance for Novant Health, said in an interview with Health News in April 2017: "To remain financially stable, we had to do something. Patients needed longer to pay. They needed a variety of options." Since Novant launched a payment plan system, the patient default rate fell from 32 percent to 12 percent because the patient was given control of how to pay the bill. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center noticed that patients did not realize their deductibles had increased. Wake Forest now asks for payment before non-emergency services and offers zero-interest, longer term payment plans. With less than 3 percent of pet owners carrying pet insurance and veterinary prices increasing every year, the profession must rethink the way it approaches clients about paying for services if it wants to attract new clients. Consider extending payment plans to your clients. Don't let the 1 to 5 percent of potential deadbeats stop you from helping the other 95 percent of pet owners who pay on time. If you have open appointment slots, wouldn't you rather have 95 percent of something than 100 percent of nothing? Coupled with wellness plans and prepayment plans for non- emergency procedures, you can offer client-centric solutions to help many more pets and create tremendous goodwill in your community. Payment options generate a recurring revenue stream, and your practice will reap the benefits asso- ciated with professionally managed accounts receivables. VetPartners member Tony Ferraro is president of Total Financial Services Inc. Founded in 2001, VetPartners is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping the veterinary profession improve practice management standards and elevate the levels of service, expertise, responsibility and professionalism provided by veteri- nary consultants, advisers and specialists. Learn more at VetPartners Corner CAUTION: Federal (USA) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Description: NexGard ® (afoxolaner) is available in four sizes of beef-flavored, soft chewables for oral administration to dogs and puppies according to their weight. Each chewable is formulated to provide a minimum afoxolaner dosage of 1.14 mg/lb (2.5 mg/kg). Afoxolaner has the chemical composition 1-Naphthalenecarboxamide, 4-[5- [3-chloro-5- (trifluoromethyl)-phenyl]-4, 5-dihydro-5-(trifluoromethyl)-3-isoxazolyl]-N-[2-oxo-2-[(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl)amino]ethyl. Indications: NexGard kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations (Ctenocephalides felis), and the treatment and control of Black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), American Dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum), and Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) infestations in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age and older, weighing 4 pounds of body weight or greater, for one month. Dosage and Administration: NexGard is given orally once a month, at the minimum dosage of 1.14 mg/lb (2.5 mg/kg). Dosing Schedule: NexGard can be administered with or without food. Care should be taken that the dog consumes the complete dose, and treated animals should be observed for a few minutes to ensure that part of the dose is not lost or refused. If it is suspected that any of the dose has been lost or if vomiting occurs within two hours of administration, redose with another full dose. If a dose is missed, administer NexGard and resume a monthly dosing schedule. Flea Treatment and Prevention: Treatment with NexGard may begin at any time of the year. In areas where fleas are common year-round, monthly treatment with NexGard should continue the entire year without interruption. To minimize the likelihood of flea reinfestation, it is important to treat all animals within a household with an approved flea control product. Tick Treatment and Control: Treatment with NexGard may begin at any time of the year (see Effectiveness). Contraindications: There are no known contraindications for the use of NexGard. Warnings: Not for use in humans. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, contact a physician immediately. Precautions: The safe use of NexGard in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures (see Adverse Reactions). Adverse Reactions: In a well-controlled US field study, which included a total of 333 households and 615 treated dogs (415 administered afoxolaner; 200 administered active control), no serious adverse reactions were observed with NexGard. Over the 90-day study period, all observations of potential adverse reactions were recorded. The most frequent reactions reported at an incidence of > 1% within any of the three months of observations are presented in the following table. The most frequently reported adverse reaction was vomiting. The occurrence of vomiting was generally self-limiting and of short duration and tended to decrease with subsequent doses in both groups. Five treated dogs experienced anorexia during the study, and two of those dogs experienced anorexia with the first dose but not subsequent doses. Table 1: Dogs With Adverse Reactions. 1 Number of dogs in the afoxolaner treatment group with the identified abnormality. 2 Number of dogs in the control group with the identified abnormality. In the US field study, one dog with a history of seizures experienced a seizure on the same day after receiving the first dose and on the same day after receiving the second dose of NexGard. This dog experienced a third seizure one week after receiving the third dose. The dog remained enrolled and completed the study. Another dog with a history of seizures had a seizure 19 days after the third dose of NexGard. The dog remained enrolled and completed the study. A third dog with a history of seizures received NexGard and experienced no seizures throughout the study. To report suspected adverse events, for technical assistance or to obtain a copy of the MSDS, contact Merial at 1-888-637-4251 or For additional information about adverse drug experience reporting for animal drugs, contact FDA at 1-888-FDA-VETS or online at Mode of Action: Afoxolaner is a member of the isoxazoline family, shown to bind at a binding site to inhibit insect and acarine ligand- gated chloride channels, in particular those gated by the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), thereby blocking pre- and post-synaptic transfer of chloride ions across cell membranes. Prolonged afoxolaner-induced hyperexcitation results in uncontrolled activity of the central nervous system and death of insects and acarines. The selective toxicity of afoxolaner between insects and acarines and mammals may be inferred by the differential sensitivity of the insects and acarines' GABA receptors versus mammalian GABA receptors. Effectiveness: In a well-controlled laboratory study, NexGard began to kill fleas four hours after initial administration and demonstrated >99% effectiveness at eight hours. In a separate well-controlled laboratory study, NexGard demonstrated 100% effectiveness against adult fleas 24 hours post-infestation for 35 days, and was ≥ 93% effective at 12 hours post-infestation through Day 21, and on Day 35. On Day 28, NexGard was 81.1% effective 12 hours post- infestation. Dogs in both the treated and control groups that were infested with fleas on Day -1 generated flea eggs at 12- and 24-hours post-treatment (0-11 eggs and 1-17 eggs in the NexGard treated dogs, and 4-90 eggs and 0-118 eggs in the control dogs, at 12- and 24-hours, respectively). At subsequent evaluations post-infestation, fleas from dogs in the treated group were essentially unable to produce any eggs (0-1 eggs) while fleas from dogs in the control group continued to produce eggs (1-141 eggs). In a 90-day US field study conducted in households with existing flea infestations of varying severity, the effectiveness of NexGard against fleas on the Day 30, 60 and 90 visits compared with baseline was 98.0%, 99.7%, and 99.9%, respectively. Collectively, the data from the three studies (two laboratory and one field) demonstrate that NexGard kills fleas before they can lay eggs, thus preventing subsequent flea infestations after the start of treatment of existing flea infestations. In well-controlled laboratory studies, NexGard demonstrated >97% effectiveness against Dermacentor variabilis, >94% effectiveness against Ixodes scapularis, and >93% effectiveness against Rhipicephalus sanguineus, 48 hours post-infestation for 30 days. At 72 hours post-infestation, NexGard demonstrated >97% effectiveness against Amblyomma americanum for 30 days. Animal Safety: In a margin of safety study, NexGard was administered orally to 8 to 9-week-old Beagle puppies at 1, 3, and 5 times the maximum exposure dose (6.3 mg/kg) for three treatments every 28 days, followed by three treatments every 14 days, for a total of six treatments. Dogs in the control group were sham-dosed. There were no clinically-relevant effects related to treatment on physical examination, body weight, food consumption, clinical pathology (hematology, clinical chemistries, or coagulation tests), gross pathology, histopathology or organ weights. Vomiting occurred throughout the study, with a similar incidence in the treated and control groups, including one dog in the 5x group that vomited four hours after treatment. In a well-controlled field study, NexGard was used concomitantly with other medications, such as vaccines, anthelmintics, antibiotics (including topicals), steroids, NSAIDS, anesthetics, and antihistamines. No adverse reactions were observed from the concomitant use of NexGard with other medications. Storage Information: Store at or below 30°C (86°F) with excursions permitted up to 40°C (104°F). How Supplied: NexGard is available in four sizes of beef-flavored soft chewables: 11.3, 28.3, 68 or 136 mg afoxolaner. Each chewable size is available in color-coded packages of 1, 3 or 6 beef-flavored chewables. NADA 141-406, Approved by FDA Marketed by: Frontline Vet Labs™, a Division of Merial, Inc. Duluth, GA 30096-4640 USA Made in Brazil. ®NexGard is a registered trademark, and TM FRONTLINE VET LABS is a trademark, of Merial. ©2015 Merial. All rights reserved. 1050-4493-03 Rev. 1/2015 N 1 % (n=415) N 2 % (n=200) Vomiting (with and without blood) 17 4.1 25 12.5 Dry/Flaky Skin 13 3.1 2 1.0 Diarrhea (with and without blood) 13 3.1 7 3.5 Lethargy 7 1.7 4 2.0 Anorexia 5 1.2 9 4.5 Treatment Group Afoxolaner Oral active control Body Afoxolaner Per Chewables Weight Chewable (mg) Administered 4.0 to 10.0 lbs. 11.3 One 10.1 to 24.0 lbs. 28.3 One 24.1 to 60.0 lbs. 68 One 60.1 to 121.0 lbs. 136 One Over 121.0 lbs. Administer the appropriate combination of chewables

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