Business

Selling your hospital can’t be your only retirement plan

Too much can change over time for you to count on a top-dollar sales price and comfortable post-career life.

As the equity partner or sole owner of a veterinary practice, you have put many hardworking years into the growth of your craft and business. Your practice is likely your life’s work. When you evaluate your retirement plan, the practice can be a major asset and cornerstone for your golden years. However, relying on the […]

Include price for yourself in the price on the shelf

VHMA Critical Issues Summit explores value-based pricing.

The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association flexed its leadership biceps in August by hosting the Critical Issues Summit, a two-day workshop on value-based pricing. Leading the discussion was Utpal Dholakia, MS, Ph.D., a Rice University marketing professor and the author of “How to Price Effectively.” Dr. Dholakia recommends shifting the focus away from cost when determining […]

The West does best in the second quarter

The Vetalytix Report

Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes veterinary practices had their ups and downs.

Welcome to The Vetalytix Report for the second quarter of 2018. The June/July issue of Today’s Veterinary Business reported that the first quarter proved challenging for many U.S. veterinarians as revealed by decreases in product consumption across numerous categories. With cold and snow taking a toll on business, many regions of the country were significantly […]

Made to order

Constructive Criticism

A practice owner had a tough decision to make about her growing but cramped hospital: tear up the inside, knock down some walls or move.

I fielded a call from a client who was trying to decide whether renovating her clinic would make sense. Her caseload was growing, and she had hired another associate veterinarian. Her hospital was in a professional strip center. Adjacent space that was coming available would allow her to expand the clinic by 50 percent. Coincidentally, […]

Plant a seed

Recommending cannabis for a pet, and even talking about it with clients, is tricky. When the subject is handled properly, veterinary cannabis can add to a practice’s bottom line.

My dog loves popcorn, but not just any popcorn. He loves the simple, homemade stuff — just oil, corn and salt — that I make in my grandfather’s old popcorn pot. Since Jack, my 12-year-old miniature schnauzer, was a puppy, he’d come running as soon as he heard the kernels begin to pop, jumping up […]

Damage control

Protect and Defend

Animal bailee insurance is a crucial need when you are responsible for the custody, transport or care of patients.

The hospitalization of patients, be it for a few hours or several days, is routine at every veterinary practice. In addition, many hospitals offer grooming and boarding as an extension of their services. From a business liability standpoint, the question then becomes, “What happens if an animal in my possession is injured or dies, is […]

Drugs of choice

Oral and injectable medications play a critical role in the health of pets and the practice. Do you know when to prescribe one over the other?

When should a veterinarian recommend an injectable option vs. an oral option for treatment? The answer: When it is best for the pet. We should never perform a service or recommend an item that is for our benefit and not the pet’s. Thankfully, the injectable options available to us oftentimes are not only the best […]

The future of virtual care

Innovation Station

The changing veterinary-client-patient relationship requirement will open up new opportunities for care.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards this year released a model telehealth policy for public review and comment. The policy includes a provision allowing for the possibility of establishing a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) without the necessity of a hands-on examination. Here is the specific language: “A veterinarian using telehealth must take appropriate steps to […]

The union question

Organized labor gained a foothold at two West Coast veterinary hospitals, but whether its entry is an aberration or the sign of a groundswell is up for debate.

Morgan VanFleet finally had enough. During 13 years as a veterinary technician working in Oregon and Washington, she had watched as she and her colleagues struggled with low wages, meager benefits and employee turnover that often left the hospitals stretched thin. The practice owners, VanFleet said, responded to the staff’s concerns with silence or empty […]

Dirty little secrets

Don’t assume your practice is immune to employee drug diversion. Failure to conduct background checks and take other preventive steps can invite a visit from authorities.

All individuals at some point are confronted with the Eighth Commandment: Thou shall not steal. According to the FBI, employee theft, or “shrinkage,” is the fastest-growing crime in the United States and is more prominent than identity theft, cyber fraud, credit card theft and internet scams. Research shows that 75 percent of employees have engaged […]

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