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Business

consolidator

Know When to Walk Away

Money Matters

If you’re an independent practice owner, don’t rush into a sale to a consolidator. Here’s what to watch for. 

Remember when veterinary practice buyers were scarce and hospital owners were concerned about finding one — or they expected the pool of buyers to be small? Then along came the consolidators, who used outside money to cherry-pick the best of the best practices. Today, as the inventory shrinks, the competition to buy practices has intensified. […]

competition

Fair and Square

Legal Lingo

Veterinarians should have a basic understanding of the rules of competition. You don’t want to run afoul of antitrust laws.

Federal antitrust laws are discussed when transactions between corporate titans are in the news, such as the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Such laws, however, are the foundation of modern American capitalism and a subject that veterinary businesses need to understand, at least in principle. In a truly free market — one with no regulations […]

cat care

The Cat’s Meow

Expand your feline patient base by altering how you accommodate patients and communicate with their owners. CFP certification is a plus.

When I was 13, I found a litter of abandoned kittens in my 93-year-old neighbor’s backyard. All the kittens were dead except for one. I persuaded my parents to let me rescue the survivor and, being a teenage girl, I named her Melissa. Weird name for a cat, I know. Melissa lived for 18 years. […]

shortages

Shortages and Excesses

Politics and Policy

We have too few veterinary professionals (and dogs) and too much student debt. There is a way out.

COVID carried on a curious relationship with the veterinary industry throughout 2020 and early 2021. Much has been written about the industry’s financial strength and gains during this period, hopefully putting to rest chronic fears that pet health care is a fragile sector and susceptible to sudden downturns. The toll on human lives is a […]

scheduling

Say No to No-Shows

When levying deposits or penalties (most practices don’t), communication is key.

It’s hard to believe we were so optimistic (naïve?) to think that the pandemic would be over in just a few weeks or months. Instead, COVID-19 has dragged on and on and presented ever-increasing challenges to veterinary practices. Animal hospitals are lucky to be as busy as they are. That busyness has, of course, brought […]

veterinary medicine

It’s All Coming Into Focus

Innovation Station

We know (or think we know) where veterinary medicine is headed over the next decade. Let’s prepare for and enjoy the ride.

I have been around long enough to be wary about futurists, the people who all too often predict a future that looks pretty much like today, only more so. None of these futurists seem to be able to see around corners or alert us to unanticipated dangers. Too bad the futurists of 1750 didn’t understand […]

GP

‘Just’ a GP

Creative Disruption

General practitioners are the heart and soul of veterinary medicine, so stop discounting their career choice.

Teddy Roosevelt once said that complaining and not offering a solution is whining. Fair warning: I’m about to whine. I recently spoke with a brilliant, young fourth-year veterinary clinical student. She is smart, driven, compassionate and eager to make a difference. (Come to think of it, all veterinary and veterinary technician students are determined to […]

missed charges

Don’t Misfire on Missed Charges

Tens of thousands of dollars likely go uncollected each year at your practice. Modern technology delivers solutions.

Missed charges, a problem in veterinary practice for as long as the profession has been around, is not about clients or employees walking out of your hospital with unpurchased products. It’s not about pet owners declining medical recommendations or staff members forgetting to offer additional services. It’s not even about discounting a nail trim or […]

bundling care for chronic diseases

Beyond Wellness Plans

Bundling medical services for the treatment of specific chronic diseases is a winner for the pet, its owner and the hospital.

During times of financial uncertainty like the COVID-19 pandemic, forward-thinking veterinary hospitals offer financial incentives — wellness plans — to clients so that pets continue to receive basic care. Unfortunately, pets with chronic conditions are overlooked when such programs are designed. What can hospitals do to ease the financial burden on the owners of these […]

mobile practice

Set the Wheels in Motion

Protect and Defend

Operating a mobile practice exposes veterinarians to many of the same liability concerns as their walled colleagues. The right insurance policies can deliver peace of mind.

An ever-growing number of small animal veterinarians are forgoing traditional brick-and-mortar veterinary clinics in lieu of providing medical services at pet owners’ homes. Over the past year, I have assisted almost as many veterinarians with insuring their house-call practices as in the previous 20 years combined. From the pet owner’s standpoint, utilizing at-home medical care […]

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