Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Nearly all New York State veterinary hospitals surveyed have seen a drop-off in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 60% reporting a decline of at least 25%.
The New York State Veterinary Medical Society found that 3% of the 240 practices surveyed have closed statewide. In the New York City/Long Island region, which has been hard hit by coronavirus infections and deaths, 6% of hospitals have shut down.
The survey results, released April 8, showed that 85% of clinics require patient drop-offs as a social distancing measure. Nearly 1 in 4 are using telehealth tools to communicate with clients, and 17% have split staffs into two teams so that all employees wouldn’t need to be quarantined if one person became infected.
Among other findings:
- The drop-off in business is worse in the New York City area, with 36% suffering a decline of more than 50%.
- 1% of hospitals statewide have seen an increase in business and 8% reported no change.
- 31% of respondents reduced staffing through layoffs or furloughs, and 75% cut working hours.
- Employees at 73% of clinics statewide are “all healthy and attending,” a number that fell to 49% in and around New York City, where 22% of respondents reported at least one infected staff member.
- 85% asked for regular COVID-19 updates from the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and 30% wanted information about short-term loans.
The number of respondents, 240, was “a substantial increase from previous surveys,” Veterinary Medical Society executive director Tim Atkinson said. Survey results released in late March showed higher levels of business distress.
Nationwide, according to the VetSuccess Veterinary Industry Impact Tracker, practice revenue during the first week of April was down 14.75% compared with the same period in 2019. The number of invoices at the 2,517 hospitals tracked fell by 16.6%.
Did you know a subscription to Today’s Veterinary Business is free to qualified veterinary professionals? All you have to do is sign up here (and renew each year). You also can sign up to receive the Today’s Veterinary Business weekly e-newsletter.