Comparing veterinary wellness plans

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Sep 01, 2010

Whittaker Road Animal Clinic, owned by Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, offers four wellness care packages, each with or without dental care, based on a pet's life stage. A client can pay all at once or spread out automatic payments over 12 months, with the practice withdrawing funds from the client's credit card or checking account. (Wellness packages without dental start as low as $28.95 a month.)

Dr. Karl Salszieder, JD, of Salszieder Consulting and Legal Services in Longview, Wash., offers clients at his practice, Yelm Veterinary Hospital in Yelm, Wash., a discount of as much as 50 percent when they sign up for a package. All clients pay a one-time sign-up fee of $69.95; prices start at $17.55 a month for a primary plan, some of which includes vaccinations, two physical exams, heartworm testing, twice-yearly fecal exams, deworming, and free office calls during the coverage year. In just a few years, more than 300 clients have signed up for the plans—and the practice is on target for more. "We end up doing much more preventive care for wellness-plan clients than non-wellness-plan clients," Dr. Salzsieder says.


Second-tier plan
Dr. Salzsieder's "A Perfect Plan for Every Pet" handout explains all the services and the price differences in clear terms. (See the handout at http://dvm360.com/wellnesshandout.) Here's an example for the Basic plan—a price tier up from Primary—that includes blood testing: