Senior visits: better medicine boosts revenue

Senior visits: better medicine boosts revenue

Here are the places your veterinary practice could be missing out on thousands in revenue.
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Jan 05, 2018

Photo: Shutterstock.comWhen those sweet gray muzzles and slightly faded eyes greet you in the exam room, let it be a signal to you and your team to look closer—and get to the root of the pet’s aging experience. Hospitals could be missing thousands of dollars in revenue, just because we aren’t listening to our clients or asking the right questions during senior pet visits.

We targeted those clients during a 24-month time span and increased our profitability by almost $119,000, literally doubling our compliance.

It all starts in the exam room. Use the initial evaluation when you discuss the pet’s life style, activities and interactions to ask clients about age-related changes. Tune into comments about stiffness or a reduction in activity, and invest the time to discuss your findings and offer recommendations for the maturing pet’s initial and ongoing diagnostic or therapeutic plan.

Start your diagnostic plan recommendations with bloodwork and radiographs. These create baselines to monitor the progression of age-related changes in joints and trends in lab work for early disease detection.

Implement therapeutic plans. Don’t forget what you have on your shelves! Offering options like joint, immune or hormonal supplements and therapeutic  diets during these early phases creates a new and consistent revenue stream. Your veterinarian may also recommend specific pharmaceuticals or therapeutic services like laser, acupuncture, stem cell and so on.

Once pets have an established treatment plan, develop a follow-up system to continually assess these pets and offer future recommendations. This helps ensure client compliance so senior pets can live their best lives.

Choose an area you would like to grow to start. For example, when launching our senior care program, we started with routine senior lab screens. We had 941 active patients older than 7 years. We targeted those clients during a 24-month time span and increased our profitability by almost $119,000, literally doubling our compliance. That’s 603 patients with an additional average transaction of $198.

Based on those numbers and the yearend growth for our hospital, we experienced a combined 11 percent increase in our prescription diets and nutraceuticals, almost an additional $18,000 in revenue from the previous years.

Roger Zinn, CVPM, is ER Administrator and partner at Animal ER of Northwest Houston.