Veterinary care and practice revenue represent a strange but important equation right now for veterinary teams, and it basically goes like this:
- Veterinarians, vet techs, and other practice team members fundamentally do not get into veterinary care for the money. They get into veterinary care from a basic love of pets (and animals in general) and want to provide them with the best animal health care possible.
- To facilitate care, practices must create revenue to pay for physical hospital space, equipment, salaries, and everything else that keeps a practice in operation. This means, even at the best of times, revenue matters to practices.
- To grow revenue and keep profits ahead of expenses and inflation, practices have traditionally sought to attract more clients. Yet practices are busier than ever because of COVID-19, meaning practices may not want new clients, or even have the capacity to handle them.
So, the question for practices now becomes this: How do you generate more practice revenue without taking on more clients?
The Answer Appears as Simple as Educating Clients About Pet Insurance
On Dec. 8, 2020, Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group released findings from two surveys (conducted over one- and two-year periods at four geographically diverse companion animal hospitals) that showed the positive impact veterinary practices can experience by educating their clients about pet insurance.
When veterinary teams proactively included pet insurance education as part of regular pet health care discussions with clients, patients and clients benefited in that clients felt better about the subject of pet insurance. By purchasing coverage, pet owners were empowered to make health care decisions based on what was best for their pet versus being constrained by finances, and this generated more revenue for practices in addition to more opportunities to provide optimal pet health care.
According to the survey:
- The study hospitals increased total gross revenue by 5%, compared to 9.8% in benchmarked hospitals.
- The study hospitals saw an increase in client annual patient visits, with a 8% increase from insured dogs and 17.6% increase for insured cats.
In other words, practices were able to realize more revenue from existing clients, not more clients. Among existing clients, more took better care of their pets by showing up for more checkups and other annual appointments, and veterinarians were able to perform more of why they got into veterinary medicine in the first place.
A Big Obstacle Acknowledged by the Study
The Crum & Forster study identified five barriers preventing veterinary teams from talking to clients about pet insurance, with a big one being discomfort. “One solution hospitals found,” noted in the release about the study, “was to empower teams by removing any expectation that staff are expected to be knowledgeable about the specifics of a pet insurance policy and gave the team permission to refer clients with questions directly to the pet insurance companies.”
As understandable as this solution is as a workaround for veterinary teams, the solution can present pet owners with the same level of discomfort and they may not contact a pet insurance company directly, which works against everything previously mentioned.
PetInsuranceInfo.com eliminates the need for practice staff to be knowledgeable about the specifics of pet insurance.
Reflective of LifeLearn’s core commitment to advance pet health and education worldwide, PetInsuranceInfo.com helps pet owners learn about the value of pet insurance and the questions they need to ask before purchasing a policy, and guides them through the quote process once they’re prepared to make a purchase decision that fits their budget.
PetInsuranceInfo.com is a free integration feature for all WebDVM websites
While PetInsuranceInfo.com is a free service accessible to pet owners from our consumer site, the benefit of integrating PetInsuranceInfo.com into a practice’s WebDVM website is that pet owners can feel confident that the information is reliable and trustworthy since it’s coming directly from their veterinary provider. And practices have the unique ability to select which insurance providers they wish to support.