If you are in the field of veterinary medicine, you have heard about wellness plans. You may be asking yourself if these plans would be profitable for your practice. Here are some pros and cons that wellness plans can bring to your business.
Pro: Increased Vet Visits
Clients have been known to increase the amount of times they bring their pets to the vet by two to three times when they have wellness plans. When a client can pay for services at a discounted price monthly, or even annually, they will be inclined to utilize these services more often. This leads to better care for pets, improved bond between the veterinary team and the client, and increased revenue for your practice.
Pro: Wellness Plans Tailored Towards Specific Practice Needs
Do you need to draw more revenue towards a specific service, such as dental cleanings or spay/neuter surgery? Create a wellness plan that includes items associated with only these services. This can drive clients to providing yearly bloodwork and dental cleanings for their pets, or even spay/neuter services with a new puppy/kitten vaccine package. Ultimately, again, this improves pet care and the bond with your clients, as well as increased revenue.
Con: Wellness Plans Can Be a Sensitive Matter
There are many things that can make wellness plans fall apart. As a veterinarian, you must pay close attention to what is best for your clients and their pets. Communication between yourself, your team, and your clients is essential to the success of wellness plans. Clients need to understand which wellness plan is best for their pet at various times throughout their care. Therefore, you cannot implement a successful wellness plan without thorough research to provide appropriate options and excellent communication to your clients, as well as your team. Everyone must be on board to make it work.
Con: As With Everything, Things Can Take a Terrible Turn
It happens. Clients cannot pay their wellness plan fees. A pet dies with months of unused services. As part of implementing wellness plans, veterinarians have to at least attempt to prepare themselves for the inevitable. Know what you are going to do; maybe your practice will offer a refund of services not used or have a clause that protects the plan, and your practice, if a client defaults on payments. If you have covered your bases beforehand, and communicate this with your team and clients, it will not be as difficult to deal with, should the time come.
This information merely grazes the surface of wellness plans in private practice. In conclusion, the most important thing is to do your research as a veterinarian and include your team and clients in the implementation of your pricing strategy. Find out what is best for your clients and roll with it. Wellness plans may not be the answer for you and your practice, but they are worth a shot.
- Victoria Benson ’17 Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine
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