How Veterinary Business Models Affect Access to Care

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Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: So I want to close the general question about access to care, you know, we know it’s an issue that we see, not just in this country, but around the world. So, you know, what can you do…what are you…I guess there are some solutions, if you will? You know, pet owners are trying everything they can… maybe a 4 or 5 hour drive to the vet. That’s one thing, and then there’s the cost of veterinary care we’re talking about. So talk to me about this.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: So when we talk about access to care, there are multiple aspects to it. There are physical pathways to care and economic pathways to care. Physically, even in some densely populated areas, there are no veterinarians, and transportation is convenient, maybe because public transportation doesn’t allow pets, it’s too far to walk, or whatever. So we need to figure out how to increase the accessibility of veterinarians and these veterinary deserts, whether it’s downtown LA, or the actual deserts you drive through, but from that perspective, there are a lot of people. So how do we act? How will we respond in the future? Some of that might come down to telehealth, when it comes down to it. Some probably come down to mobile devices that move around and bump into these different areas and pockets. You can even think of a senior center that allows pets as a veterinary desert because they may not have the ability to take pets from that center to a veterinary hospital, and maybe having a vet go to a senior center and do a round or something like that would be a good way to visit it . So the physical access will take some time and it also becomes a bit of a challenge to think differently to address financial access. We’ve seen inflation affect everything, the cost of gas in Southern California and California is going crazy. But it also affects the cost of veterinary care. We talked about the fact earlier that 46% of pet owners are getting their $500 veterinary bill back for lack of a better way. Well, that’s 4 cans of gas in California. So how do we deal with the financial side of things? Can we find a different business model in our practice, either tangent to our practice, or synergistic with our practice that allows us to make enough winning margins, but lower the cost of care and make it affordable for pet owners Starting with basic care, maybe st can save him some money for intensive care and emergencies? I think we have to start looking for new and different business models that make veterinary care affordable for everyone, not just the middle class, even the upper middle class who are taxed themselves for everything else, now with veterinary care The increase in cost makes the situation more complicated. So how do we do that, I think it takes some imagination, but we’ve seen it done in human healthcare, and they’ve made it affordable for people. I know the discussion about insurance is completely different. We don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole. But I do think we need to start looking at business models related to veterinary hospitals that allow us to provide more affordable health care to save some money for those times of sickness, illness, emergencies and injuries.accident, etc.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yes, no, this is a problem, but hopefully there will be some solutions. I think what you’re talking about, just changing the model a little bit, sounds great. You know, and I know there’s a lot of affordable stuff, in terms of affordable vaccination clinics, affordable sterilizers, we don’t like to say low cost anymore. So maybe trying to somehow incorporate this into the model could be a future solution. So, excellent. Hmm, this is awesome. Many thanks to Dr. Peter Weinstein for being here. This is fantastic.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Thank you Dr Adam Christman.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: My pleasure. Thanks to our friends at Synchrony, CareCredit and Pets Best for being here and supporting this conference. This is awesome. Thank you so much for listening. Please stay safe outside, we hope you learned a lot today. Thank you for your participation.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Thank you.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Be careful.

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