4 winning plays to defend your veterinary practice revenue

4 winning plays to defend your veterinary practice revenue

Nov 01, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

Revenue growth has been nonexistent or in decline for many veterinary practices across the country, and Well-Managed Practices haven't been immune from this trend. However, they've done better than the norm.

Denise Tumblin, CPA
Need proof? The Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study showed that 51 percent of veterinary practices reported a net decrease in patient visits from 2009 to 2010. An August 2011 survey of companion animal practices sponsored by Elanco Animal Health found that respondents were evenly split on whether patient visits have increased, decreased, or remained the same over the past 12 months. From 2009 to 2010, 65 percent of Well-Managed Practices experienced a decline in patient visits. However, despite this decline, Well-Managed Practices saw nominal revenue growth this year.

What's their secret? It's not razzle-dazzle flashiness or wild Hail Mary passes. Rather it's gritty, grind-it-out performance day after day. Basically, these practices pay attention to patients' routine healthcare necessities and find creative ways to keep care affordable for clients. You can do the same in your practice by following these four game-winning strategies.


Yes, it's easy to go on autopilot in the exam room—especially when this is the sixth time today you've explained the importance of heartworm and flea prevention or discussed why it's not a good idea to delay the dental prophylaxis any longer. These days, however, you simply can't afford to coast. Every time you're about to step into the exam room, take a moment to refocus your energy on this particular client and patient. Look at the chart and note a couple of unique characteristics about this pet and owner. Then mention them during the visit.

The bottom line is that you want your clients to receive care that's relevant to them, custom-built for their pet, and different from what they can get anywhere else. Rather than talking throughout the appointment, try pausing for a few minutes at appropriate moments so you can listen—truly listen—to what your clients are saying. Make the experience about them. Being strongly present with each client and each patient creates inspiration in pet owners. Inspiration creates magnetism. And magnetism gets your clients to "yes."