I own a feline-exclusive practice. Our prices are comparable to others in the area, except for our physical exam, which is $6 to $14 lower than most of my colleagues'. I've been thinking of raising it by $6 or $8, but several members of my team think our lower-priced office visit gets clients in the door. Once they're here, they rarely decline any additional recommended services. My team feels that without the enticing exam price, potential clients might be tempted to go elsewhere. What should I do?
E-mails you send to clients to inform them of new offerings or to update them on practice happenings could be considered spam under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM). To stay on the right side of the law, follow these guidelines, set forth in the CAN-SPAM Act, for commercial e-mails to existing and potential clients:
Even veterinarians sometimes overlook the power of the love and support pets provide. But now and then you may get an important reminder that a pet can lend hope and support healing—just as this veterinary student did.
I read in a past issue about an equine practitioner who requires payment when services are rendered. I'd love to do that, but my clients expect me to bill them. How can I change my system this late in the game?
With the advent of e-mail, it's easy to jot a disjointed note and send it off to clients or colleagues. But a slap-dash approach may lead you to say things you'd never consider appropriate if you were using a pen and paper. Keep out of trouble with these e-mail etiquette tips:
My office manager suggested that we discount hard-to-collect, 90-day-past-due accounts as an incentive to encourage patients to pay at least something. We'd offer up to 25 percent off the bill, depending on how much the patient pays. We'd require the patient to adhere to a payment schedule until the debt's paid off. Is this a good solution or does it contribute to the problem?
For years, veterinarians practiced reactively, primarily treating illnesses and administering vaccinations. Not anymore. According to the 2004 AAHA Pet Owner Survey, 94 percent of respondents take their pets to the veterinarian for regular checkups to ensure their quality of life. In fact, 58 percent of respondents visit their pet's doctor more often than they visit their physician.
Welcome new associates to your practice with some functional fanfare that simultaneously introduces them to the public. Running an announcement ad in your local paper provides increased visibility for your practice and establishes the new associate as part of the community.