VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Sep 1, 2005 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Sep 1, 2005
Practice Tips
Showing you care in a time of sorrow
By Mark Reser
A pet's euthanasia is always difficult for clients, and it can be tough for team members, too. Dr. Mark Reser of Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma City says he gets great feedback when he takes two key steps.
Lapses lead to learning
Occasionally, even the best employee has a lapse in judgment. And lapses have consequences. For example, you may have reached into an empty tray of distemper vaccines on a busy Saturday, or found the practice shorthanded one afternoon.
Open house fun
By Bob Levoy
"The secret to a successful open house," says Christy Johnson, CVPM, practice administrator at Pampered Pet Health Center, "is to make it fun. Have lots of things for clients to see and do, and serve plenty of finger food. Involve your staff, distributors, and drug representatives. And get the word out."
Short-term dollars versus long-term relationships
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
I frequently tout the goal of developing a womb-to-tomb relationship with our clients and their pets. At the core of our practice philosophy is the statement, "Focus on long-term relationships versus the short-term dollar."
Retaining—and honoring—trusted team members
"It can be difficult for any practice to retain good employees," says Beth Montoya, hospital administrator at Pembroke Veterinary Clinic and Sajo Farm Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach, Va., and Great Bridge Veterinary Hospital in Chesapeake, Va. "But in areas with many strong veterinary hospitals, we have to work even harder."
Practice Management Q&A
Ill employees and the law
By Roger Cummings, CVPM
How should I handle a chronically sick employee who calls in at the last minute or struggles to come in ill? I previously switched her from hourly- to salary-based pay, and I'm considering changing her back.
Shifting money between benefits
By Craig Woloshyn, DVM
I'm a full-time veterinarian, and my employer pays for my health insurance, which costs about $4,000 a year. I recently got married, and my husband's insurance is better. If I join my husband's policy, should I get that $4,000 benefit somewhere else in my package? Is it fair to ask my boss to add it to my salary or to add more paid vacation days in equivalent to the benefit money?
Business entity selection
By Karen E. Felsted, DVM, CPA, CVPM, MS
I'm starting a small animal practice, and I'm hoping to add an associate with buy-in potential after two years. Which business entity would be best, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Service Corporation?
Reimbursement for premiums
By Gary Glassman, CPA
Q. I'm an associate veterinarian paid on a straight salary. My employer doesn't offer group health insurance as part of my contract, but I'd like him to pay my medical insurance premiums and those of my husband and son. I checked with the IRS, and it appears that he can pay the premiums for my family tax-free. If he offers me this benefit, does he have to offer it to everyone on salary?
Equine Solutions
Check these four critical issues
By James Guenther, DVM, MBA, MHA, CVPM, AVA
Use high-quality medicine, strong communication skills, and both internal and external marketing to create clients who act as advocates for the practice.
Vetcetera
Why Fluffy went to the doctor
These are the top 10 reasons owners take dogs and cats to the veterinarian according to claims data from Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.
Science is cool in school
Up-and-coming generations could be poised to make big waves in the science and engineering fields, according to a survey by Bayer HealthCare LLC–Animal Health Division. In fact, 42 percent of parents surveyed report that their daughters have already expressed an interest in continuing to study or having a career in these fields, and 63 percent report that their sons have expressed the same interest.
Pups face rejection at Doggy Daycare
Getting into doggy daycare requires pet owners to jump through more than a few hoops, and it's getting tougher according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.
Endangered turtle returns to females, lucky not to be soup
A 33-pound royal turtle was snatched by poachers from a Cambodian river and smuggled across the Vietnamese border by motorbike, according to an article on CNN.com.
Pet lovers read on
Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Marty Becker and other authors of "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" and "Chicken Soup for the Cat and Dog Lover's Soul" will release two new books on Oct. 11: "Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul" and "Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul.".
Sugar not the cat's meow
A recent study at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia concluded that felines aren't genetically equipped to taste sweet foods.
GPS sends pets wireless
Pet owners can now purchase the first patented GPS tracking system for pets, a 5-ounce device that snaps to a pet's collar. It's equipped with GPS and two-way wireless to track a pet and let the owner review his or her pet's location on a wireless device, like a cell phone or BlackBerry.
Practice Growth
Steer your practice in the right direction
By Cynthia Wutchiett, CPA , Denise Tumblin, CPA , Susan Flemming, MBA , Jennette Rosier Lawson
The 2005 Well-Managed Practice Study shows how important strategic planning is to achieving your practice vision—and respondents say their only regrets are not planning sooner.
Talking Points
6 low cost ways to rev up your team
By Craig Woloshyn, DVM
The greatest motivation you can offer is something new and challenging to complete. So give your team members jobs that are just beyond their comfort zone, and they'll enjoy a sense of accomplishment when they complete the difficult new task.
Click & Copy
Client consent form for preanesthetic testing
Preanesthetic testing helps protect your patients' health--and decreases your practice's liability. Use this form to help educate clients.
Communicate the need for preanesthetic testing
Preanesthetic testing helps protect your patients' health and decreases your practice's liability. Here's how to use a client consent form to educate pet owners about this medical service.
Legal Ease
She's having a baby!
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), you must treat maternity leave the same way you do any other temporary medical leave—if you meet the following FMLA requirements:
Law firm considers suit
Law firm Childress Duffy Goldblatt is considering a class action lawsuit related to over-vaccination of pets.
What's the first thing I should do to reduce my practice's liability
By Karl Salzsieder, DVM, JD
"Never practice without liability insurance," says Dr. Karl Salzsieder, JD, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and a consultant in Kelso, Wash. "I know of one veterinarian who inadvertently let his insurance expire. Within two weeks, he had a suit that cost him $7,000 to settle."
AVMA opposes "guardian"
The AVMA has released a white paper detailing its stance on using "guardian" to describe the pet owner's relationship to his or her pet.
Breaking the silence
By John Scott
In general, the right of confidentiality belongs to the client, and you can't release information about your client or the care of a patient until your client provides written authorization or waives that right, says Dr. John Scott, attorney.
Cover Story
The winds of change
By John Lofflin, Special Assignments Editor
For the 30 years I've been a veterinarian, I've heard we don't have too few doctors; we have too many veterinary hospitals," says Dr. Dennis Cloud, owner of Cloud Veterinary Center in St. Louis, Mo., and a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member. While dramatic change is never an overnight event, the winds are blowing; Dr. Cloud's sentiments echo those of many in the veterinary profession, spurring the question: What practice models will define the future of the profession?

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