VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Feb 1, 2006 - Veterinary Economics
  • SEARCH:
Veterinary Economics

ADVERTISEMENT

VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Feb 1, 2006
I Survived!
Overcoming an unfufilled promise
By R.Craig Brakeman, DVM
When his workplace turned toxic and his partnership opportunity dried up, this doctor learned the hard way that it's better to cut your losses and move on&mdashbefore it's too late.
Equine Solutions
Guide your employees to better performance
By Lydia Gray, DVM, MA
Sometimes these employees are simply in the wrong job. If so, just redeploy them.
Checking in
Tough times can change your perspective
By Marnette Denell Falley
One of the great things about working on a magazine is that every month our team gets to meet more veterinarians. There are always new people calling with a question, sending us letters and practice tips, and submitting articles. Building those new relationships is very rewarding. And each one of you has an interesting story to tell.
Cover Story
Salary vs. production
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
The best of both worlds, the ProSal compensation formula pays associates on a percentage of production and guarantees a base salary. Find out why this method's a top choice for associates, and why you'll like it, too.
Vetcetera
Home sales expected to drop
Projected increases in mortgage rates will likely lead to a drop in home sales in 2006, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts.
Cancer diagnoses
A survey of cancer-related claims submitted to Veterinary Pet
Pets find homes with team members
Employees of veterinary clinics are more likely than the average pet-owning American to own more than one pet. In fact, almost half say they own five or more, while that's true for only 19 percent of pet owners overall. Here's more:
Dental month
More than 80 percent of dogs and cats over the age of 4 show signs of oral disease, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society.
Health care eats up more of employers' costs
The rising cost of health care is taking a bigger chunk of the pie when it comes to the total compensation employers pay to employees.
Help for vets in debt
Veterinarians who are willing to work in underserved areas can get some help repaying their student loans from the federal government.
Campaign encourages twice-a-year equine exams
A new campaign launched by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Fort Dodge Animal Health aims to let owners know their horses should get exams twice a year—in the spring and fall.
Practice Management Q&A
Accounts receivable
By Gary Glassman, CPA
"Accounts receivable in most small animal hospitals should never exceed 2.5 percent of the yearly gross income. For equine and other large animal hospitals, 4 percent to 5 percent of gross revenue is the norm," says Gary Glassman, CPA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and partner with Burzenski and Co. PC in East Haven, Conn. Most practices struggle because they lack good procedures to ensure collection, he says.
Getting paid for unpaid bills
By Karen E. Felsted, DVM, CPA, CVPM, MS
I work for a corporately owned, small animal practice on a production basis. We occasionally allow clients to make payments, and we accept checks. When a client doesn't pay or a check bounces, that amount's deducted from my monthly production total, and the client's turned in to a collections agency. If the company then receives payment, should I receive back payment for my services?
Cultivating clientele
By Andrew Rollo, DVM
Q I'm a recent graduate, and I find that the clients I see have no preference for which doctor examines their pet. How can I develop my own clientele?
ProSal percentages
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
I'm a bovine practitioner looking into ProSal compensation for my associates. I'm concerned with the percentage used to calculate the portion of the salary above the base. What percentage profit should a practice owner expect to make off of his associates?
Front-desk turnover
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
Q What's the typical turnover rate for front-office team members? How do I know if my turnover's too high?
Practice Tips
Think small
By Bob Levoy
At one time, the mass market was every veterinarian's target population. Today's best strategy, however, is niche marketing, which targets a specific population of pet owners, identifying their needs, and then addressing those needs more competently than anyone else.
Creating special events for clients
By Sheila Higgs
Consider starting annual, seasonal, or quarterly events to expand your client base and retain current clients. Be creative: Make your promotions fun; make them silly!
Tax rules for relief veterinarians
By Gary Glassman, CPA
Relief veterinarians are typically treated as independent contractors responsible for their own income taxes and the reporting of their earnings and expenses. And most relief veterinarians conduct their practice activity as sole proprietors. Based on this, you'd report net income or loss from your relief practice on your personal income tax return. There are several important rules you should be aware of, however.
Promoting pearly whites
How one practice successfully promotes dental care.
Finding free staff rewards
Everyone knows that recognition is an integral component of managing and keeping team members happy. But admittedly, sometimes there's little or no budget for such rewards.
Involve team members in problem solving
By Stephanie Slahor, Ph.D., JD
Well-managed practices work on management issues proactively, looking for ways to improve and innovate rather than just responding to the fires that arise each day. Of course, striving for excellence isn't a one-person job. And getting your team involved in finding better ways to serve clients is a great first step to being more proactive.
Speed dating for pet owners
Valley Animal Hospital in Roanoke, Va., helped people looking for love as well as abused animals by hosting a "Speed-Dating for Pet Lovers" night. The fundraiser was for the clinic's SPIRIT fund, which defrays veterinary care expenses for abused animals. "We hosted it as a typical speed-dating setup but participants had to have a pet, and the admittance picture had to be of the owner and pet together," says owner Dr. James Poage.
Seven dumb things you shouldn't say to clients
By Craig Woloshyn, DVM
A few ill-chosen words can leave your message garbled. So if you see confusion or anger when you expected a smile, rewind your conversation and look for these verbal miscues.
Managing Smart
Compensation Statement
A form to help you determine the costs of employment, such as health insurance, continuing education, dues, license, retirement programs, and payroll taxes.
Click & Copy
Veterinarian evaluation form
By Veterinary Economics Editors
Use this sample veterinarian evaluation form as a launching pad for written employee performance reviews or as a self-evaluation tool.
Providing doctors with feedback
Only 21 percent of practices conduct performance evaluations, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, CVPM, a consultant with Brakke Consulting Inc. in Dallas. Yet your success in practice largely depends on how well you manage people. And performance evaluations let employees know how they're doing, so they—and you—can improve.
Legal Ease
SHARP improved my practice safety
By Dee Thornell, DVM
When most practice owners hear the four-letter word "OSHA," chills run up their spines. And I can certainly understand why—citations and fines aren't on anyone's wish list.
Liability for unrestrained animals
By Karl Salzsieder, DVM, JD
"If the unrestrained animal is the hospital's pet, the responsibility is clearly the hospital's," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Karl Salzsieder, JD, a consultant with Salzsieder Consulting and Legal Service in Kelso, Wash. "If it's a client's pet, the liability depends on how the injury happened."
IRS requires less paperwork from employers
The IRS is changing rules that required employers to send in employee-withholding forms (Form W-4s) that claimed more than 10 exemptions or that claimed complete exemption from withholding when $200 or more in weekly wages was expected, according Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Gary Glassman, CPA, a partner with Burzenski & Co. PC in East Haven, Conn. Now, employers only need to submit a Form W-4 when the IRS requests one.
Clinic brings animal law to the forefront
The George Washington University Law School has teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to create the Animal Law Litigation Project. The goal of the program is to train students in animal law in a real-world setting. Students will have a chance to work with the HSUS's legal staff on federal and state court cases to protect wildlife, improve the treatment of performing animals and animals used in research, and to prevent systematic mistreatment of animals in factory farms.
Federal government endorses universal microchip technology
In November, President Bush signed into law an addition to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill that supports the development of open technology so all scanners can read all microchips.
Hot Button
Some models of pay don't pay
By Bennet Wilson
As graduation approaches, my mind is a whirlwind of questions, concerns, and hopes. I'm ready to practice?mostly. Yet there's one topic that leaves me wary: salary. While production-based compensation and traditional salary historically have been the only two options, they each have room for improvement. But there's a third choice: the ProSal formula, developed by Hospital Management Editor Mark Opperman, CVPM. To understand why I think ProSal is right for me and other new associates, consider these pros and cons.
Products
A place for billing
Dr. McAughan incorporated checkout capabilities into his first exam room. He uses this private space anytime he needs to talk about sensitive subjects with a client, such as the inability to pay a bill, or a large bill that brings potential for conflict.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
Acoustical insulation
The ceiling in the dog runs area is sprayed with acoustical insulation to reduce noise.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
Bathing near grooming
The grooming area sits next to the reception area with a sound-barrier wall between them. A bathing room, as well as a cage room and the treatment area, are adjacent to grooming for easy access to pets.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
Boat cleats?
The main reception desk mirrors the shape of the curved entry area. Boat cleats on top of the counter serve as leash holders.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
Floor masks staining
A colored floor inset was included in the surgery suite to mask staining. Frosted windows allow light into the suite while providing privacy.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
Sun shade, noise barrier
The red wall down one side of the hospital serves as a sun shade and noise barrier between the boarding and grooming business and the rest of the hospital. Dr. McAughan likes that the wall is functional yet aesthetic. Lots of windows give a sense of openness and illuminate the activity inside at night.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
The long walk
The lab, pharmacy, and workstation area fill one long hallway, with a window at the end for natural light. Under-counter task lighting and lockable full-height cabinets enhance efficiency.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas
Three-pronged treatment
The treatment area features a three-pronged treatment island in the center of the room, with a direct view of the intensive care cages and the isolation room.

Photo by Larry McKillop

Animal Hospital Champions Northwest in Spring, Texas

ADVERTISEMENT

Click here