VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Mar 1, 2006 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Mar 1, 2006
Checking in
Keeping it between the lines
By Marnette Denell Falley
The world is full of contradictions. One person will say you need to do more saving for a rainy day, and the next will say you need to live in the moment and relish the joys each day brings. They may both be right. Which makes it your job to steer a path between the two.
Vetcetera
Tech-savvy follow-ups
Are you tracking your callbacks using 21st century tools? Sixty-three percent of practices tap a computer system to create reports that list clients and patients in need of appointments or callbacks.
Animal ID organization
The United States Animal Identification Organization has formed to manage the industry-led animal-identification movement database prescribed by the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), according to a release by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Pet-food recall
Diamond Pet Food has recalled several products that may be contaminated by alfatoxin, a poisonous byproduct of a fungus that grows on corn and other crops. More than 100 dogs died after consuming the poisoned food, and many more are recovering.
Lyme prevention month
As you're making plans for your practice for the month of April, keep in mind that The Lyme Disease Foundation and Merial are launching Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month.
Fiscal forecast optimistic
More than three in five city officials say their cities were better able to meet financial needs in 2005 than in previous years, according to a survey by the National League of Cities.
Tools for your team
AAHA now offers membership for free to all veterinary technician students attending AVMA-accredited programs in the United States, Canada, and West Indies.
What's in a name?
Feel like you saw 10 Simbas and six Daisys this week? You probably did.
Join the club
Looking for a way for you and your clients to get involved in your community? The LapDog Club unites small-dog lovers for friendship, community enrichment, and charity.
Practice Management Q&A
Postdated checks
Is it OK to accept postdated checks when clients can't pay?
Client visitation and retention
By Denise Tumblin, CPA
How can I calculate client visitation and retention?
Taxability of service rewards
By Tom McFerson, CPA, ABV
What tax rules apply to awards given to employees for service?
Warning: fire ahead
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
How many warnings should I give, and when should I fire someone?
Choosing accountants
By James Guenther, DVM, MBA, MHA, CVPM, AVA
What should I look for in an accountant?
Part-time doctor pay
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
How should I pay part-time veterinarians and gauge their benefits?
Practice Tips
Clients with a laundry list
By Bob Levoy
Some clients view an office visit as an opportunity to catch up on an assortment of neglected pet health problems. Use these techniques to stay on topic and on schedule.
10 most common poisonous plants
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released a list of the 10 most common poisonous plants and their possible effects.
The name game
At Carver Lake Veterinary Center in Woodbury, Minn., doctors and team members feel that learning the names of clients and pets helps them provide better service, but remembering all those names isn't easy.
Consider a hybrid vehicle
By Gary Glassman, CPA
There are tax advantages when you buy a hybrid automobile: a tax credit of up to $3,400, for instance.
Refresh tagging efforts
Use American Humane's Tag Day, April 1, as an opportunity to regroup and refresh your efforts to promote tags and microchips.
When records can go
By Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP
Use these guidelines to decide when to send documents to the shredder.
Sharpen up through team training
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
It's hard for team members to implement changes if the doctors aren't on the same page. Solve this problem with a new approach to team training.
Growth Center
Case study: Boosting repeat visits and dental care
Reminders and increased client education lead to improved care at this Florida practice.
Referral relationships build client base
Forty percent of referrals to Deer Creek Animal Hospital in Littleton, Colo., come from pet stores, breeders, shelters, and rescue groups?that's 140 new clients a month.
Hospital Design
A look at the judging
By Marnette Denell Falley
An inside look at the judging for the Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition
Meet the judges
By Veterinary Economics Editors
These experts help us identify top design trends.
Building the Bond
Big love comes in small packages, too
By Laura McLain Madsen, DVM
When a young couple brought their guinea pig to see this doctor, she gave them another year with Daisy. And they reminded her that every petno matter how big or smalldeserves high-quality care.
Legal Ease
AVMA takes stance on stem-cell research
The AVMA Executive Board recently approved a position statement on stem cells, supporting and encouraging the ethical study and use of animal stem cells for the benefit of animal and human health.
Emergency calls don't equal 24-hour care
Some state licensing boards prohibit practices from advertising that they provide 24-hour care if they only take emergency calls, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Karl Salzsieder, JD, a consultant with Salzsieder Consulting and Legal Service in Kelso, Wash.
Employing your children
What are the legal issues in hiring my 13-year-old daughter to work after school?
West Hollywood declaw ban is defunct
In November 2005, a California Superior Court Judge declared unlawful a 2003 West Hollywood ordinance that made animal declawing?except for therapeutic purposes?a criminal act.
The ins and outs of worker's compensation
As an employer, you want to provide the safest environment for your workers. Yet even with extreme precautions, accidents happen. Worker's compensation is designed to provide medical care and compensation to those who are injured in on-the-job accidents?and to protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents.
Click & Copy
Final collection letter
By Veterinary Economics Editors
Use this sample collection letter as a starting point as you work to control accounts receivable.
A dun deal: Collect on past-due accounts
Does your accounts receivable make up more than 2.5 percent of your practice's yearly gross income if you're a small animal hospital and 4 percent to 5 percent if you're equine or large animal? If so, it's time to take action.
Cover Story
A tale of two practices
By Sarah Moser
Dr. Steven Dunbar merged a general practice and a 24-hour emergency center into one new building. And the consistent, attractive use of color; high-quality materials; impressive client-interaction areas; and more helped Yorba Regional Animal Hospital in Anaheim, Calif., rise to the top in Veterinary Economics annual design competition.
Ownership Issues
Pay partners fairly
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Paying equally doesn't always make sense in a partnership, especially when doctors aren't contributing in the same ways. A tiered-compensation system can account for these variances.
Associate Know-how
5 things that worry a new doctor
By Andrew Rollo, DVM , Philip VanVranken, DVM
We asked new grad Dr. W. Andrew Rollo to team up with experienced practitioner Dr. Philip VanVranken to talk about the worries practitioners face in that first yearand what owners and associates can do to smooth the transition to practice.
Technology
Patient records in a digital world
By Mark Terry
Practitioners ask: Is paperless really possible? Are electronic medical records worth the investment? Here's what early adopters say.
Practice Finances
Top benefits of owning
By Cynthia Wutchiett, CPA
Of course, greater earning power and financial gain rank as important reasons for ownership. Yet there are more reasons to take this step. Here are some other benefits to owning a practice.
Is your associate a strong potential partner?
By Cynthia Wutchiett, CPA
Here are the factors owners say they weigh most heavily when deciding about an associate's ownership potential.
Up & out
By Cynthia Wutchiett, CPA
The numbers prove it: Selling a part interest to your associate boosts practice value and increases your net worth?plus, this step gives you a clear succession plan. Associates: You win with a buy-in, too.
Hot Button
Quality counts
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
We're taking our practices to the next level by introducing quality control protocols. Better control means better results, which gives us the foundation we need to be more than just a good hospital; we want to be great.
Equine Solutions
Give up the one-man band
By Kimberly Rubenstein
You may like the sound of doing it all, but that's not usually the most efficient way to work. So change your tune and leverage your team members more to increase your sanityand the practice's profitability.

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