How veterinary models affect access to care

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Adam Chrisman, DVM, MBA: So I want to close on access to care in general, you know, we know that this is an issue that we see not only in this country but around the world. So, you know, what are some of the things that you can…what do you…I guess some solutions if you will? You know, pet owners are doing everything they can to try… maybe driving 4 or 5 hours to see a vet. That’s one thing, and at the level of veterinary care we’re talking about. So talk to me a little bit about that.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: So when we talk about access to care, it has many facets. There is physical access to care and there is financial access to care. Physically, even in some very populated areas, vets are not available and easy to find, maybe because public transportation doesn’t allow pets, the walk is too far, or whatever the case may be. So we have to try to figure out how to increase access to vets and these veterinary deserts, downtown LA, or the actual desert that you drive by, but there’s a lot of people in that sense. So how do we do it? How do we handle it in the future? Some of it may come down to telehealth, when it comes down to it. Some of them move down to the mobile devices and can hit these different places and pockets. You can look at a senior center that allows pets, maybe a veterinary desert, because from that center they may not have the ability to take their pet to a veterinary hospital, and having a vet go to the senior center and do rounds or something like that is a good way to get it. So physical accessibility will take some time and thinking differently to find answers to financial accessibility will be a bit challenging. We’ve seen inflation on everything, gasoline prices in Southern California, and the state of California going crazy. But it also affects veterinary costs. The 46% of pet owners we talked to earlier are shocked that there is no better way to save a $500 vet bill. Well, that’s 4 gas tanks in California. And so how do we handle the financial aspects of things? And we can find different business models in our practice that are relevant to our practice or partnered with our practice that are large enough to allow us to have a winning margin but reduce the cost of care so that pet owners can afford the basics. Care, maybe St. allows him to save some money for critical care and emergencies when they happen? I think we need to start looking at new and different business models that make it more affordable for everyone to buy veterinary care, and not just the middle class, the upper middle class, but even themselves who are taxed on everything else and now tied to the cost of veterinary care. So how do we do that, I think it takes a little bit of guesswork, but we’ve seen it done in human health care, and they’ve made it affordable. And I know there’s a whole different discussion on insurance. We don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. But I think we need to start looking at business models related to animal hospitals that allow us to provide more affordable care for health, so there’s some money left over for those sick times and illnesses and emergencies and injuries and accidents and so on.

Adam Chrisman, DVM, MBA: Yes, no, it’s a problem, but hopefully, there will be some solutions. I think for what you’re talking about, just changing the model a little bit seems like a good idea. You know, and I know there’s a lot of value in terms of affordable vaccination clinics, and we don’t like to say low cost. So trying to incorporate that into the model in some way might be a solution going forward. So very good. Well, that was wonderful. Dr. Peter Weinstein Thank you very much for being here. This is wonderful.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Thank you Dr. Adam Chrisman.

Adam Chrisman, DVM, MBA: I would like. And thanks to our friends at Synchrony, CareCredit and Pets Best for being here and supporting this session. This was fantastic. Thank you very much for editing. And please stay tuned and we hope you learned a lot today. Thank you for being there

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: thank you.

Adam Chrisman, DVM, MBA: take care.

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