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Wellness Plans-Ideal for Pets, Great for Pet Owner’s Wallets

by Dr. Carla Case-... on Mon, 01/21/2013 - 9:45am

Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM, PHR

Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital

 

There has been a buzz in the veterinary community about “wellness plans” over the past year.  Study after study have been done that proves pets are not being taken in to see their veterinarian on an annual basis, much less the twice a year basis that veterinarians recommend.  Veterinarians have tried desperately to explain the benefits of coming in twice a year to pet owners.  They have given detailed descriptions of the aging process for our furry pet members and how skipping a physical exam for even one year is the equivalent of not seeing a doctor for over 10 years for a human.  (Of course, the exact numbers depend on the age and breed of the pet).  Sadly, the education is not working and we are seeing diseases escalate and more and more pets not benefitting from early detection.

As a seasoned hospital administrator, I have attended numerous webinars & CE events, read article after article, and participated in surveys using our statistics to measure various aspects of this paradigm shift.   Case Veterinary Hospital is not new to this idea as we had a Wellness Plan in place over ten years ago.  We discontinued the plan; much to many of our client’s disapproval, because it was so hard to manage on an administrative level and “auto drafts” from credit cards were just not the norm back them.   Flash forward to today and we see a huge percentage of clients who have the majority of their bills routinely drafted monthly from their accounts.  The software and internet options have dramatically improved.

The bottom line is that today’s economy makes it difficult for even the most compliant owner to be able to budget for their pet’s veterinary needs.  The environment makes it a ripe time to rethink the idea of reintroducing the concept of wellness plans.  These budgeted, set, monthly payments allow an owner to be able to afford the care that their pet needs.  They are called preventative plans or wellness plans, however, because they don’t cover emergencies or illness (although there are often discounts incorporated for these events in many plans),  pet insurance is still recommended to supplement the typical wellness plan.

So after a year of review and study, imagine our  excitement to be able to offer our clients CaseCare, three plans based on the age of your pet that allow you to make monthly payments that work well with your budget.   I am beyond thrilled that our clients who enroll their pets in this program will have the peace of mind  that their pet is being monitored and screened for any possible early symptoms of disease.  It truly is wonderful to be able to celebrate getting back normal results than to have a disease go undetected and have results or findings that indicate advanced disease that is harder,  and more expensive, to treat. 

I personally know the benefit of letting the veterinarian get their hands on my pets more often.  I know how powerful having lab work done regularly is and I can attest that my pets have lived longer, better lives due to early detection of illness or disease and a management plan put into place.  I can’t wait to share in future blogs how successful I know this plan is going to be.   In the meantime, go to casevet.com to see the specifics and the pricing of this new venture!   

  

 

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