By: Tawni L. Karle | November 13 , 2017
An increasing number of veterinary practices are implementing equine wellness plans and using veterinary management software to streamline the process. If you haven’t thought about adding wellness plans to your offerings, it’s time to reconsider.
In working with many equine practices, we see that a large number of clients either postpone or completely avoid making an appointment, or end up purchasing and performing their own vaccines due to fear of high costs. This means your patients are missing out on needed veterinary expertise and medical care, and your practice finances are likely feeling the impact too.
Wellness plans with scheduled, recurring payments not only diminishes the dread of high appointment costs, but it encourages clients to schedule visits sooner and more often. These plans also attract clients and their horses year-round, which amounts to better care, increased customer loyalty, and more revenue.
Equine wellness programs also allow veterinarians to extend work and resulting income throughout the year, rather than bunching the majority of visits into short seasonal windows. Instead of only attending to preventive care in spring and fall, for instance, veterinarians can schedule appointments in a more strategic manner throughout the year.
If you’re routinely evaluating a horse, you are better equipped to pick up on developing issues such as lameness, exercise intolerance, or endocrine disorders before they become bigger and more expensive problems for the client. Positioning this as an affordable option for clients can keep the necessary care going without the dreaded conversation of cost. You provide regular, consistent care for your patients while driving consistent revenue for your practice.
Wellness plans also make equine health care affordable by turning the expected annual cost of care into a monthly payment plan. For example, offering a plan for $40 per month for one year is more palatable then a lump sum due of $480. You can even promote specials specifically for them, such as a certain percentage off of retail products. This provides clients with extra incentive to purchase additional items, as well as promote the wellness offering to those who haven’t taken advantage of it yet.
Another way wellness plans will benefit your practice is by differentiating your practice from others in the area. Wellness plans show that you are focused on the long-term care of your patients and clients as well as making that care very affordable. You can use that as a positioning tool to market your practice and grow your client base.
Wellness plans also bond clients more closely to the practice. Because clients have a plan and agree to pay for the year’s services, they are more diligent and conscientious about scheduling required services.
Practice Management Software Makes it Easy
Now let’s focus on how you can use practice management software to create and implement wellness plans as part of your regular workflow. There are several veterinary software programs available today that enable the creation of wellness plans. For example, ImproMed Equine (version 6.0) contains an enhanced wellness plan module that allows you to bundle different services together to create wellness packages for all of the different types of patients you serve. And, the wellness plans in ImproMed Equine 6.0 were built to address some of the pain points that equine veterinarians could face when offering wellness plans:
When combined with recurring credit card payments and forward-booking (also available in ImproMed Equine!), wellness plans help you provide better care for your patients and catch diseases before they escalate, while also improving your business’ bottom line. And since you can create, manage, and implement these plans all from within your veterinary practice management software, you can view full reports showing how wellness plans are improving your business.
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