Preventive Healthcare Plans
Most pet owners want to do what’s right for their pet. But finances can stand in the way. A preventive healthcare plan can help.
A preventive healthcare plan is a comprehensive package of annual veterinary services aimed at keeping a pet healthy, and for which the client can pay monthly or in a lump sum, according to Partners for Healthy Pets. These plans typically include one or more complete physical examinations for routine well care, essential vaccines, certain diagnostics, such as heartworm tests and blood work, and internal parasite control. They may also include spay/neuter surgery or routine dental cleanings. The core elements of preventive healthcare plans are a commitment for a year’s preventive services on the part of the pet owner, and the opportunity to pay for those services in convenient monthly installments.
It takes work
Preventive healthcare plans ensure that practices see patients at least twice a year, and they offer them the opportunity to bond with pets and pet owners, and educate them about the importance of preventive care, says Lee. “Offering plans demonstrates that the practice recognizes the bond clients have with their pets and is committed to doing everything they can to make sure they live long and healthy lives. Also, offering monthly payments acknowledges that clients want to do what is best for their pet and that the practice wants to do everything it can to make this possible – i.e., remove the greatest barrier to care.”
Inadequate team training is probably the biggest reason preventive plans fail, says Lee. But another reason is complexity.
“As with any initiative, it is important to have goals and to track how well a program is doing,” says Lee. “Not only does this mean setting a goal for plan sales, but for seeing an increase in annual visits and in usage of certain services. For example, are plans increasing the number of heartworm tests being done? Also, a great goal is to focus on feline plans as a means of improving care. Are more cats coming to the practice? Are they coming in more often? Are more of them receiving services than before?”
Is your customer thinking of implementing a preventive healthcare plan?
Partners for Healthy Pets provides several online resources for veterinary practices to use to develop preventive healthcare plans. Available at Partners for HealthyPets.org, these materials can be downloaded as PDF documents or PowerPoint slide presentations. They include:
• A Preventive Healthcare Plans slide presentation for team training purposes. The slides can be modified to include plan details and pricing specific for each practice.