The stable, yet rising, costs of veterinary care

The word “insurance” has become a lightning rod for all of us, the daily news fills the airwaves with talk about the runaway costs of healthcare. There is so much involved with medical billing and insurance on the human side. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that human medical practices spend up to 27% of their revenue on the administrative costs in handling billing. Most of today’s human health insurance is managed care where the insurance companies have contracts with doctors and medical facilities and have negotiated to provide care for members at reduced costs. These providers become the plan's network and you need to go to these doctors to get the most out of the plan. How much the insurance company will pay depends on the network. Indemnity insurance, which is what pet insurance is, allows you to direct your own health care and go to the doctor or hospital of your choice. The veterinarian takes care of your pet, then you pay the veterinarian with the insurance company reimbursing you a portion of your total charges. Just to set the record straight…veterinarians do not get “kickbacks” from the insurance companies. Pet insurance just allows pet owners to pay for their pet’s care. The beauty of the indemnity model is that the veterinarian fills out only a short description of services and faxes it to the insurance company. That is it. Veterinarians do not need to pay people just to handle the insurance billing. Our practices simply could not afford to.

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Celebrating Pet Health Insurance Month 2015

Embracers Diana and ChrissyIf you’re even reading this post, you already know more about pet insurance than the average Joe. But that’s why we have an entire month dedicated to pet insurance, to take a deeper look into some of the nuances and details. We all know why it’s important, but we want you to jump on the pet insurance train with us. Because, after all, who is more passionate about pet insurance than the Embrace team? We bleed purple! Well, not really, but some of us do buy purple sunglasses (and purses, shoes, and so on) to match our Embrace purple polos.

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Visits to the vet don’t have to be traumatic.

The old logic goes that each year in our pet’s lives is equal to 7 human years, and while I think that it should be estimated a bit closer to 5, there’s still a big leap in “time” between a pet’s birthdays. Think about how much can change within you physically in 5 years. And, because they inherently mask pain and symptoms, our pets may not let on that something is wrong until it is a serious matter. Dogs, and especially cats, are just tougher than us human folk and compensate for illness very well. Which is why annual exams are so important for the health of your pets.

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Going to the Vet

Dr. Riggs

Guest Blogger Dr. Rex Riggs examining Embrace Sara's dog, Henry.

When I was 19 and found my dog Lyger, I was a total newbie when it came to taking my dog to the vet. He ran the show, I had no idea what the staff was talking about, and had zero idea what to expect in his first year. Flash forward 11 years and I had two senior dogs and could have been on a frequent flyer program with my local practice. I joked, half in earnest, that I didn’t have Munchausen by proxy, but it was true, my dogs had developed into special needs pets and their care required me to step up my game and work as a team with their orthopedic specialists and physical therapists.

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Guest Post: Popular Culture and the Rise of Designer Dogs

Kim KardashianPop culture has been defined as “a collection of thoughts, ideas, attitudes, perspectives, images (you name it) preferred by the mainstream population.” It seems we all want to be like someone else. An actor, an athlete, a singer, or God forbid, the Kardashians. Why? I don’t know. I have never understood why people want fame. You lose control of your life. You can no longer be a normal person, doing normal things, but I digress. Pop culture has definitely impacted veterinary medicine also, affecting what are sometime called “designer dogs” and even pet food.

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