Spending on Veterinary Care Continues to Increase. How Can Your Practice Capitalize on This Trend?

Author: Jordan Holliday, Veterinary Marketing

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The U.S. Census Bureau states that veterinary services have consistently increased over the past decade, reaching approximately $33 billion in total output in 2014 alone (dvm360). This is great news for vets, but what’s fueling the trend?

There are several factors that could be impacting the industry. Along with an increase in the sheer number of domesticated animals, the relationship we have with them is evolving. Companion animals aren’t just “pets” anymore… they’re members of the family.

Another component to consider is the average American’s growing income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “the median household’s income in 2015 was $56,500, up 5.2 percent from the previous year — the largest single-year increase since record-keeping began in 1967” (The New York Times).

So, how can your practice take advantage of the opportunity that’s presenting itself here?

Wellness Plans

When pet owners have additional discretionary income, they’re more likely to bring their pets in for regular routine care visits. Many hospitals choose to capitalize on this trend by offering a wellness program. According to the AVMA article “Banking on Wellness,” wellness programs “offer the promise of enhancing preventive care for patients while improving finances for clients and veterinary clinics.” Whether you choose to manage a wellness program internally or opt to avoid the administrative headaches and recommend outside option like Embrace’s Wellness Rewards, these programs can increase owner compliance with your routine care recommendations, while bringing in more upfront revenue.

Pet Insurance

An increase in income doesn’t always translate to an increase in what Americans are saving. Pet owners can still find themselves at risk financially when their pet has a serious, expensive accident or illness.

When pet owners use a little of that extra discretionary income to pay the monthly premium on a pet insurance policy, they’re protected from the financial implications of an unexpected accident or illness, making them more likely to bring the pet in sooner and say “yes” to your recommended course of treatment.

So, in summation, we expect to see continued growth in the veterinary industry when the economy is good thanks to our ever-evolving relationship with our pets. And practices that seize the opportunity for financial growth offered by pet insurance and wellness programs are likely to enjoy an even bigger impact.

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Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2016 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.