Let’s say your practice is ahead of the game, and you already offer plans to address the most common chronic illnesses you see in your hospital. You’ve designed your chronic illness plans with a set amount of visits, diagnostic tests, and prescription medications.
But then one of your patients, a dog with diabetes, for example, has a flare-up. They need additional care. You’d also like to put the dog on a prescription diet for weight management.
The pet parent asks if they can add the prescription pet food and other services to their chronic illness plan. You’d like to say “yes,” but does your plan platform support that level of customization?
This is a common dilemma, and one that isn’t exclusive to chronic illness plans. Most systems to manage wellness plans cannot accommodate optional services, or add new services mid-plan.
This reality is unfortunate because optional services are a worthwhile element of treatment plans. VCP has found that optional services add tremendous value to the pet parent and the practice. VCP data on wellness plans shows that optional services increase plan revenue an additional 20-30% on average. The same may also be true of chronic illness plans.
With optional services, your doctors can personalize your core chronic illness plans to the specific needs of each pet. Thus, your chronic illness plans act as a vehicle to promote value-added services that help set your hospital apart from competitors, while fostering the loyalty of pet parents.
In the example with the diabetic dog, if you have a solution with the capability to add options, you could easily add the prescription pet food and additional services to the dog’s chronic illness plan. You might also wish to add options, such as kennel and daycare, as pet parents may feel more at ease leaving a diabetic pet in the care of their trusted veterinarian. The result of this flexibility is a happy client and a healthier pet patient.
Of course, ideally, you would also want the capability to add the pet food and additional services mid-plan and spread the cost over the remaining plan term. Again, this capability is lacking in many practice management modules. And, it’s too difficult to keep track of and bill for in a self-managed setup.
Chronic care represents an unmet need among pet patients. Chronic illness plans not only help ensure that pets get the ongoing veterinary care they need, but also give pet parents the means to budget for treatments and pay over time.
However, as with wellness plans, the challenge is managing the plans with a process that is comprehensive enough to support a successful program. By tapping the right platform, veterinary practices can reap the rewards of healthier pets, happy pet parents, and a stronger bottom line.
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