PurinaCare readies national rollout of pet health wellness plans
In fact, the new web-based, customizable program is running through its initial pilot with about 20 veterinary practices.
"It's no secret; there have been declining number of veterinary visits over the last 10 years," Goodnight tells DVM Newsmagazine. "And we have been thinking about what we could do to help this profession and help it drive more visits. What we came up with is a way to allow independent veterinarians to offer their own wellness plans without the administrative restraints," he says.
The idea, Goodnight explains, is to create a patent-pending, web-based portal that allows veterinarians to customize and manage their clients' pet wellness plans based on their needs. Veterinarians can manage these plans on their desktop. PurinaCare will operate as a "behind the scenes" facilitator.
"To the consumer, it looks like the veterinarian's program. We want it to be the veterinarian's program for their clients. We did not want to interject ourselves in that relationship," Goodnight says.
So, why are wellness programs beneficial?
"If you go back and look at the research that Bayer/Brakke/NCVEI completed, it bears out the fact that consumers are interested in these types of programs. If you look at the success Banfield has had, it is evidence that consumers want these programs.
"When veterinarians see the pet more times every year, it turns into better care. It turns into early detection of disease. It turns into better preventive medicine and more medicine for those pets that really need it. What the program does is it provides a very cost-effective way for clients to get the very best preventive care throughout the year," Goodnight says.
The program allows veterinarians to offer an annual contracted wellness service with monthly billing, and provides the management infrastructure to facilitate safe and secure transactions. The program gives veterinarians control over services offered in the plan and their fees, but also suggests three levels of preventive care plans for veterinarians to consider. The program interfaces with practice management software to allow on-screen viewing of the plan purchased by clients, and it tracks services as the hospital provides them.
The Partners in Wellness program bills clients each month and pays the hospital via electronic funds transfer or by check. The program is said to help relieve security risks and administrative challenges for veterinary practices. It sends out user alerts when a client stops paying and attempts to get an updated payment. The program also manages the annual renewal process, Goodnight says.
Marketing materials to help veterinarians create awareness will be available to clinics through the company's portal website.
For more information visit Partners in Wellness at NAVC, WVC; call (877) 231-2901; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.