Timmins: Comments I've heard from veterinarians, particularly in California, are that clients are not cutting back on services. But
they're hearing more complaints.
Rubin: It's interesting because we're hypersensitive to it. When we think about specialty medicine, it's different because the prices
are bigger. When we talk about wellness or standard of wellness protocols, we're talking about being in the hundreds of dollars
vs. procedures and illnesses that generate thousands of dollars' worth of veterinary bills. We have many practices that are
routinely issuing bills between $5,000 and $7,000 for care. What's fascinating to us is that it comes down to fewer issues
about their ability to pay. Not that you never have the conversation, but it's more about understanding what needs to be done.
That echoes what Jim has said. If you describe it well, people will want to do the right thing for their animals.
ABOUT THE PANEL:
Daniel R. Verdon is editor of DVM Newsmagazine.
Jim Flanigan is the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) director of marketing. He oversees the association's promotional,
branding and strategic marketing initiatives.
John King, DVM, is executive director of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine. He became executive director of the Minnesota board
in 2002 and also owns Veterinary Ventures, an ambulatory, primarily equine practice.
Howard Rubin is chief executive officer of BrightHeart Veterinary Centers, a national network of advanced-care veterinary facilities,
based in Armonk, N.Y.
Richard Timmins, DVM, is president of the Association for Veterinary Family Practice. He is the director for the Center for Animals in Society
at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
James F. Wilson, DVM, JD, owns Priority Veterinary Management Consultants in Yardley, Pa., and teaches the subjects of veterinary law, ethics,
business management and career development at 18 to 20 U.S. veterinary schools each year. Dr. Wilson authored six books and
more than 130 articles in various veterinary journals.