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5 case studies of prepaid wellness plans
See how these forward-thinking practice owners and managers turn installments into pet health


DVM360 MAGAZINE


Brenda Tassava, CVPM
Director of operations Broad Ripple Animal Clinic & Wellness Center Indianapolis

3 Tassava says her seven-doctor practice tried prepaid preventive healthcare plans five years ago, and the clients just weren't interested.

"But it's a different story today with the economic concerns that people have," Tassava says.

A recent client survey showed that Broad Ripple clients wanted affordable care and they weren't coming in as much as they should because of money concerns. They reintroduced the plans in August 2011.

Tassava hoped the prepaid plans would attract new clients, increase visits and let the doctors do more for patients. Today, the doctors are paid on production. A client's monthly payment counts toward the original doctor's production (the doctor who saw the patient when the healthcare plan was initiated). After that, the credit for any diagnostics go to the doctor who sees the patient. Clients get a 10 percent discount on ear cytology, skin scraping and more, and those count toward doctors' commissions. There are no discounts on prescriptions.

Tassava has been surprised by the skepticism some clients expressed about the plan. "Their attitude was, 'What's the catch?'" she says. She plans to do more market research this year to see how clients feel about the plans now that they've had a chance to use them.

To get the staff on board, she compared what they do for pets with what they wanted to do for pets. They wanted to practice good medicine and not compromise their standards on patient care. Staff members came to see the prepaid plans as a way to accomplish that.

Next, to help get the word out, Tassava decided to make a YouTube video to explain their new plans, and ran the video on their lobby's flat-screen TV. She also blogged about them.The goal was to create an initial buzz so clients would get excited and tell their friends. It worked. Forty percent of patients seen for their semiannual exams enrolled in the first 90 days after the plans were introduced.

The hospital offers three levels of care, depending on the plan: Core, Core-Plus and Premium/Senior. All have a flat $44 enrollment fee. Monthly payments are, respectively, $28, $38 and $48.


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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