The Triennial Report: Stop treatment point dips as veterinarians remain concerned about economy
Editor's Note: DVM Newsmagazine's State of the Profession survey is conducted every three years to examine the trends shaping veterinary practice and education. Over the next three months, the magazine will report on key findings from the survey.Log on to http://dvm360.com/ to share your insight or comment on issues influencing your practice. Simply click on Community and follow the navigation to the Message Boards.
Veterinarians were asked in January to estimate the average dollar amount most clients spend before they opt to stop treatment of a sick or injured animal.The number: $1,407. That's down from an average of $1,451 in 2006, representing a 3 percent decline over the three-year period. (See Methodology, p. 21).
The wide-ranging survey findings, which will be reported over the next few months, tell a tale of two very different practice types, largely based on size.
In veterinary practices grossing more than $1.7 million, the stop-treatment point swelled to an average of $2,043, compared to just $1,359 for practices grossing between $250,000 and $499,000.
Examining the stop-treatment point offers insight from veterinarians about the human-animal bond and the economic end point of a client's willingness to continue treatment.
In contrast, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that most pet owners spend just $356 a year in a $24.5 billion veterinary-services market.
The survey, conducted amid the downward-spiraling economy, shows pessimism, compared to past results.
A look at the numbers
In addition, an anemic 31 percent predict that practice revenue will increase for 2009. However, 43 percent believe it will stay about the same, while about 26 percent believe revenue will decline (Table 4).