Gym Memberships: Paying for Unused Services
With each New Year, it’s common for us to make resolutions that include buying a gym membership. Unfortunately, our dedication to our resolutions tends to wane as time passes and we go to the gym less and less, despite the same monthly fee. Many gyms base their business model on the inevitability that we will use fewer of their services as the year progresses. Sadly, there are veterinary practices with the exact same business plan: charge for services with a monthly fee for a prescribed health care plan with the expectation that many services will go unused.
Veterinary Gym Memberships
While at a recent veterinary meeting, I was told that our business was missing valuable income if we didn’t sell health plans based on monthly dues. The thought is charging a recurring monthly fee for specific services with the assumption that many will not utilize the services and therefore the business will profit from the monthly fees. Take for example a quote from a veterinary trade magazine: “At my practice, up to 40% of clients on plans don’t take advantage of all the care in a year’s time – even though we call to remind them.” One plan from a national veterinary hospital even continues to charge a monthly fee if the pet has passed away.
While there are merits to the argument that spreading out the cost of veterinary care over a year through a monthly health care plan encourages more veterinary visits and therefore better medical care, this business model is based on getting paid prior to services rendered and earning profit from standardized medicine rather than basing services on medical needs. Many of the services included in veterinary health plans are not necessarily needed for every animal. Does a dog on monthly deworming medication with no signs of gastrointestinal issues need a fecal examination?
Finding a Better Way: The GVH Family Plan
At GVH we understand the need to help make veterinary care affordable. We also strive to practice the best medicine for your individual animal. Our GVH Family Plan is based on the unique services and care that your pet needs. Rather than charge a monthly fee with a pre-defined list of services and tests, our plan simply gives you back 10% of your bill to help you pay for future veterinary services. Our plan also includes free vaccines, two free exams, and free nail trims. In addition, we donate 2% to a non-profit to help shelters, rescue groups, and good Samaritan cases. The family plan costs just $125 per family, regardless of the number of pets in your family.
If you aren’t interested in free vaccines and 10% back, we also have a free plan that includes one free future exam and 2% back for future visits. Why give away a free plan? Because we believe in taking care of our family and know that individualized medicine is the best medicine.
Mark R Albrecht DVM
Sarah Hann DVM