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Shot Based Practice Analysis
The vast majority of dog owners vaccinate yearly. There is an arguably safer choice --the three year rabies vaccination option -- but many, many in the veterinarian community are not informing the guardians (pet owners) to the potential detriment of their animal companions’ (pets’) life, health, and longevity.
Could economics be a factor in this lethargic effort on the part of many vets to provide their clients with an opportunity for informed consent?
Yearly rabies vaccination is big business and materially impacts the small-animal vet practice!
We can make these assumptions
based upon various surveys and studies printed by animal association
groups and trade associations.
100% of the dogs in the average one-vet practice are annually
given the rabies vaccine= 2,500*.45 (dogs per practice) or 1,125
If the three year option is exercised (versus a yearly vaccination for rabies), then each vet loses between $32,000 ($16,000 x 2 years) and $84,000 ($42,000 x 2 years) of operating profit in each three-year vaccination period.
Adding office visits
(1 a year for 2 years x 1,125 dogs x $35 per visit) = $78,800
of potential lost revenue.
consider these figures. The:
If 1,125 transactions for rabies vaccine would be lost here is the impact on the one-vet practice for the two years the dog doesn't get a rabies vaccine (assuming no replacement revenue).
Transactions go from 5,102 to 3,887 or a 22% decline.
And this is only if dogs were inoculated for rabies on a three-year cycle. The impact magnifies with cats going three years on the shot.
Source: "Financial and Productivity Pulsepoints: Comprehensive Survey and Analysis of Performance Benchmarks:Vital Statistics For Your Veterinary Practice," published by the American Animal Hospital Association, 1998.
The Small Vet (Non-emergency, non-specialist) Shot Model's Systemic Dependence on Transactions Assumptions:
a $25 rabies shot is eliminated for 1,000 dogs only in one year. (Cats are
not considered and parvo virus and distemper shots would still be administered
Result: Instead of 1,000 transactions (shots) yielding $24,390, the vet would have to gross $93,807 from other areas of the practice to replace that net revenue. Furthermore, using a $54 average per transaction, the vet would have to conduct 70% more transactions - 1,737 instead of 1,000 - which would mean a 15% increase in workload (the average vet has 5,100 transactions annually) just to be at the same place. Then consider the loss of office-visit revenue and take out cats, and parvo and distemper annually, and the Small Vet Shot Model indicates red ink.
It appears that even at 20% of the gross revenue, rabies shots may constitute 100% of the net profits - or even worse, subsidize a net-deficit practice - of average small-vet practices. The loss of two years of shots, on which these practices seem dependent, would have a devastating economic impact if not replaced.
It appears that the small-vet economic model is a "shot model," based economically - by design or by evolution - on transactions rather than expertise. Such a model needs to be reexamined for validity of purpose and economic consequences.