Feeling the economic pinch? Stop giving away services, consultant says

Dr. Thomas Catanzaro suggests ways to earn more income

Published: July 22, 2008
By Jennifer Fiala

National Report — Forgo energy-saving light bulbs and drop all plans to reuse syringes. It’s easier for mature veterinary practices to offset economic hardships by earning more income.   

The advice — perhaps easier said than done — comes from consultant Thomas Catanzaro, DVM, MHA, FACHE, who warns against cutting hours or making big plans to generate higher client volumes.   

Instead, he suggests drumming up revenue by offering more services to existing patients: “If the practice is doing semi-annual life cycle consults and alternating urine screens with blood screens for young adults, then the reference labs are offering less expensive options to the standard in-house dry chemistry, and if something is positive, the reference lab already has the first test for trend assessment.”   

Another tip to earn big is to purchase pet health insurance with wellness riders for staff members as a post-tax benefit. “Stop giving away professional services at cost or below,” says Catanzaro, who adds that a veterinarian he knows earned $16,000 more in six months by buying one policy per staff member.   

And quit laundering personal expenses through practices, Catanzaro says, whether they’re car expenses, paper goods, contract labor or salaries for phony employees/family members.   

“I am very secure in stating it is easier to add a program (at reasonable/appropriate fee levels) and driving more income with staff members than it is to shave costs in a well-managed practice,” he says. 

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