BETTER CARE FOR PETS™
As “the internet’s most trusted consumer advocate for the pet care industry,”™ CARE for Pets™ “seeks to empower pet owners to effect positive change in the pet care industry in order to provide the best care for your pet.”
CARE for Pets™ advocates for transparency and accountability to IMPROVE access to high-quality and affordable veterinary care. In order to create positive change within the pet care industry, consumers must understand how the healthcare system works and address the root cause of the problems.
Potential Impacts of BIG BUSINESS in the Pet Care Industry:
- The growing corporate influence in the pet care industry has accelerated over the last decade and has potentially serious implications for competition, pet healthcare costs and may worsen the labor shortage of veterinarians and support staff. Today, 1 out of every 4 general veterinary practices (3 out of 4 specialty and emergency hospitals) in the U.S. are owned by corporate consolidators. Based on current trends, corporate ownership may reach up to 70% of all general practices within approximately the next decade.
Increasing Numbers of Independent Doctors Turning into Employees:
- According to the Association of Independent Doctors which seeks to stop the consolidation of hospitals and medical practices in HUMAN MEDICINE:
- “Every day hospitals and private equity groups are buying up medical practices turning independent doctors into employees. That trend is not healthy for patients or for doctors and it hurts our health-care system. When doctors give up their independence to work for health systems, studies show that health-care costs go up, quality goes down, access to care is limited, jobs are lost, communities suffer financial harm, and doctors feel less satisfied. Everybody pays.”
Why is the Corporatization of Veterinary Practices Invisible to Many Pet Owners?
- Big corporations view the corporatization of a practice as a marketing liability. Common perceptions about corporate-owned practices include impersonal care, lack of personalized care, doctors spending less time with patients and that corporations focus too much on the bottom line.
Are Corporate Consolidators Exacerbating the Chronic Shortage of Veterinarians?
- The business model for veterinary consolidators requires a Support Center which includes a large infrastructure of managers and support teams. The Support Center operates from a remote location and in many cases is located in a different state.
The Majority of Corporate Consolidators Led by Non-Veterinarians:
- The majority of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) that lead the major veterinary consolidators and hospital groups are non-veterinarians and have extensive experience with corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and high growth companies. These individuals are NOT obligated to follow the VETERINARIAN’S OATH of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The vast majority of veterinarians are members of the AVMA.
Consolidation within the Pet Care Industry can lead to Higher Prices, Fewer Choices and Lower Quality:
- WHY LOCAL MATTERS: Interview with the President of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association (IVPA): “I am personally very concerned that the cost of care will increase as more practices are owned by fewer entities for several reasons. National practices must generate enough revenue to pay their investors and support a large infrastructure of managers and support teams. They require greater revenue to be profitable. Second, many consolidators are funded by private equity which expects a high, fast returns. These consolidators will roll up or sell to larger corporations in order to deliver these high returns. I am very afraid veterinary medicine is going the way of pharmacies and there will eventually be just a handful of companies providing care with reduced competition. With reduced competition, quality suffers and price increases.”