Common Perceptions About Corporate-Owned Veterinary Practices:
An increasing number of general, and specialty & emergency hospitals in the U.S. are corporate-owned. Corporate hospitals are owned by a single entity and can operate 100s of locations in a particular region or throughout the country.
The following statements about the differences between privately-owned and corporate veterinary practices are opinions commonly mentioned on individual websites of competing animal hospitals and veterinary news blogs.
ACQUISITIONS ARE NOT PUBLICIZED:
- It is hard to tell the difference between an independent, locally owned and operated hospital from a corporate veterinary practice. These acquisitions tend not to be publicized, and there are no obvious changes that would alert clients to new ownership. Atleast not right away. Over the last few years, the acquisitions of private-owned practices by large corporations has accelerated. It is estimated that 25% of all veterinary practices are now corporate-owned in the United States. Large hospital groups view the corporatization of a practice as a marketing liability.
A first-of-its-kind study conducted by CARE for Pets™ VALIDATED the common perception of the lack of ownership transparency in corporate-owned veterinary practices.
- Corporate-owned hospitals are associated with providing impersonal care that embrace technologies and innovations that value speed, efficiency, and cost reduction.
“ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL” APPROACH TO PATIENT CARE (LACK OF PERSONALIZED CARE):
- Corporations set medical protocols that veterinarians are required to follow. Pets may be treated according to a corporate template and or prescribed treatments that your pet may not need.
DOCTORS SPENDING LESS TIME WITH PATIENTS:
- Doctors are under pressure to see high numbers of patients. Corporate practices may book more appointments per hour compared to private-owned practices. As a result, doctors may have less time for discussions with clients, diagnosing an illness, and recommending treatments to their clients.
THE DESIRE FOR PROFITS:
- A common criticism of corporate medicine is that corporations focus too much on the bottom line. Many of these corporate-owned practices are owned by veterinary consolidators which are backed by private equity groups which aim for fast growth, an increase In profit margins in order to maximize returns for their investors.
DISCOUNTED RATES ON VETERINARY PRODUCTS:
- Corporations make bulk purchases (purchasing of goods in large quantities) on behalf of the many practices they own and may receive volume discounts. In some cases, these cost savings are passed down to their customers. Corporate-owned practices may offer cheaper prices on some veterinary products.
Why Choose a Locally Owned Veterinary Clinic?
- “For veterinarians, the benefit of working in a privately owned practice rather than a corporate owned practice is that the doctors have the freedom to choose the best medicine for each patient. Our doctors are not under pressure from the corporate suits to see high numbers of patients or give large numbers of vaccines that do not necessarily fit the pet’s lifestyle.”
Are Veterinary Consolidators and Hospital Groups Helping or Hurting Veterinary Medicine?
WHY LOCAL MATTERS: Interview with Dr. Bonnie Bragdon of the IVPA (1.20.22)
- CARE for Pets,™ conducts an exclusive interview with the President of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association (IVPA) about the value of independently owned & locally operated animal hospitals to pet owners.