The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues wants to know how veterinary practices are faring in these troubled economic times, and you can help.
The NCVEI is asking U.S. practices to provide a snapshot of their financial health by using the new Economy Tracker Tool on the NCVEI Web site (www.ncvei.org). By obtaining ongoing monthly revenue and transactions that began in January 2007, the commission hopes to get a sense of how U.S. veterinary practices are doing in 2008 compared with 2007.
"What we're trying to do is get a feel for whether revenue is changing due to the troubled economy, and less people are coming in or they're spending less," explained Dr. Karen E. Felsted, NCVEI chief executive officer.
The commission began collecting data in September. So far, data indicate revenue for U.S. veterinary practices grew an average of about 5 percent in July 2008 compared with July 2007 but dropped to less than 1 percent growth from August 2007 compared with August 2008, according to Dr. Felsted. Fewer clients were visiting veterinarians, she added, but they aren't decreasing how much they spend when they do visit.
There isn't enough information yet to break down results according to practice size, region, and the like, but Dr. Felsted hopes enough data will be collected to do so, once word of the Economy Tracker Tool gets out.
The tool is the only mechanism collecting real-time data of veterinary practices, Dr. Felsted, and is easy to use.
The NCVEI tools are available free of charge to anyone who is a member of the AVMA or American Animal Hospital Association.