The cost of veterinary care is one of the primary reasons that pets are surrendered or euthanized. One ASPCA study found that 40% of pet owners would not have surrendered their pet if they had access to affordable veterinary services.
It isn’t always easy to determine which pet owners “can’t afford” veterinary care, and it’s even harder to define what “can’t afford” means. VetBilling prefers to use the term “financial limitations.”
For the sake of clarity, VetBilling groups pet owners who have financial limitations into two categories:
Individuals who are “illiquid” are employed and have an income stream but they may not have access to sufficient cash or credit to pay the full out-of-pocket cost for veterinary services all at once.
Non-credit-based installment payment plans are an ideal option for these pet owners.
Individuals who are “insolvent” have debts that are many times larger than their income, or they have zero income. They may be unemployed or homeless and have no way to pay for veterinary care at all.
Full grants through veterinary charities or in-clinic ‘angel funds’ are the best way to help these pet owners.
Pet owners seeking nonprofit veterinary services typically have limited access to cash and usually can’t pay for veterinary care using traditional forms of credit, but most are still capable of paying over time. An easy and effective way to make veterinary care more affordable for these pet owners is to offer them a non-credit-based installment payment plan through VetBilling.
VetBilling’s online payment management platform equips nonprofit veterinary practices with the tools to offer installment payment plans, as well as creative budgeting and savings options like Pay-in-Advance Plans and Pet Savings Accounts.
With VetBilling’s support, precious staff time is devoted only to patient care, rather than to administrative tasks like creating contracts, sending statements and invoices, or running monthly credit card charges.
VetBilling works with low-cost spay and neuter clinics, full service nonprofit animal hospitals, limited-service nonprofit veterinary practices, and local Humane Societies and SPCAs that provide veterinary care.
Developing a repayment initiative in partnership with VetBilling allows veterinary charities to focus on their core mission and generate a recurring revenue stream that can be earmarked for future services. The charity sets their own criteria and defines the parameters for determining which grant recipients are eligible for a repayment plan.
Veterinary charities that work with VetBilling typically build qualification settings into a Repayment Program Fund that helps ensure equity of application. Because not every grant recipient is capable of repaying, successful charities leverage their Board to identify financial thresholds and apply them when grant applications are submitted.
Read about VetBilling’s successful partnership with Brown Dog Foundation, a charity founded in 2006 that provides financial assistance to families who need help paying for their pet’s veterinary care.