CASE STUDY: VISTING SPECIALIST WINS CLIENTS, REVENUE, AND TIME

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Dr. Brad Rosonke, owner of Hillside Animal Hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., has little interest in dentistry. But he knows that offering dental services means better care for his patients. His solution: Hire a dental resident--in his case, Dr. Peter Bates--to visit his practice on a regular basis. "This is a win-win-win situation," says Dr. Rosonke. "Dr. Bates needs to see more patients during his residency, I'm now free to see other patients while he's taking care of dental issues, and our clients get more complete care for their pets."

CASE STUDY: VISTING SPECIALIST WINS CLIENTS, REVENUE, AND TIME

Dr. Brad Rosonke, owner of Hillside Animal Hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., has little interest in dentistry. But he knows that offering dental services means better care for his patients. His solution: Hire a dental resident-in his case, Dr. Peter Bates-to visit his practice on a regular basis.

"This is a win-win-win situation," says Dr. Rosonke. "Dr. Bates needs to see more patients during his residency, I'm now free to see other patients while he's taking care of dental issues, and our clients get more complete care for their pets."

Dr. Bates earns 30 percent of all cases he sees while visiting Hillside Animal Hospital every Monday, and he's already booked more than a month in advance. He brings his own equipment, except for the dental radiograph machine, and handles any dental procedures more complicated than cleanings.

"I don't lose money on this arrangement," says Dr. Rosonke, "because Dr. Bates does more advanced dentistry than we were doing, which brings in more money for the practice." In the first month, Dr. Bates saw 13 patients over four days, bringing in an additional $6,426 in revenue."Besides, I'm now free to spend more time and effort on the cases I enjoy. I really encourage doctors to think about what aspect of practice they don't enjoy but would benefit their clients, then consider a similar arrangement."Dr. Ronsonke's advice: "If you want to set up a similar arrangement, just make sure you're both on the same page when you begin in regards to expectations, percentage paid, and equipment use," he says. "At first we didn't outline a contract, because we wanted to be able to separate easily if we weren't able to line up enough appointments for Dr. Bates. But after we knew clients were interested, we knew it was important to put our expectations in writing."

LETTERSIn response to the March Growth Bulletin, "Investing in Digital Radiography Systems," Dr. Pam Epperson of the K-9 Rehab Center in West Bountiful, Utah, wrote to ask: Why did you decrease the charge for two views using the digital radiography system as compared with two views with older technology? What's your charge for two views?

Dr. Tina Neel of the Neel Veterinary Hospital in Oklahoma City responds: "The decrease in the two-view charge was minimal-about $12. And by including two views in the initial radiography fee, we've increased the quality of care. Under the old system, numerous second views were skipped in an attempt to save the clients money. The net effect is an increase in the income from radiography.

"We charge $100.26 for the first two views, including a CD of the radiographs and $24.90 for each additional view. Once clients see the digital images and our ability to magnify and adjust the images, they're impressed with the technology and perceive this as a great value."

Wendi Kaminski, the practice manager at North Texas Emergency Pet Clinic, Carrollton, Texas, wrote to ask: Are you able to produce copies of the film in any way?Dr. Neel responds: "We can't produce hard copies in our hospital, but we can e-mail copies when we make a referral or burn a CD and send it with the client. As long as the veterinarian has a computer, the CD will open and have all the functions that we have here when viewing the images."The only problem we've had is when we need to send film, such as for PennHip certification. We solved that problem by e-mailing the images to a hospital that can transfer the images to film. We pay them for that service and pick up the films and mail them. OFA has accepted the digital images via e-mail with no complications or problems."

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