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How to charge for technician appointments

News
Podcast

Learn how to make this year the year of the technician from this week's guest Wendy Myers, CVJ

Subscribe to The Vet Blast Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Are you looking to utilize your technicians more by creating technician appointments at your clinic, but are not sure where to start, what to charge, or which patients will be best for these kinds of appointments? It can be an awkward transition, especially if clients have done this in the past for no fee. So, how do you successfully implement this in a way that makes everyone happy while also not burning out your technicians?

During this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, host Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, is joined by the "Queen of Scripts" Wendy Myers, CVJ, president of Communication Solutions for Veterinarians, to answer the questions you have.

Below is a partial transcript

Wendy Myers, CVJ: What I want you to do is come up with a term of what you're going to call the fee that you're going to charge to clients, and then I'll go through in detail how to how to do it. So I like to reserve the term 'exam' for a service provided by a doctor of veterinary medicine. Okay, so exam only is performed by veterinarians. I then use the term 'health assessment,' which, interestingly, is the exact term that is used in human nursing. So if you vote for a nurse visit, and in New Jersey, you're charged that $96- $142 on your bill, it's going to say 'health assessment,' it's not going to say nurse exam, it's going to say health assessment. So, have a distinct term. In my mind, exam equals veterinarian health assessment equals technician or assistant. Okay, so that's what's key. When the technician or assistant does a health assessment, there is actually 3 activities that that are done.

No 1, they get the patient's vital signs. So temperature, pulse, respiration, weight. No 2, they asked history questions—and how you ask makes a huge difference. Let me give you an example: I see when I do on-site coaching and training of teams where I'm shadowing appointments. I see sometimes doctors and technicians and assistants ask the wrong way. For example, is your dog on heartworm preventives? Client says yes. Well, we didn't ask the question the right way. Is your dog on heartworm preventives is a horrible history question. Because what if they gave the last dose in October and it's now February? You know, we have months of 0 protection for that patient. Instead, I asked that same question in a smart way. Which heartworm preventive are you giving and when did you get the last dose? And I want to know the brand name and the exact date that it was given and that's how I monitor and check compliance. You need to have templated history questions. I know some of our listeners have been technicians for 30 years and they know it ...but you still need templated questions because it ensures that our technicians and assistants ask consistently and ask the right way.

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