Q&A: Addressing clients' financial complaints
How can I answer the "Why so much?" question?
Q. How can I address the "Why so much?" question for clients surprised by a large ER clinic bill? Our clients sometimes refuse ER service because of the anticipated financial strain.
"This is an age-old question that I have been hearing for more than 15 years," says Ann Selander, CVT, CVPM, MBA, hospital administrator at WestVet Emergency & Specialty Center in Garden City, Idaho. Labor costs due to overnight staffing and increased equipment use, among other factors, can account for the higher fees ER clinics must charge, but clients dealing with sick or injured animals don't always see the big picture. "I find that clients are mostly upset about the trauma of the emergency situation rather than the costs, and the fees are the easiest punching bag," Selander says.
Selander recommends visiting the ER clinic to learn more about the facility's procedures, and then deciding if the costs are warranted. Doing this can open up lines of communication between your practice and the ER clinic and help you offer a more informed explanation when referring clients to the ER.