What goes in a wellness plan? One clinician's take

September 1, 2016
Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP
Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP

Michael Nappier is assistant professor of community practice in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia.

We've seen the future, and it is wellness plans. Bottom-line: Tailor them to what works best for your veterinary practice.

(Getty Images)A few years ago, we asked Karl Salzsieder, DVM, JD, CVA, to share some thoughts on creating wellness plan packages, available here. We asked Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP, an assistant professor of community practice at the University of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, his take on wellness plans in general (he loves them!) and on these plans in particular.

Overall, my feeling is that when you offer a buffet menu of plans, people rarely pick the plans in the middle and either pick everything or nothing. As veterinarians we are supposed to be recommending the best for our patients and clients, and having so many choices and telling the client to pick one dilutes the value of our expertise. I would personally recommend two options, good and best. I would, however, recommend tailoring the plans more by age and species.

I think the basic contents are all generally good, although I question the idea of discounts on services outside the wellness plan. I also question the lack of preventives such as heartworm, flea and tick medications on any of those plans. Measuring blood pressure or thyroid concentrations also aren't included anywhere.

That said, I'm a huge fan of wellness plans and think that those practices that are going to be successful in the future are going to have to implement some form of wellness plan.

So no matter what the plans include or how they are tailored, it's something to consider for your practice's future.