Why you shouldn't offer equine discounts (sponsored by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health)


Equine veterinarians who give discounts send the wrong message to clients.

"Equine veterinarians are already operating with a smaller margin of profits than they should," says Dr. Mark Baus, MBA, owner of Grand Prix Equine in Bridgewater, Conn. "Discounts send the message that our prices are inflated, so I would only do discounts if they absolutely drive more business in the short term."

Photo: Getty Images

Too often, when a practice offers a discount it creates a race to the bottom. "If a practice is going to offer and publicize a discount, it will reverberate throughout the community," Dr. Baus says. "It starts a cycle of price-cutting among practices, and everybody loses. It's difficult to uphold standards of care, and the strongest survive, but barely. And practices cut fees that were already too low."

So is it ever worthwhile to offer a discount? It depends. "The only discounts that I offer are to the professionals who manage horse owner accounts," Dr. Baus says. "They are the people who help the owners choose which veterinarian to use and work with. They're the ones at the barn working with me on the cases. In my mind, this professional deserves a discount, and it should be standardized."

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