National equine vet economic study released

Results document current economic health and trends in equine veterinary practice.

Results of the "National Equine Veterinary Economic Study" provide an in-depth assessment of the equine veterinary industry, including the current status and economic trends of veterinary practices, and attitudes of veterinarians. Study results will be released in a series of six monthly topics and the first release provides a financial review of the equine veterinary industry from 2007 to 2012.

Data from the study reflect, among other things, a significant downturn in key economic indicators for equine practices from 2008 to 2010, including revenues, invoices and number of active patients and clients. This was followed by a rebound in 2011 and 2012, but not a complete recovery.

Sponsored by Merck Animal Health and Henry Schein Animal Health, in partnership with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the study was led by equine veterinary market research specialist and practice management consultant Dr. Edward L. Blach and assisted by Dr. Andrew R. Clark, a leading equine practice management consultant.

The study also includes an evaluation of current management practices to help identify ways equine practices can operate in a more profitable manner.

“For example, more work is being concentrated on fewer clients and fewer horses, which is a significant change to the business landscape – impacting business practices, revenue streams and client management,” Blach said.

“Until now, little equine veterinary economic data has been available to help veterinarians develop improved strategies to grow their practices,” noted Brett Whitehead, Merck Animal Health director of equine business. “This study puts better, more practical information in the hands of equine veterinarians, which, in turn, gives them greater confidence to invest in efforts that will support growth of their business.”

“The equine industry has weathered a tough economic environment since 2007, and it has certainly taken its toll on equine veterinary practices,” Jeannie Jeffery, Henry Schein Animal Health national director of equine sales, said. “Despite these challenges, equine veterinarians are cautious but seem to be committed to the profession.”

Equine veterinarians interested in learning more and receiving updates on the study results, as well as access to valuable economic and practice management tools and information, should visit IsMyPracticeHealthy.com to register and be added to the mailing list.

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