News & Press: Member Announcements

VHMA Releases Pet Owners Economic Value Study

Monday, October 14, 2019  
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), the leading professional group for veterinary managers, has released the VHMA Pet Owners Economic Value Study, which identifies and details the economic value that pet owners place on eight critical veterinary services and service features, providing veterinary managers access to data that is critical to formulating pricing decisions that support the success and long-term sustainability of a veterinary practice.


A resource for data-driven practice decisions


The study includes data from 3,452 survey respondents — 1,949 dog owners and 1,533 cat owners---who reside in urban, suburban, and rural areas and represent a range of demographic characteristics, including age, household income, and gender.


The Price Sensitivity Meter (PSM), a rigorous price discovery method, was used to evaluate the pet owner’s willingness to pay for select services: an essential vaccination package, a physical examination, spaying or neutering, a dental care service package, parasite testing, basic laboratory test panel, an X-ray package, and a pet wellness plan.


Respondents were asked to indicate what they would pay for a service under three conditions: the preferred price defined as what pet owners consider to be the attractive or desired price for the service; the reference price, or the price that they remember or know from prior experience; and, the acceptable price range, which reflects a range of prices within which owners will consider purchasing specific pet services. The values of the three measures have been assigned to specific demographic groups of pet owners, allowing managers to focus on demographic data that is most relevant to their practices.


The report highlights the amount of money pet owners believe is reasonable to spend annually on medical care, as well as preventive care services and details specific services/features that clients will spend more on.


“Increasingly, cost is becoming a factor in healthcare decisions that pet owners make. The report offers guidance to practices interested in setting up a price structure and payment options that is responsive to clients’ willingness to pay. By being responsive to our clients needs, practices can help to ensure the welfare of the pet and viability of the practice,” said VHMA President Michelle Gonzales-Bryant, CVPM. VHMA


Executive Director Christine Shupe, CAE, said, “The VHMA is excited to offer this study, which is a recent addition to our strategic pricing resources. The information is essential to creating a win-win situation---pricing decisions that ensure a healthy pet and a favorable bottom line.


The study is available on the VHMA website.


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