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Last month’s Insiders’ Insight survey explored the initial impact of COVID-19 on veterinary practices as well as the changes practices were making to cope with the pandemic. This month’s survey asks some of the same questions to measure the difference a month has made and also delves into some new topics.    There was a definite shift in May with about 26% of practices reporting no decline in the number of patients seen, 50% reporting a decline between 1-20%, and just 24% reporting declines of 21% or more. By all reports, there is a great deal of variation between practices, some of it geographical. The improvement this month is likely due ...
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Dear Friends: The majority of states have eased Coronavirus restrictions and people are wrestling with mixed emotions. On one level there is hope that the country may be rebounding from Coronavirus, and that the economy is restarting. On another level, there is fear that the virus has not been contained and infections may increase as social distancing decreases. There is also uncertainty about how to best protect ourselves and our families, friends, staff, patients, and clients. Coronavirus has indefinitely changed the landscape in which we operate. Even the experts are divided on how this will play out. For now, the best we can do is to resolve to move ...
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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? It’s a question that’s been debated for centuries and there is no definitive answer. If we revisit the questions and ask: “If a practice manager is accomplished and productive, but the owner is unaware of his/her impact on and contributions to the practice, will that manager feel supported and recognized? The simple answer is, in most cases, no, s/he will not! To guard against feeling underappreciated by owners and unmotivated to carry out their job responsibilities with pride and enthusiasm, managers should take inventory of how effectively they are advocating for themselves ...
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The Role of the Practice Manager in Managing Workplace Safety If you run a veterinary practice, regardless of size and number of employees, the practice is required to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules. OSHA: An Overview The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, was created by Congress in 1970 "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance." Most private-sector employers and employees are covered under ...
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We are operating in an environment that is demanding, uncertain, and frankly, disquieting. Struggling to maintain some semblance of “business as usual,” whether remotely or in the office, is a challenge. Although the coronavirus has upended life as we know it, we soldier on to care for our patients, clients, and staff. It is essential that during this time, employees feel comforted and equipped emotionally to weather the storm. Now more than ever, we must strive to maintain employee morale, address their fears and anxieties, and offer resources and assistance. What actions can managers take to ensure that staff remains emotionally and physically strong? I ...
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It has become abundantly clear that the implications of coronavirus will be significant, far-reaching, and uncertain. The pandemic has touched every state, traversed the globe, and strikes without regard to gender, race, socio-economic level, and age. In its wake are concerns and questions: When is it finally over? When will business return to ‘normal?’ Will the delivery of veterinary care look different? Unfortunately, we don’t have answers. Your VHMA membership, however, can offer you professional guidance and support during these unsettling times. VHMA members are motivated and committed to excellence, professional growth, and community. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed our world in a way that no one saw coming. Some of the changes will likely just be short-term, but others may change how veterinary medicine (and the world) operate in the long-run. No doubt, the longer the pandemic runs, the more permanently changed we will see our world. VHMA’s April 2020 Insiders’ Insights survey focused on understanding how veterinary practices are managing amid the pandemic. The survey looks at four groups—changes in practice operations, impact on the veterinary team, technology, and telehealth usage, and the impact of the pandemic on practice finances. Changes in Practice ...
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We are all struggling to live our lives under the new reality of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The situation is a dynamic one. At times, it seems to be running a step ahead of the experts as information about the virus evolves. The VHMA has been working hard to pull together resources, organize information, and provide opportunities to support our members during these difficult times. Summarized below is an overview of the efforts and actions the VHMA has taken in response to the crisis: The CVPM Board fully understands the magnitude of the global Coronavirus crisis and its implications. It has approved a number of accommodations to ensure that members do not ...
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The CVPM Board is grateful for the enthusiastic and generous support that our members provide to the CVPM program and the association. In times of crisis, change, and uncertainty, one thing remains constant: VHMA members are willing to do their best to ensure the profession, association, and industry thrives, and we thank you! The world has come face-to-face with an enemy that threatens the health and well-being of people, pets, as the country’s economic viability. The CVPM Board fully understands the magnitude of the global Coronavirus crisis and its implications. The Board strongly encourages members to prioritize the health, safety, and well being of their ...
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VHMA’s 2019 Compensation and Benefits Survey finds that a majority of managers are satisfied with their jobs. But what is driving that satisfaction? The March 2020 Insiders’ Insights survey is dedicated to understanding more about what factors contribute to manager job satisfaction.  Depending on the question about 175-200 responses were received. 1/3 of the respondents have been in a veterinary management role for 0-6 years, another 1/3 for 7-12 years, and the final 1/3 for 13+ years. Most of the respondents have a lot of experience in the veterinary industry with almost 80% having been in it for more than 10 years. The first question in the survey asked ...
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The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting every aspect of our lives, and many members are questioning how it will impact the practice, staff, clients, and patients. Since concerns about the virus were first raised, members have been posting their questions, advice, and resources to MemberConnect. To help members find trends and best practices quickly, VHMA staff have identified "gems" of information and organized them by topic. Additionally, we share links to other industry resources and tools. This Coronavirus Resources page is updated daily. VHMA strongly encourages members to review daily discussion threads for assistance in navigating ...
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VHMA Coronavirus Update

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared The Coronavirus (Covid-19) a pandemic. The virus is rapidly changing the way we live and raising questions about the virus’s impact on individuals, families, friends, coworkers, and clients, as well as how to navigate this new reality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created www.coronavirus.gov , where you can obtain information on precautions to take to minimize the chances of contracting the virus at home, at work, and out in the world. The recommendations for Covid-19 are changing as officials learn more about the virus, so it is essential to monitor the site for ...
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The Ethics of Incentivizing Reviewers How do you decide what services to use or products to buy? Like most consumers, your decisions are shaped by the online client and customer reviews. In a digital age, reviews--- positive, negative, or neutral---have a powerful impact on buying decisions. Whatever your business, the goal is to encourage clients to write about their experiences, especially if those experiences are positive. Favorable reviews can have a greater impact on purchasing decisions than a company’s marketing and advertising efforts, which has business asking what can be done to incur more reviews, and are there restrictions on ...
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If you run a veterinary practice, regardless of size and number of employees, the practice is required to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules. OSHA: An Overview The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, was created by Congress in 1970 "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance." Most private-sector employers and employees are covered under OSHA, which sets health and safety standards for jobs in industries ...
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If you have young children, you probably know that March has been designated National Reading Month in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Whether you are nine or 90, reading regularly is essential. It is entertaining, inspiring and educational. As managers, professional reading is important. It helps to shape our views, it presents new theories to consider and apply, and it provides us with new ideas. So, what are those in the industry reading? To find out, I reviewed MemberConnect to see what managers are recommending to their colleagues and added a few of my own favorites as well. The books are listed in no order and arranged by topic. Interested in improving ...
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) has taken the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) credential to a new level with digital badging. The CVPM digital badge carries information about the accomplishments and skills associated with the credential. The badge, which is displayed online, can be easily accessed by those who are interested in learning more about the individual and the credential. The digital badge contains meta-data that communicates the significance of the credential, the process involved in earning it, and the specialized expertise that those who hold it possess. The badge’s platform allows for it to be ...
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According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the number of people who hold certificates has increased by more than 50% since 2005 — and that number is rising. Certificates may lead to more opportunities and increased pay but selecting a program that is worth the time and expense is a critical first step. Search the Internet and you will find a vast array of certificate programs geared to practice managers. The subject matter, price and time commitment for each is just as varied. The best approach to choose the program that fits your needs is to vet carefully. Some of the factors that should be evaluated are: Value ...
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Fee Changes in 2020

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Each year the VHMA asks practices about planned or anticipated fee increases for the year. Depending on the question, the number of responses ranged from 176-264. As with past years, the majority of the practices participating in this survey said yes to the question: “Have you or will you raise your professional service fees in 2020?” Most of the respondents (66%) said they would be increasing fees on both shopped and non-shopped services. More practices in 2020 (compared to 2019) are increasing their fees on both shopped, and non-shopped services and fewer are not increasing fees or only increasing them on non-shopped services. About ...
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Dear Friends, It’s February, and my calendar for the remainder of the year is filling up. Between VHMA meetings and workshops and other industry events, I look forward to recharging my professional batteries, expanding my way of thinking, mixing and mingling with colleagues, and having fun. As an industry veteran, I can honestly say that every conference, meeting, or workshop I participate in exposes me to new people, new concepts, or new ways of doing business. When I leave a meeting, I am connected to other managers, excited about new content, and inspired to apply what I’ve learned. If you are not exploring the meeting options offered through VHMA, I ...
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) is pleased to announce that 23 veterinary management professionals recently earned the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) credential. The VHMA’s CVPM credential, which is voluntary, is recognized as the sign of professional achievement and excellence and is awarded to those who demonstrate the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully manage the ever-changing operations of today's veterinary practices. The class of January 2020 includes: Erin Bangma Jennifer Battiato Kelli A. Boyd Wendy Boyko Leta Chandler Heather L. Childress Diana Cortez Karen Critchley-Capone ...
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