Aspire to become one of the country’s most well-managed veterinary practices

11 min read

For more than 30 years, WTA Veterinary Consultants has been studying 100 of the best-of-the-best veterinary practices across the U.S. to gain insights into the secrets of their success. Each year, we share the results in our Well-Managed Practice® Benchmarks Study (WMPB®). This study is a labor of love, developed and designed to truly understand the mechanics of Well-Managed® veterinary practices.

The WMPB Study has three distinct goals

  1. To support our clients in strengthening and growing their practices, and enable them to become Well-Managed, continue to improve patient care, enhance profit, and effect positive change for struggling veterinarians and their employees.
  2. To provide a “how-to” resource with insights, benchmarks, management recommendations, and tools designed to guide the veterinary profession as a whole in becoming Well-Managed.
  3. To provide insights and benchmarks from WellMP® unlike the aggregated numbers generated by practices across the U.S.

Please don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely a place for understanding a national or regional benchmark, and we value the work that our friends at VetSuccess® and others do. Yet we intentionally set out to seek insights and benchmarks about the management and operational decisions that Well-Managed Practices make to continue to grow and succeed. We explore how top-notch performers practice high-quality medicine, energize team members and generate profit so others will be able to emulate their success.

What constitutes a Well-Managed Practice?

The companion animal practices surveyed have to meet the following criteria:

Patients come first

Practice owners never lose sight of the fact that they went into practice to promote veterinary patients’ health and well-being.

The practice runs efficiently

These veterinary practices earn enough profit to have a healthy amount of revenue left over after they pay all of their variable and fixed costs, non-doctor staff compensation, and rent expenses. Specifically, a Well-Managed Practice averages a profit-to-gross-revenue ratio of 33 to 42 percent. This means that a practice earning $2 million in revenue would have at least $660,000 left to pay owners and associates and reinvest in the practice.

Practice owners enjoy practicing veterinary medicine

A love of the profession comes through in practice owners’ attitudes toward their team members and clients. And when clients and team members are happy, they stay with the practice.

Practice owners foster a culture of respect

Team members are people first and foremost, and Well-Managed Practice owners know they must appreciate doctors and team members for who they are more than the roles they play. The owners value all their team members and strive to help them achieve their potential.

WTA welcomes three new partners to the WMPB study

Just as Well-Managed Practices are always seeking ways to refine and improve, so are we. With a view to adding even more value to the profession and with innovation in mind, I’m thrilled to announce three new, crucial partnerships for the WMPB study. From this year forward, WTA Veterinary Consultants will be partnering with:

  • VetSuccess: Led by founder Martin Traub-Werner, VetSuccess is a leader in understanding practice data and making sense of the data inherent in practices. They’re also technology wizards and build simple tools to streamline practice management with the goal of helping make veterinary practices more successful.
  • VetSupport®: Founded by Brenda Tassava, VetSupport puts data and theory into action. Brenda is one of the most admired thought-leaders in veterinary practice management, and she and her team of talented CVPMs work hard to improve veterinary practices.
  • Veterinary Team Brief: Led by Beth Green, this team truly lives and breathes the WTA mantra – Better Management is Better Medicine® – and promises to shine a bright spotlight on the content of WMPB.

Martin, Brenda, Beth and I, along with our respective teams, share a core set of beliefs. Chief among these is the belief that WellMP is a club that every practice can belong to. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll share more of the thinking that will elevate the work of the WMPB Study to even greater heights!

We realize the details of the “definition” / criteria of a WellMP are a lot to remember. We also know that people think, hear and remember in pictures. So, with the latest WMPB transformation, we’ve converted the WellMP criteria into the 4 Pillars of a WellMP – Patients First, People and Culture, Marketing and the Client Experience, and Financial Health.

WMPB 2017 includes killer benchmarks, management recommendations, tools, and insights from experts in the veterinary profession. Here’s what to expect in WMPB 2017, now available here:

  • Practice Profile – The average owner compensation per owner was $358,500
  • Chapter 1 – Fees: Driven by Value of the Experience – Survey results of over 200 service fees
  • Chapter 2 – Revenue: Practice Health, Driven by Compliance – $598,700 of medical revenue per doctor
  • Chapter 3 – Expenses: Minding What You Spend – Average inventory value on hand at any given time is $16,000 per doctor
  • Chapter 4 – Focus Topic: Associate DVMs – The primary method for associate compensation is a guaranteed base plus a percent of production

One final thought: WMPB would not be possible without the support of the industry that we all love so much. So, thank you for your support. Whether you’ve participated in the study and are looking to see how you’ve done, you’re a practice management expert who contributed your expertise to the study, or you’re a practice looking to join the ranks of the Well-Managed, we appreciate your contribution to this endeavor!

If you’ve ever considered participating in the WMPB Study, it’s now easier than ever. Start by answering five simple questions in this pre-qualifying survey.

Denise Tumblin, owner of WTA Veterinary Consultants

Denise Tumblin provides management, valuation, and transition services to independently-owned veterinary practices across the U.S. Her company authors the Well-Managed Practice® Benchmarks Study. Denise is also the co-founder and facilitator of the WellMP® Management Groups. She can be reached at [email protected].



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