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Veterinarian Bills...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My husband and I spent over $1,500 to diagnose and attempt to treat our kitten's illness. Between three vet's offices, every single one *insisted* upon payment at the time of service. My issue is this: How is it that they can do that, when they have a "repeat" client who may have already spent several hundreds of dollars just a few days prior? I realize that most pet owners don't have pet insurance and that vets aren't guaranteed payment. But why must the rest of us suffer financially because of those who abuse the system and refuse to pay off their pet's medical bills? (BTW, that $1.5K was spent in less than two week's time! We nearly started dipping into our savings.)
post #2 of 9
Many vets will reduce the cost of the exam and charge only for blood tests, x-rays etc. if the illness isn't diagnosed in one or two visits. My vet sees my cat so regularly now that she doesn't charge me for the exam fee. You have to keep in mind that most veterinarians are small businesses and they don't make a living and can't stay open if customers don't pay. You are paying for their time, experience and qualifications. They do not have the backing of some multi million dollar corporation. My vet has had animals dumped on her by owners who decide after the treatment is done that it's too expensive and they don't want to pay.
As a professional photographer, I can tell you there is nothing worse than the customer who says "bill me" because the unforunate truth is 80% of the time you will never see your money if you don't get it right up front. I am not saying everyone is like this but unforunately you are paying the cost of those who have lesser morals.
post #3 of 9
My veterinary clinic has learned that people just can't be trusted and wants payment for services immediately. Once people (like me) establish themselves as good and reliable clients, they are much more willing to be flexible and take payments if needed.
post #4 of 9
My vet is wonderful and gives us discounts for multi cats. We did spend over 650 on one stray that didn't make it The ER vet we go to has a payment plan for large bills and all of our vets take good old credit cards I would love to have pet insurance,but I could not afford it with this many kitties.
post #5 of 9
Originally posted by Princess Purr
I would love to have pet insurance,but I could not afford it with this many kitties.
I second that! It would run me something like $200 a month to insure the cats!
post #6 of 9
I can sympathize, because with our multiple older pets and the strays who've come around lately, we have no more savings to dip into, and our credit card balances are getting high. And the only thing we use the credit cards for are vet & car repair bills, so it's not like we've been out on a spending spree. I pray for breathing room until we can get our cards paid down again.

But, having worked in a vet clinic before, I must say I have seen the vet get burned on some expensive cases. And they do have quite a bit of overhead expenses to meet, from employee pay to laboratory expenses, and none of those will take an IOU as payment. However, once you are established as a good client, some vets may work out payment plans for you, as they do understand that most people don't have thousands of dollars just laying around. But it's always a good idea to ask before you start racking up the bills - be honest with your vet & let him or her know that cost is a concern, and that you'd like to find out if you can make some arrangements.
post #7 of 9
Hello! I work at an animal hospital, and we do ask for payment when an animal is discharged. If we feel we can trust the owner, we will work out a payment plan. Unfortunately, people screw us over all the time. Not just new clients, but people we trust with pets we have been treating for years! So, in order for your vet to pay her bills and keep the business running, she does have to ask for payment.
post #8 of 9

Unlike doctors, vets do not have major money backing them. They are usually hired by older vets who have a desire to retire one day and want capable vets to stay and run the clinic they have established. They usually have high overhead, with equipment, rental of the clinic, everything that goes into running a good clinic.

Once you establish yourself, your vet will usually take post-dated checks, but they have the right to make a living, and many people will renig on vet bills and the vets are left high and dry.

What I do, is I overpay my vet when I can. I send $10.00-$20.00 at a time when I can, when I don't owe anything, and I have a credit built up at the office I go to, in case of emergencies which there almost always seem to be one or two during the year.
post #9 of 9
Hissy, that is such an amazing idea! To overpay and build up a credit...its almost like pet insurance.

Really smart idea!
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