Dec
24
2008
Two enterprising companion animals thwarted disaster today when the pair appeared to take over and repair a broken-down vehicle. The furry duo – cat Fluffy and dog Fido – were spotted in a snow-covered field with a large red sled or snowmobile that had seemingly ceased to function. ...more
Dec
24
2008
A NEWStat survey of AAHA practice owners and managers shows that although the general health of the industry remains strong, significant percentages of practices are facing potential financial pitfalls. The survey, conducted in early December, asked a series of questions about how the credit crunch is affecting veterinary practices.

One out of three practices said they are not able to fully cover monthly operating expenses with monthly income, and nearly 40 percent said they regularly or occasionally need to negotiate delayed payments to suppliers. Nearly a quarter of practices surveyed said they sometimes need to use personal cash to finance normal operating expenses, and three out of four practices reported having to use business credit cards to cover operating costs. ...more
Dec
10
2008
Nineties rap group Wu-Tang Clan once proclaimed: “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” Turns out they were right.

Just one year ago credit was king; today, small business and veterinary financial experts are all about cash—collecting it, using it and saving it wisely.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. Most small businesses rely on cash to pay for normal operating costs month-to-month. As business grows soft, and with banks promoting low- or no-interest home equity loans, it can be tempting to bolster your business with “mini loans” — cash advances, planned overdrafts, deferred credit card payments, infusions from personal savings, and so on.

Don’t do it. ...more
Dec
10
2008
Preliminary results of an AAHA survey of practice managers and owners show that while most practices are doing well and making sound financial decisions, a significant percentage are spending more than they are making, and nearly a quarter (24 percent) of all practices surveyed are worried about the viability of their practice in light of a long-term credit crunch.

In order to finance normal operating expenses, the most common type of credit that practices use is business credit cards, according to the survey. Only 25 percent of respondents said they never use them. ...more
Nov
26
2008
With the world economy melting faster than the polar ice caps, your instinct might be to lay low and weather the storm. But, some experts and practitioners say, the economic climes might be a fair wind that could accelerate the trend toward practice consolidation.

“In general, crises will accelerate a trend toward consolidation for reducing overhead costs and personnel costs,” said Lawrence Gelburd, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “It could be a smart move if [practices] can lower their overhead without having to go out and borrow a lot of money.” ...more
Nov
26
2008
New research could change the way post-operative analgesia is administered in dogs, enabling patients to go home sooner and spend less time in the hospital. A study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine looked at the effectiveness of injecting dogs with extended-release opioids to provide long-term pain relief.

The group of scientists, headed by UW veterinary anesthesiologist Lesley Smith, DVM, DACVA, used liposome-encapsulated hydromorphone made with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and cholesterol (DPPC-C hydromorphone) for the study. Different concentrations of the formulation, created at the university, were subcutaneously injected into healthy beagles. The concentration of hydromorphone in the dog’s blood serum was then measured at various intervals to determine whether the drug was working.

“We extrapolated that certain serum levels (as shown in human studies) are correlated with surgical analgesia,” Smith said. ...more
Nov
12
2008
With low rates and a saturated market, now is a good time to buy a home for your family. But is it a good time to buy a home for your practice?

The answer is yes, according to academic and professional sources.

Mark Levine, PhD, is a professor at the University of Denver, and is director of the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the university’s Daniels College of Business. He says that given the right opportunity, now could be a great time to purchase commercial real estate for your practice.

“Obviously, the key is the right property for the right terms,” Levine said. “But, speaking on a general basis, the sellers seem to be much more negotiable today as compared with six months or a year ago.” ...more
Nov
12
2008
As states look for additional dollars to make up budget shortfalls, Arizona provides a novel approach: Sweep the budgets of individual state boards — and take more than is actually there. This year, the state OK’d an appropriation of more than $600,000 from the Arizona Veterinary Medical Examining Board fund for the state’s general fund. But here’s the kicker:

“They’re sweeping about 150 percent of our budget,” said Arizona VMEB Chairman Richard Crisler, DVM. “We’re struggling just to keep things going.” ...more
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