By Joe Gargiulo
July 20, 2013

Vets, Pets and Debt: Veterinarian In Need of Collections


Your furry, scaly, feathery, fluffy patients may have nine lives to spare, but your veterinary practice has just the one. When your livelihood is in danger due to outstanding debt on behalf of your patients’ “parents,” you’ve got to walk a fine line. While you don’t want to isolate or turn off your clients, you do need a way to recover payments owed to the practice. Outsourcing your debt recovery to a collection agency is one way to smooth those ruffled feathers.

The Doctor is IN

Years of investment go into earning a DVM certification, which usually doesn’t cover the intricacies of debt collection and payment recovery, even though these things may be essential to your practice staying afloat. This is why it’s important to do a little more studying up on how a collection agency can benefit you and how to choose the best one.

What Can Collection Companies Provide?

To make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree, inquire to prospective agencies about the following services. This isn’t a full menu, but provides an overall “buffet” of choices you may find the most useful:

  • Talking statements
  • First- and third-party demand letters
  • Customized statements and letters
  • Tiered strategies for long-term delinquent accounts
  • Collection calls

Running with the Pack

Once you’ve chosen to go forward with using collection services, it may feel overwhelming to choose from the pack. Many companies appear to offer the same options, such as those listed above. How to distinguish a pack leader? Ask for some credentials. One such credentialing organization, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, has awarded a designation in its Professional Practices Management System program to 60 collection agencies that have fulfilled specific stringent criteria. Collection agencies with this certification are constantly working to uphold their standing by training employees and seeking out the newest developments in the industry.

Super-Sized or Mini: One Size Does Not Fit All

Whether you specialize in one type of animal, such as DVM Alice Simpson, “The Cat Doctor,” in Santa Rosa, California, or go size-specific with large-breed animals only, collection agencies work the same way. You should feel comfortable with the people you’re turning over your debt recovery to – these trained professionals will be working hand in hand with your office staff, mining applicable records, and hopefully reporting back to you regularly with good news.

Download our white paper “Choosing a Collection Agency” for more industry advice on how to ensure you make the best choice for veterinary debt collection.


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