Executive Editor, NAVC
A new tool allows veterinary professionals to track business trends across the continental United States and gain valuable insight during the coronavirus pandemic. VetWatch reports data on practice revenues and patient volumes from almost 5,800+ practices across the nation, practice purchasing volumes for key therapeutic categories from 32,000+ practices and shelters, and survey responses from veterinary professionals that will be updated periodically.
The results are designed to give veterinary practice owners, managers, and staff members a comprehensive look at purchasing, revenue, and operational trends in different areas of the country. The data is divided into 236 geographic regions, so users can pinpoint trends in specific locations.
The project—which is a collaboration between Animalytix, Greenline Pet, Circa Healthcare, and the NAVC—is intended to help veterinary professionals take a broad look at national trends and navigate difficult times for businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The initial data revealed a few key findings:
• Year-to-date revenue is down for many practices, but not across the board. Different areas of the country are affected in significantly different ways, as the impact of the virus and corresponding shelter-in-place orders differ by state and sometimes by county. As a national average, about 53% of the 5,800+ practices surveyed are at or above their average revenue from this time last year (see figure below). The highest percentage of practices in this category are in Iowa (66.2%) and the lowest are in Georgia (43.1%). Nationally, average revenues overall were up 0.3% from the start of the year through April 18 compared with the same 15-week period in 2019.
• Core vaccine purchases are declining. Among the categories VetWatch is tracking, purchasing of all categories have fallen outside of veterinary supplies (e.g. fluids, gloves, disinfectants, catheters, infusion sets, etc.). Purchasing of core vaccines has seen a steady decline in 4 consecutive weeks, driving an overall downturn in purchasing.
• Business has changed. VetWatch’s survey, which includes 193 participants, found that 81.9% of respondents are only offering curbside services. About 33% of respondents have maintained normal staffing levels, while 47.2% are delaying or canceling wellness visits.