Veterinary Collaboration 03-2014

March 28th, 2014

When it comes to the management of a veterinary center, generally a large corporation owns a facility and has a lot of influence over the inner-workings due to their financial backing. The Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (PVSEC) works under a unique model in which the five founding partners maintain their independence and manage their facility how they see fit, while providing convenient access to top-notch specialists in the same location. Their management company runs the center, but the partners also have a real estate company, Veterinary Ventures LP, which owns the building and rents space. The facility has nearly tripled in size and currently has over 32 doctors representing nearly every specialty, as well as 18 emergency veterinarians. Needless to say, this model is gaining steam throughout the industry.

The management team meets once a week and discusses issues until a unanimous decision is reached. The team understands that their business model may not work for everyone, and that there is still a real need for small practices. For example, the PVSEC does not administer vaccinations or perform routine exams, but instead partners with general practitioners for those types of services.

Within the PVSEC structure, each sub-division is able to take advantage of the benefits of being under the same roof, while still enjoying the freedom of operating as its own autonomous practice, without the bureaucracy often found at universities or hospitals. Each office makes its own decisions, from hiring and purchasing equipment, to tactical decisions regarding treatment, without needing approval or input of the other vets or the management company. The management company, Veterinary Management LLC, pays for certain services and products that everyone needs, and the individual practices pay their pro-rata. This pass-through structure allows for services like human resources and facility management to be handled in bulk, and lessens the burden and costs for the members. Doctors are liberated from administrative tasks, and can focus on their patients. This is a huge benefit as doctors enjoy the economic benefit and accessibility of a large, well-resourced facility, and can maintain a one-on-one type of relationship with community practices and patients to provide the best pet care possible.