I work at Banfield (and actively trying to find a new position at a "real" hospital). We are yelled at by corporate all the time if we don't charge enough, we need to push unnecessary vaccines even if we think a pet may be too old to receive so many of them, we need to offer unnecessary diagnostics, we are forced to see at least 30 pets a day and we have to rush on every one of them... we simply don't have the time to "care"... when we are forced to basically charge a minimum of $100 on every visit while being overworked/understaffed
I do care, and that is why I'm leaving. Last week for example, I had to deal w someone from corporate complaining to me that I did not charge at least a grand to a dog that all she needed was some antibiotics for a small, old, already healing wound. We are told that our quality of medicine is measured on our "average patient charge". For me, quality of medicine should be measured on how well the pet responds to treatment, rapport w the owners, etc, not on how much we should charge. Plus, there is a computer program that tells the vets what to do, if the vets don't follow protocol, they are yelled by corporate.
Plus, there is no excuse to have to drop off a pet for a "comprehensive exam" for most of the day to simply do a physical exam, look at the eyes and the ears without an owner to be present to ask personally if there are any concerns. A physical exam fee should be a physical exam fee and a vet should look at the entire pet on every visit, is just penny picking when you have to charge extra to look at a dog's eyes or in their ears. Yes, our office visit may be cheaper than most vets, but you will be charged and penny picked on everything!
About the wellness plans, they are great for puppies because they cover the spay and neuter and includes bloodwork. That's it! After the first year, is way cheaper to just boost the IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY vaccines yearly than having the pet be overvaccinated. They try to brainwash us on how great the plans are, when the risk of overvaccinating and the expense involved if your pet gets sick (a mere 10% discount doesn't do much when your estimate is over a grand and the local vet would do the same for half). Oh, they even charge us! If I wanted to spay my own dog at my hospital, I have to pay! Imagine how embarrassing it is for someone that works at a vet hospital to be recognized at another hospital when dropping off to have your own dog spayed because will save you hundreds of $$!
I must admit, our prices are way higher than our closest hospital. Sometimes, for older pets, I usually refer to a neighboring vet that will spay/neuter for a lot cheaper and does a pretty good job because I understand that a lot of people can't afford $400 to spay their dog and I understand the importance of spay/neutering, and our plans don't include spay/neuter for over 6 month old pets.
And some of you will notice that the vets change constantly. There is a reason for the very high turnaround....
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.