Vet policies and practices: Has anyone else seen this?
This question is actually a moot point, as I moved my horse to a different stable and use a different vet practise now, but I am just curious.
Horse needed some work done on her teeth and the vet who did the barn call said that this needed to be done at their clinic rather than at the stable. In my experience, most vets/dentists can do quite a bit of dental work on-site but whatever, I arranged transport and took the horse to the clinic, where the work was done. All fine. Then the secretary explained that before the horse left their premises, all bills had to be settled, right there and then. They would not wait for you to sort it out with your insurance company, remortgage your house, or sell your children. I did a bit of a double-take, as I had never encountered this before, and said, "Even for major surgery?" "Yes," she answered, explaining that they got fed up chasing people up for bills so this was their policy.
The bill in question was only about £200, which was doable, but I was a bit traumatized by the fact that if your horse went in for colic surgery, would you really have to cough up £5000 on the spot? Yikes!
I've not run across this with any other vet, who would let you pay it off and usually leave you plenty of time to deal with your insurance company. Have you?
It does make sense; however, I can't believe they wouldn't make that clear to the client before even arranging the surgery.
I have not come across a vet that has said rule, but I can see the reasoning.
Many of the vet clinics around here have a sign on their front desk that states "All balances must be paid at the time of treatment unless other arrangements are made beforehand".
Mind you, I've not (knocks on wood) had that many horse issues that could not be treated on site. However, the practise I use now will send you a bill, whether the horse was treated in the clinic or at the stable. In Colorado, not many of the equine vets had their own clinics in which they could do surgery. If it wasn't something that could be treated on-site, they would refer you to CSU, which as far as I know did not require immediate payment.
Yes. My Border Collie was bitten by a rattlesnake a couple of weeks ago. After they confirmed he had plenty of venom in his system, I had to put down a $1700 deposit before they would start treatment, and pay the bill in full the next day before taking him home.
This was at an emergency services place that took care of odd hours emergencies for most of the vets in the area (Jack was bitten on a Sunday morning).
Jack a few hours after he got home:
He had a week of diarrhea, but is now fine - no permanent damage to anything but my savings.
I honestly didn't expect anything else. I'm sure many vets have tried in vain to get money out of someone after the animal has left the premises.
200 pounds to do teeth????? YIKES! As I recall the pound is worth about $1.50 US so $300 for teeth floating? I only pay $65 at the clinic I go to and I do pay for just about everything up front, but I'd rather do that saves stress at bill paying time.
It wasn't just a routine float. A tooth had fractured and the fragmented bit needed to be pulled.
Most vets I've been to(small animal anyway) require payment before you take the animal home but they do usually give an estimate up front. I was actually shocked that our equine vet sends a bill after doing the service.
ETA: they do sometimes make other arrangements but the policy is pay at time of service.
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