Objective—To determine potential associations between demographic and business management factors and practice size and growth rate in rural mixed-animal veterinary practices.
Participants—54 mixed-animal practitioners.
Procedures—A cross-sectional survey (96 questions) was electronically disseminated. Responses were collected, and outcomes (number of veterinarians [NV], growth in number of veterinarians [NVG], gross practice income [GPI], growth in gross practice income [GPIG], gross practice income per veterinarian [GPIV], and growth in gross practice income per veterinarian [GPIVG]) were calculated. Bivariate analyses were performed and multivariable models created to determine associations between survey responses and outcomes of interest.
Results—Survey respondents were from mixed-animal practices, and most (46/54 [85.2%]) practiced in small communities (< 25,000 people). Study practices had a median ± SD NV of 2.3 ± 1.9 veterinarians, median GPI of $704,547 ± 754,839, and median GPIV of $282,065 ± 182,344. Multivariable regression analysis revealed several factors related to practice size, including the number of associate veterinarians and veterinary technicians in the practice, service fee structure, and employment of a business manager. Typically, practices had positive mean growth in NVG (4.4%), GPIG (8.5%), and GPIVG (8.1%), but growth rate was highly variable among practices. Factors accociated with growth rate included main species interest, frequency for adjusting prices, use of a marketing plan, service fee structure, and sending a client newsletter.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mixed-animal practices had a large range in size and growth rate. Economic indices were impacted by common business management practices.