Discussion of cost continues to be uncommon in companion animal veterinary practice.
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and nature of cost conversations occurring during veterinarian-client-patient interactions within companion animal practice. SAMPLES: 60 randomly selected, practicing veterinarians working in 55 practices across southern Ontario, Canada, and 909 of their clients, sampled by convenience. PROCEDURES: A cross-sectional descriptive study including 917 video-recorded appointments. Associations between veterinarian, client, or appointment-level factors and occurrence of a cost conversation were evaluated using multi-level logistic regression. RESULTS: 215 of 917 (23.4%) videos included a discussion of cost between the veterinarian and client. Cost conversations involving veterinarians primarily focused on conveying the price in relation to the time or service being offered (74.0% [159/215]), whereas the benefit to the future health and wellness of the patient was conveyed in 14.4% (31/215) of veterinarians' cost conversations. Costs were most frequently discussed by veterinarians in relation to diagnostic testing (44.2% [96/215]). The odds of a cost discussion occurring were greater during problem appointments versus wellness (P = .011) or recheck (P = .029) appointments, for feline versus canine patients (P = .037), as appointment duration increased (P < .001), and as a client's number of visits in the past year decreased (P = .049). CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Discussing cost of care in veterinary practice continues to be relatively uncommon. Opportunities exist for veterinary professionals to frame their communication of the cost of veterinary care in relation to the benefits offered to the future health and wellbeing of the veterinary patient.
author list (cited authors)
Groves, C., Janke, N., Stroyev, A., Tayce, J. D., & Coe, J. B.
complete list of authors
Groves, Catherine NH||Janke, Natasha||Stroyev, Alexandra||Tayce, Jordan D||Coe, Jason B