Good Samaritan or Love Fund
I actually want to put Free/Discounted Clinics out of business by making them unnecessary. As for me, I’m volunteering in a Free Clinic and I would find not being needed to be a HUGE win. I can imagine nothing better than to not be needed because my colleagues were willing to help me to help animals.
This is all about helping the animals and helping the people struggling to survive in this troubled world to be able to afford the love of a happy, well cared for pets.
The bottom line is that if you implement the “Love Fund – (or whatever you call it)” it will save you money in taxes, allow you to help more clients and patients and hopefully make the work I’m doing obsolete. The only reason Free/Discounted Clinics exist is because veterinary care has gotten too expensive for most of the pet owners. The way most of us are trying to deal with this declining client pool is to charge more and more, offer Groupon deals and try to attract the clients that can afford it. And there are fewer and fewer of them out there.
This program is a way to completely do away with unpaid charges and clients not being able to afford our services. And if your practice is using the accrual method of accounting it will actually help you to legally pay less tax. This is not an Angel fund. There are no actual payments into the fund.
– What you do is put a negative charge into the Love Fund patient history and post it. That negative charge can be as little or as much as you want. It can be a memorial donation.
– You then post it to the client accounting window. This creates a negative charge.
– Now when someone comes in and they can’t pay the full amount you can split bill the fund for whatever they can’t afford (you’ve got to have faith but in all the time I used that fund I rarely had anyone try to abuse it) and if you need more you can just post more to the Love Fund account. This way you don’t have to send them out the door feeling like veterinarians are just in it for the money and don’t care about animals and ultimately the client can get the best care for their pet. The most import thing is that you’re now the Hero, not the Villain.
– This will also give us an incentive to do Problem oriented medicine, be willing to do something they can afford and not what costs the most, not do unnecessary tests and not just treat symptoms (which is very expensive for the client and mostly makes the pharmaceutical companies and Uncle Sam richer). Just do whatever has the best chance of making the pet better for what they can afford.
And if you’re using the fund and are on the accrual accounting system your posting negative charges decreases your income and using this system there are no accounts receivable and bad debts.
When I was using this fund at my solo practice (Williamston Veterinary Hospital) in Martin County (one of the poorest counties in Eastern NC) I was grossing close to $500,000 during the last recession, with 40-50 new clients a month and I had $0.00 in accounts receivable, no bad debts and I was able to help all the animals regardless of the clients ability to pay. Using it in our Free Clinic I grossed close to $10,000 in donations in June with a net of $7,000. I have no employees and am getting between 15-38 new clients a week.
Lastly, and most importantly, you have to get your staff involved. But when you do, you’ll be amazed about how much happier everyone in the organization becomes!
If you have any questions I’d be happy answer them.
President and Veterinarian
Phoenix-Agape Humane Society
Phone # 423-800-5999