The Experts in Animal Health

I was interested to read in this week’s news that VCA is launching an urgent care veterinary service. It marks VCA’s first effort to build rather than acquire veterinary hospitals. But more intriguing is the business model: they plan to offer only urgent care appointments for non-life-threatening conditions, with free teletriage to determine whether a pet needs urgent care, emergency care, or routine care from their regular veterinarian. They are also offering a ‘virtual waiting room’ so clients can wait at home until it’s time for their appointment. Given the widespread concerns about long waits to see both general practitioners and emergency-only practices, this seems to fill a need in the veterinary care space.  Urgent care facilities are well-established in human medicine; it will be interesting to follow this initiative to see if the urgent care concept takes off in the veterinary space.

Lynn Fondon

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