We would like to update you on the Acredale 24 hour service plan and inform you of some changes we will be implementing. We first introduced the plan 2 years ago with the hope of having at least 40 percent of our clients participate. Based on our projections, we felt this goal would be adequate to generate the funds needed to support staffing our hospital 24 hours a day while keeping the cost of health care affordable to the Hampton Roads community. Our goal is to provide affordable veterinary care 24 hours a day to clients whom feel that it is valuable. Currently, we have achieved a 14% participation rate in our 24 hour plan.
Unfortunately, the current participation rate is not sufficient to continue to provide the staffing needed while still charging our regular prices. In order to continue offering 24 hour services, we will need to make some changes to our walk-in protocols, as outlined below. We feel these changes will help us control staffing costs, making it directly proportional to the demand for our services. These changes will go into effect after February 1st, 2019.
We feel it is very important to be available to our our clients 24 hours a day, and hope that clients share this view and will be understanding of the $50 annual fee for this service. We would like to emphasize that the service plan is more like insurance policy than a discount. Participation is not just for those clients who know they will come in after appointment hours that year, and want to save an after-hours fee. It is for everyone that knows the possibility of needing after hours care exists and the increased costs associated with receiving that care at a traditional emergency clinic. One of the main reasons we started the 24 hour service was due to concern for our clients who had spent thousands of dollars more for service at the local emergency clinics compared to what they would have spent if we had been available.
24 hour service plan members will also continue to have the benefit of calling ahead to check-in for walk -in services. This allows you to time your arrival at Acredale close to the time the doctor will be ready to see your pet and therefore reduces your wait time at the hospital.
We do not wish to decline services to any of our clients. The decision for this change is simply because we are faced with the choice of not having after hour services for any of our clients, or providing it to just those who are willing to help cover the cost. We understand that for some clients our extra hours may have no value, and we do not want anyone to feel concerned they are covering the costs for those extra hours they will not use. If you choose not to participate, you will still be able to come as a walk in during our regular business hours for an additional fee as outlined above. However, if the need arises for medical care outside of our regular business hours, and you have chosen not to participate in the plan, you will need to utilize one of the local emergency clinics.
The Doctors and Staff of Acredale Animal Hospital