The Business of Practice: Veterinarians Getting Legally Paid

It’s much easier to get paid at the time of service than to try and collect a delinquent bill. iStock/Horse Family

In episode 9 of The Business of Practice, attorney Milton C. Toby—who is married to an equine veterinarian—provides tips to veterinarians about getting legally paid. Toby is an award-winning equine writer and photographer who has been involved in the Thoroughbred racing industry for more than 40 years. Toby was president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors from 2018 until 2020.

· Episode transcript coming soon.

The Business of Practice podcast is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.

One important point that Toby made when starting the podcast was that it’s much easier to get paid at time of service than to try and collect a delinquent bill.

Topics:

  • The basics of getting paid include knowing
    • Who’s responsible for the bill
    • Is there insurance
  • What veterinarians need to do to get paid in a timely manner
    • proper record keeping
    • timely billing
    • timely follow-ups for unpaid bills
  • Pros and cons of charging interest on unpaid bills
  • Getting a credit card or deposit in advance
  • Leins
    • agister’s lein (every state has one) that probably won’t apply to veterinary care
    • specific veterinary lein (i.e., Kentucky has one)
  • Lawsuit to collect an overdue bill
    • Toby said there are very few good reasons to do this, including veterinarian’s time and expense in court and the likelihood of the owner filing a malpractice lawsuit in response. A collection lawsuit is really for breach of contract (failing to pay an agreed amount), so the veterinarian’s intake paperwork is important in creating a contract.

The Business of Practice podcast is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.

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