Fee Optimizer (Veterinary) - FAQ

Modified on: Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 7:28 AM

Fee Optimizer is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly view all your fees for coded transaction items that have been completed, as well as production values for any date range. 

In the Practice Mobilizer smart phone App, you can refresh the data twice in one year per annual subscription. You can also have the report emailed to you by clicking the Get Full Report link in the App.


In Practice Optimizer, you can sort the list view in Fee Optimizer by clicking on any column header, such as Procedure Count or Current Production to arrange the entire report by that value. Fee Optimizer allows you to quickly see the items that are most frequently invoiced or which generate the most production. 

By default, Fee Optimizer uses one year’s (last 12 months) production data, and analyzes several data sources to calculate recommendations. 

***Note: The top 3 boxes are indicating your adjusted production (which looks at your total gross production charges, less any adjustments made against those charges in your Practice Management Software). The Current Production in the list view (below) is referencing your gross charges for the number of procedures performed - and does not consider adjustments made against those charges in your Practice Management Software.



What is the New Fee?

The New Fee is a recommendation. Fee Optimizer does not position the New Fee as a requirement for any hospital to implement. As always, the final word on updating your hospital's fees rests with the owner/doctor because she/he is the final decision maker. When a pet owner walks in the door, the owner/doctor is responsible to explain his fee to the pet owner.


Where does the New Fee come from?

These New Fees are based on your practice “style” - which means you could be on the higher percentile for your fees when comparing geographically, but may be the top performing hospital in your area for that specific procedure. Two main factors are the frequency of procedures and the profitability of those procedures. Fee Optimizer aligns the two factors and brings them as close as possible to display the New Fee. Keep in mind, a particular code could be the most frequent procedure transaction, but it can't be the most profitable because it may effect a hospital's supply-demand balance. That's why bringing frequency and profitablity into an "optimized" New Fee is essential. Note: These two factors will never be in perfect alignment, but we bring you the best and most optimized New Fee based on those two factors. The result is a New Fee that doesn't follow a guideline of percentile rankings alone, but rather optimizes fees to maximize a hospital's profitability. Other secondary factors effecting the two are: procedure mix, duration of appointments, number of providers, provider types, inventory, lab fees, number of operatories, and more…

We are the only fee optimization App that looks at your practice software data, as well as your regional data when determining the best fee for your hospital.

Keep in mind, since the codes are not standardized in Veterinary, there may be a larger price difference from your Current Fee to the New Fee. It may not mean that you're charging too low, but what that particular code has grouped into it (in your PIMS).

For example a Puppy Wellness Package code is currently $376 and contains a group of codes in it:

  • Exam $50

  • 4 - DA2P Vx Series $60

  • 2 - Lepto Vx Series $60 (Optional)

  • Fecal Test $15

  • 2 - Dewormer  $20

  • Rabies Vx $22

  • 2 - Lyme Vx Series $25

  • 2 - Giardia Vx Series $25

  • Spay/Neuter $99 (With/Without)

The new fee for a Puppy Wellness Package code would jump almost $40 at $415 total for all new fees of each code in it:

  • Exam $52

  • 4 - DA2P Vx Series $70

  • 2 - Lepto Vx Series $60 (Optional)

  • Fecal Test $18

  • 2 - Dewormer $24

  • Rabies Vx $30

  • 2 - Lyme Vx Series $28

  • 2 - Giardia Vx Series $28

  • Spay/Neuter $105 (With/Without)

Sikka provides the best, most relevant, comprehensive and accurate fee data guidelines which will always reflect the macro and micro economic conditions in and around your hospital.


Where does the percentile fee data come from?

Sikka has one of the largest samples of fee data in the U.S. We have collected fee information through 7 major sources:

  • A proprietary algorithm to capture fee data from surveys and other sources

  • Our own list of over 1,000 opt-in installations from which we get fee data in real time

  • Cost of Living (COLA) and US Department of Census databases such as Data.gov

Our fee database is sourced by over 48,000 zip codes. In the US there are about 49,000 zip codes. This all means that Sikka has one of the most comprehensive fee databases in the industry.

Sikka Software combines both with an artificial intelligence (AI) based learning algorithm using our "Vet Dictionary" to automatically classify over 23,000 codes in the veterinary industry (from inventory, to diagnostics, to labs & treatments, plus more).  This gives us 3 digit zip code level fee schedule capability, which is leading the way in the industry.  There are a total of 48,000 zip codes represented in the U.S. 


I don’t want to lose pet owners by updating my fees? What can I do?

Most hospitals think that they are the best paid hospital in their area. However, 99.99% of hospitals are not the best paid. There are always hospitals who are charging more than you. If you’re afraid you’re already are at the highest percentile, rest assured it is just an artificial ceiling. Simply put, if you are the best performing hospital in your area, then you should be the best paid hospital in that area.

In addition, rules of price tolerance are such that if your pet owners can bear the update in fees, then you should charge those fees. Sikka’s customers have never seen pet owner attrition more than 2% after a fee update. Of the pet owners who do leave, statistically they are those who will call around to find out who charges $20 less for an exam or spay/nueter procedure… frankly, those are not the loyal patients that you need in your practice.


How often should a hospital evaluate/update their fees?

To stay abreast of costs and maintain profitability, a hospital should review their fees at least twice a year. In the current ever changing economic environment, it is a good practice to review and analyze fees on a quarterly basis.  This helps practices remain competitive and profitable at the same time. 

A hospital that has been in business for many years should not want to set their fees too low and risk undermining the value of their work.  Hospitals that use high end labs, state-of-the art diagnostics, and other technology etc., need to ensure that they are profitable.  A hospital that is just starting does not want to set their fees too high which may result in driving pet owners away.

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