Purdue Economists Find Veterinary Industry Growth in 2015

February 4, 2016

The third Nationwide | Purdue Veterinary Price Index identified signs of business recovery for veterinary practices. The upward trend is the first national indication of industry growth since 2009.  Released January 16 at the NAVC (North American Veterinary Community) Conference, the data suggests a 5.1 percent annual growth rate in the price of common canine treatments in the first six months of 2015, compared to price declines every year from 2009 through 2014. The study noted that the price increase was primarily driven by an increase in the price of medical services with an annual growth rate of 5.6 percent. The price of well-care services increased at an annual growth rate of 3.8 percent.

“The latest Veterinary Price Index report is encouraging news about the economic conditions facing the veterinary medical profession,” said Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed.  “Adequate pricing for veterinary medical services is foundational to the profession’s ability to attract and retain top talent and to provide the top-quality veterinary care that people are seeking for their animal companions.”

The Nationwide | Purdue Veterinary Price Index is a comprehensive national study of more than six million pet health insurance claims filed with Nationwide (formerly Veterinary Pet Insurance®) since 2009.  The study is conducted by economists John Barron and Kevin Mumford at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.  “This new finding shows that people are starting to spend more on their pets for the first time since the Great Recession,” said Professor Mumford. “The data indicates that the veterinary services industry is finally seeing some economic growth.”

In 2014, Nationwide began working with the Krannert School economists to use actual claims data for medical and wellness care as a means of examining companion animal practice pricing.  The index is refreshed and released twice yearly. Because the bulk of the database contains data from canine claims, the focus of the analysis is on veterinary services for dogs. According to Nationwide, approximately 85% of insured pets across the pet health insurance industry are dogs.

Click here for more information and a link to the most recent Veterinary Price Index report.

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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