Top claims: Leveraging our data to help with client education

Catc Computer

As you may have noticed in the last year or so, we’ve made a conscious decision to mine our data for information that is helpful to the veterinary community as well as pet-owners, and of course, pet themselves. Some of these projects are pretty big and have had a broad impact, such as our Nationwide® | Purdue Veterinary Price Index, which we released at the NAVC conference in January and will be updating soon.

But we are also constantly searching for other gems in our database, such as our annual look at the top 10 reasons pet-owners visit their veterinarian, based on our claims. Here’s the most recent look:

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So what does this data mean for you in your practice? We believe that in providing this information to pet-owners, we are encouraging them to schedule wellness and preventive visits. (The information we release to pet-owner channels of information has a more lay person’s description of conditions.)

We are also trying to raise awareness among pet owners about the importance of consulting their veterinarians  when pets are sick — the earlier, the better.  In short: We’re trying to provide the veterinary community with tools for essential client education.

So what’s behind this chart, and what kinds of numbers are we looking at? Last year, Allergic Dermatitis counted for more than  80,000 individual claims submitted at an average cost of $189 per dog. Feline Cystitis or FLUTD accounted for the most common medical condition among cats with more than 4,700 claims received at an average cost of $425.

The most expensive conditions? For dogs, it was Benign Skin Neoplasia, with an average cost of $339 per dog. The most expensive feline medical condition was Lymphosarcoma,  a significantly more costly condition at just under $2,000 per cat.

As far as trends, our data for 2014 revealed a substantial increase in cases of IBD or Acquired Lymphangiectasia, which rose to the seventh most common condition in cats after not making the top 10 in previous years.

We have a lot more information in the pipeline that we will continue to share as it becomes available from our biostatisticians. As always, stay tuned.