Corporate Vet Practices – Does it matter?

By February 19, 2020Blog

You may not realize it, but your vet practice may no longer be owned by a local veterinarian. Like pharmacies in the 1980’s, a wave of corporate consolidation is overtaking the veterinary industry and
has made a significant impact in the Memphis area. Does it matter?

Consider Pet Vet Care Centers. PVCC is based in Connecticut and has acquired over 200 practices nationwide since 2012. In Memphis, this includes all the PetVax locations, Stage Road Animal Clinic, Hillcrest Animal Clinic, Germantown Parkway Animal Hospital, and Southwind Animal Hospital. Most importantly, PVCC owns MedVet Memphis and the Animal Emergency Center. This single company owns almost 10 general practices, both animal emergency rooms, and the only specialty hospital in the MidSouth.

How does this affect you and your pet? Is PVCC owned and operated by a caring group of veterinarians looking out for the best interest of the pets and pet owners of our area? Their website offers good insight into the focus of the company.

PVCC is a corporate “roll-up” company. Their sole purpose is to consolidate small animal practices to extract reliable cash flow from the businesses and, eventually, sell to an even larger company. The leadership are corporate acquisition specialists, not DVMs. In fact, the medical advisory board for this 200+ hospital organization consists of two doctors. They are the only two veterinarians listed on the site.

The acquisitions that PVCC make are bankrolled by Kravis Kohlberg Roberts [KKR]. You may remember KKR from the book and movie Barbarians at the Gate. KKR is a Private Equity firm that operates for the sole purpose of generating returns for their investors. This is the profit engine that drives PVCC to acquire and manage your veterinary practice.

Based on the ownership and the culture of the company, do you think their focus is on the health and welfare of your pet? Are they spending money to improve their practices by investing in training, medical oversight, and highly trained staff? Do they measure their success by the quality of the medicine they practice? These are the questions to ask the next time you visit their practices.

There are other corporately owned and operated practices in the Memphis area. Southern Veterinary Partners owns and operates Memphis Animal Clinic and Horn Lake Animal Hospital. National Veterinary Associates owns Gentle Care in Bartlett. VCA owns Eads Animal Hospital. Finally, The Pet Hospitals recently sold to Pathway Veterinary Alliance. The profits from these practices flow out of the community and into the pockets of their investors

Consider the value a locally owned practice brings to the community. We’re your neighbors, your fellow school parents, your fellow parishioners. The success or failure of Memphis affects us as much as it affects you. So consider choosing or switching to a locally owned veterinary practice. We care about
the community because we are members of the community.

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