Are Veterinarians Affected by the Affordable Care Act?

Veterinarian caring for a dog.

[Photo Credit: Flickr/Army Medicine]

In short, yes. They are.

How they’re affected by it takes some explaining.

One aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (abbreviated as ACA and often referred to as “Obamacare”, after President Obama) is the medical device tax provision. The medical device excise tax took effect this year and is placed on certain devices. These devices as those that are classified as by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (This classification falls under § 510(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and also the Code of Federal Regulations, specifically 21 CFR part 807.)

But how does this relate to veterinarians and their practices? It turns out that many of the medical devices used to treat and diagnosis human patients are also used on animals. Technology such as radiographic machines (think of x-ray equipment) and diagnostic ultrasound is used on both humans and animal patients like cats, dogs, and horses. The medical device tax means that veterinarians are faced with increased medical equipment costs. These costs would then be passed onto their patients — animals and by extension their owners — and most people don’t have pet insurance.

Did You Know: You can get pet insurance for your dog or cat? The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has plans available if you want to learn more.

What can veterinarians do when it comes to buying new equipment without passing the costs of the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax on to their patients? There are funding options available that can help practices, especially smaller or even solo practices, afford equipment upgrades. Loans are available for medical professionals such as veterinarians. These loans use either business credit or even personal credit scores as the basis of the loan and loan amounts can range from $10,000 up to $250,000 with some lenders. The terms vary from lender to lender and certain lenders specify that the loan must be for equipment financing, so it’s best to do research on medical professional financing options.

If you are a veterinarian who is looking into financing alternatives, AmOne can help. We have experienced financial search specialists available. We can help match you with the best medical professional loan for your practice’s needs and help find the equipment loan that will keep you current and your patients healthy. Our financial search specialists can be reached toll-free at 1-800-781-5187. You can also learn more about AmOne and our small business loan products by exploring our website.