All About Money and Payments
**If you believe you are going to have trouble paying the bill, please have the courtesy not to approach the veterinarian in the exam room about financial arrangements.**
Although Dr. Hartman is the owner of Valley Lakes Veterinary Clinic, he is also the doctor who will be making medical recommendations for your pet. Your private request in the exam room puts the doctor in a difficult position and can create a conflict of interest. Please let the staff know upon scheduling your appointment of financial constraints. This better allows us to go over our options with you before your scheduled appointment. Prior to your pet's treatment, we encourage you to ask for a treatment plan. Allow the doctor to perform his examination so a treatment plan may be created specifically for your pet. (Please understand that an accurate treatment plan cannot be given via telephone.) Payment is required when services are rendered. In order to focus on our patient needs, customer service and minimizing costs, we do not bill. If you have forgotten your wallet or check book at home, we will gladly provide an hour of daycare at no charge to you while you retrieve it from home. Our practice accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Debit Cards, Cash and Illinois state checks with a valid Illinois photo ID, CareCredit (www.carecredit.com), ScratchPay (www.scratchpay.com). Returned checks will incur a $25 returned check fee. (We can not accept pre signed checks sent in with someone else for payment, the name that is on the checking account must be present to sign the check and they must present a valid ID at the time of service.) Please do not be offended if our staff members ask you for your ID upon check out. Some policies require ID be presented when using credit cards. This is for your protection and ours. We will always ask you to use your PIN code if using a debit card.
When unexpected illness strikes a pet, unexpected expenses strike as well. We understand this and proudly accept Care Credit and Scratch Pay. Using your CareCredit as payment will allow you to spread out the cost over 6 months anytime your services total $200 or more. Scratch Pay offers simple pet friendly payment plans. Care Credit and Scratch Pay are subject to credit approval. CLICK HERE to apply for CareCredit. CLICK HERE to check your interest rate offer and apply for Scratch Pay, this check will NOT affect your FICO score. Scratch Pay funds are valid for 7 days.
Valley Lakes Veterinary Clinic offers the lowest prices possible to our clients that allow us to provide quality care to our patients, pay a living wage to our employees and pay our bills.
Simply put, we cannot discount services any more than we already do. While we understand finances may be hard for many, we also must be able to make ends meet.
We offer regular service discounts for those patients enrolled in our wellness plan program. CLICK HERE to read about our Wellness Plan Program.
In order to provide the best quality care and to educate you about your pet's condition, Doctor's hours are by appointment only. While we do try to see regular scheduled appointments on time, occasionally a critical case may arise that will prevent the Doctor from seeing your pet at the scheduled time. Please know that critical and emergency cases will receive priority. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment with us, kindly give 24 hours notice. Otherwise, we reserve the right to charge for time reserved.
For your convenience, "drop-off" appointments are available. A "drop off" means you could bring your pet and leave him/her with us for a couple of hours. Usually we will ask you to drop off sometime in the morning so our doctors can examine the patient in between appointments or at the time purposely reserved for admitted patients. Once the doctor is done, we will give you a call to go over the diagnosis and to give you discharge instructions. For the safety of all animals in our care, we require that all vaccinations be up to date.
Missed Appointment Policy
Valley Lakes Veterinary Clinic will make contact with you via email or text before your scheduled appointment as a courtesy. A missed appointment fee will be charged for owners who fail to give 24 hours advance notice that they can not keep their appointment. Surgical appointments require a 48 hour cancellation notice. Before another appointment can be scheduled, this fee will need to be paid.
Emergency & Acute Care
Valley Lakes Veterinary Clinic understands emergencies and urgent care situations happen. If you feel your pet has an emergency or urgent care situation, we ask that you call the office before coming in with your pet to update us on the situation. We will try to accommodate you in the best way possible. Please understand emergency and urgent care visits will incur a higher fee than scheduled appointments. Please understand under certain circumstances, we will need to recommend you take your pet to the local pet emergency room.
Waiting Room Courtesy
For the safety and comfort of all clients and patients at Valley Lakes Veterinary Clinic, all pets must be restrained on a leash or inside a carrier. If you find yourself to have arrived without a leash, we can provide a leash for you at no cost. We do provide small cardboard pet carriers for a nominal fee should you need one. Please ask owners before allowing your dog to make contact with their dog. Please do not allow your children to approach any pet in our waiting room without asking the owner first. Kindly walk your dog on the grassy area at the end of the parking lot before entering the clinic, giving them the chance to eliminate. Should you use a retractable leash, please be sure that the leash is in the LOCKED position on the shortest length while inside the clinic. Please do not leave your pet(s) or children unattended in the building.
Cell Phone Etiquette
Please turn off or silence your cell phone upon entering the building. Should you receive a call that you must take, kindly remove yourself from the building. Please do not use your cell phone in any way while in the exam room with the doctor.
We often get questions from clients concerning prescription refills, particularly when owners have to bring their pet back to see the veterinarian before the medication can be refilled. Medication may only be refilled when prescribed by a veterinarian for animals under their care. It is against federal and state law for a veterinarian to supply drugs without seeing and examining the pet for which they are prescribing for.
What does this mean to a VLVC client?
- Your pet must have initially been seen for a condition by our veterinarian who prescribed the medication.
- For prescription refills, including prescription diets (with the exception of topical flea treatments) your pet must have been seen by our veterinarian within the last 6 to 12 months. The time range of the exam is based upon the condition and/or medication. With some medical conditions it may be even sooner.
- Drugs cannot be supplied for friends of clients.
- Drugs cannot be dispensed to anyone under the age of 18 years.
- Drugs cannot be supplied on behalf of another veterinarian without the pet being seen.
Federal and state laws and good medical practice prohibit us from dispensing or refilling medications that were originally ordered by another veterinarian. We will be happy to dispense any needed medications after examining your animal.
Our goal at Valley Lakes Veterinary Clinic is to provide your pet with the highest quality of veterinary care. Therefore, the frequency of check-ups depends on the nature of your pet's condition and the drugs being provided. If we ask you to bring your pet back to see the veterinarian before issuing a repeat prescription, you can rest assured that it is only in the best interests of you pet's health.
Our practice staff is not allowed to dispense any medications without the specific consent of a veterinarian who must decide whether or not an examination is required.
Please allow 24 hours for prescription refills to ensure that your wait time is minimized upon arrival to pick up the medication. For prescription diet refills, we receive an order once a week, currently that order is delivered on Mondays. Please order your prescription diet by noon on Friday for a Monday delivery.
Per FDA regulation CPG Sec. 460.300, dispensed medications my not be returned to VLVC. Prescription diets may be returned for credit to your account.
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