Veterinary Payment Program

One Health Organization > Veterinary Payment Program

Frequently Asked Questions - Information for Veterinary Clinics

Whether you're new to the Veterinary Payment Program or if you're already a Veterinary Partner, your most frequently asked questions are answered below. If we haven't been able to answer your question below, please contact the office during normal business hours or send us an email.

What is the Veterinary Payment Program?

This program is for those veterinary practices that provide services to those living in Northeast Ohio, which includes Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Medina, and Lorain counties.

Why should our veterinary clinic get involved?

You care about your animal patients. We care that you can provide services to pets no matter the financial capacity of your client. We established a way for low-income pet owners to acquire Veterinary Payment Vouchers that they can use for payment at any participating veterinary clinic. We guarantee that when you are presented with a Voucher provided by One Health Organization, that you will be paid.

What is a One Health Family?

We call people living with at least one pet a One Health Family. Our goal is for every One Health Family to choose a primary care veterinarian. We set up the One Health Family Member program so that the most vulnerable people in our community (55+ or disabled) can afford once annual veterinary visits for their dogs or cats. Also, if their pet has a chronic condition, an urgent medical need, or experiences an emergency medical situation, they should have the option to afford the care needed to ease pain and suffering, and a way to afford basic services needed after the death of their pet.

Is there any cost to participate?

No. There is no cost for any veterinary clinic to participate.

How can you guarantee that veterinary practices will get paid?

No Voucher is given to a One Health Family Member unless we have money to pay for the full value of each Voucher issued.

Are veterinarians expected to give clients a discount?

No. You are not expected to give clients a discount. However, it would be appreciated if you could provide a discount to our low-income One Health Family Members to help them stretch their Vouchers further.

How do we know that clients can afford our services?

If a client states that they have Vouchers, you can give them a quote before you start providing services so that there are no surprises. You could ask them how many Vouchers they brought with them (each are worth up to $25 each). They've been asked to bring at least $24 more in other forms of payment (cash or credit card) with them in case your recommended services cost more than the full value of their Vouchers. They may or may not bring additional funds with them, despite our best efforts to prepare them. Some clients want whatever it takes to diagnose a health problem or treat their pet, so you can remind them that they will need to take into consideration how much total money they have to spend.

Are low-income pet owners motivated to take care of their pet?

Yes. We know first hand that regardless of income, pet owners who talk to us want to provide the best care they can to take care of their pets. Sometimes their financial situation makes their choices difficult. Do they take care of their own needs (food, clothing, shelter, medications, etc.), or do they sacrifice what they have to take care of their pet? We know that some will share their food or even give their pets medication prescribed for themselves. As you know, this isn't good for the pet or for their person.

Who receives vouchers from One Health Organization?

One Health Organization issues vouchers to pet owners to help pay for veterinary services. At the time of this writing (6/22/2016) there are 190 members who received vouchers worth up to $250 because they provided written proof that they were in financial need. These members are at least 55 years of age OR they are disabled, as defined by the federal government. Most One Health Family Members to date live in Cuyahoga County, though several live in adjacent counties such as Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Medina, and Lorain.

What if the client needs more expensive care?

Members may access additional financial support from One Health Organization on a case-by-case basis if veterinary costs exceed $250. If a veterinarian identifies that services are needed that exceed $250, then the veterinary clinic must appeal to One Health Organization on the member's behalf. Call the office at 216.920.3051 and ask to speak to Dr. Anna about the case, and anticipated costs.

What if this is urgent or an emergency?

If the need is an urgent or emergency situation during normal business hours, please call the office at 216.920.3051. If this is an urgent or emergency situation after hours, please e-mail Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren directly. She will get back to you as soon as she is able, but there is no guarantee that she will respond as quickly as you need one.

We are investigating a process where no cat or dog has to suffer needlessly from pain or distress on an urgent or emergency care basis because of a One Health Family Member's inability to pay at the time of service.

Do vouchers expire?

Yes. Vouchers retain their full value up until the stated expiration date (up to one year after the issue date).

What do vouchers look like?

There are two sides to a Voucher. Do not accept Vouchers that only have one side printed on them or if they have expired. Please contact the office if you suspect fraud. Thank you!

Use of vouchers by pet owners

Pet owners may use vouchers to help pay for veterinary services, as provided by participating veterinarians, up to the value of each voucher presented. If the total cost of services exceeds the value of one voucher, then more than one voucher may be presented by the pet owner to the participating veterinary clinic.  If the total cost of services exceeds the value of all the vouchers the pet owner brought with them, then the pet owner is expected to pay the difference if the veterinary clinic chooses not to write off the expense, donate the services or provide a discount.

Who receives cash in exchange for vouchers?

Only (participating) veterinary clinics may receive cash in exchange for vouchers. Note that any reputable veterinary clinic can sign up to become a participating veterinary clinic at any time. Vouchers do not have cash value to pet owners, and may not be sent by pet owners to One Health Organization to receive payment. 

What if a client claims to have lost their voucher(s)?

If a pet owner claims to have lost their voucher(s), the veterinary clinic should contact One Health Organization at 216.920.3051 to verify their claim.

Are vouchers transferable?

Vouchers are not transferable from one pet owner to another without written permission of One Health Organization. Vouchers may be used for any pet living in the home of the pet owner. Pets known to live in the home of the pet owner at the time the vouchers are issued are stated on the voucher. It is the responsibility of veterinary clinic to determine whether the voucher is used by the person named on the voucher. Pet owners or the veterinary clinic should notify One Health Organization if a pet dies or a new one is acquired to keep records current.

How does reimbursement of vouchers occur?

Upon presenting a voucher issued by One Health Organization for reimbursement, the veterinary clinic needs to provide written proof that services were rendered with a copy of the client invoice indicating the services provided, the discount provided to the client (if any), and the amount paid by the client (if anything). If the total cost of services falls below the value of one voucher, then the participating veterinary clinic may attach more than one invoice to that voucher (for the same pet owner).

One Health Organization will reimburse the veterinary clinic for up to the value of each voucher depending on the amount owed for services rendered. For example, if services cost $20, and a voucher worth $25 is sent, One Health will pay the participating veterinary clinic $20. Alternatively, if services cost $30, and a voucher worth $25 is sent, One Health Organization will pay the participating veterinary clinic $25. One Health Organization is not responsible for fees that exceed the face value of voucher(s) presented to the participating veterinary clinic.

Services must be provided by the participating veterinary clinic on or after the date the voucher was issued yet before or on the expiration date of the voucher in order to be reimbursed. Vouchers expire up to one year after the date they were issued to encourage pet owners to seek veterinary care services for their pet at least once annually. 

The veterinary clinic will fill out the back of each voucher, and submit them with backup documentation, as described elsewhere, through one of the following methods:

  • US postal service: Mail to One Health Organization, ATTN: Veterinary Payment Program, 596 Battles Rd, Gates Mills, OH 44040
  • FAX sent to 216.455.0980: Call to ensure delivery with the first FAX sent; if unsuccessful, then another delivery method must be used until the participating veterinary clinic FAX machine is upgraded to meet the capabilities of the FAX system used by One Health Organization
  • Picture taken by a smart device and sent as an attachment by e-mail to Accounting@OneHealth.org: The information provided in the body of the e-mail must include at a minimum the voucher # used, pet owner's last name, and service date (MM/DD/YYYY)
When can the veterinary clinic get paid?

Payment can be expected within ten business days of receiving the voucher(s) and appropriate backup documentation from the participating veterinary clinic. If the information is incomplete, then it will take more time to submit payment. An IRS Form W-9 for the participating veterinary clinic must be on file at One Health in order for payment to be approved and made (Download an IRS Form W9).

How does the veterinary clinic get paid?

Payment includes the following options:

  • a check made out to the participating veterinary clinic
  • electronic transfer (if the participating veterinary clinic has written proof that they are incorporated as a business, as indicated on the IRS Form W-9 provided)

Note: A credit card payment may be made only if the above options are not acceptable per veterinary clinic policy.

What veterinary expenses are covered?

Vouchers can be used to pay for most veterinary care services, such as the following:

  • Annual veterinary services required by law or rules, or as advised by a practicing veterinarian, such as a physical examination, core vaccinations, parasite control, etc.
  • Disease testing, such as fecal examinations, blood tests, urine tests, ear swabs, etc.
  • Toenail trims and other medically necessary grooming procedures, such as removing matted fur, expressing anal glands, etc.
  • Dental cleanings (only if performed under general anesthesia)
  • Prescription diets, as medically indicated
  • Medications (acute or chronic care needs)
  • Urgent or emergency care services for medical or surgical conditions
  • Palliative care treatments
  • Euthanasia services
  • House call fees

Services must be provided in accordance with state law by and/or through a veterinary practice. Services not mentioned above may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Call 216.920.3051 Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm and ask to speak to Dr. Anna or send an e-mail if you have any questions about what is and is not covered.

What expenses are not covered?

Vouchers cannot be used to pay for routine spay/neuter procedures, pet adoption fees, or non-prescription pet food since there are other organizations that exist to pay for or provide these goods or services.

If you have a question about what is and is not covered, please call us at 216.920.3051 Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm and ask to speak to Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren or send an e-mail. We will get back to you as soon as we are able.