Veterinary Medical Center Animal Assistance Fund
MISSION: Knowing the demand for subsidized veterinary care can far exceeds the financial resources of many clients who are experiencing emergency medical needs for their pets, the Veterinary Medical Center Animal Assistance Fund (VMCAAF) was founded. It was the Vision of the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island to establish a direct way to help critically ill patients and their owners afford access to cutting edge referral & critical care emergency services in times of need. Proudly, the Veterinary Medical Center Animal Assistance Fund will meet those needs by distributing available funds equally and fairly, based on financial need and will follow the below clearly established criteria.
PURPOSE: In an effort to provide clients in need with financial assistance, the Veterinary Medical Center Animal Assistance Fund will allocate 100% of all donations made to the VMCAAF be used for the treatment of pets requiring emergency or urgent care whose owners demonstrate financial need at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island. The criteria for VMCAAF distribution is as follows.
PROCEDURE: The Veterinary Medical Center Animal Assistance Fund will be managed by a fund administrator appointed by the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island and all monies will be distributed as the result of a collaborative decision making process among the Leadership Team at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island, and the appointed fund administrator.
Proper client evaluation and patient need will be key to the fair and efficient allocation of funds. This is the primary responsibility of the VMCLI Hospital Administrator and the VMCLI Leadership Team. VMCAAF funds are available to clients whose pet is in need of emergency treatment, catastrophic care or for special circumstances under which life-altering treatments are necessary. It is not intended for use for routine, health maintenance, elective tests or surgical sterilization. As a rule, the VMCAAF will cover no more than 80% of the total cost of treatment. The client will be responsible for 20% of the total cost of treatment, with the expectation that an up-front payment of 20% of the consented estimate will be made in good faith. Exceptions can be made to this rule only with approval from the VMCLI Hospital Administrator.
The VMCAAF Fund Administrator is responsible for the processing of assistance request paperwork and will maintain all records, including but not limited to balance sheets, financial statements, completed application forms and monthly reports.
Criteria for VMCAAF eligibility:
Patient: The medical condition of the animal must have a reasonable prognosis
for recovery. As a rule, the fund will only cover short term, immediate treatment, or emergency surgery. Follow-up and/or continuing care will not be covered under VMCAAF. These funds may only be used for services provided by the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island. Funds cannot be used to subsidize treatment or care obtained from another veterinary hospital, facility or pharmacy.
Client: All clients requesting assistance must first complete and submit a Care Credit application to see if alternative financing is available. If the client is approved for Care Credit, these funds must be used toward the care of the patient before any further financial consideration can be made by the VMCAAF. The client must demonstrate and document financial need to be eligible for VMCAAF assistance. Proof of financial need includes Medicaid, Section 8 housing, disability and two months consecutive bank statements
Standard of Care: It is the veterinarian’s duty to ensure that all standards are followed.
Procedure for disbursement of funds:
When it has become apparent that a client cannot afford needed medical care, and it has been determined that a reasonable prognosis for the pet’s full recovery exists, the following steps must be taken prior to approval of VMCAAF financial assistance.
- If Care Credit is denied, the client should be informed about other options for financial assistance (NYSaves, ASPCA, family and/or friends of client). The VMCLI will communicate these options clearly to the client in conjunction with the VMCAAF. The Customer Service Supervisor can then discuss the specifics of the VMCAAF procedure with the client.
- The veterinarian informs the Customer Service Supervisor or Hospital Administrator that a request for assistance is being initiated. The Hospital Administrator indicates the availability of funds based on the available donations received. Only the Hospital Administrator can authorize the initiation to proceed with a VMCAAF application for financial assistance.
- The Customer Service Supervisor or other authorized personnel can then assist the client with filling out the VMCAAF application, and the VMCLI will present the client with an estimate of the anticipated cost that reflects a reasonable medical or surgical plan needed to treat the problem. This estimate must be as accurate as possible. Determination of financial assistance will be solely based on this estimate. In cases with an underestimation due to unforeseen complications, any additional VMCAAF funding must be approved by the Hospital Administrator.
- Because of nature of the fund and limited resources, the VMCAAF is only able to support 80% maximum of the total invoice and the client will be responsible for the remainder of the balance (. Additionally, VMCAAF funding is for the immediate, initial care listed on the estimate. It does not cover extended care for this problem or subsequent rechecks or relapses. The veterinarian will discuss with the client the long-term care demands of the conditions, so that the client can assess whether they will able to support ongoing financial care.
- All approved VMCAAF applications are submitted to the Hospital Administrator for processing and filing. A completed application includes the estimate and the Hospital Administrator’s final approval.
- The client must sign the estimate and agree to the rules governing the disbursement.
- The exact amount will be debited from the VMCAAF account and credited to the VMCLI clients account under the VMCAAF payment option.
- It is the Customer Service Supervisor’s obligation to keep the client informed of the status of the aforementioned.