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$500 reward for the best "medical service" answer

by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO | January 15, 2014
In case you don't see the news story, I want to tell you about a contest we are running.

DOTmed wants to hear your ideas about how to reduce service costs. We think this is a very important topic, especially in today's health care environment, and I'm sure you do as well.

The best answer will win $500 and the second best will win $250.

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Think about this: If you operate an MRI, CT or one of the many other capital equipment systems used in health care today, for 8 to 10 years you could pay as much in service as you spent to buy the system. We would never accept this for the cars we buy yet we accept it -- and even expect it -- when it comes to capital medical equipment.

Some would say that this is to be expected for a number of reasons. However, consider that we have made great progress in health care and as a result, people live longer. As our population grows older, so does the strain to our health care system. Everyday, 10,000 baby boomers retire and are added to the Medicare rolls. This will continue for the next 10 years. Think about what this does to health care spending and the cost of service.

We are going to have to find a way to save on service costs.

It seems to me that our readers are better suited than any other group to suggest ways to reduce service costs.

Please submit your ideas below, and with as much detail as possible. If you prefer to remain anonymous for the public post, you can click the "Make this forum post anonymous" box you will see on the page.

Feel free to piggyback on other responses as well. This should also be a forum for ideas.

The winning answers will be featured in the May biomedical issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News.

We look forward to hearing from you.

View all The Jacobus Report Blog Posts


About Phil Jacobus

Phil Jacobus has been involved in health care since 1977, when he visited China to sell equipment. He has done business in 35 countries and still travels extensively. Phil is active in charity, helps rural clinics and always tries to help DOTmed users when he can.

Phil is a member of AHRA, HFMA, AAMI and the Cryogenic Society of America. He has contributed to a number of magazines and journals and has addressed trade groups.

Phil's proudest achievement is that he has been happily married to his wife Barbara since 1989, who helped him found DOTmed in 1998.

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Mudi Ramesh

Equipment Insurance Plans

January 16, 2014 08:39

I see a parallel between this discussion and the discussion on Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The federal government touts the Affordable Care Act as the mechanism to "put consumers back in charge of their health care". Likewise the "consumers" of capital medical equipment, viz, hospitals, imaging centers and other healthcare providers should be the drivers of the the maintenance costs. Currently the OEMS and independent service providers are calling the shots on maintenance costs. They determine how much the "consumers" pay for labor and parts.

The current scenario is ideal for an "equipment insurance plans" to be in place. Healthcare providers who own or lease equipment should be able to "purchase" equipment insurance plans on the market. OEMs and ISOs are ideally suited to offer equipment insurance plans. When they compete for business, the owners of equipment will win. The 'premiums' the owners will pay for maintenance will depend on the age, model and usage of their equipment. Just as envisioned in the healthcare insurance market, owners of relatively "younger" equipment in "good health" will subsidize the costs of owners of "older" equipment which are in constant need of repairs and parts. Every stake holder - owners, OEMs and ISOs - will be better off with equipment insurance plans.

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Pete Schliebner

Service Contracts are expensive

January 16, 2014 02:04

Eliminate all service contracts. The only reason OEM's & independents sell service contracts is because they make a lot of money off of them. If the end-user would just pay for service as needed, including scheduled PM's, they would save a lot of money and their equipment would still be maintained in good condition.

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Brian Tunell

Think outside of the box

January 16, 2014 04:17

Most folks turn to the OEM or Dealer for their repair parts. While this can't always be avoided, second sourcing parts through other outlets, like electronic and hardware suppliers.

Also, refurbishing parts in-house for spares will also provide savings.

Research your options outside of the OEM, there are lots of specialty companies that provide services that can be used to repair or refurbish common parts. For example, that damaged X-ray portable wheel can be sent out to have the rubber tread replaced, rather than buying a whole wheel from the vendor.

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