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Does keeping equipment longer save money?

by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO | July 01, 2015
I remember a time when the average piece of used medical equipment was five or six years old. There was more money floating around in those days and people replaced their old equipment sooner.

Technology was moving forward and as it did, many hospitals wanted and, in fact, needed to have the latest and greatest capabilities available to their patients.

Today however, new financial pressures are being placed on healthcare providers which force them to hold on to their equipment longer. Health reform has meant stretching dollars, and where equipment is concerned, many hospitals are looking for ways to save money on after-sale servicing.

I have not seen any studies but I have to believe, just based on my gut, that the average piece of capital equipment is older now than it was 30 years ago.

The question is, are providers really saving? When you take into account downtime — the impact it has on admitting and discharging patients and everything in between, the time it takes to source parts or train an in house team — I wonder what the bottom line looks like.

Also, as health reform comes full circle with outcome initiatives like XR-29 and the new Joint Commission standards, how will they impact hospital spending?

These are topics that we will be covering in the next issue of our magazine. If you have any thoughts on this subject, please email me or respond below.

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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.


Jose Morillo

Longer-term equipments va. Cost

July 02, 2015 05:25

Actually if medical equipment market is based in US internal volume, decisions will be different than took if it considers the rest of the world.
In Venezuela the cost of replace any equipment is reaching astronomical levels. The govern assign (legally) a preferential rate of 6.3Bs/USD.... But you need to wait a year for it. If you need /want it faster and do not have the USD, you need to pay it 80 times higher the value... Today, while I AL writing this lines, the cost is 500bs/USD. 6.3 to 500..... Now perhaps you will understand why is really hard to replace it often.
There are 1993 ct's for sale in this moment with a cost of 90% of a 64 slices news obtained by govern rates USD..... A CT tube cost is higher than a new CT itself due is hard to reach preferential USD to parts.

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Philip F. Jacobus

re: Longer-term equipments va. Cost

July 07, 2015 09:54

I agree that the USA is a unique market and that currency exchange rates play a role in when and what to buy. You make a good point Jose, Thank you.

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