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.
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.