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CT service contracts: Avoid uncertainty when choosing the appropriate coverage

August 19, 2015
From the August 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

For a CT scanner being utilized 24/7, extended hours to midnight or 2 a.m. can be cost effective. In some cases, Saturday coverage could be recommended with standard business hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Point-of-sale Service Contracts Are Usually Less Expensive
Negotiating the service support contract with the purchase can lower your operating costs by 1-3 percent per year during a contract negotiated at warranty expiration.

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BME-based Contracts
For hospitals that want in-house coverage, the three main options to consider are transitional assist, BME first-call contracts and shared-risk contracts. These types of contracts are highly practical for large facilities that have multiple scanners and appropriately trained BME resources.

Transitional assist contracts offer a fullservice contract for the initial year while BME personnel are being trained, but are often much more expensive than fullservice contracts. BME first-call contracts offer troubleshooting and PM only, and a discount on parts, labor and X-ray tubes. These are usually lower in overall service costs than full-service contracts.

Sharedrisk contracts are designed for those facilities that are willing to share in the risk of service but also want an opportunity to reduce their costs. Through the use of a deductible, the service provider can cap your service repair costs. The customer pays on a call-by-call basis for each repair. If the CT scanner has only a few repairs throughout the year, you can minimize your costs by not meeting your deductible. If your equipment has numerous repairs, your total expenses are capped. The chart above lists service contract price ranges for BME contracts.

Contract Language
It is important that all contracts include language that protects your facility. Throughout the years, MD B1uyline has gathered the “best of the best” in contract language and has created some protective clause templates that we recommend you include in your purchase orders and contracts. Below are some of the most recommended clauses.

Multiyear Service Contracts This will provide additional value because these contracts are typically priced lower. With these, you will want to negotiate paying on a yearly basis and at a fixed rate throughout the contract term. In addition, you will want the option to change contract levels depending on the performance of your system or renegotiate price depending on the quality of your service.

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