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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

Performance Guarantee Clause
This will protect your facility and ensure that the equipment is performing to the agreed-upon performance specifications and will eliminate any finger-pointing if a service issue arises.

Response Time Guarantee
Response time to service problems is vital in choosing a service contract, especially with systems that can’t afford downtime. These must be provided in writing and acceptable to the hospital before the purchase order is issued.

Uptime Guarantee
Many vendors will provide a 95-98 percent uptime guarantee on their equipment. Vendors typically calculate uptime guarantee on a 24/7basis, but it is likely that your facility does not operate its CT scanner 24/7/365. Uptime guarantee should be calculated during your specific hours of operation, not based on times that your system is not going to be in operation.

Termination Clause
All contracts should have a termination clause that allows your facility to terminate the entire agreement or terminate coverage of specific items within that contract. This will ensure that you avoid continuing coverage of equipment that is no longer being used, that no long needs service coverage, or that you no longer have.

Clauses that impose a penalty for termination should be deleted. Another consideration to take into account is whether the vendor offers programs like real-time remote diagnosis, Radiation Dose Watch, ACR, and Continuing Educational Units as part of its service contract.

In Summary
To put all this information in perspective, outside of capital and supply costs, service contracts are the next line item that can have a significant effect on the overall life cycle costs. They are a small but vital part of any purchasing discussion, and for some technologies, service contracts can be the difference between breaking even during the lifetime of the purchase or not.

Ms. Katie Regan joined MD Buyline in 2013 and brought with her seven years of clinical research experience. At MD Buyline, she leads all clinical, financial and general health care publishing projects. Ms. Regan received her Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree from Rice University.

Loretta Loncoske, BS, R.T. (R), Clinical Analyst Ms. Loretta Loncoske joined MD Buyline in 1991 with over 30 years of clinical experience in the high-end radiology modalities of MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, PET, interventional radiology and general radiology, and women’s health. She has held positions as director and assistant director of radiology at several facilities. Ms. Loncoske is a registered technologist and is certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in Radiology. She is a member of the American Society of Radiologic Technology and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

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