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When is a refurbished C-arm the right decision?

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | March 08, 2016
David Denholtz
From the March 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

In many facilities, the choice to purchase a refurbished C-arm is made to either save money, bridge the gap until there is a budget for a new C-arm or to help with backlog. Purchasing a used C-arm can save anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent, depending upon the features. But purchasing the wrong unit can be a big mistake. There are over 50 companies that sell used C-arms and more than 12 that offer refurbished C-arms.

HealthCare Business News spoke with two individuals in the business of selling refurbished C-arms and their advice mirrors advice most refurbishers would offer. David Denholtz, CEO of Integrity Medical Systems Inc., and Leon Gugel, president of Metropolis International LLC, had much to say regarding the topic. Denholtz pointed out that refurbishing is a very elastic term. He has devised a 30-point checklist that every C-arm must pass before he makes it available to sell. There are different levels of “refurbishing,” and if a facility is in the market to buy a refurbished C-arm, understanding the refurbishing process is an important part of deciding which vendor to buy from. Denholtz recommends doing business with a company that has invested in the same tools that your physicist would use to test the accuracy of the output.

Leon Gugel

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Gugel recommends inspecting the C-arm before you buy. Purchasing a refurbished C-arm can save your facility money. Therefore, according to Gugel, it is worth it to invest the time and the expense to test drive the unit before you buy it. You might decide to buy, you might decide not to buy, and you may see something you would like to see tweaked. You would not buy a used car without driving it, and a refurbished C-arm is not any different.

What about a warranty?
Denholtz recommends that you might think twice about buying a C-arm from a firm that does not offer any sort of warranty. Some firms might say, “we do not have anyone local, and so it is hard for us to provide a warranty.” However, according to Denholtz, it should be easy to find a local company to provide labor, and the seller of the C-arm should be willing to provide the parts. “I would be afraid to buy a C-arm from a firm that would not offer a warranty,” says Denholtz.

Is refurbishing always necessary?
Gugel told HCB News that from time to time he has been able to purchase late-model C-arms from an estate or an imaging center that has had to sell because it could no longer compete. Sometimes, these latemodel C-arms are in perfect condition and can be sold without any refurbishing at all. This is the exception to the rule, but it is not unheard of. Both Denholtz and Gugel agree that there is a place for refurbished and used C-arms, and if a facility thinks that it might be appropriate for them, as long as they do their homework, it could be a perfect fit. It is important to note that many OEMs offer refurbished C-arms. GE, Philips, Hologic and Siemens all offer refurbished products.

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