by John W. Mitchell
, Senior Correspondent | April 29, 2019
From the April 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Brenda Link, customer service liaison with Total Imaging Concepts (TIC), works exclusively with GE units for interim, short- and long-term leases. In the past year, she said the market for CT equipment gained momentum as medical facilities started taking the leap from 16-slice systems to 64 or higher slice systems, a trend she attributes to higher reimbursement anticipated for procedures the 16-slice units are not capable of performing.
“This has driven the price of the 16-slice units way down, saturating the market with these older workhorse systems, and, conversely, driving the 64-slice system price up,” said Link.
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Aside from the equipment itself, TIC also makes a priority of mobile unit aesthetics, which Link said are designed to be more pleasing and comfortable than they were in the past. Improvements include upgrades to cabinetry and flooring – as well as the operator console.
“It gets rid of the negative impressions of mobiles having inferior equipment and a drag to work in,” Link said. "We know that many of our customers prefer our roomy, nicely equipped mobiles to new in-house imaging suites."
Considerations for imaging providers seeking partnerships
Mobile demand for all major modalities – PET/CT, CT, and MR – is increasing on a national basis, according to Steve Richter, senior vice president and general manager for Insight Imaging Services’ mobile division, a company that operates 160 mobile units and provides MR, PET/CT, and CT services through customized contracts. Their terms allow for service term, service hours, rates, parked coaches, routed coaches or modular buildings, imaging equipment, and staffing.
“Mobile customers are often introducing a new imaging service or addressing a patient backlog issue,” he said. “When customers want to expand their service or locations to create new revenue streams, they often partner with us on a mobile unit or fixed site.”