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Servicing imaging technology in 2020 and beyond

November 20, 2020
Parts And Service
From the November 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Like with CT, most healthcare organizations use OEM service or very highly qualified third-party support to maintain their MR scanners and it is very rare for organizations to go without a service agreement. The annual price range for service support is higher than CT, ranging from $90,000 to $150,000, but the average cost across all vendors and models is also about $125,000. Along with PCP and UPS units, cost drivers of MR service include chiller and magnet maintenance, cryogens and coils.

Molecular Imaging/Nuclear Medicine
Conventional molecular imaging and nuclear medicine technology will carry a service support price tag between $20,000 and $100,000 annually, with an average around $50,000 across all vendors and models. Some of the key variables impacting maintenance cost for this technology include photo multiplier tubes, detector heads/crystals, PCP units and PCP. OEM and third-party are the most frequent service partners and organizations will rarely go at risk.

PET/CT, another form of molecular imaging, is another imaging modality that is most often maintained by the OEM or a highly qualified third-party servicer. The annual cost will range from $130,000 to $200,000 with an average of about $160,000 across all vendors and models. The cost drivers are similar to the drivers for CT: X-rat tube, detector, UPS units, and PCP.

Interventional X-ray
When it comes to interventional X-ray imaging, such as cardiac, vascular, cardiovascular, neurological, and hybrid surgical angiography technology, OEMs and highly qualified third-party support teams are the standard service providers. The annual cost can range from $60,000 to $150,000, with an average of about $85,000 across all vendors and models. There are a number of key variables that may impact the cost of an angio service agreement, including: X-ray tube, detectors, UPS units, PCP, single plane or byline technology, large screen monitor maintenance, advanced workstations, and modified preventative maintenance coverage.

General X-ray
General X-ray equipment is generally less expensive to service than some of the more advanced modalities we’ve looked at. In some cases, we’ve seen organizations utilize a shared risk (BME first-call) or at risk (without service agreement) approach to maintaining these technologies. Fixed, conventional X-ray room service ranges from $15,000 to $35,000 with an average around $25,000 annually. Portable X-ray runs from $10,000 to $30,000 with an average of $20,000. Radiographic/fluoroscopy ranges from $25,000 to $60,000 with an average of $40,000. Mobile C-arm (rad/fluoro) service can cost between $7,000 and $20,000 with an average around $14,000. The factors that will influence the service costs of those modalities include conventional or digital X-ray, coverage of digital panels (or image intensifiers for analog models), X-ray tubes, battery protection for mobile units.

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