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Key considerations when choosing an independent CT service partner

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 20, 2023
CT Parts And Service X-Ray

“While facilities continue to see increased costs and reimbursements decline, we are seeing an increased willingness to discuss service to offset costs,” he said.

Asking the right questions
In full-service agreements, a facility counts on an ISO and/or OEM to handle all servicing needs for their equipment. But many hospitals and health systems are adopted hybrid service models, in which they carry out some maintenance and repair tasks on their own and leave the rest to the outside service team.
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626 Holding’s most basic service offering is its preventive maintenance-only package, in which it is contractually obligated to only perform routine PMs. This typically provides all of the time and materials work as part of the relationship and means that the provider has accepted responsibility for all other aspects of servicing.

“If we sign that agreement, we expect that any time the system breaks, you are going to call us first,” said Gill. “It keeps the risk with the hospital or the imaging center because any time we are called on outside of the PM, it is a billable event.”

Remote diagnostics allow ISOs to monitor, detect, and respond to CT scanner problems before they occur. (Photo courtesy of TRIMEDX)

Even if a service is included in a contract, healthcare facilities should still ask about any clauses or conditions that dictate how and when the company provides it.

“Understanding a customer’s needs and customizing a service agreement around those needs is imperative,” stressed Kinnas. “For example, what are the inclusions and exclusions in a CT agreement? Are tubes covered? How can we get creative to serve the customer well?”

It’s also important to relay as much information as possible to the ISO about the CT fleets, including the criticality of each scanner. For instance, a CT in the emergency department of a level 1 trauma center is utilized more and therefore, more crucial than one in an outpatient clinic, making it a higher priority. Another important detail is when servicing will take place, because any work on scanners during busy work hours may delaying care and reduce revenue.

“Our in-house teams can work with health systems to find the least disruptive time to work on the CTs,” said Moorey. “Because we are on-site, we can be flexible in the case of an emergent patient.”

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