So you've cut a great deal on a refurbished MRI system and you're feeling like a million bucks. But when you bring the equipment to your facility you realize the machine needs helium and that there are additional requirements for a satisfactory installation. When you call the vendor, they tell you that it wasn't part of the contract, and that they also "forgot" to mention that the machine is not guaranteed to meet ACR requirements. As you slam the phone down, the site inspector comes in and demands you remove the equipment as it doesn't meet safety standards. Wow, what a scenario right? Truth is...it could really happen. While it's clear the buyer failed to read 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Vendor before Buying an MRI - it is also apparent that there is more to buying an MRI than just the price itself.
After doing your research on the benefits of refurbished MRI equipment, types of MRIs, and finding the best priced MRI that is just right for your services, you still have a little more homework to do. Don't worry, we'll let you copy.
Before making your decision to purchase any MRI equipment, be sure to verify these five issues with your vendor to make sure you don't run into trouble down the road.
1) What MRI systems has your vendor previously sold?
As consumers, we want to know we're working with a reputable and experienced company. Choose a professional supplier whose services are reliable, and have generated positive customer reviews. While you can learn a lot about a company online, try the traditional method of talking to the company directly. Find out which types of MRI systems your vendor has sold; and test them on how much knowledge they have on all modalities. Don't be afraid to ask, if the company knows their equipment, they won't be afraid to answer - and through this, you will get the most important answer: is this vendor fit to sell equipment for my business?
2) What type of warranty is offered with your MRI?
Buyers should always ask about the length of warranties, and which services and parts are covered in the warranty. See what works best for your needs and your budget, and then inquire about short-term and extended warranties for your MRI. Also ask the vendor if the warranty includes the coils, coldhead, compressor and chiller. You want to make certain your warranty covers enough for your own long term success.
3) Who is responsible for any helium that is required during the installation?
With the word getting out about a helium shortage and prices for helium going up, buyers will want to make certain their contract includes a helium fill. Some vendors will include a one-time fill with purchase; others may introduce a service contract that can include monitoring and scheduled fills accordingly. Either way, don't forget the helium!
4) Does your vendor provide a detailed diagram for a general contractor in regards to the MRI room construction?
Let's face it, room configurations for your MRI is no simple task. Not only does it require careful planning, but speculation from different individuals can mean constant changes, delayed implementations, and ultimately extra costs. Just when you think you've got the go ahead, someone else says no. To mitigate these hassles, ask your vendor to provide a carefully designed plan and then set you up with a general contractor that can take care of the entire job. This can help save you time and money so you can start using your equipment at your convenience.
5) Does your vendor guarantee that your MRI will meet ACR requirements?
And last but certainly not least: the American College of Radiology requirements. The MRI Accreditation Program evaluates staff qualifications, the quality control program, safety policies and image quality specific to MRI. Facilities using units that have been withdrawn, expired, failed testing, or those that do not submit a unit for accreditation testing are subject to revocation of their accreditation. Without accreditation, facilities may not receive the technical component reimbursement from Medicare. So really, what good is your equipment if it doesn't meet ACR standards?
Remember, as far as agreements go, be sure your contract is guaranteed in writing. If you need honest answers to any questions regarding MRI purchases or would like to suggest more tips for buyers, feel free to contact us or leave a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!