As costs of CT scanners decline rapidly, making a move towards purchasing an advanced multi-slice CT is becoming easier these days. In fact, an advanced multi-slice unit is priced less than a single-slice CT scanner was years ago. However, even though prices may have been dropping, associated costs may be higher given the complexity of these machines. So it is still important to determine whether your facility can afford the machine, and if it will be utilized to its full potential. Low-volume facilities will not benefit much from higher slice counts.
While declaring a particular price on CT scanners is too broad of a topic, do understand that brand new CT equipment can cost you up to one million dollars. (Of course buying used medical equipment will cut costs significantly!) The more slices you need for your practice, the bigger investment you will need to make. Brands such as Siemens and Philips will cost less than a Toshiba and GE. Also, water cooled scanners are generally less expensive than air cooled scanners.
Higher costs for equipment can be counterbalanced by the profit made through the machine. With multi-slice CT equipment, hospitals can conduct a broader range of examinations, exams can be performed more quickly, and more procedures can be performed in a single day (while maintaining the same level of staff and other fixed costs). Essentially, the increase in patient volume can help with your return on investment.
Buying Used Medical Equipment
Buying used or refurbished CT scanners is certainly a cost-effective strategy that can get the same job done on patients for a lower cost, than when buying new equipment. Remember, just because a piece of equipment is labeled as “used” does not make it less effective or less functional. For any reason, whether it is a surplus of machines or a decline in business, a medical company may decide to sell equipment that is perfectly functional. Even if the machine has barely been touched, it is no longer considered new, and becomes secondary. This also means a very good piece of equipment is now on the market for a low price.
As with any investment, new, used or refurbished, you always want to buy with a trusted source (like Amber Diagnostics) that guarantees quality. As long as you are working with a reliable seller, the benefits will certainly outweigh the financial risks of buying used medical equipment. If you are not ready to buy, there are rental options available as well.
CT Rental Solutions
Amber Diagnostics offers mid and long-term CT scanner rental services with turnkey service and technical support for hospitals, clinics, urgent cares and physician offices. Regardless of your circumstances, we provide high quality medical equipment to meet your needs of providing continuous patient care while maintaining your imaging revenue.
Benefits of Renting a CT with Amber:
- Easy, flexible terms
- Exceptional customer service
- Advanced imaging technology (allows for increased throughput and patient comfort)
- Experienced technical support
- Wide variety of equipment platforms
- Imaging systems equipped with current software upgrades and imaging accessories
A Brief Look at Reimbursements
Reimbursements for diagnostic imaging can also play a role in getting your return on investment, but keep in mind that reimbursement figures differ based on insurance carrier and site of care. As for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the codes have changed for abdomen and pelvis CT scans performed together, cutting the reimbursement in half for these new combined-code services. For example, each time these scans are run together on the same patient, for the same reason, and on the same service date, you could lose hundreds of dollars in reimbursements, regardless of whether the test requires a contrast agent.
As reimbursement rates vary from state to state, it is beneficial to understand the rules and regulations of the particular site your practice is located in. This will better educate and prepare you for any impact this will have on your services.
If you have any questions regarding costs, rental options, or even reimbursements for your CT equipment, contact me anytime, I am here to help.