Within the healthcare industry, combating ever-increasing costs is a growing problem that hospital administrators need to tackle head-on. Whether this involves overhauling how costs are calculated, leasing medical equipment, or updating machine software, finding ways to reduce the cost of overhead expenses is vital to the sustainability of a healthcare facility. However, knowing where to start looking to reduce costs can be a challenge in and of itself. Read on to discover the five most important things you can do to cut overhead expenses on medical equipment without sacrificing the quality of care provided to your patients.
1. Record Overhead Costs Accurately and Consistently
Initial overhead costs must be captured and properly classified before any money-saving exercises can be completed. Having accurate equipment accounting practices in place will allow you to specifically see where cost reductions can be made. If overhead costs are not accurately and consistently recorded it becomes incredibly difficult and complicated to make targeted, useful investments for your medical facility’s overall expenses.
2. Consider Equipment Leasing
It is becoming common practice for hospitals and healthcare facilities to turn to medical equipment leasing as a means of acquiring their equipment. Medical equipment leasing is a strategic decision that enables facilities to reduce up-front costs and easily navigate regular equipment upgrades. When buying equipment, you tend to get stuck with technology that can quickly become obsolete. Think of acquiring medical equipment as an investment in the future of your practice. If a piece of equipment is outdated, then you may not be able to provide the same standard of care as your competition. Medical equipment leasing gives you the flexibility to upgrade your equipment every few years, allowing you to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
3. Sign Multi-Year Agreements
Medical equipment, particularly diagnostic imaging machines, can be quite expensive. Making use of multi-year agreements may be the most effective solution to reduce costs in your practice. In a similar vein, equipment leasing offers longer-term leases so that payments can be spread out over years instead of one large up-front installment. Essentially, the longer the term of the lease, the less you pay each month. This frees up cash in the short term, allowing you more flexibility in your operational expenditures.
4. Take Note of Warranties
When critical medical equipment is improperly repaired, you put your patients and your reputation at risk. To prevent any serious repercussions, clinical engineers must authenticate each part to locate issues before any machine is installed. By working with an experienced and well-trusted third-party vendor, you will consistently receive high-quality repairs and replacement parts. Some medical equipment leasing companies will even provide repair warranties and the overall maintenance cost will be baked into the lease agreement, which saves you on cost and the administrative hassle of employing two companies.
5. Properly Maintain Your Equipment
After securing a good warranty on your medical equipment, ensure that the equipment is properly maintained. By doing this effectively, you can extend the working life of your machines and save money, which is critical if you choose to purchase your equipment instead of leveraging equipment financing. With frequently used imaging equipment such as x-ray, CT, and MRI equipment, ensuring that these machines continue to function properly is vital to your medical facility. Additionally, as software tends to advance at a faster rate when compared to hardware, healthcare facilities should look to save money and extend the life of their equipment by retrofitting older systems with the latest software.
As budget cuts continue to impact the bottom lines of healthcare organizations, finding ways to save money and reduce costs are more important than ever before. To ensure that you are doing everything you can to reduce the cost of medical equipment, review each step: