Acquiring a CT scanner can be easy if you have the right vendor and guidance. Take a look at the "Dos and Don’ts” listed below for some helpful clarification on common areas of confusion:
Pricing your System
- If you are considering replacing or adding a CT scanner to your portfolio, one of the first questions to ask yourself is 'What is the implication to the bottom line of your healthcare facility?' There are many factors to consider that add up to your total cost of ownership.
- Buying a new system will cost more, but you are purchasing the latest CT scanner technology. New CT scan machines are typically around $1 million but the price will depend on the additional hardware and software that is included in the system.
- Leasing a refurbished CT scanner should be a consideration. Refurbished systems are less expensive, but leasing your CT will drop your initial investment down to monthly payments which limit the impact on your capital budget.
- There’s a large, nationwide install base of CT scanners. With some facilities continually upgrading their systems, there are a large number of high quality refurbished systems available on the market for sale at a reasonable price. Refurbished systems range between $200K to $600K. The final cost will be based on the age of the system and the hardware and software that is installed on the CT scanner.
- Don’t forget to include the total cost of ownership in the overall price of the CT scanner. Costs associated with repair and maintenance for your CT scanner should also be considered in the total project cost.
Hardware Configuration Considerations
- The "sweet” spot for cost, quality, and speed have settled on 64-slice scanners. The scan quality for 64-slice machines is very good and these systems can perform a variety of procedures.
- Accessories that are required to produce CT images need to be in included in the cost. Specifically, those are a power injector, heart rate monitor, bariatric, and extended patient table.
- Be sure not to overestimate the size of the CT equipment purchase you make. For routine acquisitions, a 64-slice scanner may be more than enough for your clinical needs and will generate quality exams. Your patient charges will be the same whether you acquire an exam on a 32-slice compared to a 64 or 128-slice scanner.
Advanced Post Processing Software
- If you are considering advanced imaging, then you will need to also purchase a post-processing computer to process CT angiography exams and other common views (MIP, MRP) that are generated by a special computer after the acquisition is completed. This includes software to perform cardiac and vascular CT exams.
- Make sure that you include the advanced software that is optional, but necessary based on the investment you will be making. Two common software packages on the CT acquisition computer are metal artifact reduction and radiation dose reduction. Metal artifact reduction (or MAR) software reduces the artifacts seen on CT scans when patients have metal in their bodies from knee or hip replacements and spine surgeries. Dose reduction software optimizes the dose needed for the exam but does not affect the image quality.
- Don’t underestimate the clinical applications needed for your purchase. Make sure that you speak with your radiologists prior to making your CT equipment purchase. The best time to negotiate a price is before the deal is completed. If you wait until after the purchase, then you are at a disadvantage for negotiating the price on software that is required for your operations.
- Be realistic about the exams that you will be performing. Try to stay away from software that is either only used sparingly each year, used as a "pet” project for a physician, or adds very little clinical information to the exam.
Siting Your CT Scanner Equipment
- Over the years, CT scanners have become easier to move and costs for relocation have become attractive options when calculating overall project cost. Shipping and moving costs are typically around $25,000 and renovation costs for new rooms need to be considered. You may be charged a separate expense to rig the system as part of the delivery costs.
- Take into consideration the additional costs such as special lighting, ceiling art, or patient entertainment systems if they are added.
- Don’t forget about your facility planning department. They are key in telling you what the construction costs will be for your CT scanner to site in the space you have planned.
If you’re looking for a mobile or fixed unit CT Scanner, the industry experts at Meridian Leasing will work with you to help you determine the right equipment for your clinical and financial needs. Call +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected] for more details or to speak with a medical equipment specialist.