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3.5 Game Changers for Critical Access Hospital Radiology & Imaging Service

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 @03:59 PM

Boy, have things changed for Critical Access Hospital Radiology & Imaging Services in the last few years.  There was a time when mobile routes were really the only way for rural and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) to gain access to modern technology within the larger imaging modalities.  With limited patient volumes, the cost to mobilize, transport equipment and technologist from site to site just made more sense than carving out a space, purchasing a system and staffing an in-house technologist. 

Fast forward to today… 3.5 game changers that flipped this rural hospital strategy on its head:

1)     Deficit Reduction Act  

Ouch. A segment known as free standing imaging centers is nearly wiped away.  The reimbursement gap forced hundreds to sell or close, leaving only the largest and most well connected centers.  The immediate impact is of course increased volume for CAHs, leading to increased revenue for those facilities able to shift gears and service the expanded marketplace.  

    2)     Refurbished Imaging Equipment

    A 25%-50% change in capital outlay on the front end changes everything.  Bringing MRI and CT “in-house” became far more compelling with this reduction and the elimination of shoe string costs (trucking, technologist travel, etc.).  It’s a win-win both in terms of the financial upside and higher level of patient care. 

    If you are considering refurbished equipment for the first time, be sure to check out Block Imaging’s “6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Medical Equipment”.

    3)     Third Party Service Options

    Engineers are now located around the country who are fully capable to provide top notch imaging equipment service.  Equipment that was once deemed “end of life” has years of quality imaging that remains.  Whether time and materials coverage, parts only, shared risk or even full service coverage, beyond simply having more options, it’s also had a significant impact on OEM service pricing. 


    3.5)  Quality Replacement Parts

    Don’t forget quality medical equipment parts.  Whether coils, injectors, boards or other components, parts accessibility no longer makes “list” price the only option.  No pressure to sign the full service coverage or even a parts only plan so you’re not over a barrel with a part.

    As you can see, much has changed.  Block Imaging exists to serve you as you navigate the ever changing waters of Imaging.  Whether buying, selling, looking for a FMV or even want to discuss strategic ways to balance your economic and clinical needs, we are here to help


    Author –  Josh Block


    Tags: Essential Healthcare, hospitals, healthcare suppliers, Affordable Care Act, defecit reduction act, critical access hospitals, radiology