Running a healthcare business is a tricky thing. Certain equipment is often being requested by physicians who are insisting it’s needed to improve patient diagnosis and care. Yet, it’s not always affordable. Other times, it’s preferred, but the business should be mindful of the cost and look at how best to afford it.
Should medical equipment be purchased outright, leased, and then acquired or delayed until it’s more affordable? Let’s take a look.
Distinguishing Between Needs and Wants
Every business, including those that operate in the healthcare field, must consider their needs versus wants. Sure, taking on more medical staff and purchasing every piece of medical equipment promoted by medical sales reps is possible in the short term, but it will lead to either an unbalanced budget or a necessary rise in charges to patients.
Budgets must be managed carefully to avoid varying so far that it’s impossible to profit or even break even on the year’s trading. Prudence must be used to determine what medical equipment is needed and that which should remain on the “nice to have” list.
Is Medical Equipment Leasing the Answer?
When it comes to equipment leasing, it is a viable option for companies who wish to spread the cost of purchasing new equipment. There’s a choice whether or not to simply lease the new equipment to replace aging or malfunctioning models instead of making an outright purchase. It certainly affords the business better facilities to treat patients, including using the latest diagnostic tools.
Also, there is sometimes the option to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease. It’s subject to both the type of lease agreement and the terms of it. So, leases need to be examined before signing to ensure they leave all the options open.
Purchasing Medical Equipment
Some healthcare facilities prefer to own all the equipment that they use. There might be a belief that owning the tools from their initial sale and then maintaining them properly ensures that they will continue to provide accurate assessments and results for patients.
Due to the critical nature of what some medical equipment is required for, some hospitals may feel that they don’t want to take the risk of using previously leased equipment. However, this is mostly an ill-founded belief because medical equipment leases are typically based on purchasing and leasing new equipment. Clarity around this point isn’t always sufficient for a dead set against leasing from the start.
Is It Worth Delaying Purchases or Leases?
It depends on the financial solvency or profitability of the healthcare business as to what can be afforded. Sometimes, continuing to use perfectly functional but not the latest model is sufficient. While it may not please some physicians who are keen on the latest model with new features, that interest must be balanced with all the other demands on the organization too.
It can be beneficial to delay the purchase or leasing of equipment until it’s necessary. This can make the finances more manageable in the short term. Then purchasing or leasing can be completed – including perhaps the latest model with enhanced features – when it’s more comfortable to do so.