the decision-makers and procurement source during the purchasing process.” Understand the requirements for

Get the Right Equipment at the Right Price

Plan ahead, take your time and do your research before making a purchase BY ROBERT KURTZ


rice is not the only factor to take into consideration when purchas-

ing a new piece of equipment, but it is an important one, says Sherrie Landry, materials manager for Bayou Region Surgical Center in Thibodaux, Louisi- ana. “You really want to make sure you make the right purchase the first time.” An ASC that is already operational may need to purchase new equipment to accommodate the addition of a new specialty or expansion project, or to replace old equipment, says Temitope Oluwayomi, supply chain manager for Westchester, Illinois-based ASC man- agement and development company Regent Surgical Health. “Before you make a purchase, you

really want to think through how the equipment will be used, the volume of procedures that will require the use of the equipment and your return on investment,” she says.

Key Considerations

“If the purchasing process is not planned and performed optimally, you can encounter unexpected issues that can add substantial costs,” says Kyle Green, chief executive officer of Louis- ville, Kentucky-based Healthcare Asset Network, a platform for buying and selling medical supplies and surgical equipment. “When you can get admin- istrative and clinical synergy on exactly what you are looking for, it makes the sourcing part much more effective for everyone involved in the process.” Green says topics of discussion concerning new equipment might include frequency of use, acceptable brands, funding options and whether partners are willing to purchase refur- bished equipment. “All of those deci- sions need to be made as a team. If you get all those answers up front, there will be less back and forth between


those surgeons who will be using the equipment, Oluwayomi adds. “What do they need the equipment to do? Finding this out in advance will pre- vent overspending on features that are not important to the users.” How the purchase will be financed is another critical topic, Oluwayomi says. “Will you buy outright, consider a lease with a buyout option at the end of the lease agreement, or negotiate a placement agreement dependent on purchase of disposables?” Bayou Region Surgical Center has made significant investments in video towers and scope washers over the past few years. Landry says the ASC makes sure to carefully research costs asso- ciated with using the new equipment. “That bottom-line price does not nec- essarily reflect how much it is going to cost to operate that piece of equipment for years to come. We look at service and maintenance contracts. We also take any necessary supplies and dis- posables into account.”

Green notes other important consid- erations that can affect the cost. “You want to determine the likely total cost of ownership,” he says. “This includes direct costs like finance charges, ship- ping, renovations, service agreements and disposables. There are also more, sometimes hidden, costs like train- ing, process redesign, utilities, reno- vations, residual value at end of life, information technology compatibility/ spend and reimbursement improve- ments or penalties.”

When purchasing equipment that

is new to your ASC, determine its compatibility with existing equip- ment as it is best to standardize when possible, Oluwayomi says. “Also, be sure to review the speci- fications of the equipment and its suitability for your existing space. Things to consider include physical space, electrical, plumbing and ven-

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