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RADIOLOGY/RADIOGRAPHY


Finance and technology are being combined into an integrated value proposition where the solution provider offers organisations the possibility of paying for expected business outcomes, such as productivity improvements, optimised uptime, precise performance gains, cost reduction or reduced energy usage. Being able to pay for business outcomes transforms the reliability of financial planning in healthcare, making costs more transparent and avoiding the risk of technology obsolescence and capital commitment.12 In healthcare, the business outcomes in focus comprise: increased quality and accuracy of the diagnosis or therapy (to improve patient outcomes), reduced cost per procedure (consultation, diagnosis, surgery, other therapy), improved patient throughput rates (more people get more treatment with constrained premises and human resources) and early and accurate detection (to improve patient health prospects and avoid distressing and expensive lifetime therapies for chronic illnesses). In order to confidently offer outcomes- based solutions, considerable knowledge of the technologies involved, along with their likely impact on the user organisation, is required. That “intimacy” with technology and its applications does not tend to be the sphere of generalist financiers. It requires specialist knowledge and wide experience, along with a close relationship between solution provider and financing partner. Specialist technology finance solutions such as transition finance, technology upgrade and pay-for-outcomes options are gaining increasing acceptance as a means of enabling cost-effective investments in new technologies.


Such financing solutions spread the cost of the technology over an agreed financing period. Put simply, finance payments are arranged to align with the expected benefits that result from the use of the technology, such as improved operational efficiency. By removing the need for a large initial outlay, finance arrangements like these can help improve cash flow and working capital. Additionally, they have the potential to incorporate other costs such as installation, as well as introducing the flexibility of future affordable technology upgrades, in line with technology developments. Healthcare providers can then deploy precious funds in other areas to improve service quality while keeping their lines of credit intact. Healthcare financiers that have an in-depth understanding of healthcare technology and its applications can provide these tailored financing packages. Siemens Financial Services (SFS), for example, provides cost effective financing solutions for a wide variety of medical equipment, enabling healthcare organisations to acquire the solutions they need without having to commit precious capital budgets.


These solutions can flex to fit the institution’s particular circumstances and


Keepingpacewith technologicaladvancements requires considerable capitalexpenditure andthereforeacquiringthe latest healthcar e technology mayseem out of reach for manyhealthcareproviders.


cash flow needs and can embrace equipment acquisition, service, maintenance and even software upgrades. Moreover, these tailored financing packages make it easy for CFOs to understand total lifetime costs and therefore calculate a reliable cost-per- procedure – a significant advantage for transparent financial planning to guard against cost escalation. As well as supporting other healthcare technology providers, SFS finances equipment from Siemens Healthineers. A leader in medical technology, Siemens Healthineers is constantly innovating its portfolio of products and services in its core areas of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and in laboratory diagnostics and molecular medicine. Through SFS’s relationship with Siemens Healthineers SFS has developed an enhanced knowledge of the most cutting-edge technologies and their practical application.


The collaborative work between SFS and Siemens Healthineers provides perhaps the best illustration of the sheer range of integrated financing solutions available from specialist providers in today’s marketplace. This range of solutions includes SFS’s flexible leasing arrangements enabling the acquisition of particular equipment, through to enterprise-wide arrangements where Siemens Healthineers provides data driven consultancy to drive sustainable improvement, enabling technology, training, maintenance and support, technical staff (where required), even facility design and associated building works – all wrapped up into a single, transparent annual charge. Essentially, this is a Siemens solutions based approach, where each individual healthcare organisation’s precise circumstances – both technological and financial – are taken into account to create tailored ‘value partnerships’.


This approach reflects the developing trend in healthcare towards outcomes-based medicine, expanding access to precision medicine, transforming care delivery and improving patient experiences, all enabled through digitalised healthcare technology. To make diagnostic capabilities in the healthcare system as effective as possible, clinicians need to access the latest technology. Not only can technological improvements enhance efficiency – treating more people, quicker and at less cost – they also have the potential to improve health outcomes, for instance, detecting a disease or condition and triggering early interventions. Faced with a growing, ageing population


32 I WWW.CLINICALSERVICESJOURNAL.COM


in need of effective radiology services, healthcare providers are turning towards smarter financing solutions to acquire the necessary technology. By choosing to work with a specialist provider of technology finance for the installation or upgrade of their diagnostic imaging technology, healthcare organisations can take important steps to providing appropriate healthcare against the background of increasing competition and the continuous evolution of progressive medical technology solutions.


References


1 Health Insurance Daily, UK private healthcare market to grow by 2.8% a year to 2025, 9 June 2017, https://www.healthinsurancedaily.com/health- insurance/product-area/pmi/article482713.ece


2 SFS, Taking the Pulse, How Healthcare CFOs around the world are managing change, 2016


3 Royal College of Radiologists, Clinical Radiology: UK workforce census 2016 report (October 2017) https://www.rcr.ac.uk/system/files/publication/ field_publication_files/cr_workforce_census_ 2016_report_0.pdf


4 The Guardian, NHS waiting times driving people to turn to private treatment, 11 September, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/11/ nhs-waiting-times-driving-people-to-turn-to- private-treatment


5 The Royal College of Radiologists, 2017 - https://www.rcr.ac.uk/posts/nhs-must-do-more- future-proof-its-mri-capacity-say-imaging-experts


6 Ibid 7 The King’s Fund – How does the NHS compare internationally? June 2017: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/ articles/big-election-questions-nhs-international- comparisons


8 The Guardian – Hospitals struggling to afford new equipment after NHS budget cuts, May 2018: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/ 22/hospitals-struggling-to-afford-new- equipment-after-nhs-budget-cuts


9 Private Healthcare UK, ‘Revolutionary CT scanner installed at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth’, 2 February 2017, www.privatehealth.co.uk/ news/revolutionary-ct-scanner-installed-hospital- st-john-st-elizabeth-1145587


10 See, for instance, News Medical, New collaboration set to deliver innovative MRI research facility at Institute of Translational Medicine, 15 Sep 2016


11 See, for instance, News Medical, New collaboration set to deliver innovative MRI research facility at Institute of Translational Medicine, 15 Sep 2016


12 SFS, Outcomes and Opportunities, How finance-enabled business models are developing to drive effective organizational and digital transformation, 2017


MAY 2019


CSJ


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