If you ask anyone that operates or has operated a private practice, most will tell you that one of the biggest challenges of running the business is maintaining a good cash flow. There are a lot of reasons for this, but mainly it is because of how expensive the medical supplies and equipment are.
Medical equipment is often one of the largest expenses for any kind of healthcare facility. To illustrate, a portable x-ray machine can easily cost around $100,000 to $200,000 apiece. So, for private practitioners who want to ensure that their clinic is complete with all the necessary equipment, expenses on medical equipment can go up to millions.
Nevertheless, there are several ways to save money on this inherently large cost.
Consider buying refurbished equipment
Refurbished or remanufactured medical equipment usually costs way less than brand new equipment. In fact, you can save 50% or even more by buying equipment from refurbishing companies. And when the equipment is properly refurbished, it can last just as long as a brand new counterpart—or sometimes even longer.
However, there is always a risk when buying refurbished medical equipment. Some refurbishing companies offer affordable prices but provide equipment that is unsafe or is not even refurbished at all. That said, it is important that you evaluate the company carefully before you buy any piece of equipment from them. Ensure that they provide a warranty, employ trained professionals, and have their equipment tested by certified technicians.
Buy from an existing supplier
If you already have a good relationship with a medical supplier, buying medical equipment from them as well can help you get substantial savings on your purchases. For example, if you get your high-quality Medrad injectors from a source that has proven to be highly reliable, talk to them about your medical equipment needs as well. Apart from helping you secure discounts, buying both medical supplies and equipment from only one supplier can reduce your delivery fees.
Wait for the right time
The timing of your purchase can have a huge impact on the price you pay for medical equipment. Unless you need the equipment ASAP, it is highly advisable to wait for the best times of year to buy medical equipment, which are:
- Before holidays. A lot of companies have special events before holidays, such as discounts or promotions, to attract more buyers. Keep an eye out for such events to save a substantial amount on your future purchase.
- End of the year. Most suppliers offer discounts near the end of the year to clear out their existing inventory. Wait until mid-November to December for prices to drop.
- End of quarter. Companies often have goals to hit for every quarter. If you buy near or at the end of the quarter (usually around the end of March, June, and September), you may be better able to persuade the salesperson to give you a good discount on your equipment.
Ask about overstock
Equipment suppliers are typically eager to get rid of overstock and are willing to sell it at a significantly lower price. Doing this helps them maintain positive cash flow and free up inventory space. If the company doesn’t advertise their overstock, you can still ask about it since some companies set their overstock aside to wholesale later.
Buy in bulk
Just like when buying practically anything else, buying in bulk can translate into substantial savings for your practice. Most suppliers offer good discounts for bulk orders, and buying in bulk also minimizes the frequency of deliveries, which, in turn, reduces delivery costs.
That said, try to purchase your medical equipment (and supplies) in bulk. Although this may mean making a huge initial investment, it can lead to great savings in the long run. The only caveat is that you have to ensure that you have enough storage space for all of the equipment that you buy, especially if your establishment has limited space.
You’d be surprised at how many salespeople offer discounts to certain clients just because they like them. If you show up with a polite and nice attitude, you have better chances of negotiating a good discount for your purchase—and even future purchases after that. In contrast, if you are unpleasant to your salesperson, they likely won’t be as pliable.
These are not the only ways to save money on medical equipment, but they are, by far, some of the best ones that work for most practitioners. So, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, use these strategies the next time you start shopping for new medical equipment.