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Four Tips For Buying New Equipment & Technology

Purchasing new equipment or technology for your practice can have a big impact on your practice by improving efficiency and quality of care for your patients. Before you decide to invest, here are four things to consider so you can be prepared and knowledgeable about your purchase.
Four Tips For Buying New Equipment & Technology

Purchasing new equipment or technology for your practice can have a big impact on your practice by improving efficiency and quality of care for your patients. 

Before you decide to invest, here are four things to consider so you can be prepared and knowledgeable about your purchase.  

1. Consider how the equipment will benefit your practice

Equipment should be beneficial to your practice, so make sure you evaluate the options from a number of angles.

How will your purchase make your practice stand out from the competition?

Having the latest equipment can help your practice stay ahead of the competition. Think about whether this technology or equipment is something you can market to your target patients to make your practice more appealing.

In addition, acquiring new equipment may allow you to offer new services. This can lead to increased income and less need to refer patients to other specialists.

How will new equipment appeal to patients? 

Patients are used to modern technology and expect it from their healthcare providers. Using updated equipment and technology can improve efficiency and patient satisfaction, which can lead to more referrals and business.

What is the ROI on the purchase?

A new piece of equipment may allow you to see more patients, streamline front office processes, or offer more services to your community. These improvements may increase profits, but it should be worth the expense. If you decide the technology is something your practice could use, it should ultimately pay for itself with the increased production or efficiency.

Can upgrading to reliable equipment save you time?

As your equipment ages, it will require more maintenance to ensure that it is functioning properly and can continue to serve your patients well. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, and if your equipment is outdated, it may even be unusable at times. Updating to newer, more reliable equipment can save you money and time in the long run, as you will not have to spend as much on maintenance and your equipment will be less likely to break down.

How will it attract or help retain great employees?  

Equipment and services can be a deciding factor for some potential employees. Modern equipment that allows staff to work efficiently and effectively can help you stay competitive when hiring.

New equipment can also show your existing and future employees that you’re committed to investing in the practice. This can signify that you’re looking to the future to make sure your patients get the highest quality of care.

2. Review tax implications (with your CPA)

If you are a practice owner, you are likely aware that depreciation is one of the most significant tax advantages of running a practice. Depreciation reduces your tax liability each year. For example, Section 179 can result in a tax deduction on qualifying equipment and software up to $1,080,000. This can help lower your taxable income and increase cash flow.

An industry-specific CPA is an invaluable asset throughout your career and can be especially helpful as you equip your practice. Always consult your CPA to determine how these tax breaks could benefit you and any caveats you should be aware of.

3. Making the decision on what to buy & how to find it 

Ready to purchase new equipment or technology? Here are some ways to find the right product for your needs:  

Ask for recommendations  

Your peers are a valuable resource. Talk to other doctors you know and trust (consider Facebook groups!) to see what equipment and brands they recommend and which ones they avoid.  

Work with an equipment specialist at a trusted supplier/distributor  

Equipment purchases are major investments, and there can be significant price differences between brands, makes, and models. Working with a trusted specialist who can walk you through the pros, cons, features, and capabilities of each option will help you save valuable time and self-research.

See the equipment or technology in action 

Purchasing high-priced items sight unseen can be daunting. Attending a trade show, requesting a demonstration, visiting a practice that already uses the technology, or visiting a showroom are all excellent ways to see the equipment in person and ensure that it will meet your needs and be compatible with your practice.

Consider used or refurbished equipment  

There are both pros and cons to purchasing used equipment, and it can be tricky to know where to start. If you are looking for a specific piece of equipment at a reduced price, a trusted equipment specialist can help you find secondhand options. Equipment suppliers may also have refurbished equipment that meets your needs.

Peers, social media networking groups, and other avenues may also be good sources for used equipment. However, there are risks involved, just like when buying a used car from an untrusted source. It is important to have an equipment professional assess the item before you purchase it.

4. Financing your equipment purchase  

The best financing option is paying cash. If cash is not an option, there are several other financing options available.

Supplier-preferred financing: These financing options can offer 0% interest for 6-12 months and may include a period of no payments.

These are great terms, but they are likely only beneficial if you can pay the balance during that promotional period. If you cannot, the interest could skyrocket once that time of no interest is over. Be sure you understand what you can afford and how quickly you can pay it off before you decide how you will finance your equipment purchase.  

Third-party, equipment-specific loans: Panacea Financial, an Uptime Health partner, has an equipment loan with up to $250,000 in financing — and more if needed! — and approval in as little as 1 hour! Learn more here. Whatever financing option you choose, we are here to help!  

Panacea Financial, a division of Primis. Member FDIC.

By Michael Jerkins, MD, M.Ed, President and Co-Founder of Panacea Financial

About Michael Jerkins, MD M.Ed

Michael is the President and Co-founder of Panacea Financial and is also a practicing physician in Little Rock, AR. After earning his BBA in Economics he deferred his medical school acceptance to teach middle school science in the Phoenix, AZ area while also earning his Masters in Education from Arizona State University. He then completed medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center before finishing his residency at University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. With a faculty position and board certifications in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Michael is able to treat patients of all ages and teach medical trainees in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

About Panacea Financial

Panacea Financial, a division of Primis (NASDAQ: FRST), is a nationwide financial services company offering products in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Panacea offers a full suite of banking solutions specifically built for doctors, by doctors. Learn more about Panacea Financial at www.panaceafinancial.com.

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