Hospitals often exceed budget for equipment costs in Q2, report finds

When buying new equipment, hospitals seek to balance improved care quality with the financial implications of the purchase, according to a new report from Chicago-based OpenMarkets.

To highlight the main trends in hospital capital equipment purchasing for the second quarter, OpenMarkets evaluated data on the purchasing habits of more than 250 hospitals from April to June 2016.

Here are seven report findings.

1. Hospitals budget 18.6 percent of their annual dollar spend in the second quarter and make 23.9 percent of their annual item purchases in the same time period.

2. Equipment purchases in May comprise 10.2 percent of annual dollar spend, yet hospitals allocated the smallest amount of their budgets (2.2 percent) to this month.

3. Hospitals budgeted 10 percent of their budgets for June and used 9.2 percent of their annual item purchases in this month.

4. April saw a high volume of quote activity between providers and suppliers, but had the lowest amount of purchases in 2016.

5. Making purchases in May, instead of June — a more high-traffic month — can save hospitals 4 percent on equipment.

6. Endoscopes were the second most frequently purchased equipment category among hospitals for the second quarter. Hospitals paid half the annual average cost for endoscopes during the month of April.

7. Hospitals willing to buy demo or refurbished equipment saved up to 52 percent of the list price.

To view the full report, along with purchasing tips for hospitals, click here.

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