Supply chain tip of the day: Consider refurbished ureteroscopes over service contracts

The usage, sterilization practices and inherent design of a flexible scope limit the device's life to three years, per AHA guidelines. The life cycle costs of flexible ureteroscopes can be even more challenging, especially in a procedure that offers historically low margins, according to James Laskaris, an analyst with MD Buyline.

"With their thin diameter and potential damage from lithotripsy lasers, flexible ureteroscopes typically require major repairs at least several times a year," he said. "As a result, service contracts — which range from $20,000 to $33,000 per year — can be several-fold the cost of a new scope, which costs about $12,000 to $17,000."

Mr. Laskaris shared the following tip with Becker's Hospital Review.

"One possibility to consider is the purchase of refurbished scopes, which cost about $6,000. When comparing the cost of flexible ureteroscopes under service contracts to the cost of a refurbished scope, preliminary findings using an MD Buyline ROI calculator show that in a worst-case scenario based on three rebuilds per year, one could see $19,000 in savings over a three-year period. In a best-case scenario based on three rebuilds per year, one could see $45,000 in savings over a three-year period.

"In most service lines, every dollar counts. A $20,000-plus savings on one scope is an opportunity worth looking into."

If you would like to submit a supply chain tip of the week, please email Mackenzie Bean at mbean@beckershealthcare.com.

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