The conversations are similar wherever you may do business or receive goods. Best quality and best price – everybody demands both or at least that’s what is said. In reality, people will generally settle for one or the other. In today’s health care environment the drive toward providing both best quality and price is being challenged in a patient billing reimbursement formula never seen before by this industry. Reimbursement rates for patient care charges based on a health care provider’s performance. Wow, what a concept!
Throughout my career, I have heard many colleagues in the HTM industry talk about saving money, getting the best price or how an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) charges too much. I have to be honest, what I rarely hear from some of these same individuals is their sincere desire in achieving a quality product or service. They want quality and may express this as an initial priority but in reality their decision to purchase a part or service is price driven. Quality as a decision factor seems to be left out of the final conversation.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has turned the health care industry upside down, may be the impetus in finally driving a thinking by HTM service professionals as to best quality and price value. Quality of service and parts drives medical equipment uptime along with device utilization. It’s this methodology that will contribute to an organization’s performance scorecard and assure best patient billing reimbursement opportunity. The greater the reliability and clinical use availability of a piece of medical equipment will more than substantiate a greater return on investment. A quality service or part provides greater return on investment versus a low-price solution.
In reality, we all demand the best and will not accept anything less when it comes to our own health care needs. I think back to an ultrasound probe service expense audit and performance analysis project I was involved with a few years back. A portion of that audit and performance analysis involved visiting each clinical location to quality test ultrasound probes. The clinical ultrasound sonographer was asked to provide the analysis team the probes for the quality audit performance task. The clinical ultrasound sonographer raised a very interesting question to the analysis team – “Do you want to see the good quality probes or the not-so-good quality probes?”
If you were the patient, which ultrasound probe would you demand for your exam?
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