For physicians starting a practice or updating their clinics, medical equipment financing is an important consideration. A single X-ray machine, for example, can cost more than $20,000 to purchase and another $300 monthly for related equipment such as film. Thankfully, there are financing options.
Medical Equipment Loans
While taking out a loan to finance the purchase of new medical equipment may not be a physician’s first choice, it does have advantages. For one, it provides the doctor with sufficient capital to make all of the necessary upgrades or additions.
Plus, many loan programs have been designed specifically for physicians who need medical equipment financing. One such program will provide up to $2 million in loan funds and even works with a network of equipment dealers to help doctors find the devices they need (see Resources below).
The downside is that loans may take a long time to pay. Repayment periods for these programs vary from about eight to ten years, usually shorter than the expected lifespan of a piece of equipment.
Medical Equipment Leasing
Another option for medical equipment financing is leasing. Instead of buying the equipment, physicians can essentially rent these high-priced devices. Many companies around the country specialize in providing medical equipment leasing services to physicians.
The advantage to this approach is that the initial costs are usually less than they would be for a loan. In many cases, the leasing companies also provide maintenance for the devices. Additionally, the equipment can easily be exchanged or upgraded as needed.
On the downside, leasing may end up costing doctors more in the long run than financing the equipment’s purchase with a loan.
Buying Used Medical Equipment
Doctors also have another option when it comes to medical equipment financing: purchasing used or refurbished equipment. The biggest advantage is price. Used medical equipment is more affordable than new devices. With many practices closing their doors and with new equipment being introduced regularly to the market, the supply of used equipment will continue to grow in the near future and will bring prices even lower.