February 22, 2015

That old medical equipment gathering dust in a closet may look like junk, but could still yield considerable value — hard dollars, even — for your organization. Whether you call it end-of-life, retired or, simply, kaput, below are six options for squeezing more ROI from outgoing medical equipment.

 

1. Trade

Like trading a used car for a new one, 58% of retired medical equipment is traded in to manufacturers to offset the cost of a new purchase. It’s definitely the easiest option. Keep in mind, however, that like car dealerships, manufacturers provide sub-par value for trade-ins and offset that credit by padding the new equipment price. If maximum compensation is more valuable to you than the ease of a trade, you’ll be better served by other options below.

2. Sell

You’d be shocked by the abundance of potential buyers (from hospitals to medical parts merchants) seeking the very equipment collecting cobwebs in your closet. Not sure how to go about selling your devices? Transfer that responsibility to a trusted reseller with deep experience in finding buyers and getting fair market value for end-of-life equipment.

3. Redeploy

Like buying a new pair of sunglasses just to find the ones you’d lost months earlier under your car seat, many providers end up with excess equipment when the device they’ve purchased already exists in the healthcare system. A redeployment program eliminates needless, duplicate equipment and frees up funds for other purchases.

4. Scrap

At some point, equipment will lose all its use and market value. And yet, its materials may still have value in the scrap market. While identifying quality vendors and coordinating de-installation can be difficult for facility personnel, it can be a pain-free (even profitable) process once you identify a partner who understands this market and can maximize the sale of scrap materials.

5. Track

Can you account for what equipment you have in storage right now? More than half of your peers cannot. You can’t take full advantage of the options above unless you know what devices you have and where.

Like finding hidden treasures in old attics, your facility could benefit from matching retired devices that are still functional with the needs from other facilities or departments. One health system, for example, identified more than 3,000 functional devices in storage at an estimated value of $3.5 million! You can capitalize on equipment that no longer serves your needs, but only if you know what or where it is.

6. Partner Up

Admittedly, profitable end-of-life equipment management requires a considerable amount of logistics, know-how and decision points. You can still redeem value from retiring equipment without added burden to your staff by partnering with a vendor-neutral, third-party that can facilitate and carry out your decisions. An adequate partner has a well-documented track-record of helping healthcare providers track, redeploy and get top market value for that equipment.

At a time when providers struggle to stretch resources, don’t overlook opportunities to generate revenue from little- to no-use devices. Find the mix that best fits your goals and don’t leave money on the table (or in the closet).