As discussed in our Auxo Medical blog earlier this month, the Section 179 Tax Deduction is intended to motivate businesses to stay competitive by purchasing needed equipment, and writing off the full amount on their taxes for the existing year. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.
Due to the passage of recent Stimulus Acts and Congressional Tax Bills, there are several notable updates to the Section 179 deduction. The specific impact that these Stimulus Acts have had on the Section 179 deduction is related to the dollar limits of the deduction and bonus depreciation increasing.
As the year-end is fast approaching, many healthcare businesses are considering purchases, including medical equipment. Understanding and utilizing available tax incentives should be a consideration for these purchasing decisions.
Section 179: How to Cash In on Tax Savings
It is a safe assumption to make that medical equipment buyers want to save money. In 2018, now more than ever, hospitals, ASCs, and other healthcare institutions are under tremendous pressure to cut costs. But, many buyers do not necessarily think about Section 179 when shopping for equipment.
The Section 179 deduction is actually not a complicated tax code and is surprisingly a lot simpler than most realize. The IRS tax code, Section 179, permits businesses to subtract the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. In other words, if you buy a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the full purchase price from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and reinvest in growing their business.
Earlier this month, we looked into the topic of healthcare pricing transparency, and discussed why its relevant.
Today we dive into how pricing transparency affects our healthcare decisions and costs.
The average consumer, consciously or subconsciously, price shops on a daily basis — checking out which gas station has the cheapest price per gallon, which grocery store has the most affordable produce, and which Amazon wholesaler has the cheapest gadget.
But when it comes to our healthcare, that’s an entirely different ballgame.
The unfortunate truth is that consumers in the United States do not necessarily know the cost that they pay for healthcare because those financial implications by insurers and providers have historically been kept under wraps.
In this month’s newsletter, we are taking a closer look into value-based care’s pricing model and how transparency plays an important role for patients.
Transparency Can Lead to Confusion
Value-based care (VBC) is a healthcare delivery model in which providers, including hospitals and physicians, are paid based on patient health outcomes.VBC differs from a fee-for-service approach, in which providers are paid based on the amount of healthcare services they deliver.
Value-based purchasing (VBP) incentivize providers to enhance the caliber of their care by offering financial rewards (or penalties) based on their outcomes. Price transparency initiatives entice patients to select “higher-value” providers by offering price information.
Price transparency is the ability for consumers to access provider-specific information on the price of healthcare services – including out-of-pocket costs − regardless of the setting in which they are delivered.
But healthcare does not operate like other industries – consumers do not necessarily have access to the price of services.
Costs for the same exact medical service can vary significantly from provider to provider; it is challenging for consumers to ascertain information in order to compare providers based on two important factors: price and quality.
Making insights on healthcare prices and quality obtainable will help consumers compare costs, choose physicians who truly have high value, as well as plan for the financial implications. This will also support policymakers to hold healthcare providers accountable for creating appropriate prices.
Even though the healthcare industry has been slower to embrace Internet of Things than other industries, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is positioned to reshape how we keep people safe and healthy, particularly as solutions to lower healthcare costs is on the rise.
Allied Market Research predicts that the IoT healthcare market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021. There are over 3 million medical devices in circulation that are connected to and monitor patients to influence healthcare decisions.
Wearable devices and the decreasing cost to produce sensor technology are largely responsible for this impressive growth. Also, chronic diseases are on the rise, so advanced treatment options and reducing healthcare expenditures makes it even more alluring to utilize newer innovations.
Last year we reported the disturbing rise of ransomware in healthcare, specifically within ASCs as well as explaining how employees are used as targets for identity theft. Organizations have been victimized by hackers who steal patient identities and disable access to key patient treatment and status records until ransom demands are met.
While it sounds like something out of a dramatic cinematic film, ransomware is very much a harsh reality. Traditional technology networks are vulnerable and lucrative to attacks. Small to medium-size health care facilities are marked as primary ransomware targets because their security infrastructure is often lacking.
Ransomware attacks have infested healthcare organizations for years. In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware targeted medical devices and caused extensive problems for healthcare companies. Earlier this year, SamSam ransomeware hit a number of healthcare organizations.
Ransomware attacks obviously concern healthcare IT professionals. According to a survey by security firm Imperva, a ransomware attack is the type of cyberattack that most worries healthcare IT professionals. Almost 10 percent of those surveyed had paid a ransom or extortion fee, while almost half didn’t know if they had paid a ransom or not. More than one-third of healthcare organizations have suffered a cyberattack within the last year, the survey found.
Mark your calendar! This Fall, Auxo Medical will be offering a Steris Sterilizer and Washer/Disinfector service training course!
The course will be offered November 5th – 9th, 2018 at Auxo Medical in Richmond, VA.
November 5th – 6th 2018 – Steris Small Stage 3 Series Sterilizers for 2 days (3013, 3023, & Gravity units)
November 7th – 8th 2018 – Steris 444 Washer Disinfectors
November 9th, 2018 – Review/Water Chemistry LLC discussion on importance of water quality for the final half day.
A patient’s heart monitor sends an alert to a physician that her arrhythmia is back.
A senior forgets to take their prescribed medication on time, and a devices helps remind them to take it and also documents what time they took it.
A man’s implanted device monitors blood glucose symptoms and delivers a corrective insulin stimulus, alerting the physician simultaneously.
All of these examples are the epitome of the “Internet of Medical Things” (IoMT). The Internet of Medical Things refers to an ecosystem of medical devices and applications that collect data that is then provided to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. Wi-Fi enabled devices are a catalyst for machines to communicate and link to cloud platforms for data storage. The “Internet of Things” (IoT) has influenced several industries, and the healthcare field is no exception. The medical industry across the board has gradually started to enter the integrated world of IoT.