Top 8 Healthcare Predictions in 2020

Top 8 Healthcare Predictions in 2020

very year, shares their predictions for the upcoming year in healthcare. There is no crystal ball for these type of forecasts — they compile this information from multiple credible sources.

So, without further ado, here is a summary of their projections for what we can expect in the healthcare industry for 2020.

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Meet The Interns – Spring 2020

It’s that time time of year of again! We’re excited for summertime here at Auxo Medical because we get to welcome a new group of awesome qualified students to the family. We’re so excited to introduce the newest members of the Auxo team participating in our internship program during the Spring 2020 semester.

These two students are working hard and gaining hands-on experience in various aspects here at Auxo Medical. We’ve asked the interns to answer a few questions in order to get to know them a little more. Without further ado, please welcome the Spring 2020 interns! Learn about them below.

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5 Predictions for Digital Healthcare in 2020

Digital Healthcare

The evolution of healthcare has unfolded year after year, advancing at what sometimes feels like warp speed. However in 2019, digital innovations appeared to be progressing at a gradual rate. Luckily experts are predicting that there will be a multitude of technological advancements coming in 2020.

Here are the top 5 most noteworthy predictions that we can expect:

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Case Study: Refurbished Medical Equipment

medical case study

Using refurbished medical equipment offers countless benefits to both medical practices and its patients, as we’ve outlined in our blog.

Today we wanted to share an interesting case study that demonstrates exactly why choosing to utilize refurbished medical equipment can add to your company’s bottom line, as well as ensure your patients’ safety is a top priority.

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital —Serving an Increasing Population

The natural gas industry in Lake Charles, Louisiana is taking credit for causing an uptick in its local resident population. To meet the healthcare demands of this growing community, Lake Charles Memorial Health System decided to make a significant investment in technology, particularly diagnostic imaging equipment. Their mission was to provide healthcare to more patients with top-notch, reliable equipment, not break the bank with surging budgets, as well as be mindful of environmentally-friendly options.

Scott Daigle, the administrative director of Radiology at the hospital said, “Our patient load is growing an average of 26 percent per year. We’re a 24/7 facility, and we’re just as busy at night as we are during the day. That’s why we have to have dependable equipment. And the more the population grows, the more equipment we’ll need.”

The CT supervisor at Memorial, Tommy Broussard, poignantly described the situation, “Uptime is everything. If just one of the three CT scanners we have goes down for any length of time, we’re backed up for at least a day. So we need service and equipment we can count on.”

And Richard Martinez, physician and medical director of Radiology added, “We’re looking for a quality, reliable piece of equipment that meets our needs. It has to be safe, current, proven, and complete with the essential imaging features we need, plus the ability to upgrade.”

By going with an eco line of refurbished equipment, Memorial met all of its goals, and even they were surprised by the affordability of their investment.

Deciding on Refurbished Equipment

When the time came for Memorial to strengthen its radiology capacity, they tackled a significant amount of research to determine the best choices. After siphoning through several proposals, they ultimately decided on using a refurbished line manufactured by Siemens. This decision was not taken lightly; substantial savings coupled with an environmentally-friendly choice while not compromising on the latest technology was their driving motivation.

It’s no surprise that the Radiology team was nervous to procure previously owned medical equipment. In the past, Memorial used a pre-owned system and experienced trouble with that equipment; it turns out that it wasn’t actually refurbished. A vendor needed to replace essential parts, and understandably, the hospital wanted to avoid unnecessary downtime again.

The decision-makers at Memorial understood that Siemens had an ecoline, which essentially meant they would be receiving a new piece of equipment. Daigle shared, “It’s got the refurbished name on it, but it’s been torn apart and put back together. It’s been serviced, it has the newest software, and it’s upgradable. It has everything that the new machines have. You’re getting it at substantial cost savings, and there is no difference in output quality for patient tests.”

Affordability Without Compromising Quality

Radiology equipment is expected to produce excellent images, and function consistently. After experiencing their refurbished equipment, the Memorial physicians and techs rated its quality as though it is new.

Case in point, the medical director of Radiology says that he can’t tell the difference. “When I’m reading the images, I usually don’t know which machine they were done on unless somebody tells me,” explained Dr. Martinez. “That’s where the rubber meets the road. For our interpretations, when we’re reviewing images on either ecoline or new Siemens equipment, they’re the same.”

In case you missed it, be sure to check out our guide on how to go about securing refurbished medical equipment, and what questions to ask the provider.

A Guide on Procuring Refurbished Medical Equipment

The benefits of using refurbished medical equipment are extensive. As we’ve outlined in our blog — affordability, reliable/trustworthy products, and eco-friendly are among some of the top perks.

Once you’ve made the decision to take advantage of leasing or purchasing refurbished medical equipment for your practice, the next step will be to procure them… taking into consideration budgets as well as preferences.

The following are key areas you should evaluate when making those important decisions.

What exactly is considered ‘refurbished’ equipment?

First things first is understanding what exactly refurbished means.

Refurbished medical equipment is classified as used healthcare devices, restored by the manufacturer or an expert in repair; the final product is an as-good-as or sometimes better than the original unit’s condition, per the manufacturer (OEM) specifications.

The refurbishment method may be different depending on the type of equipment and its condition, but invariably it should include:

  • Thorough inspections
  • Replacement of worn down parts
  • Recalibration
  • Cosmetic preservation
  • Testing equipment

How can I guarantee that the equipment was adequately refurbished?

When investigating a piece of refurbished medical equipment, there are many questions you should get answered, including whether or not the company has extensive experience in this industry.

  • How long has the business been operating?
  • What type of technicians refurbish each unit?
  • Does the business have expertise in a certain type of equipment?
  • Is there any type of warranty or a company promise in place on the refurbished equipment?

In other words, become very familiar with who is behind the equipment before acquiring it.

How much money do you want to invest in this equipment?

Establish a budget to spend on the device. The beauty of a refurbished piece of equipment is that you can enjoy quality, without the hefty price tag. Refurbished equipment is generally marked down anywhere from 30 to 70 percent less than brand new equipment.

What aspects do I prefer about our current equipment?

If you are replacing an existing piece of equipment within your business, you’ll want to evaluate characteristics that you enjoy about it.

  • Do you like the way the equipment functions?
  • Is the maintenance/upkeep relatively easy?
  • Is the cleaning process free of headaches?

Or, you can lower the learning curve of new technology, as well as reduce disrupting workflow processes, by simply choosing to get a more recent model of the medical equipment you already have, but it has been refurbished.

Partnering with the pros

Auxo Medical is a small business that provides personal service, along with several benefits that larger medical suppliers offer. Our refurbished and reconditioned medical equipment is second to none, and our service is something we are incredibly proud of.

We provide medical equipment and services to ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals, laboratories, private physician practices, and more. We have the expertise to provide the equipment you need, the reliability to build a lasting relationship, and the responsiveness and services you need and deserve.

Over the years, we’ve developed our refurbishing processes that address both the cosmetic and functional sides of each unit. We refurbish a wide range of equipment, from patient monitors to infusion pumps, surgical tables, electrosurgical units, and anesthesia machines.

Section 179 Calculator + Financing

Section 179 Calculator + Financing

This month, we peeled back the layers of leveraging Section 179’s tax code — from understanding what it is, how to cash in on it, and when the qualifying timeframe is eligible to use the deduction.

To round out this educational series, we are highlighting how to go about financing and leasing equipment, as well as using the Section 179 calculator in order to estimate your potential savings.

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Changes, Updates and Insights for Section 179 in 2019

179 tax code

As a follow-up to our recent Section 179 blog post, explaining the ins and outs of the tax code, it’s also important to understand updates for this calendar year.

2019 Limits for Section 179 Tax Code

For 2019, the deduction maximum cap was increased to $1 million, a significant incentive. This allows businesses to deduct the full expense of their medical equipment off of their taxes this year, which can be quite impactful for the end of year financials.

This deduction is valid toward acquiring new and used equipment, as well as software that is “off the shelf.” It also must be financed or purchased, and put to use between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 by midnight.

Here is a Section 179 free download of the Form 4562 needed to utilize this deduction.

Tax Breaks for Small and Medium Sized Business

The 179 tax code originated to help support small to medium-sized businesses. While the cap for total deductions is $1 million in 2019, the limits for the total amount of equipment purchased this year is $2.5 million. Deductions ultimately go away completely once reaching $3.5 million in purchases.

The Future Looks Bright

Historically, Section 179 has had a lot of twists and turns. However, in the past few years, the U.S. Congress put an end to the ongoing changes and mandated that the Tax Deduction limit is now permanent. The limit was increased to $1 million indefinitely beginning in 2019. This is comforting for small and medium sized businesses, so they can plan accordingly and take advantage of the deductions earlier in the year.

Section 179 Qualified Materials

Nearly all types of business equipment that a business buys or finances should qualify for the Section 179 deduction. The equipment itself does not need to be new, but it must be new to the business for the calendar year when it is being used as a deduction.

Here is the list of material goods that generally qualify, according to the official Section 179 website:

  • Equipment (machines, etc.) purchased for business use
  • Tangible personal property used in business
  • Business Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 6,000 lbs (see Section 179 Vehicle Deductions)
  • Computers
  • Computer “Off-the-Shelf” Software
  • Office Furniture
  • Office Equipment
  • Property attached to your building that is not a structural component of the building (i.e.: a printing press, large manufacturing tools and equipment)
  • Partial Business Use (equipment that is purchased for business use and personal use: generally, your deduction will be based on the percentage of time you use the equipment for business purposes).
  • Certain improvements to existing non-residential buildings: fire suppression, alarms and security systems, HVAC, and roofing.

Section 179 Financing

Many businesses are finding the Section 179 Qualified Financing  to be an appealing possibility, particularly with a variety of anticipated Federal Discount Rate increases on the horizon.

With reasonably priced monthly payments, and minimal or no money down needed beforehand, financing equipment and leveraging Section 179 can add value to your business’ bottom line now and into the future.

If you would like to talk about utilizing the tax code deductions on refurbished medical equipment, contact our team at Auxo Medical — we would be happy to help assist you.

What You Should Know About Section 179 Tax Code Deductions

179 tax code deductions

At this time of year, many people are busy thinking about travel plans for Thanksgiving to see family, as well as bracing themselves for holiday gift shopping. But for business owners and those responsible for the bottom line at their place of employment, they are busy thinking about closing out the year by maximizing tax savings.

Section 179 is an IRS tax code, which — in its very nature of being a tax code — can sound intimidating. However, the truth is, the code is pretty straight forward. This tax code simply enables businesses to use deductions on the full cost of qualifying equipment, either purchased or financed, during that calendar year.

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Sustainable Healthcare: A Positive Change for our Planet & Patients

Sustainable Health

Our healthcare industry is both a substantial contributor to the global health crisis, as well as deeply troubled by it. It is uniquely situated to lead a revolution on both a community level as well as a planetary level, from land development, food, chemicals, and energy usage.

Sustainable health advocates believe that endeavors to safeguard and increase our health will not be successful if we don’t direct concerted efforts toward ecological, social, and economic adversities.

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