ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF BUYING USED MEDICAL EQUIPMENTS

Nowadays doctors and dentists prefer starting up their own clinic to practice. This is a good approach as it provides better opportunities and reduces the uncertainty of job. However, one might need a big amount of capital to set up a clinic. Apart from the basic cost of either purchasing or getting the practicing area on rent; there are other costs as well which are to be considered. One major expense is that of medical equipments which are quite costly. Instead of buying new equipments, one might go for the option of buying used medical equipments. Though money saving, but its not an easy job as it requires quite a lot of time as well expertise to find out any faults in the equipment. This is one of the major disadvantages of buying used equipments. The practitioner needs to be very careful and should select such a vendor whom he/ she can trust, because once a medical professional ends up buying faulty equipment; greater costs will be incurred for its repair and maintenance. However, this disadvantage can be surmounted by checking the equipment’s working, its physical condition and its year of manufacturing, as the older the device, more the chances of heavy and frequent maintenance.

Used medical equipments undergo constant up gradation and technological advancements, which makes the machine’s life shorter and cause it to become obsolete in a short span of time. This can become a problem if doctors/ dentists own the equipment, because they might have bought it for a very high price but once its newer version is in the market, the previous one becomes useless. And in such a situation the practitioners would have to get the newer model to keep up with the challenges of their profession. This is one of the advantages the doctors can get by buying used machines.

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Language Impairment Following Stroke Adds Thousands To Medical Costs

Main Category: Stroke
Also Included In: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 19 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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Stroke-related language impairment adds about $1,703 per patient to medical costs the first year after stroke, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers retrospectively examined the records of 3,200 South Carolina Medicare patients who had ischemic strokes in 2004 and found:

  • Twelve percent (398 patients) had aphasia or language impairment.
  • Medicare payments for those with aphasia averaged $20,734 per patient vs. $18,683 for those without it – an 8.5 percent increase.
  • Aphasia patients were older and had more severe strokes.
  • Aphasia patients stayed in healthcare facilities 6.5 percent longer and had higher rates of illness and death.

“These findings are important because dramatic changes are occurring in healthcare reimbursement, specifically imposed caps on Medicare reimbursement for outpatient speech language pathology and physical therapy,” said Charles Ellis Jr., Ph.D., lead author and associate professor of Health Sciences and Research at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “Although the current reimbursement cap is $1,870 for these therapies, the financial burden of the cap remains a major limiting factor to access long-term rehabilitation for patients with persisting aphasia.”

Annually, about 100,000 people who suffer a stroke will be left with language deficits due to aphasia.

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Extending the Life of Medical Equipment

Extending the Life of Medical Equipment




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I received an e-mail yesterday from a client that they had some medical equipment they wanted to give away, so I drove over to check it out.  Unforunately my client has taken a turn for the worse and can not use any of it anymore.

I ended up brining home a transfer slider board, wheel chair cushion, bed trapeze, commode, recliner/lift chair gait belts. 

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Medical equipment is expensvie and I hate seeing good equipment gathering dust in some closet when there are so many people that can use them.  I am renting this equipment out at a low cost in order to keep it out of the waste stream and in cirruclation.  If you have equipment that you would like to donate or are interested in renting these items from meplease contact me.

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Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis And Lupus Give Birth To Fewer Children

Main Category: Arthritis / Rheumatology
Also Included In: Lupus;  Fertility
Article Date: 18 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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New research shows that more than half of women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have fewer children than desired. While patient choice has some influence on the smaller family size, findings published in Arthritis Care Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), suggest that higher rates of infertility and miscarriage may also impact the number of offspring born to women with these chronic conditions.

According to the ACR up to 322,000 U.S. adults have systemic lupus – a disease in which the body’s immune system becomes overactive and attacks healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Roughly 1.3 million adult Americans suffer from RA, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes painful joint inflammation. Medical evidence reports that both RA and SLE are more common in women, and onset often occurs during reproductive years which can lead to challenges in family-building.

To further understand the role of infertility, pregnancy loss and family size choice in women with RA and SLE, Megan Clowse, M.D., Kaleb Michaud, Ph.D. and colleagues from institutes across the U.S. surveyed 1,017 female participants in the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases. Respondents to the reproductive-health questionnaire included 578 women with RA and 114 with SLE, who based upon their responses, were then categorized as: those interested in having children at symptom onset who had either fewer children than planned (group A) or the same number as planned (group B), and those no longer interested in having children at diagnosis (group C).

Study findings reveal that over 60% of respondents were in group C. Researchers found that 55% of women with RA and 64% with SLE had fewer children than originally planned. Women with RA who were in group A had an infertility rate 1.5 times higher than those in group B, but both groups had similar rates of miscarriage. Women with SLE in group A had a similar number of pregnancies as those in group B, but a 3-fold higher miscarriage rate.

Overall the infertility rate among participants with RA was 42% in women who had fewer children than desired. In women diagnosed with RA during childbearing years the infertility rate was higher than in those diagnosed after childbearing was complete. For participants with SLE no significant increase in infertility was noted. However, among women with lupus having fewer children than desired was associated with pregnancy loss. The authors suggest that patient education to enhance awareness of safe medical options during pregnancy and effective control of these autoimmune diseases will assist women with achieving their childbearing goals.

“Our study highlights important reproductive-health concerns for women with RA and lupus,” said Dr. Clowse. Study findings reported that concerns about inability to care for their children, adverse effects from medications taken during pregnancy, and genetic transmission of their disease to offspring lead to fewer pregnancies in women with RA and SLE. “Further study of the underlying causes of infertility and pregnancy loss in women with RA and SLE is needed to help fulfill their desire for children,” concludes Dr. Clowse.

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What’s Beside the Bed?

To save energy, utilize what energy is available and to consider safety during weakness it is really nice to have a couple of items beside the medical bed.

One item is a commode, a portable potty chair.  When this is right beside the bed a person can sit up, plant their feet on the ground, stand and pivot to sit on the commode.  The necessity of urinating or having a bowel movement doesn’t go away…for a while.  Bringing this piece of equipment can make life easier and yet remember, this is all very humbling for someone to use.

The other item is a bedside table.  There are tables just like the ones at the hospital that roll and slide over the bed.  It also is great for having things within reach (glass of water, phone, kleenex, etc).

Then if you want to have some fun put an extra blanket over the commode and always have a chair for a friend to sit on.  No one really needs to know what its true use is!

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Evaluating The Factors Underlying Medicare Decisions On Coverage Of Medical Technology

Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Medical Devices / Diagnostics
Article Date: 15 Feb 2012 – 1:00 PST

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A new study by researchers at Tufts Medical Center provides unique insight into factors that affect Medicare decisions on whether to pay for medical technologies. The study, published online by the journal Medical Care, underscores that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has incorporated evidence-based medicine into its decision making, highlighting the importance of the strength and quality of the supporting clinical evidence. Further, the research provides important insight into the “reasonable and necessary” criteria, illustrating the significance of the availability of alternative therapies, while suggesting that CMS accounts for value in coverage decisions.

By law, Medicare is mandated only to cover medical technology deemed “reasonable and necessary” for the diagnosis of illness or injury in Medicare beneficiaries. CMS makes 10-15 national coverage determinations (NCDs) each year on technologies deemed to have a substantial impact on the program. Because CMS has not provided formal guidance on the interpretation of the “reasonable and necessary” criteria, it has not always been clear what factors play a role in technology coverage decisions. The new study is the first of its kind to evaluate quantitatively the factors underlying Medicare decisions.

The research also shows that CMS’s coverage of medical technology has become more restrictive over time. When controlling for other factors, CMS was ten times less likely to cover a technology from 2006 through 2007 than it was in the early 2000s.

“This research offers the medical community a better understanding of the type of evidence that Medicare considers in NCDs,” said lead author James D. Chambers of Tufts Medical Center, “thus providing a valuable insight into the reasonable and necessary criteria.” He added that “CMS and other payers can also benefit from this kind of external review of coverage decisions as it can help ensure the consistency of decisions and the integrity and accountability of the coverage process.”

The authors used data from the Tufts Medical Center NCD database, and conducted a logistic regression analysis to evaluate how various factors affect the likelihood of positive coverage.

Key findings include:

  • CMS is favoring proven interventions. Compared to interventions with clinical evidence deemed “insufficient”, interventions with good or fair quality supporting evidence were approximately six times more likely to receive a positive decision.
  • Interventions with available alternatives are less likely to be covered. Compared with interventions with no available alternative, those for which an alternative was available were approximately eight times less likely to receive a positive decision.
  • CMS accounts for value in coverage decisions. Compared with technologies estimated to be dominant, i.e., more effective and less costly than the competing intervention considered, those with no published estimate of cost-effectiveness were approximately five times less likely to receive a positive coverage decision.
  • Coverage decisions have become more restrictive over time. Compared with coverage decisions made in the years 1999 to 2001, decisions made from 2002 to 2003 were more than three times less likely to be positive. Decisions made from 2004 to 2005 were also more than three times less likely to be positive, and from 2006 to 2007 decisions were almost ten times less likely to be positive.

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