In a reagent rental contract, the instrument is “free” with the purchase of reagents. The “free” instrument is an illusion, as this scenario usually has a load attached to each reactive product to offset the price of equipment and service. Reagent rentals can be calculated based on cost per test, monthly payment, fair market value leasing, $1 buyback lease or single rent. Purchasing OptionsIn most clinical laboratory environments, vendors offer three options for purchasing laboratory equipment: one direct purchase and two leasing scenarios, reagent rental and a cost-per-report agreement. All three options include the requirement to purchase reagents and consumables necessary for the operation of the devices. In a direct purchase agreement, the establishment owns the instrument and associated accessories. You can either pay in advance for the entire purchase, or finance it either by the seller or by a third-party lender. The advantage of this scenario is that, although the instrument may have a useful life of five to seven years, an installation can use it longer if the instrument is in good condition. In addition, information provided in a direct purchase scenario is generally broken down by instrument, service, responsive and consumable, as well as, if applicable, financing costs. This detailed information facilitates cost developments, facilitates initial/ongoing negotiations, and allows for greater savings.
The downside of this purchase scenario is that negotiating each part of the agreement is a tedious process. The pre-requisite capital would be required, which would lead the laboratory to go through a generally lengthy capital approval process, and the technology may be obsolete before you have exceeded the useful life of the instrument. And this decision has a huge impact. Considering laboratories, which are not generally considered a revenue centre for hospitals, it is particularly important to find the savings on equipment supply. Understanding the available purchasing options will not only facilitate the process, but also allow suppliers to manage their costs by minimizing expenses and increasing revenue. This is particularly true in light of new trends that show that health care providers are increasing their spending on clinical laboratory stocks. So what thoughts can support this decision-making process? In the budget analysis, it is important to remember that a purchase is more related than the initial capital investment. The cost of maintaining and operating the system, such as service charges, consumer costs and accreditation tests, must be taken into account. It is also imperative that these costs be taken into account and that suppliers are transparent about all consumption costs, including reagents and potash, as these can significantly increase costs. Purchasing ConsiderationsThe decision to lend or purchase a new device for the laboratory depends on two main factors: the available household dollars and the technological relevance of the equipment. Purchasing a leasing system is usually the best financial decision because it provides hospitals with more bargaining leverage and can result in cost reductions for the duration of the agreement.