Scrutiny for Clinical Technology

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , November 13, 2012
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Alison Page CEO
Baldwin (Wis.) Area Medical Center

We are not cutting back on high-level technology.  We look at it by the services we offer and what equipment we need to offer that service. We roll them up and we have a magic number that we set for how much we can spend—which in our case is the equivalent of our last year's depreciation. We are a small hospital, less than $50 million in revenues. So it's about $880,000 in capital each year that we are spending now. We look at what we have to do and what we'd like to do to offer more and better services or to upgrade the standards. We put it in the capital budget and see if it will fit.

We are part of a larger imaging co-op that buys the equipment and leases it back to us. Then you transfer those costs to the operating budget versus the capital budget. That saves money in the capital budget. If you have more capital appetite than you have dollars, we look at what we can transfer off the capital budget into the operating budget through some sort of lease arrangement.

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