Providing pain management solutions to patients is as vital today as it has ever been. Perhaps even more so, considering that pain:
- Affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined
- Represents the most common reason Americans interact with the nation’s health care system
- Is a leading cause of disability
Alleviating pain, then, is a significant benefit your practice might already provide. But what if you want to make your patients’ pain treatments as frictionless as possible? As comfortable and convenient as it can be?
Then you’ll probably consider bringing such treatments entirely in-house.
Making pain management an inside job
Conducting pain treatment procedures in-house allows you to:
- Offer patients greater convenience during what can be stressful and worrisome conditions
- Provide complete care on-site, with improved control over scheduling, availability, and the care experience
Initially referring patients to ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) or hospitals makes a lot of sense. If you’re directing 10 or more patients each month to these locations — with expectations of that number trending upward, not downward — it may be time to look at offering treatments onsite.
Preparing for this isn’t as arduous as it might sound. The following overview addresses several tasks associated with bringing pain management treatments into your clinic.
Requirements for pain management suite design and construction
If you’re looking to install a pain management suite into your current location, you’ll need to:
- Submit to the appropriate state agency the shielding plan for your suite; your physicist may need to be the one who does this.
- State regulations may compel you to line the walls, door, ceiling, and floor (the latter two likely being dependent upon the presence of people below or above you and the material used for constructing the space.
- Complete the 2579 form on delivery, which registers the system to your state.
- Confirm your designated space can accommodate the C-arm, table, and other equipment used during procedures.
- Minimum space: 10 feet x 10 feet, but the bigger, the better.
- Arrange for a lead inspection conducted by your local physicist.
There’s still more work required after this effort, however. And it’s critical: choosing the proper C-Arm.
Choosing the right C-Arm plan
Equipment is the most significant expense associated with introducing pain management treatments to your clinic. And that brings us to a fluoroscopic X-ray machine (C-Arm) and C-Arm table.
Selecting the right C-Arm procurement plan means understanding your practice’s:
- Anticipated volume
- Long-term goals
For instance, if your budget is tight and the plan is to grow your practice into more capable technology within five years, an OEC 9600 might be the right fit. An OEC 9600 may run you about $850 per month, which can accommodate your plans better than a new system at around $1,650 per month. All figures are used for illustrative purposes only.
Should you get a new C-Arm or a refurbished C-Arm?
Let’s take a closer look at the issues raised by questions of new vs. refurbished.
- If you decide to go with a refurbished C-Arm, make sure you carefully evaluate the plan.
- What is covered by the warranty? Glass? Parts and labor? Do not settle for less than 1 year/100% on parts and labor.
- Is onsite applications training included? Proper training can introduce efficiencies that make your C-arm investment even savvier.
- State-of-the-art technology is about more than bragging rights; it can help differentiate your practice. If your plan allows for something along the lines of a 10-year plan and image quality unavailable in older machines, the Zen 7000 might be a better fit.
Typically, we recommend either a like-new OEC 9800 or new ZEN-7000 C-Arm with a table. The lowest monthly payments on these packages can vary between $1,200-$1,400 with an 84-month lease term.
Look closely at the cost-revenue breakdown for either machine and you’ll see great affordability. Less expensive options are on the market — but those increase your risks of costly equipment failure and slow service response time. Given the importance of reliability to the healthcare market, cheap alternatives may as well carry a prominent “Buyer Beware” sign.
Irrespective of your selection in the new vs. refurbished debate, the cost will play a large role in your decision. Our projections suggest that performing an average of 10 epidural or similar procedures per month can yield enough revenue to cover your in-office pain procedure costs. (Consult with your billing company to get an exact figure.)
It’s worth noting that, in most cases, you’ll receive higher payments for performing procedures in your private office rather than at an ASC/hospital.
Disposable supplies, tools, and X-ray tech are not factored into this calculation. The assumption: such expenses will be covered since you’re no longer providing a fee or payment share to an ASC/hospital.
Setting the C-Arm table
You’ll need to decide upon several options when it comes to the imaging table. Will a dual post table be best? Or a diving board table? What movements do you require? Up and down? Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg? Lateral tilt and head-to-toe?
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to the other equipment you may need. This can include:
- Patient monitors
- An automated external defibrillator (AED)
- Crash Carts
And many, many more. Making the correct long-term decision on your pain management cornerstone, the C-Arm, can help you afford the market leaders in those and other medical equipment categories.
Here to help you — today, tomorrow, and beyond
At Complete Medical Services, we apply our passion for exemplary service toward ensuring a remarkable client experience. The result is a strong reputation also earned by expertise gained during our 20+ years’ experience. Contact us today; we’ll collaborate with you on the C-Arm solution that fits your plans best. And we’ll be happy to consult on other crucial elements to help you build a pain management practice for years to come.