Take Stock of Equipment and Supply Costs

You spend many thousands of dollars a year on medical equipment and supplies. It’s an operating expense that requires careful monitoring because overspending can add up quickly. Here are eight tips from TMA Practice Consulting:

  1. Prices are competitive; it pays to comparison shop periodically to make sure you’re getting a good deal on your purchases when it comes time to rebid supplier contracts. In addition to price, take into consideration offers such as shelf-life dating for dated products or delayed payment without accruing interest or financial charges. 

  2. Monitor your consumption patterns to determine where bulk purchasing makes sense for your practice in terms of storage space and monetary outlay. As much as you can, use your storage space to take advantage of sales and discounts.

  3. Take advantage of TMA’s group discount programs to save on medical office supplies. 

  4. Consider joining group purchasing organizations (GPOs), such as TMA PracticeEdge’s GPO, which can reduce the cost of medical supplies and drugs significantly through volume discounts.   

  5. When figuring your costs, include the time spent negotiating prices in addition to the actual costs of the supplies and normal inventory levels.  

  6. Although a supplier may offer an exclusive purchasing agreement, be aware that association with a single supplier can be either a hindrance or an advantage. If the medical supplier doesn’t think you’ve received better pricing offers or payment terms, you may end up paying higher-than market rates for equipment, supplies, and biologicals. 

  7. Pay careful attention to changes in the cost of drugs and supplies to ensure your office fee schedule covers these increased costs.  

  8. Develop an effective inventory control process to keep track of expensive vaccines and drugs. Be sure your office refrigerators have recording thermometers to confirm products are stored at the correct temperature. Purchase office insurance to cover the cost of replacements in case of power outages or natural disasters that might impact supplies or drug inventories. 

Published March 8, 2016

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Last Updated On

June 23, 2016

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