Guide to Understanding MRI Service Costs
The last thing you want to hear is that the MRI machine is not working when you rely on the images produced by your MRI machine to treat patients. This will ultimately affect your entire practice beginning with scheduling, staffing, diagnosis, and the impact of lost revenue and repairs. To prevent unexpected downtime from happening is to have proper service and maintenance. Service comes in various forms, and we will mention the most popular options below. There are levels of coverage that range from full parts and labor contracts to the scaled-back time and materials agreement. You have a choice when it comes to the service provider. Here is a guide to understanding MRI service costs.
Full Parts and Labor Contracts
Full parts and labor contracts provide complete coverage for your MRI machine. All costs linked with the maintenance and repair of the equipment are compensated. The advantages of a full-service contract include upfront pricing and no variable costs. All of the financial risks of upkeeping the MRI machine is transferred to the service provider. These contracts are ideal for facilities that want a fixed service expense and want to minimize downtime.
Parts Only Contracts
A service contract generally contains the costs for parts and labor. Many providers will offer parts only coverage at a reduced price rate. The parts only agreement will cover the replacement parts needed in a repair, but it will not cover the labor services. At no additional cost, preventative maintenance is often included.
Time and Materials Contract
A time and materials contract, also known as a T&M contract, is a contract that covers the preventative maintenance for your MRI machine. Additionally, the contract will include pre-set hourly rates for labor in the event of a service call. The T&M contract is a reliable option for organizations with higher risk tolerance and wants to minimize their service expenses. Preventative maintenance is designed to help the MRI machine operating correctly and provide an early indication for any components that are nearing failure. The main advantage of a time and materials contract is the low cost compared to a parts only contract or full parts and labor contract.
All of the following contracts each have their specific cost-benefit profile. For instance, the full service is a fixed price option that transfers all of the labor and expenses to the provider. In contrast, the parts only contract splits the risk with your organization by bearing the labor costs in exchange for a discount. Lastly, the time and materials contract is designed to get ahead of potential problems. Still, in the event where one occurs, you hold the financial responsibility for repairing the MRI machine.
In most cases, service is provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and has many advantages. The first advantage guarantees access to equipment parts. It is required for OEMs to offer parts and service for seven years past the last manufacture date. The mandate ensures that coverage will continue for most of the equipment’s life. In addition to this, you can diagnose an underlying equipment problem. MRI manufacturers GE, Siemens, and Philips all have access to their service codes to inform the technicians what is wrong. These codes will help speed up the time to resolution and support remote troubleshooting. OEM’s service organizations are huge and designed to support clients globally. This is key when response time is essential and helps with access to engineers and parts. However, OEM service is the most expensive option when compared to third-party or insurance coverage.
Here are the other factors that have the most significant impact on price:
- Number of Systems
- Multi-Vendor Contract
- Multi-year Agreements
- System Type
- Response Time
- Uptime Guarantees
Service contracts can be complicated, but they exist to keep your MRI machine operating as well as prevent unexpected downtime. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for preventative maintenance. Then, evaluate what is essential for your practice or organization. It is your choice!