Importance of a Capital Asset Inventory

Has it been awhile since your last capital audit? Many hospitals conduct an annual inventory audit for supplies, but overlook the overall savings potential of improving their capital asset management program. Did you know that inventory tracking for hospital capital assets is recommended every 3-5 years? Here is why…

Your hospital’s capital assets (clinical / biomed equipment, laboratory, IT assets, audio visual, Monitoring, Radiology & Sterilization equipment, furniture & fixtures) represent the largest investment that hospitals & health care systems make. Yet, many hospitals rely on outdated ledgers generated from multiple departments to track their assets.

It is important to note that departments must not only track equipment that is used on a daily basis in their department, but also those assets that may be buried under boxes or included with other surplus inside offsite storage closets and vacant rooms. Over time, accounting ledgers become inaccurate because of breakdowns that may exist when new equipment purchases are brought into the facility and old equipment goes out. Spreadsheets and ledgers collected become inaccurate unless the accounting and facilities departments have a system in place for conducting regular inventories as well as policies outlining proper protocol for additions and deletions to the ledger for new assets after each purchase.

We will discuss more about tax & insurance savings and the 5 ways in which hospitals suffer from inaccurate asset records in our January newsletter. Make it your New Year’s Resolution to begin 2012 by learning more about the savings involved when improving your capital asset management program.

About us

Manage Resource Group, Inc. is a medical equipment management company assisting hospitals with inventory, appraisal, and resale services. With over 25 years industry experience, our team of professionals provide clients a valuable cost analysis for daily equipment management, facility acquisitions, and reconciliation of asset ledgers.

“Helping to assess, inform, and empower healthcare providers with their

equipment management needs.” For more information on MRG’s services,

visit our website or contact us at (440) 289-6490.

Healthcare Facilities need to negotiate best deal possible for surplus equipment

Recently, I was paying attention to the labor negotiations between the NBA and their players’ union over the new collective bargaining agreement. I noticed the talks had come to a stand still because the league’s owners had stopped negotiating and told the players to take it or leave the owners’ last offer. This caused the players to threaten to sit out the entire 2012 season, a move that would hurt the players more than the owners. Once the players realized there wasn’t a better deal to be negotiated, they were able to come to an agreement with the owners.

There are many times hospitals retire pieces of capital equipment because the service is no longer offered at the facility or the doctor preferred another vendor’s instrument, etc. Now the equipment is out of service, no longer needed by hospital and the only option is to sell on secondary market. Most of the time when administrators try to sell these pieces they experience extreme sticker shock at what buyers offer for equipment that is in good shape. Most of the time administrators are afraid to sell for $.10/dollar because they fear looking bad to their superiors. Truth be told, hospitals need to take the best deal they can get at that moment.

Assuming the facility has exhausted all other options and the secondary market is the best option for the piece of equipment, hospitals must realize that the pricing they are receiving now is the best they are probably going to get. Unlike fine wines and baseball cards, medical equipment values decrease over time. We all know the healthcare facility paid a lot for that piece and it is only a few years old, but if they can’t negotiate a better deal, they must take the best deal available.

Planning a renovation, expansion or transition project?

Manage Resource Group

News & Views

November, 2011

If your facility is in the process of planning an expansion or renovation, proper equipment planning is a vital element to a successful project. Whether the hospital is planning to add a new wing, or construct a completely new facility, there are many things that will need to be considered regarding the area that will be left behind and the equipment that was once utilized at the former location. Has your facility properly determined the equipment needs and specifications? Consider these important points to ensure the success of your upcoming project:

1. When was the last time a physical inventory was conducted on the area of the hospital scheduled to be transitioned or closed? It is risky to rely on information from a general ledger that has not been updated in the past few years. Be sure to work with current data that focuses on the areas that will be impacted by the expansion or new construction.

2. Who is planning to relocate the equipment from the old location to the new area? Keep in mind that most movers’ intent is to physically move a piece from point A to point B. Very few will focus on many of the other important details that impact the transition:

•Does the equipment need to be de-installed?

•Will the equipment require reinstallation at the new location?

•Has a timeline strategy been developed with both the contractor and department head, outlining the timeframe and location for the move?

•Has a strategy been developed that streamlines each department and their requirements for equipment relocation?

•Does the move process coincide with new purchases arriving at the facility?

•Do you have a point person or company assigned to oversee the above?

Capital equipment plays a significant role for renovation, expansion, and transition projects. Many decisions need to be made when the project launches and throughout the process. Following are important questions to keep in mind during renovation, expansion and transition projects:

•What assets does the hospital have?

•What is the condition and FMV of each asset?

•What can be done with the equipment that is no longer needed?

•Can we recapture value in the equipment displaced from the project?

•Which assets should be moved to the new location or utilized elsewhere after the renovation?

•Are there contingencies we can put in place based on the project budget?

No matter how large or small your project is, proper equipment planning is crucial. Working with a third party can answer the questions surrounding equipment impacted by the project.

To learn more about Manage Resource Group, Inc. and services we provide please visit our website:

Fighting the Tide Against Independent Physicians

The healthcare industry has been in a state of change over the past 20 years. We have seen stand alone hospitals that were fierce competitors eventually merge and become joint entities. We have seen many health systems come in and buy up stand alone hospitals. During the 90’s and early 2000 many hospital-employed physicians began to migrate towards starting up independent practices to run their own businesses. Many medical graduates were also starting up independent practices and avoiding direct hospital employment. It seems the healthcare industry is now going through another state of change with acquiring independent practices. This has been driven by many factors: reimbursements, market share, employment guarantees etc.

It will be extremely important for the health systems to incorporate the physicians into their ongoing strategic plans. Working as a team will enable hospitals to increase patient care and satisfaction. These alignments will need to be treated as two way streets. Each party brings important factors to the table and both will need to be utilized in order to meet the new changes we are seeing with the healthcare reform.

Fighting the Tide Against Independent Physicians

Physicians are being pushed to employment in hospitals or by hospitals, and they’re not necessarily happy about it. To be sure, some, especially recent medical school graduates, like the safety, the (somewhat) regular hours, and the freedom to practice medicine rather than worrying about small business concerns that an employment contract offers.

On the whole, though, physicians’ dissatisfaction is palpable. According to the physician component of the 2011 HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey, 58% of doctors say that healthcare reform has weakened their organization’s financial position—even though many of its provisions haven’t kicked in yet!

Even worse, 60% say healthcare reform has weakened morale, and only 67% of them would encourage their child to enter healthcare. Not exactly encouraging for an industry that needs more physicians.

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