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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 sent ripples through the medical equipment industry in 2013 and its lasting impact continues to be met with uncertainty as the New Year begins. Equipment leasing and financing marketplace LeaseQ comments on the impact of Obamacare on the medical equipment leasing industry.
Boston, MA (PRWEB) February 10, 2014
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 has already driven extensive changes within the health care field, and these effects have had widespread impact within the medical equipment leasing industry. The greatest single factor affecting the industry continues to be the 2.3 percent excise tax levied on certain medical devices at the start of 2013. This section of the law met with criticism throughout the medical equipment industry when it was first introduced and forced medical equipment manufacturers to scramble to effectively integrate it into their pricing. Its impact continues to have wide-reaching impact the industry in 2014.
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The law known as Obamacare was enacted in 2010 with the dual goals of improving the affordability and quality of health insurance coverage across the United States, while simultaneously reducing costs for both individuals and the government. To achieve these goals, the law was written to including mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges in an effort to achieve its objectives. If the law works as it's intended, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the Affordable Care Act will lower future government deficits and Medicare spending - although this outcome is far from certain.
How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Medical Equipment Financing?
As the law continues to roll out over the next several years, there are a number of ways in which it will affect the medical equipment leasing industry. Due to the relative uncertainty around future medical reimbursement rates, some medical providers and medical centers have placed some or in many cases, all new equipment acquisitions on hold until they have a better sense of how the changes will affect their bottom lines. Regardless of whether the provider leases or purchases that equipment, this uncertainty could have a detrimental impact on the medical equipment industry as a whole.
Vernon Tirey, Chairman and CEO of medical equipment and financing marketplace LeaseQ was quoted as saying; "the legislations cost-cutting focus may force medical organizations and hospitals to outright cancel new equipment purchases for fear that the cost of acquisition may further drive up cost of care. Additionally, these same organizations are fearful that recent cuts in reimbursement rates will reduce their credit strength, leaving them susceptible to less than ideal financing terms. Although we at LeaseQ have not seen this credit issue firsthand with our lessees or lessors yet, this fear continues to persist. This alone has the potential to slow the overall demand for medical equipment."
Another factor to consider is that the federal government has given medical practices until the end of 2015 to have electronic management of records up to date before the penalty of losing a percentage of Medicare and Medicaid payments. Because of this, leasing becomes the ultimate option for practices to be able to afford the upgrade and not get penalized. LeaseQ is currently working with two companies that will be at the forefront of this implementation in the years to come.
The Opportunities for Equipment Financing
Despite the challenges the new law faces in the medical equipment sector, Tirey believes that medical equipment leasing will continue as the de facto means of acquiring medical equipment. Said Tirey, "when hospitals, health systems, and other health care organizations truly take the time to understand the impact of Obamacare on the industry, they'll quickly realize that medical equipment leasing is the smartest and most cost-effective means in which to acquire medical equipment, regardless of the negative stigma that surrounds the Affordable Care Act."
Continued Tirey, "We actually believe that some outcomes of the Affordable Care Act will have a net positive impact on medical organizations and hospitals financial positions, making them more favorable to lessors. Affordable insurance has the potential to reduce the focus and spending on collections from self-pay patients which could save providers time as well as money. This improved financial position of medical organizations and providers would be a positive for the industry. This is good news for the hospitals, for the patients, and for the health care equipment leasing industry as a whole."
Regardless of Obamacare, the benefits of medical equipment leasing remains. As the pace of technology advances quickens within the medical equipment industry, the demand for better, faster and newer equipment continues to transform patient care by enabling quicker and more accurate diagnoses and treatment for patents. And the easiest and most affordable way in which to acquire that equipment is through leasing and financing.
LeaseQ is an online comparison shopping platform composed of businesses, equipment dealers, and leasing/financing companies, designed to provide rapid and efficient approval of the equipment leasing and financing process. Seamlessly integrated into its platform, finance companies share with LeaseQ detailed underwriting criteria which allows business owners to compares rates all in under two minutes.
Since its launch in late 2012, LeaseQ has quickly become the largest online network of equipment dealers and equipment finance companies - assisting businesses of all types to quickly acquire the equipment they need at the rates and terms best suited for their needs. Based in Woburn MA, LeaseQ is one of the leading providers of equipment leasing and financing options in the country. Visit them online at https://www.leaseq.com .
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