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Credit crunch spurs no interest in equipment leasing

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A credit crunch that has accompanied the national recession doesn’t appear to have promoted interest in leasing as an option for obtaining new medical equipment, according to a survey of hospital-based radiology practice directors.

A credit crunch that has accompanied the national recession doesn't appear to have promoted interest in leasing as an option for obtaining new medical equipment, according to a survey of hospital-based radiology practice directors.

More than half the respondents to the survey answered that they were not at all interested or somewhat interested in leasing as an alternative way to obtain new medical imaging equipment. Just 13% said they were very interested or extremely interested in leasing.



The MarkeTech Group conducted the survey in June of its ImagePRO panel, a group of U.S. hospital-based administrative directors and managers, at the request of Diagnostic Imaging. One hundred and eighty-six responses to the question were received.

Other questions posed to the panel reflected mixed effects of the recession and credit crunch.

A majority agreed that the downturn in the tax-exempt bond market probably will or may reduce their hospitals' ability to finance capital projects and equipment acquisitions. But more than a third said the bond market downturn would have no impact on their ability to finance projects and equipment purchases.



Survey respondents were nearly evenly split on whether hospitals will lose influence in the ownership and management of outpatient imaging centers in the near future. More than 46% agreed that it is unlikely or somewhat unlikely that private business will play a bigger role than acute care hospitals in the ownership and management of outpatient imaging centers in the next three years. Slightly less than 43% agreed that private businesses will gain influence.

Christian Renaudin, Ph.D., CEO of the MarkeTech Group took the response to the bond market question as a positive sign for the market. Surveys the group conducted earlier in the year would have revealed a much lower number than the 35% who said the downturn in the bond market would have no impact on their ability to finance projects and purchases, he said.



Renaudin was not surprised by the answer to the leasing question.

"The hospital market is very entrenched in a capital acquisition mentality," he said. "They want to own their own equipment."

Where leasing does make more sense to them is in areas where the technology is changing quickly, and sometimes among the smaller hospitals that don't have the depth of the larger institutions, he said.

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