Mobile market problems avoided in modular arena

February 2, 1994

The recession in mobile imaging services last year created a trickle-downeffect for suppliers of component equipment, particularly mobilevans, according to one supplier. Lower MRI reimbursement rates made it harder for hospitalsto justify mobile

The recession in mobile imaging services last year created a trickle-downeffect for suppliers of component equipment, particularly mobilevans, according to one supplier.

Lower MRI reimbursement rates made it harder for hospitalsto justify mobile routes, while declining scanner prices convincedsome potential shared service customers to purchase their ownimaging systems, according to Thomas A.B. Miller, director ofmarketing for Miller Medical Systems.

But some of the same economic and utilization trends that poundedthe mobile business created incentives for users of modular imagingfacilities, he said. Many of the users who chose to install imagingequipment as prices dropped were looking for inexpensive sitingalternatives. Tighter economics also made it harder to sacrificescanning time during renovation.

"People who are renovating or going through new constructioncan't afford to have their sites down. They have been purchasingor leasing modulars to fill the gap," he said. "Thisis especially essential if reimbursement rates are reduced tobegin with."

Cost factors also influence product mix within the modularfacilities industry, he said. More users are requesting refurbishedequipment for modular sites.

Miller Medical started business in 1988 as a pure mobile vansupplier, but expanded into the modular business within its firstyear. The diversification proved wise. Continued demand for modularsites helped the privately held firm realize increased unit anddollar volume sales last year, Miller said.

Miller moved into a new headquarters site in Indianapolis lastyear, providing more manufacturing capacity, he said.