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Purchasers see drop in high scanner prices

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Most facilities that have purchased 64-slice systems are also buying related cardiac software, and a number are adding virtual colonoscopy software, according to MD Buyline, a medical consulting firm based in Dallas.

Most facilities that have purchased 64-slice systems are also buying related cardiac software, and a number are adding virtual colonoscopy software, according to MD Buyline, a medical consulting firm based in Dallas.

The price of a 64-slice system including software neared $1.4 million in the last quarter of 2005, down from an average price of $1.6 million in the third quarter of 2004, MD Buyline reports. These prices reflect discounts of up to 50% off the list price for all components, totaling a knock-down of $1 million or more.

Meanwhile, the average price for a 32- to 40-slice system fell from roughly $1.4 million to $1.2 million during the same period, and 16-slice scanner price-tags slid from just over $1 million to about $750,000, according to MD Buyline. As hospitals upgrade to 64-slice systems, second-hand 16-slice systems that are only one year old are becoming available for $500,000 to $600,000.

"Prices have come down considerably. Who knows what they will cost next year? They could be a lot lower," said Dr. Chris Ullrich, medical director of radiology at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. -EH

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