ACE Summit – Conference of Health Care Executives, New Orleans

Cold, rainy weather dampened the night life in the Big Easy, at least for us old guys, but excellent dialogue among leaders in some of the nation’s most prestigious and largest health care systems shone light on how the most progressive systems plan on surviving in the new reality of the Affordable Care Act.

A new reality because the consensus is the act will not be repealed, however, there is hope that revisions will make it livable to a greater degree.

Good news for equipment vendors is that due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act, there was a suspension in new purchases over the past few years. Now, that the landscape is somewhat clearer, there is, in the words of one Health System leader, “a significant appetite over the next 10 years” for replacement equipment.

The difference today over yesterday however is that replacement of equipment decisions will be made based on the new equipment’s ability to provide quality care and improve the overall patient experience.

With required reporting and non reimbursement for re-admissions, the focus is now two-fold: make sure no harm is done during the initial procedure (i.e. assure no hospital acquired infection is transmitted) and make decisons based on input from clinical engineering in order to develop an equipment replacement strategy with an eye toward making the overall community healthier.

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