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Wednesday / May 22.
HomemiequipmentInvesting in Equipment: Taking the Emotion out of the Equation

Investing in Equipment: Taking the Emotion out of the Equation

Purchasing capital equipment for an eye care practice can be an emotional decision. Not as emotional as say, buying a new car, but definitely emotional enough to be accompanied by plenty of stress.

According to Stafford Hamilton from Investec Specialist Bank, that’s because optometrists and ophthalmologists want the latest and best equipment so they can provide the very best eye care for their clients… and that costs money.

“The desire to provide the best care for patients is tempered by concern over the amount of money needed to finance the equipment, which is often considerable. So while they may want to purchase new equipment, and they recognise the benefits of doing so, the purchase itself can feel out of reach.”

Mr. Hamilton said there are ways to make major equipment purchases achievable and recommends talking purchasing strategies through with a specialist medical finance provider.

Specialist financiers can help clients chunk a big number down to a small number… So it may be a case of billing a couple of extra dollars to each patient. Then it becomes affordable

“Specialist financiers can help clients chunk a big number down to a small number,” he explained. “So it may be a case of billing a couple of extra dollars to each patient. Then it becomes affordable.

“For example, at the start of the process you may find yourself talking to the bank about what equipment you want, and what you want to achieve with it.”

He said an important distinction is the difference between revenue generating equipment and efficiency generating equipment.

“There is some equipment that will add revenue, and the process of financing that is obvious and clear but it’s not always so clear with efficiency generating equipment.

“Often we find clients have started to consider the efficiencies, but haven’t done the numbers on how it will work. That’s where we can help, by looking at how many patients you’ll see and applying that exercise to the finance,” said Mr. Hamilton.

Investec’s Andre Karney said it’s all about taking a flexible approach to financing.

“We look at the individual and structure something around them that makes sense for their circumstances,” says Mr. Karney.

“Underlying the whole model is our specialisation in lending to this market. We’ve been able to design a product suite and a credit process that recognises their qualification as an asset.

“Optometrists and ophthalmologists are a unique group. That allows us to treat them very differently. We have flexibility and can tailor our service to meet their needs,”

Mr. Hamilton says flexibility doesn’t end at financing new equipment. “People who are looking at upgrading often ask what will happen to their old agreement. The answer to that is we’ll simply bolt the new agreement on to it. It’s not a hassle… we just add a new agreement to the old one so they’re working together and finish at the same time.”

Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author or Toma Publishing and its subsidiaries.