3 Things to Know Before Making the Switch to Point-of-Care Ultrasound

As you probably know, the use of point-of-care ultrasound is now a growing trend in clinical delivery.

Instead of sending patients to the radiology department at a later time and date, primary care and emergency departments are now being trained to use handheld or laptop ultrasounds right at the patient’s bed or exam room.  This means more ultrasounds are being bought by hospitals, which means a lot more money is being spent on ultrasound technology.

Here are 3 great things to know before your hospital switches to a point-of-care ultrasound strategy:

1. Hospitals Can Get Reimbursed More – Point-of-care testing allows hospitals to potentially get reimbursed for more diagnostic procedures.  With reimbursement decreasing due to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals want to increase the speed at which care is delivered.  Point-of-care ultrasound allows for more tests to be delivered faster; hospitals are also getting smarter about capturing these tests in their billing procedures.

2. Point-Of-Care Ultrasounds Are Affordable…With A Catch… – The nice thing about ultrasounds is that they’re affordable.  Entry models from GE, Siemens, Sonosite, Mindray and others can be purchased as low as $10,000 (though “Cadillac” versions could cost over $200,000 depending on size, accessories and functionality).  But here’s the catch…hospitals need a lot of them.  An emergency department alone at a typical 300-bed hospital might need over 30 ultrasounds.

3. Significant Variability in Supposed Best Pricing for Equipment & Probes – U.S. hospitals have reported a significant range of pricing for ultrasound equipment (including accessories, probes and related coverage, etc).  As an example, a hospital purchasing five ultrasounds recently was quoted 10% more (over $20,000/system) than what identical systems sold for at a different U.S. hospital.  Benchmark all ultrasound quotes to get an objective assessment of your pricing before agreeing to the purchase.

About the Author


Peter Robson, Miga founder and CEO, is passionate about the opportunity to reduce the cost of healthcare and founded Miga with a vision of transforming the market for medical equipment. Peter oversees day to day operations and leads business development, expanding Miga’s network of clients, suppliers and strategic partners around the world.