Boston firm helps hospitals share expensive equipment

By Healthcare Facilities Today
January 16, 2014

Cohealo, a hospital equipment sharing service, uses its own fleet of vans and specially trained movers to help hospital systems lower costs by sharing expensive equipment among different facilities. Customers pay a fee per transport, plus a subscription fee for proprietary HIPAA-compliant scheduling software that optimizes use of the equipment in each location, according to an article in the Boston Business Journal.

The company handles the insurance for the pricey equipment, which mainly includes devices and tables used in orthopedic, gynecology and gastrointestinal surgery. A chain of custody system, similar to transporting an organ for transplant, accompanies each piece of equipment. Devices are sterilized by hospital staff before transport, the article said.

Current customers include three hospital systems, including Steward Health Care System in Boston and 25 hospitals within the Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA) system. Cohealo is moving the company headquarters to Boston’s financial district from Boca Raton, Fla.Co-founder Mark Slaughter said the company is in talks with every major system in the Northeast.

While the current business model focuses on sharing equipment within a hospital system, Slaughter said he can envision a hospital network sharing equipment with other facilities outside its system, the article said.

“So, for instance, Steward Health Care and Partners HealthCare could collaborate, so that if Partners had a piece of equipment that was underutilized, they could monetize it by lending it out.”

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