I am regularly asked, "Why does a GE CT scanner cost so much more than the other manufacturers?" We regularly see GE single slice CTs going for the same price as a Philips or Siemens 2 or 4 slice and this is similarly true for higher end equipment. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Here are three main reasons we have found GE CT scanners have a higher initial cost.
1. Lower Cost of Service
GE CT Scanners generally have a lower cost of service. Why does this matter? Because if the cost of a service contract is less, then the cost of the system over its life is dramatically less and the big reason why some are willing to pay a higher upfront cost. For example, if a CT service contract costs $10,000 less a year, then after 5 years it will save $50,000.
Why is GE CT scanner service so much less?
First, there are a lot more Engineers who can work on GE CTs than any other manufacturer. This means that labor cost is lower. Of course all service is REGIONAL not UNIVERSAL, so this isn’t always true.
Second, there are a lot more parts providers and parts systems for GE, which means lower cost of replacement parts.
Finally, the X-ray tube replacement costs are considerably less due to the aftermarket production by companies like Varian and Dunlee. Since tubes have to be replaced regularly this can be significant. For example, on a 64 Slice CT replacement tube costs could be a difference of over $100,000 between a GE and Siemens or Philips.
2. Supply & Demand
Another reason for the higher cost for GE Scanners is the general lack of supply. In part, this can be attributed to GE being the first manufacturer to aggressively go after the refurbished market with their GoldSeal products. This caused them to aggressively bring their own equipment back in house and come up with a defined structure to do refurbished sales of pre-owned equipment. This combined with the high demand for GE equipment throughout the world is a major cause of the higher cost.
3. Air Cooled is a Breeze
GE CT Scanners are also just a little easier to maintain. For example, they are air cooled, which is a big draw particularly in warmer climates. Air cooled equipment doesn’t require a chiller, which is another piece that requires upkeep. Also, GE CT Scanners don’t have the Password issues that a lot of other OEMs have. Password issues may seem minor, but can be a major headache depending on what they are needed for. Some OEMs even limit the ability for tube installation, software reloads or other basic Engineering functions.
Hopefully this helps explain why a GE CT scanner may initially cost more... the real question is whether or not they provide the most value for your specific situation. Learn more about price/cost averages for GE CT scanners in this related article or contact us to discuss the details of your project!
Meet the authors: Jeremy Block and Paul Crawford