Why you might be paying more for medical equipment in Indianapolis
Medical equipment rental companies in Indianapolis and across the state are taking on the cost of caring for residents who need to spend time away from home, such as children or the elderly.
The average rent for an office, home health aide, or physician office is $1,099, up from $1 to $1.35 per month last year, according to an analysis by IndyStar.
That’s an increase of nearly 9 percent, to $2,935.
Rent for an emergency room, for example, is $959, up more than 12 percent.
The median monthly rent for a hospital room, home medical aide, and physician office in Indianapolis is $3,049, up about 4 percent.
And the average rent per month for an outpatient hospital room is $2.17, up 4 percent from $2 last year.
The increase in prices has led some landlords to cancel lease agreements with medical equipment rental agencies and to ask customers to pay more to be covered.
The Indianapolis Star analyzed the cost and rental data from companies in the Indianapolis-based Medical Equipment Alliance, a nonprofit organization that represents more than 1,600 companies.
It found that the average rental cost in Indianapolis in 2018 was $1 ,035, up nearly 14 percent from the same period in 2017.
The Alliance’s 2018 cost estimate for the same city, however, includes a 2 percent annual rent increase, according the Star.
The new estimates are based on a list of companies that rent office space, and include medical equipment companies that are not on the list.
The Star has contacted the companies and has not received a response.
The rise in rental prices and other business decisions in the medical-equipment industry are not uncommon.
A year ago, medical equipment company Cephalon Medical Corp. said it was going to close its Indianapolis office and move to a more cost-efficient location in Atlanta, according a report from The Indianapolis Business Journal.
That decision, coupled with the recent medical-care shortage, prompted Cepheron to announce it would no longer rent office and home care services in Indianapolis.
It also cited “increasing medical costs” as one reason for its decision.
The medical-technology company is the second largest rental provider in Indianapolis, with an average rent of $1 .05 per month, according an analysis of the city’s 2018 data by the Star last year that found medical equipment rent is at its highest level in five years.
The industry is also expanding in other areas, with companies in Texas, Arizona and California leasing office space and other medical equipment, according data from the Indianapolis Business Group.
The companies cited a recent increase in demand and an influx of new medical-device companies as reasons for the increase in medical-services costs.
The growing demand for medical-devices has caused an increase in the cost per device, the Star reported.
Hospitals have begun to use the same type of medical-tools that are used in a surgical setting, for instance, to treat patients, instead of making surgical instruments, according that report.
A growing number of companies, including Cepheons, have announced plans to open offices in Indianapolis that they say will provide more of their services.
“We’re looking forward to our new location, and we’re looking to be part of the solution,” Cepheton spokeswoman Natalie Stover told the Star, adding that the company has no plans to expand its medical-access-pricing operations in Indianapolis or elsewhere.
She said the company had not yet received any requests for the expansion of its office and has no further information.
Cephone did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, a Democrat who has pushed for more medical-industry investment in the city, said the medical costs are not going to go away.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the increase is having an impact on our residents,” Hogsett said.
“There’s no question that people are struggling with health care costs and there are some people who are just trying to keep their heads above water.
It’s a hard thing to do.
But I think we can all agree that people need to do better.”