Today's Debate: How much equipment do you need?

So, doctor. You have a limited capital budget. Are you spending it on equipment which makes you money or on equipment which saves other people money?

a hyperbaric chamberPhysicians' capital budgets are being squeezed on both sides.

From above, hospitals and insurance carriers are pressing you to buy new computers to hold electronic health records.

From below, others are investing to take away big hunks of your market.

I find this in my own life. My family physician has an EKG machine, but he does few other tests. His income is based mainly on the number of patients he can see in a day.

On the other hand, my chiropractor is constantly investing in new massage chairs, new electro-stim machines, and foot baths. He's adding a hyperbaric chamber.

All this capital expense means he can bring in more money from each patient he sees. His capital-intensive economics makes him an entrepreneur.

My pharmacist is also spending more money. He's getting into vaccines and simple procedures once done only in a doctor's office.

It helps him compete with chains, supermarkets, and insurance carriers who bombard his customers with mailers offering drugs to "cut out the middleman." 

So, doctor. You have a limited capital budget. Are you spending it on equipment which makes you money or on equipment which saves other people money?