Client Success Story: Hitachi & Boone County Health Center
Located in Albion, Nebraska, Boone County Health Center opened in 1950 to ensure that patients from the seven rural counties it serves could receive care without making the long drive to Lincoln or Omaha. For nearly 70 years, Boone County Health has been known for providing excellent patient care with compassion. One factor that contributes to the hospital’s reputation for excellence is its strong working relationship with Hitachi, which provides some of the most advanced health care imaging equipment on the market.
Boone County Health was interested in upgrading its MRI scanner in order to provide higher quality and a wider variety of diagnostic imaging. Although Boone County already had a strong relationship with Hitachi, the hospital still did its due diligence to compare options. The hospital’s three MRI technologists all traveled to see what nearby hospitals were using, and at the end of the day selected the Hitachi Echelon Oval 1.5T MRI scanner.
Once the decision was made to purchase the Hitachi Oval, the next hurdle was to determine how to pay for it. Like most rural hospitals, Boone County Health operates on tight margins and a lean budget. Although there were several financing options available, Rita Liss, CFO at Boone County, wasn’t entirely sure which option was the best fit for the hospital’s long-term goals. She turned to her Hitachi sales rep for help.
“There is no question the Oval is helping us better service our patients. Working with Hitachi and
Key Equipment Finance has been a win-win-win.”
– Tanya Sharp, CEO of Boone County Health
Hitachi has a long and successful equipment finance partnership with Key Equipment Finance, which allows the Hitachi team to offer flexible financing as part of the sales process. Together, Key Government Finance and Key Equipment Finance took a close look at Boone County Health’s specific needs and identified that the hospital qualified for tax-exempt financing.
Although other options included more creative financing options that matched payments to the hospital’s budget fluctuations, allocating funds from a rural development loan, or a loan from a local bank, the tax-exempt financing provided Boone County with a lower rate, lower financing costs and faster processing.
In the end, Boone County was able to finance its new Hitachi Oval with a tax-exempt capital equipment lease agreement that enables the hospital to pay for its equipment over 60 months, in a transaction that closed quickly and easily according to all parties.
“We think of Key Equipment Finance as an extension of our own team,” said John Waddell, Senior Vice President, Imaging at Hitachi. “Like Boone County Health, we also pride ourselves on service, and Key Equipment Finance shares that commitment. Our sales teams are very comfortable bringing Key Equipment Finance in on sales conversations, and they work side-by-side with us to figure out what our customers need and how to provide it.”
Appreciation for such a high level of service carries through to Hitachi’s customers, too.
“It was wonderful working with Hitachi,” said Tanya Sharp, CEO of Boone County Health. “I felt valued and heard throughout the entire process. Even now that the transaction is complete, the sales team still checks on me – not necessarily for more business, but just to be present and maintain a strong relationship. I really appreciate that.”
The results of the financing arrangement and the addition of the Hitachi Oval to Boone County’s care offering have been even better than expected. Patients love the comfort and additional room the Hitachi Oval provides, and the new equipment is helping Boone County pull in patients that would traditionally seek care from other health systems.
Also, although Boone County isn’t large enough to have a lot of subspecialists on staff, neurologists and orthopedic doctors frequently come through for monthly or bi-monthly health care clinics. The Oval allows these specialists to order more scans locally instead of sending patients to hospitals over 100 miles away. This keeps more business from leaving town, saves patients valuable time and helps keep the subspecialists coming back repeatedly.
Tax-exempt financing provided Boone County with a lower rate, lower financing costs and faster processing.
“The tax-exempt financing helped us acquire the equipment we needed continue to compete in a difficult rural health care environment, our patients have better access to better scans right here in Boone County and the entire community benefits from having a thriving rural hospital.”
– Tanya Sharp, CEO of Boone County Health
For more information:
Contact James Seifert, Manager Healthcare Finance, at 404-660-5714 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or
David Wilson, Director, Corporate Communications, at 330-425-1313 x3385 or WilsonD@HitachiHealthcare.com