I’ve always been curious about the cost of medical supplies for a clinic. How much does liquid skin adhesive cost? What’s the cost of surgical gloves and Pneumovax vaccines?
Medical office supply cost goes down when you can buy by volume. And generic meds (lidocaine) vs brand-name (Xylocaine) will make a big difference.
Medical Supply Companies
There are quite a few medical supply companies out there. McKesson is a well-known one and some physicians get a lot of their supplies from Amazon and Alibaba.
Many of these companies don’t just offer supplies but also help you set up credit accounts and build out your practice. They are all-in-one shops.
Making Money in a Clinic
The current healthcare system is complex. If you offer a lot of services then you can make money aside from the patient visit.
Immunizations, procedures, treatments, and medications are all sources of income for a medical office. This is particularly the case for insurance-based practices.
In the fee-for-service model or cash-pay model, some clinicians choose to have one set price for the office visit and swallow the cost of equipment needed.
Pneumovax can cost $150 per single-dose vial. It will need to be refrigerated and also comes in single-dose prefilled syringes for a little more.
Tdap vaccine (ADACEL) can be purchased for $50 per single-dose vial and also needs to be refrigerated.
In a walk-in clinic or urgent care, I would want to carry Solu-Medrol which costs $20 per single-dose vial. It would not need refrigeration. But, of course, you’d need syringes to administer it.
Botox can by purchased for $800 for a multi-use vial that has 100 units.
Toradol used for pain relief comes in the generic form is $10 per single-dose vial.
The ever-popular Ceftriaxone 1gm injection is super cheap at $2 per single dose vial. It has to be reconstituted and a syringe and needle are needed to inject it.
Good old Morphy, Morphine Sulfate, costs around $100 for an 8mg injection.
Prednisone tablets are cheap at $0.30 per 10mg pill.
For those interested in T-clinics, Testosterone Cypionate costs $175 for a multi-dose vial. The bottle contains 2,000mg of total injectable T.
Azithromycin tablets cost $0.60 per 250mg tablet.
Fenty, also referred to by some nerds as Fentanyl Citrate costs $50 for 2,500mcg. That’s a lot of injectable fentanyl.
Sildenafil Citrate costs $0.30 per 50mg tablet.
Medical Exam Room Equipment Cost
Exam room equipment is referred to as furnishings by those in the industry.
An exam light with a halogen bulb costs $200.
Exam tables with all their fanciness cost $6,000. It comes with a foot pedal and stirrups. A classic manufacturer of these chairs is Ritter.
A Mayo Instrument Stand costs $200. It’s stainless steel and adjustable.
Diagnostic Instrument Cost
Diagnostic instruments are things like weight & height scales ($400) and sphymgmenomonometers … ($30) or a vital sign station where everything is included in a nifty little stand ($1,500).
An electronic urine chemistry analyzer costs $1,000 while a urine test strips cost $40 for 100 test strips.
Portable ECG machines are anywhere from $1,100 refurbished and upwards of $3,000.
Medical Appliances Cost
Medical appliances also are referred to as durable goods. An example is a refrigerator or countertop freezer ($3,000).
I won’t include general office stuff here like desks and chairs and computers since those are self-explanatory.
Volume will save you a ton of money. I list the prices for most things in the middle range. But you everything I’ve mentioned above by the case, barring any expiration concerns.
A walk-in clinic needs equipment to perform minor trauma care.
An abscess kit (I&D kit) costs $5-10 per kit and a suture tray costs $10 which doesn’t include the single-dose 2% lidocaine $10 or nylon suture $2.
Medical Office Supply Cost Overview
After doing the research for this article I realized that the inventory headache of a larger practice is something formidable.
Medications can expire and there is the liability of carrying medications in your office and dispensing them.
Referred to as in-office dispensing, companies like VenRx are one-stop shops for inventory software and medication supplies, and cute little cabinets.
Such companies are SureScript certified so the medicine will show up in common EMRs.