Heritage Valley Health System and GE Healthcare entered an agreement that initially includes new, state-of-the-art MRI and CT scanners for Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley hospitals, new ultrasound equipment for Heritage Valley’s hospital and medical neighborhood locations, upgrades to an existing GE CT scanner and the addition of nuclear imaging cameras.

"By working with GE Healthcare as a strategic partner and initiating this long-term agreement, we are also able to mitigate the risk of technology obsolescence through routinely scheduled upgrades," said John Luellen, MD, vice president and chief operating / quality officer, Heritage Valley Health System.

"This enables Heritage Valley to continually enhance our entire suite of imaging equipment, bringing the best technology available into our hospitals and community satellites."

This alliance marks GE Healthcare’s first Managed Equipment Service (MES) agreement in the U.S. The company anticipates that, with this announcement, it launches the first of many MES solutions across the country.

U.S. hospitals continue to juggle a myriad of changes, complexities and demands. Patients are more actively engaged and informed consumers of healthcare than ever before. Budgets are pinched, and reimbursement slim.

In 2012, it was predicted that one-third of hospitals would close due to financial, operational and clinical challenges by 2020.

"We have to be two steps ahead of innovation at all times – in technology, in expertise and in business," added Dr. Luellen. "The MES agreement is a fixed capital expense that includes replacement and associated construction costs as well as ongoing staff training and service."

"Through strategic models, such as MES structures, health systems like Heritage Valley prepare for the future with advanced imaging technologies and services," said Lee Cooper, President and CEO for GE Healthcare, U.S. and Canada.

"As part of its agreement with GE Healthcare, Heritage Valley will move from a model of fluctuating capital expenditures to one that is more predictable and consistent over the 14-year commitment."

Together, Heritage Valley and GE Healthcare will deliver high-value imaging services and technologies to more than 167,000 current patients living in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.