Centurion Service Group
A medical supply auctioneer takes recycling to a new level.
It could have been mistaken for a Black Friday doorbuster: 150 people lined up outside the defunct MaineGeneral before the doors opened, trying to be the first to get a good deal. Everything had to go—from the filing cabinets to examining tables to the kitchen sink. Old equipment and furniture had been sitting in the old hospital and needed to either be thrown away or sold. The hospital staff decided to sell its contents, and invited the public in for two days over a winter weekend. By the first afternoon, only 10 percent of the items remained. It was such a successful sale, that the hospital decided to cancel the Sunday event and donate what was left to local charities.
This past winter, Indianapolis’s Wishard Hospital auctioned the majority of the contents and recycled 280,160 pounds of metal.
Centurion Service Group is a medical auction house that sells over 100,000 pieces of medical equipment each year to over 17,000 buyers in both live auctions, which include an Internet simulcast so buyers around the world can bid. Since its start in 2001, Centurion has become the world’s largest medical auction house, with locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Boca Raton. The Chicago and Las Vegas locations host live auctions every 4 to 5 weeks. Auctions are open, competitive, and fair, and the transactions are fully transparent.
In addition to live auctions, Centurion hosts timed auctions where buyers can bid 24/7 on highly valued medical equipment such as installed radiology. Equipment sold in timed auctions include magnetic resonance imaging machines, computed tomography machines, radiographic fluoroscopy systems, bone densitometers, linear accelerators, and much more.
Centurion is committed to healthy hospitals and a healthy environment, while helping to improve health care around the world. As responsible business partners, Centurion takes as much of the surplus equipment as it can, as long as it is saleable and financially viable to do so; as responsible citizens, they sell equipment for reuse throughout the world. In fact, 99 percent of the items that are consigned to Centurion Service Group sell at its live auctions. The one percent of medical equipment that is not purchased, the company recycles.
"When hospitals throw away usable assets, they are not only hurting the environment, but their hospital’s bottom line because most assets have resale value and disposal is very expensive," says Erik Tivin, CEO of Centurion Service Group. "A lot of usable equipment finds its way into dumpsters because hospitals lack storage space—or it is just an easier way to deal with the items. We try to pick up within 48 to 72 hours to help hospitals expedite the removal of the equipment."
Monitors and other equipment that have contaminating components are always disposed of in accordance to EPA standards. It’s both financially and environmentally careless for health care facilities to throw saleable assets away, and then have to pay waste disposal costs on top of it. The majority of medical equipment that is thrown away is usable. In addition to monetizing the surplus assets, Centurion’s auctions also reduce costs of warehousing, employee time, and disposal.
Centurion’s sellers are equipment manufacturers, hospitals, surgery centers, radiology centers, labs, research facilities, and other health care facilities in the United States, while its buyer base is mainly international and includes hospitals, physicians, surgery centers, charities, refurbishers, and brokers. The equipment sold will go around the world to notable hospitals and medical centers, and other equipment will find its way to developing countries to help provide basic medical care.
Centurion assists health care facilities with every phase of the equipment’s lifecycle: auctioning surplus equipment for fair market value, hospital and other medical facility liquidations due to closure or relocation, inventory services, equipment appraisal services, and assisting facilities in managing the reallocation of equipment within their hospital or hospital system. Centurion’s programs streamline the surplus process, minimize the disruption to the hospital facility, and maximize the profit.
In general, the medical equipment is the most valuable asset in the closed hospital, but Centurion finds homes for the nonmedical equipment as well. Centurion’s staff works on-site during the duration of the project. With the hospital as their partner, Centurion sells the assets to the employees first, then the public, and finally allows charities to take assets. Remaining assets will be recycled, if possible, reducing the need for disposal.
To learn more about Centurion Service Group visit their website www.centurionservice.com.
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