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Published On: Wed, Jun 22nd, 2016

Four Major Hidden Costs of Disposing Medical Waste

The disposal of medical waste may seem like pretty straightforward process. Although the regulations of medical waste disposal have changed over the years, the safety and environmental concerns surrounding such waste are clear. Regardless of whether you’re managing a doctor’s office, blood bank or laboratory, medical waste disposal is a crucial component of  keeping your business in practice and following the law.

Unfortunately, some medical practices find themselves in a financial squeeze when it comes to throwing out waste. If you haven’t done your homework, it’s quite possible that you’re losing unnecessary cash each time your waste is picked up. As more and more practices search for ways to reduce operating expenses, you may be spending way more on waste management than your budget should allow.

The question remains: how do you know if you’re overpaying?

By uncovering the four hidden costs of disposing medical waste, you can streamline your disposal management process, keep your practice’s budget in check, and stay in line with government regulations.

photo TaxRebate.org.uk

photo TaxRebate.org.uk

Disposing Too Often

Every practice should have a solid plan for managing medical waste; however, many offices make the mistake of disposing too often. Frequency is a huge factor in the cost of your waste disposal. For example, do you really need to dispose twice a week, or could you perhaps shift to a weekly disposal service?

Consider also how the volume of your waste factors into the cost of removal. For example, many disposal services will charge based on how many boxes of waste you have. By finding a balance between volume and frequency, you can find a service that doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg.

In addition, you may also consider an on-call service for your medical waste, especially if you’re a smaller practice. Such services will only pick up your waste as-needed rather than weekly or bi-weekly.

Location: Rural vs. Metro

Whether your practice is already open or you’re interested in establishing one, you need to understand how your office’s location impacts your practice’s medical disposal costs.

Practices located in metropolitan or urban areas with higher populations will incur lower costs for disposal versus a rural area. Due to higher transpiration costs for disposal vehicles with more time spent traveling, practices in rural areas will naturally pay more for service. Keep this in mind when choosing a disposal service and determining the frequency of pick-up.

Know Your Waste

Remember, not everything that’s thrown away in your practice is equal in the eyes of disposal services and written regulations.

For example, many practices will lump their pharmaceutical waste together, both hazardous and non-hazardous. This may be convenient; however, it unnecessary drives up the cost of your medical waste disposal. Make an effort to ensure that your non-hazardous waste is placed with ordinary trash.

Likewise, some red bag waste (such as pathological or chemotherapy waste) must be incinerated, which is much more costly than traditional pick-up. Understanding the output of such waste should factor into your practice’s budget as well.

Avoiding Fines

Regulations regarding the disposal of medical waste vary from state to state. However, failure to adhere to such regulations can result in hefty fines (many of which can be up tens of thousands of dollars), depending on your location.

While some practices won’t think twice about the price of waste disposal, the costs can quickly add up if you aren’t paying attention. By understanding the four hidden costs of disposing medical waste, you can ensure that your business is playing by the rules and saving money.

Guest Author: Carmelo Hannity

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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  1. Four Major Hidden Costs Of Disposing Medical Waste – AMDR says:

    […] Read More. […]

  2. Lisa says:

    I agree with Brad! That paragraph should add more specifics as to how one would achieve that goal. Separating haz from non-haz waste involves knowing and applying the regs in every single jurisdiction!

  3. Brad says:

    This is VERY misleading statement. Did you say what you meant or “meant to say”?

    “For example, many practices will lump their pharmaceutical waste together, both hazardous and non-hazardous. This may be convenient; however, it unnecessary drives up the cost of your medical waste disposal. Make an effort to ensure that your non-hazardous waste is placed with ordinary trash”.

    All is correct right up to the very last sentence which will get people in BIG, BIG trouble. “…ordinary trash…”?? Whoops?

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