Financing Solution Helps Healthcare Provider Get More for Less

“EFS is really at the core of why we were able to support a new phone system.”

Larry PizzorniVice president of support services,
Blue Ridge HealthCare

Industry Focus: Healthcare

Location(s): North Carolina

Web Site:

Located in scenic Burke County between Asheville and Hickory, North Carolina, Blue Ridge HealthCare is a modern and progressive organization that includes two hospitals, two long-term care facilities, a retirement community, advanced wellness center, home healthcare company and more than two dozen physician practices. Its healthcare system is affiliated with Carolinas HealthCare System, the largest healthcare system in the Carolinas, and the third largest public system in the nation. Through this partnership, Blue Ridge HealthCare is able to obtain state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technology, allowing the organization to provide the best care available.

The Challenge

Consultedge, a premier communications integration organization and a Windstream Partner, was approached by Blue Ridge in the hopes that it could replace an unreliable phone and voicemail system in one of its hospitals. Unfortunately, budgetary constraints continually delayed the progress of the upgrade. Upon predicting that its latest quote would once again fall outside of Blue Ridge’s allotted budget, Consultedge brought in Windstream to discuss the possibility of utilizing the Equipment for Services (EFS) financing program.

EFS is a profit-sharing mechanism that lets Windstream customers use a portion of the money they spend on Windstream services to subsidize new equipment purchases. It’s a unique opportunity that allows customers to acquire the latest equipment and software with minimal or no capital outlay. In addition, it allows customers to work with current communications equipment vendors, or one of Windstream’s preferred vendors.

The Solution

Once Blue Ridge learned of EFS, the deal truly started to take form. This unique financing solution would not only allow Blue Ridge to upgrade the phone system at one of its hospital locations as was originally proposed, it would actually enable the organization to install a state-of-the-art, unified Avaya phone system at all of its other locations as well.

“EFS is really at the core of why we were able to support a new phone system,” said Larry Pizzorni, vice president of support services at Blue Ridge. “I think there was no question we would have switched to Windstream, but the financing program really enabled us to do it all at one time.”

The Benefit

By utilizing EFS, Blue Ridge actually ended up getting more for less. Previously, Blue Ridge was spending in excess of $30,000 a month to its old providers for network services alone. Now, Blue Ridge receives one bundled invoice from Windstream, which encompasses both network services and a $725,000 equipment lease, while still realizing a cost savings of several thousand dollars a month.

“We had been looking at a new system for several years,” said Pizzorni. “Being able to take the savings that Windstream offered and bundle it together with the ability to purchase the equipment was just a phenomenal opportunity. It was really a no brainer.”

In addition to enjoying all of the enhanced capabilities that its new unified phone system affords, such as 4-digit dialing between all of its locations, Blue Ridge enjoys the exceptional customer service Windstream provides as well. “Our Windstream representative really is the one that sold and put this together,” said Pizzorni. “She did a phenomenal job in her due diligence. She went through books and books of invoices and looked at all the numbers. It was her work that really brought this whole thing together.”

“The partnership that was forged between Windstream, Consultedge and Blue Ridge was really a win-win for everybody,” added Pizzorni.