|INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018|
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OUR RELIANCE ON SOLE AND SINGLE SOURCE SUPPLIERS COULD HARM OUR ABILITY TO MEET DEMAND FOR OUR PRODUCTS IN A TIMELY MANNER OR WITHIN BUDGET.
Some of the components necessary for the assembly of our products are currently provided to us by sole-sourced suppliers or single-sourced suppliers. We generally purchase components through purchase orders rather than long-term supply agreements and generally do not maintain large volumes of inventory. While alternative suppliers exist and could be identified for sole-sourced components, the disruption or termination of the supply of components could cause a significant increase in the costs of these components, which could affect our operating results. A disruption or termination in the supply of components could also result in our inability to meet demand for our products, which could harm our ability to generate revenues, lead to customer dissatisfaction and damage our reputation. Furthermore, if we are required to change the manufacturer of a key component of our products, we may be required to verify that the new manufacturer maintains facilities and procedures that comply with quality standards and with all applicable regulations and guidelines. The delays associated with the verification of a new manufacturer could delay our ability to manufacture our products in a timely manner or within budget, which may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
IF INSTITUTIONS OR SURGEONS ARE UNABLE TO OBTAIN COVERAGE AND REIMBURSEMENT FROM THIRD-PARTY PAYORS FOR PROCEDURES USING OUR PRODUCTS, OR IF REIMBURSEMENT IS INSUFFICIENT TO COVER THE COSTS OF PURCHASING OUR PRODUCTS, WE MAY BE UNABLE TO GENERATE SUFFICIENT SALES TO SUPPORT OUR BUSINESS.
In the U.S., hospitals generally bill for the services performed with our products to various third-party payors, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs and private insurance plans. If hospitals do not obtain sufficient reimbursement from third-party payors for procedures performed with our products, or if government and private payors’ policies do not cover surgical procedures performed using our products, we may not be able to generate the revenues necessary to support our business. Our success in OUS markets also depends upon the eligibility of our products for coverage and reimbursement through government-sponsored health care payment systems and third-party payors. Reimbursement practices vary significantly by country. Many OUS markets have government-managed healthcare systems that control reimbursement for new products and procedures. Other foreign markets have both private insurance systems and government-managed systems that control reimbursement for new products and procedures. Market acceptance of our products may depend on the availability and level of coverage and reimbursement in any country within a particular time. In addition, health care cost containment efforts similar to those in the U.S. are prevalent in many of the other countries in which we intend to sell our products and these efforts are expected to continue. Please see our risk factor below titled “Changes in Healthcare Legislation and Policy May Have a Material Adverse Effect on Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional risks related to the ability of institutions or surgeons to obtain reimbursements.
IF WE LOSE OUR KEY PERSONNEL OR ARE UNABLE TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL, OUR ABILITY TO COMPETE WILL BE HARMED.
We are highly dependent on the principal members of our management and scientific staff. For example, our product development plans depend, in part, on our ability to attract and retain engineers with experience in mechanics, electronics, software and optics. Attracting and retaining qualified personnel will be critical to our success, and competition for qualified personnel is intense. We may not be able to attract and retain personnel on acceptable terms given the competition for such personnel among technology and healthcare companies and universities. The loss of any of these persons or our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could harm our business and our ability to compete.
NATURAL DISASTERS OR OTHER EVENTS BEYOND OUR CONTROL COULD DISRUPT OUR BUSINESS AND RESULT IN LOSS OF REVENUE OR IN HIGHER EXPENSES.
Natural disasters, terrorist activities, and other business disruptions, including but not limited to internet security threats, could seriously harm our revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses. For example, the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and their aftermath created economic uncertainty and disrupted economic activities in Japan, including a reduction in hospital spending. Furthermore, our corporate headquarters and many of our operations, including certain of our manufacturing facilities, are located in California, which in the past has experienced both severe earthquakes and other natural disasters. We do not have multiple-site capacity for all of our operations in the event of a business disruption. Furthermore, parties in our supply chain and our customers are similarly vulnerable to natural disasters or other sudden, unforeseen, and severe adverse events. A natural disaster in any of our major markets, or an unanticipated business disruption caused, for example, by internet security threats, damage to global communication networks, or similar events could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
EPIDEMIC DISEASES OR THE PERCEPTION OF THEIR EFFECTS COULD HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON OUR BUSINESS, FINANCIAL CONDITION, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS, OR CASH FLOWS.
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