Research: hospital outpatient prices much higher for identical services

According to research published by the National Institute for Health Care Reform, average hospital outpatient department prices for common imaging, colonoscopy and laboratory service can be DOUBLE THE PRICE for identical services provided in a physician’s office or other community-based setting, such as an independent provider, i.e. Diagnostic Imaging Services. Using private insurance claims data for nearly 600,000 active and … Read More

Cost vs. Convenience — what if you could have both?

Diagnostic Imaging Services asks the question, “cost versus convenience — what if you could have both?” Which would you rather have in your health care: convenience or low cost? Oftentimes, when choosing one, the other is sacrificed. If you have ever had an x-ray, MRI or CT scan, you are well aware of the expense involved. However, choosing to get … Read More

The bigger the hospital the higher the prices

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares an opinion regarding hospital health care costs and sharing one particular reason: “Doctors are fleeing private practices for the security of hospitals, and the exodus will be a disaster for U.S. health care. The bigger hospitals get, the more they can jack up their prices—up to 44 percent higher according to one estimate.” DIS is an … Read More

Why does an MRI cost so darn much (at a hospital)?

When it comes to pricey hospital procedures, MRI exams come to mind. Sure enough, according to recently released Medicare pricing data analyzed by NerdWallet Health, the average cost of an MRI in the U.S. is $2,611. Here’s what’s behind that number. Diagnostic Imaging Services is independently-owned, meaning our outpatient imaging services have prices that are far below area hospitals and their imaging affiliates. Lower … Read More

Independent imaging: what’s in it for me?

Many people do not realize that there is a choice when you are told by your medical provider that you need an imaging exam, from an ultrasound to a PET/CT study. There are really three main choices: The hospital imaging center An imaging center owned by the hospital An independent imaging center First, let’s clarify. What does it mean by independent? … Read More

They would not (or could not) tell you how much it would cost???

We share a question that was posed online in a health-related forum: “I just got an MRI (with contrast die) of my brain and my inner ear, what will it probably cost me? The procedure required two MRI technicians, 1 RN, and two Medical Doctors — time under the machine was 1 1/2 hours. — The Office manager would not tell … Read More

How to talk to your doctor about medical costs

The headline is from a published article in Consumer Reports and written by a physician. She offers sound advice on what to say and what to ask, given the health care climate of continual rising deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. The insight is valuable and people should feel comfortable and confident in bringing up the subject of medical cost. According to … Read More

Pipe up to your doctor, pick up the phone and shop around

That’s not advice coming from Diagnostic Imaging Services. Of course, we fully endorse it and have recommended these courses of action for years. People must stop being passive patients and become engaged as a active consumer. This advice comes from a myriad of sources, from reporters who cover investigative stories on healthcare prices to national organizations who recommend ways for … Read More

DIS offers a price transparency edge over area hospitals

More and more people who are recommended to have an imaging exam are demanding to know the cost of procedures up front — cost being what they potentially might have to pay after the calculation of an exam’s list price and insurance discounts. After all, with both high co-pay and high deductible health plans, they now bear more responsibility for a … Read More

High quality and lower cost. Yes, it’s possible in health care.

A few months ago, many of you have started the year with a new healthcare plan. Many more individuals who chose their employer’s health insurance plan faced high (or higher) deductibles. For many, this means a higher health insurance deductible than you have ever had before. Did you know that even in the medical field, different service providers charge different … Read More

The mistake that can cost you up to 85% MORE for medical tests

Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can be very expensive if you don’t have insurance. In fact, they can be expensive even if you DO have insurance, depending on your policy’s deductibles and co-pays. Most people don’t realize that the fees for these procedures can vary tremendously, depending on where they are performed. Many people use hospitals … Read More

Cost vs. convenience: What if you could have both?

Which would you rather have in your health care: convenience or low cost? Oftentimes, when choosing one, the other is sacrificed. If you have ever had an x-ray, MRI or CT scan, you are well aware of the expense involved. However, choosing to get your scans done outside of a hospital could save you big bucks. Hospital radiology departments can … Read More

Higher cost doesn’t always translate to higher quality

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a blog post about the payoff people can often, if not always, receive, when they do comparison shopping for medical exams such as MRI, CT or ultrasound tests. The quote above comes from a person from Aetna, a health insurance provider. In other areas of health care, it’s agreed that price shopping for something specialized such as a … Read More

Be a smart shopper on health care

The bane of any purchaser is not knowing enough about the purchase opportunity. We try hard to understand the relationship between price and what we’re getting. Nowhere is this bane more pronounced than in our relationship with our health care system. There are many ways we interface with it: Emergencies — where we ask no questions and simply plead to … Read More

You better shop around…

That’s the recommendation in a blog post regarding prices for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exams. Whether you have health insurance that included a deductible — and often those deductibles extend into the thousands of dollars — or if you uninsured, an exam cost can be daunting for most. However, by being smart and comparing prices (and yes, it will take … Read More

Report cites “out of pocket” health spending is soaring

According to a research report published in early December, U.S. health care spending increased to $3.3 trillion in 2016, with out-of-pocket health care costs borne directly by consumers rising 3.9 percent – the fastest rate of growth since 2007. Published by the non-profit organization, Health Affairs, health expenditures swallowed a greater part of the economy, with health expenditures making up … Read More

Need an MRI? It pays to shop around. Big time.

That’s the headline from a USA Today article published on March 28, 2017. Diagnostic Imaging Services has been touting the benefits people, their healthcare providers and insurance companies can reap from taking the time to compare prices for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in order to find a provider that offers the quality needed for diagnosis, yet is less expensive and easier … Read More

Insurance deductible, coinsurance, and copay: know the differences

Many people are confused about the differences between an insurance deductible, co-pay and coinsurance. In short, all three represent the portion of the medical bill that you are responsible for in case you get sick or injured. Another term used is out-of-pocket expense. However, there are some very unique differences between each one. Deductible An insurance deductible is usually a … Read More

Hospitals tend to be compensated by insurance companies at about twice the rate for private independent companies

The headline is a statement made in an article posted in the Southwest Citizen’s Guide on patient comparison shopping for imaging services. Often, the follow-up question most will ask is “Why?” Common reasons include: Hospitals often negotiate with insurers for higher reimbursement rates on their imaging services. Hospitals claim they need higher reimbursements due to their large overhead and to compensate … Read More

Be cautious when evaluating imaging centers

When evaluating based on price, that’s the advice given by a physician who works for a university medical center in New York during a radiology conference held in late 2016. We agree with that advice. However, in looking further into the advice the physician provided, his assumptions were often that “nobody really knows” if lower prices can provide the quality … Read More

Avoid the surprise of a hospital radiology fee

Consumer frustration with the cost of medical care is at an all-time high as many purchasers of narrow-network, high deductible and high co-pay health plans are finding out that the benefits they get from their monthly insurance premiums are much more limited than they thought. One target of the ire is “surprise” medical bills for services such as radiology that … Read More

Yes you can save money on healthcare services

Medical imaging is one area of healthcare in which people can truly save money. It’s due to one simple fact. Entities within medical imaging that are not owned by hospitals and health systems offer list prices and fees that are much, much less than behemoth hospitals. Numerous articles have been published on the subject, citing example after example of the … Read More

When is it appropriate to shop for healthcare services?

Much is spoken about, written about and bantered about in regard to people becoming much more engaged with healthcare services that they may need. Services have a wide and varied range from lab work to therapy to surgeries. Within that range, of course, is medical imaging. Medical imaging is an important cog in healthcare due to its screening and diagnostic capabilities … Read More

Hospital employment of doctors rising rapidly

The number of physician practices owned by hospitals and health systems jumped 86% from 2012 to 2015, according to a survey conducted by the Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI). The number of physicians employed by hospitals increased by nearly 50% during the same period, from 95,000 doctors in 2012 to more than 140,000 physicians in 2015, the … Read More

Why does my joint hurt? Ouch!

Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of pain. Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. Joint pain is extremely common. In one national … Read More

Shop smart for health care: imaging studies

Become an educated consumer. Take ownership in your health care dollar and understand why you were referred to one place over another. Ask your doctor if he or she is required by his or her employer or financially incentivized to send you to a particular medical facility for testing. Look up your imaging study. There are numerous websites that provide estimates … Read More

Can you trust your doctor with your financial health?

That’s a question recently posed on a website blog that touts services medical cost savings for consumers. It’s an interesting and poignant question. Of course, the presumption is that a person trusts their doctor or medical provider with their physician health, otherwise they would seek different care. We put our trust in their training and expertise to examine, diagnose and treat … Read More

When it comes to healthcare, bigger does not mean better

Actually, often it means dysfunctional. A lack of truly caring. Disconnected. And, very expensive. A group called Doctors for Truth in Health Care notes that after six years of the Affordable Care Act, there has been lots of consolidation of  hospitals and health systems, but little if any improvement in quality of care or lower costs. The group maintains that … Read More

Hospital vs Freestanding imaging facility: choose wisely

When it comes to selecting a facility to have diagnostic imaging needs met, patients often are faced with the decision between the hospital and a freestanding, outpatient imaging center. Finding the highest quality at the lowest price is the mission of many people today, particularly those with high deductible health insurance plans. It is important to note that there is a … Read More

How do you “shop” for a radiology procedure?

Do you remember the last time you bought a car? Maybe you wanted a convertible, so you went from dealer to dealer test driving for important features like trunk space and speed of transformation (maybe you looked at the Camaro first) before settling on a model, and then checked Kelley Blue Book, called a few dealers, and settled quickly on a … Read More

Tips offered for price-conscience consumers

If you’re not a price-conscience consumer, read no further. However, we suspect most everyone is price-conscience or price-sensitive, often the same thing. No one wants to pay more than they have to and in the area of healthcare, often that ends up being the case — particularly in medical imaging. Here are four pointers suggested by people who were patients … Read More

Comparing prices for healthcare: know how and where to look

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a presentation that gives pertinent information and advice to those who want to do all they can to save money on healthcare services. Although often considered time-consuming and frustrating, it often is well worth the effort. People often don’t realize that they have the freedom of choice. A physician, often a hospital-employed physician, will tell you to … Read More

Health care convenience or price is convenience AND price at DIS

Which would you rather have in your health care: convenience or low cost? Oftentimes, when choosing one, the other is sacrificed. Hospital radiology departments can generate a lot of traffic for the perceived convenience of location and as a one-stop shop for medical care. However, there is no shortage of articles that will tell you that diagnostic imaging is more … Read More

Three components: patient, doctor and insurance provider

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a review that was recently posted onto the DIS Metairie Google Plus page. Unfortunately, the review was quite scathing and it was disappointing to us as we want every person who chooses DIS for their test to have as pleasant an experience as possible. And, that experience begins long before they come to one of our centers. … Read More

Another recommendation to “shop around” for healthcare services

Diagnostic Imaging Services has and will continue to trumpet the cause for people to stop being passive patients and start being active consumers. This means standing up for themselves when discussing options for healthcare services with their provider. Often, a provider, particularly if they are employed by a hospital or health system, will direct you there, regardless of cost to … Read More

The case of the $629 band aid

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares an article of a Connecticut family who chose to use a hospital’s emergency room (ER) in the case of their one-year-old daughter who had a finger bleeding profusely. Unfortunately, for the family, they incurred a $629 hospital bill for services rendered — an examination, treatment and band-aid. Even though this articles covers a situation that occurred … Read More

It’s called value

In this era of cost reduction, independent medical providers have an edge: It’s called value. As calls from government and private payers intensify for hospitals to trim costs and become more transparent in their pricing, some experts believe the pendulum may swing to favor providers delivering quality care at the best price. The notion flies contrary to the current trend of physicians … Read More

Planning and paying for a diagnostic procedure

Millions of diagnostic exams are performed in the United States each year. However, planning and paying for these often-essential procedures can be confusing and sometimes much more expensive than they need to be. If diagnostic exams were like most consumer products, you could simply compare CT scan prices online, come up with the funds, and make your purchase. Unfortunately, almost nothing … Read More

Benefits of CT scans may outweigh cancer risk for young adults

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares an article published a few years ago in which the potential cancer risk that younger adults face from exposure to Computed Tomography (CT) scans pales in comparison to the actual threat posed by health conditions driving the use of the imaging technology, according to a published study. Examining medical records from about 22,000 patients between the … Read More

Over 17 million enrolled in high deductible health insurance plans

An annual census conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) of U.S. health insurance companies shows that enrollment in health savings account/high-deductible health plans (HSA/HDHPs) totaled 17.4 million in January 2014. The number of enrollees with HSA/HDHPs rose to nearly 17.4 million in January 2014, up from 15.5 million in January 2013, 13.5 million in January 2012 and 11.4 million in January 2011; an average … Read More

Thousands more for an ultrasound

Diagnostic Imaging Services was contacted by a woman who had her doctor recommend an ultrasound due to a condition known as aortic stenosis. However, she told her doctor there was no way she was going to have the test when the hospital told her the cost was $2,870! She had health insurance and therefore the price of $2,870 would be … Read More

DIS: a 51 percent savings over a local hospital

If you want actual proof of the potential savings offered by Diagnostic Imaging Services when you choose us over local hospitals for imaging exams, look no further that this recent example and the comparison we provide to you. Above is an ACTUAL ESTIMATE provided for a person who received a recommendation from their physician for five different exam codes. These codes … Read More

Why should you pay more because a hospital is more expensive to operate?

Diagnostic Imaging Services has long touted that because we are an independently-owned imaging organization that does one thing and one thing only — medical imaging examinations — we run a very efficient operation in which we hold down costs and pass those savings onto people who turn to us as patients because they have received a recommendation to have an … Read More

CPT Codes: Why you NEED to know what they are

Diagnostic Imaging Services has long touted the encouragement for all people to inquire and know about the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code that pertains to a medical exam, procedure or service that they are recommended to have. However, other national resources are also recommending this to people as healthcare consumers. You have the right to know this code and with … Read More

Another example of the higher cost of hospital imaging exams

Diagnostic Imaging Services received this copy from a woman who visited a New Orleans area hospital for an ultrasound of the abdomen. DIS performs two ultrasounds of the abdomen: CPT code 76700 abdominal complete CPT code 76705 abdominal limited As you can see from the image, the radiology charge from the hospital was $1,224.00. DIS performs CPT code 76700 with … Read More

Don’t believe “your insurance will pay for it”

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares the experience of one woman who wrote an October 2014 piece for Forbes magazine. As many discover — and DIS has warned — trying to find the TRUE cost of an imaging exam such as an MRI is much more time-consuming that it should be. Because of the convolution of prices that DIS refers to as … Read More

Consumers driving price transparency

In a healthcare journal article published, an analysis of data released from surveys indicate that consumers, as proactive patients, are more closely scrutinizing their health care bills and understanding the importance of costs as more often those costs are being assumed by consumers and therefore their responsibility to pay. The conclusion? “To compete in an increasingly consumer-centric business environment, healthcare … Read More

Attention all savers!

Diagnostic Imaging Services believes we will save people money on their imaging exams while providing the same, if not better, quality of care. How is that possible? Click on the picture to find out more.