Patient: “I see no reason to pay three times the price”

As Diagnostic Imaging Services helps more and more people save significant amounts of money on healthcare, we wanted to share insight from a person who recently contacted us to compare our fee for a test with the fee of a local hospital. We were not surprised at the results. This person received a recommendation to have an MRI of their … 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

What is the difference between outpatient vs. hospital-based medical imaging?

That’s a common question asked by both people who are patients themselves and medical providers such as physicians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The prevailing attitude is that there is no difference so it doesn’t matter where you go for your MRI, CT or ultrasound. That simply is not true. It can make a BIG difference when a person … 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

Do you want to know eleven ideas for lowering your healthcare costs?

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares an article that offers numerous ideas for lowering healthcare costs. Health care costs have been rising much faster than other living expenses.  Understanding how the health care system works can give you an advantage when it comes to lowering your expenses. The fourth idea listed in this article? “Investigate independent facilities.  Independent facilities are usually cheaper, … 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

Another person saves money on an MRI exam by choosing DIS

Just like a recent savings example we shared, we think the image to the right is exactly how the man felt when he was told by a DIS revenue cycle management associate that with his health insurance coverage and deductible, we were going to save him over 20% on an MRI exam. Unfortunately, his physician referred him to a local … Read More

We just saved someone over $600 on an MRI exam

Hey, we think the image to the right is exactly how the man felt when he was told by a DIS revenue cycle management associate that with his health insurance coverage and deductible, we were going to save him several hundred dollars on an MRI exam. Unfortunately, his physician referred him to a local hospital. Upon conferring with the hospital, … 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

Warning: do not be fooled by a hospital’s “outpatient” imaging

Many people have been duped by following a recommendation to go to an outpatient imaging center that is not on the main campus of a hospital. However, what people do not know is that even if the center is not located on the hospital grounds, because it is still owned by the hospital, it will bill at hospital charges and … 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

Another example of hospital imaging exam “sticker shock”

Even though this is not a story from our area, it still holds relevance not only in the greater New Orleans area, but in the state of Louisiana and the entire country. This story is from a public radio news reporter in Boston, Massachusetts who needed to undergo an MRI. The reporter did call to do some price comparisons and … Read More

Hospital ‘facility fees’ add to ballooning costs of health care for consumers

DIS shares this story about ballooning health care costs in the state of Vermont, with one reason being: The root of these increases are controversial charges known as “facility fees,” and they are routinely tacked on to patients’ bills not just for services actually provided in hospitals, but also by outpatient care centers and doctors’ offices simply because they’ve been purchased by … 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

Four money saving questions to ask every medical service provider

If you want information about saving money DIRECTLY from a person who works in the health care field, this presentation is for you! It really isn’t that difficult. There are a few key words she gives to guide you to where you want to be. In this example, she would have been able to get the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) … Read More

The difference between hospital based and outpatient imaging

Did you know there is a difference in where you have your medical imaging exam? Most people don’t realize they have the option to visit an outpatient imaging center instead of a hospital for their exam. Or, they don’t understand there is often a big difference. At freestanding outpatient imaging centers such as Diagnostic Imaging Services, you can save time … Read More

Health insurance company begins shopper program

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is rolling out a shopper program that “allows members to choose, based on quality and cost, the diagnostic imaging facility where their services are rendered.” Beginning July 1, 2017, the AIM Specialty Care Shopper program will be introduced to their individual Preferred Care PPO and HMO Louisiana, Inc. members for Magnetic Resonance Imaging … Read More

Federal law allows hospitals to charge facility fees

From a recent story posted locally comes this excerpt: Federal law allows hospitals to charge facility fees for outpatient services at affiliated clinics, regardless of whether the clinic is anywhere near the hospital. The clinics may have the same equipment, staffing and operating expenses as a private practice, and may look much the same as a private practice, but the simple fact … 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

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

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

Many hospital-employed physicians refer people to DIS

Contrary to what some people may be told, Diagnostic Imaging Services accepts referral orders for imaging exams from any of the following qualified medical providers: Medical doctors (MD, DO) Nurse practitioners Physician assistants Certified nurse midwives Chiropractors Podiatrists In many cases, these medical professionals are employed by local hospitals and healthy systems. These providers understand the value DIS provides to … Read More

Would you like to save hundreds of dollars on an imaging exam?

One area woman did exactly that by choosing Diagnostic Imaging Services over a local New Orleans area hospital. How did she do that? It was easy. She simply picked up the phone and did exactly what we have been touting for years: shop and compare prices for healthcare services, just as most people do when comparing prices for vehicles, furniture, … 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

Customer service stinks

The above is from a quote in an article about television news personality John Stossel, who recently revealed that he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The cancer isn’t really what’s bothering him. It’s the service he was receiving this week at a New York hospital. He wrote: “My doctors tell me my growth was caught early and I’ll be fine,” … Read More