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

Sharing a concern about possible chemotherapy restrictions for Medicare patients

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares an opinion piece written by the physician staff of Pontchartrain Cancer Center in Covington. The piece, submitted to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reads as follows: As oncologists, we are extremely concerned about the so-called Medicare experiment on cancer drugs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not seek any input from the oncology community before proposing … Read More

Breast density — why it is important to know

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a few questions and answers regarding the topic of breast density and its importance to women. Q.  I had a mammography recently and was told that I have dense breast tissue. What does that mean? A.  Breasts are made up of fat and non-fatty glandular and connective breast tissue. Some women have more fat than breast tissue, … Read More

Five unpleasant ways employers are cutting back on healthcare costs

The Affordable Care Act, perhaps better known as Obamacare, set in motion a series of changes that are drastically altering the health-services landscape. The law itself was designed for a few purposes. Primarily, it was enacted in order to reduce the amount of uninsured citizens in this country, and to help spread the cost of medical care across a greater … Read More

Lawmakers urge Medicare coverage for cancer test

More than 130 lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to expand coverage for a lung-cancer test under Medicare that could cost the program billons, calling the screening important for vulnerable seniors. In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the lawmakers called for a timely decision on coverage for low-dose CT scans for older patients at higher … Read More

Doctors shun patients who pay with medicaid

Most doctors in private practice lose money on Medicaid patients, because the program pays less than commercial health plans or Medicare, the federal insurance program for Americans over 65. Many physicians already don’t accept Medicaid, and millions of new enrollees clamoring for appointments will strain those who do. About 46 percent of physicians accept Medicaid, according to a 15-city survey last … Read More

Health law sign-ups on track to hit 7 million

WASHINGTON (AP) — Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, government officials told The Associated Press. The 7 million target, thought to be out of reach by most experts, was in sight on a day that saw surging consumer interest as … Read More

States losing billions in refusing to expand Medicaid, report finds

Texas will lose $9.2 billion in 2022; Florida says goodbye to $5 billion; Georgia is out $4.9 billion. A new report details just how much states are losing because they don’t want to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and it’s not chump change. Red states may be sticking to their Republican beliefs in small government, but the Commonwealth Fund finds they … Read More

More Doctors Steer Clear of Medicare

By Melinda Beck | The Wall Street Journal Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts. The number of doctors who opted out of Medicare last year, while a small proportion of the nation’s health professionals, nearly tripled from … Read More

Doctor-Owned Hospitals Prosper Under Health Law

Kaiser Health News — Doctor-owned hospitals are earning many of the largest bonuses from the federal health law’s new quality programs, even as the law halts their growth. The hospitals, many of which specialize in heart or orthopedic surgeries, have long drawn the ire of federal lawmakers and competitors. They say physicians often direct the best-insured and more lucrative cases to … Read More

Obama Budget Replaces Sequester Cuts and Sustainable Growth Rate

Medscape Medical News – Robert Lowes, April 10, 2013 President Barack Obama today released a proposed $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2014 that would shrink the federal deficit by $1.8 trillion over the course of 10 years, but not on the backs of physicians. Instead, they are on the receiving end of some federal largesse. For starters, Obama’s deficit reduction, similar to … Read More

Self-referral by physicians boosts Medicare imaging costs: GAO

October 31, 2012 — It’s estimated that in 2010, providers who self-referred patients for advanced imaging made about 400,000 more referrals than they would have had they not had a financial interest in the imaging equipment and that these referrals cost the Medicare system an additional $109 million, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The report was requested … Read More