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

What causes neck pain?

In a recent article, neck pain was cited as being most commonly caused by mechanical stress to the neck, such as strains or sprains to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Of course, there are many more causes and in the article, the following were highlighted: Poor posture The part of the neck that is particularly vulnerable to forward head posture … 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

MRI and ionizing radiation: some people say yes

In a report from MD Anderson related to oncology patient perceptions of the use of ionizing radiation in diagnostic imaging, 29 percent said MRI used it. This is incorrect. But, it does show a gap in “health literacy” and one of the reasons Capitol Imaging Services uses this blog, our website and our social media tools to better explain exams … 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

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

Woman's Health Imaging Portfolio

Need an MRI? It Pays to Shop Around.

Capitol 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 on budgets and wallets. Enter the freestanding independent imaging organization. According to … 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

What is an upper GI test?

An upper gastrointestinal series is an x-ray test used to define the anatomy of the upper digestive tract. An upper gastrointestinal series involves filling the esophagus, stomach, and small intestines with a white liquid material (barium). An upper gastrointestinal (GI) series (barium swallow), is a radiological test that is used to visualize the structures of the upper digestive system – … Read More

Your midsection and ultrasound

What is considered to be the “abdominal area, the midsection so to speak of  your body?” Most would consider the abdomen to be home to important organs including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and towards the back, the kidneys. So when it is necessary to examine the abdomen, there are several areas to review. Pain in the abdomen can arise from issues … Read More

The expansion of DEXA FRAX

With an upgrade in Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technology, our Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS) facilities in Covington and Slidell, LA now offer additional benefits for people undergoing DEXA exams. DEXA uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body, usually the lower spine and hips, to measure bone … Read More

Federal law allows hospitals to charge facility fees

From a 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 that … 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 introduced to their individual Preferred Care PPO and HMO Louisiana, Inc. members for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and … Read More

What is a mammogram standing order

This question is often asked of a woman contacting Capitol Imaging Services to arrange a visit for a screening mammogram. Most everyone understands that a referral order is needed in order to complete a screening mammogram or any imaging test performed by our organization. But, what is a standing order? Defining a standing order Simply, if a health care provider … Read More

FDA approves the only mammogram superior for women with dense breasts

Our Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS), the only independently-owned radiology practice of its type in the greater New Orleans area to offer Genius 3D mammography shares an announcement released by the Genius manufacturer, Hologic, Inc. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Genius 3D as superior to standard 2D mammography for routine breast cancer screening of women … Read More

The difference between CT and MRI

CT (Computed Tomography) scans and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans both provide diagnostic images of the inside of your body. However, they accomplish this important task in very different ways. Here are a few key differences between CT and MRI scans. The use of radiation CT uses x-ray technology to produce diagnostic images. These x-rays require a small dose of … 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 Capitol Imaging Services affiliates, you can save … Read More

The role of the radiologist in health care

Radiologists are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis of disease through interpreting imaging exams. Many patients would be surprised to know that after they get an imaging study, there is a physician behind the scenes who carefully reviews all of their images, and uses the provided clinical history to form a diagnosis! Radiologists interpret radiographs (x-rays), ultrasound, nuclear medicine exams, … Read More

What is a PI-RADS score?

The tremendous interest in 3T multiparametric MRI (mpMRI), not only here in the U.S. but around the world, brought with it the challenge of how to standardize the reporting of prostate image analysis among radiologists around the globe. The European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR) proposed a numeric system called the Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System, or PI-RADS, for … Read More

Insurance company takes aim at hospital outpatient imaging tests

Anthem, often called a “Blues giant,” has taken a strike against healthcare services that are provided in a hospital when the same services could be performed in an independent non-hospital outpatient setting and at lower rates. Anthem is not a health insurance carrier in Louisiana. However, it will be interesting to see how other insurance providers, as well as hospitals … Read More

Breast MRI: an important piece of the imaging puzzle

Capitol Imaging Services shares information about an advanced imaging exam we perform as part of our portfolio of women’s imaging services: breast MRI. MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool that has many important uses, including: Screening in women at high risk for breast cancer. Determining the extent of … Read More

What does it mean when a woman is told she has dense breasts?

Dense breast tissue refers to the appearance of breast tissue on a mammogram. It’s a normal and common finding. Breast tissue is composed of milk glands, milk ducts and supportive tissue (dense breast tissue), and fatty tissue (nondense breast tissue). When viewed on a mammogram, women with dense breasts have more dense tissue than fatty tissue. Is 3D mammography better … Read More

Spreading the word about the benefits of 3D mammography

The signs you see to the right are new billboards that our Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS) had live during the month of October at different locations in the greater New Orleans area. This was something new for DIS. Many times, people will see billboards for hospitals and other medical practices. This is truly a test for … Read More

Diagnostic Imaging Services featured on local medical TV show

Our Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS), had the pleasure of having one of their women’s health radiologists, Dr. Deanna Karl, and a woman who has chosen DIS for her imaging needs, Ms. Maureen, as guests on the Doctors New Orleans television show. Airing live on WLAE-TV, host Maria Muro lead a discussion on the importance of breast … Read More

The difference between 2D and 3D mammography

Every year, hundreds of thousands of women in the United States are told by their medical provider that they have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Every year, breast cancer takes the lives of tens of thousands of women. When breast cancer is detected early – before it has spread – it is easier to treat. Women have a much better chance … Read More

The important role DEXA play in diagnosing weak bone structures

About 54 million adults in the United States are affected by osteoporosis and osteopenia (which means low bone mass). These conditions significantly increase the risk for serious spine, hip and thigh fractures that can cause long-term disability, considerable discomfort and long-term recovery. Although osteoporosis occurs most commonly in menopausal women, anyone can develop the disease. Understanding your risks for osteoporosis can play a very … Read More

Trying to put 3D mammography dose in understandable terms

One of the questions often posed by women and by medical providers regarding 3D mammography is about overall safety. Numerous reports, studies and research came out regarding what we call ionizing radiation, which is defined as radiation consisting of particles, x-rays, or gamma rays with sufficient energy to cause ionization in the medium through which it passes. While that may … Read More

What is a Pars fracture?

A person visited Capitol Imaging Services due to experiencing low back and right leg pain. They also had a previous medical history of lumbar spine surgery. In this particular instance, the medical provider recommended a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan that was part of a specialty nuclear medicine Image Merge study in which the two imaging techniques, CT and nuclear medicine, … Read More

Research: Breast MRI twice a year best for young women at high risk

For young women with a high genetic risk of breast cancer, twice-yearly MRI exams are more effective for detecting early disease than an annual mammogram, according to research presented at a San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) in Texas. Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Washington in Seattle found that an intensive surveillance protocol consisting of … Read More

Report cites “out of pocket” health spending is soaring

According to a research report published, 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 17.9 percent share … Read More

Study: both breast cancer screening and treatment reduce mortality rate

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the question that was trying to be answered was: Which route – breast cancer screening or breast cancer treatment, was the one that was most responsible for the remarkable decline in breast cancer mortality over several decades? The answer was somewhat surprising to the researchers. And yet, … Read More

Stitching: a technique in the identification of scoliosis

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine and backbone that if left untreated could lead to further health complications. Scoliosis affects about 3% of the U.S. population. Scoliosis is commonly developed in children between ages 10 and 15 and is about two times more common in girls than boys. Diagnosing and treating scoliosis in its … Read More

An explanation of an exam that is very difficult to pronounce: HSG

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It often is done for women who are having a hard time becoming pregnant. During a hysterosalpingogram, a dye (contrast material) is put through a thin tube that is put through the vagina and into the uterus. … Read More

At high risk for breast cancer? Start screening early

That’s the headline from a published medical industry article which summarizes work done by a team of physicians, along with input from the American College of Radiology (ACR). In guidelines listed within the article, women at high risk for breast cancer are recommended to start annual mammography screening before the age of 40. Additional screening techniques may also be beneficial … Read More

Why does a woman undergo a hysterosalpingogram?

Our Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services, performs a specialty exam called a hysterosalpingogram. A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It often is done for women who are having difficulty becoming pregnant. During a hysterosalpingogram, a dye (contrast material) is put through a … Read More

Many patients aren’t sure what radiologists do

According to an online article found on www.diagnosticimaging.com, researchers surveyed 307 hospital patients (with a 50/50 split between education levels of high-school or lower versus some college or higher). Of these respondents, 8.8 percent admitted to having no clue what radiologists do; 55.4 percent felt confused, and only 35.8 percent said they knew. Only 53.5 percent believed radiologists are physicians, … Read More

What is a neuroradiologist?

Neuroradiology is the medical subspecialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of brain, spinal cord, head and neck, and vascular lesions using x-rays, magnetic fields, radio waves, and ultrasound. These forms of energy are harnessed with machines such as the CT (CAT) scanner, magnetic resonance (MR) scanner, and ultrasound machines. Additionally, angiography is also a tool of the neuroradiologist. … Read More

Health insurance terms explained

Capitol Imaging Services shares a very informative article that “simply” explains terms we hear or come across in regards to our health insurance. Insurance can be confusing and sometimes frustrating thing to understand, and often people throw up their hands in frustration. Use this article to become a bit better informed. Capitol Imaging Services associates are experienced, knowledgeable professionals who … Read More

You better shop around

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 time and effort, but if saving significant money is your goal, the investment in perseverance … 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

Cost and convenience at Capitol Imaging Services

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

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

Osteoporosis Awareness: bone density scans detect low bone mass

May is National Osteoporosis Month. Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 54 million Americans. Studies show that one in two women and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that makes a person’s bones weak and more … Read More

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

Capitol Imaging Services 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 … Read More

Millions at high risk for lung cancer should be screened yearly, panel says

Barbara Mantel, NBC News — In a move that could affect millions of current and former smokers, a highly influential, independent panel of medical experts is recommending yearly screening for healthy adults between the ages of 55 and 80 at high risk for lung cancer. The screening would be done with low-dose computed tomography, commonly known as CT scans — … Read More

What is radiculopathy?

If anyone has ever heard of this term in their discussion with their physician or health care provider, or has been examined/treated by a neurologist, Capitol Imaging Services would like to shed some light on what this condition is about. Radiculopathy is a disorder or disease of nerve roots that enter or leave the spine. Nerve roots are the lowest … Read More

Low on dose in Computed Tomography

In this case, being low is a very, very good thing. And being high (or higher) in slice is another great thing. Being low and being high at the same time is the result of the Hitachi Supria Computed Tomography (CT) system at select Capitol Imaging Services facilities within our affiliate network. A fantastic upgrade in technology. Much, much safer … Read More