Arm yourself and know your CPT code

Arm yourself with an important piece of information for a medical service — the CPT code. CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology, which is used universally across all medical and health providers.  With this code, you can contact multiple providers in order to better compare costs BEFORE you have any service done. Take control. It’s your money. It’s your health … Read More

This says it all…

You know you have a choice. It’s your healthcare. It’s your money. For the same exam, do you want a list price for a medical test that is over TWO AND ONE HALF TIMES HIGHER? Put it this way. If you had an opportunity to buy the exact same four-piece dining room set made by the same manufacturer with the … Read More

What’s a more attractive price: $1,955 or $758?

Capitol Imaging Services shares a comparison of the charge for an imaging exam at a local area hospital, as compared to what the list price would be had the exam been done at one of our affiliate centers. To the right is the actual invoice received. This charge is before the application of any insurance discounts, based on the agreement … Read More

New data reveals bewildering system, staggering hospital cost differences

Americans have long become accustomed to bewilderment and anxiety when confronting health care bills. Even within the same metropolitan area, hospitals charge prices that differ by staggering degrees for the same procedures. People without health insurance pay vastly higher costs for care when less expensive options are often available nearby. Virtually everyone who seeks health care winds up paying inflated … Read More

Why say yes to Capitol Imaging Services?

Twenty nine (2) centers, more than any other Southeastern United States independent radiology practice. Exam prices that often lower out of pocket expenses for people, often saving significant money. The acceptance of CareCredit, which provides a payment plan option for those undergoing exams. Self-pay pricing for people without health insurance coverage. An extensive MRI technology portfolio that fulfills the needs … Read More

U.S. health care lags behind other affluent countries, study finds

(HealthDay News) — American adults are far more likely than those in 10 other high-income countries to go without health care due to cost, or to have trouble paying their medical bills, a new study finds. The study, from independent think tank The Commonwealth Fund, also found more Americans complaining of hassles over health insurance disputes and paperwork. “The U.S. … Read More

Secret pricing spikes US healthcare costs

Washington (AFP) – Secret pricing is making healthcare in the United States more expensive than ever, leading costs to triple in the past two decades, experts said Tuesday. Overall, US healthcare costs now account for nearly 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), twice the amount spent by Japan, Ireland and Sweden where people are generally healthier and live longer. … Read More

What is global billing?

There are many confusing terms surrounding healthcare, healthcare services and health insurance coverage. Numerous different options can often put someone’s head in a spin as they try to grasp with bills and statements from medical provider offices, hospitals and medical centers. One term that Capitol Imaging Services often uses and can be considered to be a major financial benefit to … Read More

Even medical professionals may not understand healthcare pricing

Capitol Imaging Services shares a short story about the misunderstanding that even doctors have about healthcare pricing and costs for patients. On this particular occasion, two physicians told our staff that a local hospital was less expensive than a Capitol Imaging Services affiliate for a particular procedure, a procedure often not covered by insurance. When fully explained by our associates, … Read More

Blank stares often the answer to cost question

According to an article once published in Consumer Reports, a woman paid $9,038 for a CT scan in an ER that ran $318 in an outpatient imaging clinic. If gas stations worked like health care, you wouldn’t find out until the pump switched off whether you paid $3 or $30 a gallon. If clothes shopping worked like health care, you … Read More

A New Year’s resolution suggestion: ask how much that test will cost!

Would you be upset if you received a medical bill for what most would consider to be an outrageous amount of money for a simple test? That’s what one person experienced with a charge of nearly $12,500 for lab work! This story, published by National Public Radio in December 2020, illustrates the continuing issue in healthcare: exorbitant fees charged by … Read More

Have a High Deductible Health Insurance plan?

According to the website, www.valuepenguin.com, “high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) were created for consumers to have a health insurance option with lower premiums and high deductibles. These plans can be linked to health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for qualified medical expenses in a tax-advantaged way.” As we have made our way through the first two decades of the 21st century, … Read More

Hospitals buying more doctors’ practices

The below is an article published online by USA Today, regarding the trend found in the South Carolina area. Another reason hospitals are employing more doctors is to get their referrals, said Lynn Bailey, a health care consultant in Columbia, S.C. Having the physicians as well as home-health agencies, transportation, rehabilitation, medical equipment and other services makes hospitals the dominant … Read More

One hospital charges $8,000 — another, $38,000

Effective January 1, 2021, a federal rule says hospitals have to list the costs of at least some of their services in accessible, consumer-friendly language. The hope has been that equipped with this information, potential patients can shop around and make a better-informed decision before setting foot in a hospital. It may not always be easy to find these costs, … Read More

Millions can’t afford to go to the doctor

Nearly one-third of Americans skipped needed medical care in the past three months due to cost. Even about 20% of the nation’s highest-income households, those earning more than $120,000 per year, blame cost as the reason for not seeking care, up from 3% over the same timeframe. An estimated 150 million Americans say they are now more worried about the … Read More

Know your rights and choose Capitol Imaging Services

When you visit your doctor and he recommends you have a radiological scan (MRI, CT, PET, X-Ray, Ultrasound etc), you will receive a script.  Your doctor will often make a recommendation where you should go for the scan. In some cases, your physician may belong to a medical group or hospital that owns the imaging center to where you are being referred and … Read More

When medical bills hurt your credit

You may not know about health care bills sent to collections, but they can really hit your credit scores. Capitol Imaging Services shares an article about advice on how to protect yourself and your credit. Click here to learn more. At Capitol Imaging Services, you can identify any potential fees that you may incur as a result of an imaging … Read More

An insurer tells a patient his MRI costs less at an outpatient imaging center

Ask Rick Harrison of Columbus, Ohio.  In this story, Mr. Harrison needed a MRI of his knee.  His physician referred him to a hospital imaging center.  That evening, after the physician appointment, his insurance provider “called to tell him that there were other sites where magnetic resonance imaging would cost less. The next day, Harrison switched his appointment to a free-standing … Read More

Screening mammogram special: take advantage during the month of October

During the month of October, Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS), offers a special screening mammogram price of only $99. This price special is valid October 1 – October 30, 2021. The Diagnostic Imaging Services Women’s Center in Metairie, LA will be open each Saturday during October to offer weekend screenings. DIS also offers a $75 price special … 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 imaging scan prices online, come up with the funds, and make your purchase. Unfortunately, almost nothing … Read More

Mammograms and women’s health exams: having insurance doesn’t always pay

Capitol Imaging Services shares a news article on the unfortunate situation a medical doctor incurred when becoming a patient herself, and experiencing what many other non-medically trained people have: high hospital imaging fees. This occurred in New York state. However, no matter the location, the principle issue raised in this article and countless others holds true here. Be aware of … Read More

Thousands more for an ultrasound

Capitol 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

It’s called value

In an era of continued healthcare cost reduction, independent medical providers have an edge: It’s called value. As calls from government and private payers continue 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 … Read More

Customer service stinks

The above is from a quote in an article about television news personality John Stossel, when he 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

Another recommendation to shop around for healthcare services

Capitol 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

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

One area woman did exactly that by choosing Capitol Imaging Services over a local New Orleans, LA 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, … Read More

Health care convenience or price can be convenience AND price

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

Tips offered for price-conscience consumers

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 themselves and underwent an imaging exam. Insurance companies negotiate different rates … 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

Can you trust your doctor with your financial health?

That’s a question 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 properly. … 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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