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 larger share of their health care costs.

Satisfying the demand for price and fee identification is not so easy, however, for imaging providers that are hospital based. Independent organizations such as Diagnostic Imaging Services are much better at achieving this satisfaction.

Saving money when comparing DIS to hospitalsAt an American College of Radiology meeting, University of Pennsylvania radiologists Mindy Yang Licurse, M.D., and William Boonn, M.D., presented a poster on their experience calling six local hospital radiology departments and five stand-alone imaging centers to ask how much three different procedures would be — a two-view chest x-ray, a CT of the abdomen/pelvis with contrast and a pelvic ultrasound.

Not surprising to us at DIS, Drs. Licurse and Boonn found that getting a price estimate took longer and required more phone transfers when the practice was hospital-based. For the stand-alone imaging centers, only one of the five took longer than five minutes to get a price quote and none required the call to be transferred to answer the question.

Price transparency has been touted as a way to reduce the variability in health care costs, and indeed, the researchers found that there was greater variability in the costs for the procedures at hospitals than at the stand-alone independent imaging centers.

Numerous people have contacted DIS asking for information on identifying prices and fees, and even asking to compare any financial obligation they might incur through insurance coverage with the option of paying in full upfront at the time of service through our private pay program. Our patient relations and communications associates are experienced and well versed in walking people through the maze of insurance benefits and verifying coverage.

In one instance, a woman would have had to owe the hospital $400 for a pelvic ultrasound under her insurance plan. However, with DIS, her insurance covered the entire exam 100% and she incurred no additional expense.

The time spent often can pay off for people who realize the savings by choosing Diagnostic Imaging Services over area hospitals.

Want to see a comparison of average rates for common exams performed at DIS and area hospitals? Click here to review.

Those average list prices show the huge disparity between us and area hospitals. Much higher list prices translate to higher fees that may be levied on the person having the test. At DIS, our lower average list prices translate into lower fees applied to a deductible, or in the case of the woman above, no fee at all.

We love saving people money! Avoid the hospital hassle. Call 504-459-3220 and ask about prices and potential fees for any of our exams. When you compare to the hospitals, we know you’ll be pleasantly pleased at the savings.

And remember: one price covers everything we do. That is not always the case at hospitals.

Diagnostic Imaging Services: doctor trusted, patient preferred.