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

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

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

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

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

CPT Codes and why you need to know what they are

Capitol Imaging Services (CIS) has long touted the encouragement for people to inquire and know about the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code that pertains to a medical exam, procedure or service that they are recommended to have. However, other national resources are also recommending this to people as healthcare consumers. You have the right to know this code and with … Read More

Three large insurers join forces for health care price transparency

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, will lead an industry effort to throw a spotlight on the prices paid for health-care services, making their costs available to consumers on the Internet. The effort, organized by a nonprofit called the Health Care Cost Institute, builds on steps the Obama administration has taken to shed light on prices charged … Read More

How to figure out the cost of a medical procedure before it happens

DIS shares an article regarding tips to help people figure out the cost of medical care BEFORE having anything done. It’s a well-written and easy-to-understand guideline that divides healthcare into two distinguished groups:   Routine care Emergency care The first group is fairly easy; the big-ticket stuff, less so, though you can do some things to help yourself. In the … Read More

What you should know about Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging Services has uploaded a new brochure that will be of great value to people who have been referred for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam, but have never had one before. Our “What you should know” literature is designed to take some of the mystery out of having an MRI. By knowing more information before you visit one … Read More

Employer health plan deductibles see big 5-year jump

DIS shares a USA Today news story from September on a report that indicates health insurance deductibles taking a huge jump as we head into 2015. Premiums for employer-paid insurance are up 3% this year, but deductibles are up nearly 50% since 2009, the report by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows. The average deductible this year is $1,217, up from … Read More

Insurance out-of-pocket costs can be reduced by using outpatient imaging!

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a video from a medical doctor who explains the conundrum a patient of his had when the doctor recommended a CT scan. In this example, even with health insurance, the patient had an opportunity to pay nearly 1/3 less to an independent outpatient imaging center, that in the words of the doctor, “does perfectly good CAT scans.” Kudos to … Read More

How much difference in price is there between hospital imaging and DIS?

It can be a complicated and somewhat cumbersome task to try to find and then understand the information published by the federal government regarding reported submitted charges for certain imaging procedures by local hospitals. However, that’s why DIS is here to try to simplify the information so you can make informed choices! If you visit the Centers for Medicare and … Read More

Average submitted charge for MRI without the use of a dye? Compare here…

As part of overall health care reform, there is more information being published for public consumption that identifies charges by hospitals across the country for various services, both inpatient and outpatient. Unfortunately, often times this information is convoluted, difficult to find and even more difficult to understand. That’s where we come in. Below is information reported by the Centers for Medicare & … Read More

Published research shows hospital-owned physician groups have 20% higher medical costs

As hospital systems nationwide acquire more physician practices, everybody may be getting hurt. A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that hospital ownership of physician groups in California led to up to 20% overall higher costs for patient care. Employers and workers have to pay for these increased costs in the form of higher premiums, and … Read More

News report: Americans have insurance — but can’t afford to use it

Although more Americans have health insurance coverage, 25 percent of non-elderly Americans don’t have enough liquid assets to cover the deductible on their health insurance plan, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report finds that many consumers don’t have the cash on hand to cover the cost of a mid-range deductible or $1,200 for an … Read More

Prices for over 70 medical procedures are now online

Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy’s and getting the bill months after you leave the store, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say. But an online tool that went live in February is supposed to help change that, giving patients in most parts of the country a small peek at the prices of medical tests and … Read More

Data shows large rise in list prices at hospitals

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a news report showing that list prices at hospitals across the United States have risen at a pace that outpaces inflation. Most people with health insurance, including those receiving Medicare, won’t ever a see a bill for the hospital’s list price because the insurer negotiates a lower rate. But these rising charges are a growing concern … Read More

Don’t believe “your insurance will pay for it”

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares the experience of one woman who wrote an October 2014 piece for Forbes magazine. As many discover — and DIS has warned — trying to find the TRUE cost of an imaging exam such as an MRI is much more time-consuming that it should be. Because of the convolution of prices that DIS refers to as … Read More

Another example of the higher cost of hospital imaging exams

Diagnostic Imaging Services received this copy from a woman who visited a New Orleans area hospital for an ultrasound of the abdomen. DIS performs two ultrasounds of the abdomen: CPT code 76700 abdominal complete CPT code 76705 abdominal limited As you can see from the image, the radiology charge from the hospital was $1,224.00. DIS performs CPT code 76700 with … Read More

Tips for talking to your doctor about price

Taking an active role in your health and communicating with your doctor is critical to getting good healthcare; that includes discussions around cost. Here are some tips on preparing for discussions with your doctor about price. Get educated. Before you go to your appointment, become familiar with your health plan. Find out about your co-pay, deductible and what procedures are … Read More

Over 17 million enrolled in high deductible health insurance plans

An annual census conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) of U.S. health insurance companies shows that enrollment in health savings account/high-deductible health plans (HSA/HDHPs) totaled 17.4 million in January 2014. The number of enrollees with HSA/HDHPs rose to nearly 17.4 million in January 2014, up from 15.5 million in January 2013, 13.5 million in January 2012 and 11.4 million in January 2011; an average … 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

What do people who choose Diagnostic Imaging Services think of us?

Part of what we do daily at Diagnostic Imaging Services is to give people the chance to tell us what they thought about their experience with us. We know there are many choices when needing an imaging exam and we want to know how we are doing in terms of care and service. By actively soliciting people, we gleam information … Read More

Ways to save on health care costs

As health care consumers endure higher deductibles and reduced insurance benefits, it is becoming more important to understand and even negotiate prices before receiving medical treatment. Dr. Kathryn Stewart, medical director of care management at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, believes that patients can and should be more proactive about seeking the best prices for their services. “Hospital costs are … Read More

A 128 percent difference for the same imaging exams

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares information comparing exam prices taken directly from a 2015 hospital invoice and the shocking difference between hospital prices and those from DIS. Exam CPT Code New Orleans Hospital DIS CT cervical spine without contrast 72125 $3,102 $1,109 Nuclear Medicine bone SPECT 78320 $931 $820 X-ray cervical spine 5 view 72050 $765 $180 Total Price: $4,805 $2,109 … Read More

Introducing the CareCredit healthcare credit card program

DIS has produced a short presentation that highlights the important points of the CareCredit healthcare financing program. With CareCredit, people can have assistance in paying for healthcare expenses, such as imaging exams, and spread those payments over six months with no interest being charged. CareCredit can also be used to pay for deductibles and co-payments. View our video below to … Read More

High health plan deductibles weigh down more employees

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a news story about the continuing rise in popularity of high deductible health insurance plans. As quoted in the story, “You can’t sugarcoat this. This is a more challenging situation for consumers and it’s a reflection of how difficult it is to afford health care.” Next year, nearly a third of large employers will offer only high-deductible … 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

Sticker shock! Hospital versus independent facility…

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a news report that aired on the ABC Evening News on Monday, December 2, 2013. This report investigates the reasons or rationale for the discrepancy in price between an independent facility and a hospital facility regarding blood tests. Unfortunately, the woman who had the tests received the “sticker shock” AFTER getting the bill. The hospital facility … Read More

Consumers driving price transparency

In a healthcare journal article published, an analysis of data released from surveys indicate that consumers, as proactive patients, are more closely scrutinizing their health care bills and understanding the importance of costs as more often those costs are being assumed by consumers and therefore their responsibility to pay. The conclusion? “To compete in an increasingly consumer-centric business environment, healthcare … 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

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