Three components: patient, doctor and insurance provider

Let’s talk about a term that may be unfamiliar to many people but may cause lots and lots of confusion, aggravation and stress: medical necessity. Medical necessity is defined as “accepted health care services and supplies provided by health care entities, appropriate to the evaluation and treatment of a disease, condition, illness or injury and consistent with the applicable standard … 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

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

Pipe up to your doctor, pick up the phone and shop around

That’s not advice coming from Capitol Imaging Services. Of course, we fully endorse it and have recommended these courses of action for years. People must stop being passive patients and become engaged as a active consumer. This advice comes from a myriad of sources, from reporters who cover investigative stories on healthcare prices to national organizations who recommend ways for … Read More

Sky high deductibles broke the US health insurance system

The above is a headline on a recent news feature published by Bloomberg, a major publisher in the business and financial market sectors. According to the feature’s authors, 39 percent of large employers offer only high-deductible plans, up from 7 percent in 2009, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health. Half of all workers now have … Read More

Four money saving questions to ask every medical service provider

If you want information about saving money DIRECTLY from a person who works in the health care field, this presentation is for you! It really isn’t that difficult. There are a few key words she gives to guide you to where you want to be. Step 1: Find out what type of test you are ordered to have. In this … 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

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. D.I.S. shares an article about advice on how to protect yourself and your credit. https://money.msn.com/credit-rating/when-medical-bills-hurt-your-credit?ocid=vt_twmsnmon At Diagnostic Imaging Services, we will do everything we can to work with you for any financial obligations you may incur for your imaging exam. We … Read More

Your health insurance benefits: things you should know to save money

IF YOUR EXAM IS COVERED BY PRIVATE INSURANCE: To control costs, your insurer negotiates with imaging providers on your behalf for a “contracted rate.” The contracted rate is the maximum amount that an imaging provider can collect for a covered service, and is usually less than the standard charge. What is not widely known is that the contracted rate is … Read More

Know your rights!

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

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

Hospital charges man nearly $9,000 to bandage cut finger

Even though this story is not local, it is another indication of the serious issues between medical providers and insurance companies. Obviously, the amount of money charged as quoted in this story would be considered outrageous by nearly everyone (except maybe the hospital in this story), but it illustrates that in emergency or urgent situations, people are at high risk … Read More

News report: “Get ready to pay more”

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a news report regarding the continuing trend moving into 2015 of employers shifting more of the financial responsibility for healthcare onto employees through high deductible health insurance plans. The “new” part to it? Getting people to be better healthcare consumers is going to be the “big push.” People need to be vigilant and more aware that … 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 questions should you ask when evaluating health insurance plans?

Soon, if not already, many of you will be selecting your health insurance choice for 2015, a choice that impacts yourself as well as anyone else that will be included in the insurance plan. Insurance can be confusing no doubt about it. But DIs shares a short video that outlines five recommended questions to ask when evaluating plans. The future … 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

More employers moving toward high deductible health plans — the time is NOW to become savvy consumers!

Many Americans with job-based health insurance will face costlier deductibles in 2015 as more large employers embrace or expand so-called consumer-directed health plans, a new survey finds. The shift to high-deductible, consumer-directed health plans is occurring as Fortune 500 companies and large public-sector employers grapple with rising health-care and insurance costs. “Employers are looking to put their employees in the driver’s … 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

The fee for not having health insurance “soars” in 2015

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a news report on the significant increase in the penalty that will be levied on those people who do not have health insurance. According to the report, the maximum penalty per family in 2014 looks like a bargain now at $285, a hike of nearly 250%. The fee will continue to get stiffer in 2015 when it … Read More

Hmmmm… interesting

Recently, a person living in the greater New Orleans area used our online appointment request tool to send us an email to have us contact her to schedule an ultrasound. The interesting thing? This person works for a local hospital. Even hospital employees know the advantages of visiting Diagnostic Imaging Services. Say YES. Spend LESS.

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

Have you spoken with your benefits value advisor?

Do you know if you have one? For many health insurance carriers, members (i.e. policy holders) can usually call or email an advisor that will assist in identifying benefits information, cost estimates and information on in-network providers for health care services. For services including surgeries, specialty procedures AND medical imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans, advisors can be … Read More

Attention all savers!

Diagnostic Imaging Services believes we will save people money on their imaging exams while providing the same, if not better, quality of care. How is that possible? Click on the picture to find out 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

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

One question could save thousands of dollars

Health care costs and the concerns by both patients and physicians alike are becoming more commonplace as more information comes out about the expense of services, including pharmaceuticals. With new cancer drugs priced as high as $10,000 a month and more, and insurers tightening payment rules, patients who thought they were well covered increasingly find themselves having to make life-altering … Read More

Blank stares often the answer to cost question

According to an article 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 might pay … Read More

Ways to cut your healthcare costs

Kiplinger shares ways that everyone can save on healthcare costs. No matter how you get your insurance — through your employer, from a state exchange, from an agent or directly from an insurance company — you’re paying a bigger share of your health-care costs than you used to. Higher premiums are only part of the picture. Deductibles are rising, provider … Read More

The future of health care: paying thousands before insurance kicks in

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a news report that points out that many more U.S. workers will health insurance through their employer may still have to shell out thousands of dollars before it kicks in effect. According to the story, “more employers are offering consumer-directed health plans, which usually come with high deductibles. In 2015, 81% of large employers will offer … 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

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 quality and lower cost. Yes, it’s possible in health care.

A few months ago, many of you have started the year with a new healthcare plan. Many more individuals who chose their employer’s health insurance plan faced high (or higher) deductibles. For many, this means a higher health insurance deductible than you have ever had before. Did you know that even in the medical field, different service providers charge different … 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

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

DIS offers a financing option to people so crucial imaging exams can be completed

DIS is pleased to introduce our participation in the CareCredit Healthcare Credit Card program. For over 30 years, CareCredit has been providing a valuable financing option for treatments and procedures that typically are not covered by insurance, or for times when insurance doesn’t cover the full amount. CareCredit is also used by cardholders to pay for deductibles and co-payments. CareCredit … Read More