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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low cost MRI: do you choose the hospital or an independent clinic?

That’s the headline of an article published by a firm that is dedicated to providing information on imaging diagnostics at a more affordable, low cost. While the firm centers around the west and southwest United States, its mission theme resonates throughout the entire country. Why do hospitals charge more? According to the article, the author offers three common reasons for … 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 … Read More

Patient: “I see no reason to pay three times the price”

As Capitol Imaging Services helps more and more people save significant amounts of money on healthcare, we wanted to share insight from a person who recently contacted us to compare our fee for a test with the fee of a local hospital. We were not surprised at the results. Hospital: triple the rate This person received a recommendation to have … Read More

Research: hospital outpatient prices much higher for identical services

According to research published by the National Institute for Health Care Reform, average hospital outpatient department prices for common imaging, colonoscopy and laboratory service can be DOUBLE THE PRICE for identical services provided in a physician’s office or other community-based setting, such as an independent provider, i.e. Diagnostic Imaging Services. Using private insurance claims data for nearly 600,000 active and … 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

Another example of hospital imaging MRI exam “sticker shock”

Even though this is not a story from our area, it still holds relevance not only in the greater New Orleans area, but in the southeastern United States as well as the entire country. This story is from a public radio news reporter in Boston, Massachusetts who needed to undergo an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. The reporter did call … Read More

Is this the type of service you would want for your imaging exam?

A woman visited a Capitol Imaging Services affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS), to have her screening mammogram. She works for a physician’s office in the New Orleans area. She had new insurance and her provider instructed her to come to DIS for her test. However, the woman was willing to go to a local hospital instead for her mammogram, with … Read More

What do people, who visited D.I.S. in February, think of their experience?

I was treated with the utmost kindness and respect by the lady at the registration desk and also the technician performing my test!  I would highly recommend my family and friends to come to this facility for whatever their needs or testing might be.  Thanks for your kindness, patience and overall professionalism! “The staff is efficient and courteous.  The facility … Read More

Doctor-Owned Hospitals Prosper Under Health Law

Kaiser Health News — Doctor-owned hospitals are earning many of the largest bonuses from the federal health law’s new quality programs, even as the law halts their growth. The hospitals, many of which specialize in heart or orthopedic surgeries, have long drawn the ire of federal lawmakers and competitors. They say physicians often direct the best-insured and more lucrative cases to … Read More

Patient-centered care linked to better outcomes

Patients tend to do better when their doctors pay attention to their individual needs and circumstances, according to a new study. Previous studies had suggested that patient-centered care led to better outcomes, but it was hard to know what doctors were talking about with patients. Researchers didn’t know – for example – whether doctors simply increased patients’ medications when their … Read More

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

Consumers on May 22, 2013 will finally get some answers about one of modern life’s most persistent mysteries: how much medical care actually costs. For the first time, the federal government will release the prices that hospitals charge for the 100 most common inpatient procedures. Until now, these charges have been closely held by facilities that see a competitive advantage in shielding … Read More

Learn the difference between DIS and hospital imaging centers

Diagnostic Imaging Services is an independent freestanding outpatient imaging company serving the greater New Orleans area. To the vast majority of the general public, there may not be any difference between us and another organization offering similar services. But, there is a HUGE difference between DIS and hospital imaging centers. Click on the below to watch our presentation and learn … 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

If caught between the hospital-insurance crossfire…

When you’re in recovery from a hospital visit — whether it’s a major surgery, a visit to the emergency room or just a routine procedure — the last thing you want to worry about is paying your medical bills. Although the doctors may have stitched you up, sometimes they don’t quite stick to procedure when it comes to filing your … Read More

Comparing hospital Medicare provider charge data with DIS

On the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, there is data posted on hospital-specific charges for 30 Ambulatory Payment Classification Groups (APC) paid under the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System for calendar year 2011.  One APC code reported is 0336 – Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Angiography of the head and neck without a contrast dye. Here is a breakdown … Read More

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

Diagnostic 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 DIS. Below is the actual invoice received. This charge is before the application of any insurance discounts, based on the agreement with the insurance company. This exam … Read More

Arm yourself: know your CPT code

Arm yourself with an important piece of information for a medical service — the CPT code. 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 care. Say YES and spend LESS at DIS.

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 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

DIS women’s imaging: quality of care in an efficient environment

As the largest independently-owned outpatient imaging organization in Lousiana, DIS provides a short overview of the depth and breadth of our women’s health imaging portfolio. While one local health system once touted that they performed over 2,500 mammograms in one year, DIS often performs that many IN ONE MONTH! From mammography to tomosynthesis to breast biopsy, no other outpatient provider … 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