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

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

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

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

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

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

More Health-Law Changes Coming in 2013

Most of the really big changes—including health-insurance exchanges and tax credits to help people buy coverage—aren’t coming into play until 2014. Still, the provisions going into effect in 2013, along with those that have already been introduced, can affect any changes you might want to make to your health coverage. Next year will see some of the many significant changes … Read More

D.I.S. adds two new insurance plans to its list of accepted coverages

Diagnostic Imaging Services announces the addition of two health insurance plans that are accepted for coverage of imaging exams: Medicaid – LaCare United Healthcare – PCIP (Pre Existing Condition Insurance Plan) LaCare is a program of AmeriHealth of Louisiana, Inc. and part of the AmeriHealth Family of Companies, one of the largest organizations of Medicaid managed care plans in the … Read More

The Obamacare Revolt: Will it make a difference?

D.I.S. shares an article on a look at “what it would be like to go to the doctor without massive government interference in health care” through the eyes of one Kansas physician. https://reason.com/archives/2013/03/13/the-obamacare-revolt-physician-fight-bac?goback=%2Egde_966657_member_223251911  

Millions can’t afford to go to the doctor

The number of working-age adults in 2012 who skipped needed care because of cost: Did not visit a doctor: 53 million Did not fill a prescription: 50 million Skipped recommended care: 49 million Some 80 million people, around 43% of America’s working-age adults, didn’t go to the doctor or access other medical services last year because of the cost, according … 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

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

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

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

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

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

Even medical professionals may not understand healthcare pricing!

Diagnostic Imaging Services shares a short story about the misunderstanding that even doctors have about healthcare pricing and costs for patients. Recently, two physicians told our staff that a local hospital was less expensive than DIS for a particular procedure — a procedure often not covered by insurance. When fully explained by DIS, the physicians didn’t understand that what they … 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

The hospital is the most expensive setting

Diagnostic Imaging shares a news story from five months ago that clearly states that of the millions of imaging exams completed in the U.S., most take place in hospitals “which are the most expensive setting.” A very important point made was this: a higher price isn’t necessarily a good indicator of a better test. Hospitals often will try to validate … Read More

Don’t make this mistake

As we head into a new year, where health insurance deductibles reset to $0, DIS shares an interesting article regarding consumers saving “thousands” of dollars by going “independent.” Highlights include: You may be paying much more for… your outpatient medical tests than you need to—by as much as 85 percent; There is enormous variability in pricing for medical imaging tests, … 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