Save big at independent facilities. Different facilities charge vastly different prices for x-rays and tests. For example, the average in-network cost of an MRI at a hospital is $1,145, but the average in-network cost at an independent radiology facility is just $560, says Kang. “The radiologist is the same. The only difference is where the procedure is done,” he says.
If you haven’t met your policy’s annual deductible, you could save $585 by going with the lower-cost facility. But even if you have met your deductible and you’re on the hook only for a 20% coinsurance payment, choosing the independent radiology facility could still save you $117 in out-of-pocket costs.
“When doctors order a lab test or an x-ray, they write a requisition form,” says Kang. “But as with a prescription, you’re free to fill it at any facility. People don’t understand that.”