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.”
Diagnostic radiology procedures have become a major target of Medicare reimbursement cuts. The impression is that these expensive tests are a chief contributor to the rising cost of healthcare. However, imaging costs vary according to where they are performed.
To understand where the imaging costs were the highest and how best to improve cost savings without limiting access to tests, researchers undertook an evaluation of Medicare Part B data to assess which tests were being performed, by whom, and in what settings.
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Northeast Radiology is proud to announce full price transparency for all imaging services.
Headlines in the media raise the question “why do different hospitals and independent providers have wildly different charges for the same procedure?” As patients become responsible for more of their healthcare expenses many are left wondering “how much is this test going to cost me?”
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A hospital in Livingston, N.J., charged $70,712 on average to implant a pacemaker, while a hospital in nearby Rahway, N.J., charged $101,945.
In Saint Augustine, Fla., one hospital typically billed nearly $40,000 to remove a gallbladder using minimally invasive surgery, while one in Orange Park, Fla., charged $91,000.
In one hospital in Dallas, the average bill for treating simple pneumonia was $14,610, while another there charged over $38,000.
Consumers on Wednesday 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 their fees from competitors. What the numbers reveal is a health-care system with tremendous, seemingly random variation in the costs of services.
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