If you need an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or other medical imaging service, you’ll eventually address an uncomfortable question: How much is this going to cost?
Numerous factors drive up the cost of medical imaging, including heavy equipment expenses. MRI machines, for instance, can easily cost more than a million dollars, and even relatively inexpensive low-field machines require expensive installations.
Medical imaging facilities can generally charge whatever they want for their services, and understandably, many try to recoup their expenses through diagnostic fees. As we’ve covered before on this site, MRI prices can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $13,000. X-ray radiographs can cost from $100 to $1,000, while CT scans can cost $1,200 or more.
Finding Medical Imaging Cost Comparison Resources
The good news is that patients have the right to compare pricing options for diagnostic imaging services. Comparison shopping pays off; choosing the right facility can decrease bills by thousands of dollars without negatively affecting patient care.
Of course, patients also try to move quickly—after all, in medical examinations, time is a critical factor. Unfortunately, this can be problematic, since pricing isn’t the only point to consider. You’ll also need to determine whether the facility has experienced technicians and up-to-date equipment.
Most people simply aren’t able to independently research imaging facilities, since they don’t know how to effectively judge equipment capabilities, staff quality, and other important details. Health insurance companies sometimes provide recommendations, but these aren’t always tremendously helpful; patients might be expected to travel great distances, and some insurers don’t carefully evaluate facility equipment (pricing is, after all, their primary concern).
What to Look For When Choosing Pricing Resources
To be effective, pricing resources need to be local, thorough, and easy to use. We’ve built Best Price MRI to try to meet these criteria, and we offer a simpler process for comparing MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and other types of imaging examinations.
We work directly with imaging facilities to determine whether they’re able to meet different diagnostic requirements. By tracking equipment at each facility, we’re able to tailor our results for each examination—for instance, claustrophobic patients can compare facilities with open MRI machines, and patients that require PET scans won’t be accidentally routed to a facility that doesn’t offer that service.
Instead of providing simple recommendations, we provide patients with a list of facilities near their zip code, along with instant quotes. We make sure that facilities in our network offer up-front pricing information to prevent hidden fees and other unpleasant surprises.
We also simplify the booking process, and we don’t rely on automated software to provide this service. Each case is handled by an experienced specialist who can adequately determine whether a given facility can address the patient’s needs. By standardizing the cost comparison process, we’re also able to ensure a high level of care; patients receive free CDs with their diagnostic images, which prevents communication issues between the imaging professionals and the case physician.
Whether or not you have health insurance, comparison shopping is absolutely vital to obtaining high-quality diagnostic images at a fair price. Check out our location-based pricing resource here to get started.