One of the areas in healthcare that significantly affects people’s finances is medical imaging services. However, it is also one of those areas where you can save costs if you are smart and proactive. If your physician sends you to a cancer specialist who thinks you need an MRI, you have no choice but to get it. For that, you will either visit the hospital or a medical imaging center. In big cities like Newyork, diagnostic imaging tests can be very expensive. The average cost for an MRI in the US is nearly $1,000, but it can go up to $2,000 or even $3,000 for a scan.
Even for people in smaller cities paying for a diagnostic imaging test is not easy. The cost of living may be lesser in comparison, but everyone has bills, insurance, and mortgage costs to manage. An unexpected $1000 expenditure on an imaging test can put a dent in the pocket.
Even insurance plans only extend partial protections. However, you don’t have to be in the same boat and suffer at the cost of expensive diagnostic imaging tests. There are more affordable diagnostic imaging services out there, and with a proactive approach, you can save significant money.
What Does Diagnostic Imaging Services Cover
Diagnostic imaging scans have significantly improved healthcare services as they allow earlier detection of diseases. They have also reduced the need for unnecessary invasive diagnostic processes and have improved patient outcomes significantly.
Affordable imaging services include an array of tests and procedures that allow doctors to view the inside of the body to help diagnose an injury or illness and confirm a diagnosis. Diagnostic tests are also used to determine if the body responds to treatment for an illness or a fracture. It helps doctors devise the best course of treatment by taking timely action.
What are Diagnostic Tests used for?
Diagnostic imaging tests are very useful in finding any indications of a serious health concern. A physician can make the right diagnosis by having a view of the body and the surrounding structures of the specific parts.
Some methods produce high-quality images of the body’s structures, and it is up to the physician to decide which test is better for a certain body part. Most tests are painless, noninvasive, and easy. Some require you to remain inside a machine, while others involve some amount of radiation.
Any diagnostic imaging test you may require will be conducted safely with precautions at a diagnostic clinic that offers affordable imaging. However, to save significant costs on imaging services, the following are some practical tips to follow:
1. Do your Research
When you have been asked by your physician to get a diagnostic scan, you shouldn’t instantly assume your world has come crashing down. Yes, the tests can be expensive, but depending on where you reside, you can always find affordable options if you are willing to do some legwork.
You wouldn’t put your hard-earned money into purchasing a new car blindly, so why would you do the same with healthcare? Most people confess that it’s a good practice to research more options before getting a scan, but not many follow what they believe.
Healthcare costs are a pressing concern in the United States as most places are not transparent about the pricing. You may not even know what you will pay before the scan. However, if you are smart enough to do your research and ask around, it can be very helpful for you.
With many private and affordable imaging centers in the US, you can most certainly find the best prices for a scan within your budget. The key here is to make some effort in researching and shopping around for the best prices like you would for anything else.
2. Pay in Cash
There are affordable options for imaging scans, but you will have to really put effort into finding them. You may be able to find something for as low as $400, but it may come with a catch. That is, you may have to pay in cash.
The truth of the matter is that involving insurance companies raises the rates. A lot of time and effort is involved in going back and forth with the insurance company for the claims. For this reason, even hospitals or test centers like to skip. The insurance companies as long as you can pay them in cash. If you want a better deal for your diagnostic test, be ready to skip the middleman and pay your hard-earned bills.
However, be ready to stay persistent, as many places won’t tell you the pricing and may even hang up on you if you ask. However, if you persist, it will be worth it for you in the end.
3. Skip the Doctor’s Referral
Another way to save money on diagnostic imaging scans is by skipping the recommendation of your physician or specialist. When you visit your healthcare practitioner, they will most likely recommend you to get the test from a certain place.
However, that’s where most people make a mistake and end up paying a lot. It is not your physician’s responsibility to help you save money; it is solely yours. You are the only know who knows your budget and whether you can afford a certain scan from a certain place.
Don’t follow your health care practitioner’s referral blindly, and still conduct your research. You can find out private centers that offer affordable imaging in the USA and enquire about their prices and procedures. You are likely to list some cost-effective places with effort and persistence.
You have the right to choose your pharmacy, and you also have the right to choose your imaging center. You must certainly look for one that offers cost-effective services and provides patient care. While imaging scans are not extensive or time-consuming, as someone new, you require proper comfort and guidance.
4. Know your Insurance Plan
If you want to save on medical imaging tests, you should be prepared to get uncomfortable and face discomfort. It wouldn’t be easy getting information from your insurance provider or understanding it, but if you can make an effort, you will be able to save a lot of money.
If you know your plan, you can easily compare whether going with insurance would be more feasible for you or paying in cash. Each insurance plan has a different cost-sharing structure.
Depending on your plan, you may have to bear it via several avenues. The entire cost of the test, the deductible amount, coinsurance, or perhaps a copay are all viable options. If you don’t know your insurance plan well enough, you wouldn’t be able to deduce whether you are making a cost-effective decision or not.
It is not that difficult to save on medical imaging services. However, you should be ready to go the extra mile with your efforts. Remain persistent, and don’t let anyone discourage you if you are trying to save money.
With a bit of effort, you will likely find an affordable imaging center that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for basic healthcare needs. Remember that the right diagnosis can help save your life, but you should also be mindful of your money.