Affordable Medical Imaging: Hospital-based vs Freestanding Centers
When comparing the cost of imaging services from hospital-based versus freestanding outpatient centers, it’s clear that privately-owned facilities are more affordable for the average patient. Medical imaging services such as an MRI or CT scan are commonly used to assist in the diagnosis of health concerns ranging from a broken bone to cancer. While they are important, paying for one of these tests could turn into a financial hardship if you request the services of the wrong diagnostic center. Not every provider makes medical imaging affordable.
Hospitals Drive Up Costs of Imaging Tests
Imaging services from hospital-based centers are typically overpriced, and the inflated costs are kept hidden until after the test has already been completed. Patients are often shocked at the amount of money they are billed, even with the assistance of their insurance provider. Required payments can range from $2,000 to $13,000 – or higher! What’s more, these prices widely vary from hospital to hospital, making it unreasonably difficult to find an adequately priced service.
Money Is Their Motivator
Although both hospital-based and freestanding diagnostic centers set their own prices, hospitals charge significantly more as money is their motivator. A key concern of hospitals is earning back the cost of imaging equipment that can range from $65,000 to $2.5 million – and that’s just the beginning. They spend about $100,000+ per year to maintain these machines, which doesn’t include the high fees associated with installation or operation, either. Furthermore, overcharging for imaging tests often serves the purpose to recuperate money lost in the ER and ICU. The prices patients pay for medical imaging are influenced by the hospital’s goal to not only earn back their investment but also make up for deficits associated with other services.
Freestanding Centers are Price Conscious
Avoid overpriced imaging services by going to a freestanding diagnostic center. Outpatient services at these facilities cost 30% – 50% less than hospital-based imaging providers. At an independently owned clinic, you’ll receive the exact same test while saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Prices Are Kept Low and Affordable
Freestanding centers are able to keep their costs low and affordable because imaging services are their specialty. Compared to hospitals, they use their diagnostic machines day in and day out. As a result, the high purchase, maintenance, and operation costs can be split between a much larger pool of patients because the equipment is constantly in use. And unlike hospital-based centers, freestanding centers don’t have significant bargaining power with insurance companies. This means they must charge rates insurers will actually pay, ultimately keeping the cost of imaging tests affordable.
Do You Need Affordable Medical Imaging?
Don’t pay for an overpriced test. At Alliance MRI, we don’t inflate our prices, and when it’s time to discuss cost, we’re 100% transparent. Our goal is to make medical imaging simple and affordable. We proudly serve patients within the Greater Houston and San Antonio areas, so contact us today to learn more about our diagnostic imaging services.