Not only do different imaging procedures differ in price, but depending on where you go you could end up paying different prices for the same procedure. That means an x-ray might cost $50 at one place, and the same x-ray could cost $200 at another. Shopping for the best imaging price available is difficult and often confusing. So, let’s take a look at five common imaging procedures and find out a fair market price for each of them.
MRIs are highly advanced tests, so they run a little bit more expensive than some other imaging procedures. Because of their cutting-edge magnetic field and radio wave technology they are extremely useful tests for providing detailed images of soft-tissue. Healthcare Bluebook states that a fair market price for an MRI of the knee with and without contrast is $1,141. Although, some people have reported paying as much as $4,000 or more for knee MRIs.
Variance: $2,859 (250%)
Ultrasounds are relatively simple imaging procedures. These tests use ultrasound waves to examine blood flow and monitor internal organs in real time. They are very common procedures, and one of the most common types is the pelvic ultrasound. Healthcare Bluebook suggests $278 as a fair price for a pelvic ultrasound, but some people have paid up to $1,100 or more for the procedure.
Variance: $822 (395%)
CT scans or Computerized Tomography scans are advanced tests that use computer imaging software in conjunction with x-rays to capture detailed images of the body. These tests are extremely common. A fair price for an Abdomen and Pelvis CT scan with and without contrast is $1,125. People have reporting paying over $9,000 for a single CT scan.
Variance: $7875 (700%)
X-rays are perhaps the most common diagnostic imaging procedure. We are all familiar with them. They are commonly used for identifying bone fractures and pulmonary scarring. They are the simplest and oldest radiological tests, so they are typically the cheapest. Healthcare Bluebook suggests paying $58 for an abdominal x-ray, but people often pay over $1,000.
Variance: $942 (1624%)
A mammogram is a type of x-ray and it is typically used to examine or check for breast tumors in women. These are common screening procedures, but because they are more specific and preventative they typically cost a little bit more than your average x-ray. A bilateral digital screening mammogram should cost $329 according to Healthcare Bluebook. There have been cases of women paying $1,700 for a mammogram.
Variance: $1,371 (416%)
Make Sure You Are Being Treated Fairly
Now that you know what Healthcare Bluebook recommends as a fair market price, you are armed with the facts to make sure no one takes advantage of you. This guide is relatively basic, and there are many more variations to imaging prices, but hopefully you now have an overview about fair price. As you can see, many prices vary wildly, so it can be difficult to know what is fair and what isn’t.
SaveOnMedical allows you to search procedures and compare providers to make sure that you are getting the best available price for your particular imaging procedure. Each procedure will vary depending on where the test is performed on the body, but SaveOnMedical will allow you to know where and how to get the best price for your imaging needs. They allow you to search for a specific test near your location, which maximizes convenience and savings. Make sure you aren’t one of the people who overpays for basic imaging scans by signing up for SaveOnMedical.
If you’re a parent, then you can identify with the feeling of pure panic the first time your kid gets sick. For most new parents, the situation calls for some Tylenol to lower a fever or getting through a case of the sniffles. But what do parents do when what ails their child is more serious? Childhood illness can be frightening for children and adults, but it’s Mom and Dad’s job not to panic. Many of these ailments and symptoms require treatment and testing, but what do you do if certain tests are only covered partially by health insurance… or not at all?
Of course, you’ll do everything you can to give your children access to the best care possible, so preparation and awareness is key. Here are some of the 10 most common procedures that children are treated for. Without insurance and discounts these common surgeries run up a high bill, so if your pediatrician mentions any of these, be sure to research the costs before you jump to action.
Top 10 Medical Procedures for Children
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Save On Medical provides you with ways to compare health care costs or surgeries and tests, like an MRI scan or Appendectomy, in your specific geographic area. Using our search tool, you can find the lowest cost medical procedures in your town, city, and state. You can also search for discounts on lab services and prescription medications you child might need.
Testing before Illness
Often, before your child has a surgical procedure, they will need some common tests such as an MRI, ultrasound, X-ray or blood work. These tests are often covered partially by insurance, but not always, so finding the best locations at the lowest price can help you save. When you use our Price Transparency Tool you can save up to 75% on screening tests.
Not only can the tool help you compare health care costs, but you can also use SaveOnMedical.com to book appointments online and get discounts by paying ahead of time. You just have to create an account using your name, address, email, and password.
In the future, the Save on Medical will also expand our marketplace to include more common surgeries for children and adults, which will be as easy to use as our current search tool. Visit SaveOnMedical.com today to learn more about saving on tests, medical costs, surgeries, and prescription medications for your child and family today.
With the U.S. spending spending over $340 Billion dollars each year on prescription medications, people are becoming more resourceful in an attempt to lower their medical bills from paying for prescriptions. We understand the value of price transparency with medical procedures, but we also know that patients need to be able to search and compare drug costs to find the most affordable options near them. That’s why we’ve unveiled our NEW, FREE Prescription Price Transparency Tool and Pharmacy Savings Card Program.
When patients sign up for this free membership they receive a pre-activated and ready to use pharmacy savings card. The card helps patients save an average of $150 annually per card user, regardless of medical history. The card entitles the cardholder, and every member of their family, to discounts on every FDA-approved prescription medication sold at over 35,000 pharmacies, including Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Duane Reade, Longs Drugs and Fry’s. Members simply bring the card to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to process the prescription using the BIN and PCN number found on the card.
Non-members can also use the SaveOnMedical.com Prescription Price Search Tool which is now available on the website. This tool makes it easy for patients to find out how much prescriptions cost and where they can get it filled nearby.
To look up a prescription price or to locate a pharmacy, go to www.saveonmedical.com and click the “Pharmacy” tab. Type in your prescription and zip code, then click “Search.” SaveOnMedical will provide you with a list of pharmacies near you that carry the medication, along with the discounted price you’d pay with the help of your Pharmacy Savings Card. You can enroll to receive your card on SaveOnMedical.com.
What makes this Pharmacy Savings Program different?
The SaveOnMedical.com Prescription Price Search Tool is completely free to use. Creating an account to receive the Pharmacy Savings Card is also free. What makes this program unique is that SaveOnMedical’s partner, SingleCare, works directly with the pharmacies as opposed to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). This means that the price you see is the price you’ll pay. It’s not just an estimate or proposed rate.
Even if you have insurance, this free card can save you money if:
Your medication is not covered by your plan
You have a high annual deductible
You have a high co-pay which exceeds the cost of the prescription
We believe consumers should be able to compare costs for prescriptions and get the medication they need without worrying about networks, coverage limitations, or deductibles. Sign up to receive your Pharmacy Savings Card and start searching for your prescriptions on SaveOnMedical.com today to see how much money you can save.
Check out this infographic from Health Perch and Ghergrich&Co to learn more about how much money Americans are spending on prescription drugs each year. If nothing else, it will be good fodder for happy hour conversations. We’re always down to help you sound a little smarter in the company of friends!
Here’s another fun fact: The U.S. spends nearly $1,000 per person per year on prescriptions, which is about 40% more than Canada and more than double the amount countries including France and Germany spend.
You’re overwhelmed by the high cost of prescription drugs. One of your children has diabetes, your senior relative has heart disease and you were just diagnosed with bronchitis… how do you manage to pay for it all? Filling monthly prescriptions has gotten awful pricey and you’re probably looking for ways to save money.
Save on Medical helps customers save on prescription drugs and medical costs with its handy new prescription price search tool. Pharmacies list their prices so shoppers can compare medication costs at different pharmacy locations near where they live.
Medications for you and your family can cost a pretty penny, especially when some medications are not covered by your health care plan. The Save On Medical Pharmacy Price Transparency Tool will help you and your family save more on the cost of prescription drugs.
Save on Medical Pharmacy Transparency Tool
Young or old, everyone wants to save money on prescriptions. Using the Save on Medical Pharmacy Search tool provides you with a list of the pharmacies in your geographic location that carry the medication you need. No need to travel miles to find lower prescription prices or order through the mail. With Save on Medical, you can find the closest location and lowest prices without calling around to a bunch of different locations.
How to Use the Save on Medical Pharmacy Search Tool
How does the prescription price transparency tool work for the pharmacy? It is really quite simple. Select the “Find Pharmacy” tab by clicking the second tab over the search bar on our home page.
Type in the medication you need along with your city, and state in the search boxes. An example would be Lyrica, Tampa, FL. Then click the green “Search” button. A list of locations for where you can purchase the prescription drug appears. Next select the quantity and dosage for instance 30 quantity and dosage 80 mg, on the left-hand side of the screen. TIP: Click on the amount before selecting a pharmacy.
Often you can find save of $5 to $25 dollars per prescription. A variety of pharmacies and stores are listed CVS, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, supermarkets, and independent pharmacies. Each drug has the amounts and dosages available at the location. Each page lists about 20 pharmacies and often has 5 pages of results for each type drug.
When you decide on an individual pharmacy, you will click “Get Coupon” and have the option of emailing the coupon, printing it off, saving it or texting the coupon code to yourself to take it to the pharmacy for savings. You can call the pharmacy or store to verify the coupon validity before you go. Each pharmacy offers coupons for prescription drugs savings. Prices for drugs range for $30 to $400 depending on what the prescription drug is. Finding ways to reduce medical costs with prescription drugs means using a variety of different tools
You can also request your Save On Medical Prescription Savings Card to be mailed to you at home, that way you can always take advantage of savings without even saving the coupons you find on our site. Keeping this card in your wallet will help you save up to 75% on your next medication.
Don’t pay full price for your prescription drugs and medical procedures stop by Save on Medical and use our handy price transparency tool to find compare costs on prescription drugs.
The healthcare system is highly confusing at the outset, but it’s important for Americans to understand how the health care system works. Those untrained or that haven’t had to go through the process are often confused about how things are done. Yet from the inside, everything appears to make perfect sense. How then can the healthcare system be presented to make sense to absolutely anyone?
For best results, a simple approach is recommended; one that uses simple language and shies away from overly specific medical jargon. So where do we start and what are the important topics to cover?
To begin with, it’s best to explain the portal of entry system.
Explaining the Primary Care Physician
Most everyone has at least some idea about what a primary care physician is. What they may not know is their scope of practice and what their major role is in the healthcare system. The jobs of their staff may also be confusing as in many offices the patient rarely spends more than a few minutes with the actual doctor.
To begin with, it should be explained that a primary care doctor’s purpose is to determine whether the patient’s chief complaint can be solved conservatively (often with no intervention at all) or if it will require the care of a specialist.
For instance, the vast majority of colds, flus, and everyday ailments require no more than rest, fluids, and patience. The treatment in these cases is literally reassurance; the exception is when a patient presents with a compromised immune system (as seen with the very old, very young, or patients with AIDS or autoimmune conditions).
More complicated cases will often result in referral to a specialist. These might include hormonal problems such as hyperthyroidism or more serious conditions such as Triple-A (abdominal aortic aneurysm). In either situation, the best treatment is found elsewhere and the doctor’s main job is to write a referral.
It’s also helpful to understand what types of doctors can perform the role of Primary Care Physician. Nearly everyone knows that doctors with M.D. (Medical Doctor) after their name can act as Primary Care Physicians, only some realize that those with D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) after their name also act as portal of entry providers (depending on state licensing rules).
Some conditions may require more than one type of doctor. This is often confusing to patients because it results in multiple appointments and can be time consuming. What’s important to explain, in this case, is that doctors all have specialties.
Though an Endocrinologist specializes in the endocrine system (hormones), they actually differ to Obstetricians/Gynecologists/Urologists when it comes to sex hormones. Yet both doctors may work together to manage the same patient that has more than one type of hormonal issue.
This is also a good opportunity to explain HIPAA and medical records. To work together, doctors need to communicate with one another. That usually involves sharing records and medical notes, but it can only be done with the patient’s permission. The patient also has the right to withdraw that permission at any time.
Much of this communication is handled digitally today. This affords certain benefits to both the patient and the doctors; patients can more easily obtain their records and so can new doctors. There are certain downsides as well, particularly with large institutions (mostly hospitals) facing the rise of security breaches.
Billing and Insurance
The high costs of medical care necessitate an explanation of the fee schedules we all will inevitably have to deal with at some point. Depending on the specialty, fees can range from relatively affordable (from under $50 for a visit) to thousands of dollars. The costs can usually be broken down to a few things:
Demand for the doctor’s time
Level of specialty required
Cost of materials used*
As with any profession, the busier a doctor becomes, the more valuable their time becomes. This usually results in higher fees. But specialists also demand a higher fee, both because their training is longer and their student loans probably cost more. Additionally, their services are very exclusive and they may have no competition.
One of the harder areas to understand with regards to cost is materials used. For instance, patients might find it hard to grasp why an anti-venom costs them thousands of dollars in the US yet costs under $100 in Mexico. Part of that is because the antidote doesn’t last long and the hospital needs to cover the cost of all the expired anti-venom it throws away while it waits for someone that actually needs it.
Liability is another reason for select high costs. High insurance premiums for doctors drive up costs, but so does responsibility. When someone buys an aspirin over the counter, they’re responsible for that decision and any ill effects they might suffer. When a nurse gives a patient an aspirin, they assume the full liability of anything that happens as a result and that cost is accounted for in the aspirin (overhead is also accounted for).
Office overhead is another concern; employees all need to be paid, the lights need to stay on and equipment has to be maintained and cleaned. All of this explains why what seems like an outrageous bill to a patient is just a drop in the bucket in the cost of healthcare services.
One last area with regards to billing that might warrant an explanation is the difference in cost for customers paying with insurance vs. cash. Many offices offer a discount in exchange for cash payments because it saves the office a great deal of paperwork and time. Insurance doesn’t necessarily pay out immediately and doesn’t always pay the full amount.
Do note that in the US having a dual fee schedule for cash and insurance customers is illegal if not properly reported to insurance companies. Providing discounts or waivers of fees, however, is generally acceptable.
About the Author: Cassie is a blogger and health advocate that writes for eHealth Informer, a site that focuses on blending technology with health and wellness. As someone with a great deal of exposure to the healthcare industry, Cassie frequently finds herself writing about topics ranging from general wellness to actual industry.