It’s an open secret that healthcare in America is ridiculously expensive and arguably criminally overpriced. At the risk of oversimplifying an incredibly dense and complex issue, simple cost-benefit analysis consistently shows the United States ranking either dead last or very close to the bottom compared to every other developed nation). While poll and ranking methods can be questioned, the common platitude “where there’s smoke there’s fire” still rings true. Studies consistently come to the same conclusion: Americans spend a lot more money on healthcare for worse quality of care.
Nowhere is the problem of “more for less” better exemplified than in the medical imaging industry (MRIs, CT scans, X-Rays) where common procedures such as an MRI easily cost a couple thousand dollars or more for a single scan.
Why MRIs Are So Expensive
The short answer: Hospitals and medical centers can charge whatever they want.
While this may seem like an oversimplification, it’s not. The reason healthcare costs in America are so outrageous compared to the rest of the world is because healthcare providers and institutions, at all levels, simply charge more for their services and products.
Let’s take MRIs as an example. At the MRI machine manufacturing level, there are only five companies that even make MRI machines. Each company, in turn, specializes in their own magnet size and strength, effectively guaranteeing mini-monopolies. When it comes time for a hospital or medical center to purchase one of these mission-critical machines, they have no choice but to accept prices as high as 3 million dollars for a state-of-the-art machine. But, that’s only for the MRI machine itself. The room that houses the machine is known as an MRI suite and must be built to protect those outside the room from the machine’s magnetic fields. Throw in the equipment, staff, and other forms of overhead required to run the MRI suite and a hospital is easily looking at a price tag of well over 5 million dollars.
But that’s only half the story.
Just as MRI manufacturers and other middlemen in the supply chain can charge hospitals, and each other, whatever they want, hospitals can do the same to patients. In fact, hospitals and medical centers often negotiate these rates with doctors and insurance providers who, because these negotiated rates are considered trade secrets, do not disclose them to the public. Procedural incidentals, such as contrast dyes, radiologist’s fees, and other necessary expenses also add to the overall bill.
The Green Imaging Difference
At Green Imaging, we’ve decided not to play by industry rules. With Green Imaging you can save between 50 and 80% of your out-of-pocket costs for MRI, CT, ultrasounds, and other high-quality imaging services. Affordable MRIs start for as low as $250, compared with $1,600 at other imaging facilities in the Houston area.
Don’t pay secret rates for an MRI. Go Green Imaging instead!