According to articles published in New Choice Health, the cost for MRI scans depends on multiple factors such as location, and the availability of stand-alone facilities. As a high deductible patient, you can expect to pay anywhere between $700 - 1700 for an MRI in Houston, Texas. The article further mentions patients should treat medical procedures as if they were shopping for a new house, or car. In reality, we are not programmed to think that way which is why costs for these procedures continue to skyrocket. The more research one puts into finding alternative care results in dramatic price savings for the consumer.
The huge fluctuation in price is due in part to the hospitals' ability to control the marketplace with backing from insurance companies. Doctors will continue to refer patients for MRI, CT, and Ultrasound scans using "in network" providers; however, that is not beneficial for high deductible patients. Thankfully, cash pay patients can turn to independent facilities for MRI., CT, and Ultrasound scans paying a fraction of the going rate.
Stand-alone outpatient facilities - the affordable option for MRIs, CTs & Ultrasound
Generally, research hospitals such as Houston Methodist Hospital will charge premium prices for MRI, CT, and Ultrasound scans. A high deductible patient should not be surprised with a bill in the thousands of dollars range. Asking for the doctor's referral, and conducting research for medical scans from stand-alone outpatient facilities is vital in the cost savings market.
The good news is that you can always negotiate a better rate if you pay in cash. The imaging center saves on billing costs and removes the hassle of dealing with insurance companies, so they can provide you with large discounts. You can pay as little as $400 for an MRI scan without contrast, which is 90% saving vs. the listing price.
Insurance is denying my MRI - what to do?
The good news is that you can still do the MRI for even a cheaper price than would be your co-pay if your insurance would cover the MRI price. You can go the cash route and instead of waiting 3-4 weeks for your insurance approved the appointment, you can get the next day MRI appointment through one of the AffordableScan facilities.
MRI prices vary by complexity of the scan & the reading and if the scan requires doctor contrast. Here are the cash prices at outpatient clinics in Houston, Texas: