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HRRMC introduces cash-based pricing for MRI and CT scans

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center is introducing cash-based pricing for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT or CAT) scans beginning Thursday, June 1.

Patients pay for the service upfront with cash, check or credit card. Insurance companies will not be billed so the cash payment will not go toward an insurance deductible. The cash-based price includes both the hospital charge and the radiologist’s fee.

The hospital is able to offer the cash discount because there are fewer administrative costs, and payment is received in full at the time of service.

CTs or MRIs done at HRRMC prior to June 1 do not qualify for the cash-based pricing.

A doctor’s order is still required for all MRIs and CTs done at the hospital regardless of payment method, and a report will continue to be sent to the ordering physician.

“The hospital has been developing cash-based pricing for these two radiology services for some time,” said Lesley Fagerberg, vice president of finance. “We are aware that more and more of our patients have limited insurance coverage or high-deductible plans and we wanted to offer a more affordable option.

“I encourage patients to call our Patient Financial Services office at 530-2475 prior to a CT or MRI scan to determine their out-of-pocket costs so they can decide if cash-based pricing is the best option for them.”

This is the second initiative HRRMC has undertaken to address the cost of health care. In 2014, the hospital introduced Direct Access Lab Testing, which enables patients to order lab tests at discounted prices from a set menu of 19 tests without a doctor’s order. Patients pay upfront for the tests and are responsible for sharing the results with their provider.

Direct Access Lab Testing is offered at the hospital seven days a week and at the HRRMC Buena Vista Health Center Monday through Friday.

For more information about cash-based pricing for MRIs and CTs, call 530-2475.