Diagnostic imaging tools are often necessary to rule out or confirm a particular diagnosis. Diagnostic tests like an x-ray or mammogram are often included in preventive care to catch an ailment and prevent it from developing into a serious condition.

Patients are often faced with making difficult healthcare choices when it comes to finding inexpensive diagnostic imaging test services. They may feel extremely limited at times. Most people in the US think that health insurance, an appointment by a physician, and a referral are necessary for affordable diagnostic imaging. However, that’s not the case.

There are many affordable imaging centers in the USA that have structured their services in a way that allows them to offer a flat rate for various imaging tests. This actually eliminates the requirements of insurance companies and passes the cost savings onto the patients. Their service rates can often be less than the insurance company or hospital rates for the same service.

What Is Diagnostic Imaging?

Diagnostic imaging refers to capturing internal images of your body that help diagnose various conditions, diseases, and injuries. The most common scans requested by physicians are non-invasive and are conducted by an outpatient diagnostic imaging center.

Diagnostic imaging tests help get to the root cause of the medical problem and hence are necessary for efficient diagnosis and treatment.

Tips On Finding Affordable Diagnostic Imaging Services

Diagnostic imaging services are mandatory for some people in certain cases. However, most people struggle to find affordable options. Well, there are ways to find affordable diagnostic tests in your area. Following are some ways you can save your costs on imaging tests.

Look Around

You conduct research for anything you need to purchase. For instance, if you want a new vehicle, you will check online and offline avenues to find the best prices. Similarly, you can look around for medical care as well to find the best option for yourself in your area.

One survey with a sample size of 3000 people concluded that the vast majority of people believed in looking at affordable medical care options for diagnostic tests. However, what’s interesting is that only 3% of them actually did what they believed in.

By not shopping around for the best prices for medical care, you are wasting a lot of your money which isn’t wise. To find the best rates, you can start by checking the service providers in your area and inquire about pricing for the tests you need. You can also tell them the specific CPT code and inquire about self-pay pricing. You can also ask about the pricing for your insurance plan.

Note down each service provider’s rates for the services in cash as well as your insurance. You will most likely find that outpatient diagnostic center for women have more affordable rates compared to hospitals. Moreover, in many cases, you will find paying in cash is less expensive than using your insurance.

Avoid Following The Referral

Many patients assume that a referral from their doctor is mandatory to follow. This couldn’t be further from the trust. In most cases, physicians do recommend certain procedures from certain clinics. However, it does not mean you have to follow their referral blindly. Unfortunately, many people make this mistake and settle on expensive diagnostic imaging tests.

Even if your physician has given you a referral, it doesn’t mean you have to follow it. You can still look around for affordable diagnostic imaging services. Your physician may not know all the details of imaging centers in your area and their charges.

They only make a referral based on what option may be most suitable for patients. However, they have no way of knowing your costs. So, as you have the right to choose your pharmacy, you also have the right to choose the affordable diagnostic imaging center in the area that you prefer.

To find inexpensive options for your diagnostic tests, you can ask the physician for their recommendations or ask them if they know high-quality and affordable clinics in your area. You can also do your own research and then call your physician to ask their opinion on the best one among your findings. This is a more reasonable approach to finding reasonably priced diagnostic imaging services near you.

Pay In Cash

Health insurance is assumed to help save money on medical costs. However, it might not always be the case. It may be useful in extremely expensive circumstances requiring extensive surgery.

Previously many treatments were overpriced for self-pay patients by health providers. However, the regulations have been relaxed now. You can find more affordable options for medical procedures, such as diagnostic tests. There is no need to rely on expensive referrals or your health insurance recommendations.

One of the reasons for health care providers to price their services effectively for self-pay patients is because it helps them save time and expense of coordinating back and forth with an insurance company. Imagine doing that for multiple patients and losing precious time. So, you can save many dollars if you can pay for your diagnostic tests like CT Scans, MRIs, and others in cash.

Most Common Diagnostic Imaging Tests

Following are some of the most common diagnostic imaging tests for which you are most likely to find an affordable diagnostic imaging center.

CT Scan

A Computerized Tomography Scan produces 360-degree images of a body part. It helps detect a potential ailment in your organs, bones, fat, muscles, or blood vessels. A CT scan uses radiation technology and X-ray to make a scan. It is best to identify blood clots, organ injuries, and bone fractures.


X-ray makes use of radiation to produce images of teeth and bones to identify any kind of abnormalities. It is one of the fastest and most accessible types of diagnostic imaging tests. X-rays can help identify dislocations, misalignments, fractures, and narrowed joint spaces.


MRIs produce highly detailed pictures of the structure of your body, internal organs, nerves, blood vessels, soft tissues, and muscles using radio and magnet waves. MRIs can help identify joint inflammation, spinal injuries, cartilage loss, nerve compression, and detached or torn ligaments, muscles, tendons, and cartilage.


Mammograms are used to detect breast ailments such as cancers, pain, lump, benign tumors, discharge, and cysts using x-ray technology that produces an image. Mammograms help identify the ailment before it can be felt through touch. After a mammogram, a biopsy of the suspected tissue can further help diagnose breast cancer.

A screening mammogram is part of annual preventive care screening for women above 40 to detect changes in breasts. On the other hand, a diagnostic mammogram helps investigate breast changes such as discharge, pain, or lumps.


In conclusion, there is a lot of confusion around healthcare costs in the USA. However, many advancements have occurred over time to help make healthcare as accessible as possible. By taking a proactive approach, you can easily find affordable services for diagnostic imaging near your area.