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Radiology Department at Star Valley Health looks at pricing

Recent lower pricing for MRI imaging at Star Valley Health is not a “blue light special,” said Terry Lemmon, director of radiology, but a “standing price” that will “not change in the near future.”

The lowered prices but continued high quality imaging were emphasized during a recent broadcast of SVI Media’s Health Topics Tuesday with Lemmon and hospital CFO Chad Turner.

“We’re always trying to be competitive in our pricing,” Turner told SVI Media’s Duke Dance. “We participate in surveys to see what pricing is for our different services.”

And with MRIs being one hospital service where people typically shop around for good pricing, the administration “decided it would be good to look at those, and we decided to make them more competitive with our regional hospitals here,” Lemmon added. “We’re happy with that.”

Lemmon related that at some hospitals or clinic locations, prices for certain joint images are temporally dropped and then raised again. That will not be the case at Star Valley Health Radiology Department.

Turner explained that one of the challenges to MRIs in the hospital market is competing with imaging and surgery centers, “and we cannot compete with them. We’ll say that right now. They don’t have to have an ER service 24/7. They can shut down their imaging center, run it from 9 to 5.”

“Here at the hospital, we’re going 24/7 all the time. And so we want to be as competitive as we can. We’ve been able to reduce [images] to $797, and then those folks that have a bill of over $500 or more, they qualify for a 15 percent discount if they pay up front. So even then the images would be lower than $797.”

Both Turner and Lemmon commented on the higher comfort level of the MRI at Star Valley Health, with its large 74-centimeter in diameter tunnel, the largest on the market, making it bigger than MRIs in Jackson and in Salt Lake City.