From a patient that visited Gateway Diagnostic Imaging shortly after another Imaging facility:
To whom it may concern,
I am writing this letter today so that my story is told and so hopefully other patients will not experience the same financial burden that was put upon my family.
My doctor recently ordered that I have a CT Abdomen and Pelvis without and with contrast. I work for the Fort Worth Independent School District Monday through Friday and have a restricted number of sick days, so I asked if I could receive my CT exam that same day. My doctor’s office has its own radiology department, but they could not get me in that same day. I decided to review my calendar before scheduling the CT exam.
A week later I had an unexpected day off work so I called the doctor’s office at 8:00 a.m. to see if they had an opening. They said they were booked and were unable to add me to the CT schedule. Later that morning, my wife called back and asked if they would refer me to another imaging center, and that’s when they referred me to Visual* Imaging.
Visual* Imaging originally told me that they would not schedule my CT that day. I spent 2 ½ hours making repeated phone calls, verifying insurance information for Visual*, and ultimately begging Visual* to add me to the schedule. They finally scheduled me later that day but at a location that was over 20 miles away from our home. The whole experience was time consuming, highly stressful, and VERY EXPENSIVE.
In fact, we had to pay $1,127.49 when we got to the appointment, despite having BCBS insurance. The Visual* staff were courteous and professional; however, whenever I discovered that we could get the same CT exam for less than $400, I was furious! What right do they have to charge $700+ more than other imaging places? My wife and I work very hard to earn the money we make and we do not want to waste thousands of dollars on an exam that most other places charge only a few hundred dollars. We did not know about the cost difference. I mean really, who would knowingly spend THREE TIMES MORE MONEY for the same exam??? My family, friends, and physician now know to seek out places, like Gateway, that charge insurance prices that are so much less than those hospital owned facilities!