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How Much Does an MRI Cost?

Opinions around the internet vary widely in regards to how much an MRI costs. I’ve seen estimates from $200 to $5000. I had an MRI performed on me after I tore my ACL just over a year ago, so theoretically I should have a pretty good idea of how much they actually cost. However, amidst all of the various bills and procedures I had during that time period, I realized that I actually had no idea how much my MRI had cost when my friend Alice asked me because she couldn’t get a straight answer out of the UW Medical Center.

An aside: This inability to get good pricing information about medical problems is a major problem with our healthcare system and a significant contributor to high health care costs.

Regardless, after Alice asked that question, I set about to find the true cost of my MRI, and now I have decided to share that information with the world in hopes that disseminating good information on the subject can help some people make more informed decisions about their health care.

In each case below, there are four costs: The total cost of the procedure, how much my insurance at the time (United Helathcare via Honeywell) paid, adjustments (usually these are contractual changes to the price based on your insurance), and patient responsibility, which is how much money I ended up paying when it was all said and done.

Date of service: 2007.10.05
Cost of MRI: $1871.00
Insurance Payment: $1227.38
Adjustments: $336.78
Patient responsibility: $306.84

In addition, a radiologist had to look at the film to diagnose the torn ACL and sprained LCL. That breakdown:

MRI, Joint of Leg: $195.00
Insurance payment: $8.41
Adjustments: $84.49
Patient responsibility: $102.10

Furthermore, a surgeon had to refer me to the MRI and he did a follow-up visit where he basically agreed with the findings of the radiologist. For each visit, the breakdown went like this:

Office Consultation: $256.50
Insurance Payment: $179.95
Contract Adjustment: $46.55
Patient responsibility: $30.00

So, how much does an MRI cost? The short answer is about $2000.

The long answer is it does depend on your insurance, but this really doesn’t change the base cost which remains around $2000. With relatively good insurance (like I had at the time), expect to cover around $400-$500 out of your pocket for the whole process. Of course, if something bad is diagnosed, your adventure into the vagueries of modern medicine has just begun!

Seniority Bailout

As originally suggested by Nordsieck, I have compiled a couple of graphs depicting the relationship between voting on the bailout plan and the seniority (time since first elected) of the voter. Check it out below, and feel free to draw your own conclusions. My conclusion? DC corrupts.

For more damning evidence, check out the relationship between campaign donations and voting in the House of Representatives.

Lost By Two Votes

A few months ago, I submitted the paperwork to run for the Republican Precinct Committee Officer in precinct 41-3084. It was sort of my last hurrah in support of Ron Paul after the somewhat disappointing outcome from the Washington State Presidential Caucuses.

Failing to find the results immediately after the election, I forgot about the whole thing for a couple of months. Today, for some reason, I thought about it again, and this time I was able to find the PCO results from the primary election:

http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/elections/200808/pcoresults.aspx

In In the closest election I have ever been involved in, I lost by only two votes to the incumbant. I didn’t even run a campaign — my oponent, however, did (he sent out letters). With results like this, perhaps politics is in my future?

The relevant results:

Precinct Winner Name Votes Party
BEL 41-3084   Ryan McElroy 39 Republican Party
BEL 41-3084 winner Ted Jung 41 Republican Party

Thrilled About The Rejection

When I heard that the $700 billion bailout plan was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives, I grew giddy. It was wonderful and strange to have that feeling caused by politicians, after the constant disappointment I have become familiar with, especially with the Bush Administration. Dave Reichart, for whom I voted, was one of the gutsy Republicans who defied the Administration to vote no.

Principles are those central tenants a person can fall back on when the going gets tough. One of the principles of the Republican party — at least in theory — is believing in the free market and keeping it mostly free. Admittedly, a lot of people figured this out before me, but it has become apparent to me as well that George W. Bush and his administration generally lack principles, or at least any principles that I can fathom. This bailout package is just the latest,and for me the greatest, indication of this.

Perhaps if the Democrats had shown as much guts back in 2003 as the Republicans just did, we wouldn’t be in this Iraq 2.0 mess? Just a thought.

Of course, as a friend recently pointed out, we’re not out of the woods yet on the bailout package. More votes are likely, and this first one may have just been the “well we rejected it once” vote before it gets tweaked and passed, essentially the same. So get up and write your representatives and senators. Lets leave this thing dead for the long run.

The only thing Bush could do at that point to restore any of my respect would be to veto. Anyone want to guess what the chances of that are?