The ClearHealthCosts phone rings. “Hello, do you have an office in California?” a woman asks. “I am looking for an MRI and I can’t find anyplace in California with prices as low as the ones you have.”
I helped her find the San Francisco prices on the site — she needed an MRI of the hip, which is a price that we don’t collect, but we looked up the results for “what does an MRI of the back cost” in California. Those providers’ prices for a back MRI might be representative of their prices for a hip MRI, we reasoned.
How do people use the information on our site? That’s one way: use the entry for a lumbar spine MRI price to extrapolate for the hip MRI price.
The people at RPN of California also have inexpensive MRI’s, but they’re in Ontario, Calif. (they are also not in our database yet). We blogged about them here. (Editor’s note: RPN has closed, as of fall 2013.)
She said she’d start calling right away.
“Thank you very much,” she said before she hung up.