Imaging test costs vary widely across US cities

The cost of imaging tests--specifically lower-back MRI and CT scans of the head--varies widely across U.S. cities, according to data from Castlight Health.

For example, according to Castlight's analysis, the average price for a lower back MRI was $1,062 in New York, with the highest price hitting $4,527 and the lowest $416. In Philadelphia, the cost of a CT scan of the head ranges from $264 to $3,271.

On average, the most expensive city in which to get a CT scan of the head is Sacramento, California, at $1,404, while Orlando, Florida, was the least expensive at $611. Sacramento also was the most expensive place to get a lower back MRI at $2,635, while Seattle was the least expensive at $907.

Recommendations made by Castlight included that consumers consider going to stand-alone imaging centers in order to reduce the cost for an X-ray, MRI, CT scan or other imaging tests. Announcement