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Dr. Cristin Dickerson | Green Imaging

In this episode, Michael introduces Dr. Cristin Dickerson, a founding partner at Green Imaging, a full-service virtual medical imaging network owned and operated by board-certified radiologists.

Dr. Dickerson founded Green Imaging to provide affordable, high-quality medical imaging for uninsured and high-deductible patients across the U.S. While she was working for a radiology group in Houston, she realized that she didn’t have control over many aspects of quality or her hours, and everything in Houston was extremely overpriced for patients. Instead of opening a brick-and-mortar center, she instead found imaging centers that were at 50% capacity and bought their unused time at a discount. These were savings that she could then pass on to the patient. 

Green Imaging also reverses the traditional billing model so they’re in control of the finances and eliminate the issues that come from split billing. Although pricing can fluctuate in different geographic markets, they’ve still been able to achieve up to 60% savings relative to insurance carrier network discounts. Green Imaging is seen as a great referral source for many imaging centers, driving utilization by helping employers communicate the benefit of their service. They are appreciated by patients, employers, and centers alike, and have a 4.9 average star rating to prove it. 

Green Imaging has partnered with 1,400 imaging centers and counting, and they are currently serving 250,000 lives across the country. With more employers looking for affordable and creative solutions for their employees, we’re excited to see Green Imaging grow through aligned incentivization, affordable costs, and quality service. 

Here’s a glance at what we discuss in this episode: 

  • 01:00 – Introducing Dr. Cristin Dickerson, her background, education, and inspiration for founding Green Imaging. 
  • 02:20 – Cristin’s journey from being a physician to being a healthcare entrepreneur, her mission, and how the Radiology Group of Houston evolved. 
  • 04:00 – The issues in the imaging industry that Cristin saw and wanted to be solved; quality control, price, and an ability to control her hours. 
  • 05:15 – The difference between Green Imaging and traditional imaging and radiologist processes. 
  • 07:30 – The biggest issue in our healthcare system: 70% of doctors are employed by or subsidized by hospitals; hospitals are more expensive than independent physicians. 
  • 08:50 – COVID-19 is challenging employers to look for more creative and affordable solutions for employee healthcare. 
  • 09:15 – Why diagnostic imaging is so expensive: Physicians owned by hospitals are incentivized to keep care in the hospital system.
  • 11:20 – Radiology groups and the issue with split billing; the “surprise bill”, the scan, and the interpretation. 
  • 13:30 – Price variations in the market: The game between hospitals and insurance companies often leaves the patient paying way more for imaging than they should. 
  • 17:00 – Michael shares a story of when he was quoted $2,500 for an MRI that he found elsewhere for $500.
  • 17:30 – The Green Imaging product and service: She lets the imaging center set their pricing and they’re all very interested in contracting right now. 
  • 18:45 – Pricing is variable because the market is variable, but they have been able to achieve 60% savings.
  • 21:30 – Green Imaging is the best referral source for some of the imaging centers because they wouldn’t otherwise be at capacity or be able to find new patients easily. 
  • 22:40 – They can pay within 2 weeks of receiving a claim; sometimes it takes longer to receive the claim.
  • 23:45 – They have partnered with 1,400 imaging centers and will be in all states except New York and will shop for care if there isn’t a center near a patient.
  • 24:50 – How billing works: Everything goes through them and is made easy through their app and their claims and reference-based pricing. 
  • 26:35 – They work best as a bolt-on plan like vision or dental; they also have plans with TPAs, employers, and cost-containment companies.
  • 28:00 – How they drive utilization: Branded content for employers, $0 out-of-pocket materials that educate and explain the coverage to patients. 
  • 30:30 – There’s been a 60% drop off in cancer diagnosis because of COVID-19, which means people aren’t getting checked and may suffer through later stages. 
  • 31:35 – They get 6% more reviews in general than the average healthcare provider and hover around 4.9 stars.
  • 32:00 – They cover around 250,000 lives right now and are growing due to the COVID-19 situation as employers seek more affordable options.
  • 33:30 – The cost is built into the claims; there’s no up-front cost and Green Imaging is incentivized to keep costs low to keep clients. 
  • 34:15 – Cristin is excited to roll out an enterprise software to direct patients to the lowest priced care and help them see it as a benefit and aligned incentive. 
  • 35:40 – Near and onsite clinics can help provide better care in the future; Zoom is allowing patients and doctors to be closer and communicate more. 


Green Imaging

About the Host, Michael Menerey

Michael Menerey is a Senior Vice President and Benefits Consultant with one of the largest Employee Benefits Brokerage & Consulting firms in the country. He is a partner in the Employee Benefits Practice and works in the Los Angeles office.

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