WebMD describes a MRI scan as a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures inside your body. () When patients think do I need a MRI scan, they find themselves asking certain questions. How did I get injured, where is the injury located, how long has the injury lasted, were X-rays ordered, what did the X-rays show, and is the condition still present or worsening? If the pain still exists or X-rays did not show anything definitive, a MRI scan is a great option. A MRI scan differs from a X-ray and CT scan because it does not use radiation. Often, doctors refer patients for MRI scans when x-rays are inconclusive, or to look at soft tissue injuries. Additionally, it is preferred when patients elects to not move forward with a medical scan that exposes them to radiation.
Once patients confirm they need a MRI scan, insured and uninsured folks are finding the costs of the scans outrageous. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of back and forth regarding needing the scan, which in turn, worsens the condition. Patients with high deductible insurance plans can pay anywhere from $1500 – $6000 for a single MRI scan. Cash pay patients often find similar costs at hospitals imaging facilities. A wise alternative to these high costs are freestanding medical imaging centers. These facilities serve both insured and uninsured patients at a fraction of the current imaging rates. Further, these centers provide same day appointments, generous cash pay discounts, speedy turnaround on imaging reports, and support throughout the entire process.
When deciding if you need a MRI scan do not let insurance haggling, no insurance, or the shocking prices intimidate you. Perhaps, the most important piece of advice is using a third party agency to assist with imaging needs. Specialized companies assist patients by doing the legwork to find the appropriate facility, report all cost associated with the scan, schedule and book the patient, as well as deal with any and all questions related to the process. This allows the patient to focus on what’s essential which is getting the medical attention they need in a timely manner.