According to an article posted by, The Healthcare Blog, the average price of a lower back MRI in California is $975. Often, the reason for this hefty price is patients with insurance coverage have not met their deductible. In this situation, patients must commit to paying the full price for an MRI scan. The article further mentions, the average cash pay price for this same type of scan is 500.00. More specifically, MRI costs fluctuate depending on the market price of a particular location. For example, the average cost of an MRI scan in Long Beach, CA ranges from $500 to $2000.
According to articles published by Time Magazine, and money.com, MRI prices continue to rise due in part to production. Because only a handful of companies sell these machines, hospitals are forced to pay high costs for these scanners. The astronomical price of the machinery, coupled with the room to store the machine, the safety precautions are taken to protect the machine, and the doctor fees are evident in the current price of a single MRI scan. Hospitals continue to control the market due to the advertisements of state of the art equipment which comes with a price tag between 1- 3 million. What patients are not told is a used machine can be as cheap as 150,000. Many scans of which can be accurately taken on these types of machines resulting in an 80% cost savings for patients.
Money.com further explains only 1% of the US population seeks out alternative facilities for MRI, CT, and ultrasound scans. The insignificant amount of patients looking for cheaper options for medical hands plays a negative role when it comes to standard price. Hospitals continue to control the power regarding price due to limited competition, and the lack of patients seeking substitute care.
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a referral to take and use that referral to research outside facilities. Always ask for cash-pay prices as they often result in a savings of up to 80% off the current market price. Use a third party service who specializes in finding facilities that can perform various medical scans for assistance with scheduling and booking a scan.
First off, don't panic! Unfortunately, this happens all too often which is why outpatient facilities exist. Do your research and opt for cash pay to receive the most cost affordable price for the MRI scan.
Affordable Scan facilities.
MRIs prices vary by complexity of the scan & the reading and if the scan requires doctor contrast. Here are the cash prices at outpatient clinics: