If your doctor needs to collect more information before deciding what your treatment plan might be, he or she might order an MRI. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This is an imaging modality that uses powerful magnets to produce an image. A lot of doctors like using an MRI because it does not require any radiation and it produces a very detailed image. On the other hand, an MRI can take a long time to complete and it can be expensive.
If you have health insurance, your insurance plan may help you cover the cost of your scan. If you do not have insurance, how much should you expect to pay? There are a few important points to keep in mind.
What Is the Cost of an MRI?
In general, you should expect the cost of an MRI without insurance to cost between $375 and $2,850. Of course, this is a very wide range. The national average is approximately $1,300, while a fair price for an MRI would be approximately $750.
Why is the range so broad, and what are the factors that will impact the cost of the MRI?
Do You Need Contrast or Anesthesia?
One of the first factors to consider is whether the MRI requires contrast or anesthesia. The more equipment and medications you need for the MRI, the more expensive it is going to be.
There are certain situations where the radiologist might ask for the MRI to be done with contrast to make it easier to see certain parts of your body. If you need contrast, the doctor will let you know; however, if you are paying for the MRI out of pocket, you may need to pay for the contrast as well. The contrast is usually given to you either as an oral solution or through an IV prior to the scan. Then, the contrast makes it easier for the radiologist to see certain parts of your body in the image.
There are also situations where you might require anesthesia for the scan. Because the MRI takes so long, it can be challenging for some people to remain still. If you move during the MRI, it will produce a blurry image, making it hard for the doctor to see what he or she needs to see.
If you can hold still, you should not need anesthesia. If you cannot hold still, the doctor may ask for an anesthesiologist, which can increase the price of the scan. There are a few reasons why people might not be able to hold still. They include:
- Some people are claustrophobic, which can be a significant issue in an MRI scanner.
- Children, particularly toddlers, have a very difficult time remaining still for the MRI, particularly given the noise of the scan.
- Some people may have suffered a traumatic injury, which can make it difficult for them to hold still.
Anesthesia can be provided for an MRI scan, but it will increase the price.
How Much of Your Body Is Being Scanned?
Of course, the amount of time you spend in the scanner is also going to influence the price of the MRI. If you are only having a single portion of your body imaged, then the cost will probably be relatively low. On the other hand, if you need an MRI of your entire body, or if you need an MRI of a detailed part of your body, such as your brain or neck, then the price will be significantly higher. It is important to talk to the doctor about what he or she needs to scan. The doctor will let you know why the MRI scan is being performed, and exactly what he or she is looking for. The doctor should not ask for an image of a part of your body unless it is absolutely necessary.
What Other Factors Will Play a Role in the Cost?
There are a few other quick factors that will play a role in the cost of your MRI as well. They include:
- The Location: The location of your scan could influence the price of the MRI. For example, if you live in an area that has access to a lot of MRI scanners, competition could bring down the cost. Furthermore, if you are in a large city where real estate is expensive, the cost of the MRI may be increased as well.
- The Facility: The type of facility in which you have your MRI performed could also influence the cost. If you are having your MRI performed at an inpatient facility, the cost will probably be more expensive. The reality is that there are a lot of overhead expenses when running an inpatient facility, and these will be reflected in the cost of an MRI scan. If you are having your scan completed at an outpatient center, it will probably be less expensive.
- The Age: Finally, the maintenance of the MRI scanner may also play a role in the cost of the procedure. If the scanner is relatively new, it should not have a lot of problems. Therefore, it should not cost a lot to maintain, and this could bring down the price. On the other hand, older scanners are prone to breaking down more often, and this could increase the price of the scan.
If you are looking for a way to save money on the cost of an MRI scan, you should talk to the doctor ahead of time. This is particularly important if you are planning on paying for the scan out of pocket. For example, you may be able to set up a payment plan that can make the cost of the MRI much more affordable. Or, if you express that you are concerned about the cost of the MRI, the doctor may be able to change the scan slightly to save time and money.
If you have questions about an MRI scan in the local Florida area, you could work with Doctor Wagner.
Contact Doctor Wagner for an MRI in Daytona
If you are looking for help with an MRI in Daytona, rely on Doctor Wagner. We know that you are concerned about the cost of the scan, and we will do everything we can to work with you. We never recommend procedures or imaging that are unnecessary, and we will keep you updated every step of the way. We view our patients as members of our team, and we will do everything we can to take care of you. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to make an appointment.