How much do MRIs cost?

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Potsie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 1/20/2011 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Can anybody give me an idea what an MRI costs? For the lower back? I hope somebody can help me. Oh, I don't have insurance.

Post Edited (Potsie) : 1/20/2011 9:12:51 PM (GMT-7)


purplereading
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Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 1/20/2011 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
There are two charges to an MRI. One is to the provider, (hospital, clinic, etc) for the use of th machine. The other is for the radiologist, who reads it.  If you tell them you do not have insurance, they usually reduce it to at least what insurance pays for them. It would be my bet that $2500 to $3000 is a fair estimate. I cannot remember for sure.

Chutz
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   Posted 1/21/2011 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Potsie!

That's a good question. Below is some information I found online. My understand was they average around 3K so it does look like we're all in the ballpark.

Chutz

"MRI costs can vary by hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars so it's important that you shop around to get the best price. For example, listed below are some real examples or MRI procedure prices from around the United States.
Testing Facility location Test Type Average Cost
Orlando, FL MRI $2,229
Dallas, TX - MRI Testing Facility A MRI $3,624
Dallas, TX - MRI Testing Facility B MRI $2,172
San Diego, CA MRI $2,826
Salt Lake City, UT MRI $1,694
Detroit, MI MRI $3,461
New York, NY - MRI Testing Facility A MRI $1,785
New York, NY - MRI Testing Facility B MRI $2,199
Raleigh, NC MRI $3,001
Omaha, NE MRI $2,502

It's like this in every city around the US. Imagine how much money you could save if you called a few more facilities and asked them what they charge for an MRI. It's up to you to make sure you get the best price. Start calling around today and save money on your MRI procedure."
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SmurfyShadow
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   Posted 1/21/2011 3:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Two arms, Two legs, and then 20million other peoples limbs...

Oh ps.... Hospitals will usually work on payment arrangments
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solar powered
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   Posted 1/21/2011 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I too suggest that you call around. The cost is dependent on the contract your insurance provider has with the facility. Where I live it is much cheaper to go to a facility that only does MRI's. This summer I had an MRI done on my knee at a hospital and it cost $2400 plus the radiologist fee of $300. That was really a lot of money compared to what it cost just 3 years ago, $1600. Thinking I may have needed another one I called an MRI only facility and the total cost would have been only $800 including the radiologist reading it!! I wasn't too happy to hear that but now know where to go to if I ever do need another MRI.
Lee
Hope and attitude are everything. Never, never, ever give up.

Post Edited (solar powered) : 1/21/2011 7:36:04 AM (GMT-7)


solar powered
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 1/21/2011 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry Potsie I missed the part about you not having insurance. The place that would have charged $800 to my insurance charged $1300 if there is not insurance. Anyway definitely call around. Good luck in your search. Lee
Hope and attitude are everything. Never, never, ever give up.

JNO2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 1/21/2011 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine was Ins paid $1500, an I paid (co-pay) $250.
 
You may want to be careful if paying for it yourself. A lot of times what the "agreed upon" payment by the Ins Co is less than what they charge normally.

Potsie
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 1/21/2011 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for getting back to me! If you don't have insurance, do they ever do a payment plan? I just don't have the money to pay the whole thing at once.

My whole back gives me a lot of pain. I really need to have my whole back checked, but I don't have the money. I'm living on my husbands SS, plus a little life insurance when he died in Oct. I need to hang onto the life insurance as long as I can.

Post Edited (Potsie) : 1/21/2011 10:37:29 AM (GMT-7)


Jim1969
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   Posted 1/21/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
There is a good chance that if you have the test done at the hospital that they will have some kind of financial assistance program that will allow to pay over time. You may also qualify for a grant through the hospital that will pay for at least part of the bill.

cogito
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Date Joined Oct 2010
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   Posted 1/21/2011 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Try googling "low cost MRI". Quite a few facilities are out there for greatly reduced costs ($300-$400) -- assuming they are legitimate. If you can find one in your area, you should probably also check whether there are any complaints registered with BBB.

Another idea is to contact a clinic which deals with patients who have no insurance or your local health department and see if they know of a location.

Be sure also to keep in mind that you'll be charged for the MRI and for the radiologist. So, if you go to a cheap MRI, makes sure that the radiologist rates are also reasonable.
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straydog
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   Posted 1/21/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
If it were me Potsie I would try to get it done thru a hospital because you want it done on one the newer machines. The newer the machine the better quality of the scan. As Jim said most hospitals will set up a payment plan with you. If you are wanting an MRI down from the neck all the way to the back then you are talking about 3 MRI Scans, cervical, thoracic and lumbar and that would be pretty costly, then there is the radiologist fees for reading the films.

Just my two cents, lol. Good luck.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Potsie
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 1/21/2011 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok, say I go to the hospital. Do I go to ER?

sjkly
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Date Joined Dec 2007
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   Posted 1/21/2011 7:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you had x rays-they may pinpoint the area of the back that needs to be scanned so you only need one istead of three.
You don't go to the ER you go to the hospitals MRI clinic.
You almost certainly will need a prescription to get the scan.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11167
   Posted 1/21/2011 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Potsie your PCP must schedule this and he has to fax an order to the hospital. You cannot just go and ask for one.
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SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 1/22/2011 4:29 AM (GMT -6)   
OMG all of this talk reminded me I forgot to schedule my MRI LOL. In Answer to your question, yes they normally will work with you on payment arrangements. It would be far cheaper to call your GP and have him write out an order for you. If you go through the ER you have added extra costs (the ER visit, the ER doctor, the ER exam, etc).
I don't know what state you are in, but if you have SS here you can get state insurance. (usually named medicare and medicaid).
Don't Care Bout Nuffin No More, Guess I shouldnt even be in this world
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