There are times when an MRI becomes inevitable. It is one of the most reliable means of getting a look inside the body. Yet, the first thought that enters our head is the cost. MRIs can cost a fair bit. But there is a way of getting best MRI prices. But even before that, you must know what an MRI entails.
What is an MRI?
Short for magnetic resonance imaging, MRI can be described as an internal scan of the body. We use magnetic signals to take images of our internal organs like bones, muscles, ligaments and organs. An MRI gets a preference because the image produced is often clearer than an X-ray. In both cases, however, a radiologist operates the machine and consults with the doctor.
This is a highly specialized procedure with fairly expensive equipment. This is why MRIs can be expensive. But with little planning, you can get best MRI prices.
What happens during an MRI?
The MRI machine contains a large cylinder-shaped magnet. For the scan a patient lies in this machine. The part to be scanned must fall within the magnet. Strong radio waves are then sent through the body. Since our body is made up of protons, the radio waves affect these particles, causing them to align.
The protons go back to their place when the machine is switched off. But they now send off their own radio waves. These are picked up by the scanner and an image is then printed out. The protons from different tissues give out different signals, giving us a very accurate image of our body.
Who cannot get an MRI?
There are some dos and don’ts when it comes to an MRI exam. Because of the strong magnetic field present, not everyone can get the scan. People with implants like pacemakers, cochlear implants, drug infusion device, neurostimulators, prosthesis, stent graft etc are not eligible. People with conditions like claustrophobia, diabetes, iodine allergy and pregnant women are also not allowed.
In addition, people who have any kind of metal fragments on their body, such as shrapnels or from working with metals should not get an MRI. In fact, when getting an MRI, the radiologist will ask you take off any metallic accessory you may be wearing, like a watch or jewelry. People suffering from claustrophobia may be given medication to counter for the effect of the machine.
Getting Best MRI Prices
Healthcare in the US is among the most expensive in the world. We may have the advantage of technology and the best facilities, but all this can come at a steep cost, especially if you do not have the insurance to cover for it. Sometimes expensive healthcare can even drive up our costs. If you are worried about steep costs of an MRI (especially if there is more than one scan involved), here are a few tips you can try for getting the best MRI prices:
- Tell your doctor that you cannot afford their expensive scan. Telling them outright can actually ease up any pressure on you.
- Withholding your insurance can also work. Some studies show that prices are actually hiked up for people with insurance cover.
- Do research on independent MRI centre in your locality. Often these work out cheaper than hospitals.
- You can also look for urgent care clinics.
- The most convenient way of finding economical prices is through comparison sites. These websites collate data from various centers and hospitals, giving you an overview of the prices in your locality. You can simply pick the one that fits your budget.
So, next time your doctor recommends an MRI scan, don’t worry about the costs. Use our tips to find the best prices for an MRI scan.