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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Open MRI

Open MRI Cost


How Much Does an Open MRI Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: $20-$100+ Copayhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $1,000-$5,000

Unlike a traditional MRI in which patients are confined in a tube-like space, an open MRI is wider and does not enclose a patient, allowing him or her to see the technician and the room. It is often recommended for patients who struggle with claustrophobia, obese patients, or patients whose joints are being examined for range of motion. Historically, open MRIs have proven less powerful than traditional MRIs, since they have lower magnetic fields, but newer models can provide high quality images.

Typical costs:

  • An open MRI typically costs about as much as a conventional MRI, about $1,000-$5,000. The cost depends on such factors as the body part being scanned and a patient's geographical location.
  • An open MRI, when deemed medically necessary, is typically covered by health insurers just as a regular MRI would be. If deductibles are met, typical out-of-pocket costs for insured patients consist of a copay for the doctor's visit and possibly a copay for the MRI. For example, under a First CarolinaCare[1] copay plan, the visit copay would be $20 and the MRI copay $100.
Related articles: CT Scan, X-Ray, MRI, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Prior to the scan, the patient will need to remove any jewelry or clothing containing metal. Once the MRI technologist has positioned a patient, the patient will be asked to try to remain as still as possible. The scan typically lasts 30-60 minutes, but may take longer. The MRI technologist will be able to forecast how long the imaging will take ahead of time.
  • ● St. John Providence Health System in Warren, MI, offers a detailed overview[2] of the procedure.
Additional costs:
  • It's estimated that five to 10 percent of patients need a contrast solution, or special dye injected into the body, to further enhance the scan. The solution typically costs about $100-$300 extra.
Discounts:
  • Some diagnostic imaging centers offer discounted prices from about $380-$560, depending on geographic location. For example, at Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI in Lexington, KY, scans of the spine range from $393-$650, including a radiologist's fee. However, these centers typically cater to patients who pay cash and do not use health insurance.
Shopping for an open mri:
  • The American College of Radiology has a search tool[3] on its website to help patients find accredited hospitals, clinics or health centers that perform MRIs in their area.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.firstcarolinacare.com/brokers/copay_deductible.htm
  2.  www.stjohnprovidence.org/OpenMRI/PatientInformation/
  3.  www.acr.org/Quality-Safety/Accreditation/Accredited-Facility-Search
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