Magnetic Resonance Imaging, abbreviated as MRI, is a test that relies on radio waves, magnets and a computer program to provide detailed images of internal body organs. Doctors turn to MRI tests to diagnose diseases or injury as well as to gauge how well a patient is responding to treatment. The test can be performed on different parts of the body from the brain to the chest, not forgetting the spine, neck, pelvis, and limbs. Unfortunately, MRI scans don’t come cheap and rank high in the list of the most costly hospital procedures.
Interesting stats about MRI test cost
The average cost of an MRI in the United States ranges from $400 and $3500. In other parts of the world, these figures could be double or triple depending on the availability of equipment. Generally, two components make up the MRI test charge. The first is the technical aspect, which revolves around usage of the facility and the second being the professional diagnosis from the radiologist who examines the test results. With that said, it’s essential we understand the factors that determine how much you pay for an MRI scan.
Factors affecting MRI fees
Generally, four factors influence the cost of MRI services, and these are location, nature of the facility, type of test and insurance status. When it comes to matters location, where you live as in the region, country and city will determine how much you pay for MRI services. People residing in rural areas and regions with few facilities will pay more than their city counterparts where such facilities are in plenty.
Next is the nature of your insurance policy. MRI fees do vary between insurance providers, but the underlying fact is that insured patients pay less than uninsured patients. Uninsured patients will have to foot the total cost of the MRI service as an out of pocket expense. On the other hand, insured patients do share the payment responsibility with their insurers. However, the price payable will ultimately depend on the terms of your insurance plan.
When it comes to the nature of the facility, inpatient and outpatient facilities charge different rates. MRI tests done in inpatient facilities such as hospitals cost far more than those done in outpatient centers. Reason being, inpatient facilities cost more to run than outpatient centers. The average cost of an MRI test at an outpatient center is roughly $700 while the same procedure at an inpatient facility is $2300. Finally, MRI test costs depend on the body part being examined. Brain scans will cost more than say a leg scan.