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    The information contained on the RemakeHealth website and its blog is provided for your general information only. RemakeHealth does not give medical advice or engage in the practice of medicine. RemakeHealth under no circumstances recommends a particular treatment or test for specific individuals and in all cases recommends that you consult your physician before pursuing any course of treatment or test.

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    What does an MRI of the Hips show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Thu, Sep 24, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    mri hipsMRI scans are frequently used to evaluate the internal structures of the hip joints. A variety of trends have increased the use of MRI in evaluating joints - more sports activity, increase in obesity rates, and we've remained much more active into our later years than previous generations.

    If you've injured your hips or have chronic hip pain, your doctor will probably first order an x-ray. After an x-ray, an MRI may be needed to evaluate the internal structures of the hip. On your doctor's order for the MRI you might see:

    "r/o internal derangement" -  internal derangement is a general term referring to any type of injury/damage to the internal structures of the hip. The labrum (a ring of cartilage in the hip joint) can be torn or frayed, causing pain or clicking.

    "r/o fracture"- some hip fractures are not seen on x-rays and may only show up on an MRI. MRI is very good at picking up "edema" or swelling in the bone.

    "r/o djd" - djd is short for degenerative joint disease. These are changes in the bone, labrum, and cartilage of the hip that can occur as we age or after an old injury to the hip.

    (FYI - "r/o" is short for "rule out")

    An MRI of the hips will evaluate:

    Bones

    A hip MRI will include parts of the upper femur, acetabulum (groove for the femur in the pelvis) and nearby pelvic bones. The hip MRI can detect bone bruises, fractures, cysts, tumors, infection and dislocations. An MRI can also determine the extent of arthritis and help in pre-operative planning.

    Cartilage

    Hip MRIs are very good at looking at the cartilage and labrum (a ring of cartilage) in your hips. MRI can detect fraying (like frayed edges of jeans), fissuring (cracks, similar to a dry river bed), and defects (the cartilage is missing). Damaged cartilage or injury to the labrum can lead to arthritis. Some hip MRIs are done with a direct injection of contrast material into the joint to get a detailed look at the cartilage and labrum.

    Tendons and Ligaments

    Your hip has many nearby tendons and ligaments that help with motion and stabilize the joint. Any of these can be injured and may only be detected on MRI.

    Soft Tissues

    This refers to the muscles and tissues around your hips. A hip MRI scan will show parts of the thigh muscles and muscles of the buttocks area. MRI can detect muscle tears, strains, tumors and infection.

    Your Hip MRI Scan

    A standard hip MRI generally takes about 20 minutes or so to complete. If you are going for one, wear loose comfortable clothing and remember to remove all metal (jewelry, phones, rings, etc) before going into the MRI scan room. If you're insured, you may need to have your test authorized (approved) by your insurance company first. If you're uninsured and need to look up prices and buy an MRI scan of the hip, you can use our website. Click here to see MRI scan costs.

    Have you had a Hip MRI scan? What was it like? Please leave your comments below.

    55 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does an MRI of the IACs (IAMs) show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Tue, Sep 22, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    mri iac iamMRI scans are frequently used to evaluate the internal structures of the brain. IAC MRIs are a type of Brain MRI that is used to evaluate the structures of the Internal Auditory Canal - IAC (aka Internal Auditory Meatus - IAM).

    The IAC contains among other structures the 8th cranial nerve. This is a large nerve that conducts hearing and balance signals from your inner ear structures. This nerve can become damaged, inflamed or give rise to a tumor commonly called an "acoustic neuroma." Most IAC MRIs are ordered to rule out an acoustic neuroma in patients who are experiencing dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, fullness, for example. Although these tumors are slow growing and generally benign, they are close to vital structures in the brain and can be difficult to treat.

    An MRI of the IACs is done with MRI dye. The dye helps detect small tumors and subtle inflammation that a non-contrast MRI may miss.

    IAC MRIs also include the cerebellum, brainstem, vessels of the back of the brain and other nearby structures. Some IAC MRI protocols also include a few scans of the entire brain.

    Your MRI IAC Scan

    An MRI of the IACs generally takes about 30-40 minutes or so to complete. If you are going for one, wear loose comfortable clothing and remember to remove all metal (jewelry, phones, rings, etc) before going into the MRI scan room.

    This test will be done with IV MRI contrast. The first part of the test is done without contrast. Then the scan is paused and the table on which you are lying will be pulled out (remember don't move!). The technologist will then inject the IV dye and return the table into the tube for the remainder of the scan.

    If you're insured, you may need to have your test authorized (approved) by your insurance company first. If you're uninsured and need to look up prices and buy an MRI scan of the IACs (IAMs), you can use our website to look up MRI scan costs and then purchase with your credit card.

    Have you had an MRI of IACs scan? What was it like? Please leave your comments below.

    32 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    RemakeHealth achieves HON certification

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Mon, Jun 29, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    When we first launched our site we knew that gaining the trust and confidence of health care consumers would be an important on-going task. Having relevant, meaningful blog posts and keeping the site safe and secure have always been a top priority. One of the key leading certifications for health care websites is offered by the Health on the Net Foundation, based in Geneva Switzerland:

    The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) promotes and guides the deployment of useful and reliable online health information, and its appropriate and efficient use. Created in 1995, HON is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. For twelve years, HON has focused on the essential question of the provision of health information to citizens, information that respects ethical standards. To cope with the unprecedented volume of health care information available on the Net, the HONcode of conduct offers a multi-stakeholder consensus on standards to protect citizens from misleading health information.

    We recently received HON certification after satisfying all of the requirements of the HON code of ethics and principles. We're excited to announce our achievement and will display the HON code throughout our site. Of course, we won't stop here. We'll continue to look hard at our site and look for ways to grow your trust and confidence in us and make shopping for Radiology tests such as MRI scans, CT scans, Ultrasounds, X-rays easy and safe.

    This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
    verify here.


    0 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    Adding nearly 600 more Radiology centers to RemakeHealth

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Sat, Jun 27, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    We're adding nearly 600 additional Radiology centers throughout the U.S to our site over the next few weeks. It is a monumental task so please pardon our mess as we upgrade and clean up bugs!

    You'll be able to shop and buy your Radiology tests from over 1500 imaging facilities. Each Radiology facility is accredited by the ACR, features American Board of Radiology certified Radiologists and has undergone a rigorous selection process.

    Are there any other states or facilities you'd like us to add? Please leave your suggestions below:

    0 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    Adding 150 Radiology facilities from 12 more states to RemakeHealth

    Posted by John Holden on Mon, Jun 08, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    We're adding 150 Radiology centers from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Washington DC over the next several days to our site. Please pardon our mess as we upgrade and clean up bugs!

    You'll be able to shop and buy your Radiology tests from these facilities. As with our other Radiology facilities each is accredited by the ACR, features American Board of Radiology certified Radiologists and has undergone a rigorous selection process.

    Are there any other states or facilities you'd like us to add? Please leave your suggestions below:

    2 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does an MRI Scan of the Knee show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Thu, Feb 26, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    knee mri scan pictureMRI scans are frequently used to evaluate the internal structures of the knee (you can read more about MRI here). A variety of trends have increased the use of MRI in evaluating joints - more sports activity, increase in obesity rates, and we've remained much more active into our later years than previous generations.

    If you've injured your knee or have chronic knee pain, your doctor will probably first order an x-ray. After an x-ray, an MRI may be needed to evaluate the internal structures of the knee. On your doctor's order for the MRI you might see:

    "r/o internal derangement" -  internal derangement is a general term referring to any type of injury/damage to the internal structures of the knee.

    "r/o ACL tear"- ACL refers to the anterior cruciate ligament. It is an important stabilizing ligament of the knee and is frequently damaged in twisting injuries.

    "r/o meniscus tear" - the meniscus (you have two per knee) is a disc-like structure that acts like a shock absorber between your femur (upper thigh bone) and the tibia (lower leg bone). These are the two bones that make up much of the knee joint.

    (FYI - "r/o" is short for "rule out")

    An MRI of the knee will evaluate:

    Bones

    A knee MRI will include parts of the lower femur, upper tibia, upper fibula and the patella. The knee MRI can detect bone bruises, fractures, cysts, tumors, infection and dislocations. An MRI can also determine the extent of arthritis and assist in pre-operative planning.

    Cartilage

    Knee MRIs are very good at looking at the cartilage of your knee. MRI can detect cartilage fraying (like frayed edges of jeans), fissuring (cracks, similar to a dry river bed), and defects (the cartilage is missing). Damaged cartilage can lead to arthritis.

    Tendons and Ligaments

    Your knee has a complex set of tendons and ligaments that an MRI can evaluate. In addition to the ACL, it can look for injury to the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), medial and lateral collateral ligaments, the quadriceps and patellar tendons, popliteus tendon, among others. Any of these tendons and ligaments can be injured and the injury may only be seen on MRI.

    Meniscus

    Each knee has two menisci (medial and lateral). MRI is quite good at looking for injury to these structures. Mensicus injuries include partial or complete tears and meniscal degeneration. Sometimes an MRI is ordered to look at re-injury even after you've had mensical surgery for a previous tear.

    Soft Tissues

    This refers to the muscles and tissues around your knee. A knee MRI scan will show parts of the thigh muscles and muscles of the upper calf area. The MRI can detect muscle tears, strains, tumors and infection. It can also detect a common fluid collection called a "Bakers' cyst". This is a joint fluid collection that can cause pain at the back of the knee.

    Your Knee MRI Scan

    A knee MRI generally takes about 20 minutes or so to complete. If you are going for one, wear loose comfortable clothing and remember to remove all metal (jewelry, phones, rings, etc) before going into the MRI scan room. If you're insured, you may need to have your test authorized (approved) by your insurance company first. If you're uninsured and need to look up prices and buy an MRI scan of the knee, you can use our website. Click here to see MRI scan costs.

    Have you had a Knee MRI scan? What was it like? Please leave your comments below.

    118 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    MRI Scan Costs Featured Here

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Wed, Feb 04, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    We have some very exciting news to share with you. We have made changes to our site and have expanded how we feature real prices and costs of MRI scans, CT scans, Ultrasounds, PET scans and more.

    This will give healthcare consumers an online tool to look up out of pocket costs, self pay prices, learn more about Radiology tests, research local imaging centers, get office hours...and buy the test. That's right, you'll be able to buy your doctor ordered MRI scan directly on our site.  You can see MRI scan, CT scan, Ultrasound prices and more here.

    You'll see some changes here at the blog and then across the rest of the site in the upcoming weeks. So please pardon our mess (and the bugs)!

    Update --

    We're now listing Radiology costs for over 400 outpatient centers in California and New York. Check out prices and more here.

     

    0 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    How much does an MRI scan cost?

    Posted by John Holden on Sun, Jan 04, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    gold coinsMRI scans are frequently ordered by doctors to look for and follow a variety of diseases. Over 26 million MRI scans are done every year at a cost of $18 billon. Although insurance covers most of the cost, with the growth of high deductible plans, higher copays, and catastrophe-only coverage, U.S. patients are increasingly paying more out of pocket for their medical care. And over 47 million uninsured people are faced with the full cost of an MRI if they need one.

    MRI prices are based on a number of factors:

    • body part being examined
    • need for contrast/dye injection
    • done at hospital or outpatient imaging center
    • local competition

    We decided to check our local MRI prices.

    We called 5 hospitals and 5 outpatient imaging centers in our area asking for the full price for an MRI of the Brain with dye. Two hospitals were unable to give us the price (didn't know!) and one outpatient center refused to divulge its cash prices over the phone. 

    MRI Price Range

    • Hospitals (3) - $1750 to $2200
    • Outpatient Imaging Centers (4) - $700-$1000

    We did not try to negotiate these prices during the first call. We called back and asked for a discount. Results:

    Negotiated MRI Prices

    Hospitals

    • Hospital 1 offered a 10% discount if paid in full
    • Hospital 2 offered to split payments in half
    • Hospital 3 asked us to "come to the Radiology department"

    Outpatient Centers

    • Outpatient center 1 refused to discount (price was $900)
    • Outpatient center 2 told us the "manager had to approve any discounts". We left a message but didn't hear back.
    • Outpatient center 3 gave us a 20% discount, reducing the price of the test from $1000 to $800.
    • Outpatient center 4 offered to give us a discount but only if we faxed in the doctor's order. 

    We got this price information and discounts but it took us some time:

    • Calls were made over a 3 day period
    • A total of 25 phone calls were made
    • We spent about 3 hours on the phone

    Decidedly non-scientific but very revealing. Getting prices for healthcare services can be daunting and bargaining for prices even harder. Fortunately there are websites (like ours) that are working hard to make prices easy to find and help you understand what you're paying for.

    FYI: You can look up our prices for MRI scans here.

    Have you tried shopping for an MRI? How much did you pay? Did ask for and get a discount? Leave your comments below.

    85 Comments Click here to read/write comments

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