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    I have insurance. Where can I get an MRI?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Tue, Oct 14, 2008

    If you’re insured, your insurance plan has a list of Radiology centers that are contracted to provide medical imaging services. Unfortunately, these can be hard to get and insurance plan lists are usually outdated. Your doctor’s office will generally know which local Radiology centers or hospitals accept which insurance plans. But this can be hard for a doctor’s office to keep track since there are so many different plans! Your chosen Radiology facility should ask for your insurance plan info in advance and ensure that it is contracted to do the MRI test. You can also do a quick look up using our Radiology Search tool (if you can’t find a facility near you, please let us know!).

    What should I look for when choosing a Radiology center?

    Depending on what you consider convenient, you’ll probably want to know about the Radiology center’s office hours, accepted insurance plans, and parking. A comfortable lobby, private check in, and easy access to restrooms are also some “features” to look for in a Radiology center. Helpful staff, feedback forms, and friendly technicians (who operate the machines) are a must. Not surprisingly, most people seem to rate their medical experiences based on these “customer service” factors.

    Also look for ACR accreditation.  The American College of Radiology (ACR) has a review process that checks qualifications and image quality of the Radiology facility. Once accredited, facilities can display the ACR seal.  Check out Quest Imaging of Bakersfield, CA for sample ACR seals.

    Not all Radiology facilities have the equipment to do every type of MRI, so be sure to ask if their machine can do your particular MRI test.

    What is my doctor looking for in a Radiology center?

    I’ve found that doctors like (in no particular order):

    • Quick report turnaround
    • Flexible scheduling for their patients
    • Be able to reach the interpreting physician Radiologist
    • Facility features state-of-the-art equipment
    • Online access to Radiology images
    • Copy of images on a CD or film
    • Reasonable cash prices for their uninsured patients.
    How did you choose your Radiology facility? Did your doctor tell you where to go? Did you visit your insurance plan’s website? Leave your comments below.

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