About Your Appointment
All diagnostic imaging procedures such as an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound, Arthrogram or other advanced imaging should be ordered by your physician. Your physician’s office staff can assist you with your appointment or you can schedule your procedure directly with us. It is very important for you to keep your scheduled appointment. If an emergency prevents you from keeping it, please call the phone number that appears on the location where you are scheduled at least 24 hours prior to your appointment time, to cancel or reschedule. This simple step will prevent unnecessary delays for all of our patients.
Documents to bring to your appointment
You will be asked to arrive before your scheduled appointment to allow time for you to complete the necessary paperwork. You can complete the necessary screening form at home by selecting the appropriate forms listed on this page.
- Script/Order Form – this is the form completed by your physician ordering the exam for you.
- Insurance Cards – you will need to bring all current insurance cards on the date of service.
- Contact Information – Please bring all the contact information for the patient receiving the diagnostic procedure. A current driver’s license can serve as a form of identification to match with your physician’s orders.
- Payment – Payment is required at the time services are rendered if you do not have insurance. For patients with insurance, you will be required to pay any deductible or co-insurance dictated by your insurance plan at time of service. Our staff will call your insurance company to get the best estimate of what you will owe at the time of your procedure. Please remember this is just an estimate. The final payment owed will be determined after your insurance company processes your claim.
Learn about your diagnostic imaging exam
Knowing what to expect at your radiology appointment can ease concerns and help your diagnostic imaging procedure go smoothly. Please view the What to Expect tab for a detailed explanation of your imaging procedure.
Choose Your Exam:
What to Expect During Your MRI
Typically lasting 30 to 60 minutes, MRI exams require very little preparation. Your technologist will simply ask you to remove jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and they will help you lie comfortably on a cushioned table. That table will then slide into the circular MRI machine, where you’ll remain for the duration of the exam. As the technologist collects images, they’ll be able to see, hear and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you may have.
What is MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, pain-free diagnostic imaging technique that combines magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your body’s structures. While X-rays are typically used to view bones and joints, MRI is better suited for organs, muscles, and other soft tissues. Ultimately, being able to see detailed images of these tissues allows doctors to diagnose and monitor heart diseases, tumors, and a variety of internal injuries.
What are the advantages of MRI over other diagnostic imaging technologies?
While MRI exams cost more than CT scans and X-rays, they offer a few key advantages. Most importantly, they allow radiologists to spot slight abnormalities in soft tissues, which may indicate the presence of cancer, heart disease, and other serious conditions. Likewise, MRI helps doctors differentiate between healthy and unhealthy tissues.
In addition to its diagnostic benefits, MRI is a radiation-free imaging technique. This is a particularly important advantage for pregnant women and patients with compromised immune systems.
Why has my doctor ordered an MRI exam?
If your doctor has opted for MRI over CT or X-ray, you may be wondering why they have chosen the more expensive exam. Their reasoning will depend upon your specific condition, but generally, physicians order MRI when they need to spot fine details and differentiate between normal and abnormal soft tissues. These abnormalities may include tumors, cysts, and blood vessel obstructions, as well as aneurysms, spinal cord defects, and other nervous system disorders. Over the course of your treatment, your MRI could prove invaluable in making an accurate diagnosis and forming a proper treatment plan.
When should my doctor order an MRI exam?
Some conditions warrant MRI exams right away, but doctors usually order them after viewing the results of CT scans, X-rays or other imaging procedures. Given their higher costs, doctors, and insurers often want to exhaust other options first.
How is an MRI exam performed?
At the start of your MRI exam, your technologist will ask you to remove jewelry, belts, and other metal objects, and they will help you lie comfortably on a cushioned table. That table will then slide into the circular MRI machine, which contains the large magnet necessary to produce detailed images. As your technologist collects images, they’ll be able to see, hear, and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you may have.
To provide for maximum comfort during your exam, American Health Imaging has invested in MRI machines with large openings and slim profiles, which help to prevent feelings of claustrophobia. You won’t feel like you’re entering a narrow tunnel, and depending upon the area of your body being imaged, your head and feet may still be in the open.
What is “open” MRI?
“Open” MRI refers to a specific type of MRI machine with a non-confining opening beside or in front of the patent. During an open MRI exam, the patient sits or stands with magnets positioned to the side or above depending on the brand and model. Compared to traditional MRI, the extra unobstructed space allows for a more pleasant, less confined experience. If your physician has ordered an MRI exam, you may want to check whether an open MRI is an option for the type of imaging study you need.
Is MRI safe?
A painless, radiation-free imaging technique, MRI is completely safe for most patients. However, pregnant women are still advised not to undergo MRI exams. Given the powerful magnets involved, it’s also important to let your technologists know if you have any metal devices on or inside your body, including:
- Cardiac pacemakers
- Artificial heart valves
- Aneurysm clips
- Inner ear implants
- Intrauterine devices
- Permanent eyeliner
- Metal fragments
If a friend or family member is accompanying you to your exam, it’s likewise important to let your technologists know if they have any of these devices.
How do I schedule my MRI exam?
Once your doctor decides MRI is necessary for your diagnosis, their office will typically notify our staff and schedule your appointment for you. We will then verify your health insurance coverage and obtain any necessary pre-certifications. If you don’t have health insurance, or if you’re facing a high deductible, we also offer excellent self-pay rates.
If you want to schedule your appointment on your own, or if you need to change an appointment, you can also call one of our 24 convenient locations. We offer same-day, evening and weekend appointments to ensure your exam fits within your normal schedule.
How should I prepare for my MRI exam?
MRI exams require no special preparation. Eat and drink normally, and follow your prescribed medication dosing unless your doctor advises otherwise. Dress in loose, comfortable clothes with no metal snaps or zippers.
How long will my MRI exam take?
Most exams take just 20 to 60 minutes. However, more time may be required if you need to be sedated, if your exam requires the use of a contrast liquid, or if your doctor has ordered more than one set of images.
Can a friend or family member be the room with me during the exam?
In most cases, yes. However, it is important to advise our staff if your guest is pregnant or has any metallic objects on or inside their body.
Is it safe for patients with dental fillings or braces to have an MRI?
Yes. Your teeth and dental work will not be affected by the exam.
Can I drive home after my MRI exam?
Most patients do not require sedation and will be able to drive immediately following the exam. If you do require a sedative to relax, however, please arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home.
How long will it take for my doctor to get the results of my MRI exam?
Our radiologists review and interpret MRI exams as soon as the results are available. Within 24 hours, your physician will have a thorough written report, as well as copies of the images for their own inspection.
How much will my MRI cost?
Your total costs will depend upon the specific type of exam and the area being imaged. For instance, images of the brain and spinal cord tend to cost more than images of the abdomen and limbs.
MRI costs also vary widely by location. Hospitals and large outpatient facilities typically charge more than smaller, standalone clinics – far more, in some cases. These difference in price aren’t due to differences in quality, however, but different overhead costs. While hospitals must offer a wide variety of services 24 hours per day, dedicated imaging centers can efficiently offer more affordable exams.
To get a better idea of what your exam will cost – and what you might have to pay out-of-pocket – please use our free benefits checker.
How can I reduce my out-of-pocket costs?
Given rising healthcare costs, it only makes sense to shop for the most affordable care. At a typical hospital you can expect your MRI exam to cost between $2,000 and $3,500, and you may face multiple bills for a single visit.
Fortunately, dedicated imaging centers offer a quality alternative at a significantly lower price. At American Health Imaging, we offer the same exams for up to 75% less than hospitals and hospital-owned outpatient facilities. What’s more, you’ll only receive one easy-to-understand bill.
While our services are value-priced, our equipment and staff are top-of-the-line. By focusing only on diagnostic imaging, we’re able to hire specialized, expertly trained radiologists and invest in the newest, highest-quality MRI equipment. We also offer extra amenities you won’t find at hospitals, including curbside parking, same-day scheduling and next-day results.
Don’t pay more than you need to for your MRI. To save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, schedule your procedure at an American Health Imaging center today.
Scheduling an MRI Exam with American Health Imaging
American Health Imaging maintains 24 facilities in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance plans, and payment plans are available upon request. For patients who are uninsured or facing high deductibles, we also offer competitive self-pay rates.
To schedule your diagnostic imaging exam with AHI, contact one of our 24 conveniently located facilities today.
What to Expect During Your CT Scan
Even faster than MRI, CT scans take just 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll set aside jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and depending upon the body part being scanned, you may be asked to remove your normal clothing and wear a hospital gown.
Some types of CT scans also require a contrast dye, which may be given as a flavorless drink or quick, painless injection. This dye appears bright white on your final images, helping doctors to differentiate between different types of tissue. If your CT scan does require a