It’s common for doctors to order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test when they want to see a specific area of a patient’s body from the inside. The test uses radio waves, powerful magnets, and a computer to create detailed images for the physician who ordered them. An MRI can be especially useful to diagnose conditions such as brain injury, spine injury, tendon tears, cartilage damage, or cancer. Doctors also look to MRI technology for monitoring healing and the effects of medication.
For as helpful as MRI scans are, they cause some patients anxiety due to the need to lie flat in a tube (otherwise referred to as a bore). The standard MRI can also be difficult for elderly people and those with mobility challenges to get on the table and lay still for the duration of the scan. American Health Imaging (AHI) understands these concerns, and we are happy to let you know that we offer the option to receive a stand-up MRI.
How a Stand-Up MRI Differs from a Standard or Open MRI
In response to patient complaints about feeling claustrophobic, some medical facilities that perform MRI studies begin offering an open MRI. This is similar to the standard MRI since it still requires patients to lie flat on their back or stomach depending on the specific area the referring physician wants scanned. The primary difference is that the sides of the MRI remain open to help prevent patients from feeling claustrophobic and anxious. Unfortunately, this still didn’t address the fact that it’s physically impossible for some patients to lie down for the MRI procedure.
With a stand-up MRI, you remain in a standing or seated position the entire time. Rather than have Velcro straps attached to you to prevent you from moving inside of a tube, a stand-up MRI features a slight tilt to automatically prevent movement that could interfere with the quality of images. Another benefit of opting for this type of imaging is that it tends to produce far less noise than a standard MRI machine.
Although the machine goes by the name of stand-up MRI, technologists can still obtain accurate images if the patient sits or bends over. This could be the ideal position for patients restricted to a wheelchair or people who struggle to get to their feet or maintain their balance when standing.
Save Money When You Get Your Stand-Up MRI from AHI
As an independent imaging center, AHI can save you up to 75 percent of the cost of receiving the same MRI study in a hospital. This is due to the high profits hospitals make with imaging services to off-set loses these hospitals can experience in other areas of their business. Additionally, most health insurance providers cover a stand-up MRI at the same rate as a standard or open MRI.
We encourage you to check with your insurance company to compare your out of pocket costs for an MRI at one of our imaging centers to the costs at a hospital owned imaging. We offer discount self-pay rates for patients with no insurance or whose provider won’t cover an MRI. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-674-2464 with additional questions, including how to get your doctor to write a referral for diagnostic imaging at American Health Imaging.