How Much Does an MRA Cost?
A MRA, or Magnetic Resonance Angiography, is a non-invasive medical test that provides a detailed image of blood vessels and how they function in different areas in the body. MRA is a type of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test, which analyzes the anatomy of internal organs. A MRA is also used to examine blood flow and circulation and is typically used to detect conditions like aneurysms, atherosclerosis, dissection, vasculitis, congenital malformations, and in preoperative planning.
How much does it cost?
- Depending on the geographical location, the area of the body and if you have health insurance or not, the costs of an MRA will average anywhere from as low as $600 to as much as $5,500.
- If you do have a health insurance policy, most policies will cover it. Be sure to check with your policy to learn more about your deductibles and co-pays. If you are in need of a new health insurance policy or maybe you want to shop for a new one, consider large insurance comparison websites such as eHealthInsurance.com.
- According to NewChoiceHealth.com, the cost averages for MRA in different locations in the country range from $3,100 to $3,800. The specific MRA procedures and their national cots averages are as follows:
- MRA Brain Cost Average – $3,200
- MRA Angiography Neck (MRA MRI Neck) Cost Average – $3,400
- Chest MRI (Angiography) Cost Average – $3,800
- MRA of Abdomen Cost Average – $4,300
- MRA of Pelvis Cost Average – $4,400
- MRI of Lower Extremity Cost Average – $6,300
- At The Imaging Center in Stow, Ohio, an MRA procedure without contrast costs $600 while an MRA with contrast costs $750. These rates are for patients without insurance. Half payment is required at the time of the service, with the balance to be paid in monthly installments arranged in advance. The rate is reduced by $100 for patients who pay for the procedure in full at the time of service.
- At Great Lakes Medical Imaging in Canada, the diagnostic imaging services and fees for an MRI/MRA without contrast (any region) is $450. An MRI/MRA with contrast (any region excluding breast) costs $550. The costs will vary depending on the exam required.
What is going to be included?
- A MRA is a painless process that does not entail the use of radiation. During this procedure, the patient is positioned on an MRI table. The technologist places a receiving coil on the area of the body in which the blood vessels are located. The table is then positioned inside the MRI machine and the exam is completed. The procedure can take about 15 to 90 minutes to finish, depending on the vessels being examined.
What are the extra costs?
- In some cases, a patient will be injected with an iron solution, particularly if the MRA exam is ordered with contrast.
- Some facilities will require patients who work around metal to undergo X-rays of their eyes, the cost of which depends on the facility where the X-ray tests will be obtained.
- Claustrophobic individuals can request to be injected with a type of medication that can help them relax while placed inside the MRI examination table. The cost of the injection depends on what solution is used.
- At some diagnostic imaging facilities, urgent requests for MRA testing are accommodated and may be charged extra, depending on the facility.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location. This plays a big factor in the overall cost of an MRA procedure. The cost for medical imaging tests such as this varies widely across geographic regions. For example, data from NewChoiceHealth.com shows that the cost average of the procedure in Phoenix, AZ is $3,100 while in New York, NY, it is $3,800.
- Facility. The facility where the MRA procedure is done can significantly affect the overall cost of the test. As an example, NewChoiceHealth.com data shows that MRA done in the Northwestern Medical Imaging, a diagnostic testing facility, costs $1,800 while at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the cost of an MRA procedure is $3,300.
- Fees. The overall cost of an MRA procedure is also affected by the fees charged by a facility. In hospitals, for example, radiologist fees are charged separately, whereas in some diagnostic imaging facilities, the said fee is already included in the radiologist reading fees. Also, medical centers charge for the use of their equipment. This is the reason that there can be a big difference between the rates offered by hospitals and diagnostic imaging facilities.
Tips to know:
- Since the procedure involves being scanned by a magnet, patients will need to inform the facility beforehand if they have metal implants, dental bridges, pacemakers, aneurysm clips, tattoos, and and history of foreign body in the eyes. Claustrophobic people also need to inform the staff about their condition.
- Many imaging tests are covered by insurance. Be sure to discuss the associated fees with your doctor or medical facility to find out how much your insurance provider will cover and the possible charges that you will be obligated to pay.
- Medical imaging has been found to save money in the long run. Research discovered that every $1 spent on inpatient imaging correlates to about $3 in total savings. Harvard Medical School researchers revealed that every $385 spent on imaging reduces a patient’s chances of staying in the hospital by one day, which saves around $3,000 per patient.
- Ask if the facility accepts insurance coverage. Some imaging facilities accept workers’ compensation and personal injury liens.
How can I save money?
- Check with diagnostic testing facilities that offer outpatient imaging services in your area. Ask about the rates they require for an MRA procedure. They usually offer more affordable rates compared with hospital.
- Use a medical imaging cost estimator to acquire information on the cost of imaging services in a given geographic location.
- Find facilities that offer low rates for self-pay patients. They usually offer considerably discounted rates.