How Much Does a Knee MRI Cost?
A knee MRI will use magnets and radio waves to capture the images inside the knee area and its surrounding areas. Unlike an x-ray, an MRI won’t use any radiation. Once done, an MRI allows a doctor to view the soft tissues in your body, along with the bones. It can also provide detailed images such as the cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, ligaments and muscles.
How much does it cost?
- The price for a knee MRI varies largely on different factors. One of these factors is the location of the imaging center. However, the average cost of a knee MRI is approximately at $700 to $3,500 when done in a healthcare setting. This amount does not include the radiologist read and report, which may cost a few hundred dollars more depending on the specialists. This is a price range for those without any health insurance policy.
- According to healthcarebluebook.com, the cost for a knee MRI averages around $800. This listed price is inclusive already of the physician interpretation and technical imaging.
- Vhi.org stated that the average costs of a knee MRI scan together with the other services that may be included in the procedure as starting at $2000 and reaching as high as $3000. This, of course, includes the facility, radiologist and the physician.
- Some imaging centers may cost two or three times as much as other centers. The reason for this may be that the center specializes in MRI specifically or because their reputation is so high that people are willing to pay the extra amount.
- If you have a health insurance policy, you will be responsible for your deductible and co-pays. Since all policies vary, it is best to discuss this pricing with your health insurance provider.
What is going to be included?
- Prior to the knee MRI scan, the patient is asked to remove any metal attached in the body or in clothing. The MRI technologist will then position the patient to start the scan. The scan usually lasts for 30-60 minutes. However, it may take longer if the patient has trouble taking the test, such as claustrophobia or lying on a hard surface for that long. Breaks may need to be taken if this is the case.
- The payment a patient pays usually includes the total amount for both physician (interpretation) and technical (imaging) fees. There are times when the test will be billed in two parts.
What are the extra costs?
- Radiologist’s Fee. Professional radiologist that takes part in the services of MRI scan usually costs $250 on average.
- Contrast/Dye injection. 5%-10% of patients need a contrast solution, or special dye injected into the body. This is done to further enhance the scan. Depending on the specific solution the patient needs, he will likely pay about $100 -$300 extra.
- Anesthesia. If the patient is unable to take the test while awake, he may have to be sedated.
Factors that influence the price:
- According to RemakeHealth.com, MRI prices are based on the following factors:
- body part being examined
- need for contrast/dye injection
- done at hospital or outpatient imaging center
- local competition
Tips to know:
- If you have insurance you can use them to ask for the available in-network providers in your area that offer reasonable prices. If you do not have a policy, use services such as eHealthInsurance.com to find a policy.
- Always ask about the price before you go for an MRI scan. Compare quotes from different imaging centers and go for the one that offers reasonably cheaper price.
- Because of the nature of the MRI, there are many people who have a hard time with the test. If you have a hard time lying down on a hard surface for too long, your may not be able to undergo an MRI. If the loud noise of the machine will bother you, you may need to wear headphones or ear plugs.
- People who are claustrophobic will most likely not be able to have a traditional MRI done. However, in recent years, open MRIs have become an option. This type of MRI will have the same results but will be more comfortable for the patient. It may cost more than a traditional MRI.
How can I save money?
- Make sure that your health insurance will cover part of the costs (if not all) of the MRI scan. That way, you can lessen your expenses.
- As suggested by HealthCareBluebook.com, you should call providers and ask if they offer discounts for self-pay patients in case you do not have a health insurance. If they do offer discounts, ask what will be their price of the service. You may be able to get up to half off the price if you are able to pay cash up front.
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