Things to Look for in a Freestanding Imaging Center
A frequently overlooked fact about imaging exams, such as MRIs and CT scans, is that you can choose where to go. It may not always seem like it, especially if your medical provider—likely in a well-meaning effort to save you a step—makes a referral for you. But ultimately, the choice of imaging destination is yours. Freestanding imaging centers can be more affordable, convenient and technologically advanced than hospital imaging centers, but they don’t all possess the same capabilities or expertise. Here, Kedrick Green, regional sales manager at American Health Imaging, shares six things to look for in a freestanding imaging center, so you can make an informed choice about where to go for radiology services.
Imaging technology has evolved significantly in recent years and continues to change, so it’s important to choose an imaging facility that’s keeping pace. This helps ensure your exam is as accurate as possible.“I tell my family that inquiring about a facility’s technology should be top of mind,” Green says. “For example, a 1.5 Tesla MRI unit is the industry standard, but there is old technology in that class of MRI. Some scanners manufactured in 2005 still have the ability to operate. You want to make sure a facility’s technology is current, and at AHI, ours is. We have the latest and greatest
Choosing a freestanding facility for imaging can come with major cost savings. At AHI, for example, contracted rates and patient responsibilities are, on average, significantly less than hospital imaging centers—up to 75% less, in some cases.
3. Price Transparency
“Ask what your exam will cost before you have it,” Green advises. “At AHI, we strive to ensure every patient who comes through our doors is aware of what their responsibility will be upfront.”
4. Subspecialty Radiology Expertise
If you’re undergoing an MRI, CT or another imaging exam of a particular organ or body part, it’s important for a radiologist with additional training in that field to read your images and create a report to send to your referring physician. Board-certified, subspecialty radiologists with expertise in a variety of fields, including neuroradiology and musculoskeletal imaging will read your images.*
Accreditation from national organizations demonstrates an imaging facility’s ongoing commitment to quality and up-to-date technology. AHI is accredited by the American College of Radiology
and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission
AHI has multiple locations in the communities we serve, and many offer evening and weekend appointments so imaging can fit your schedule rather than vice versa. We pledge to submit the results of imaging exams to referring providers within 24 hours for most services.“We do a lot of work on the front end for our patients so they can have as smooth an experience as possible,” Green says. “That includes verifying benefits, pre-certifying services, confirming appointments, notifying patients about cost upfront and educating them about what to expect during their exams. We want every patient to have a great experience, high-quality imaging and excellent interpretation at an affordable price.”
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