How Much Does an MRI Cost?

September 11, 2017 – 3 min read

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If your doctor has told you that you need an MRI, you’re probably wondering “how much does an MRI cost?” These procedures can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, but the good news is that they are often covered by insurance, and even if you don’t have coverage, there are lots of effective ways to save money on MRIs.


Why Does an MRI Cost So Much?

When most people hear about how much an MRI costs, they immediately wonder why. The answer is simple—the equipment to perform an MRI is extremely expensive. In fact, it costs well over a million dollars. Additionally, it costs a lot to service and maintain that equipment.

Specialists upgrade MRI equipment on a regular basis. That ensures that the equipment has the latest technology to create the highest quality images. Ultimately, all of that helps you get the best results for your healthcare needs.


What Costs Are Involved in an MRI?

In addition to the expenses listed above, the cost of an MRI also involves other expenses. That can include the cost of the ink, the cost of specialists to read the image, and administrative costs.


Does the MRI Cost Vary Based on the Body Part Being Imaged?

An MRI cost can vary a lot depending on the body part being imaged. A part that’s relatively straightforward like a knee joint generally has a lower price tag. For instance, the cost of a knee MRI can be as low as $700. In contrast, a spinal MRI may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, and that depends on where the image is being taken.


Does Location Affect MRI Cost?

Where you get your MRI can also affect its cost. In most cases, it’s less expensive to get an MRI at a stonealone clinic that focuses on imaging, and it’s more expensive to get an MRI at a hospital. Hospitals have more overhead than clinics, and that all tends to get rolled into the price.

It’s also important to note that if the hospital has an emergency room, that can drive up the cost. Emergency rooms are obligated to treat patients regardless of whether or not they have insurance, and when patients don’t have coverage, the hospital generally just loses those funds. Ultimately, that has to get absorbed by the other departments at the hospital.

In contrast, standalone clinics generally only see people with insurance or who can afford to pay out of pocket. As a result, these facilities don’t have to inflate their costs to cover patients who are unable to pay their bills. If you want to save money on your MRI cost, you may want to go to a standalone clinic rather than a hospital.

You may also want to do some comparison shopping and look for a facility that is willing to offer cash discounts or payment plans.


How Much Will My MRI Cost?

If your doctor has advised you to get an MRI, the best thing to do is to follow those orders and get the images as soon as possible. That can be key to safeguarding your health.

However, you don’t want to ruin your budget in the process. You have a choice. Diagnostic imaging costs significantly less at American Health Imaging than at hospitals and hospital-owned outpatient facilities. Compare costs to get the best rates and highest-quality care. Click here to begin.