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Thread: Cheap MRI without a referall

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    veri is offline Senior Member
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    Default Cheap MRI without a referall

    a friend is in need of an MRI (no insurance) the doctor requires it but has not given him a referral. can you go to a stand alone mri clinic and get an mri done without some kind of prescription from the doctor?
    Are mri s cheaper in other states?
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    Quote Originally Posted by veri View Post
    a friend is in need of an MRI (no insurance) the doctor requires it but has not given him a referral. can you go to a stand alone mri clinic and get an mri done without some kind of prescription from the doctor?
    Are mri s cheaper in other states?
    No, MRI's are very expensive and have multiple people who are required to have them administered and reviewed. Also to note, an MRI will only "see" certain types of injuiries or problems. Its possible that whatever condition this person has wont be detected via MRI, therefore the doc wouldnt give a referral.

    Let me take a guess at the situation. Your friend went to a pain clinic, the doctor said sorry... cant do anything without an MRI, and the friend is now seeking an MRI so they can go back to the pain clinic to get the meds they want. Am i close?

    Btw.... An MRI would costs you out of pocket a couple thousand dollars. They arent cheap and arent just referred to any person who wants one.
    Helpful Lynx4, Carter, riverstyx Rated helpful

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    Yes a dr must refer the patient and the MRI should only target the area of concern.
    As for costs, if you look in the yellow pages for medical imaging companies in your area, you can call them and ask what the cost is for a certain MRI. Such as the lower spinal column. The cost varies depending on how much area is covered.
    I had called a local imaging company some yrs ago and told them I was a "self pay" patient and how much for a specific MRI. The cost was only $600.
    So cost can depend on the location of the MRI and some companies are cheaper than others. I think they will charge less for a self pay beacuse they don't have to file with paper work and they get their money up front.
    Helpful Lynx4, Carter, SpaceMatters, riverstyx Rated helpful

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    @Waitin hit it right on the head. The people who do the MRIs and read them must know the exact area they are scanning. If you walk in and say My back hurts, that's a huge area to scan. My last MRI said to scan the L5-S1 spinal area. That's an incredibly small area to scan. They truly need a script from the doctor so that they know the exact area to scan because they do a 360degree scan of that one area. By going all the way around it helps them see if the discs are straight or if the area between the discs have become depressed, etc.

    Can you tell us why the doctor wouldn't write a script for an MRI? Did he think it wasn't something that could be picked up with this type of Imaging? I've had either 6 or 7 MRIs now and it seems to be the first thing my doctors do. They are checking to see how much worse that area is getting over the years so they do one every 2-3 years on me.

    Good Luck. If a specialist won't write a script for the MRI perhaps a family doctor would. Then your friend can work with the Imaging place on payment. Some do payment plans and some want all the money up front.
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    There's a difference between a referral and a script, at least in my mind. One does not need a referral; one does need a script for the reasons @Lynx4 mentioned.

    @veri, do you have a script? If not, I would call the PM doc, talk to his nurse and ask for one.

    Also search on MRI as a thread. I started one and the first post is an article which talks about getting less expensive MRIs. The cost depends on the scope of the MRI and the place. I assume you have no insurance?

    MRIs out of pocket can run as low as $800. I think I read once, someone got one for $300.
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    veri is offline Senior Member
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    thanks for all the replies. as far as i know my friend injured his back and was in pain management, he has no insurance and just pays up front. they want a new up to date mri, but he did not get the script (he is saying referall) from them. i told him to call them but he is very out of it. his wife died last month and he is having a very very hard time dealing with everything (he needed this like a hole in the head!) so i thought i will ask the board. i did see cheaper mri s advertised on the internet just didnt know if you really could legitimately get mri s for about 600 dollars. my bf had an mri last month and i thought the bill said 12,000 dollars! (yes he has insurance) so i dont know if i was misreading that!
    Helpful riverstyx Rated helpful

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    MRI with contrast of my heart cost my insurance about 6k in June. That was in a hospital though.
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    @veri I am sorry for your friend's loss. I hope he will appreciate what you are trying to do for him. You said an "up-to-date" MRI....if your friend has had a previous MRI on the affected area of his back (Lynx4 is right...the back is a HUGE area), then there should be a MRI report somewhere in his medical files. They have to send you medical records upon request (sometimes there is a charge per page, so if he went to the doctor who received the MRI report for a long time, remembering what year it happened could save some money in getting the records you need.

    Once you have the copy of the MRI report, maybe then you could take it to a MRI imaging company directly. "shrugs" Can't see where it would hurt to ask. Or you could take that back to the doctor who would not give a script/referral (thanks @Fireplaces....I never really though about that there was a difference until you explained it--thanks. I completely understand the difference. ) and show them the prior MRI and talk to them again with the report to back you up in your hands.
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    Default My freind only paid $250 for her MRI

    I was going to get an MRI done a few years ago. My doctor of course told me who to go to. I then called them about the price and it was I beleive about $1,200. That I could not afford. My friend said if you get a doctors script for an MRI you can go anywhere. She said she found a place which was out of town about two hours away, but only paid $250. So, if you shop around you can certainly find them cheaper.

    I would not get an MRI from the one your doctor recommends for they probably get a commision for sending you there. That was my thought when I heard She only paid $250. I wish I had looked around, but people kept telling me that they are a $1000 or more. THEY WERE WRONG AND SO WAS I FOR LISTENING TO THEM BECAUSE I QUITE LOOKING AFTER THAT. I still have some pain and had to settle for a cortizone shot. I have had two shots one worked for about 3 months and the other for about 3-6 months. I have had not had one now in two years and my back hurts when I move or bend the wrong way.

    Soooo please do look for cheaper MRI's you will find them out there!!!!
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    deadhorse is offline Honorable Member
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    good luck our medical system is all about profit- not healing patients insurance is a joke
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadhorse View Post
    good luck our medical system is all about profit- not healing patients insurance is a joke
    I disagree

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    Ok @Mob, I'll bite. Why don't you agree w/@deadhorse. I do agree w/him.

    Pain mgt docs do unnecessary expensive painful procedures b4 they will script meds, coz of fear of LE or to make $.

    Docs are barely allowed to spend 20 minutes talking to their patients due to insurance requirements. If the docs spent more time w/the patients, maybe they could actually figure out what the issues are, instead of reluctantly scripting us meds, coz it the only thing WE CAN GET out of the medical system that helps.

    Doctors - hate them sometimes.

    My doctors is a pay per year doc, no insurance but I get to spend lots of time talking to her. She I like.

    Other docs not so much. I trust none of them. Always get 2nd and 3rd appnts b4 any serious procedure/surgery.

    That's my perspective. What's yours?
    Helpful riverstyx, appplehead1234 Rated helpful
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    i am almost sure you need a script from dr to get an mri when using insurance.without insurance i am not sure.i just had one 6 months ago and i needed a script to have it done.as others have said the price is based on what part of the body you have done.the mri i had done on my lower back was $2200.

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