Same-day or next-day MRI and CT scans that cost up to one-third less are giving Michiana athletes, and all patients, a chance to get on the road to recovery sooner than later.
SOUTH BEND, IN — Traditionally, when a patient has a doctor’s order for an MRI or CT, the wait for an appointment takes up to two weeks. At the new ACR accredited Allied Imaging Center in University Commons, a patient can schedule a MRI, CT or X-Ray appointment online (if preferred) and expect to have the scan within 48 hours, and often the same or next day. Prior to scheduling, it is simple to use the online calculator to determine the exact cost of the service. Referring physicians receive the report within 24 hours.
We all know where that takes us – back to the gym, soccer field or on the road one to two weeks sooner.
“Active people don’t want to sit around for two weeks waiting to get a test,” said Allied Imaging Center Manager Dan Walter, R.T(R). What he and fellow technologist Don Mikesell, R.T.(R)(MR), say they appreciate most about the new facility structure is the time allowed to get to know the patients. Don and Dan each have been practicing in their fields as technologists for more than 22 years and welcomed the chance to develop a process that focuses on relaxing the patient and ultimately, obtaining better images. “We have the time to get to know people when they come in and then make them comfortable,” said Dan.
“This makes a big difference,” said Don. “It is scary enough for patients when they don’t know what is going on. Our administration allows us the time to sit down and explain the process of a CT or MRI (or X-ray), answer questions, and talk about what it will feel like, what noises they will hear and how long it will take. When we can make the patient comfortable and relaxed, we’ll get great images.”
We all do love a great picture, but most AIC patients also won’t deny that a cost savings of nearly one-third out-of-pocket also helps make them feel a little better. The online pricing calculator that generates the cost upfront has already attracted a regional reach for patients who know they can shop around for quick turn around and lower cost.
It is not uncommon for athletes with soft-tissue injuries to avoid the out-of-pocket expense of a scan. But few would argue the benefit of a scan to help pinpoint diagnoses, confirm treatment and thus, recovery more efficiently.
“For those debating whether or not to have a scan, we are extremely less expensive than hospitals and MRI centers,” Dan said. It is not uncommon to see a comparative difference from $900 at AIC to $3,000 elsewhere. “People don’t have the mindset that they can shop around, but they can, and everyone should, because AIC can also reduce co-pays,” Dan said.
For an athlete – or any patient – who doesn’t have time to waste and welcomes a more affordable option, AIC runs contrary to the idea of a get-what-you-pay-for service.
“This kind of personal service does take time, and that is why we have seen the industry move away from it over the years,” Dan said. “But the patient interaction is why Don and I went into the industry 23 years ago – and it is why we are excited to come back to it.”
To learn more or to check out the online cost calculator, visit the Allied Imaging Center website.