Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is meant for use under a medical practitioner’s supervision, this means that in order for a patient to be screened using an MRI, they need to have a medical order.
A medical order is a written or electronic order by a medical practitioner or their authorized agent for the administration of a drug or device.
The best way to get an MRI is to talk to your physician about a referral. At freestanding imaging centers and whole-body MRI providers (like ezra), clinicians might be able to write a medical order for you.
Read on to learn more about what an MRI is, why a physician might order one, and everything you need to know about whether it’s possible to get an MRI without a referral.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses magnetic fields and computer-generated radio waves to form images of your organs and tissues that aid in the diagnostic process. It is a noninvasive process to examine organs, tissues, and the skeletal system for any abnormalities.
Usually, MRI machines, or “MRI scanners,” are large and tubelike. As the patient lies on their back inside the MRI machine, the magnetic wave realigns water molecules inside the body, preparing them to produce faint signals in response to radio waves. From those faint signals, the MRI generates cross-sectional images of your body, or in some cases, 3D images that can be rotated around and viewed from different angles on a screen.
Most MRIs are performed on the brain and spinal cords, although your doctor may recommend a diagnostic imaging test for other areas of the body such as the heart, spleen, or pancreas.
MRI tests are relatively low-risk, the main precautions being the presence of metal in a patient’s body (as that may cause further complications), claustrophobia, and pregnancy-related concerns.
MRI tests are often used for disease detection, diagnosis, and post-treatment monitoring, making them a helpful tool for medical professionals when treating patients.
Doctors might recommend an MRI scan if there’s a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan that they may want to visualize further.
Here are just a few different reasons and areas a doctor might recommend an MRI for
The best way to get an MRI scan without a doctor’s referral is to contact private screening clinics (also known as free-standing radiology clinics) and schedule a private MRI screening.
The price range of an MRI scan begins at a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars.
In the US, the average costs of an MRI for common scans are listed as such:
Factors that impact the cost of an MRI include whether or not a contrast dye is needed, which body parts are being examined, and whether your private health insurance plan or Medicare will cover the procedure.
Hospitals and emergency care units bear enormous overhead costs for providing medical care, while clinics and imaging centers need to support costly maintenance and administration. These factors make MRI scans more expensive for patients.
If not ordered by a health professional, an MRI scan may not be covered by your health insurance plan. You may decide to call your insurance company to determine how their insurance policy would impact the final out-of-pocket cost for an MRI.
An elective or uninsured MRI visit would probably mean that you’ll be paying the total cost of the screening.
Ezra provides a full-body MRI screening of up to 13 organs and does not require a doctor’s referral. Our medical team prepares the required medical order for each member.
While we do not require a physician’s referral for an ezra screening, our medical team does require each member to fill out a medical questionnaire before their screening appointment, as well as provide any information necessary to fill out a medical order. Depending on your medical history, you may also be asked to schedule an initial consultation with one of our medical providers to ensure that the screening is safe for you.
We also offer multi-year plans for those who wish to receive full-body MRI scans every year, thus preventing diseases before they happen.
Members interested in scheduling repeat screenings may sign up for ezra’s multi-year plans.
Ezra partners with existing state-of-the-art radiology centers to maximize MRI machine usage and minimize maintenance and administrative costs, making the screenings more affordable.
As a medical professional, partnering with ezra allows you to refer patients for preventive screenings quickly and at no cost to your practice.
Our Hub platform lets you invite patients to schedule appointments with our partner imaging facilities. Within seven days of the patient’s screening, your patient’s ezra report will be accessible within your ezra dashboard
Yes, getting an MRI scan without a doctor’s referral is possible. While your doctor is your primary care provider, you can stay in control of your health care by eating healthy, exercising, and keeping up with your annual health screenings.
At ezra, booking your full-body MRI screening is easy.