Frequently Asked Questions
What is an "Open" MRI?
An "Open" MRI is exactly as it sounds. An alternative to the traditional "tube" shape of an MRI, Open MRIs perform the same function without the tube. The shape of the Open MRI helps with patient comfort, especially for those who have anxiety, claustrophobia, or are oversized. The weight limit of our machines is 450 lbs, and one of our sites has a weight limit of 550 lbs.
How do I schedule an appointment?
To schedule an MRI appointment, you need to have a prescription from a medical professional. Once you have your prescription, you can either call one of our locations, or request an appointment via our website on the Appointments page. Make sure that before you go to schedule, you have the prescription ready, as well as your insurance or claim information.
Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?
Yes, you need to bring with you the prescription from your doctor, a photo ID, and your personal health insurance card. If you would like to bring a change of clothes so that you do not have to wear a gown, we do have changing rooms available with cabinets that you can lock. If you prefer to leave valuables at home, please do so.
Should I arrive early to fill out paperwork?
We know that paperwork at medical offices can be irritating, so we do our best to limit the amount of paperwork you have to fill out. You will only be asked to fill out 2 forms: a screening form to ensure that you can safely have your scan done, and a release form to allow us to share your information with your doctor, your insurance company, and your attorney (if applicable). With that said, you should arrive 10-15 minutes early for your appointment.
Is my insurance accepted by Open MRI Centers?
All five Open MRI locations are in network with all major insurance carriers in the area. If you are unsure, feel free to give us a call.
Can I use a Motor Vehicle Accident claim, Personal Injury claim, or Worker's Compensation claim?
Yes! Open MRI Centers are happy to accept claims for Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury, or Worker's Compensation. If you have a claim, be sure to have your claim number and attorney information available when you call.
What if I don't have health insurance, or my insurance has a high deductible?
Open MRI Centers offers an industry leading self-pay rate of $350.00 per MRI. If you do not have health insurance or choose to go outside of your health insurance,
Is there any reason why I shouldn't have an MRI?
MRI machines are essentially a large magnet. It does not use radiation, but because it is a magnetic field, there are certain reasons why someone would not be able to have a scan done. Please make sure that you make the technologist aware if you have any of the following:
Foreign Metal objects in eye, or removed from eye
If you have ever been a sheet metal worker or machinist
Shrapnel, bullets, or bullet wounds
Intrauterine devices (IUD)
You MAY NOT have the scan done if you have any of the following:
Pacemaker (if you have one that says MRI Compatible, you must go to a "high-field" MRI)
Ferrous intracranial aneurysm clips
Implanted drug infusion device
Is there any risk?
Unlike CT Scan, X-Ray, or PET Imaging, all MRI machines are radiation-free. There is no radiation exposure at all. However, because it is a powerful magnet, there can be risk if you have any of the following:
Cardiac pacemaker or artificial heart valve
Metal plate, pin, or other metallic implant
Intrauterine device, such as Copper-7 IUD
Insulin pump or other infusion pump
Previous gunshot wound
Inner ear implant
Ever been a metal worker (had metal in eye)
Permanent tattoo eye-liner
How long will it take?
Each MRI study differs in time depending on the body part being scanned. Some studies are as quick as 20 minutes, while others can be as long as 1 hour. Most studies are between 20 and 40 minutes.
What is the exam or test like?
Before entering the room, you will be asked to take your personal belongings including wallets, phones, keys, belts, watches, glasses, etc. off and place them in a locked cabinet. You may have to get changed into a gown depending on whether or not your clothes have metal in them, so we recommend wearing comfortable clothes without metal.
During the scan, all you will have to do is lay still. The room is dim, and cool in temperature. If you need blankets, we have them available. We also have plenty of pillows to increase comfort. You will hear sequences of muffled thumping while the images are being taken. The more still you can hold, the better the image quality will be. Depending on the body part, a device called a "coil" may be placed over the body part being scanned to help create a clear image.
Do I have to prepare for the MRI?
You are allowed to eat or drink anything you like, and take any medication that you need before your scan. Food, drink, and medication have no effect on the machine at all. However, if you consume caffeine, it may make it more difficult to stay still for the images, which will affect the image quality.
If you have any feelings of anxiety or claustrophobia, you may want to consult with your physician about writing a prescription for medication to help you remain calm during the scan. If you do take medication for the exam, make sure you have someone to drive you home from the appointment, as most of these medications can influence you behind the wheel.
Will I feel anything during the exam?
An MRI exam is completely painless and you will not feel anything. However, if you have any metal on your body or in your body, the machine is a strong magnet and does make metal heat up and move. Be sure to fill out the screening forms accurately when you arrive for your appointment.
What is the weight limit for the machine?
Most of our locations have a 450 lb. weight limit, and our Northeast office has a 550 lb. weight limit. However, there can be issues, depending on body type, of fitting under the magnet if you are nearing the weight limit.
What services does Open MRI provide?
All Open MRI locations offer Open MRI - exclusively. We do not have any "closed" MRI machines, and we do not offer X-Ray, CT Scan, Ultrasound, Mammogram, PET Imaging, or any other types of radiology. We do, however, offer once-a-month EMG services at some of our locations.
How will I get my results?
On the day of your appointment, you can request a CD with the images from your scan. Our Board-Certified radiologists will read your images and provide a comprehensive written report that we will send directly to your doctor within 24-48 hours of your scan. The written report will have the diagnosis, and you can consult with your doctor about the results, usually the day after your appointment.
What if I need an MRI with contrast, or with/without contrast?
Open MRI Centers do not currently do any MRIs that involve contrast injections. Generally, these studies consist of having bloodwork done prior to the MRI. Then, the patient completes an MRI scan, comes out of the machine for an injection of contrast dye, then has that same scan done again. Unfortunately, Open MRI Centers only offer MRI scans without IV Contrast.