Brain MRIs go from $500 to more than $6,000

If your doctor prescribes an MRI, you’ll find wide variations in charges, which could greatly effect the amount you pay out-of-pocket, depending on your insurance plan.  Consider, for example, a brain MRI with and without contrast.  Charges range from $6,294.75 at Summa Health System’s City and St. Thomas campuses, compared to $1,900 at The Imaging Center in Stow, Ohio, which includes the diagnostic read in all fees.

The Imaging Center is among the lower-cost diagnostic providers featured on this website.  The Imaging Center also provides all non-insured patients a self-pay rate for MRIs, starting at $500.  These self-pay rates are listed below, and The Imaging Center offers payment plans.  Major credit cards are accepted.

The Imaging Center’s charges are the same for all MRI/MRA imaging studies.  By contrast, Summa notes on its website that published hospital charges do “not include the services provided by your physician, including hospital-based physicians such as radiology.”   MRI charges published on Akron General Medical Center’s website also exclude physician charges.

See the charts below for sample MRI price checks in the Akron area.

Description Mean Published Charge by Health Provider
MRI Brain with and without Contrast
Summa Akron City & St. Thomas
$6,294.75
Akron General Medical Center
$4,932*
*Imaging Center, Stow: $1,900

*For self-pay patients: $650 if full pay at time of service; $750 with half down and pre-arranged payment plan

Description Mean Published Charge by Health Provider
MRI Lumbar Spine without Contrast Summa Akron City & St. Thomas: $3,643.75 Akron General Medical Center: $2,860 *Imaging Center, Stow: $1,650

*For self pay patients: $500 if full pay at time of service; $600 with half down and pre-arranged payment plan

Consumers can come to this website for regular posts that offer actual price comparisons for common health care services and procedures — and for information on where to find more information on health care pricing.

Typically, cost comparisons will include prices of two major service providers, as well as the lowest-cost provider, either identified through sources on this website, or from new sources that readers point out.

 

 

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Because healthcare information changes rapidly, you should always verify information with your providers.