Know Your Rights !
When you visit your doctor and he recommends you have a radiological scan (MRI, CT, PET, X-Ray, Ultrasound etc), you will receive a script. Your doctor will often make a recommendation where you should go for the scan.
In some cases, your physician may belong to a medical group or hospital that owns the imaging center to where you are being referred and there is an economic benefit to your physician’s group or hospital to do your scan. Please be aware that you are not mandated to go where your doctor recommends on the script. You have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE where to be scanned.
So how do you base your decision on where to go?
We recommend you choose Partners Imaging Centers
Here’s 9 good reasons why:
- 1) Partners is owned and operated by medical radiologists whose primary concern is your well-being and to provide up to date equipment and accurate reports. Many other outpatient centers are owned and directed by business people or non-radiologist physicians with little or no medical imaging knowledge and experience.
- 2) A board certified, Partners’ radiologist will interpret your images. They know the equipment on which you will be scanned. They set the protocols for the scanner so it’s configured to the optimal settings for your particular problem. Many other outpatient centers contract with outside radiologists or out-source the interpretations to non local radiologists who have little or no control of equipment choice or the quality process of the scans. The scan protocols are often the same regardless of your diagnosis.
- 3) At Partners Imaging, all radiologists are sub-specialists. This means that there are specific radiologists for musculoskeletal (bone and joint), neurological (brain, spine, and ENT), body (chest, abdomen, and pelvis), and breast cases. Most other imaging centers send their scans to general radiologists or radiologists who don’t specialize in your particular problem. Wouldn’t you want your images read by a sub-specialist radiologist with experience and an interest in your area of concern? A radiologist that exclusively interprets a large number of scans from the same body area of where your problem is located is far more likely to diagnose your problem and generate a more meaningful report for your physician. Ask your physician who will be interpreting your scan. At Partners, we’ll tell you which sub-specialist radiologist will be interpreting your scan depending on your diagnosis.
- 4) Partners scanners (modalities) are all certified by the ACR (American College of Radiology). This insures optimal images and at the lowest effective radiation dose or ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). Other imaging centers have older machines with less than optimal image quality. Many are unable to obtain the ACR standard of quality. Financial constraints often prevent them from upgrading.
- 5) For specialized MRI exams, Partners is the only imaging center in the region with a 3 Tesla (3T) strength MRI provided by an outpatient imaging center. The 3T is the most powerful clinical MRI scanner that is available. At our Sarasota West location, Partners has an 18 channel, High Definition 3T MRI scanner from Siemens which provides extremely high resolution and fast scans. In most cases, your scan will have better detail and performed faster than less powerful MRIs. Experts agree that certain neurological, musculoskeletal, body, and prostate MRI scans are best performed on a 3T MRI. Ask your physician the type of MRI scanner to which you are being referred.
- 6) For patients that may be claustrophobic within an MRI scanner, Partners has the area’s only high-field 1.0T Open MRI scanner. Some other imaging centers have Open MRI’s that are designed to be comfortable; however, you will notice they do not mention the Tesla strength on their websites. Why? Because they are low to mid field and are significantly less powerful than the Partner’s high field strength Open MRI. This results in significantly longer scan times and images that are of poorer quality. Ask your physician if the facility you are being referred to has an open MRI scanner and what is its field strength.
- 7) Partners has recently expanded the most comprehensive women’s breast program in the area. For annual mammographic screenings, there are two conveniently located, private entrance women’s centers in Bradenton and Sarasota. The Sarasota location is offering low dose, 3D Tomo mammography . Should there be any significant findings, Partners has its own Breast Diagnostic Center which covers breast diagnostics, including a specialized and dedicated breast MRI scanner from Aurora, diagnostic mammography and ultrasound, and convenient outpatient aspirations/biopsies directed by Partners’ full time breast imaging radiologist. DEXA bone density testing is also available. No other outpatient center in our region is able to offer these services, all in one location and all at the same visit.
- 8) Partners has contracts with the largest number of insurance companies so we are more likely to accept your insurance than any other imaging center in the area. Many other imaging centers won’t accept your insurance and will require you to pay for your scan out of pocket. Also, frequently your out of pocket expenses will be less at Partners. For those patients who have no insurance or prefer not to use their insurance, we have very affordable self pay rates.
- 9) At many hospitals and imaging centers, if you try to schedule your appointment for a scan you may have to wait weeks before you can get an appointment. During this time, your health may not be getting any better and you are waiting for answers. Partners will make every effort to book your appointment the same day or next day depending on the prep involved for your exam and if your insurance requires time to obtain authorization. Partners can accommodate your schedule.
- We accept your doctors script ! Once you have your script, simply call the Partners center that is closest to you and schedule your appointment. When your scan is complete, the final report will be sent to your doctor.