what are outpatient medical imaging centers

What Are Outpatient Medical Imaging Centers?

Imaging services such as MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds, are an essential way to accurately diagnose injuries, medical conditions, and diseases. When a doctor recommends an MRI scan, the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is where you want to get your imaging procedure done- a hospital or an outpatient imaging center. Where you decide to go for your procedure is an important decision and can vary from patient to patient. While most patients are familiar with hospitals, through personal experience or what is portrayed on TV and in movies, many don’t know as much about outpatient imaging centers.

What is Inpatient Care?

The difference between an inpatient and outpatient care is how long a patient must remain in the facility where they have the procedure done.

Inpatient care is extremely necessary when patients require overnight hospitalization like after an accident or if they’ve received ambulatory care. Patients must stay at the medical facility where their procedure was done (which is usually a hospital) for at least one night. During this time, they will remain under the supervision of a nurse or doctor. 

Inpatient Examples:

• Complex surgeries, as well as some routine ones

• Serious illnesses or medical issues that require substantial monitoring such as cancer

• Childbirth

• Rehabilitation services for psychiatric illnesses, substance misuse, or severe injuries

What is Outpatient Care?

Outpatient imaging centers offer more relaxed, personalized service than hospitals and can offer many other liberties. These are your local freestanding doctor’s offices that are native to your city and have no ties to the hospital. These facilities usually have a small connected staff which makes for a more comfortable environment for people who need multiple scans. Patients receiving outpatient care also don’t need to spend a night in a hospital. They’re free to leave the doctor’s office, outpatient clinic or hospital once the procedure is over. Sometimes, patients need to wait while anesthesia wears off or to make sure there aren’t any complications. As long as there aren’t any serious complications, patients don’t have to spend the night being supervised but should still report any and all side effects to their imaging technician and/or referring physician as soon as possible. 

Outpatient facilities are usually far less expensive than hospitals, but that depends on where you live, what kind of insurance you have and what kind of scan you are getting done. These centers sometimes offer discounts depending how you choose to pay

The downside to an outpatient imaging center is that they do not have 24-hour access like hospitals do, which means that they are not recommended for emergency services. 

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Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

When it comes to finding reputable and convenient imaging centers, it can be really hard doing it on your own. Medmo takes the guesswork out of making sure you’re getting quality scans at reasonable prices. We work connect you to accredited imaging centers at exclusive pre-negotiated rates, saving you both time and money. 

To book a scan, visit us at Medmo.com. Medmo helps people schedule radiology imaging tests – such as MRI, CT scans, PET, and more – at nearby accredited centers and identify the payment solution that works best for them.


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