What is an MRI ? And above all, how much does it cost? Is it better to undergo an MRI in a private facility or using the health ticket ? When you have to undergo a specialist visit of this type, it is normal to ask yourself these kinds of questions.
For this reason, in our article we wanted to focus precisely on the price of an MRI , trying to understand what are the differences in the price list between the price list proposed by a private practice and a visit made to a public hospital .
What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?
Before starting to deal with the expense to be supported given an MRI , let’s try to understand what this diagnostic test consists of.
It is a radiological method based on the physics of magnetic fields which allows you to examine the inside of the body without carrying out surgical operations or administering X (ionizing) radiation, as is the case in CT.
It is therefore a safe and non-invasive methodology, thanks also to the absence of radiation. This feature, then, allows you to undergo the same examination at short intervals of time without repercussions on health.
How is the medical investigation in question carried out? The patient is inside a very strong magnetic field, which can exceed the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field by as much as 10,000 or 15,000 times.
Under this force, the atoms that form the human organism, that is the protons, acquire energy and orient themselves according to the trend of the imposed magnetic field.
The moment the magnetism is restored, all the atoms return to their natural orientation and the accumulated energy is released, creating a signal. Precisely this signal is picked up by the machinery useful for obtaining the images that constitute the result of the resonance.
Although this type of exam was born for the study of the central nervous system, today it is used to check the state of parts of the body, from the knee, to the chest, to the joints and so on.
In particular it is useful for the diagnosis of inflammatory, infectious and tumor diseases, as well as for the examination of problems related to traumatic or degenerative pathologies.
In principle, the resonance is accompanied by the CT scan, still very important for the diagnoses, which are then deepened thanks to the resonance itself.
Let’s now move on to costs.
The cost of MRI in the public sector: the ticket
Now that we understand what an MRI is used for and how it works, let’s try to investigate its cost , addressing one of the burning issues related to Italian healthcare: addressing the public or private sector ? And that’s the problem.
To help you decide, we want to frame the prices of the estimates both in private offices and in the tickets in hospitals or in structures affiliated with the ASL.
Let’s start immediately by focusing on the cost of the public ticket , specifying that the payment of this contribution to undergo the visits and specialist examinations provided by the Health Service is only foreseen if the patient is not exempt from the ticket, in consideration of elements such as income, age. , pathology and so on.
But what is this expense essentially? It is calculated in consideration of the user’s gross fiscal family income bracket: for this reason the patient must self-certify the income bracket to which he belongs.
They are range 1 up to 36,152 euros, range 2 starting from 36,153 up to 70,000 euros and finally range 3 from 70,001 to 100,000 euros.
Once the threshold of 100,000 euros is exceeded, self-certification is not required as the user must pay the maximum amount foreseen for the ticket. On the contrary, there is the case of those who have a total exemption : of course these people do not have to pay anything and do not need self-certification.
Another case apart is that related to those who have a partial exemption for the contribution through the ticket: these are those who, for example, are affected by a rare or chronic disease.
How should these subjects behave? They must present self-certification for the application of the ticket to non-exempt visits and exams, i.e. those that are not inherent with the problem that is the source of the exemption.
This document must be completed only once for each person who needs it, with the sole commitment to communicate any change in their annual gross tax family income bracket. and undertakes to communicate any future changes in this range. Those who do not carry out self-certification must pay the maximum ticket, foreseen for incomes exceeding 100,000 euros per year.
Let’s get to the heart of the discussion: some exams have a fixed ticket, such as specialist visits prescribed without exams, which cost 23 euros for the first visit and 18 euros for the check-up visit, for each income bracket.
On the other hand, outpatient surgery costs 46.15 euros for all income brackets. The resonance, on the other hand, is subject to variations linked to self-certification. Thus, € 36.15 is paid for income below € 36,152, € 50 for income between € 36,153 and € 100,000, and finally € 70 for income above € 100,000.
A note: following the entry into force of the 2016 Appropriateness Decree, a reduction in the ticket was envisaged for as many as 203 healthcare services, the list of which can be easily found online.
This means that for the visits included in this list it is possible to use the ticket only on medical prescription, otherwise the full price must be paid. This action has the objective of rationalizing resources.
What are the non-ticketed areas? There we find dental, genetic, allergological dermatological visits, nuclear medicine, laboratory tests and finally also diagnostic radiology tests.
How does this change translate to the ticket price? Each service reported in the Decree requires that the conditions of delivery be evaluated based on the patient’s personal and clinical status.
Thus magnetic resonances will be guaranteed free of charge only in particular conditions, for example in cases of traumatic or oncological pathologies.
Let us now turn to the private sector.
Magnetic resonance: cost in the private
Many people, given the long waiting lists found in hospitals and public facilities, consider being examined in private practice.
But is it worth it? How much? Some people prefer to go this route when they are in an emergency, as prices go up a lot in this context, although the wait is greatly reduced.
In any case, establishing the exact cost is difficult, as each studio adopts its pricing policy.
In principle, prices range from 250 to 400 euros. It is therefore a considerable amount so we could advise you to opt for this route only if you need it.