Radiologists are medical doctors who use imaging methodologies to diagnose and manage patients and provide therapeutic options.

Choosing a radiology facility

When you and your doctor determine that an imaging examination is appropriate for you, it's your choice where to have it done. These services can be provided by a variety of facilities including imaging centers and hospitals.

When choosing a facility, you'll want to consider several factors, including:

Quality and safety

The American College of Radiology (ACR) suggests asking several questions such as:

  • Will a board-certified radiologist interpret my examination?
  • Is the imaging facility formally accredited to perform my examination?
  • Is the imaging equipment checked yearly by a qualified medical physicist?

A directory of accredited facilities is available on the ACR Web site.


You should talk to your doctor about costs associated with a procedure. Costs can vary dramatically by procedure and facility. Below are some general cost ranges associated with common radiology procedures for chronic low-back pain.

CT scan - spine

$370 - $1,200

MRI - spine

$450 - $2,400

X-ray - spine

$50 - $400


You can also compare provider-specific costs for several radiology procedures. Prior to receiving services, you should always verify that the provider participates in your specific plan.


Note: For most Medica members, the doctor requesting such scans must first consult with a national radiology specialist to ensure that the scan follows current treatment guidelines (this does not apply to ER, urgent care or inpatient settings). Your doctor needs to take this step ahead of time so that you don't experience a delay in getting your scan done.