General Question

JLeslie's avatar

How much money does a medical center make on MRI and CT machines?

Asked by JLeslie (55788points) November 12th, 2010

How much does the machine cost?

Is there maintenance that has to be done?

What is the typical life of the machine?

How many scans are done per hour?

Are they very profitable?

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4 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

According to this article an average MRI machine costs approximately $2 million to buy and install and $800,000 per year to run. I couldn’t find anything with the price of a CT machine. I know from experience that when your MRI machine breaks in the hospital, it causes a lot of issues. Just shutting the equipment down and restarting it can take a lot of time.

As far as typical life, I am not sure, but I do know that the machines have evolved over the years and hospitals would be updating their equipment as they could afford to do it.

How many scans done per hour depends on the scan being done. I’ve had patients have an MRI done in as little as 15 minutes and others that have taken an hour or more.

Is it profitable? I’m not sure. I imagine it depends on how many scans they do and how much they are actually reimbursed for those scans.

wundayatta's avatar

Here’s an analysis that shows you can make between $100 per exam and $300 per exam, depending on the type of machine you use, and how old it is. I’ma gonna go buy me one. It’s ridiculous. Keep them patients coming and I’ll be a millionaire before you know it!

Why do you ask? You want to get into the biz?

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I was curious, because of all of the conversation about reducing medical costs. I was wondering, If you take out the desire for profit, how much is saved? With the info you provided, I only skimmed it, if we had true socialized medicine, we could maybe even throw out the billing and collections expense, and each scan would be minimal. I am sure they can just look at what it costs the military at a major medical center.

It does look like a good business.

This just made me think, I wonder if the financials for Bethesda Naval Hospital are public record? Overall, it is a very modern hospital.

hobbitsubculture's avatar

I work in a cancer treatment center where there is an MRI open 8am-8pm (or as long as needed). They are the only department in the building that’s open after 5, which is because the machine is expensive, and they need to make money off it to justify having it. The exams often take an hour, and cost the patient upwards of $1000.

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