Monthly Archives: January 2017

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What’s the Difference Between an MRI and a CT Scan?

 

 

What's the difference between anThe medical imaging world has a ton of different procedures. It can sometimes be hard to keep track of which one is which. Two of the most popular imaging procedures are an MRI scan and a CT scan. These are two procedures are commonly confused with each other. Let’s learn the difference:

 A CT (also known as a CAT Scan or Computerized Axial Tomography) is usually used for bone injuries, lung imaging, chest imaging, and cancer detection. They’re used a lot for emergency procedures because it’s fast (that’s why they always ask for CTs on Grey’s Anatomy).

An MRI (or Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is used for soft tissue (ligaments, tendons, spinal cord, brain tumors, etc.). It can take up to a half hour and is usually more expensive, but it also doesn’t use any radiation.

MRI machines use a magnet to send radio waves to read the energy produced by the water molecules as they re-align themselves after each pulse of radio waves. That data actually creates the 2D image of the axis of the body. Since there’s essentially no water in bones, they don’t have an image, which is where the black space comes in.

CT machines use x-ray waves, which rotate around the patient, sending waves towards the “x-ray detector” on the other side of the patient. The beam goes through the patient, and the detector receives the image, measuring the strength of the beam about 1000 times per second. The comparisons of the beams create the image.

You can see a full comparison chart here. Open MRI of Pueblo is here to help you with any confusion you may have with you MRI appointment. If you have any questions about your MRI procedure, call us at 719-404-0991.

 

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MRI 101: How To Be Prepared For Your Open MRI

 

MRI 101 (1)At Open MRI of Pueblo, we know a thing or two about MRI’s. With years of MRI experience to rely on, we can confidently say that one of the most asked frequently questions at our facility is, “How do I prepare for an MRI?”. Here’s how:

 

Day of your procedure

  1. Depending on what time your procedure is during the day, make sure to just keep your day as normal as possible. There isn’t a specific day-of preparation for an MRI, just be calm and remind yourself that it’s a normal day – nothing to sike yourself out over.

 

Once you get to our office

  1. Arrive at your appointment at least 15-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment in order to fill out the patient forms.
  2. Make sure you aren’t wearing any metal on your body. Also, tell the MRI technician about any implants or special medical devices that are on your body.
  3. You will be offered a hospital gown to change into for the procedure.

 

 

During your scan

  1. Now that you’re ready to lay down for your MRI just think happy thoughts.
  2. If you are claustrophobic let the MRI technician know and ask for anything that will make you more comfortable. Music, family, friends, etc.
  3. Close your eyes, and think of your favorite place, maybe even doze off. We also let you bring your own music to listen to and a friend to comfort you to your exam.

 

 

Post procedure

  1. Change out of your gown and back into your normal clothes
  2. Remember everything that may have been left outside of the scan room, including any metal objects, such as, belts, jewelry, and credit cards.
  3. Now go and treat yourself! There is no specific post procedure steps to take, but we encourage you to give yourself a treat for getting your MRI!

 

See? MRI’s are nothing to be stressed about. They are simple and quick procedures. Have any questions about open MRI’s? Call us anytime at (719) 404-0991.

 

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10 Things To Look For In Your Imaging Center

 

10 things to look for in yourFinding an independent imaging center that fits all your medical needs can be tricky. Sometimes patients won’t know what to look for and will go to the hospital for their imaging needs which can be extremely pricey. We are here to tell you that going to the hospital for your imaging procedure isn’t your only option! Here are 10 things to look for in an imaging center to optimize your experience.

  1. Price! You price shop for cars, clothes, shoes, vacations, furniture, well you get the picture. So why not shop for your radiology service and save an extra thousand dollars then go buy one of the things previously listed with the money you save. Check out www.saveonmedical.com to save up to 80% on your imaging procedure.
  2. Location!  Maybe it’s close to home or maybe it’s close to shopping.
  3. What’s the turn around time? Will your doctor have images and results the same day, next day or will it take a week.  Just remember a happy doctor means a happy patient, and the quicker the doctor has your results the faster they can fix you.
  4. Parking! With us you can park by the front door and walk in. No elevator, escalator, or long hallways.
  5. Interpreter!   No se preocupe por traer un traductor, tenemos uno en el lugar.
  6. Smiling Faces!  Who would want to go to a location that doesn’t make you feel welcome.  Instead of feeling like the person at a restaurant waiting for your light to flash and vibrate, come to us and we’ll be your friend.
  7. Open or Closed – There are different types of MRI machines, make sure you choose the one that “fits” you. Do some research and look a the difference between an open and closed machine.  Heck come on in to our office and we’ll show you our open.
  8. Office environment – Can you watch TV while you wait, read a book or magazine, help us vote on our contests.
  9. Flexibility –  We will work with you and your schedule, make your appointment early or late.
  10. 10. Certified Staff – Make sure you have the ability to ask questions to someone who can answer them properly.

Now you can see, all of these make for a quality imaging center. At Open MRI of Pueblo, we can provide you the best imaging experience, so make an appointment today! Call us at 719-404-0991.

 

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5 Relaxation Tips For Your Next MRI

 

5 relaxation tipsAt Open MRI of Pueblo, we take the comfort of our patients seriously. That’s why our MRI machine, the oasis, is an open MRI machine that is specially used for comfort. However, we understand that some patients can still be highly uncomfortable. For some patients, it’s a brand new procedure and can cause feelings of anxiety. That’s why we compiled 5 of our best relaxation tips because the comfort of our patients MATTERS.

 

  • Picture yourself being relaxed

Close your eyes, sit back, and think about yourself in the most relaxed state. This helps patient who are worried about being in an MRI machine. Picture yourself at the beach, or laying in a hammock, and it will surely put your mind at ease.

 

Take long careful breaths during the procedure. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This should take about 10 seconds to take one complete breath. This will help clear your mind and alleviate feelings of anxiety.

 

  • Take a musical detour

In order to accommodate our patients, we allow you to bring your own music. Our staff understands that patients have their own preferences in music which is why we encourage patients to bring playlists into the office. Listening to your own music will feel familiar while being in the MRI machine and can help calm additional nerves.

 

  • Plan something for after your appointment

It helps to plan a little activity for after your appointment. It can be going to get ice cream, treating yourself to shopping, or just taking the rest of the day off. Having a little reward for yourself after your appointment can calm the tension you may be feeling during your exam.

 

  • Bring a friend with you

At our open MRI appointments, we allow patients to bring a friend, or family member with them. Having someone familiar to talk to during a scan has been beneficial for patients in the past, and we don’t mind the company!

 

When it comes to Open MRI’s at Pueblo, there really is nothing to worry about. We know how hard it can be to step foot in our doors on the day of your appointment, so remember these tips the next time you get an MRI. With these tricks, you may actually ENJOY getting your next MRI. If you need an appointment at Open MRI of Pueblo, contact us for an appointment.

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ACO: A Simple Break Down

ACO- A Simple Breakdown

The Affordable Health Act encourages doctors, hospitals, and other providers to connect with each other, forming the Medicare program’s Accountable Care Organizations. The main goal: “providers get paid more if they keep their patients well.” At Open MRI of Pueblo, we want to give you the break down of how Accountable Care Organizations work.

But, what is it?

“An ACO is a network of doctors and hospitals that shares responsibility for providing coordinated care to patients in hopes of limiting unnecessary spending.”

Why does Congress care?

It’s part of a larger movement to reduce the national deficit.

How are they paid?

In the past, Medicare has used a fee-for-service system. You know this: you pay for each medical procedure you get, and it gets expensive. Now, the doctors are rewarded, not based on how many services they provide, but how healthy their patients are.

ACOs can’t completely do away with the fee-for-service method, however, but they can create “savings incentives” or bonuses for healthy patients.

Does this affect me at all?

Not really, actually. The doctors would just most likely refer you to other providers in their ACO connection, but you have the ability to go wherever you want.

Who’s in charge?

“ACOs can include hospitals, specialists, post-acute providers and even private companies like Walgreens.” It’s a connection group, not a corporation.

What about my HMO?

HMOs and ACOs are very similar, but with one important difference: “an ACO patient is not required to stay in the network.”

Is this too good to be true?

Many hospitals are moving towards mergers instead of ACO connections, meaning instead of joining an ACO and forming that connection with a private practice, they’re just buying it instead. This lowers options for patients because they have less private practices to go to, which is usually the cheaper option.

So is this the future?

“’ACOs aren’t the end game,’ says Chas Roades, chief research officer at The Advisory Board Company in Washington D.C.” It’s just an important step.

Now that you know how ACO’s work, set up an appointment with us at Open MRI of Pueblo today!

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The Pueblo Standard: How patients deserve to be treated

 

The Pueblo StandardAt a lot of doctor’s offices, there is a quality of care that most people will follow. Some will have very quality care, and other places aren’t as great. At Open MRI of Pueblo, we follow a standard of care that no other MRI center can offer their patients; it’s called the Pueblo Standard.

 

1.) Patients are treated with respect

The people, who walk through these doors, are important to us. That’s why everyone who makes an appointment with us, or is accompanying a patient, is treated with the respect they deserve. Our staff is trained to be kind, and courteous, to everyone.

 

2.) Patients are encouraged to ask questions

We understand that getting an MRI can be a strange procedure. That’s why we encourage all of our patients to ask us any questions on their mind. We want to make our office comfortable for anyone, so if there is any confusion on anything we will gladly answer.

 

3.) Patients are allowed to bring guests, music, etc.

Since an MRI, can be a little dull as the patient, we put our patients comfort, and safety in front of anything else. Because of this we allow our patients to bring in music, and family members to be present in the room while the exam is being done.

 

4.) Patients are the top priority

At Open MRI of Pueblo, we won’t make decisions if they are not in the best interest of the patient. We care about our patient’s time, that’s why we try and get our patients in and out of the office in a timely manner.

 

At Pueblo, we care about the patients, and we wouldn’t be Pueblo without them. Make an appointment with us today, and see our Pueblo Standard in action.

 

 

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The Fast Track: Getting Your Health and Medical Life On Track for 2017

 

the-fast-trackIt’s January, the best month of the year for the fitness industry. All across the country gyms are being flooded with thousands of new members, each one desperate to work off their holiday weight and obligated to half-heartedly work towards their new year’s resolution: a repeat goal of losing 50 pounds that lasted until the middle of January last year but has much more potential to be achieved this year.

Although we’re all about trying to live a healthy lifestyle, and we support anyone willing to get out there and work towards it on whatever scale is appropriate for them, we’ve never been able to understand the intense pressure people feel at this time of the year to focus so much on their weight. Getting skinny isn’t necessarily synonymous with getting healthy, and as an organization that centers largely around medical health, we’d much rather see people using their new year’s resolutions to take their health into their own hands.

Instead of evaluating how much your scale reads in the morning, we’re urging patients to take this time of the year to re-evaluate the state of their medical life and determine what steps they may be able to take to make the upcoming year a better one for them in regards to health.

For the remainder of January, we’re going to be hitting on a few of the key things to think about when trying to get your health and medical life in order for the new year. To kick everything off, we’ll start with what we believe is one of the most important foundational questions that everyone should ask themselves.

Is your doctor right for you?

This question doesn’t necessarily apply just for your doctor, but rather to every medical center you generally frequent. It could be a diagnostic imaging center like ours, it could be the local emergency room that you always go to, it could be your family physician or a physical therapist that you see. Regardless of how many centers you go to or medical experts you seek care from, it’s crucial to ask yourself whether or not they’re a good fit for you.

Not everyone is looking for the same thing when they pick a center or physician. Some people want a place that is fast. Others want one that’s cheap. Some people are looking for quality. Others want to feel safe. Each and every patient will differ in what they want out of a physician or center, so it’s important when searching to narrow down exactly what you are looking for and evaluate whether or not the person/place you currently go to is meeting those needs.

Here are a few of the top things to consider when looking for a doctor or a medical center:

1)   Price. How much does the cost matter to you? How much or how little are you willing to pay?

2)   Quality. Is it crucial for you to have the highest quality of care, or are you fine with someone in the middle?

3)   Availability/wait time. How much does the wait time or availability of the center/doctor matter to you? Are you someone who will be needing to go to lots of appointments and will be impacted  by the waiting time, or is it more likely that you’ll just go once or twice a year and the wait time won’t really matter?

4)   Location. Does your center or doctor need to be super close to where you live, or are you ok with driving half an hour to receive care?

5)   Atmosphere. What is the atmosphere at your center like? Are people friendly? Are they too friendly? Do you prefer a quiet and professional environment, or do you love going somewhere with a more friendly and casual atmosphere?

6)   Personality fit. Do you jive well with your doctor or the people at your medical center? This is someone you’ll be spending time with, so it’s important that you don’t strongly dislike them. Not all personalities mesh well together, and that’s ok! Just make sure you find one that will work with yours.

Each of these are important things to consider when evaluating whether or not your doctor/medical center is right for you. Take some time to prioritize your wants and needs, then act accordingly.

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New Year, Same Quality Care

 

new-year-1The New Year, everything seems to change in a New Year. People promise to make changes, businesses promise better quality, and more. However, at Open MRI of Pueblo, we believe that some things should never change. It’s a New Year but we still have the same quality care that we have had for years.

 

Open MRI

We provide open MRI’s instead of closed MRI’s because we believe patient comfort should always come first. The OASIS, our open MRI machine, is a high field performance machine that can perform advanced clinical procedures, and benefits for the patient. These benefits include, faster scan times, increased patient comfort, and the ability for family members to be present in the room with the patient.

 

Low Prices

 

Our low prices cannot be beat. Our partner SaveOn medical allows our patients to see the prices we provide and compare them to others in the area. It also allows patients to save nearly $1,000 every time they pay online.

 

The Doctors

 

Our doctors, Dr. Domson, and Dr. Lord, are highly experienced in their field. Both having over 20 years of experience in radiology, there are no other doctors that are more qualified to read your scans. We are so happy to have them with us at Open MRI of Pueblo.

 

So, remember, even though it’s the New Year, we are proud to say that we are keeping our same quality care into 2017. So if you’re curious to see how we operate, come and see us.

 

 

 

 

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20 Health Insurance Terms to Learn

 

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-20-29-amDoes insurance confuse you? You’re certainly not alone.

KETV, a news station based in Omaha, shared 20 health insurance terms that can help you take control of your coverage again. You can see the full definitions and slideshow here.

  1. Allowed Amount: Also known as “eligible expense”/”negotiated rate”/”payment allowance;” it means the maximum amount health services are based on/are covered by the insurance company
  2. Balance Billing: The provider’s bill that gets sent you to after the insurance company pays their portion
  3. Claim: The bill that gets submitted to your health insurance company
  4. Co-Insurance: The percent that you pay in addition to whatever deductible you have.
  5. CoPay: The amount you pay at the time of each healthcare visit.
  6. Deductible: The amount you pay before receiving your benefits. Basically, when the insurance company says, “We’ll pay anything over $500,” then you know $500 is your deductible.
  7. Donut Hole, Medicare Prescription Drug: The coverage gap that occurs after you spend a certain amount on covered drugs, and you have to pay out-of-pocket for your prescriptions for up to a year. After that year, the insurance company resumes helping you pay.
  8. Essential Health Benefits: The 10 categories that the insurance company must cover.
  9. Excluded Services: The services that your insurance doesn’t need to cover.
  10. Health Insurance Marketplace: A way for anyone to compare health insurance plans based on the filters they choose.
  11. Health Savings Accounts (HSA): “A medical savings account available to taxpayers who are enrolled in a high deductible health plan.”
  12. High Deductible Health Plan: A type of insurance plan that can be combined with a health savings account/reimbursement arrangement.
  13. In– and Out-of-Network: Healthcare offices either have a contract with the insurance company (In-) or they don’t (Out-)
  14. Lifetime Limit: “A cap on the total lifetime benefits you may get from your insurance company.”
  15. Outof-Pocket Maximum: The absolute most you would pay throughout your policy before insurance takes over 100% of the allowed amount.
  16. PreExisting Condition: A health problem that you had before establishing your insurance coverage.
  17. Preferred Provider: “A provider who has a contract with your health insurer or plan to provide services to you at a discount.”
  18. Premiums: “The amount you must pay for your insurance plan.”
  19. Preventive Care: Regular healthcare like checkups, counseling, and screenings.
  20. UCR (Usual, Customary, and Reasonable): The cost of medical services relative to location.