Frequently Asked Questions about MR Neurography and The Neurography Institute
Thank you for visiting Neurography.com, the online home of The Neurography Institute, the first licensed provider of genuine Magnetic Resonance Neurography.
We have assembled a variety of frequently asked questions about MR Neurography, The Neurography Institute, and more, for your review. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have, by calling us at 877-PAIN-MRI (877-724-6674), or by completing the contact form on this page.
What is MR Neurography?
MR Neurography is a patented process by which high-field MRI Units are able to image normally invisible nerve tissue. Using patented “scan pulse sequences,” MR Neurography exams can detect and image nerve structures in the human body, allowing qualified medical personnel to accurately diagnose a wide range of nerve and spine afflictions, and target appropriate treatments for them.
What does MR Neurography reveal?
Most MR Neurography exams are performed to help in diagnosing problems associated with spine and nerve pain. Because nerve tissue is typically invisible in routine imaging procedures, surgeons and physicians rely on MR Neurography to provide an accurate picture to lead to an accurate diagnosis.
Is MR Neurography safe?
MR Neurography is safe. A powerful magnetic field and the use of sound waves is used to collect the information to allow the MR Neurography images to be produced. Unlike CT scans and X-Rays, images are produced without ionizing radiation.
Does MR Neurography hurt?
Absolutely not – in fact, MR Neurography is as comfortable as laying down for a short period of time. Depending on the scanning hardware, there is a perceptible “knocking” sound as the magnet is energized and performs the scanning pulse sequence. This can be mitigated with ear protection or headphones for music, if you desire.
Will my insurance cover MR Neurography?
The Neurography Institute works with all major insurers, and MR Neurography is an accepted form of MRI scanning. Depending upon which plan you have chosen, the level of benefits may vary greatly. If you have chosen a low cost insurance plan, then you may experience higher deductible amounts and reduced benefit coverage for specialty medical services. We encourage all prospective patients to review their particular insurance plan benefits and as a courtesy, we provide a free insurance verification and insurance appeal assistance for those insurance plans with restricted benefit coverage. If you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to call us at 877-PAIN-MRI (877-724-6674) or complete the form on this page to contact us.
Neurography Institute founder Dr. Aaron Filler in October 2009 published a paper on the increasing acceptance of MR Neurography as a result of large patient studies; please click here to view an abstract of the article, originally published in Neurosurgery Online.
Where can I schedule an MR Neurography exam?
Only the nerve scan centers of The Neurography Institute are licensed to provide genuine MR Neurography exams. There are scanning facilities that claim to perform “MR Neurography,” but simply put, they are not providing. You should not trust results from unlicensed MR Neurography providers.
What happens if I make an appointment and want to cancel it?
Simply call us at 877-PAIN-MRI (877-724-6674) at least two days prior to your appointment, and we can reschedule you at that time at no charge. Any cancellation requests within 48 hours of your appointment will result in $425 cancellation charge. Our complete policy regarding cancellations is provided at the time of your appointment request.
What is the cost of an MR Neurography scan, and how does it compare to standard MRI pricing?
The total fee for an MR Neurography exam is $4020. An MRN scan is more than just a routine MRI exam; it requires specialized, state-of-the-art scanning equipment, unique protocols and techniques for the image capture which are patented and used under license from the inventors by The Neurography Institute. Post-processing of the image data is an additional developmental phase of the project, which is not a component in routine MRI imaging. Our medical team analyzes, post-processes and enhances the scan to allow your physician to get the best possible image of your nerve condition.
Compare an MR Neurography to a normal MRI scan (which cannot image nerves): generally a two-part billing for professional and facility charges at the combined amount total between $3400 and $6200. It’s clear that The Neurography Institute’s MR Neurography scan is a tremendous value for which you get accurate diagnostic information not available anywhere else. It is our goal to exceed the medical standard of care for every patient we scan.
I have read about Dr. Filler as the inventor of MR Neurography technology. Does he own The Neurography Institute?
Dr. Aaron G. Filler, MD PhD, is the inventor of MR Neurography, and he serves as the medical director of The Neurography Institute. However, Dr. Filler is not the MR Neurography patent owner. That distinction rests with the University of Washington (The Washington Research Foundation), which owns the patent for MRN intellectual property. Licensed MR Neurography providers such as The Neurography Institute pay royalties for the patent use to the Washington Research Foundation. Being licensed is a matter of meeting clinical standards and medical training requirements.
Since MR Neurography requires both an extensive pre-process for protocol development and an extensive post-processing including neuro-radiological reading and 3D image formatting, the patented process and method for MR neurography goes way beyond that of simply installing a computer program on the scanner. It requires medical training for the radiologists and doctors who work with MRN to ensure quality of care and medical management.
Unauthorized and unlicensed providers of MR Neurography do not have the proper equipment, medical education or training to perform and interpret MR Neurography exams.
I have Medicare. Can I bill my secondary insurance and Medicare myself?
All Neurography Institute policies governing Medicare billing are outlined in the financial forms for the practice. Patients must sign acknowledgement of the Medicare Opt Out and Waiver of right to bill Medicare for the MR Neurography services.
Could I be responsible for a balance if my health insurance doesn’t pay? Is there any type of discount in that situation?
Patients are advised to appeal to their insurance plan for higher reimbursement and to request that the plan make payment to the maximum capacity since the in-network plan fails to provide these MR Neurography services. The Neurography Institute can provide you with appeals letter templates to assist with this process.
Do patients need to be in pain in order to qualify for an MR Neurography scan?
No. Patients do not need to be experiencing pain symptoms at the time of the MR Neurography exam. Many patients have had standard testing (including MRI, radio frequency and EMG testing) and believe that the nerves need to be stimulated and responsive in order for the doctor to be able to see the nerve conditions for proper diagnosis. MR Neurography is a highly detailed imaging procedure designed to show detailed images of peripheral nerves and surrounding anatomy. Consequently, whether the patient is in pain or not, the imaging is designed to show the soft tissue elements that are the underlying and contributing factors to the symptoms.
For example, a patient who experiences Piriformis pain after long bouts of sitting does not need to be in actual pain at the time of scan. There is no need for pain to be present at the time of scanning – only for symptoms to be consistent and tracked for a period of time so that an accurate scanning protocol can be prescribed for the MRN scanning procedure.
Can MR Neurography look at nerves leading to the inner ear?
Yes. Some cranial nerves are harder to image than others, but there is the capability for imaging of certain nerves in the inner ear. It depends on the symptoms and the conditions. For example, the January 2011 NerveMed Patient Newsletter featured a Tinnitus case study discussing the successful treatment of a patient who had recently undergone plastic surgery and as a by-product of recovery, experienced ringing in the inner ears. Facial nerves showed some scar tissue build-up and the patient underwent image-guided MRI injections. The patient experienced an immediate and prolonged beneficial effect for tinnitus. The type of nerve imaging and clarity for inner ear, facial nerve and cranial nerves is dependent upon the symptoms and type of protocol needed. Case-by-case determination is the only certain way to determine imaging capability.
Can I set up an appointment without a referral?
In order to schedule an MR Neurography exam, there is a process which will include the review of medical history background, physical examination, and diagnosis. A physician’s order will always be needed for the exam. Unless the physicians of The Neurography Institute are currently treating the patient, the order for an MR Neurography is always based upon the advisory of the clinical doctor and it is intended to lend information to support his or her suspected diagnosis.
Can I have an extra copy of my scans on CD/DVD?
Yes. Upon request by patients, images on CD-ROM are available at a charge of $55 per disc.
Are there any treating doctors in my area?
The best way to find a physician specializing in nerve disorders is to review one (or more) of the following referring organizations’ websites:
Now is the time to take charge of your health. Request an MR Neurography scanning session with The Neurography Institute today.
Simply complete our contact form, and The Institute’s confidential staff will contact you to set up your scanning appointment at a time convenient to you.
For faster service, simply call us today at 877-PAIN-MRI (877-724-6674).
Thank you for your interest in The Neurography Institute.
We look forward to meeting you.