Monday, July 9, 2012

Ask Us Anything: Can I Refuse an Imaging Test?

"When my doctor orders an imaging test, such as an MRI or CT Scan, and I'm not sure that it's medically necessary, what can I do? I've heard from friends who work in the medical field that unneeded tests are sometimes ordered and can be expensive. I'm on a budget and would like to avoid any unnecessary costs."

Registered Nurse Robert Mages Responds:

In a cases like these, you need to speak with your doctor and ask them for the reasoning behind ordering the test and how it will benefit them in obtaining a proper diagnosis for you.

You could also consult your medical insurance representatives, as they sometimes have resources to answer questions on a case by case basis.

If all else fails and you are still concerned, you can get a second opinion from a qualified provider.

Never dismiss a test as unnecessary on your own, as your physician may be looking for other disease processes that they may not have shared immediately.

— Robert Mages, RN

Robert Mages is the Nurse Manager of the Open Heart Unit and Critical Care Unit at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

Recommended Reading

Consumer Reports has released a guide that explains when medical tests are appropriate and when you should say “no.” Click here to read their guide.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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