Independent Imaging Centers vs. Hospital Facilities

independent-imaging-centers-vs-hospitals

Many people do not realize that they have a choice when doctors tell them they need an imagining exam, such as an MRI, X-Ray, or CT study. If a doctor is affiliated with a hospital, they may guide you toward having it at the same hospital. Still, people may not know that the cost of the exam can be fundamentally less if you go to an independent imaging center.

What is a Standalone Imaging Center?


An independent imaging center is not owned by a hospital or health system. It is often privately-owned and provide high quality, fast service, and operates at a lower price to deliver imaging procedures.  With freestanding outpatient centers, patients have the option to find a facility that best suits their needs.

How are freestanding outpatient centers different from hospitals and affiliated facilities?

  • Hospitals usually cost more due to operating more departments that are open 24/7, and these expenses get passed on to the patient.
  • Hospital waiting times can be lengthy and it can take longer to obtain your results.
  • Hospitals are permitted to charge Medicare and most other commercial insurers a facility expense.
  • Hospitals offer less personal interaction due to the volume of patients they see.   
  • Service tends to be slower from finding parking, navigating through the hospital to find the right department, then waiting even longer once you’ve arrived.


Patients aren’t always made aware of the options they have while they are in the hospital since they need a solution as quickly as possible. Rushed decisions can make them overlook the benefits that an independent imaging center like Alliance MRI offers.

The Benefits of Independent Imaging Centers

A standalone imaging center can be more convenient than a hospital.

Faster Service

  • Easy walk from the lot to the entrance.
  • Front desk to check you in and/or provide directions.
  • Shorter waiting times.

Lower cost and high quality

  • Independent center Imaging exams usually cost less than hospitals.
  • A lower price point does not mean lower quality. Outpatient imaging centers have advanced imaging technologies and highly skilled trained technicians.

Personal Touch

  • Convenient waiting area.
  • Relaxing atmosphere.

Painless Procedures

  • Most procedures do not require special preparation.
  • Certain procedures like advanced ultrasounds, among others, are painless and comfortable.

Why Choose Alliance MRI as Your Next Imaging Center?

Alliance MRI offers a professional, yet relaxed, atmosphere, all while delivering best-in-class radiology with quality patient care. Your well-being is a priority to us, and we want to give you a sense of security and comfort.  

Utilizing leading innovation and diagnostic equipment allows us to deliver exact and dependable imaging results. Our radiologists are committed to provide you and your primary care doctor with detailed reports. Our team will also work with you and your insurance to ensure a stress-free payment process.  

Schedule an MRI or other imaging service with Alliance MRI today! View our list of accepted insurances, and contact us today. Alliance MRI proudly serves the Greater Houston, Pearland, San Antonio, and Laredo areas.