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Home > How MSAA Can Help > MSAA MRI Institute
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MSAA MRI Institute

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a great tool for diagnosing multiple sclerosis and tracking its progression. The MRI consists of a computer, radio frequency stimulator, and large electromagnet. It has the ability to provide pictures of the internal progression of the disease in an individual. MRI exams of the brain can enable you and your physician to better understand and manage the treatment of your MS.

Nurse assisting a woman getting ready for a MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) plays a vital role in the diagnosis of MS and the periodic evaluation of disease activity.

What is the MSAA MRI Institute?

In a partnership with the pharmaceutical companies EMD Serono and Pfizer, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America created this program to assist individuals in acquiring one Cranial MRI every two years that physicians can use to evaluate disease progression. The MSAA MRI Institute will work with eligible individuals, their doctor, imaging centers and insurers, to assist in acquiring the necessary MRI. The MSAA Institute funds Cranial MRI for the purpose of monitoring or assessing the progress of multiple sclerosis.

Anyone needing an MRI exam specifically to determine a diagnosis of MS is not eligible. Those individuals should apply to the MSAA MRI Diagnostic Fund.

Where does MSAA receive funding for the MRI tests?

The program is supported by a charitable contribution from EMD Serono and Pfizer.

What services are provided through the MRI Institute?

Advocate for payment: For those with insurance but whose carrier is reluctant to pay for a physician-requested MRI, the MRI Institute will work to secure payment from the company. There is no income restriction for this service.

Financial assistance: For those of low/moderate income who have medical insurance (including Medicare) but are unable to meet co-payment or deductible requirements, the MRI Institute may provide some financial assistance.

Partial or Full payment: For those of low/moderate income who do not have medical insurance, the MRI Institute may provide full or partial payment for your MRI.

Who is eligible?

  • People who have previously been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
  • People who do not exceed one MSAA funded MRI exam within a 24 month-period
  • People with a written physician prescription requesting an MRI exam to assess the progression of multiple sclerosis
  • For those seeking financial assistance through the MRI Institute, household incomes must not exceed three (3) times the federal poverty level for family size

How does the program work?

First, discuss with your physician the need for an updated MRI to aid in further understanding and better managing your MS. If it is agreed that an MRI scan is needed, complete the MRI Institute application and secure the required written physician prescription. Send the completed forms to MSAA. Do not schedule or have a MRI completed until MSAA has approved your application. MSAA has negotiated agreements with hundreds of imaging centers across the country to provide reduced cost MRI's. The staff of the MRI Institute will work with you to locate one of these centers in your area.

Once the MRI is completed, the Institute will make payment directly to the imaging center upon receipt of invoice. Remember, you are responsible for any associated fees or charges such as physician fees, fees to read your MRI, etc.

Important information to remember:

1. Contact MSAA prior to scheduling an MRI to insure approval.

2. Complete applications, physician review, and MRI prescriptions from your doctor (stating MRI of the Brain with or without contrast) must be completed and returned to the MRI Institute.

3. MSAA will direct you to an imaging center in your area.

If you have any questions please call the MSAA MRI Institute at (800)532-7667, extension 120 or email mriinstitute@mymsaa.org.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 14:20