Low Cost Radiology In Tampa Bay


  Here at Affordable Medical Imaging we understand the issue facing millions of Americans in regards to health insurance. Many are loosing their insurance or raising their deductible just so they can afford it. In fact, almost 30 million workers in Read more

CT Scan proven to detect lung cancer before it's too late.


Affordable Medical Imaging is providing lung scans that may determine if you have lung cancer well before a symptom first appears. Often if and when a symptom does present itself the disease is well beyond repair. So do not Read more

What is an MRI?


MRI of the Body (Chest, Abdomen, Pelvis)   What is MRI of the Body? What are some common uses of the procedure? How should I prepare for the procedure? What does the equipment look like? How does the procedure work? How is the procedure performed? What will I Read more

AMI CEO, Larry Williams spreading the word about what’s new in breast cancer detection

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IMG_2416AMI CEO Larry Williams and his sons and marketers are visiting private homes, civic organizations, churches and any other group of women willing to listen about the latest technology in breast cancer detection, Tomosynthesis. It’s a grassroots effort that Williams is very familiar with. As a former city councilman and mayoral candidate in St. Petersburg, Florida he knows reaching the community in person is critical. He has always known that traditional 2D mammography was only 80-85% accurate and that a Catscan (CT) of the breast was a better option because it dissects tissue slice by slice as opposed to essentially an X-ray of the breast. However, performing a CT of every woman’s breast was not a viable option. For one, insurance would not pay for it. Only women with a questionable mammogram were prescribed additional diagnostic imaging.  But once again, is a 2D mammogram catching suspicious tissue? Studies show it misses 30% of breast cancers so whether it even detects questionable tissue is not always guaranteed, especially in women with dense breasts which accounts for more than half of the women scanned.

But now, Williams can offer technology similar to a Catscan called Tomosynthesis which is the most advanced technology available to detect breast cancer, in fact it’s estimated to be 43% more accurate than 2D mammograms. It is still not covered by most insurance companies but for the first time is now affordable for self pay patients. Self pay is what Affordable Medical Imaging is all about, offering the same tests performed in hospitals and other independent imaging facilities at much higher price points and making them affordable if paid at time of service. This payment at time of service eliminates the billing process with insurance companies as well as billing staff and allows the test to be more affordable. AMI is all about making diagnostic imaging affordable and available to everyone who needs it.

If you would like to learn more visit http://www.docstomo.com or all us at 727-896-0000.


Now offering Tomosynthesis

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Affordable Medical Imaging Adds 3D Mammography for Breast Imagingcomputer tomo

AMI is now offering the next generation of breast cancer detection imaging technology called 3D breast Tomosynthesis. AMI along with it’s marketing partner DOCs Tomo, will be the nations first mobile screening facility offering Siemens technology in St. Petersburg, Leesburg, Eustis and Ocala, Florida.

So what is Tomosynthesis? In short, it improves breast cancer detection by 43%, reducing false-positive findings and cutting patient call backs by 40%.

Tomosynthesis is 3D mammogram technology that is proven to detect breast cancer better than traditional 2D mammography alone. While standard 2D mammograms take an image of the top and bottom side of a patient’s breast, Tomosynthesis takes 25 images of the breast from many angles as the X-ray tube moves across the breast in a 50-degree arc.

The images are assembled into a 3D study so doctors can see the breast tissue in fine detail. The 3D image allows them to see clearly through breast tissue that may be overlapping, or through the tissue of women with dense breasts.

“Clinical data had demonstrated that the addition of digital breast tomosynthesis to a patient’s traditional 2D digital mammogram increases detection of breast tumors, said Larry Williams, CEO. “We chose the True Breast Tomosynthesis option from Siemens because it gives us the widest-angle image acquisition available which helps our physicians see more than traditional 2D mammography alone.

“Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer,” Williams said. “When we find tumors earlier, doctors are better able to create treatment plans that are more effective. We think this technology can help save lives.”

Larry Williams further stated that, by reducing the distortion created by tissue overlap or dense breast tissue in 2D mammograms, physicians are better able to target the size, shape and location of a tumor.

For more information about Tomosynthesis, call us at 727-896-0000.


February is Heart Awareness Month

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The American Heart Association reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. That equates to about 600 thousand people dying from this disease every year. This sounds like a dreadful number and it is however there is a silver lining because doctors say in most cases this disease is preventable.

 

The most common problem associated with heart disease has to do with the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This waxy substance can build up and block blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body. This blockage can cause heart attacks and even stroke. You may experience some symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath or even have more obvious signs such as chest pains or tightening of the chest. Doctors say you may also feel pain in the shoulders, arms, neck or jaw bone. These can all be warning signs and should not be ignored, seek medical attention immediately. In some cases there will be no signs at all. This is why screenings, especially if you are considered high risk may be life saving.

 

Doctors say if blood flow to the heart is blocked and stops completely this is when you will suffer a heart attack. If the blood supply to the brain is blocked this is when you are at risk for stroke. Both can be life threatening.

 

The good news is heart disease in most cases is preventable by following a healthy diet and exercise plan, not smoking, keeping your cholesterol below 200 and keeping your blood pressure in normal ranges. For most the normal range is 120 over 80.

 

If you have a family history of heart disease or you are not living a healthy lifestyle and do not have healthy cholesterol and blood pressure ranges as mentioned, there are screenings that can be performed to see if you have arteries that are blocked. Once of these tests is a CAT scan of the heart. This scan uses advanced X-Ray technology to look into your heart to detect a build-up of plaque that has calcified in your arteries. This calcification can be calculated into a score called your calcium score. This number can be discussed with your doctor and they can then let you know if you are at risk of heart disease or perhaps if there is blockage. If there is blockage immediate steps may be taken to decrease your chances of heart attack or stroke. Although we suggest getting your results evaluated by a medical doctor, you do not need a prescription for this screening.

 

During the month of February, in honor of heart awareness month, Affordable Medical Imaging is offering a special. Our goal is to allow you to receive the care you need at prices you can afford. During this month you can receive one heart scan for $175 or two for $300. This means you can bring in your sweetheart or perhaps a friend who would also like to have peace of mind about their chances of heart disease.


Reduce your risk of breast cancer through exercise

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There is yet another good reason to exercise; research proves it reduces your risk for breast cancer. Physical activity, even walking is showing to be beneficial. In part, it seems activity changes how a woman’s body deals with estrogen.

There are two recent studies published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.  The studies drew from information gathered from more than 73,600 postmenopausal women, age 50 to 73, who enrolled in the study in the early 1990s. For almost two decades, they completed follow-up questionnaires every two years.

The questionnaires asked, among other things, for detailed descriptions of how the women spent their leisure time and in particular whether and how they exercised. About 9 percent reported never exercising. A few said that they exercised vigorously and often, typically by running, swimming or playing singles tennis.

But most walked, usually at a pleasant pace of about 3 miles per hour. About half of the group reported that walking was their only form of exercise.

Over the course of the study, 4,760 of the women enrolled developed breast cancer.

When the researchers cross-tabulated exercise regimens and medical records, they found that those women who walked at least seven hours per week, usually distributed as an hour a day, had 14 percent less risk of developing breast cancer than those who walked for fewer than three hours per week which is a significant reduction in risk.

Meanwhile, those few women who were the most active, sweating vigorously for up to 10 hours each week, realized an even greater benefit, with 25 percent less risk of developing breast cancer than those women who exercised the least.

These risk reductions held true, the researchers determined, whether or not the women were overweight and whether or not they were using hormone replacement therapy.

“We think these results are very encouraging,” said Alpa V. Patel, a senior epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and senior author of the study. “Walking is an easy, inexpensive type of exercise. Almost everyone can do it. And for this population of postmenopausal women, it provided a very significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer.”

Another intriguing study that looked at younger women, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, helps to further illustrate how exercise may reduce breast cancer risk. For this experiment, scientists from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota divided several hundred sedentary, premenopausal women into two groups. One group remained sedentary, while the other began a moderate aerobic exercise program that continued five times a week for 16 weeks.

At the start and end of the four months, the researchers collected urine and tested it for levels of estrogen and various estrogen metabolites, the substances that are formed when estrogen is broken down by the body. Past studies have found that a particular ratio of these metabolites in a woman’s urine indicates a heightened risk of breast cancer during her lifetime.

In this study, those volunteers who remained sedentary showed no changes in the ratios of their estrogen metabolites after four months.

But among the group that began exercising, the levels of one of the metabolites fell and another rose, shifting the ratio in ways that are believed to indicate less chance of breast cancer. The women also lost body fat and gained muscle.

This finding, although derived from younger women, has implications for women of any age. As Dr. Patel pointed out, postmenopausal women produce estrogen, although in much smaller doses and primarily from fat cells and not the ovaries.

Exercise, by altering the ratio of estrogen metabolites and also reducing total body fat, may change the internal makeup of a woman’s body and make it harder for breast cancer to take hold.

But, of course, exercise, is not a panacea. Some of the women in Dr. Patel’s study who dutifully walked every day developed breast cancer. Many who rarely if ever exercised did not.

“There is still a very great deal that we don’t know” about how cancer of any kind starts or why it doesn’t, Dr. Patel said.

“But physical activity, and especially walking, are so simple and so accessible to most women,” she continued. “And statistically, they do seem to reduce breast cancer risk. So why not?”

 


Affordable HealthCare Network

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You may have seen the commercials, but Affordable Medical Imaging is no longer the only medical service provider discounting its prices. Now AMI is part of the Affordable HealthCare Network, a network of medical service providers who have joined together and lowered their prices to make their services more affordable. In some cases that means payment plans so you can receive the care you need or perhaps your doctor ordered for a price that works for you and your budget. Currently this network includes,

Imaging

Dentistry

Pharmacy

Lab

Physical Therapy

Prosthetics and Orthotics

Insurance

If you need one of these services visit  www.AHCNofFL.com to see pricing and for more information. Plus, don’t forget to register so you can learn about specials, promotions and more importantly when more providers are added.


The choice is yours

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When you receive a prescription, where you get it filled is up to you!

For many of us when we go to the doctor and are handed a prescription for lab work, imaging or additional services we go where the doctor tells us to get the work done. In fact, often the prescription itself points you to the place to make an appointment. In regards to medications most of us know that you can take that prescription to any pharmacy to get it filled. In fact, the doctor often asks what pharmacy they should call the script into.

So why does this thought process not translate to other services such as imaging or lab work? There are several reasons, let me explain. For one, if a doctor’s practice is owned by a hospital group such as Bay Care then they are going to be encouraged by management to point patients to Bay Care imaging facilities, labs, etc. It makes sense, why would Publix sell you produce and then encourage you to order your cake from the neighborhood bakery? If they can perform the service then why not stay in house to get the service you require. It may make sense for the business but does it make sense for you as the patient or consumer?

This may not seem like a big deal to you if you are handing the bill to your insurance company to pay.  But if you are paying the bill then you better do your homework and shop around, just as you would for the best prescription price. For example, if you fail to shop for an MRI your doctor orders it could cost you hundreds if not thousands more. Hospitals and hospital imaging facilities charge anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000 for an MRI, whereas private facilities charge $400-$500 on average. But if you shop further you will find discount facilities that do not accept insurance and therefore can lower its prices further. Affordable Medical Imaging charges just $275 for the same MRI. Upon a closer look you will find they even offer payment plans making the procedure even more affordable.

Is it equal service? Absolutely! Affordable Medical Imaging performs its tests at a fully accredited facility by certified and licensed technicians. It is owned and operated by a local family with more than 40 years experience and all of the exams are read by Board Certified Radiologist. In fact, often the standards are tougher for independent facilities as opposed to hospitals. So yes, the service is equal if not superior to more expensive hospital run imaging facilities.

Secondly, if your doctor hands you a prescription for an imaging facility called Facility One, you should understand why they are recommending that facility over another. It may be a perfectly fine facility but are they recommending that facility because it is in your best interest or theirs? What they may not tell you is there is a partnership or an agreement between the doctor and Facility One, or the doctor may even be part owner of Facility One, or in extreme cases maybe Facility One just treated the doctor’s family to a Bahamas Cruise vacation. You will never know so be sure to ask questions, do your homework and shop for the best service for your needs and your budget.


ObamaCare launched October 1st!

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ObamaCare is now underway and available to the public. So what is ObamaCare and what will it mean to you?

In short, ObamaCare is a law that was passed in 2010 designed to help ensure the more than 60 million people nationwide without insurance and make it more affordable and better for those who already have policies in place. For the millions of Americans who already have private insurance provided mostly by employers, ObamaCare is designed to ensure these plans are stronger. For example, previously many plans would exclude coverage for childbirth, prescription drugs and mental health care. Under the law, insurers must now pay for all of these services. This law also limits your annual out of pocket fees and you can no longer be dropped for getting sick. Additionally, starting in 2015, workplaces with more than 50 people must provide insurance to full-time workers or face stiff penalties. Individuals can also face fines for not seeking coverage, having health insurance is now the law.

If you are on Medicare, not much will change other than an easier time getting prescription drugs. As far as Medicaid, ObamaCare includes a big expansion of free health care for the poor, through Medicaid. Starting now, nearly all families making less than $31,000 yearly could get free Medicaid, which means 17 million of the 60 million uninsured could be covered.

If you do not currently have insurance or you have additional questions you want to go to the new Marketplace to find coverage. By filling out an application you can find out if you can get lower costs based on your income.

Here’s the web address www.healthcare.gov.

In most cases, many people will still have to carry high deductible plans in order to make monthly premiums affordable. This means patients will still have to pay out of pocket for services such as imaging. If this is the case, remember Affordable Medical Imaging. For other out of pocket services, visit the Affordable HealthCare Network which is a network of affordable medical providers who offer low cash prices and payment plans. Visit www.AHCNofFl.com.


Think Pink!

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I’t’s October and that means a number of things….

 

1-Fall is in the air, somewhere other than Florida.

2-It’s time to decorate for Halloween and resist sweet treats.

3-Most importantly, it’s time to think about your annual mammogram for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Did you know most insurance plans will cover a mammogram 100% even if you have not met your deductible and if you have terrible coverage? If you do not have any insurance you can call Affordable Medical Imaging and receive a screening for only $75. First, you must have a prescription and then all you have to do is call and set an appointment.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime…..early detection is key.

 

There can be life after breast cancer, the prerequisite is early detection. Ann Jillian

Affordable Medical Imaging

Call today 727-896-0000.

 


What is an MRI?

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