Chart: How to Make Money Off Your New MRI Machine : Planet Money A manufacturer provides a chart that calculates how much money doctors and hospitals can make if they buy one of its full-body scanners.

Chart: How to Make Money Off Your New MRI Machine

'Quality, Comfort & ROI': The return on your investment in the MSK Extreme MRI machine. ONI hide caption

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Say you're a doctor, hospital or group practice looking to offer MRI services to your clients. MRI machines are expensive. How do you know if it's worth it? You can tape this handy business plan from ONI Medical Systems to the back of the machine. Just use the machine on at least 10 patients a day and you can make $2.5 million over five years.

Now, as a patient, a chart like this might seem disturbing. The MRI manufacturer is directing your hospital or doctor to use the MRI machine at least 10 times a day to maximize profits. A recent report from MedPAC worried that when doctors own their own imaging equipment they (duh) tend to use those machines more often.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that businesses run numbers like this before making such a large investment. But it does. I guess it just feels like something we (the patients) are not supposed to see.