Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I schedule an exam?
Patients: To schedule an exam, call us at 562-216-5120. Please have your referral order from your physician and your insurance information available when you call.
Referring Physician: You may call us at 562-216-5120, or fax the doctor’s referral note along with the center’s imaging referral form to 562-733-5880. Someone from the center will contact you to confirm your request and provide information related to the patient’s scheduled appointment.
Do you schedule evening and weekend exams?
We provide evening appointments Monday – Friday. Saturday appointments are available for non-contrast MRI exams only.
What do I need to do to prepare for a medical imaging exam?
Generally speaking, wear comfortable clothing without zippers or snaps, avoid wearing jewelry and arrive at least 15 min. prior to you appointment to check in. Some CT and ultrasound exams have specific fasting and full bladder requirements.
What do I need to bring to my exam?
Bring the referral request you received from your doctor, your insurance information and a picture identification card.
What will be my experience at the imaging center?
Upon arriving, you will be greeted by our front office staff. They will ask you to fill out patient registration information and will provide answers to any initial questions you have about your exam. You will be escorted to the changing area to put on scrubs if necessary. After changing, you will speak with the technologist regarding your exam and be positioned onto the scanning table in preparation for your exam. When the exam is complete, you will be released to return home. Your physician will contact you with the results of your exam.
Can I eat or drink before an exam?
For MRI exams you may eat and drink as you normally would. Some CT and ultrasound exams have specific fasting or full bladder requirements.
May I bring my children to the exam?
If your child requires supervision in your absence, you must bring someone to do this. If they are of an age where they may remain in the waiting area without supervision, they may do so.
Will my insurance cover my exam?
Most imaging exams are covered, though there may be a co-pay or co-insurance that applies. The imaging center will verify your benefits and a representative from the imaging center will be able to tell you about the coverage provided by your specific plan.
What insurance plans do you accept?
LPMI Long Beach accepts most local and regional plans.
How do I know if my insurance will cover my exam at your imaging center?
Verification of benefits is done for every patient who has insurance prior to the scheduled exam. A representative from the imaging center will be able to tell you about the coverage provided by your specific plan.
Will my exam require pre-authorization from my insurance?
Insurance authorizations are required for some but not all exams. We or your physician’s office will obtain the insurance authorization for you if one is required.
How long will the exam take?
Diagnostic imaging procedures vary in length, depending upon the type of exam. MRI ordinarily takes between 20 – 35 minutes to complete, though MRI of the breasts takes about 45 – 60 minutes. CT takes 10 – 30 minutes and ultrasound can range from 30 – 60 minutes.
Are there any circumstances that make a medical imaging exam dangerous?
Medical imaging is generally safe and painless. The most important safety precautions have to be taken with patients who have pacemakers or ferro-magnetic metals in the body. There are also precautions for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Additional considerations are made for patients who are diabetic or on certain medications. All patients who require an exam with contrast will be required to have a creatinine blood test done prior to the exam. This can be done at our center through the same I.V. line that is used to administer the contrast agent just before the procedure.
How soon will I obtain results of my exam?
When your exam is complete, your images will be interpreted by our board certified radiologist who will prepare a detailed report and send it to your physician within 24 hours of your exam. Your physician will contact you to review the exam results with you.
In what ways do you provide access to patient reports?
Patients receive results of their exam from their treating physician.
Physicians receive exam results from the imaging center in a number of ways. Patient reports are faxed directly to the physician’s office within 24 hours. In addition, physicians have the option to receive the patient’s images on films and/or CD. These are delivered directly to the physician’s office within 24 hours. Physicians are also offered secure on-line access to patient records via a web-based portal installed by LPMI.
Do you have a radiologist on site?
Yes, there are full-time radiologists on site at LPMI during all normal business hours.
How do I obtain driving directions and parking instructions?
Refer to Where We Are for a map and driving directions. LPMI Long Beach is conveniently located with access from major roadways. Parking is complimentary.
Do you have someone on staff who speaks my language?
We have individuals at the center that speak Spanish. We also offer access to outside interpretation services.
Will my personal privacy be safe and protected?
What is MRI?
MRI applies a strong magnetic field and radio frequency waves to detail both soft and hard tissues inside the body. There is no radiation involved in MRI. An intravenous contrast agent, or “dye,” may be required in situations where scar tissue or other situations obscure the area being examined.
How safe is MRI?
MRI is safe and painless. The most important safety precautions have to be taken with patients who have pacemakers or ferro-magnetic metals in the body. There are also precautions for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do you offer OPEN MRI services?
We do not have an open MRI scanner, though we do have a short bore scanner with flare-openings at each end that provide the most comfortable high resolution scan. The MRI suite has a large picture window that provides soothing natural light. We also offer sedation, if needed, and music. The compassionate manner of our technologists is reassuring to patients and we are rarely unable to complete a patient exam due to space-related anxieties.
What is a CT?
CT combines X-ray with computer technology to create cross-sectional images or “slices” of the body at varying widths.
What is CVCTA?
Cardiovascular CT angiography uses the advanced technology of high-speed, multi-slice CT to produce specialized exams of the heart and blood vessels.
How safe is CT and CVCTA?
CT and CVCTA are generally safe and painless. We monitor each exam to ensure that patients get an accurate diagnosis with the least possible radiation exposure. There are precautions for patients who have allergic reactions to iodine and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Additional considerations are made for patients who are diabetic or on certain medications.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound uses a small microphone transducer to receive high frequency sound waves, or “echoes,” produced by internal tissues and organs, and converts them into electric impulses that create an image.
How safe is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless, and completely safe procedure.