Can An MRI Business Be Profitable? 

Diagnostic imaging centers are becoming more common. According to Health Care Appraisers, these outpatient centers represent approximately 40 percent of the medical imaging market with over 6,000 standalone diagnostic imaging centers in the United States. At an estimated $600 billion per year, this is quite a lucrative market, and imaging centers account for approximately $19 billion of this annual revenue. With this amount of revenue being spent on diagnostic imaging per year, would having an MRI business be a profitable business venue? Let’s find out… 

With an average yearly revenue of approximately $13,000,000 versus operating costs of around $1,714,000 annually, opening a diagnostic imaging center or an MRI business can be a highly profitable business venture. However, yearly revenue and annual operating expenses will fluctuate depending on factors such as your center’s location and the size of your business. 

In this article, we will determine whether it is profitable to establish a diagnostic imaging center instead of having diagnostic images conducted in a hospital setting. We will take a closer look at many of the factors that determine whether it is profitable to run a diagnostic imaging center, as well as how frequently dissenters are utilized versus the percentage of diagnostic imaging that is done in the hospital. Finally, we will examine the annual revenue of a diagnostic imaging center vs its yearly costs. Let’s read along to see if starting a diagnostic imaging center can be a profitable business venture for you. 

How to Get a Business Loan for Your Accounting/Payroll Business

How Many People Use diagnostic Imaging Centers? 

Can An MRI Business Be Profitable? 

Perhaps the most important aspect of whether or not your diagnostic imaging center will be profitable is the number of people who use your services. The market for diagnostic imaging currently seems to be on an upward trend with annual revenue totaling around six hundred billion dollars per year, with private diagnostic imaging or MRI centers accounting for around 19 billion dollars each year. There is also approximately a 1% increase per year in the use of diagnostic imaging services, and that increase is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. 

This increase is also expected to become slightly higher in the coming years as well, which is certainly good news if you want to open a diagnostic imaging center. We have become a society that is much more conscious of our health and well-being. This bodes extremely well for most businesses that are associated with the medical field. Your diagnostic imaging center will reap the benefits of this as well. As technology continues to develop at its recent pace, I see no reason that this trend will decline anytime shortly. Medical advancements have made treatments for a majority of ailments much more likely to succeed in cases where early detection is present. Your diagnostic imaging center can give patients the early detection they need.

The majority of diagnostic imaging, including MRIs, is conducted in a hospital setting, although there has been a shift toward using diagnostic imaging centers for outpatient diagnostic imaging in recent years. Due to the extensive out-of-pocket cost of high-priced medical insurance policies, there has been a shift from 15% to 43% of all diagnostic imaging being conducted at diagnostic imaging centers because they can be done at a lower cost at one of these centers. 

What Are The Annual Expenses For a diagnostic Imaging Center? 

To understand whether or not any business is profitable, you must first examine the yearly expenses of the business. A diagnostic imaging center is no different. There are yearly costs associated with maintaining and running a diagnostic imaging center, although these expenses are primarily dictated by the location where you choose to open your center as well as the population of the area where your center is located. For this article, I will provide you with an average of the expenses of a diagnostic imaging center. Of course, depending on several factors, your annual expenses may vary.

To gain a better understanding of whether or not it is profitable to open a diagnostic imaging center, you must understand all of the expenses you will incur for your center per year. Here is a breakdown of the average annual expenses of a diagnostic imaging center or an MRI Center:

  • Building Costs and Expenses – $82,000 per year
  • Equipment and Maintenance Contracts – $380,000 per year
  • PACs System/RIS – 29,000 dollars per year
  • Office Furniture and Equipment – $24,000 per year
  • Payroll Expenses – 990,000 dollars per year
  • Billing and Benefits Management – $150,000 per year
  • Other Costs – $59,000 per year

The sum of all of these estimated costs of operating a diagnostic imaging center totals $1,714,000 annually. The costs that your diagnostic imaging center accrues per year may differ depending on several factors. A few of these factors may include the location of your center; the population of the area in which you establish your business, and whether or not the use of diagnostic images is on an upward or a downward trend. A large metropolitan area will incur higher operating expenses, property taxes, and real estate costs than a rural area. However, highly populated areas will see significantly more business than lower populated areas.

What Is the Revenue of a Diagnostic Imaging Center? 

To get a more accurate depiction of whether or not your diagnostic imaging center will be a profitable business venture, you must first assess your annual expenses and then factor in your yearly revenue. Of course, I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that to be a profitable business, your revenue must exceed your expenses. Fortunately, as I have already discussed, the use of diagnostic imaging services is currently trending upwards. This would indicate that we are currently living in a time where more and more people are having their diagnostic imaging conducted in stand-alone centers rather than in a hospital setting.

The direction in which the diagnostic imaging market is trending in conjunction with the increasing use of private diagnostic imaging centers indicates that now is the perfect time to start a diagnostic imaging center. Due to recent economic downtrends combined with high-priced insurance policies that have nearly astronomical co-pays, people are searching for a much more cost-effective way to have their diagnostic imaging done. Your center will not have the high overhead that is often found in a hospital setting. Therefore, you can give your customers a more cost-effective way to get CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays.

So, how much can you expect your diagnostic imaging center to make per year? While your results may vary, the average yearly revenue of a diagnostic imaging center or an MRI Center is approximately $13,000,000dollars. If you take into account the average annual expenses of approximately $1,700,000 that your center will accrue, your diagnostic imaging center will profit approximately $11,700,000 per year. That’s what I call a highly profitable business in any market!


In conclusion, a diagnostic imaging center can be a profitable business because of the recent shift that has seen patients increasingly having their diagnostic imaging conducted in stand-alone centers. Depending on the cost associated with establishing a diagnostic imaging center, can make MRI centers a profitable business. However, several things will factor into the cost of establishing your MRI business

The costs associated with starting a stand-alone diagnostic imaging center will include the cost of the building; costs to renovate your location; property taxes; the price to acquire and maintain your equipment; a computer system capable of handling all of the tests your center conducts; office furniture, supplies, and equipment; expert help to manage billing and benefits; recurring yearly costs, and other expenses. These expenses total approximately 1,714,000 dollars per year. Your average annual revenue should total $13,000,000, leaving a profit of around $11,700,000 per year for your imaging center.

Can Your Payroll and Accounting Business Build Credit?

Frequently Asked Questions

How many diagnostic imaging centers are there in the United States?

How Much Insurance Do You Need For Your Accounting and Payroll Business?

While more people are using diagnostic imaging centers for their diagnostic needs, there has been a recent decline in the number of stand-alone imaging centers there are in the United States. However, this recent decline is not expected to continue into the near future. As of 2021, there are currently 10,116 diagnostic imaging centers in the continental United States.

Is there an effective way to market a diagnostic imaging center or an MRI center?

Just like with any other business, the way you market your diagnostic Imaging Center can have a dramatic effect on whether your business succeeds or fails. Here are a few tips on how to successfully market your Imaging center:

  • Have a great website.
  • Use social media to market your business. 
  • Use lead magnets to get more leads. 
  • Create a profile suitable for Google. 
  • Focus on your audience. 
  • Use blogging as a way to draw additional traffic.
  • Utilize search engine optimization to draw more attention to your website. 
  • Use Google’s ad services. 
  • Initiate an effective local marketing campaign.
  • Use email automated marketing.

To learn more on how to plan your own MRI business click here!

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.