Radiology practice SimonMed doubling centers offering full-body MRI scans amid ‘exponential’ demand growth

SimonMed Imaging announced Monday that it is doubling the number of centers offering full-body MRI scans amid “exponential” demand growth for the service.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based radiology practice first launched SimonOne nationwide in summer 2023, capitalizing on increased interest from startup firms and celebrities. Asymptomatic patients can pay about $650 to receive a 60-minute exam to seek out healthcare concerns that have not surfaced yet. SimonMed has touted its much lower price point compared to competitors who charge as much as $2,499 for a similar service.

“The demand for SimonOne’s whole-body preventative screening has been exponential,” Chief Medical Officer Barry Sadegi, MD, said in a Feb. 12 announcement. “We have seen first-hand how the exam can alter patients’ lives through the early identification of cancers and other abnormalities while the diseases are still treatable.”

SimonMed noted that each of its total-body scans is evaluated by two subspecialized radiologists. The latest expansion will mark the company’s first foray into major markets such as San Francisco and Houston. Its website currently lists about 30 SimonOne locations across Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada and New York.

Founded in 2003, SimonMed bills itself as one of the largest outpatient medical imaging providers and radiology practices in the U.S. The company oversees approximately 170 sites across 11 states and employs 200-plus subspecialty-trained radiologists. SimonMed recently opened six new imaging centers in California and in 2021 inked a partnership with New York-based private equity firm American Securities.

Some in the specialty have expressed concern about the practice of imaging asymptomatic individuals to root out health issues. Matthew Davenport, MD, vice chair of the ACR’s Quality and Safety Commission, called the practice a “terrible idea,” believing it could lead to unnecessary biopsies and workups for insignificant findings.

Marty Stempniak

Marty Stempniak has covered healthcare since 2012, with his byline appearing in the American Hospital Association's member magazine, Modern Healthcare and McKnight's. Prior to that, he wrote about village government and local business for his hometown newspaper in Oak Park, Illinois. He won a Peter Lisagor and Gold EXCEL awards in 2017 for his coverage of the opioid epidemic. 

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