News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 18, 2016

ThedaCare Invests in Low-cost MRI Imaging Centers

New partnership supports growing market shift to value-based medicine

Smart Choice MRI, ThedaCare investment, low-cost MRI

February 18, 2016 — ThedaCare, the largest healthcare system in Northeast Wisconsin, is investing $3 million in Smart Choice MRI, the first magnetic resonance imaging provider in the country to offer every MRI for an all-inclusive fee of $600 or less.

ThedaCare is a community-based health system that reinvests in the communities it serves. ThedaCare sees potential for consumers in Smart Choice MRI, while the new partnership creates an opportunity for both companies to learn from each other and use their knowledge and expertise to bring additional value to patients.

“We look for partners who are culturally and collectively a good fit,” said Keith Livingston, ThedaCare senior vice president of systems of care support. “Smart Choice MRI shares our vision to put patients and consumers at the center of the healthcare experience. We sometimes collaborate with competitors in the best interests of consumers. In this case, we admire Smart Choice MRI’s service-orientated, consumer-driven model for imaging, which we can learn from and apply to many aspects of our business. Additionally, this partnership is consistent with our need to learn how to better meet consumers’ needs in the evolving-retail healthcare marketplace.”

ThedaCare doctors will continue to work with patients to determine the most appropriate MRI setting for each individual situation, considering all the factors that impact a patient’s choice for an MRI. These include personal health needs, scheduling, insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs.

Smart Choice MRI currently has six Wisconsin locations in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Richfield, Waukesha, Kenosha and Appleton. The company is also scheduled to open at least eight clinics in 2016 — four in the Chicago area by April and four more in the Twin Cities by the second half of the year. Smart Choice MRI will use the $3 million capital investment from ThedaCare to support its expansion.

ThedaCare is the first healthcare system to partner with Smart Choice MRI. As a minority owner of Smart Choice MRI’s overall operation, ThedaCare will have a seat on the Smart Choice MRI board of directors, and anticipates growth on its investment as Smart Choice MRI grows.

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