At Lexington Diagnostic Center, We Love Our Doctors…

Dr. Privett Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRIWhen you hear the word doctor, your mind naturally goes to those physicians with whom you interact – your family doctor, cardiologist, even the physician who treated you in the emergency department.

Patients don’t often realize that there are many other physicians involved in their care; doctors they never see. In celebration of National Doctor’s Day on March 30, we wanted to celebrate our three physicians by pulling back the curtain on these highly trained and dedicated specialists.

George Privett, M.D.
Dr. Privett received his medical degree from Baylor University College of Medicine and completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Neurology at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center and served as Chief of Neurology at Womack Army Hospital in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Dr. Privett is a member of American Academy of Neurology, American Society of Neuroimaging, American Medical Association, Kentucky Medical Association and Lexington Medical Society. He practiced Clinical Neurology and Neuroimaging from 1974-1998; currently practices Neuroimaging and is the Medical Director and owner of Lexington Diagnostic Center & OPEN MRI.

Q. Where are you from originally?
A. Slaton, Texas

Q. What extracurricular activities did you participate in in high school/college?
A. I played football in seventh grade. After that I was in the Slaton High School Marching Band and was Drum Major my senior year. I marched with the Texas Tech Red Raider Marching band 2 years.

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a physician?
A. For as long as I can remember

Q. How did you come to radiology?
A. Through neurology. When CT scanning came along and allowed the amazing pictures of the brain.

Q. If you weren’t a physician, what would you be?
A. A travel photographer.

Q. What do you like about your job?
A. I like radiology because of the amazing, non-invasive things it can show inside the body.

Q. Tell us a little about your family.
A. I have an amazing blended family and everyone gets along very well. My wife, Nawanna, is a brilliant educator and is sitting for the second term on the Kentucky State Board of Education.

Q. What are your past-times or hobbies?
A. Photography. I love the colors that abound in nature. Singing, particularly classical. I love the way harmonies, melodies and counterpoints come together to make a great song.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
A. Lexington, Ky.

Q. What makes Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI a great place to practice?
A. At LDC there is a culture of friendliness, cooperation and team playing, with the emphasis on the patient, who comes first.

Robert Pope, D.O.
Dr. Pope is a board-certified radiologist fellowship trained in musculoskeletal radiology. He completed his residency at Michigan State University, and is a graduate of Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Pope served in the Air Force and practiced at Joint Base Balad-Air Force Theater Hospital Iraq where he was Chief Radiologist. He served as staff radiologist at Eglin Air Force Base where he was the director of MRI and Mammography Services. Dr. Pope is experienced in all aspects of medical imagining with an interest in musculoskeletal MRI and joint and epidural injections.

Q. Where are you from originally?
A. Lexington

Q. What school did you attend?
A. Henry Clay

Q. What extracurricular activities did you participate in in high school/college?
A. Wrestling team at Henry Clay. Helped cultivate a competitive spirit. We didn’t get ribbons for participation.

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a physician?
A. As a young kid.

Q. How did you come to radiology?
A.  It was a good combination of diagnostic challenges and getting to work with really all branches of medicine.

Q. If you weren’t a physician, what would you be?
A. BBQ Pit Master

Q. What do you like about being a radiologist?
A. Getting to make diagnoses and help people on their way to treating their conditions.

Q. What are your past-times/hobbies?
A. Golf, fishing, music. I find them relaxing.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
A. On a boat.

Q. What makes Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI a great place to practice?
A. We save patients money.

Jason Harris, M.D.
Dr. Harris is a board-certified radiologist, fellowship trained in musculoskeletal radiology. He completed his radiology residency at University of Cincinnati and earned his medical degree at University of Louisville. Dr. Harris completed his musculoskeletal fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia. He is experienced in all facets of radiology with an emphasis in musculoskeletal MRI and epidural steroid injections.

Q. Where are you from originally?
A. Louisville, Ky. I attended St. Xavier.
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a physician?
A. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t a consideration. I became serious about becoming a physician in college.

Q. How did you come to radiology?
A. The American Board of Radiology administered the oral board examination for the entire country every spring in Louisville for over 35 years. My mom and I both worked the examination, and I got a chance to know some of the best radiologist in the country. It was always a field that I was interested in practicing.

Q. If you weren’t a physician, what would you be?
A. A teacher, probably in high school.

Q. What do you like about being a radiologist?
A. Radiology is one of the most challenging fields in all of medicine. You really have to have a strong knowledge base in many different areas of medicine in order to communicate with referring physicians and participate in taking care of patients. I love to learn, and I learn something every day in radiology.

Q. Do you have any past-times or hobbies?
A. I enjoy spending time with my family, exercising/outdoors, reading, fishing and traveling.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
A. Right here in Kentucky. I have traveled all over the world, and have lived in five different states. The more I travel, the more I realize how special Kentucky is to me, and it is where my family lives.

Q. What makes Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI a great place to practice?
A. LDC provides imaging services to our community at an affordable cost. The health care industry has made it difficult for imaging centers like LDC to survive. I am proud to be part of the LDC team, who strive to treat our patients like family.

The FYI On Your MRI

Open MRI SystemChances are, you or someone you know has needed an MRI scan at some point. We’ve at least all heard of an MRI and might imagine ourselves getting in to that big white tube! But what exactly are we getting ourselves in to? With the help of Paula Bracken, chief radiologic technologist at Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI, let’s explore what you should know, consider, and expect when you need an MRI.

What is an MRI?
As Paula explains, “MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a non-invasive scan that uses a large magnet, pulses of radiofrequency waves, and a computer to create detailed, 2D and 3-D images of organs and structures within your body”. Physicians often use MRI imaging to diagnose conditions that may not be adequately assessed using other imaging methods such as X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.

An MRI is often used to:
• Examine the joints, brain, spine, nerves, abdominal organs, breasts, reproductive organs and other soft tissues
• Assess blood vessels for clots and areas of narrowing
• Detect tumors and diagnose many forms of cancer
• Evaluate infections
• Assess injuries to bones, joints and muscles
• Achieve more detailed images than other imaging modalities

MRIs are often preferred over X-rays and CT scans because they don’t emit potentially harmful radiation. Here’s how it works:
1. The MRI scanner is a very strong magnet that is always turned on.
2. Since the body is made up of mostly water, hydrogen protons in the water are utilized to create an image.
3. An antenna is placed around the area of your body to be scanned.
4. You are moved into the magnetic field of the machine and the hydrogen protons go from spinning randomly to aligning with the magnetic field.
5. Radiofrequency pulses are introduced to move the protons into different positions and the antenna “listens” to the echoes from the protons as they relax.
6. The information is sent to a computer that creates the image.

Where to have your MRI
Many patients “go with the flow” and have their scan performed at the hospital, not realizing they have options for comfort, convenience, and cost-savings. Paula says she’s proud to provide superior care and quality at LDC. “We offer an MRI for every need, and we take care of our patients at a fair price that they’ll find is much less expensive than at other facilities,” says Paula.

An MRI for every need
If even just the thought of that big white tube makes you cringe with claustrophobia, rest assured there’s an option for you. You can even have a loved one stay close by for support. That option is also great for little patients who want a parent close by. Lexington Diagnostic Center utilizes modern equipment and procedures to produce the best images possible while ensuring the patient’s comfort. There are three different MRI machine options to accommodate various patient needs and preferences.

In some cases, sedation may be required or requested for the patient. There is no charge for sedation at LDC. You will need to arrange for a driver to take you home.

What to expect and how to prepare:
Talk to your doctor’s referring coordinator or scheduler when your scan is ordered and they can set up your appointment with Lexington Diagnostic Center. LDC will receive your doctor’s orders and will call you to confirm your appointment. Be sure to let LDC know ahead of time if you’ve had a scan of the same area previously at another location so that images can be compared. Paula shares that LDC takes pride in making sure the entire process is easy and convenient for the patient. She says, “We make sure patients have their appointment in a timely manner, without hassle, and are made as comfortable as possible while receiving superior image quality.”

MRI procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Eat, drink and take your medications as usual unless instructed otherwise. If you are scheduled for an abdominal MRI, you might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for two hours prior to your appointment.

For the scan, you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any metal items including:
• Jewelry
• Hairpins
• Eyeglasses
• Watches
• Wigs
• Dentures
• Hearing aids

The MRI machine is a large, tube-shaped machine that the patient enters while lying comfortably on an exam table. The machine can get loud, so earplugs and headphones are available. The radiology technologist will be close by, keeping you informed and making sure you’re comfortable. You can stop the exam any time to ask questions or express concerns.

Most MRI scans take about 30 minutes to perform for each study. Afterward, the pictures will be reviewed by the radiologist and a report will be sent to your doctor.

Why choose Lexington Diagnostic Center for your MRI?
They are committed to providing the most convenient high-quality MRI imaging services for patients and their physicians. LDC offers:

• Ease of scheduling with typically same-week appointments
• Board Certified Musculoskeletal Fellowship Trained Radiologists to interpret your results
• Highly trained technologists to ensure your comfort and safety
• CD of images for each patient to have and share with their healthcare provider
• An integrated electronic medical records system that provides your referring physician easy access to your images
• Evening and Saturday appointment times
• Front door parking

Making Outstanding Care, Superior Quality Convenient and Affordable

When it’s time for an imaging study – CT scan, MRI, ultrasound – many patients simply “go with the flow” in the belief that there are no choices or that all of the choices are essentially the same.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI, located on Harrodsburg Road in Lexington offers patients not only outstanding, personal care but superior quality as well. With full-time board-certified and fellowship-
trained radiologists, experienced, certified technical staff, commitment to the patient and family, and state-of-the-art equipment, Lexington Diagnostic Center is able to deliver a much higher level of care than is available anywhere else.

“Diagnostic imaging is all we do,” said Davonna Saier, Marketing Director for Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI. “This singular focus allows LDC to schedule patients quickly, conduct tests efficiently, provide outstanding quality and reporting and do it all at a cost significantly less than what patients might pay elsewhere.”

Patients are sometimes concerned that imaging studies performed outside a hospital setting won’t be readily available to their physicians, or can’t be compared to previous studies. “That is absolutely not a concern,” Saier said. “Lexington Diagnostic Center provides an advanced Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) which allows the referring physician to access our radiologists’ reports and imaging studies from their own computers, or even from the surgery suite at the local hospitals,” Saier said.

Further, every patient who has imaging performed at LDC leaves the center that day with a disk containing all of the images captured during the visit. “They can take the images directly to their doctor for review and, of course, the images are always archived here at the center for future reference if needed.” Patients also have access to all of their study reports from Lexington Diagnostic through a secure internet connection, the Patient Portal.

As for comparing today’s images to those captured months or even years ago, Lexington Diagnostic Center is able to request those images from other medical facilities for comparison purposes – continuity of care – without issue. “We have a courier who runs between all the medical

facilities daily picking up imaging studies and returning them here, to the Center, where our radiologists use them to compare today’s studies with any studies performed previously,” Saier said. “It is very important we compare our studies to any prior images that have been done before.”

There is no charge to the patient for this service – and no hassle either. “All they need to do is tell us where they had the images taken and when, and we’ll take care of the rest,” Saier said.

It’s one advantage of having imaging done at LDC that many patients really appreciate, she added. Another benefit is how convenient and easy it is to have testing done at Lexington Diagnostic. With evening and Saturday hours, patients never have to wait weeks to have a test scheduled. And when you arrive at the center for testing, you can feel confident that your test will be performed and you’ll be on your way quickly. There are no long waits caused by numerous emergency cases bumping the schedule. Results are reported to the referring physician quickly, typically in less than 72 business hours, Saier noted.

One of the most important considerations for patients receiving care anywhere is cost. Patients at Lexington Diagnostic Center have peace of mind knowing exactly how much their imaging study will cost, and what their out-of-pocket costs will be. Most patients will save hundreds of dollars by choosing to have their MRIs, CTs and other radiology tests performed at LDC instead of the local hospital.

“That’s because hospitals have to cover all of that overhead – the cafeteria, laundry, parking garages – it’s all rolled up into every patient’s bill. At Lexington Diagnostic Center, imaging is the only thing we do. We keep our overhead costs low and that keeps our prices low, too. And the Radiologist fee is included, so you won’t receive an extra bill from the physician.”

Taking advantage of the Lexington Diagnostic Center difference is quite easy. All you have to do is speak up when your doctor orders an imaging procedure for you. “Most patients don’t realize they have the right to decide where they’ll go for a test or procedure,” Saier said. When patients fail to express a preference, the doctor’s office will schedule the procedure where it is most convenient for them – usually the hospital.

Sometimes patients feel uncomfortable telling physician they need find a less expensive alternative to the hospital, Saier noted. That’s natural. But, she added, “Your doctor should be just as concerned about your financial health as he or she is about your physical health.”

Cost transparency is an important part of the Lexington Diagnostic Center patient care philosophy. “It’s important for patients to know not only how much a test will cost, but what they will be responsible for in terms of co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance,” Saier said. LDC works with the patient’s insurer to determine the out-of-pocket costs before testing is performed. Patients are informed up front of the total cost, usually at least 48 hours before their appointment. Payment is collected on the day of their imaging appointment.

“This means patients never have to worry about getting a bill they didn’t expect 30 or 60 days later,” Saier said. And, unlike hospitals, Lexington Diagnostic’s bill includes the radiologist’s professional fees. “There will ever only be one, all-inclusive bill from us,” Saier said. “You’ll never receive a bill in the mail later with a fee you didn’t know about.”

LDC accepts most all insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. “We’ve actually had them conference in on the phone with patients to reschedule them from a higher-priced facility to us. We save money for insurance companies and for patients. That’s why it’s so important to shop for healthcare costs. Always call and compare prices,” Saier added.