North Carolina MD's affordable MRI center prohibited by state legislation

After Gajendra Singh, MD, was quoted $1,200 for an ultrasound at his local hospital’s outpatient department, he decided to open his own low-cost imaging center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. But that’s where his problems began, Vox reported.

A recent profile detailed Gajendra’s struggle with the state’s “certificate of need” law, which has barred him from buying a permanent MRI machine. He skirted the law by rending a mobile MRI unit, but the move has undercut his plans to offer MRI for as little as $500. Vox reported he has filed a lawsuit in North Carolina Superior Court challenging the legislation.

Such laws have been found to protect hospitals from competition, Vox reported. At one point, 49 states once had certificate of need in place, but 14 have overturned them.

If Singh can make the Tar Heel State follow suit, he will be able to purchase his own machine and accept patients he frequently must turn away due to his limited twice-a-week MRI schedule, according to Vox.

“If I wanted to just have money, I didn’t have to do all this stuff,” he told Vox. “Do I want to make money? Absolutely. But I didn’t open this imaging center to buy a Lamborghini.”

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