Jeff Hough


As an independent supplier of MRI machines, the most common question we see each and every day is, "How much does an MRI machine cost?” Given that MRI machines can be one of the most expensive diagnostic imaging equipment across all modalities, it is a fair question to ask. In this blog post we are going to determine what exactly is behind the price of a refurbished GE SIGNA HDxt 1.5T MRI machine and what you should include in your project budget to make sure you don’t overspend.

Purchasing New vs. Refurbished?

The average cost of a new 1.5T MRI machine across the major manufacturers is $1.3M + $600K for options and features. The large variance in price depends on the software and hardware that inherently includes a premium price in your total purchase price. Sometimes, these packages are used in a limited fashion or never at all. Unfortunately, you may never recoup the cost of these premiums on a new MRI machine purchase. You can cut a significant amount from the total cost of your MRI machine when choosing a previously owned machine. The price of previously owned units will vary based on a number of factors including age, level of refurbishment, options, and availability. One key item to consider is that you can configure a refurbished system so it matches your sites clinical needs.


When choosing a GE SIGNA HDxt 1.5T MRI machine, don’t fixate on the age of the machine. Your needs will be different than the needs of another facility’s. Your specific clinical requirements will determine the software version that you will need, including quality and quantity demands. For standard applications, a 15x or 16x system will satisfy basic clinical requirements (neurology, nusculoskeletal, and body MR). A 23x will boast faster acquisition times (patient throughput) and upgraded electronics. With a higher version of system OS, newer and more complex imaging techniques can be performed (MRA, fast breast imaging techniques, and MR GI and Enterography procedures). Often, manufacturers issue upgrades that can lead to advancements in the technology to help extend the life of equipment over a period of time and offer your referring physicians and radiologists more advanced imaging techniques. For GE's SIGNA line of MRIs, the same magnet (CXK4), which started production in 1999, is still being used today. The prices below cannot be guaranteed but should be used as a guideline when you are comparing software versions.

  • 15x $275,000 - $350,000
  • 16x $325,000 - $400,000
  • 23x $350,000 - $500,000

The condition of your machine will factor into the price of the system. For example, if you are choosing a new machine, you will be paying a premium price for software and hardware. Refurbished MRI machines are an attractive option for customers with a limited budget but that are still looking for great technology. The level of refurbishment however, will depend on the supplier. Meridian SELECT certified refurbished MRI machines are refurbished in an ISO 13485-certified facility adhering to the highest quality standards. Meridian SELECT equipment meets OEM standards for quality and performance, while saving you a significant amount on the total cost of your MRI machine.


Upgrades are a great choice for those who want to reduce downtime, to limit construction costs, and all of the digital advances of a new system. This option is available through Meridian, often at a reduced cost compared to working directly with the equipment manufacturers. The upgrade process is quick and takes around 1-2 weeks, whereas a rip and replace can take upwards of many months. This upgrade path keeps the MRI vessel in the room and replaces all of the old electronics with a new digital imaging platform. Deciding to retain your existing magnet also allows for reduced labor, rigging, and construction costs. You will find that upgrades range from $250,000 - $350,000.

While age, condition, and options are all dependent variables on cost, the list below includes additional costs that should be considered with a refurbished GE SIGNA HDxt 1.5T MRI machine.


Downtime is a soft cost, but during a replacement or upgrade, there may be a period where patients cannot be scanned. While there never seems to be a perfect time to make a change that will disrupt the day-to-day clinical operations, our engineers are expert and efficient installers. Other options that Meridian and our partners can provide are mobile rentals to ease the transition. These cost-efficient models can be utilized during upgrades to allow for patient steerage and scheduling patients during off shifts until the construction is completed.

Installation / De-installation:

You should always keep an eye on shipping, rigging, and construction costs. MRI machines require complex logistics so shipping will be priced based on the distance between the system’s location and your facility. You can expect shipping costs to be +/- $18,000. This may be included in the price of your system, so be sure to ask prior to purchase. The rigging of your MRI machine can cost between $4,000 - $8,000 and is covered by the buyer. This price will vary depending on where the system is being installed in your facility. The construction cost is another factor to consider when evaluating how much your GE SIGNA HDxt 1.5T MRI machine will cost. Is there direct access to the MRI suite or does a wall need to be opened to get the magnet into the suite? This cost will also be covered by the buyer. If you are replacing an existing MRI machine or doing a new buildout, construction costs can be close to $100,000 for new shielding. Finally, the cost of installation is typically included with the price of the system and can cost +/- $15,000.


Large amounts of helium are needed to cool the superconducting magnet. Each manufacturer has recommended fill rates so that the system does not quench during normal operation. Refilling costs can exceed $70,000. Don’t forget to always include the cost of cryogen in your service contract and a remote system to monitor pressure and fill levels. This should include routine fills as part of preventative maintenance on your MRI machine.


Staffing is one of the most pressing issues organizations face today because it can be one of the biggest annual expenses for your organization. Matching staffing to hospital census and the number of imaging studies ordered, both inpatient and outpatient, results in a smaller number of staff members who are skilled in multiple modalities. If you are completely upgrading your system or even just the software, additional training should always be included in your expense budget to keep your new and seasoned staff current with the latest imaging techniques.

If you’re looking for a Refurbished GE SIGNA HDxt 1.5T MRI machine, the healthcare experts at Meridian Leasing can help. Call +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected] for more details or to speak with a medical equipment specialist.