Scheduling and Billing

Scheduling

Human and Animal MRI

The three MRI scanners use a common online scheduling service.  To request access to the scheduling system, contact Pat Silver (ppsilver@uci.edu).

When reserving time, keep the following in mind:

  • There is a 30 minute scheduling minimum. Time for setting up and cleaning up must be included in the scheduled time and is billed.  The next person doing a scan must be able to start when your slot ends or you will be charged for the extra time.
  • Appointments over 30 minutes can be scheduled in increments of 15 minutes.
  • Cancelations must be made beyond 48 hours from the scan time to avoid being charged for the scans.  Pat Silver maintains an e-mail list to help researchers find other labs that may be able to use the time to avoid this charge.
  • Tech support is only ensured during normal business hours (9AM-5PM, weekdays, excluding holidays) and is subject to availability.

PET

To schedule a PET scan, please call the NIC office at 949-824-7872.  Please note that as much of the cost associated with a PET scan derives from the isotope, these costs are passed onto the user directly.  Cancelations that are not done with sufficient time to prevent the synthesis of the isotope will have their costs passed on to the user.

Billing

Time on all scanners is billed via a recharge rate determined by UCI and reviewed annually.  The rate reflects the operating cost of each facility and, for users outside of UCI, reflects indirect costs as well.

Note that the CCNI’s policy is that billing will not be adjusted for:

  1. Technical problems not reported in the requested time frame (see below).
  2. Time lost due to problems that are the responsibility of the PI or the Operator (e.g., if the subject is late or doesn’t show, the PI’s computer fails, problems with protocols, or the Operator uses the wrong pulse sequence parameters).
  3. Minor system glitches that do not prevent completion of the scan session (e.g., the scan could be completed after a simple reset or a cable reconnected).

Billing categories and policies – MRI scanners

Paid Hours: Scanning time is paid in full at either the peak-hour rate or off-peak rate.

Bonus Hours: These are credits earned for every paid hour. For every paid hour, each UCI PI accumulates 15 minutes of bonus credit. The purpose of this is to address participant no-shows, technical issues outside of the MRI facility’s responsibilities (e.g., bugs in experimental paradigms, improper scanning parameters entered, etc.), and to allow researchers to collect pilot data for new projects.

Bonus time is cumulative (banked), but no more than 40 bonus hours can be carried over from year to year. (The fiscal year starts on July 1st and ends on June 30th.)  Bonus hours are assigned to the PI at time of billing and may not be transferred between PI’s after the fact.  If the scans are being collected as a part of a multi-PI project, a core facility, or some other situation in which they should not be assigned to the scheduling PI, you must let Pat Silver know how the bonus hours should be applied prior to the scan.  Note, outside contracts do not accumulate bonus hours.

Lost Hours: Lost Hours are defined as reserved time slots that go unused. A PI may hold a slot for 2 hours on the online scheduling service without penalty, after which the slot will be considered reserved. Lost hours incur the regular charge or can be covered with bonus hours. If a PI loses more than 25% of the slots he or she for two consecutive months, and this is impacting other users, that PI may incur special limits to his/her scheduling privileges.

Unfunded Pilot Data: New projects are eligible for 15 hours per year of scanner time for use in collecting pilot data or other developments needed to obtain extramural funding.  The Unfunded Pilot Project Proposal must be submitted and approved by the CCNI before scheduling unfunded pilot time. Scheduling may be subject to additional constraints.  An additional 15 hours can be obtained within the year if the prior allocation led to the submission of a relevant grant proposing future MRI research.

Billing Adjustments for Technical Problems: A “technical problem” includes basic scanner functions as well as functionality of the standard ancillary equipment (projectors, button boxes, etc.). Problems should be reported immediately for Prime Hours appointments and on the next business day for After Hours appointments. If technical problems arise with the scanner, there will be no charge for lost time. The Staff Physicist will make the decision on whether a problem is a technical problem. This decision can be appealed to the Director of Operations. It is important to remember that the scheduling system is also the billing system, and adjustments will need to be documented.

Billing categories and policies – PET scanner

Paid Hours: Scanning time is paid in full at either the peak-hour rate or off-peak rate.

Unfunded Pilot Data: New projects are eligible for 15 hours per year of scanner time for use in collecting pilot data or other developments needed to obtain extramural funding.  The Unfunded Pilot Project Proposal must be submitted and approved by the CCNI before scheduling unfunded pilot time and researchers must be able to fund the purchase of the isotopes needed (use of the scanner is free under the pilot program, but we cannot provide free isotopes). An additional 15 hours can be obtained within the year if the prior allocation led to the submission of a relevant grant proposing future MRI research.

Billing Adjustments for Technical Problems: A “technical problem” includes basic scanner functions as well as functionality of the standard ancillary equipment (projectors, button boxes, etc.). Problems should be reported immediately for Prime Hours appointments and on the next business day for After Hours appointments. If technical problems arise with the scanner, there will be no charge for lost time. The Staff Physicist will make the decision on whether a problem is a technical problem. This decision can be appealed to the Director of Operations. It is important to remember that the scheduling system is also the billing system, and adjustments will need to be documented.

Rates

MRI Scanner at FIBRE

  • Off-Peak time: between 6PM-7AM and weekends
  • UC users
    • Standard rate of $565 / hour and off-peak rate of $430 / hour
    • $50 / hour for operator assistance (required if you do not have an operator certified by the NIC or CCNI to operate the magnet) during on-peak times. $65 / hour during off-peak hours.
  • Academic non-UC users
    • Standard rate of $648 / hour and off-peak rate of $493 / hour
    • $58 / hour for operator assistance (required if you do not have an operator certified by the NIC or CCNI to operate the magnet) during on-peak times. $65 / hour during off-peak hours
  • Outside users
    • $800 / hour.  This includes 29.8% F&A rate and operator assistance

MRI Scanner at NIC

  • Standard rate of $475 / hour and off-peak rate of $375 / hour (off-peak being between 6PM-7AM and weekends)
  • $50 / hour for operator assistance (required if you do not have an operator certified by the NIC or CCNI to operate the magnet)
  • $811 / hour for outside contracts.  This includes 54% F&A costs and operator assistance

PET Scanner at NIC

  • Internal Investigators:
    • Scans using AV-45/AV-1451/MK-6240: $1,000 + AV-45/AV-1451/MK-6240 dose
    • Scans using FDG: $1,000 + $350 FDG dose
  • External Investigators:
    • Scans using AV-45/AV-1451/MK-6240: $2,000 + AV-45/AV-1451/MK-6240 dose
    • Scans using FDG: $2,000 + $350 FDG dose
  • Clinical Scans:
    • FDG Scan: $2,000 + $350 FDG dose
    • Legal scans: $2,000 +$350 FDG Dose + $660 Professional Fee

Animal Scaner

Rates at the animal scanning facility have yet to be finalized but the current estimate is $165 / hour.