photo_scallon3_197x131 photo_2radsbywindow_197x141

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I've searched your site but can't find information about a particular procedure.
  2. I have a question about my imaging options.
  3. I need information about costs or insurance coverage.
  4. How do I become a radiologist?
  5. I have a question about the results of my examination.
  6. Where can I find a list of schools offering Technologist programs?
  7. How much money does a Radiologic Technologist earn?
  8. I've searched your site but can't find information about a particular procedure.
  9. Is the CCTA a substitute for a conventional angiogram?
  10. What is the difference between CCTA and CT Calcium Scoring?
  11. Will insurance pay for these exams?
  12. What is a Calcium Score?
  13. I just had a negative stress test. Would a CCTA study add anything?
  14. What should I know about radiation safety?
  15. Why should I have my imaging exam done at an accredited facility?
  16. What does ACR accreditation mean?
  17. What does the gold seal mean?

I've searched your site but can't find information about a particular procedure.

Vrads.com currently describes many of the most common radiology procedures but it does not describe all procedures. New procedures will be added and current procedures will be updated as we continue to develop services. Also, many procedures have more than one name. If you have a question about a procedure that is not included on the site, we recommend that you ask your physician or health services provider. Please also let us know the procedure that you were looking for by emailing . We may be able to add it in the future! Chances are, if it's imaging, we provide the service!

btn_top Back to Top

I have a question about my imaging options.

Each patient has individual clinical circumstances that need to be evaluated when considering imaging options. We recommend that you discuss your imaging options with your doctor or health services provider since they know your clinical situation best. Radiologists are available at each of our imaging service sites to discuss imaging options with health care providers, as necessary. Vrads.com does not give individual medical advice or opinion.

btn_top Back to Top

I need information about costs or insurance coverage.

Vrads.com lists contracted insurances and cash discounts within the Patient Section of the website. Vrads.com does not currently have costs of procedures or outline the different insurance plans' coverage. Vantage Radiology is pleased to provide a Fee Request Line to help answer imaging exam cost information. Please call our Fee Request Line at 253.661.4750. You will also need to call your insurance company to verify coverage and calculate actual out-of-pocket expense.

btn_top Back to Top

How do I become a radiologist?

What are the educational requirements? Radiologists are physicians, so you will need to receive an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Science, for example) and then attend medical school to get an M.D. You will then need to pass a licensing examination, and complete at least 4 years of graduate medical education (residency). Following are some reference books on how to get into medical school. These books may be available at a local public library or can be purchased from many book stores:

  • The complete Medical School Preparation and Admissions Guide
  • Barron's Guide to Medical and Dental Schools
  • Medical School Admissions: The Insider's Guide
  • Medical School Admissions Adviser 2001 - The Insider's Guide to Medical School Admissions

Some medical schools have pre-med programs for undergraduates. Knowing the requirements for medical school is important in choosing an undergraduate school.

btn_top Back to Top

I have a question about the results of my examination.

The role of a radiologist is most often times to provide diagnostic results from examinations to patients' health care providers. Your health care provider uses the results of the exam as part of the overall equation in determining how to best treat you given your individual circumstance and history. Vrads.com does not include medical results for diagnostic imaging exams for patients. We encourage you to ask your doctor or health services provider about the results of your examination. It is important that you understand your health.

btn_top Back to Top

Where can I find a list of schools offering Technologist programs?

You might try searching for Radiologic Technologist programs in some of your favorite online search engines such as Google or at sites like Schools in the USA.com. There are many schools across the nation that provide technologist programs.

btn_top Back to Top

How much money does a Radiologic Technologist earn?

Refer to the Radiologic Technologists and Technicians section in the online Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

btn_top Back to Top

I've searched your site but can't find information about a particular procedure.

Vrads.com currently describes many of the most common radiology procedures but it does not describe all procedures. New procedures will be added and current procedures will be updated as we continue to develop services. Also, many procedures have more than one name. If you have a question about a procedure that is not included on the site, we recommend that you ask your physician or health services provider. Please also let us know the procedure that you were looking for by emailing . We may be able to add it in the future! Chances are, if it's imaging, we provide the service!

btn_top Back to Top

Is the CCTA a substitute for a conventional angiogram?

A noninvasive CCTA offers excellent diagnostic imaging of the coronary vessels themselves and in some ways is superior to conventional angiography. However, if there is a high likelihood of significant coronary disease based on history, laboratory and clinical findings, conventional angiography may often be a better choice. This is particularly true for acute chest pain interventions and for patients who are likely to need angioplasty or stent placement. Thus the CCTA is not a substitute or replacement for a conventional angiogram. CCTA is typically used for the early detection of coronary artery disease.

btn_top Back to Top

What is the difference between CCTA and CT Calcium Scoring?

CCTA exams include Calcium Scoring and provide a calcium score as one of the outcomes of the study. By using contrast and slowing down the heart with a beta-blocker, more detailed information can be obtained through a CCTA exam. Both hard plaques and soft plaques are identified during a CCTA exam whereas a CT Calcium Scoring exam identifies only hard plaque that contains calcium deposits.

btn_top Back to Top

Will insurance pay for these exams?

Reimbursement for CCTA is approved for specific indications only and is considered on a case by case basis. Guidelines continue to be developed at various levels and the website will be updated as information is released. Stay tuned!

btn_top Back to Top

What is a Calcium Score?

The Calcium Score is a measure of the amount of calcium located in the coronary arteries. Healthy coronary arteries are free of plaque and should have a score of zero (no calcium seen). A positive test means: calcium deposits were found in the coronary arteries, indicating at least some degree of coronary artery disease. The amount of calcium is related to the amount of disease, and guides clinicians in recommending appropriate treatment, including diet, medication or further testing. A negative test means: no calcium deposits were seen, so most likely there is little or no coronary disease and the risk of heart attack is very low.

btn_top Back to Top

I just had a negative stress test. Would a CCTA study add anything?

A stress or treadmill test, as part of an annual physical, will detect coronary disease with a blockage of greater than 70-80% within the arteries. CCTA can detect coronary artery disease when the disease is still early. When detected at an earlier stage, coronary disease may be treatable with lifestyle changes and medication.

btn_top Back to Top

What about blood tests like C-reactive protein or homocysteine levels?

No blood test can tell if a person has coronary artery disease. Blood tests can only help establish risk for developing coronary artery disease. There are many people with high levels of cholesterol, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or homocysteine that do not have coronary artery disease. At the same time, it is very common to see coronary disease when none of these blood tests are abnormal. Relying solely on blood test results would require treating a lot of people without coronary artery disease who do not need to be treated and still missing a lot of cases where heart disease may be present.

btn_top Back to Top

What should I know about radiation safety?

Before your imaging procedure be sure to ask your physician the following questions:

  • Why is the test needed?
  • How will having the test improve my care?
  • Are there alternatives that do not use radiation and deliver similar results?
  • Is the facility accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR)?
  • Are pediatric and adult tests delivered using the appropriate radiation doses?

btn_top Back to Top

Why should I have my imaging exam done at an accredited facility?

When you see the gold seals of accreditation prominently displayed in our imaging facility, you can be sure that you are in a facility that meets standards for imaging quality and safety. Look for the ACR Gold Seals of Accreditation.

To achieve the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, our facility's personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance, and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. It's important for patients to know that every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiologists and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging.

btn_top Back to Top

What does ACR accreditation mean?

  • Our facility has voluntarily gone through a vigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally-accepted standards of care.
  • Our personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, to perform medical imaging, interpret your images, and administer your radiation therapy treatments.
  • Our equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive, and our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.

btn_top Back to Top

What does the gold seal mean?

When you see the ACR gold seal, you can rest assured that your prescribed imaging test will be done at a facility that has met the highest level of imaging quality and radiation safety. The facility and its personnel have gone through a comprehensive review to earn accreditation status by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the largest and oldest imaging accrediting body in the U.S. and a professional organization of 34,000 physicians.

btn_top Back to Top