How Much Does An Echocardiogram Cost?
An echocardiogram, often referred to as an “echo,” is an end-product image generated through a healthcare procedure called echocardiography. With the purpose of producing a graphic outline of the heart’s movement, an echocardiography utilizes the technology in an ultrasound to examine the heart and surrounding cardiovascular system for impairment and malfunctions.
In the course of the procedure, high-frequency sound waves commonly known as ultrasounds, provide pictures of the heart’s valves and chambers. The ultrasound images show blood circulation all throughout. A sonographer is a technician who specifically evaluates the pumping action of the heart. Echoes vary among Transthoracic, Transesophagealm, Stress, Dobutamine or adenosine/sestamibi stress and Intravascular ultrasound.
The cost difference is by and large because of the geological expanse and each state’s prevailing laws on charges and taxes. Although you’re probably going to get insurance coverage for the echocardiogram cost, your insurance company may not regard it as a routine examination. You may still have to pay an great portion of the cost.
How much does an echocardiogram cost?
- Generally, echoes in the U.S. may cost $800 to $2,000 depending on what’s covered.
- An Echocardiogram is frequently coalesced with Doppler ultrasounds and the color Doppler to evaluate the blood flow across the heart’s valves. An Echo with a Doppler will usually cost $500 – $800 extra.
- A transesophageal echocardiogram cost is anywhere from $1000-$1,700, possibly more due to prescriptions used for anesthesia.
- A transthoracic echocardiogram will range from $1,000 to $1,500.
- Depending on the geographical location, the costs can vary as well. San Francisco hospitals have an average of $2,100 while a hospital in Seattle has an average of $1,500.
- Because this procedure is deemed to be medically necessary, count on your health insurance to cover this policy. For those who have health insurance, plan on being responsible for the deductibles and co-pays.
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What are the extra costs?
- There will be a separate charge for a cardiologist to read your test. The reading fee is probably anywhere from $200 – $300 dollars or higher. The results of the echocardiogram can be read and evaluated by an expert cardiologist only. At times, you might be told that you need to pay an additional cost towards radiologists’ fees for evaluating the test results.
- A pulmonary function test is around $300- $500. A doctor has to read this as well, which is an extra charge; doctors charge fairly high rates for reading tests.
- Medications are often used to put the patient in sedation during the echo procedure, and the cost of these medications can be expensive. In a transesophageal echocardiogram case, intravenous injections are given in order to tell the difference between the tissue and blood, This makes it easier to read the images.
- The location of the hospital and the facilities they provide are the major factors for determining where to have the procedure done.
- If the first results don’t provide the information the cardiologist is looking for, an additional test may be ordered again. If this is the case, the test fees will have to be paid all over again.
What is going to be included?
- The echocardiography itself, generated results, analysis and the final diagnosis. This may differ depending on your situation, as they all vary.
- During the procedure, a clear gel will be placed near the chest and abdomen area. Using a hand-held device known as a transducer, the device will send sound waves from your body to a machine nearby. Creating a moving image of the heart, the technologist will be able to see valves, chambers and the pumping action. The procedure will usually take no longer than five minutes.
- If a stress test is required, the hospital may ask you to not eat for several hours before the procedure begins.
How can I save money?
- Whether you’re an inpatient or outpatient, the tests are more expensive when you have them done at the hospital, rather than at a doctor’s office. You are charged less in your doctor’s clinic than you will be in a hospital. If you get the echocardiogram test done from a hospital, expect to pay at least 20%-30% more.
- To get the best deal, do a check in your area or online. Remember to check the clinic’s credentials to ensure that you’re getting the best care possible.
- A hospital located in the finest area of the city is likely to charge more than one located on the outskirts of city.
- If you meet certain income requirements, certain hospitals may be able to work with you. They can set up financial assistance or even monthly bill plans.
- For those who don’t have an health insurance plan, it may be time to consider one. Websites such as eHealthInsurance.com provide great comparison tools to help you find the best insurance policy for your family.