How Much Does a PET Scan Cost?
A PET scan, also known as a positron emission tomography, is a nuclear medicine technique that can produce detailed 3D images. This test will detection radiation from the emission of positrons, which are smaller particles that are emitted from the radioactive material the scan emits. This test is known for detecting many diseases. The cost of a PET scan is going to depend on the hospital performing the procedure, the geographical location, as well as other factors.
How much does a pet scan cost?
- On average, the cost of pet scan can be anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $9,500 without health insurance. The geographical location is going to play a major role on the price tag.
- For those that have health insurance, most policies will cover a scan such as this one as long as it is medically necessary. Since each health insurance policy differs, it is important to talk with the health insurance policy to find out what is covered.
- For example, a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona charges $4,500 for the procedure, while a hospital in Castro Valley, California charges $10,300.
- According to the website WashingtonImaging.com, they state that the PET scan can cost anywhere from $2,500 to as much as $4,000. It will all depend upon the location and the type of scan that is going to be performed.
What are the extra costs?
- An initial office exam will be necessary to discuss your options. Due to the higher price of the tests, the doctor will want to ensure that the patient can benefit from the procedure.
- Additional fees such as technical and professional fees may be on top of the scan fee. This will vary from hospital to hospital.
- Due to the complexity of this test, cancellation fees can cost upwards of $500 if not cancelled more than 24 hours in advance.
- After the test has been completed, the doctor will receive a report. This may result in a follow up visit to discuss them.
- Copies of CD and films may be an additional cost. This is going to greatly depend on the doctor’s office policy.
What is going to be included?
- Before the procedure begins, a radioactive substance known as FDG is produced through a machine. Once the substance has been attached, it will be administered to the patient throughout various parts of the body. Through the scanner, the PET will be able to detect the substance creating different colors and brightnesses. If any cancer is present, the colors will be brighter than a normal tissue.
How can I save money?
- It is very important to talk with various hospitals as all their quotes are going to greatly vary. You may find that doing some research can save you up to $3,000. Newer comparison sites such as NewChoiceHealth.com can help find the best quote in your local area in terms of medical expenses.
- If uninsured, talk with the hospital to see if you can get a cash discount. If the balance is placed on a credit card or paid in cash, many hospitals are more than willing to offer a discount of up to 40%.