How Much Does a Urine Culture Cost?
A urinary culture is something that is used to determine whether or not you are suffering from a urinary tract infection. This is, unfortunately, a common condition for many people. For physicians to know the exact bacteria that is causing an infection, urine tests may be ordered and one of these could be a urine culture.
A urine culture is a laboratory test where a urine sample is checked for the presence of a certain bacteria. Culture tests are often done with sensitivity to test which drugs would mostly affect the bacteria found during the culture. This will help the doctor know how to get rid of the infection.
How much does it cost?
- In most cases, the test can be done at a local laboratory or even a family doctor’s office. Plan on budgeting anywhere from $40 to as much as $70 for a urine culture. This won’t include the doctor’s office fee or health insurance.
- Be sure to check with your health insurance policy since most policies may cover this type of test. You would only be responsible for the co-pays and deductible. If this test is given at an appointment with your family doctor, it will probably be covered with the office visit and not charged separately.
- A routine test for a urine culture from Walkinlab.com costs $45, for example. The test results can be obtained in three to four days.
- Sterling-wellness.com offers urine culture tests for $59.50.
What is going to be included?
- If few organisms grow during the test, it is deemed negative. However, if a large enough number grow to indicate an infection, it will be deemed positive. This test will be identified under a microscope by a laboratory professional who is trained to see these things.
- An abnormal count will have more than 100,000 or more bacteria per milliliter. Any numbers less than 100 make the infection highly unlikely.
- If the urine culture is done together with sensitivity testing, you will get information regarding not only what type of infection you have, but also the exact type of medication that you should be taking and how much of that medication is needed before the bacteria can be eliminated.
- The cost will include the fees for the laboratory analysis and medical interpretation of the results. Your physician may be able to interpret such results but the interpretation is usually included in the price.
- Aside from the doctor’s copy, the patient will also be given his or her own copy of the laboratory results.
What are the extra costs?
- The cost for a consultation is not included in the cost for urine culture.
- Culture and sensitivity tests are often done together. There are medical practitioners that would only need information from urine culture and would not require the sensitivity part. However, if a sensitivity test is required with the urine culture, you may pay an additional fee.
- While the urine culture and sensitivity test can tell the doctor how much of what type of medicine you should be taking, this medicine will still be a separate charge. Most insurance companies provide coverage for prescription medication.
Tips to know:
- The turnaround time for a urine culture is usually 3 days or so. It would be best that you perform urine test as early as the other lab tests you need to get in order to save time.
- Be sure to follow instructions when obtaining urine for the urine culture. The specimen has to be fresh and obtained through a clean catch. This way, you will decrease the error of the results and would avoid you from getting another culture test for confirmation and accuracy.
- The best time to take the test is during the early morning.
How can I save money?
- Discounted clinic or laboratories online could help you save a lot of money with a urine culture. When using these services, they will set you up with the kit and a local lab to have the work done. Once the samples are processed, you will receive the results in the mail.
- If you need to get laboratory tests other than the urine culture, you can ask the doctor’s office if they have a laboratory package that covers the urine culture and all the other tests that you may need.