How Much Does a FibroScan Cost?

Written by: Staff

Fibroscan®, a new medical device approved by the FDA, is considered to be a painless and reliable alternative to a liver biopsy, and according to the FibroScan of Los Angeles, a scan may help you get approval for new Hepatitis C treatments or provide you with reassurance that your liver can afford to wait for fewer treatments in the future.

Today, the many doctors who do use the technology use it to determine the severity of liver scarring and determine the best treatment option in the case liver disease is suspected.

How much does a FibroScan® cost?

The cost of a FibroScan® will depend on the provider you use, your geographical location and your health insurance provider, and based on these factors, the costs, from what we read online and doctor’s offices we talked to, could range from $200 to more than $425+ for just the test, with the equipment retailing for as much as $130,000+ for the providers.  The price can increase as you add additional testing such as blood tests and the consultation fee.  When all of these factors are considered, your total bill, without insurance, can easily surpass $600+, for example, had a few providers at the time of this publishing, with the MDSave national average being $204.

According to the multiple replies on this forum thread, one member stated he was billed $330 but was covered by his health insurance policy, while another said he was charged $600 for the entire visit notes the average scan should cost about $200, in comparison to a liver biopsy, which could cost upwards of $3,000+

How does the FibroScan® work?

The scan uses what’s known as “shear waves,” which are able to measure the elasticity of the liver using a technology known as Vibration-Controlled Transient Elastography (VCTE™).  As these shear waves pass through your liver, it is affected by the amount of scarring in the liver (fibrosis) and is then interpreted to help your doctor understand the stage of fibrosis, with a stiffer liver meaning a more severe fibrosis.

The process

Your doctor will ask you to lay on your back, with your right arm slightly raised behind your head.

Next, your doctor will apply a small amount of gel to your right side and will apply slight pressure with the device button-shaped probe to create 10 consecutive measurements in the same location, allowing the device to measure the state of the liver with an average reading.  As this is being done, the probe sends gentle shock waves, which travel through the liver, allowing the device to interpret how fast these waves are traveling through and how quickly it bounces back.  The quicker these waves are able to travel, the stiffer your liver is considered to be, meaning you have more scar tissue than average in your liver.

The entire test will take less than 15 minutes and the results will be readily available immediately upon completion.  The results, measured in Kpa, ranging from 2.5 to 75, will be the unit of resistance, with a score higher than 12 be a reason for concern.  According to Healthncare, 90 to 95 percent of healthy people will have a score measurement less than 7.9 kPa, with the medium being 5.3.

Tips to know

The entire test is painless and there is no downtime as compared to a traditional liver biopsy.

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Average Reported Cost: $230

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  1. Matt (Salem,  Oregon) paid $230 and said:

    Prices seem to be quite close. Doctor wanted to use the scan and was billed $230 after insurance. Not sure if worth it yet but doctor talked highly of it.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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