Approximately 100 million people undergo CAT scan annually, nearly half of which are from the United States. The list of ailments diagnosed with the help of this medical procedure is quite long, and includes major diseases, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal disorders. An important aspect of the procedure that you need to take into consideration before undergoing it, is the cost. But before we move on to the cost incurred, let's have a brief look at the procedure involved.
What is CAT Scan?
CAT scan (computer axial tomography), also referred to as CT scan (computed tomography), is a non-invasive process, wherein images of various structures inside the human body are produced using the X-ray technique. The X-ray unit used in CT scanner rotates around the body of the individual, thus producing pictures of organs in the form of thin slices. It is used to examine various parts of our body, including chest, head, abdomen, arms, and legs. During the test, it takes the pictures of internal organs of the human body, such as the liver, lungs, kidney, heart as well as bones and blood vessels (CAT angiography).
The CAT scanner is a huge machine with a slider attached to it. During the test, the person is made to lie on this slider, which takes him inside the huge machine. Inside, X-rays are sent through the particular area of the body which has to be examined. The scanner rotates and takes pictures in the form of thin slices of the particular area. Each rotation of the scanner takes less than a second to execute. Once the necessary pictures are taken, they are saved on the computer. The doctor refers to these pictures to diagnose your ailment.
Cost of a CAT Scan
On the basis of the expenses incurred, CAT scans can be broadly categorized into 2 groups: the whole body CAT scan, which can cost you anything between US$ 300 - 800, and diagnostic CAT scan, which can cost you around US$ 600 - 1500. When we say the cost incurred on CT scan may vary, this variation can be in thousands depending on different situations. Even opting for CT scan with contrast can fluctuate your medical expenditure.
|Name of the CAT Scan||Cost Range|
|Brain CT Scan||USD 525 - 5,200|
|Chest CT Scan||USD 525 - 11,000|
|CT Bone Density Scan||USD 340 - 3,300|
|CT Ear||USD 700 - 7,200|
|CT Foot, Ankle, Leg, Hip||USD 725 - 9,600|
|CT Maxillofacial||USD 750 - 4,200|
|CT Neck||USD 875 - 6,600|
|CT Pelvis Scan||USD 875 - 8,800|
|CT Scan of Abdomen||USD 900 - 8,000|
|CT Shoulder, Arm, Wrist, Hand||USD 925 - 6,700|
|CT Spine and Neck||USD 975 - 6,500|
|Heart CT Scan||USD 1,050 - 7,400|
|Lumbar Spine CT||USD 1,600 - 8,200|
|Thoracic CT Scan||USD 1,700 - 8,800|
|CT Angiography||Cost Range|
|Aorta||USD 1,500 - 11,700|
|Abdomen||USD 1,500 - 17,300|
|Chest||USD 1,450 - 15,900|
|Foot, Ankle, Leg, Hip||USD 1,700 - 17,600|
|Head||USD 1,600 - 9,200|
|Neck||USD 1,450 - 9,000|
|Pelvis||USD 1,600 - 9,000|
|Shoulder, Arm, Wrist||USD 1,700 - 8,700|
Several factors, such as the area of the body which has to be examined, your medical insurance, the hospital you choose, etc., play an important role in determining the cost incurred. In fact, the cost may be different in two different cities, or two different hospital in the same city for that matter. Furthermore, the cost incurred for a same test may differentiate between two individuals depending on their medical insurance. Thus, it's very difficult to determine the exact cost of a CT scan.
Although the procedure is very expensive, there is always a possibility of negotiation with the authorities. If successfully negotiated, the authorities can also give you an option of paying in installments over a period. Some medical facilities readily give discounts to patients who pay in cash, while some give discount to patients who opt for high-end services. Considering that such tests can really affect your financial situation, it is always beneficial to have options in the form of Employees Group Benefit Programs or medical insurance policies. A little bit of research and some negotiation can help you find the best price and save your hard-earned money.