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How Much does PET Scan Cost?

How Much does PET Scan Cost?

Tripment, Inc
Tripment Health Team

PET scan cost averages

Like other diagnostic tests, PET scans vary in price from state to state. The list below includes the general national price averages for each procedure.

Procedure
National Price Range 
Whole Body 
$3,000 - $12,000
Heart
$2,800 - $24,200
Brain
$2,200 - $10,700
Skull to Mid-Thigh
$3,200 - $12,000
Chest to Neck
$3,000 - $10,700

When may you need a PET/CT scan?

PET scans, or positron emission tomography, are imaging tests that utilize a dye with radioactive tracers. These can be swallowed or injected depending on what part of the body is being assessed. They are usually ordered to take more explicit images of your whole body or certain parts of your body to take a closer look at any abnormalities. They also provide images of biological processes. 

CT scans, or CAT scans, are computerized imaging tests using X-ray technology to get cross-sectional body images. Compared to PET scans, CT scans provide images of structures within your body rather than processes. So in cases where a physician wants to more clearly see your bones or any abnormalities in your soft tissue, a CT scan would be ordered. However, if the physician intends to examine the functions of your organs and tissue or wants to detect an early disease that doesn’t show up on other imagining tests, a PET scan would probably be more commonly ordered. 

Sometimes your provider may also perform a PET/CT scan simultaneously, allowing for a more accurate diagnosis.

PET scans can also:

  • Measure blood flow, oxygen use, and blood sugar metabolism
  • Detect cancerous tumor cells and monitor the spread
  • Measure the effectiveness of a treatment plan to see if adjustments are needed

CT scans can:

  • Detect muscle and bone disorders
  • Detect tumors
  • Visualize infections and blood clots
  • Detect internal bleeding
  • Guide surgeries, radiation therapy, and biopsies
  • Measure the effectiveness of a treatment plan to see if adjustments are needed

Which aspects can affect PET scan cost?

There is no set answer of how much a PET scan costs with insurance or without insurance since many different aspects can affect PET/CT scan prices. Some of these aspects include:

  • Regional prices that differ from city to city
  • Your insurance coverage
  • Type of PET Scan
  • Where it’s performed

PET scan prices vary incredibly from state to state and, even more specifically, city to city. If you live in an area with fewer medical facilities, the probability of you paying more is much higher. The pet scanner price is also affected by your insurance and your rate of deductibles, what type of PET scan you receive, and where you have it performed. For what kind of PET scan you receive, a full-body PET scan cost will be higher than PET scans for cancer’s (in areas like the chest and the brain) costs. The last factor also dramatically impacts the price where the differences in outpatient facilities, like surgery centers, and inpatient facilities, like hospitals, can have a difference of around $5,000. Additional cost factors could be painkillers or sedatives given before the procedure or additional office visits to follow-up and discuss your results.

How to avoid additional costs?

Some ways that patients can avoid additional costs is to research the prices of PET/CT scans in areas or states near them as it might be more cost-effective to travel for a specific procedure. Usually, outpatient facilities are much less expensive than inpatient facilities. To avoid the cost of additional office visits, you should ask your health care provider at the beginning of your treatment if these visits are included in the total cost of your procedure. In discussing prescription prices, you can also ask if a generic version of the same medicine would be cheaper than popular brand-name medications.

If you are having trouble finding centers, you can visit Tripment Health, where you can look at upfront transparent pricing of the cost of PET/CT scans. 

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