Getting a CAT scan (Computed Tomography or CT Scan) may make the difference between you getting a proper diagnosis and not getting the treatment you require. But how much does a CAT scan cost?
This question weighs down on most patients’ minds at that critical time when the physician recommends getting one.
A CAT scan may cost anywhere between $250 and $5,000 depending on a few factors.
CAT Scan Pricing Guide
First of all, the cost of the CAT scan is usually divided into 2 main parts.
The first part is the cost of the imaging procedure itself. This is the technical fee for getting your image done.
The second part is the professional fee. This is the fee the radiologist will charge you to accurately make an accurate interpretation of your CAT scan image.
The radiologist charges differ depending on expertise, experience, reputation, and demand.
CAT scans vary in price depending on which part of the body is getting done. For instance, a brain imaging procedure would typically cost more than an abdomen scan.
The cost of a CAT scan also differs depend on where you have it done. For example, a scan done at an upscale location would typically cost more than one done downtown, whatever city you live in.
Additionally, imaging centers that are within a hospital tend to cost so much more than imaging centers unattached to any medical centers. This may be because those attached to hospitals have a higher demand and most patients never bother to look for other options once the doctor sends them there.
Most hospitals and imaging centers will charge much lower fees for CAT scans if the patient pays out of pocket, in cash.
The patient may get a huge discount by paying cash or using a check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover within a 2-month period.
Most imaging centers and hospitals will not charge you if you cancel your imaging appointment within 24 hours of the appointment.
However, if you cancel less than 24 hours before the appointment or fail to show then you may get charged a cancellation fee anywhere between $100 and $800.
Medicare and most other insurance companies offer reimbursements on the cost of a CAT scan.
However, for most insurance plans this only applies if the procedure was requested by a medical professional.
To be certain, ask your insurance company whether any special authorizations and pre-certifications are required to ensure reimbursement. Talk to your medical professional before the procedure is done.
If the procedure seems a tad too expensive for your financial situation, you may need to seek some financial assistance to make it happen.
Though most hospitals and imaging centers will not have a payment plan to spread out the cost over a period of time, they may have special plans for patients facing extreme financial hardship.
For financial assistance with the CAT scan costs, you may also approach a few charities and see whether you qualify.
The US federal poverty guidelines provide for help for patients coming from families with incomes and assets less than 200% of the guidelines.
Your employer may also help you mitigate the costs of a CAT scan if you have a Group Benefit Program.
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