How Much Does A CT Scan Cost?

By HealthPriceCompare - Apr 7, 2023

The cost of a CT scan generally depends on the specific type of exam and the area being imaged. Limb and abdomen images tend to cost less than images of the spinal cord and brain. A knee joint can cost in the $220 to $3,000 range while a CT scan of the brain can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. The cost also varies depending on the facility, your insurance status and whether you decide to pay cash.

How Location Affects CT Scan Cost

Where you get your CT scan can affect its cost. In most cases, it is more expensive to get at a hospital and less expensive to get at a stand-alone imaging center which are a quality alternative for care at a significantly lower price. Because hospitals have more labor and overhead expenses than stand-alone imaging centers, they must typically charge considerably more for MRIs than stand-alone imaging centers.

Like hospitals, stand-alone imaging centers must buy CT scan equipment and then pay to keep it maintained and updated. Because these specialty clinics focus on imaging, they typically do more scans than hospitals which allows the equipment, maintenance and administrative costs to be spread over more patients, ultimately lowering the cost for each patient. Hospitals don't have the flexibility to do that.

Breaking Down CT Scan Costs

The cost of a CT scan can be broken down into two parts: technical fees and professional fees. Technical fees include the actual costs directly related to the scan such as the cost of the equipment, upgrades, and repairs. Professional fees include the fees and wages paid to the people who administer the scan and read the results.

It Also Depends on Health Insurance

You may be in a generous employer group health plan or on Medicare or Medicaid. These types of insurance cover most medical expenses with participants paying little to no cost-sharing when obtaining CT scans and other imaging services. For patients in high-deductible health plans, their patient responsibility is typically the entire cost and at a vastly inflated price.

But Your Can Get a Good Deal

CT scans are routine medical procedures used for diagnostic, not therapeutic, purposes. Go with the most affordable and convenient option.

How to Choose a Provider

Patients are becoming aware that they have more choices than just going where their doctor tells them to go. You can call around and get quotes from a few different places or you can use HealthPriceCompare to do it the easy way.

HealthPriceCompare enables comparison shopping of insurance contracted prices for CT scans using just three pieces of data - zip code, CT scan type and insurance plan. Be sure to also compare discounted cash prices - you may be surprised by how much you can save.