How much does a PET scan cost?

The average PET scan cost in the United States is $5,750, though prices can range from $1,250 to $9,225.

One factor that can greatly affect the cost of your procedure is whether you have it performed in an inpatient facility, like a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center.

Outpatient centers are just as safe as hospitals but could save you thousands on your medical bill.

Based on our data, the target fair price for a PET scan is $2,000, whether you have health insurance or not.

  • National Average: $5,750
  • National Range: $1,250 – $9,225+
  • Outpatient Facility Average: $2,550
  • Inpatient Facility Average: $7,275
  • Target Fair Price: $2,000

Below, you’ll learn what factors can affect the cost of your PET scan, as well as how to find a fair price for your procedure.

PET Scan Cost Averages Around the Country

Location Price Range
Atlanta, GA PET Scan Cost Average $1,650 – $4,300
Chicago, IL PET Scan Cost Average $1,500 – $3,900
Dallas, TX PET Scan Cost Average $1,350 – $3,500
Houston, TX PET Scan Cost Average $1,500 – $3,900
Phoenix, AZ PET Scan Cost Average $1,500 – $3,900
Los Angeles, CA PET Scan Cost Average $1,700 – $4,400
Miami, FL PET Scan Cost Average $1,450 – $3,800
New York, NY PET Scan Cost Average $1,550 – $3,900
Philadelphia, PA PET Scan Cost Average $1,500 – $3,900
Washington, DC PET Scan Cost Average $1,550 – $4,000

Specific PET Scan Procedures and National Cost Averages

Procedure Price Range
Whole Body PET Scan Cost Average $3,300 – $12,000
PET Scan (Skull to Mid-Thigh) Cost Average $3,200 – $12,700
PET Scan (Chest to Head Neck) Cost Average $3,000 – $10,700
PET Scan Heart Cost Average $2,850 – $24,200
PET Scan Brain Cost Average $2,250 – $10,700

Which factors can affect your PET scan cost?

Many things can affect the cost of health care, regardless of which type of procedure you’re getting. Generally, there are three factors that cause healthcare costs to vary:

  • Facility setting — Where you have your medical procedure done affects the cost. No matter which type of imaging scan your doctor has recommended, having the procedure done in a hospital as an inpatient costs far more than having the same procedure done in an outpatient center. Since inpatient facilities tend to cost more to run, patients end up paying more for care.
  • Insured or uninsured — The price of medical procedures can vary between insurance providers. The change in price largely depends on how much of the procedure your insurance plan covers, if any at all. If you don’t have health insurance, you can expect to pay for the full cost of the procedure out-of-pocket.
  • Location — The region, state, and even the city you live in can affect the cost of your medical procedure. If you live in a rural area with fewer facilities to choose from, you can expect to pay more than you would if you lived in a city with many providers. Traveling for a medical procedure can be a great money-saving option.

Inpatient vs. outpatient facility cost differences

The cost of a PET scan will vary greatly between inpatient and outpatient facilities. The national average cost for the procedure at inpatient facilities is $7,275, while the same procedure at outpatient facilities averaged $2,550.

Insured vs. uninsured cost differences

Insured patients have historically paid less than uninsured patients for a PET scan, especially when they stay in-network. When a patient has insurance, they share payment responsibility with their insurance company. For patients who don’t have health insurance, the cost of their PET scan falls on them and, ultimately, costs more.

In-network vs. out-of-network cost differences

In-network refers to a health care provider or facility that has a contracted rate with a health insurance company. This rate is usually much lower than what someone would pay out-of-pocket; in-network providers are almost always cheaper than out-of-network providers. This does not apply to patients who are uninsured—without insurance, you shoulder the full cost of your medical procedure.  

Payment responsibility

Nearly everyone who has a PET scan will have to pay some of the cost out-of-pocket. Uninsured patients will be responsible for the total cost of their procedure.

Patients who do have health insurance will be responsible for paying their deductible, copay, and coinsurance amounts. The amount of each of these costs depends on your health plan.

More factors that affect your PET scan cost

  • Prescriptions — A physician may prescribe painkillers or a sedative before the procedure. To avoid high prescription prices, make sure the prescriptions you receive are covered by your insurance policy. You can also ask if there is a generic version of the same medicine, which can help lower the cost.
  • Additional office visits — In some cases, you may be charged a separate fee for an initial consultation with the physician before the procedure. You will have a  follow-up appointment soon after the scan to discuss your results. Ask if this follow up visit is included in the total cost of your procedure.

Your PET scan checklist

1. Review the total cost of your procedure with your physician. Ask them to explain what each cost is for and keep a record. If you get a medical bill that’s higher than you expected, this information will come in handy.
2. 
Ask your physician if they can perform the procedure in an outpatient setting.
3. Check that all providers are in-network. Sometimes a provider who treats you will be out-of-network (this often happens with anesthesiologists). You can avoid this by asking your physician whether all of the providers who will treat you are in-network for your insurance.
4. Ask what the typical cost is if the physician finds other areas that need to be examined during your procedure.

Finding a fair price for your PET scan

While the national average PET scan cost is $5,750 but the fair price is much less — $2,000. New Choice Health takes the guesswork out of health care by allowing you to compare facilities and make sure you’re getting the fair price for your procedure. Use New Choice Health’s comparison tool to save money on your PET scan.

 

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