How Each Diagnostic Imaging Scan Varies in Price

It can be confusing sorting through all of the information surrounding various diagnostic imaging scans. Learning what the tests are, how they are performed, and what their function is can be a dizzying experience, let alone trying to figure out a fair price for each scan. Thankfully, there is a rhyme and reason to the pricing of these scans. The sophistication of the test and the area where it is used will usually determine the cost. We are here to inform you about how you can determine a fair price and why they vary.


·      The X-ray is the oldest and most common type of radiology scan. It helps identify problems such as bone fractures, breast tumors, and lung scarring.

·      X-rays costs vary depending on what part of your body is scanned. Abdominal x-rays cost about $47, whereas chest x-rays cost around $59, and an x-ray of the ribs will cost $77.

·      A mammogram is a common type of x-ray, and it is a little bit more expensive than a regular one. A preventative, screening mammogram will cost about $264, and a bilateral diagnostic mammogram will cost about $321.



·      The ultrasound image is created using ultrasound waves, and is used to examine blood flow and monitor internal organs. It is special because it captures images in real time.

·      Once again, price varies based on how the test is performed. A transvaginal ultrasound should cost $145, whereas a fetal ultrasound is around $281, and an ultrasound-guided biopsy runs about $396.



·      MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides detailed images of soft-tissue and bone using magnetic fields and radio waves.

·      Because the MRI test is more complex than the X-ray it will be more expensive, and, once again, vary depending on the area.

·      An abdominal MRI without contrast should cost about $776, and a brain MRI with and without contrast costs $1,261. (According to Healthcare Bluebook)


CT Scan:

·      CT or Computerized Tomography scans use x-rays and computer imaging software to provide detailed images of soft-tissue and blood vessels.

·      Prices vary pretty wildly for CT scans depending on what type of CT scan you get and where you get it.

·      An abdominal CT scan without contrast should cost around $413, and a chest or arm CT should cost about $390.

·      Brain and spine CT’s with and without contrast cost around $700, and a heart CT scan should cost $838.

·      PET (Positron Emission Topography) scans with CT of the whole body are much more expensive. The technology and machines needed to perform a PET is more sophisticated and therefore more costly.

·      A PET scan with CT of the whole body costs $2,809 according to Healthcare Bluebook


Make Sure You Are Being Treated Fairly

Now that you know what Healthcare Bluebook recommends as a fair market price for each diagnostic imaging scan, you are armed with the facts to make sure no one takes advantage of you. This guide is relatively basic and provides a general idea of what to expect regarding the diagnostic imaging prices.

In addition to being armed with facts, some tips to avoid overpaying for medical services include: asking about price before a procedure, shopping around to other facilities, and knowing the reputation of the facility you are attending. If you have any questions regarding the pricing of our services, feel free to give us a call at 212-744-5538.

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