X-rays can be necessary for diagnosing many medical conditions. For instance, they can help to detect broken bones and fractures and they can help to discover the causes of chest pain.
The cost of getting an X ray done can vary depending on the clinic, whether you’re insured and the level of examination required. Generally, urgent care clinics are the most affordable option when seeking out this diagnostic procedure. Here is a brief guide to help you save further costs when getting an x ray.
Do I need an X ray?
An X ray isn’t always essential when diagnosing injuries and illnesses. In fact, many patients request X rays when they’re no needed.
Twists and sprains are a common example of a time when a X ray could be unnecessary. Whilst you may be experience serious tendon or ligament damage, this is soft tissue damage that won’t show up on a X ray. The only time you may want to request an X ray is if you’ve had a knee injury and are unable to bear weight on that leg.
There are times when an X ray could be important and you shouldn’t refuse it. If you’ve injured your ankle running or your wrist from falling and the pain feel worse than your average sprain, a X ray could be essential for spotting signs of a fracture. X rays can also help to detect serious conditions such as pneumonia if you’re experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing and a fever.
It’s best to always follow the recommendation of medical professionals when determining whether to get an X ray or not – if a doctor insists on getting an X ray, you probably should, but if they seem confident that it isn’t necessary, there’s probably no point pursuing one.
How much does an urgent care X ray cost?
Urgent care clinics tend to charge less for an X ray for a hospital. Of course, certain specialised X rays such as those for arteries and veins may not be possible at an urgent care clinic and may require visiting a specialist hospital. Generally speaking though, injuries such as fractures and chest pain can be diagnosed at an urgent care clinic.
So how much does an urgent care x ray cost? X rays tend to cost between $100 and $1000 depending on the area of the body that is being examined. For a hand or wrist X ray, you can usually expect to pay less than $200. For a chest X ray, you’ll usually pay over $300. These are just rough estimates and shouldn’t be viewed as fixed costs.
The technologist operating the machine may take multiple X rays in one sitting. These should all be included in the same price. A radiologist will then look at these X rays and interpret the results to help diagnose if there is an issue or not. The cost helps to cover use of the machine and time spent processing and interpreting the results.
Will my insurance cover my X ray?
If you’re insured, you likely won’t have to pay anything for your X ray out of your own pocket. Most health insurance providers fully cover X rays – you may only have to pay a small deductible and possibly co-insurance if your insurance cover doesn’t include this. This deductible and co-insurance will have to be paid upfront before your insurer pays up.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your insurance scheme covers X rays, you can always call them up to confirm before seeking out this procedure.
Why visit an urgent care clinic for an X ray?
There are other advantages to getting an X ray at an urgent care clinic. Not only does an urgent care X ray cost less than a hospital X ray in most cases, but it can also be faster to get an appointment. Urgent care clinics operate on a walk-in basis so you don’t have to book ahead.
An urgent care clinic may also be able to offer a clearer and more detailed breakdown of the costs than a hospital as well as being able to offer support when it comes to payment options, which could be useful if you’re not insured.