How Much Does an Ultrasound Cost?

How Much Does an Ultrasound Cost?
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Ultrasounds are common in hospitals and in outpatient settings, but how much does an ultrasound really cost? Ultrasounds are typically performed at least once during a pregnancy, and can also be used on many other parts of the body to image a variety of organs and structures. Like echocardiograms, ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves, which do not carry the same risks as X-rays and other types of radiation. However, ultrasound technology has some limitations; ultrasounds are less detailed than MRI or CT scans, and they cannot tell the difference between tumor types in the case of cancer. If you do need an ultrasound, you should have a good understanding of the price of such a procedure. One good approximation of the cash cost of an ultrasound can be made by using outpatient data released by Medicare. Here is the average cost, as well as the U.S. outpatient centers with the most and least expensive ultrasounds.

According to these data, the average cash price of an ultrasound is $1,058.

 

The Most Expensive Ultrasounds

Hospital name Location Cost of ultrasound Number of ultrasounds performed per year % of patients who would definitely recommend this hospital
Saint Joseph’s Medical Center of Stockton Stockton, CA $7,566 143 70%
Springs Memorial Hospital Lancaster, SC $5,903 34 65%
Jennersville Regional Hospital West Grove, PA $5,208 207 62%
Crozer Chester Medical Center Upland, PA $4,944 934 54%
Garfield Medical Center Monterey Park, CA $4,737 261 57%
Gateway Regional Medical Center Granite City, IL $4,530 161 56%
Research Belton Hospital Belton, MO $4,485 105 61%
St. Luke’s Warren Hospital Phillipsburg, NJ $4,417 643 64%
Memorial Hospital of Salem County Salem, NJ $4,282 286 50%
South Jersey Healthcare-Elmer Hospital Elmer, NJ $4,263 248 79%

Source: NerdWallet Health analysis. Cost data from Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Outpatient. Patient satisfaction from the Survey of Patients’ Hospital Experiences (HCAHPS).

The Least Expensive Ultrasounds

Hospital name Location Cost of ultrasound Number of ultrasounds performed per year % of patients who would definitely recommend this hospital
Community Memorial Hospital Hamilton, NY $157 126 80%
Tuomey Healthcare System Sumter, SC $199 554 58%
Loretto Hospital Chicago, IL $218 28 35%
Uniontown Hospital Uniontown, PA $234 479 59%
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Bronx, NY $244 59 57%
Spectrum Health – Butterworth Campus Grand Rapids, MI $251 1278 80%
Coalinga Regional Medical Center Coalinga, CA $252 34 61%
Medina Memorial Hospital Medina, NY $261 83 68%
Otsego Memorial Hospital Gaylord, MI $263 205 70%
Clinton Memorial Hospital Wilmington, OH $267 627 58%

Source: NerdWallet Health analysis. Cost data from Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Outpatient. Patient satisfaction from the Survey of Patients’ Hospital Experiences (HCAHPS).

You should keep in mind that the price of your ultrasound will vary based on your insurance coverage and the type of ultrasound you have performed. The data presented are average prices for all ultrasounds billed to Medicare by outpatient centers.

Curious about more pricing information? Check out our Best Hospitals tool to find cost information for your local hospital.


Ultrasound image via Shutterstock.

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