Radiography is an investigative method that uses X-rays. With the help of radiography, it is possible to diagnose primarily bone system conditions, fractures, deformations, and spine conditions, but also lung diseases, some digestive or kidney conditions, and dental problems.
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, as are microwaves, light, or radio waves. X-rays can penetrate and be absorbed by body tissues, ultimately providing a picture of internal structures. This property of penetrating is the most important property of X-rays, making them particularly useful in medical practice.
How Much Does an X-Ray Cost Without Insurance?
In case you will need to get an x-ray at an urgent care facility and you don’t have health insurance, you should be prepared to get anywhere between $130 and $240 out of your pocket. The costs will be anywhere between $270 and $470 at the emergency room. Though, the price may be even higher as additional views might be needed and additional fees may be applied. The cost of an x-ray will be influenced by the administrative fees, the number of x-rays you need, procedures, and additional tests. On the other hand, if you have health insurance, the cost of an x-ray will be affected by your co-pay once you have reached your deductibles.
How much will you have to pay for an X-ray out of your pocket?
There are several urgent care facilities that offer X-rays. In the table below you will find the average prices for getting an X-ray charged by CityMD, ProHealth Care, ModernMD Urgent Care, MedRite Urgent Care, and GoHealth Urgent Care.
|Urgent Care||Cost of an x-ray|
|CityMD||$245 + any additional fees|
|ModernMD Urgent Care||$60 for x-ray + $120 visit fee|
|GoHealth Urgent Care||$75 per body part + $140 visit fee|
|MedRite Urgent Care||$140 visit fee + $60 for an x-ray with 2 view + $35 for each additional view|
|ProHealth Care||$135 visit fee + about $45 – $175 for ankle x-ray but may be more for other body parts|
How much does an X-ray at the emergency room cost?
X-rays can be performed at both the emergency room and urgent care centers, but it will be much more cost-effective if you get them at an urgent care center.
For instance, you will have to pay anywhere between $270 and $470 for an X-ray done at the emergency room. This cost does not include the extra fees that could incur during your visit.
Factors that affect the cost of an X-ray
There are several factors that affect the cost of an X-ray done at urgent care, such as your insurance status, your injury, and the medication prescribed by the doctor.
- Insurance status: The cost of an X-ray is not covered by all health insurance policies. For instance, you may be responsible for the entire cost of your visit if you have a policy with a high deductible and you haven’t met your deductible yet. The price you have to pay is determined by your plan’s co-pay in case you meet your deductibles and your insurance is accepted by the urgent care center.
- Prescription medication: The doctor may prescribe medication to help control infection or manage pain, depending on your injury. You need to consider the costs of the medication as well, besides the X-ray costs.
- Extra tests: In case your injury needs extra diagnostic tests or treatment, like bloodwork or stitches, you will have to pay for these services as well.
Preparing the patient for an x-ray consists in removing the metallic materials that can overlap the area to be X-rayed, and for a quality X-ray, collaboration with the radiologist technician is essential. It is about the inspiratory-expiratory commands (apnea or breath holding) that the patient must perform.
Special preparation is necessary during the urography (investigation with contrast substance of the reno-vesical system).
How safe is an X-ray investigation?
Although a certain amount of radiation is involved in carrying out the investigation, the patient’s exposure to X-rays is permanently controlled and the radiation dose is kept to an absolute minimum.
The attending physician will decide if the X-ray radiological investigation is indicated and will recommend the patient to perform it only on the basis of a detailed analysis of the need.
When is an X-ray carried out?
- To evaluate an area where you feel pain or discomfort.
- To monitor the evolution of a known condition, such as osteoporosis.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.
How long does an X-ray investigation take?
The average X-ray examination lasts approximately 5 – 10 minutes, but the duration can reach 30 – 40 minutes in the case of X-rays with contrast material.
Why does the radiologist leave the room during the X-ray exposure?
At the time of radiography, there is a small number of X-rays “scattered” in the environment, this small amount adding up over time can have harmful effects. For this reason, the radiologist protects himself behind a lead door.
What should the patient wear during the X-ray?
Before the investigation, the patient is asked to remove his clothes, jewelry, glasses, and other metal objects that may interfere with the radiological image. Depending on the case and the area of interest for the examination, the patient will perform the examination dressed lightly.
How can I avoid high X-ray costs?
You can get all the information you need to know about how much you will have to pay for an X-ray at an urgent care facility by simply asking the following questions:
- Is there any alternative to getting an X-ray?
- How much does the X-ray cost?
- Do I have to pay an office visit fee?
- Are there any other administrative fees I should expect?
- Will some types of X-ray cost more than other types?
- How much will the prescribed medication cost?
- Will I have to make get tests?