Discussing how much does a colonoscopy cost may be important, however, understanding of the subject can be beneficial too. Colonoscopy is usually a medical examination that can be used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum.
In the process of carrying out a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. This can enable the doctor’s view inside of the entire colon through a tiny video camera at the tip of the tube.
In some cases, the polyps or other types of abnormal tissue may be removed through the scope during a colonoscopy. An example of such tissue that can be removed is biopsied.
Usually, before a patient undergoes a colonoscopy procedure, doctors often provide all the necessary information about preparing for the test.
More so, learning about expectations during a colonoscopy procedure it is a normal conversation between doctors and patients. The payment expectations may not be known at this point by the patient.
What Is The Possible Average cost of Colonoscopy procedures?
The usual costs of colonoscopy procedures differ so much. This may depend on a variety of factors. The cost for patients could also depend on if they have health insurance.
Below is the rundown of the cost:
Patients without health insurance often pay $2,100 to $3,764, according to CostHelper.com. The average colonoscopy cost is $3,081.
On the other hand, patients with health insurance policy pay deductibles based on their plan. Deductibles range from zero to more than $1,000.
While patients with Medicare usually pay around 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for the physician’s services. They are also charged a copayment on the outpatient facility.
Some Common Charges During a Colonoscopy Procedure
The doctor’s charge is only part of the total amount you may pay for a colonoscopy procedure. However, additional charges associated with the cost of a colonoscopy may include:
- Differing fees for diagnosis: This charges may vary depending on the kind of screening to be conducted. It may be a colonoscopy, cancer screening, diagnosis of symptoms, colonoscopy with a biopsy, or colonoscopy with removal of lesion or polyp.
- Sedation: The cost may also be affected if the service of an anesthesiologist is needed to administer a sedative drug.
- Colon prep kits: Usually, hospitals do provide these; some doctors provide them while others instruct patients what to buy.
- Pathology: This refers to the cost of examining abnormal tissue removed after a colonoscopy.
- Facility charges: As part of the doctor’s bill, the hospital, surgery center, or physician’s office may charge extra. This is particularly for use of the exam space.
Colonoscopy Cost And Insurance Coverage
How is colonoscopy likely to cost patients without insurance? This category of people usually pays 100 percent of the charges for this test.
The amount of the test that can be paid by the patients with insurance depends on the contract policy entered. Usually between the patient’s insurance carrier and medical provider. Choosing in-network providers typically offer the lowest patient cost, while choosing out-of-network providers frequently results in higher patient deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
Virtual Colonoscopy Cost
Virtual colonoscopies use a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create a three-dimensional image of the large intestine. Experts are continuing to study this less-invasive method to determine whether the results are as accurate as traditional tests.
Virtual colonoscopy procedures usually lower in cost than the normal colonoscopy procedures. For instance, Medicare estimates in 2015, revealed an average cost of $1,036 for normal colonoscopy procedures.
However, in the same year, the cost of a virtual colonoscopy averaged $439. Following Medicare estimates, virtual colonoscopy procedures cost 29 percent less than the normal procedures.
Consideration of Additional Colonoscopy Cost
There are some organizations, hospitals and government programs that offer low-cost and free colonoscopy screenings for uninsured or underinsured patients.
This may vary, depending on the patient’s condition or doctor’s recommendation of a flexible sigmoidoscopy instead of a colonoscopy. This procedure can be performed in the physician’s office, usually within 20 to 30 minutes. It doesn’t require sedation and usually costs around $200.
This type of procedure may not be a recommended option for everyone as the doctors can only view half the large intestine. The comprehensive outcome of examination may not be available for medical use.
How Much Does A Colonoscopy Cost Considering Some Cost Factors?
There may be many different factors that affect the final cost of a colonoscopy.
Some Examples include:
- Geographic location: This a common factor as health care costs vary by location and region.
- The health of the patient: Very ill patients often has the procedure in a hospital, which costs more than outpatient facilities. High-risk patients may need additional resources.
- Where the physician performs the procedure: Outpatient surgery centers usually charge less than hospitals.
- The place whether the doctor removes tissue samples.
Why Is There A Need For Colonoscopy?
Depending on your current health issue, after seeing your doctor you may be recommended for a colonoscopy. Furthermore, the reasons below may be why you need a colonoscopy procedure.
- The Investigation of intestinal signs and symptoms: Colonoscopy can help the doctor explore possible causes of abdominal pain. Others are rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, and other intestinal problems.
- Screen for colon cancer. People who are 50 or older are at average risk of colon cancer. Colonoscopy may be recommended by the doctor every 10 years or sometimes sooner to screen for colon cancer. Colonoscopy is one option for colon cancer screening. Talk to your doctor about your options.
- Look for more polyps. A follow-up colonoscopy may be recommended by your doctor if you have had polyps before. This will help to look for and remove any additional polyps. This process is carried out in order to reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Some Risk Associated With Colonoscopy Procedure.
Colonoscopy procedure carries a few risks. Though not frequently, the complications of a colonoscopy may include:
- Adverse reaction to the sedative used during the procedure.
- You will be required to sign a consent form after discussing the risks of colonoscopy with your doctor. This usually serves as a way of authorizing the procedure.
- There usually a tear in the colon or rectum wall.
- Bleeding usually occur from the area where the tissue sample was taken or a polyp or other abnormal tissue was removed
Some Ways To Prepare For The Colonoscopy
Typically, before a colonoscopy, your colon needs to be emptied. If any residue is found in your colon it may obscure the view of your colon and rectum during the exam.
A couple of directives may be given by your doctor to enable the emptying of your colon:
- Keeping to a special diet the day before the exam. Usually, you not be required to take solid food the day before the exam. There may be a limit to the intake of drinks to clear liquids. These may include, plain water, tea, and coffee without milk or cream, broth, and carbonated beverages. The avoidance of red liquids is necessary, it can be confused with blood during the colonoscopy. Eat or drink anything after midnight to the exam may not be allowed.
- Taking laxative. A laxative is usually recommended by the doctor to be taken, in either pill form or liquid form. Your doctor may instruct you to take a laxative the night before your colonoscopy. Alternatively, you may be asked to use the laxative both the night before and the morning of the procedure.
- Use an enema kit. Based on your case, you may need to use an over-the-counter enema kit. This might be the night before the exam or a few hours before the exam to empty your colon. Generally, this is only effective in emptying the lower colon and is usually not recommended as a primary way of emptying your colon.
- Adjust your medications. You may have to remind your doctor of your medications at least a week before the exam. Especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems. Also if you take medications or supplements that contain iron.
- In any case, if you take aspirin or other medications that thin the blood you have to tell your doctor. Some such are warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); newer anticoagulants, such as dabigatran (Pradaxa) or rivaroxaban (Xarelto), used to reduce risk of blot clots or stroke; or heart medications that affect platelets, such as clopidogrel (Plavix).
Things That You Can Expect In This Procedure
1. Situation During the procedure:
A gown is usually worn during a colonoscopy and nothing else. Sedation is usually recommended. A mild sedative is sometimes given in pill form. In other cases, the sedative is combined with intravenous pain medication to minimize any discomfort.
The exam begins by lying on your side on the exam table. It is done usually with your knees drawn toward your chest. A colonoscopy is inserted into your rectum by the doctor.
The scope that will be used can get to the entire length of your colon. This scope contains a light and a tube (channel) that allows the doctor to pump air or carbon dioxide into your colon.
The colon is inflated by the air or carbon dioxide thereby providing a better view of the lining of the colon.
An abdominal cramp may be felt when the scope is moved or air is introduced, or the urge to have a bowel movement.
There is usually a tiny video camera at its tip of the colonoscopy. Images are sent to an external monitor via so that the doctor can study the inside of your colon.
Instruments can also be inserted by the doctor through the channel. This is done to take tissue samples or remove polyps or other areas of abnormal tissue.
Colonoscopy time basically takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
2. Situation After the procedure:
However, it takes about an hour to start recovering from the sedative after the exam. Someone may need to take you home because it can take up to a day for the full effects of the sedative to clear off. It is not advisable to drive or make important decisions or go back to work for the rest of the day.
In case if your doctor removed a polyp during your colonoscopy, you may be advised to eat a special diet temporarily.
A few hours after the exam, you may feel bloated or pass gas, as you clear the air from your colon. Walking may help relieve any discomfort.
Your first bowel movement after the exam may have a small amount of blood. Normally, this is not a cause for alarm. However, you may need to consult your doctor if you continue to pass blood or blood clots. If you have persistent abdominal pain or a fever you may also need to talk to your doctor. This may rarely occur immediately or in the first few days after the procedure, but may be delayed for up to one to two weeks.
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