The advancement of diagnostic imaging technology has empowered medical practitioners with a sophisticated, non-invasive way to look inside the body.
Full-body scans can produce high-quality images of the tissues and organs of the body and may be able to detect signs of cancer or other abnormalities. While there are many benefits, full-body scan costs can be a worrisome factor in deciding to go ahead with this test.
Let’s look at the costs of different full-body scans and a more affordable option.
A full-body scan, also called a whole-body scan, is a test in which your entire body is scanned from head to toe using an imaging technique.
The scan creates high-quality images of the inside of your body so an abnormality is visible. A radiologist looks at the scan images and creates a report on the results.
The most common type of full body scans use CT or MRI technologies. Both these imaging tests have their own pros and cons. The best test to use depends on the patient, their needs, the purpose of the scan, and the expert advice of the healthcare team.
When looking at costs, it’s worth keeping in mind that your insurance plan will factor into your out-of-pocket costs.
Contact your health insurance for a clearer idea of how much you can expect to pay at a certain facility. They’ll be able to tell you your remaining deductible, out-of-pocket maximum, and typical co-pay amount. They can also tell you if a facility is in your network and whether you require a referral to be eligible for coverage.
CT (Computed tomography) scans are performed using a CT scanner. This consists of a table that moves across a circular scanner.
You’ll lay on the table, and as you move through it, it releases X-rays from different angles. These signals are sent to a computer software, which renders high-quality images of the tissues and organs of your body.
A full body CT scan is painless, non-invasive and usually takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
One of the major issues with CT scan is that it uses ionizing radiation that may increase your chances of developing cancer. While the whole body radiation dose of a single CT scan does not amount to much, radiation exposure is something to be mindful of.
The cost of a full body CT scan depends upon the facility (within a hospital or free standing) and the area.
The cost of a CT scan can range from $300 to nearly $7,000, with an average cost of $3,000 in the U.S. However, these prices include CTs for specific imaging purposes rather than full body CT scans alone.
An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, scan is another kind of imaging technique that is also non-invasive and painless. It is performed using a doughnut-shaped scanner inside which a table slides slowly. The scanner uses a combination of radio waves and magnetic field to create high-quality images of organs and tissues inside the body.
In case of an MRI, a full body scan cost varies greatly across the U.S. and depends on whether you are getting the scan done in a hospital setting or at a standalone imaging center.
Average full-body scan costs may be anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Depending on where you’re getting the scan, you can find out costs of MRI scans using crowdsourced databases like ClearHealthCosts.
Ezra, however, has a uniform pricing for its MRI scan service for cancer screening across its centers. An Ezra Scan is safer and usually more accurate at screening for cancer than a CT scan or ultrasound alone.
A PET (positron emission tomography) scan is a technique that introduces a special dye into the body by either swallowing or injecting it.
Once inside the body, it will often accumulate in an area of high chemical activity. In case of cancer, it will accumulate in an area of high metabolic activity, like high growth rate of cancer cells and tumors show up as bright spots in the image.
A PET is often combined with either CT or MRI which will be used as imaging techniques. The PET is usually more a localized scan rather than a full body scan.
While the radiation risks with PET scan are minimal, it may be of concern to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. In rare cases, the radioactive dye may cause an allergic reaction.
Whole body PET scans may cost anywhere from $1,225 to over $9,225, with a national average of $5,750.
In a recent joint study, Korean and U.S. researchers suggested that a full body MRI scan can be used for cancer screening in the general population.
While there are still no federal guidelines on full body screenings for cancer, research suggests that proactive screening using imaging tests like a whole-body MRI may help in early detection of cancer leading to better clinical outcomes.
Due to the risks associated with the radiation from CT scan, full body MRI scans may be safer screening test alternatives. However, each imaging technique has their benefits.
For example, CT scans are usually better equipped at screening for cancers in areas like the lungs and bowels, while MRI is good at imaging brain, liver, prostate, etc. At Ezra, we use a low-dose chest CT (LDCT) for those who qualify for lung cancer screenings.
This scan is included in the Ezra Full Body Plus, which scans up to 14 organs for signs of cancer. While the scan uses MRI for the rest of the body, it uses an LDCT for scanning the chest.
At Ezra, we believe that screening is our best defense against cancer.
So, we developed the Ezra Full Body, an MRI scan service that uses state-of-the-art MRI equipment with 3T magnet strength for clearer images.
Also, you can pay for the Ezra Scan with your HSA/FSA dollars. Plus, with standardized pricing, we try to make your payment predictable.
At Ezra, you can relax knowing our team takes care of you at each step, from booking a scan to quickly receiving results and discussing them with a Personal Care Advisor.
During your scan, we aim to make you safe and comfortable with Ezra-provided pajamas, music, and MRI-safe masks.
After your scan is conducted by a board-certified radiologist, a healthcare professional will carefully review your images. Additionally, our in-house medical team regularly reviews and updates our scanning protocols, to ensure high clinical quality.
The Ezra Full Body is an MRI-based scan service that screens for potential cancers in up to 13 organs in the head, neck, abdomen, and pelvis. It is priced at $1,950 or $180 a month. This option may include a 45-minute consultation, a mid-year check-in, and access to an Ezra Personal Care Advisor.
The Ezra Full Body Plus is an advanced service that scans up to 14 organs and is priced at $2,350 or $220 a month. Along with the above scanning areas, it also includes a coronary calcium scoring of the heart. And, those who qualify may also have a low-dose chest CT and a Prostate MRI with IV contrast.
You’ll pay the same price regardless of which Ezra Partner Facility you go to.
To help you make Ezra Scans part of your routine health check up, we also offer multi-year plans: 3-year plan at $5300 (or 12 payments of $480/month) and 5-year plan at $7000 (or 12 payments of $650/month).
When combined with Ezra’s world-class healthcare team, we make MRI-based full-body screening fast, accurate, and affordable. With an early warning in a scan, you can act proactively to take care of your body.