How much does an echocardiogram cost?
An echocardiogram procedure can cost anywhere from $1000 to over $3000. Booking an echocardiogram on Sesame guarantees you the best price imaging appointment near you. The specific cost of an echocardiogram usually depends on where you live and the facility providing the echocardiography. Paying for echocardiogram procedures without insurance can be more expensive than paying for one if you’re insured. Depending on the insurance company, the deductible of your insurance plan, or your insurance status, the out-of-pocket price range of diagnostic imaging services can vary significantly. That’s why it’s important to understand the average cost of an echocardiogram nationally and in your specific region to make a more informed and financially sound decision. Plus, if you’re uninsured or underinsured, you’ll likely find that prices on Sesame for imaging like echocardiograms are far more affordable than anywhere else - without the premiums and surprise bills you get with health insurance.
National Average Price Rance: $1000-$3000 Sesame Price Range: $248-$723
Echocardiograms are noninvasive diagnostic tests that use high-frequency sound waves to create images of the heart, the heart’s structures, and blood flow through the heart. Using these live images, doctors can monitor and diagnose heart conditions. Unlike x-rays and other forms of radiology tests, echocardiogram imaging uses no radiation and is not known to cause any side effects.
An echocardiogram helps health care providers monitor and diagnose heart conditions such as:
- Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rate)
- Heart disease (like congenital heart defects)
- Heart failure (weak or abnormal pumping of the heart muscle)
- Cardiomyopathy (thickened heart muscle)
- Heart murmur
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease (plaque build-up on the arterial walls leading to the heart)
- Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries leading to the lungs)
- Narrowing or blockage of the heart valves
- Leaky heart valves
- Endocarditis (infection in the heart valves)
- Blood clots and tumors
Echocardiograms are diagnostic tests commonly performed at a cardiology clinic to help diagnose and monitor heart problems, like those listed above. Because heart conditions can be life-threatening, these scans play a critical role in the wellness of a patient. If you begin to experience signs or symptoms of heart problems, you should talk to a cardiologist or primary care provider right away.
Common symptoms of a heart condition include:
- Pain or discomfort in the chest: Tightness in the chest or chest pain can be an early indicator of a blocked artery, heart infections, or arrhythmias. Pain in the chest can also be a warning sign that you are having a heart attack.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: Dizziness or lightheadedness can indicate arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, or heart valve disease. If your blood pressure has dropped significantly, this can also produce lightheadedness.
- Fatigue: Fatigue or shortness of breath can be an indicator of cardiomyopathy (diseased heart muscle), coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, arrhythmias, and more. Fatigue and shortness of breath while performing daily activities is one of the most common signs of heart disease.
- Swelling or coldness in legs, feet, ankles: Swelling or coldness in the lower extremities is a common sign that the heart is not pumping blood effectively. This can be a sign of heart valve disease, atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in arteries), cardiomyopathy, and more.
- Irregular heartbeat: Fast (“fluttering”) or slow heartbeats are common signs of arrhythmia, weakened heart pumping, and heart valve problems.
In the United States, 1 in 4 deaths a year is caused by heart disease or complications from heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. If you are experiencing symptoms related to heart disease or a heart condition, talk to a doctor right away. Images taken of your heart muscle can help detect these conditions early, and help prevent severe problems down the road.
The primary factors that influence the out-of-pocket cost of an echocardiogram include your insurance coverage, the type of echocardiogram, and the medical center providing the imaging.
Insurance: Depending on your insurance status, your out-of-pocket cost for an echocardiogram may vary. In most cases, insurance will cover 10-50% of an echocardiogram. However, depending on the variables detailed below, this could still leave you a co-pay cost of $1,000+. Sesame guarantees the best price on echocardiogram appointments near you. In most cases, these imaging procedures cost between $1,000-$3,000. Echocardiogram appointments on Sesame cost between $200-$600 - without hidden fees. We work directly with providers, not insurance companies, to cut out the overhead of the health care system. Simply search for “Echocardiogram” in our search bar to find affordable appointments with real, quality health care providers near you.
Type of Echocardiogram: There are several different types of echocardiograms. These are detailed below. In some cases, one type of imaging procedure may be more expensive than another. Before scheduling an echocardiogram appointment, talk to your cardiologist about the specific procedure, and how much it will cost.
Facility: In most cases, echocardiograms are performed as outpatient procedures at cardiology clinics. This means that sedation is not required, and you can go home right after the imaging is completed. However, depending on where you live and the facility that performs the procedure, your out-of-pocket cost may vary. Talk to your cardiologist before undergoing an echocardiogram to get a better understanding of how much the scan will cost. You can browse echocardiogram providers and their prices using Sesame’s simple marketplace platform. Simply use our search bar to look for an “Echocardiogram” in your area to see participating providers and the affordable one-time price for the service.
There are several different types of echocardiograms that are used by cardiologists; they all use sound waves to create pictures of your heart but are applied in slightly different ways. The most common types of echocardiograms are:
- Transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE): This is the standard echocardiogram test used by cardiologists. The sonographer (the person who operates the imaging machine) places a transducer on the chest over the heart. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound beams) through the chest to the heart. As the sound waves bounce off the heart, the transducer records these echoes. A computer then interprets the sound waves into a moving image that can be seen on a monitor. This image shows the heart beating, and blood vessels flowing through the heart.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram: If doctors need a more detailed image of the heart, they may ask to do this type of test. During the test, the throat will be numbed, and the patient will be given sedation drugs to help them relax. A tiny transducer will be guided through the mouth and down the throat to the stomach via the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach). By doing this, the transducer is put behind the heart. The transducer then records sound wave echoes from the heart. These sound waves are interpreted by a computer into a moving image of the heart which can be seen on a monitor. This helps the sonographer get a better look at some of the heart’s chambers that are hard to see in a TTE test.
- Stress echocardiogram: This test is the same as a TTE test (transducer placed on the chest over the heart) but is performed after a cardiac stress test. This stress is usually created by running or walking on a treadmill, or with medication that makes blood pump as if the body is exercising. By creating ultrasound images after activity, doctors can see how well the blood is pumping blood to the body. This helps detect narrowing of the arteries, a condition that can lead to heart failure and heart attack.
-Doppler echocardiography: This is done with TTE and Transesophageal tests using the Doppler effect. The pitch of sound waves changes as they echo off blood cells moving through blood vessels and the heart muscle, and these signals are used to determine the speed and direction of blood flow. This helps doctors measure blockage in the arteries, and check for leakage in the heart valves. Doppler ultrasounds are useful in catching coronary artery disease and heart disease in children.