Endoscopies are key to solving the problems found in your gut or gastrointestinal tract. However, if you’re someone without insurance, the price of an endoscopy can be expensive. But how much exactly?
Let’s find out how much endoscopy costs without insurance and the factors that affect the price.
What Is An Endoscopy?
Endoscopies are tests to examine the inside of the Gastrointestinal Tract. It’s the best test to use for diagnosing several different symptoms occurring in the GI tract.
Those who have difficulty swallowing or experience pains and burns in the stomach should have an endoscopy to try identify the problem.
Endoscopies are carried out by trained, medical professionals and they will go through the proper steps to prepare you for it.
There are different types of endoscopies, including gastroscopies (to check your esophagus and stomach) and colonoscopies (to check your bowels).
A small camera is fitted to the end of a flexible tube that travels down the mouth or through the anus to get to your stomach.
If you’re having an endoscopy, your stomach will need to be empty of fluid to allow the endoscopist to have a more in-depth look. This means that you’ll need to fast for a few days leading up to the procedure.
However, your doctor will inform you of the requirements for the procedure as there are different types of endoscopies that may require different preparations.
What Does An Endoscopy Cost Without Insurance?
Having insurance means that most of your procedures and prescriptions are covered. However, we’re going to focus on what happens when you don’t have any insurance.
An endoscopy can cost up to $5000 without insurance. The national average here in the states is around $2750.
This price fluctuates and varies on a variety of factors so it’s important to do your research before going ahead with the procedure.
What Affects The Cost Of An Endoscopy?
The price of endoscopy will vary across the country as some cities and states are known for their high medical fees. One of these cities is Los Angeles, where an endoscopy can cost you over $4900.
Los Angeles has one of the most expensive healthcare systems in all of America so it’s not a surprise to hear that endoscopy is so expensive here.
Atlanta is one of the more affordable cities to have an endoscopy as it has an entry price of $975.
Outpatient Vs Inpatient Endoscopy
Inpatient endoscopies require you to stay at the hospital overnight, whereas an outpatient endoscopy means you can leave on the same day as the procedure.
The costs of these two types of endoscopies are vastly different.
An inpatient endoscopy requires screening, a medical assessment, and staying overnight to name a few aspects. This type of endoscopy is more for those who require higher doses of anesthesia or those who can’t go home on the same day as the procedure.
Outpatient endoscopes are typically performed by your general practitioner or family doctor if they are licensed. You will be observed for a few hours after the procedure to ensure that they aren’t side effects post-procedure. You will also need to ensure that you have a reliable way of getting home as you won’t be able to drive.
The average price of an inpatient endoscopy is around $4350.
The average outpatient price is almost half of the inpatient amount, sitting at $2550.
Anesthesia isn’t always needed when doing an endoscopy, and the different types will equate to different prices.
Having no sedation isn’t common among Americans but it’s possible. If you’re someone with high-risk health conditions or have any allergies relating to the anesthetic, this may be an option for you.
In most cases, you will receive a light topical anesthetic to allow for a higher tolerance of the endoscope down your throat.
You could opt for monitored sedation. This is where anesthesia is present but in a very low dosage. You will be able to talk and listen to what’s being said but you will feel drowsy.
Deep sedation is a step up from moderate and will have you sleeping throughout the procedure. You won’t have any memory of what’s happened. This is more common for inpatient endoscopies as you will end up staying the night.
When Do You Need An Endoscopy?
Endoscopies are for those who have problems with their stomach or gastrointestinal health.
Problems may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, bloody stool, nausea, vomiting, and acid reflux.
If you notice that these pains aren’t going away and might be getting worse, then you need to consult a medical professional.
They will recommend you get an endoscopy and talk you through the preparation process.
If polyps are found in the area that’s being examined, your doctor will be able to safely remove them and make a diagnosis after examining the area.
Tips To Save Money On An Endoscopy
Having health insurance is the best way to save money on any procedure. However, you’re are some other tips for saving some money on your endoscopy.
The first is to do an outpatient endoscopy. If there’s genuinely no need to stay overnight at a hospital or have higher doses of anesthesia, don’t opt for an inpatient procedure.
Choose generic versions of medication prescribed to you leading up to the endoscopy. This will knock down your prescription price by 80% if you’re leaving the brand names behind.
Finally, you should phone around and do your research on the most affordable places to do the procedure in your area. You can find affordable, local, and trusted clinics or family practitioners who are qualified to perform it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Endoscopies
What are the risks of an endoscopy?
It’s important to know the risks of any procedure before undergoing it. Endoscopy risks and complications are rare but that doesn’t mean they won’t occur.
Aspiration is one of the more common risks for those who eat before the procedure. This occurs when food gets into the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe.
Another risk is that it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to some of the medication and anesthesia being used. Your endoscopist will go over your allergies thoroughly to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Finally, if you do have any polyps that need to be removed, minor bleeding might occur.
How can you prepare for an endoscopy?
There are a few preparation steps to ensure that your endoscopy goes well. Most endoscopies require you to fast for up to 12 hours before the procedure.
You may be able to consume some clear liquids, such as water or juice, up to two hours before the procedure. Your doctor will explain this to you so don’t worry if you’re unsure.
Your stomach will need to be empty before the procedure so your doctor will give you laxatives to cleanse your system.
Lastly, you should avoid taking certain blood-thinning medications in the days leading up to your endoscopy. Blood thinners may increase your risk of bleeding if polyps need to be removed.
If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, your provider will give you specific medication instructions.
Is an endoscopy painful?
Endoscopies aren’t painful if you’re under some form of anesthesia. You may feel a sense of discomfort, but it won’t be painful.
For instance, during a gastroscopy, you will lay on your side and the doctor will use a numbing spray for your throat, essentially numbing your senses in that area. The procedure itself can take anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes and will require you to wait around 4 hours before you can leave.
You may experience a sore throat after the endoscopy, but your doctor will recommend drinking water, eating soft foods, or sucking on a popsicle.
Without health insurance coverage, you can end up paying thousands for your endoscopy.
Insurance doesn’t have to be expensive and there are many ways you can get affordable coverage. Enhance Health allows you to look for insurance options that suit your income plan. This will save you a lot of money in the long run!