How Much is a Stress Test?

Having a good knowledge about price transparency is always helpful in the field of medical treatment. Today, we will give you information about cardiac stress tests and why there are different types. After going through it, you will acquire more knowledge about them and the costs associated with stress tests.

A stress test is helpful in understanding the blood flow to the heart. Primary care physicians often send middle aged individuals or those with heart ailments to a cardiologist to undergo the stress test. Nonetheless, a stress test is a general term consisting of five different types. Therefore, it is important to understand or possess knowledge about the stress tests to have a better idea about the cost. A stress test could cost you anywhere between $200 and $5,000.

To Begin With

As said earlier, the stress test is of immense help for people who show symptoms related to the heart. The results displayed by the stress test will tell about the decreased flow of blood to the part of the heart. Ordering for the stress test is helpful for the patient to determine if the symptoms are as expected and have a relationship with the heart.

The symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and heaviness in the chest. In some situations, the patient falls prey to the heart attack. Although the symptoms are due to the improper functioning of the heart, other factors also lead to the same situation. For instance, one can feel chest pain due to indigestion, chest heaviness due to anxiety, and shortness of breath due to asthma.

In several cases, a few cardiologists order stress tests solely based on age, blood pressure, or family history of heart disease. Nevertheless, several cardiologists state that if a person does not show any signs or symptoms, then there is no need to undergo the stress test in the first place.

The Two Parts – The Stress and the Test

The stress stresses the heart to check for adequate blood flow. The conduction of the stress test takes place on an inclined treadmill or by injecting drugs that pressurizes the heart. The conventional drugs used for this procedure are Adenosine, Persantine, and Dobutamine. Since the drug is the key player in increasing the stress, the test is known as the chemical stress test.

The stress test is where the doctor monitors the functionality of the heart during the stress phases. The doctor monitors it by:

  1. Electrocardiogram – it displays the heartbeat on the monitor
  2. Echocardiogram – shows ultrasound moving image of the heart
  3. Nuclear Scan – the doctor injects radioactive dye, which a sensor picks up and translates it into an image.

It is possible for the physician to combine both the stress and the test in different combinations depending on what the doctor is expecting.

Cost of the Stress Test

Of all the permutations and combinations carried out by the physician, the least expensive stress test is the treadmill stress test, which costs $200. The most expensive of the treatment is the chemical test that costs around $5,000. Controversies surround the stress test arena in the medical field. Therefore, acquiring knowledge about the expense of a stress test will be of immense help. One of the reasons for the controversy is due to false positive results produced during the stress test. When this occurs, the doctor would often prescribe a cardiac catheterization, which is an invasive procedure, filled with risks.

As a consumer, it is important for you to understand the costs that incur for cardiac stress tests, as they have a significant impact on your health, insurance, and any other additional expenses.

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