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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Biopsy

Biopsy Cost


How Much Does a Biopsy Cost?

 
average costWith Insurance: Copays and/or Coinsurancehigh costWithout Insurance: $150-$10,000 or more Depending on the Type
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A biopsy is removal of a small amount of tissue so it can be examined in a laboratory to check for disease.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a skin biopsy ranges from $150 to $1,000. A needle biopsy performed in a doctor's office would be at the lower end of the range, while a surgical biopsy would be at the higher end of the range.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a breast biopsy ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. A needle biopsy performed in a doctor's office would be at the lower end of the range, while a surgical biopsy performed in a hospital would be at the higher end.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a liver biopsy ranges from $2,000 to $7,000 or more.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a kidney biopsy ranges from $3,000 to $10,000.
  • A biopsy would be considered medically necessary when ordered by a doctor and would almost always be covered by health insurance.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs would include either a copay or coinsurance, usually ranging from 10 to 40 percent of the total cost.
Related articles: Colonoscopy, Mammogram, Virtual Colonoscopy

What should be included:
  • There are several types of biopsies, according to the National Institutes of Health[1] . In a needle, or percutaneous, biopsy, the doctor uses a needle and syringe, sometimes guided by a CT scan, to remove a piece of tissue in the area of concern. In an open biopsy, with the patient under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision and removes a piece of tissue. In a closed biopsy, the surgeon makes a much smaller cut than in an open biopsy, and uses a tiny camera as a guide. Then, the sample is analyzed in a laboratory and the results are reported back to the physician.
  • The National Institutes of Health offers descriptions of a bone marrow biopsy[2] , rectal biopsy[3] , lung biopsy[4] , liver biopsy[5] , skin lesion biopsy[6] , breast biopsy[7] and a kidney biopsy[8] .
Additional costs:
  • Using imaging technology such as ultrasound to guide a biopsy can add to the cost.
Discounts:
  • Some hospitals offer a discount of 10 percent or more to uninsured patients or patients who make an arrangement to pay ahead of time.
Shopping for a biopsy:
  • A primary care physician can make a referral to a radiologist, a surgeon or another specialist for a biopsy, depending on the body part and type of biopsy needed.
  • For example, a bone marrow biopsy often is performed by a hematologist; a skin biopsy by a dermatologist; a kidney biopsy by a urologist; a lung biopsy by a pulmonologist; a breast biopsy by a gynecologist; and a GI tract or liver biopsy by a gastroenterologist.
  • After the biopsy, the tissue usually should be evaluated by a board-certified pathologist for diagnosis.
  • Any specialist involved should be certified by a board that is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties[9] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
simple 5 minute skin biopsy
Amount: $1,100.00
Posted by: a user in Issaquah, WA.Posted: December 10th, 2014 12:12PM
Medical Center: Narra DermatologyInsurance: none
Got billed $500 for the procedure, which took about 5 minutes from a small needle apparatus. The following lab fees amounted to $600. Perhaps they should rip my balls off while they're at it
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Breast Biopsy
Amount: $6,666.50
Posted by: CBRH in Seattle, WA.Posted: December 5th, 2014 07:12AM
Medical Center: Seattle Cancer Care AllInsurance: Cigna
No one ever explained the cost of the 30 minute procedure and I am stuck with 20% or $1200 for the needle biopsy out of pocket. I have no family history and would probably have declined the 'let's just be sure' procedure if someone had explained the cost. It was benign...
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biospy on toenail-crazy
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Danni Smith in Roselle, IL.Posted: December 2nd, 2014 04:12PM
Medical Center: Dr. ForniInsurance: medicare
I was ertain I had a fungus on the large toe. The problem had been developing for about two or three years as the toenail was getting yellow and ridged. Went to a podiatrist. He said it looks like a fungus. He cut off the part that was detaching, about 1/4 inch, and said he'll do a culture. Sold me a small bottle of medicine to apply daily for $35.00. Never heard the results of the culture, medicine was slowing working, slow process, assumed it was a fungus as he diagnosed. Surprised when I rec'd a $300.00 invoice, marked PAST DUE, with payment due in 9 days. Billing party said it was for a biopsy, had to check for cancer. Cancer in dead tissue? Give me a break. I authorized culture, about $87.00 in my area, not biopsy on a little piece of toe nail. Biopsy is an invasive procedure. Docs have to tell u what they are doing & u have the right to refuse. I would have said I'll wait and see if the medicine helps.
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Breast Biopsy
Amount: $4,507.37
Posted by: Concerned Husband in Arlington, TX.Posted: October 31st, 2014 12:10PM
Medical Center: Texas HealthInsurance: BCBS
24 year old wife in for procedure that is quoted at $4507.37 during registration. When talking possibility of breast cancer, who wouldn't pay to care for a loved one? The entire medical field knows this. If everyone paid their share, rather than showing up to ER for sniffles, it would be a little more reasonable. So basically I am paying for those who don't, just like my tax dollars. We are insured.
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skin rash
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: timothy smith in SANDERSVILLE, GA.Posted: October 28th, 2014 02:10PM
im looking for a lab to check my skin.
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Skin Biopsy
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: Shea in Columbus, OH.Posted: July 24th, 2014 04:07PM
Medical Center: Insurance: United Health
I'm a little frustrated that a skin biopsy & report for lupus/auto immune disease isn't considered preventative care. I feel bad for everyone that has been billed so much $... for trying to find answers
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Penile biopsy
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Tom Dooley in Merriam, KS.Posted: May 6th, 2014 09:05PM
Medical Center: shawnee Mission SurgiventerInsurance: GEHA
Insurance denied everything. The condition is a weeping,occasionally bleeding, pimple on the glans with another seeming to be on the way. There is also a sore area next to the glans. Urologist says to keep them dry but the cream he prescribed ($250 to my insurers) kept it very moist and only made it worse.
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oral lesion biopsy
Amount: $425.00
Posted by: Scott King in Eugene, OR.Posted: November 11th, 2013 04:11PM
Medical Center: Insurance: medicare
I received a bill from my Dr. for an oral biopsy. They charged me $425.00 for the procedure and I sent this to medicare. Medicare sent back a denial saying the Federal Law only allow $209.10 for the procedure. I sent this back for further understanding since I or my Dr. do not know of any such restriction.
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Liver Biopsy
Amount: $5,120.00
Posted by: Angel1426 in Providence, RI.Posted: September 25th, 2013 11:09AM
Medical Center: Roger Williams HospitalInsurance: None
Okay so I want to say I am the Manager of a hotel. I work 50 hours a week, but our owner does not offer Health Insurance. I think it is SICK that a hard working American citizen has to go broke to get health care. I couldn't even get the biopsy until I put 50% down. I could have save $80.00 if I didn't want any sedation.
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Vacuum Assist Breast Biopsy
Amount: $8,400.00
Posted by: katrin queck in San Diego, CA.Posted: May 3rd, 2013 01:05PM
Medical Center: Scripps Green HospitalInsurance: United Healthcare
I had my annual mammography and was told they saw a small lump. They did an ultra sound and told me that I should get it checked out. I had a vacuum Assisted Breast Biopsy which took less then an hour.
The hospital claimed it cost 8,400 but my insurance got a "deal" because the claim was adjusted by 5,460. The total cost now is 2,940. I have to pay 30% copay, which leaves me with a payment of $882. This healthcare system is so messed up and we all pay for it!
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a breast biopsy
Amount: $7,000.00
Posted by: vera nazarian in covington, WA.Posted: April 27th, 2013 09:04PM
Medical Center: multicareInsurance: boeing
I am a 23 student and I was told I have a lump and they did a 15 minute procedure to have them insert a needle and take fluid....the biopsy came back benign now they are asking me for 1000,00 for a 7,000.00 cost....I have researched and found this cost is outrageous....there was no lump removed just a needle inserted and 15 minutes
why are they charging me so much....
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Overpriced procedure & insurance scam
Amount: $6,300.00
Posted by: Really P.O.'d! in Denver, CO.Posted: February 8th, 2013 11:02AM
Medical Center: Rose Breast CenterInsurance: United Healthcare
When I had the consultation with the surgeon I was referred to, (but who did NOT do the procedure, and instead referred me to the Rose Breast Center), he said he thought the procedure would be about $2000. In reality it was over $6200. By the time I all the nickel and dime stuff was billed, it was nearly $7000! My garbage insurance CLAIMED they negotiated a better price for me and got the actual procedure knocked down to $3200, but funny how the ENTIRE savings came off of what they would pay and I was still required to pay the $3200. What a scam!
If you are facing ANY KIND of biopsy, find out what the CASH PRICE is before you even tell them you have insurance; you may very well end up paying less than you would through your insurance company.
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Tongue Biopsy
Amount: $1,966.00
Posted by: Outraged in Cleveland in Cleveland, OH.Posted: January 2nd, 2013 02:01PM
Medical Center: MetroHealthInsurance: Medical Mutual
Tip of my tongue was removed in the office by a physician's assistant in a 20 minute office visit. Tongue was numbed with a local anesthetic. A surgical pack including sterile tweezers and scissors costing maybe $50 was used. After numbing, the tip was snipped off and sent to pathology. Silver nitrate was used to cauterize the wound. Total amount billed = $2576! Really?!! Of which $1521 was for ancillary charges.
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Ultrasound-guided Core Breast Biopsy
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Ms. Shocked in LA in Tarzana, CA.Posted: October 25th, 2012 01:10PM
Medical Center: Providnce Tarzana Medical CenterInsurance: n/a
I have Cigna but with a very high deductible. I got a cash settlement pricing from all the facilities and doctors that would be involved in the procedure. (It took all morning to call all the places!)

The cost has been estimated at a whopping $2479. I wonder how much higher it would be through my insurance. Probably at least tripled. I must say our healthcare system is seriously broken!
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Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Sharon Berg in Seattle, WA.Posted: September 25th, 2012 04:09PM
Medical Center: Swedish Breast CenterInsurance: GEHA
I am scheduled for a stereotactic breast biopsy due to some irregulaties noted in a mammogram (no lumps). Since I am required to pay a deductible plus 15% of the health plan's allowance, I felt it was important to find out what the procedure would cost on a "negotiated price" basis. I don't have that information yet, but I was advised that the retail price (including all images, the procedure itself, and the doctor) would cost a whopping $5,900!!
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Ultrasound-guided Core Breast Biopsy
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Emily Chang in San Francisco, CA.Posted: September 21st, 2012 05:09PM
Medical Center: California Pacific Medical CenterInsurance: UnitedHealthCare
Not sure if it is wrongly billed. When I received the statements from UnitedHealthCare, I saw that the CPMC charged me for over $15000 for something named Op Misc. Services. This is crazy. I knew that $2150 was already charged for the biopsy performed by the radiologist and that I think it is understandable. But $15000? anyone can tell me why it is so expensive for some misc. services?
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skin lesion biopsy
Amount: $862.00
Posted by: a user in Keene, NH.Posted: August 22nd, 2012 08:08AM
Medical Center: Cheshire MedicalInsurance: NH Health Plan
Includes cost of referral from nurse asst, office visit to dermotologist, biopsy, and tissue exam
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liver biopsy
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: W E R in Fayetteville, AR.Posted: August 14th, 2012 12:08PM
Medical Center: Washington RegionalInsurance:
Not counting radiologist or pathologist.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003416.htm
  2.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003934.htm
  3.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003891.htm
  4.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003860.htm
  5.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003895.htm
  6.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003840.htm
  7.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003920.htm
  8.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003907.htm
  9.  www.certificationmatters.org/about-board-certified-doctors/whats-so-special-about-speci...
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