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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Pulmonary Function Test

Pulmonary Function Test Cost


How Much Does a Pulmonary Function Test Cost?

 
low costWith Health Insurance: 0%-20% Copayaverage costWithout Health Insurance: $40-$800
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Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are usually used to diagnose or determine the progress of lung disease. Pulmonary function tests are used for early screening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but also can be used to determine if patients have other respiratory problems. There are several types of tests that determine lung function including spirometry, lung volume and diffusing capacity. Pulmonary function tests are recommended for patients who are older than 40 and are smokers or are exposed to second-hand smoke.

Typical costs:

  • For patients without insurance, pulmonary function tests typically cost $40-$800 total, depending on how many and which tests are ordered by a physician. According to Health Care Blue Book[1] , an online health care price estimator, $42 is the average cost of a spirometry test, but it might not include the cost of an office visit, which typically costs $25-$100. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] , in Lincoln, NE, charges $240-$569 for spirometry testing; a lung function test is $129 and a monoxide diffusing capacity test is $456.
  • For patients with medical insurance, pulmonary function tests might be covered at 80%-100%. Typically, if a doctor deems a pulmonary function test necessary, the medical insurance provider will cover it.
Related articles: Albuterol Inhaler, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • During a spirometry test, a patient breathes into a mouthpiece that is connected to a spirometer. The spirometer records the amount and rate of air inhaled and exhaled during specific periods of time.
  • Lung volume measurement tests are done typically two different ways. In one style of test, the patient sits in a clear box the size of a telephone booth, and breathes into a mouthpiece. Changes in pressure in the box are used to calculate lung volume. In another testing method, the patient breathes in helium or nitrogen and the concentration of the gas is measured to calculate lung volume.
  • In a diffusion capacity test, a patient breathes gas for a short time. The concentration of the gas exhaled is measured to determine how effectively gas travels from the lungs into the blood.
  • Medicine Plus[3] , a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides details on what to expect from the different pulmonary function tests and how to prepare for them.
Additional costs:
  • The cost of an office visit to a physician might be added to the cost of a pulmonary function test. Expect an office visit to cost $25-$100.
Discounts:
  • Medical insurance may cover the cost of a pulmonary function test. Contact an insurance provider for specific coverage details.
  • The COPD Foundation has a Mobile Spirometry Unit[4] that offers free testing of pulmonary function.
  • Health fairs frequently offer a variety of free pulmonary function tests. Health Fairs of America[5] includes pulmonary function testing at health fair events.
Shopping for a pulmonary function test:
  • The COPD Foundation provides useful information[6] on who should seek pulmonary function testing and what to expect with the tests.
  • The American Lung Association provides a fact sheet[7] on COPD.
  • WebMD provides extensive information[8] on various types of COPD diagnostic tests including pulmonary function tests.
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
PFT Cost
Amount: $1,312.50
Posted by: a user in Newark, DE.Posted: January 30th, 2015 07:01AM
Medical Center: Christiana Care in Newark, DE
My insurance would not cover the PFT unless I went to a hospital (as opposed to having it done at my doctor's office). So I had to pay for 2 doctor's visits (one to order the test and another to read the results). Then I get a bill from the hospital asking for more $ when the hospital did not provide any treatment or diagnosis. Breathing into a tube, no matter what it's hooked up to, for 40 minutes should not cost this much ever.
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Boston Area PFT Costs
Amount: $4,445.00
Posted by: SecondBreath in Boston, MA.Posted: January 10th, 2014 12:01PM
Medical Center: Mass General Hospital
Gross charges before insurance discount. Same tests two months ago were $2,155. At an affiliated regional hospital same tests were around $800.
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PFT cost
Amount: $1,344.00
Posted by: Christin in North Richland Hills, TX.Posted: June 18th, 2013 05:06PM
Medical Center: North Hills Hospital
Paid $400 up front, then got a bill for $944 1.5 months later. Had no idea it would be this much. That's with insurance.
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PFT Costs
Amount: $3,100.00
Posted by: brad s in Walnut Creek, CA.Posted: April 25th, 2013 09:04AM
Medical Center: John Muir - MuirLab
Does not include the office visit. Shocked that a 30 minute test costs this much
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PFT COSTS
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: Mike No Way in Venice, FL.Posted: July 14th, 2012 09:07AM
Medical Center: Venice regional medical
Unbelieveable that they think for a half hour breathing test that I would pay what?
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Cost of PFT took my breath away
Amount: $2,473.00
Posted by: gaspingforbreath in Boston, MA.Posted: August 21st, 2011 06:08AM
Medical Center: Brigham & Women's Hospital
This incredible charge does not include the office visit charge of $489.00
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External Resources:
  1.  healthcarebluebook.com/page_Results.aspx?id=201&dataset=MD&g=Breathing%20Capacity%20Test
  2.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  3.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003853.htm
  4.  www.copdfoundation.org/Programs/MobileSpirometryUnit.aspx
  5.  www.vsamerica.com/screenings/os/
  6.  www.copdfoundation.org/COPDYou/AboutCOPD/GettingTested.aspx
  7.  www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/resources/facts-figures/COPD-Fact-Sheet.html
  8.  www.webmd.com/lung/copd/diagnostic-tests
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