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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
Outrageous
Amount: $2,763.00
Posted by: BankruptedTK in Toledo, OH.Posted: September 10th, 2020 06:09AM
Medical Center: Toledo Hospital
My PPO will pay almost $2k of this. This is a perfect example of our broken health care system. A basic test gets blown into a technological monstrosity to justify outrageous pricing, which insurance won't cover.
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PFT COSTS
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Jojoseph in Kansas City, KS.Posted: May 31st, 2020 05:05AM
Medical Center: Kansas University Medical Center
Doctor referred me to get a PFT because I performed poorly on pre-employment spirometry. They think I could have asthma- never had any breathing issues in the past and exercise fine. Waste of time. Paying $3000 to hear "I don't know".
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1 hour later, no results, no
Amount: $1,956.00
Posted by: Robby E. in Detroit, MI.Posted: May 11th, 2020 05:05AM
Medical Center: Harper University Detroit
I was charged already by University Physician Group:
$190 for Spiromatry
$40 for the test
$30 for CO2 Diffuse Capacity
I spent $40 on the copay
I was later sent a bill for $1,956 additional directly from the hospital and not insurance paid. To top it all off, they never gave me my results, a diagnosis, or additional treatment. Gave me a fake website to get my own results and never forwarded it to my personal doctor. A huge waste of time.
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Refused the test
Amount: $2,855.19
Posted by: Jenn w in Pulaski, TN.Posted: February 28th, 2020 06:02AM
Medical Center: Southern Tennessee Regional Heath System
They planned to charge $2855.19. With the insurance coverage, I would have had to pay $1778.78 and they were so kind (sarcastically) to offer a 20% discount if I paid in full same day and pay $1423.02. The woman then tried to blame it on my insurance coverage and tried to say I don’t understand deductibles..... ummm I totally do. I also understand the hospital is inflated their costs because they expect insurance will
Cover more.
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Ridiculous
Amount: $6,197.00
Posted by: Irritated in Lake worth, FL.Posted: September 18th, 2019 01:09PM
Medical Center: JKK Medical Center
Absurd
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Pulmonary tests
Amount: $176.00
Posted by: trishie in Hershey, PA, PA.Posted: November 17th, 2018 07:11PM
Medical Center: Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA
Had Bronchodilator Spir ($536.00), CO Diffusion Capacity ($261.00), Lung Volume Plethsmography ($964.00).
Medicare paid $354.81 and my co-pay is $15.00.
However, these charges seem outlandish.
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PFT
Amount: $175.00
Posted by: Jane Smith Bishop in Gadsden, AL.Posted: October 14th, 2017 04:10PM
Medical Center: Gadsden Regional Medical Center
Test took about 1 hour. Co-pay was $175.00.
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Son took PFT
Amount: $1,039.00
Posted by: Crazy Prices in New Brunswick, NJ.Posted: March 20th, 2017 05:03PM
Medical Center: RWJUH New Brunswick
Spirometry $916
Lung volumes $326
Diffusing capacity $459
total $1701
We have insurance so we paid $1039 out of pocket...Crazy!!!
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Li
Amount: $1,100.00
Posted by: [email protected] in Concord, MA.Posted: February 22nd, 2017 10:02AM
Medical Center: Emerson Hospital
Unbelievable! this is ridiculous.
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PFT Cost Dallas
Amount: $2,568.00
Posted by: CHRIS REED in Dallas, TX.Posted: January 18th, 2017 12:01PM
Medical Center: Baylor
My regular doctor wanted me to see a specialist since he didn't like my spirometry results. I reluctantly agreed since I never have problems. Two doctor visits later and I'm out $2568. First visit never saw the doctor but did a spirometry test. Nurse said the doctor wanted me to come back and do a methacholine challenge test. Second visit did the test and barely failed it. Doctor saw me for 5 minutes and said since I didn't struggle with symptoms then I should just continue like I have been. The methacholine test cost $669. The rest was doctor charges. Doesn't make sense to me?
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It's all about the money, not the patient.
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Tired I f the lied in Hudson, FL.Posted: December 13th, 2016 02:12PM
Medical Center: Cant day
so sick of a crooked Healthcare System tired of being lied to by Dr three times I've been given different patient's diagnosis is so I really don't know what the hell I have other than bronchitis that out of the blue turn into COPD. BS
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overpriced pft test
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: jean mckimmey in spring hill, FL.Posted: March 23rd, 2016 10:03AM
Medical Center: oak hill hospital spring hill fl
Unbelievable my insurance will cover 450.00. Guess I'll be sending them $25.00 a month for the rest of my lufe
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pulmonary function test
Amount: $3,061.00
Posted by: healthcare Tami in Toledo, OH.Posted: April 1st, 2015 08:04AM
Medical Center: Toledo Hospital
45 min. test with treadmill stress activity and aerosol treatment. Seems ridiculous for the fact that we weren't in a million dollar scanner, used minimal disposable items, and did not see a doctor.
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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%...
  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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