Bone Scan Cost

Factors affecting bone scan cost
A bone scan, which is also called bone scintigraphy, is one of the common types of nuclear medicine imaging procedure. Basically, nuclear medicine is a branch of imaging where radiopharmaceuticals are used for examining the function and structure of tissues and organs. Bone scintigraphy helps check the structure and function of bones. This procedure involves the administration of a small amount of radiopharmaceutical into a vein. This radioactive substance is also referred to as a radioactive tracer. Tc-99m MDP (where Tc stands for Technetium and MDP stands for methylene diphosphonate) is one of the commonly used radioactive tracers. The standard dose for adults is around 740 Mbq.

The radioactive component of the medication becomes radioactive as it breaks down. This substance causes the body part that is being studied to become radioactive for a short duration. When the ionizing radiation is emitted from the body, it is detected and measured using a gamma camera. This imaging procedure can help detect tumors, infection, or abnormalities in bones. It can also determine the extent of spread of cancer. Also, this scan can help the doctors ascertain if cancer treatment is working or not.

How Is a Bone Scan Performed

The procedure is performed under the supervision of a radiologist who has completed specific training in nuclear medicine.

➠ In the first phase, which is called blood flow phase, images are taken with the gamma camera immediately after the administration of radioactive tracer. This allows the radiologist to analyze the blood flow to the area being scanned.

➠ In the second phase, which is also called blood pool phase, the images are taken about 5 minutes after the administration of the injection. These images can help reveal any soft tissue involvement.

➠ The third phase is also called delayed phase. The radioactive tracer usually takes 2-3 hours to circulate in the blood and get absorbed in the bone. Thus, the patient is asked to come back after 2-4 hours. The person undergoing the scan is asked to empty the bladder, and remove jewelry or metallic items that he/she might be wearing. Thereafter, he/she will have to lie down on the imaging table. During this time, pictures are taken by the gamma camera. A whole body scan can take about 30-45 minutes.

While the task of measuring and administering the radioactive tracer, as well as using the equipment (gamma camera/computer) is performed by the nuclear medicine technologist, the images are interpreted by the radiologist. A bone problem is suspected when hot spots are observed. Basically, hot spots are areas of the bones that absorb more than normal amount of radioactive tracer.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Bone Scan

A bone scan normally costs anywhere between USD 150 and USD 600. However, the overall cost might vary, depending on certain factors. These include:

Location
It’s likely that hospitals or clinics that are located in metropolitan areas charge more for the bone scan. A radiologist who has completed specific training in nuclear medicine supervises the procedure, whereas a certified nuclear medicine technologist administers the radioactive tracer and handles the equipment. The hospital/clinic charges, radiologist’s fee, and technician’s charges are likely to be higher in cities that have a higher cost of living. However, even in the metropolitan areas or big cities, one can look for non-profit hospitals that provide monetary aid to patients who are poor/uninsured. Also, certain hospitals and imaging centers with a larger patient base might perform the procedure at a lower cost.

Insurance Coverage
Many health insurance companies cover the cost of bone scintigraphy. However, those who are insured must contact their health insurance company to find out whether the full cost or a part of the cost of the bone scan is covered under their plan. You might have to pay nearly 10% to 40% less than the actual cost, depending on the type of health insurance.

Additional Cost
The overall cost is bound to increase, if an additional imaging procedure called single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) is recommended. SPECT is suggested in cases where the two-dimensional images don’t suffice. For instance, imaging procedures such as the SPECT or SPECT-CT (a combination of SPECT and CT) might be recommended by the doctor when he/she suspects infections, fracture, or cancer deep within the bone. SPECT or SPECT-CT provide the three-dimensional images of the part of the body being scanned, thereby providing valuable diagnostic information, which two-dimensional (planar) images cannot provide.

Condition of the Patient
If the patient is affected by a serious medical condition, additional care needs to be taken. Under such circumstances, the patient’s condition has to be monitored while the scan is in progress. Though minimal risks are involved in bone scintigraphy, immediate medical assistance would be required, if the patient develops an allergic reaction. This might contribute to the overall cost.

On a concluding note, a bone scan is a useful imaging technique that enables the early detection of bone-related conditions. It must be noted that this procedure is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers. So, consult your healthcare provider about the risks associated with this imaging procedure. Also, clarify any doubts related to its cost with the hospital/clinic and your insurance company. Those who are uninsured can find out if the hospital offers any financial assistance program.

13 Wonderful Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Continuing the above thought, maybe this is the reason we don’t “drink” a soup, we always “eat” it. We consume it with a spoon just like we eat other solid foods. We don’t sip it from a bowl or glass as we drink liquids. So, according to etiquette experts, we “eat” bone broth, the delicious superfood. As mentioned earlier, bone broth is made from animal bones such as fish heads, fish carcasses, parts of lamb, pig, turkey, chicken, venison, or any other animal. You can add vegetables and herbs to increase its nutritional value. Roasted bones can improve the flavor of the broth. Although they say that “too many cooks spoil the broth”, nothing in fact can spoil the broth. It is easy to prepare and is always tasty.

The bones and other ingredients are placed in water and are simmered for a very long time or even for a couple of days. The longer the cooking time, the more nutritious is the broth. The long cooking time ensures removal of all nutrients from the bones. It promotes extraction of flavor too.

Health Benefits

Supplies Nutrients
Bone broth is rich in protein and various minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, etc. It also contains various B vitamins. Thus, it is a good source of powerful nutrients that are essential for the metabolic processes that take place in the body. Many of these health-boosting nutrients are absent in ready-to-cook food.

Keeps You Fit
Most doctors ask their patients to consume bone broth as it helps enhance the function of the bodily systems. It can be a soothing, satiating, and an energy-boosting drink during illness. As it boosts the immune system, it promotes fast recovery.
Ensures Healthy Joints
The stock is packed with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) like glucosamine and chondroitin, which help strengthen bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, and can keep your joints healthy. It is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine that are essential for healthy connective tissue. Those suffering from osteoarthritis often take chondroitin sulfate supplements as they help slow the breakdown of cartilage in the joint. Natural foods are always healthier than dietary supplements. Glycine, proline, and arginine all help reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Replenishes Nutrients in Women
Pregnant women and breastfeeding moms should especially eat broth every day, as their bodies are likely to be depleted of important minerals. It helps build blood too. Glycine promotes the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts, and various other chemicals in the body.
Maintains Digestive Health
Gelatin, derived from the collagen in bones, promotes easy digestion of broth. It helps restore the health of the small intestine. Broth increases the strength of the digestive juices. It encourages protein metabolism too. The body can digest and use protein efficiently. So people with food sensitivities, food intolerance, and gastrointestinal disorders should incorporate broth in their diets. The amino acid glycine from the food also supports digestion and secretion of gastric juices.
Improves Brain Function
Vitamins and minerals from this superfood help build blood, improve the quality of blood, and also improve the blood flow. This eventually results in improved brain function. The wonderful amino acid glycine plays an important role in the functioning of the central nervous system. It regulates your mood, improves memory, and ensures mental alertness. It has a calming effect on the brain, which ensures sound sleep. The amino acid proline releases the plaque (cholesterol) attached to the blood vessel walls. Thus, it reduces the chances of having blockages in the heart and blood vessels, and promotes easy blood flow.
Slows Down the Process of Aging
Aging results in decreased production of collagen―the main constituent of hair, skin, and nails. The nutrients from broth can improve the quality of your hair, skin, and nails significantly. Proline reduces cellulite and makes your skin soft and smooth. For wrinkle-free skin and strong hair, you should consume it regularly.
Boosts the Immune System
It helps overcome food intolerance and allergies. It helps cure leaky gut as the gelatin in the broth fills the cracks and holes in the gut lining. This eventually helps prevent autoimmune diseases. The amino acid arginine enhances the function of the immune system and promotes wound healing. It helps regenerate damaged liver cells too.
Enhances the Function of Kidneys and Adrenal Glands
According to Chinese medicine, this nutrient-dense food helps enhance the function of kidneys and adrenal glands. The hormones released by these glands help maintain our health (physical and mental) in several ways. As you know, kidneys help get rid of the toxins that accumulate in our bodies. The amino acid glycine supports the detoxification process that takes place in your body.
Remineralizes Teeth
Being rich in calcium, broth strengthens your teeth and prevents tooth decay. It even remineralizes teeth.
Strengthens Bones
Minerals like calcium and magnesium promote healthy bone formation. They play an important role in the healing of broken bones and can make your bones strong.
Encourages Production of Important Elements
Arginine promotes production of sperms and growth hormone.
Strengthens Muscles
Glutamine improves metabolism and promotes muscle building, while glycine prevents breakdown of muscle issues.
You may refrigerate and use the broth for up to a week. You can use it to flavor soups and risotto, or you can use it as a cooking liquid for grains. It can be used to make gravy or sauce too. As a tasty treat and health-promoting superfood, bone broth is hard to beat.