A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a blood test that evaluates your kidney function, metabolism, and electrolyte balance. On average, a basic metabolic panel costs $235 without insurance, but prices can vary depending on where you get tested. You can significantly reduce this cost with health insurance or alternative coverage options.
A membership with Mira can give you access to a health panel test, which includes the basic metabolic, among other tests, for only $49. Additionally, with Mira, you can receive access to urgent care visits and up to 80% off on over 1,000 unique prescriptions. Sign up today.
Cost of a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
The cost of a basic metabolic panel can vary depending on where you get the test done. In general, the median cost of a basic metabolic panel is $214; however, there is significant variability depending on where you get tested. Below is a table that shows the location of getting a BMP and the associated cost.
Average Cost of BMP Without Health Insurance
|Location||Average Cost of BMP Without Health Insurance|
|Laboratory||$30 - $80|
|Urgent Care||$100 - $200|
|Primary Care Provider||Visit fee + lab test fee (dependent on provider)|
|Hospital||$85 - $140|
Factors that Influence Cost of Basic Metabolic Panel
There are a variety of factors that can impact the overall cost of your BMP. Some of these factors include but are not limited to: where you get your BMP done if you have insurance and if you have other blood tests performed.
There are several locations where you can get a basic metabolic panel test. These locations include labs, urgent care facilities, doctor’s offices (primary care physicians), and hospitals. Each will get the job done but are slightly different in cost and potentially in the procedure.
For example, if you get a basic metabolic panel at a lab, you can pay as little as $35. But if you get this test at a hospital, you can get charged up to $7,000 to cover additional fees for staying and being treated in a hospital. Therefore, if you are getting a basic metabolic panel as a routine test, it is best to go to a lab, urgent care, or primary care physician rather than a hospital.
Here is a breakdown of where you can get a basic metabolic panel:
- Labs: laboratory facilities such as Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics offer tests such as a basic metabolic panel. The cost of a basic metabolic panel at a laboratory is typically between $30 - $80.
- Urgent Care Facilities: most urgent care facilities offer bloodwork and can do a basic metabolic panel. Without insurance, you will likely be charged a visit fee, which is typically $100-$200 in addition to the cost of the basic metabolic panel. The cost of the basic metabolic panel will depend on whether the sample is tested in-house or at an external laboratory, such as Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics.
- Primary Care Physicians: like urgent care, most doctor’s offices also can run basic metabolic panels. You will likely be charged a visit fee and potentially an additional fee for the cost of the test.
- Hospitals: hospitals can also order basic metabolic panels; however, this is the most expensive way to get this test. If you are just getting routine blood work and are not experiencing an emergency health situation, you should avoid getting a basic metabolic panel at a hospital. However, if you are experiencing a life-threatening health condition and go to the hospital, the doctor may run a basic metabolic panel to diagnose.
Whether or not you have insurance can also affect the overall cost of a BMP. Typically, health insurance will cover blood tests such as a BMP for preventative, diagnostic, or treatment benefits. This will cause the cost of your BMP to significantly decrease in cost; however, if you do not have health insurance, the average out-of-pocket cost for a BMP is $235.
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If you have additional blood work tests, the price of your visit to receive a BMP may increase. For example, if your medical provider wishes to add on a lipid panel with the BMP, this may increase your visit by $68. Additionally, if your provider wishes to check your thyroid, a TSH test may cost an extra $108. These additional exams can inflate the overall cost of your visit to have a BMP done.
Basic Metabolic Panel Test Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does a basic metabolic panel work?
A basic metabolic panel is taken through a blood sample and tests for 8 different substances in the blood. These substances are glucose, calcium, sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide (bicarbonate), chloride, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen.
These substances can give important indicators related to your kidney function, metabolism, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. A doctor may suggest getting a BMP as part of a routine health visit if you feel sick or check the effectiveness of the medications you are taking. If you go to the hospital, a BMP may also be done to help with diagnoses and evaluate your health status.
You may need to fast for about 10-12 hours before getting a basic metabolic panel test to yield the most accurate results. Results of a basic metabolic panel may be available in as few as 24 hours.
What is the difference between a basic metabolic panel and a comprehensive metabolic panel?
A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) includes the same 8 tests as a BMP but also has 6 additional tests that look at proteins and liver enzymes. The six additional tests are albumin, total protein, ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin.
In general, a CMP is recommended over just a BMP if there are concerns about liver or kidney function. A CMP may also be ordered if you have a known liver condition and your doctor wants to monitor its progression. If you have no symptoms or health conditions, your provider may decide that a BMP is sufficient for a routine checkup.
What are normal results for a basic metabolic panel?
Below we outline normal levels for the eight substances tested in a basic metabolic panel. Note that the normal cutoff levels may vary based on the lab you are tested at, age, gender, pre-existing health conditions, or current medications. These normal levels are just meant to serve as an example and are not to be used as a substitute for medical advice.
When you get your basic metabolic panel results, it will be indicated if you fall outside the normal levels set by the particular lab that ran your test.
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Normal Levels For Metabolic Panel Substances
|Tested Substance||Normal Levels|
|Glucose||70 to 99 mg/dL|
|Calcium||8.6 to 10.3 mg/dL|
|Sodium||135 to 145 mEq/L|
|Potassium||3.6 to 5.2 mmol/L|
|Bicarbonate||23 to 30 mEq/L (varies by age)|
|Chloride||96 and 106 mEq/L|
|Blood Urea Nitrogen||7 to 20 mg/dL|
|Creatinine||0.74 to 1.35 mg/dL for men and 0.59 to 1.04 mg/dL for women|
What do the results of a basic metabolic panel mean?
The results of a basic metabolic panel can be used to help diagnose health conditions or screen for certain diseases. It is important to discuss your results with a healthcare provider so that your results can be looked at in the context of your current health status. Some of the conditions that a basic metabolic panel can be used to diagnose include, but are not limited to, kidney disease, diabetes, and pre-diabetes, metabolic problems, or hormonal abnormalities.
In addition, having one versus multiple abnormal results on a basic metabolic panel can be indicative of different health conditions. Your health care provider may decide to follow up with additional tests depending on the results of your basic metabolic panel. If you get your results from your lab tests, and need help interpreting them, you can make an appointment with a virtual care provider through Mira for only $25.
How can I save money on my basic metabolic panel?
With the significant amount of variability in the cost of a BMP comes a significant amount of room to reduce the cost of a BMP. Some of these ways include:
- Using a facility near you that is most cost-effective. Typically, labs such as Quest Diagnostics may be more inexpensive, whereas hospitals can become pricey. Make sure to investigate the costs of unique facilities near you.
- If you have insurance, make sure to check with your provider to see which facilities are in-network with your plan and are near you.
A basic metabolic panel is used to assess kidney function, metabolism, and electrolyte balance that can be indicative of a variety of health conditions. The average cost of a basic metabolic panel is $235, but prices can range depending on where you get tested. It will likely be less expensive to get this test at an urgent care, doctor’s office, or lab rather than a hospital, and it is always important to review your results with a healthcare professional.
For an average of $45 per month, Mira members get access to discounted urgent care visits, prescriptions, and lab tests. With a Mira membership, you can avoid high prices and get a health panel, which includes a basic metabolic panel, for only $49.
Jacqueline graduated from the University of Virginia in 2021 with a B.A. in Global Public Health and is a current M.D. candidate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Jacqueline has been working for Mira since April 2020 and is passionate about the intersection of public health and medical care.