Gastroenterologists (GI) are doctors who specialize in understanding the digestive system and any diseases that may impact your esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, colon, intestines, and rectum. On average, a visit to your GI will cost $381 if paying without insurance, but prices will be higher if you require any treatments or procedures.
Consultations with your doctors, especially gastroenterologists, can become expensive if you do not have health insurance. Mira can assist you in finding a provider in your area in your budget. Additionally, you can get access to urgent care visits, lab testings, and up to 80% off on prescriptions for just $45 per month.
The Cost of a Gastroenterologist Without Insurance
Like most medical markets, costs of visits with your GI doctor tend to increase in larger cities and decrease in less populated areas. For example, a visit with a GI doctor in a clinic in New York City will likely cost more than a visit with a GI doctor in Omaha, Nebraska.
The cost of a GI visit typically includes a physical exam and a past medical history review. Additional testing will result in higher costs. Check out the table below for more information on the cost of a GI visit in different cities.
Average Costs of Gastroenterologist Visit in Different Cities
|Location||Gastroenterologist visit cost without insurance|
|Santa Monica, CA||$212|
|Kansas City, MO||$174|
There are various procedures that your GI may perform to assess your digestive health. These procedures will likely increase the overall cost of your visit. Below is a table that details the average costs of frequent services, like colonoscopies or endoscopies, when paying without health insurance.
Cost of Additional Gastroenterologist Services
|Colonoscopy||$1250 - $4800|
|Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy||$2700|
|GI Tract X-Ray||$240 - $2325|
|CT Scan||$270 - $5000|
|Blood or Stool Exam||$40 - $100|
|Barium Swallow or Enema||$300 - $450|
Factors that Influence the Cost of a Gastroenterologist Visit
There are a variety of factors that can impact the overall cost of your visit with a GI doctor. The overall cost of your visit can fluctuate greatly from the national average cost due to the services you require, the location of the clinic, and what type of facility you visit.
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Additional services such as tests and procedures can cause your final bill from your GI visit to increase drastically. The services administered by your gastroenterologist allow the providers to have a better understanding of what is occurring internally, which is why procedures can be rather expensive.
If you have health insurance, some services may be covered and therefore less expensive. Whether or not a service will be covered by your health insurance will depend on if the procedure is deemed medically necessary. Your costs will also depend on whether your procedures are classified as preventative or diagnostic care.
Preventative care is the completion of tests to ensure that you will stay healthy. Most preventative care that is done at an in-network provider should be covered by your health insurance. Diagnostic care, however, is done to diagnose or monitor a health condition and may require you to pay some out-of-pocket costs.
It is important to check with your insurance provider to see if your specific procedures will be covered and what criteria need to be met to obtain coverage.
The location of your GI clinic can also influence the cost of your visit. Costs for an initial appointment can vary state by state and may be more expensive in cities than suburban areas. For example, an endoscopy in Los Angeles can cost up to $4,900, while an endoscopy in Atlanta may only by up to $3,200.
GI doctors tend to work in various facilities, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, or office settings. Each of these different facilities may hold unique associated costs that can impact the price of a visit to your GI doctor.
In general, going to a doctor’s office costs less than seeking care at a hospital if you are not experiencing an emergency. If you have health insurance, the cost of location will most likely be dependent on whether or not the facility is in-network with your plan. You should always try to seek care at an in-network facility to decrease costs.
If you do not have health insurance, it is recommended to call the different facilities in your region to find the one that is most cost-effective.
Gastroenterologist Visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now that we have covered the pricing and overall costs of visits with your GI doctor, it is important to have a deeper understanding of why GI visits are necessary. Below is a list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding a visit with your GI doctor.
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Why should I consult with my gastroenterologist?
Consulting with a gastroenterologist is a critical part of making sure your internal systems, in particular your digestive and GI tract, are functioning properly. Through certain procedures, gastroenterologists are able to have a better understanding of what is happening within your body and they may be able to detect issues that you otherwise may have not known about.
When should I consult with my gastroenterologist?
There are typically some tell-tale signs that will indicate you need to consult with your GI doctor. Some of these signs that your gastroenterologist may be able to help with include:
- Blood in your stool
- Lump in your throat
- Weight loss
- Excessive gas
Additionally, your family’s history ultimately determines how regularly you should see a gastroenterologist. It is recommended that once you are above the age of 50, you should at least see a GI once every 10 years for a colonoscopy.
What can I expect at a consultation with my gastroenterologist?
Your primary care provider may refer you to a GI doctor for a further evaluation of certain conditions you may have. At the initial visit with your GI doctor, you can expect it to take about 30 minutes to an hour.
At the initial session, your GI doctor will record your family history and then begin to ask you questions specific to symptoms you may be experiencing. After these beginning steps, they will then perform a physical exam where they will observe your abdomen area, listen to your bowel sounds, and palpate all four quadrants of your abdomen.
Your GI may also ask you to undergo additional services or tests to confirm a diagnosis. These tests can include but are not limited to x-rays, colonoscopies, upper GI endoscopies, and CT scans.
How can I save money on a g gastroenterologist visit?
Although visits to your GI doctor may be expensive, there are ways to minimize the costs. Some general strategies include:
- If you have health insurance, know your benefits, and make sure to stay within your plan’s network. Out-of-network providers will generally be much more expensive than in-network providers/
- Research costs of certain procedures in various locations nearby. This is because a facility may offer cheaper services in areas outside of where you reside.
- Opt for generic drugs whenever possible, as these tend to be cheaper than brand-name prescriptions.
- Talk with your doctor and inform them if you do not have health insurance. This way, they will be aware and can assist in navigating the most cost-efficient strategies for your treatment plan.
On average, visits with your gastroenterologist cost $381 without health insurance. Additional tests that may need to be performed and your location can cause the price of the visit to increase. Although visits with your GI can become expensive without health insurance, they are critical in maintaining your digestive health and can be insightful to have a deeper understanding of the internal workings of our bodies.
If you do not have health insurance, Mira may be a great option for you. With Mira, you can receive access to services such as lab testings, urgent care visits, and a discount on prescriptions all for just $45 per month.
Madeline is a Senior at UCLA majoring in Human Biology & Society with a minor in Spanish. She's currently a Healthcare Research Analyst at Mira, writing content for the blog to help the public better understand certain medical issues, technologies, testings, and the importance of healthcare.