How Much Does an X-Ray Cost?

Apr 30, 2024 2:30:55 AM / by Chad Hutchison

X-rays are critical medical tools that help in accurate and efficient diagnosis to help you or your patients get treatment as quickly as possible. Many factors affect the price of an X-ray, including the body part being examined, geographical location, type of facility, equipment, operational expenses, skilled wages, and more.

Let’s examine the factors that affect how much an X-ray costs. 

What Is an X-Ray?

An x-ray (aka radiograph) is a common non-invasive medical imaging procedure that uses electromagnetic radiation, similar to visible light but with much higher energy that allows it to pass through the body. This creates black, gray, and white images of your bones, teeth, organs, and soft tissues. 

X-rays are essential diagnostics to help evaluate injuries like broken bones, dislocated joints, and foreign objects. They’re also used to diagnose and monitor conditions and diseases of the soft tissues, including respiratory infections, intestinal inflammation or blockages, tumors, and many others.

What Factors Influence the Cost of X-Rays?

Let’s examine the factors that affect the cost of X-rays to help you understand why.

Body Part

The specific body part being examined directly influences the X-ray price. For example, according to Cost Helper Health, a single finger is among the least expensive, averaging $100 USD. 

On the other hand, whole-body X-rays are much more expensive, usually around $1,100 USD, followed by chest radiographs at $370 and pelvis radiographs at $350. Of course, more specialized radiographs, like arterial, venal, or ductal X-rays, will be more expensive. 

Different procedures often require several images taken from different angles for accurate diagnostics, which also influences the final price. 


The price of imaging services can vary significantly based on geographical location. Generally speaking, areas with higher living costs have higher operational expenses like rent, utilities, and salaries, so radiographs are more expensive there. 

For example, Los Angeles costs between $230 - $600 USD compared to Miami, with its lower cost of living, which runs between $100 and $250.

Different Facilities

Where you get your radiographs done also affects the price. Facilities require specialized infrastructure, such as lead-lined rooms, storage, and security systems, which also increase prices. 

Inpatient hospital facilities cost the most, on average $450 USD, with their higher infrastructure and staffing expenses compared to urgent care clinics. Outpatient clinics are generally the cheapest, averaging about $75 USD.

X-Ray Equipment

The sophisticated machines that produce radiographs require complex electronics and high-quality materials. They’re also designed according to strict medical and safety standards to ensure safe and accurate diagnostics. 

These machines also have high energy demands that significantly increase a facility's operational costs. In regions where electricity is more expensive, prices are also impacted, and it costs more to run the machines.

While digital X-ray systems offer superior image quality, storage, and faster, high-quality results for patients, they’re more expensive than traditional machines. This is due to their higher upfront price and investment in digital infrastructure like high-capacity servers, secure cloud storage solutions, cybersecurity, and advanced image processing software. 

Despite the price increase, the result is worth the extra money. You get faster, high-quality results that are safer for staff and patients, reducing radiation exposure by up to 40%.

Salaries of Expertly Trained Technicians

Operating specialized imaging equipment requires highly skilled technicians who undergo intensive training and education. This ensures quality images to assist in accurate diagnosis. They’re also trained in patient safety and communication to provide the highest quality of care. These specialized skills and the required training significantly contribute to the overall price of X-rays.

Are X-Rays Covered by Health Insurance?

Your health insurance usually covers radiographs, but how much they cover depends on your health plan. They may cover it in full, or you may be responsible for deductibles or copayments that could amount to 10% to 50% of the total price. 

The amount you can bill your insurance for X-rays will depend on your insurance plan and the services it covers. It’s also affected by geographical location, rates negotiated between your insurance company and health care provider, and the procedure codes they use. 

How Can You Avoid Expensive X-Ray Costs?

  • Question the need for the X-ray; ensure you know why you need it and your physician has approved it.
  • Call different facilities to compare prices.
  • Ask if the facility offers discounts for cash-paying customers.
  • Use the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration tool to find a health center offering income-based discounts.

Do Urgent Care Centers do X-Rays?

Urgent care centers often conduct X-rays; they’re critical for accurately and efficiently diagnosing patients so they can quickly move from diagnostics to treatment. 

If you need X-ray equipment for your urgent care center, Maven Imaging’s affordable X-ray equipment is explicitly designed for high-volume use, allowing staff to optimize patient workflow and technologist productivity.

If price is a significant factor, you could buy quality used equipment if you understand the pros and cons and which used equipment you should avoid. If you get the right used equipment, you can add a new Digital Wireless DR panel and enjoy the cost savings of buying used, with the benefits of new DR panel technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Get X-Rays?

In the USA, the cost of an X-ray varies with the body part, location, the facility, and whether or not you have health insurance. Without insurance, prices can range from about $50 to $1000 or more, so be sure to look for which provider offers the best rates.

What Is the Average Cost of an X-Ray?

On average, the cost of an X-ray is between $260 and $460 USD without health insurance. The price varies significantly depending on the body part(s) being examined, the facility being used (inpatient vs. outpatient), and the part of the country you’re in. 

What Is the Price of 1 X-Ray?

A single X-ray could cost between $50 and $1000 USD or more without health insurance, or on average, between $260 and $460. That cost varies with the intended part of the body, the facility performing it, and which state it’s in.

Why Is X-Ray So Expensive?

X-rays are expensive due to the cost of the specialized equipment, expertly trained staff, high energy use of the machines, equipment maintenance to ensure quality and safety, and the specialized infrastructure needed to operate them. Your location, the part of your body being imaged, and market prices also play a role. 

Final Thoughts

X-rays have relatively high costs, which vary significantly with the body part being examined, the geographical location, the type of facility, and the price of the specialized equipment and expertly trained staff to run them. 

Even though digital radiograph machines may cost more upfront, they have numerous benefits, including producing faster results and easier storage, not to mention the added safety benefits of exposing your staff and patients to less radiation than traditional models. 

The speed and accuracy of Maven Imaging’s Digital X-ray Machines will help you provide better patient care by reducing waiting times so your patients can start treatment and get the help they need.

Tags: x-ray, x-ray cost

Chad Hutchison

Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.