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Heart Attack Tests for All?

Group of Prominent Cardiologists Calls for Radical Change in Testing for Heart Risk

How Much Would You Pay?

The new screening tests aren't cheap. Shah estimates that a CT heart scan ranges from $100 to $350, while an ultrasound arterial scan ranges from $300 to $400. Since the tests aren't officially recommended, most insurance and health maintenance plans won't pay for them.

Multiply the costs by nearly every middle-aged American adult and you have a big up-front expense -- even if the SHAPE doctors persuade insurance companies the tests will save them money in the long run.

WebMD asked Shah what he says to patients who balk at the price tag. His response: "You spend $400 or $500 on car maintenance. Isn't your body worth as much?

"As the evidence behind the tests builds and they become more mainstream, the costs are going to come down," Shah adds. "Meanwhile, it is still much more expensive to have a heart attackthan CT scan."

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