I recently felt the need to have my heart checked out as a preventative measure. I wasn’t having any symptoms, but I’ll turn 55 this year, and I’m entering the prime heart attack years for American men. I called my cardiologist and scheduled an appointment for what I thought would be a stress test. I had a stress test about 10 years ago, and my recollection is that it cost me about $1500.
When the appointment time came, I told the doc why I was there. He ran the quick preliminary checks, and then I told him I wanted a stress test. He asked why, and I said that it was a preventative measure. He then said, “I’ve got something way better and cheaper, and it will give you a truer picture of any artery blockage that is progressing.”
“What is that, I asked?”
He said that there is a calcium scan that can be done for $50, no appointment needed, and you get your results the same day. He told me that if I got a score below 10, it essentially meant that I was at least 10 years away from any significant artery blockage. Any score over 100 signaled that you have a progressing issue and a score over 400 meant that a stent surgery was in your near future.
I thought $50 for a better test sounded great to me, so I had it done the next day. Luckily my score was 8, so I suppose I can rest easy for now and keeping eating pizza every Friday night.
The facility I went to was on Old Hickory Blvd, across from the Target Shopping center. There are a few others around Nashville and I’m sure other areas across the country.
I rely on my health insurance to help pay for costly medical tests. But a $50 heart scan is an affordable preventive test.