The cost of a routine Pap test has soared by more than 500% in the past decade, and some clinics are charging patients $20,000 or more, according to a study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The cost of Pap tests in the United States is estimated at $400,000, according the ACOG.
Some clinics are charged up to $1,500 for a test, while others are charging up to five times that.
Dr. Robert J. Rau, who heads the office of clinical services for the Baldwins, said his office is seeing an increase in people going through the clinic because of the costs.
“We are seeing people that are very, very confused about what’s going on,” he said.
“They’re thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve had the test, I don’t have any problems,'” Rau said.
Dr. Robert Rau says he sees a significant number of patients who are not getting the test they need, and he believes the increasing costs are caused by the increased number of Pap-test centers around the country.
Rau said the increased cost of the test has made some clinics reluctant to provide it.
“It’s becoming more and more difficult to get a test done at our clinic,” he told ABC News.
“Some of the clinics are seeing an additional 60% increase in the number of testing centers in the next 10 years.
We have to be more proactive to get people the tests they need.”
Dr. Josephine L. Johnson, the executive director of the ACGME, said that the rise in Pap-tests has been a concern in the last decade, but there is no clear explanation for why.
“There’s no clear-cut reason for the increase in cost,” Johnson said.
“We don’t know what’s driving the increase.”
Lori Ehrhardt, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Minnesota Health System, said the clinic’s average price of $600 a test is a significant increase over what she and her colleagues are charging for similar tests in other settings.
“That is a lot of money,” she said.
Johnson said she has seen a spike in the cost of tests in some clinics in recent years.
“I’ve seen a lot more people come to me for the test than ever before,” she told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Johnson said that some of the tests have become so expensive that they are being offered at lower cost by other clinics.
She said that even with a high-quality test, a Pap test is still an expensive test.
“You don’t just get it for free,” she explained.
“If you have a test that has a high cost, you may need to pay extra to get it done.”ABC News’ Jonathan Easley contributed to this report.