Check out this article about some revealing data released this week comparing hospital pricing.
For the first time, the federal government [released] the prices that hospitals charge for the 100 most common inpatient procedures. Until now, these charges have been closely held by facilities that see a competitive advantage in shielding their fees from competitors. What the numbers reveal is a health-care system with tremendous, seemingly random variation in the costs of services.
How does such a state of affairs persist? The Post reports:
Experts attribute the disparities to a health system that can set prices with impunity because consumers rarely see them — and rarely shop for discounts.