Intentions were good, but the new federal rules that were supposed to make hospital bills easier to figure out are instead doing little to help.
Hospital prices and reimbursements have long been a riddle wrapped around a cipher. Why the same surgical procedure, aspirin, or IV vary so much in cost between facilities, health systems, and physicians has never been clearly understood by patients.
Today Americans spend more just on hospital care—$1.2 trillion per year—than the gross domestic product of 170 nations around the globe. There is no other product with so much cost and so little financial explanation to the paying customer.