Putting a price tag on health care

I applaud price transparency, but it’s not that easy:

Still, it’s harder to price hospital care than other items people purchase.

Here’s why: hospitals establish basic charges for procedures, but those amounts are discounted through negotiations with health plans. In addition, patients have varying co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses as well. Procedures can also cost more if patients have chronic illnesses, allergies or other complications.