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As hospitals post sticker prices online, most patients will remain befuddled

January 10, 2019 / Healthcare Finance

As of Jan. 1, in the name of transparency, the Trump administration required that all hospitals post their list prices online. But what is popping up on medical center websites is a dog's breakfast of medical codes, abbreviations and dollar signs -- in little discernible order -- that may initially serve to confuse more than illuminate. Anyone who has ever tried to find out in advance how much a hospital test, procedure or stay will cost knows the frustration: "Nope, can't tell you" or "It depends" are common replies from insurers and medical centers. While more information is always welcome, the new data will fall short of providing most consumers with usable insight.