Anyone who has ever tried to find the cost of a medical procedure knows the frustration. Try calling a hospital and asking how much an appendix operation runs. Or how about delivering a baby? Medicine is complicated, so perhaps it isn't surprising that it can't be priced like lawn mowers at Home Depot.
But here's the reality: Health care providers don't know what the services cost themselves, so it's no wonder their prices are mysterious.
University of Utah Health Sciences Senior Vice President Vivian Lee admits as much in a Tribune article about how the university's health care system is trying to figure out its true costs. "The bill is just a made-up number," she said. "The true problem in health care is we don't understand our costs. If you don't know your costs, you can't drive down health spending in this country."