Shopping around has never been easier. With a few clicks, consumers can easily find deals on flights, get multiple quotes on car insurance or price-match items in their local shopping mall.
Yet when it comes to spending money on something really important — their health — consumers are largely in the dark.
Federal rules that took effect last year were supposed to address this problem by requiring hospitals to publish the prices of 300 common services. The goal was to make health care more like other markets, where prices are transparent and consumers can shop around for the best value.