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Need a price for a hip operation? Good luck with that

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Researchers recently called 20 top-rates orthopedic hospitals in an effort to find out how much it would cost for a hip replacement for a 62-year-old woman not old enough for Medicare and without health insurance. The study was part of an effort to see if regular consumers can actually price out major health care procedures. The results were that only 9 of the hospitals asked provided a bundled price that included both doctors’ fees and facilities fees. They asked the same questions of 102 other hospitals and only got price quotes from about 10 percent of them. Most said they do not give out prices over the phone. Others said they simply could not deliver a price.