Most of us shop around, especially on big purchases. Yet, despite the soaring amounts we spend on health care, we don’t have sufficient information to compare price and quality. That’s why the same surgery can vary by $10,000 in the same town and why costs quoted for a hip replacement at hospitals nationwide vary by as much as $100,000.1.2 Without transparency, there’s no market force to keep prices in check. The result: Hospitals have charged rates as exorbitant as $743 for a single stitch, $36 for a pill that costs 50 cents at a drugstore and $408 for a tetanus shot.3