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Ask a Hospital How Much a Knee Operation Will Cost, and You're Likely To Get a Headache!

A recent article in USA Today indicated that everyone seems to be urging Americans to become better shoppers for health care.

Call around and find the best deal on medical treatments, then pocket the savings. It sounds great, but just try it and you will get a headache.

Even in a doctor’s office it is difficult to find out how much something will cost.

Health care may never be a true marketplace. A false notion is that only if providers give information about their true prices can consumers get the kind of choices they find at Travelocity.

It is far more complex than that.

Nonetheless, the growing demands of employers for information are helping push the medical industry to reevaluate its longstanding hesitation to provide data on quality and cost.

We are probably three to five years away from having information in the way consumers can really use it.