The actual cost of hospital care became a lot clearer for consumers when the Obama administration released the average prices charged by more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals for the 100 most common medical procedures.
The 2011 data, which shows wide cost variations at hospitals across the country – and in the same city or geographic area – raise questions about how treatment prices are determined and why the information has been so hard to get in the past.
Below is a searchable database of California hospitals with more than 13,000 records.
SEARCH TIPS: You can search by hospital name, city or procedure. You can then filter your search results. For instance, you can search for a city, like Modesto, and then search by procedure or "DRG Definition" to compare costs of hospitals within the same city.
To search simply by procedure to compare the costs of hospitals statewide, click on the "procedure" dropdown menu. Pick a procedure. Then, without defining a hospital or city, click on "search." You can then click on the city to alphabetize the list for easier searching.
To get full information on a record, including methodology and term definition, click on "Details" at the end of each record.
To create another search, hit the "back" button in your browser or click here .