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Need surgery? Good luck getting hospital cost info

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 9:38 am

CHICAGO – Want to know how much a hip replacement will cost? Many hospitals won't be able to tell you, at least not right away – if at all. And if you shop around and find centers that can quote a price, the amounts could vary astronomically, a study found.

Routine hip replacement surgery on a healthy patient without insurance may cost as little as $11,000 – or up to nearly $126,000.

That's what researchers found after calling hospitals in every state, 122 in all, asking what a healthy 62-year-old woman would have to pay to get an artificial hip.

About 15 percent of hospitals did not provide any price estimate, even after a researcher called back as many as five times.