This information is intentionally kept secret by hospitals preventing the kind of comparison shopping that goes on in virtually every other field. This has also facilitated the practice of charging the uninsured patient more than the insured, even if this causes significant financial hardship to the patient. The ultimate answer to all this is to have price transparency and to eliminate health insurance entirely except for catastrophic events. Then the market would keep costs down, and the reduced overhead resultant from not having to deal with insurance companies for routine medical care would allow providers to charge less in correspondence with the reduced revenue from the lower prices. Consumers would spend less because their insurance premiums would be drastically lower and providers could spend the majority of their time treating patients instead of the current situation in which the majority of their time is spent dealing with insurance companies, electronic medical records requirements and the government. The elimination of the individual mandate from Obamacare is a critical first step in allowing this to happen, as is the above referenced pending Colorado legislation.