After TIME’s Mar. 4 special issue “Bitter Pill”, the US government published a list of actual medical cost of the most common treatments, compiled from the data submitted from the hospitals for medicaid/medicare reimbursement. Since hospitals in the US are mostly either nonprofit/government-owned, in theory the cost should be equal to the bill. However, the data shows great disparity between the price tag that hospitals bill patients, partly because insurance companies typically negotiate deep discount with hospitals.
The great news is that the report has triggered public awareness, and the medical cost should become more transparent (hopefully).