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Hospital pricing hard to get, study says

A new report from the California Health Care Foundation shows the uninsured often have a tough time getting a price quote from hospitals. The report is based on information collected from consumers wh


A new report from the California HealthCare Foundation shows the uninsured often have a tough time getting a price quote from hospitals. The report is based on information collected from consumers who visited 64 hospitals throughout the state. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Consumers asked hospitals to give them the cost of a variety of elective procedures.

About three out of four people ultimately received a firm quote. But only a third of callers and a quarter of those who visited a hospital got a price on the first attempt.

Maribeth Shannon is with the California HealthCare Foundation.

Shannon: "Some shoppers went in and they could get a price right away, they got it on the first try, and in the same hospital another shopper would have six or seven attempts, and leave without a price. So there was a lot of inconsistency, even within a single hospital."

The California Hospital Association argues hospitals are not retail environments. Still, the trade group concedes facilities could do a better job with delivering price information.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.