While the hospitals report greatly varying charges, those don't represent what people actually pay, said Hudson Valley Hospital Center Chief Financial Officer Mark Webster.
"It's like the sticker price on an automobile," he
said."Nobody actually pays that."He
said someone getting a hip replacement in his
hospital typically pays what the rate allowed by Medicare is: about $13,000.He
added that the hospital has historically had a high "sticker price" for some procedures, and hasn't acted to change them since they're not used anyway.