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Prices for hospital services to be made public starting in 2019

WASHINGTON — A new federal rule goes into effect Jan. 1 that hospitals must post online a master list of prices for the services they provide.

A hospital’s master list will not be complete because the final bill is almost never the same as the price for the services that are received, consumer advocates told the Journal-News.

Insurance companies often negotiate discounts of the real price. Co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles also bring down the price.

“The list prices are so high that the vast majority of hospitals don’t even try to collect list prices from uninsured patients,” Benedic Ippolito, with the American Enterprise Institute, told the Journal-News.

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