President Bush has directed the US Department of Health and Human Services to make information on the costs and quality of procedures covered by Medicare available to the public. As an initial step, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the costs that it pays hospitals for 30 common elective procedures and other hospital admissions. Also included is a range of prices, the national average payment for each procedure, and the number of cases a hospital has handled (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HealthCareConInit/).
Hampton T. Medicare Payments. JAMA. 2006;296(4):384. doi:10.1001/jama.296.4.384-c