CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study shows just how unpredictable hospital bills can be for even common, straightforward procedures.
The research looked at how much hospitals in California charge for removing an appendix. The results show it varies from about $1,500 to $180,000. In other words, it could be the price of a refrigerator, or the price of a house.
Those are the costs before insurance kicks in, although patients without insurance could be socked with the full bill.
Experts say similar disparities are found nationwide and show a lack of needed regulation.
The study is being published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine.
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