To try and answer this question, Jeanne Pinder's team called doctors and hospitals to ask what they would accept as a cash payment for simple procedures. Some people were helpful, some hung up or were rude, and some said their lawyers wouldn’t let them divulge the information. In cases when they did get a response, the costs were staggeringly different, depending on the hospital.
New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and other places. She used the information to tell stories to people who were suffering. It also helped those avoid the “gotcha” medical bills. People using her data saved hundreds and thousands of dollars off their medical bills.
In most of the developed world, sick people don’t have to worry about money. The price transparency will not solve every problem, but if we knew exactly how much things cost, it could at least help to alleviate our experience with healthcare. We don't know if it works, until we try.