Hospitals can easily provide consumers with "charges." In fact, this information for the top 35 procedures for each hospital is posted on the North Carolina Hospital Association's web site and the top 100 procedures for Medicare patients was recently released publicly by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
But, as noted above (see "Hospital Charges"), "charges" are irrelevant and confusing. The solution is for all insurance companies to pay all hospitals the same thing for the same procedures. This would make it easier for consumers to know what they will pay.
Hospitals also need to make clear that costs for a given procedure may vary if a patient suffers complications or doctors discover another medical problem.