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Exact hospital costs not so simple to learn even with prices now available online

Hospitals are now required to post pricing on their websites. (KOKH/Will Maetzold)

A law that went into effect at the beginning of the new year means you can find prices for procedures on hospital websites.

But president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Patti Davis, said you need to be careful with what you find online.

"I think most consumers want to know 'How much is it going to cost me?'" Davis said. "In order to do that, it's not as simple as just going to a chargemaster and trying to figure out a total cost."

Davis said there are other factors such as what insurance covers and what else will be included in your hospital stay that determines the price. She said you need to use other resources to determine how much you'll actually pay.

"The other side is certainly understanding what their health plan pays for and what it doesn't, understanding what their deductible and copay is," Davis said.

Prices are now the websites for Integris, OU Medical Center and SSM Health.

Davis said she supports having the information available for all hospitals in the area.

"Hospital prices can range widely from one hospital to the next," Davis said.

But there's still more to know before you get an exact cost.

"This is a starting point to enable them with the tool to start asking the questions," Davis said.

All hospitals are now required to post pricing information online.

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