Most businesses know the cost of everything that goes into producing what they sell - essential information for setting prices. Medicine is different. Hospitals know what they are paid by insurers, but it bears little relationship to their costs.
For instance, no one at the University of Utah Health Care could say what a minute in an M.R.I. machine or an hour in the operating room actually cost when that question came up. But now, thanks to a project set in motion after that initial query several years ago, the hospital is getting answers, information that is not only saving money but also improving care.
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