Thirty-six of the nation's 50 states received either a "D" or an "F" in a report card, issued by two nonprofit organizations, measuring the strength of health care price transparency laws.

"We know from studies that the price for an identical health care procedure performed in the same city can vary by as much as 700%, with no difference in quality," said Francois de Brantes, executive director of Health Care Incentives Improvement Initiative, or HCI3. "When consumers shop for value, they can help rein in health care costs; but to do this, they first need timely and actionable price information."

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