One thing I like about the web is that it forces doctors and hospitals to be transparent. This empowers patients with information.
Patients often find it hard to find out how much medical procedures and surgery cost - and they have to doctor shop to find a hospital which they can afford. Also, many doctors are very reluctant to discuss costs - and some are very creative about their billing practises !
It's very helpful for patients to have a benchmark so they know what the "market rates" are. This way they do not suffer from "sticker shock" - or get taken for a ride by an unscrupulous doctor.
It's good to see that hospitals are now publishing their charges for the various medical procedures they offer online !