Patient perceptions have been tough to change at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. Joanna Serah/Wikimedia hide caption

itoggle caption Joanna Serah/Wikimedia

U.S. taxpayers have poured $30 billion into funding electronic records systems in hospitals and doctors' offices since 2009. But most of those systems still can't talk to each other, which makes transfer of medical information tough. iStockphoto hide caption

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An overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria can inflame the colon with a life-threatening infection. Dr. David Phillips/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited hide caption

itoggle caption Dr. David Phillips/Getty Images/Visuals Unlimited

One form of carbapenem-resistant bacteria seen in culture. CRE bacteria are blamed for 600 deaths a year in the U.S. and can withstand treatment by virtually every kind of antibiotic. CDC hide caption

itoggle caption CDC

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices. Steve Hebert for ProPublica hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Steven Brill is a journalist who also founded Court TV, American Lawyer magazine, 10 regional legal newspapers and Brill's Content Magazine. He teaches journalism at Yale. Courtesy of Random House hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Random House

Insurance companies negotiate with hospitals and doctors the price of every treatment, procedure and medical service. That price differs from hospital to hospital — even health plan to health plan. Vincent Wartner/Science Source hide caption

itoggle caption Vincent Wartner/Science Source

Ouch! Jeffrey Craig Hopper got good emergency treatment after being hit in the eye with a baseball in June. But months later he was slapped with an extra medical bill he never expected. Jennifer Hopper hide caption

itoggle caption Jennifer Hopper