Americans will soon be able to check hospital websites for a price list of items and services they provide.

It all begins on January 1st, when a federal rule requiring hospital transparency goes into effect.

The goal is to allow consumers to know the costs of everything from band-aids to heart surgery before seeking medical treatment.

Some consumer advocates say it will still be difficult to know the exact price of hospital services because of insurance, deductibles and other factors.

Currently, under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals must release public price lists, but from the start of 2019 they will be required to post these prices online in a format that can be downloaded to computers. These prices must be updated every year.

In the Tri-Cities, go here for Richland's Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Trios Health information for Kennewick is here and Lourdes information for the Pasco facility is found here.