American hospitals are expensive. Reams of data show that hospital-based services are more expensive than the same services provided in other settings. Moreover, the cost of hospital services has grown faster than costs in other parts of our health care system; from 1997 to 2012, for instance, the cost of hospital services grew a spectacular 149 percent, while the cost of physician services grew only 55 percent. The explosive growth of hospital costs is one of the key culprits in the nation's high health care spending. Nonetheless, attempts to reform hospital payment methodologies are usually greeted with fierce criticism from the industry.