UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, will lead an industry effort to throw a spotlight on the prices paid for healthcare services, making their costs available to consumers on the Internet.

The effort, announced May 14 and organized by a nonprofit called the Health Care Cost Institute, builds on steps the Obama administration has taken to shed light on prices charged by health-care providers. Medicare, the program for the elderly and disabled, released databases in 2013 and this year that revealed what it paid hospitals and physicians, over the objections of both industries.

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