A simple saline solution — also known as a sterile mix of water with salt — is commonly used in IV bags to replenish lost fluids. Manufacturers pay about a dollar to produce these bags, but by the time they make it onto patients' bills in the US they cost far more — especially when bundled with "IV therapy" and "IV administration" fees. The New York Times looked into the various amounts charged to patients after a particular outbreak of food poisoning in 2012 to explore how much of a challenge health care reform will be. Hospital charges varied from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars just for the IV, and it seems no one can give a straight answer as to where the prices come from.