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Hospitals looking for cash up front before most procedures

Star Tribune / Chicago Tribune, December 3, 2013
Before undergoing an MRI, a CT scan or a surgery to clean up that wobbly knee, consumers had better become accustomed to hearing: "How do you intend to pay for that?" As more Americans move into health insurance plans that require them to foot a larger portion of the bill for their care, hospitals are taking steps to ensure that consumers live up to their end of the bargain. Many health systems and physician groups are adopting new strategies to ensure that they'll collect for providing health services, including asking patients for payment before treatment and hiring contractors to enroll patients in payment plans.