If you're planning any future trips to the hospital, you may want to get your credit card ready before heading into the operating room. That's because hospitals are increasingly asking patients to pay for procedures either upfront, or before they're discharged.
Traditionally, neither patients nor providers knew the exact price of procedures until after the insurer processed the charges, but that's all changing.
New technology is now allowing hospitals to determine a patient's responsibility in advance of treatment.
Hospitals say it's important to discuss the cost as early as possible because patients are facing higher deductibles and larger payments for services. Administrators say many people don't even know what their deductible is.
Officials say Americans are shouldering a greater portion of their health care bills, and medical centers don't want to get stuck paying what their patients can't.
But for those who are worried about footing the bill early, hospitals are providing several options.