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Working 4 you: More hospitals ask for payment upfront

Working 4 you: More hospitals ask for payment upfront

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.

Suspect in Spokane Valley shooting still at large

Police still searching for suspects after a shooting Monday afternoon in Spokane Valley near Herald and Valley Way.

Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies were on the scene of a shooting for several hours Monday after a white male was shot in the head.

Police do not have a shooter in custody, and don't have a name or description of who they are looking for.

"It occurred in the roadway. The victim was transported to a local hospital," said Spokane Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlain.

The first deputy to arrive saw two people run into a home on Herald street, unsure if one of them was the shooter, the home was evacuated.

Police believed the shooter was inside the home, but after several hours it was determined that home was empty.

"The house in question right now is a duplex so we had about 9 people detained right now that we're speaking with," said Chamberlain. "We're just trying to figure out what transpired and who is involved."

The victim of the shooting is in stable condition. Police say the public is not at risk.

Working 4 you: Why you should fix your pets

Working 4 you: Why you should fix your pets

America grew up hearing Bob Barker's reminders to spay and neuter your pets, and veterinarians agree, sterilization is important. But why?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are an estimated six to eight million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. About half of those get adopted, but sadly the other half have to be euthanized.

The primary reason for spaying and neutering your pets is population control. Every year around one million dogs are euthanized, simply because they have no place to go.

And vets say you should get your pets fixed, whether they play inside or outdoors.

But spaying and neutering doesn't only help the population of unclaimed kitties and puppies, most research finds that pets who get sterilized at a young age actually live longer, healthier lives.

Vets say that by spaying or neutering your pets, you can avoid a lot of costly medical complications in the future caused by infections.

Veterinarians say you should get your pets fixed when they are two to six months old.

Working 4 you: How much will America spend on Halloween?

Working 4 you: How much will America spend on Halloween?

Fall is here and that means retailers and shoppers are turning their attention to Halloween. But will consumers be willing to spend as much this year on costumes and candy?

Stores like Target and Walmart are already gearing up for the Holiday. And if you feel like it's just a little too early to get ready for Halloween, you may be surprised to hear that one-third of Americans say they'll be making their holiday purchases before October 1st.

Halloween is the last major retail event before the big holiday rush. It can offer retailers clues on how willing Americans will be to open their wallets, and how stores should approach holiday inventory, discounts and deals.

Many shoppers say the U.S. economy is still weighing heavily on their minds. one in five people say it will make an impact on how they approach holiday spending.

But it may not affect it as much as you'd think.

New numbers from the National Retail Federation show most consumers won't be afraid to spend on Halloween this year.

So, how much will the average American be spending?

Special needs students crowned University High Homecoming Royalty

Friday was a big night for University High School: a packed crowd for Homecoming, a grand halftime show, and a landslide football victory. But the most important event of the night might well have been the coronation of the Homecoming King and Queen.

"[The students] very deliberately decided that they wanted these two special people to become our Homecoming Queen and King," said University High teacher Paul Schneider. "And it was overwhelming. It was just a landslide victory for these two."

So what makes these new royals so extraordinary? Keeley Blanchard has autism. Taylor Baggarley is a few grades behind average. Both are enrolled in the school's special needs program. To say the new monarchs were stunned would be an understatement.

"Totally unexpected," Blanchard said. "I was surprised when i got voted Homecoming Queen."

The new boss of U-High feels the same way.

"I was just like awe and amazed," said Baggarley. "I was just like screaming out for joy. Just like, this is new."

Dept. of Natural Resources lifts statewide burn ban

Dept. of Natural Resources lifts statewide burn ban

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that the statewide burn ban on DNR-protected lands has been removed. Fire danger has been reduced by the recent rainfall and moderating temperatures.

Restrictions set by local authorities are not affected by DNR's actions. Additionally, while conditions no longer warrant a statewide burn ban, some local areas may still remain dry. Anyone who plans on burning should check with local authorities beforehand.

You can also always find the latest on your local fire restrictions here.

Fire officials searching for serial arsonist

Fire officials confirmed Thursday afternoon a potentially dangerous fire last week that threatened homes in Greenacres was the work of arsonist who may have set up to 17 suspicious fires in the area in the last week.

Most of the fires haven't been more that a quarter of an acre except for last week's fire south of the Barker Road exit, which burned eight acres on Saltese Road near Greenacres. That fire required the work of multiple agencies from across Spokane County as well as air support from the Department of Natural Resources to get under control.

So far no buildings have been lost and no one has been hurt in any of the fires.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Spokane County Fire District 8 Chief Tony Neilson said all of the firest have had similiarities.

"We have noted that there is a pattern of two fires per day, ranging from early morning to late in the evening. We are calling is suspicious because we are not able to determine any other reasonable cause for these fires," Neilson said.