(MONEY.CNN) — Hospitals are increasingly asking patients to pay for procedures either upfront or before they are discharged. That's because Americans are shouldering a greater portion of their health care bills, and medical centers don't want to get stuck with patients that can't pay.
Traditionally, neither patients nor providers knew the exact price of procedures until after the insurer processed the charges. Now, however, new technology is allowing hospitals to determine the patient's responsibility in advance of treatment.
Starting the cost conversation early is especially important now because patients are facing higher deductibles and larger payments for services. Some are surprised to find out that they have to fork over thousands of dollars before their insurance even kicks in, hospital administrators said.
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