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Professor Mark Hall quoted in Chicago Tribune regarding hospitals taking steps to ensure patients pay

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 consumers live up to their end of the bargain.

Many health systems and physician groups are adopting new strategies to ensure they’ll collect for providing health services, including asking patients for payment before treatment and hiring contractors to enroll patients in payment plans.

The shift comes as more consumers enroll in so-called high-deductible health plans, which require consumers to pay more out of pocket in exchange for lower monthly premiums. As a result, health care providers must collect a larger portion of patient bills from consumers themselves, rather than their insurance companies.

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