From Yahoo News:
First, find a fair price for the procedure you need. You can do this by checking out sites like HealthcareBluebook.com or NewChoiceHealth.com. Sites like these provide a range of what you can expect to pay based on where you live. Costs are typically higher in cities, so make sure to do a cost comparison outside of city limits. Using these quotes, you can shop around and rule out facilities that charge more than you can afford.
Next, find the most cost-effective facility. It’s not just your zip code that affects pricing, but the physical building where the procedure takes place that you’ll be charged a premium for. “
If you have health insurance, make sure your doctor, service and facility are in-network. If you don’t have health insurance, let the billing department know and see if they’ll offer you a lower rate because you are uninsured.
On top of that discount, there’s a good chance you can negotiate an even bigger discount by paying upfront in cash.
Of course there are plenty of patients, for health reasons or emergencies, who haven’t had the time to research all their options and are now facing a balance they can’t afford. Before you panic, call up the billing department and request an itemized bill. Errors happen all the time — so be on the lookout for things like duplicate charges and inaccurate insurance codes that could’ve resulted in your claims being rejected.