Slashing Medical Bills

How one family saved thousands on medical costs.
3:01 | 05/13/13

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Transcript for Slashing Medical Bills
And now "world news" is back with "real money," new ways to put thousands of dollars in your pocket right now. Almost a quarter of a million -- a quarter of americans say their loved ones struggle to pay medil bills, and nearly 60% of us say we cancel or delay medical care to cut costs. But we have help tonight. One way a lotf people can cut cost. And abc's paula faris is here to save "real money." Reporter: Little noah clayson can't get enough ice cream. You have chocolate on your nose. Reporter: And it's no wonder. He's in need of a tonsillectomy. But that procedure isn't covered under his parents' limited health insurance plans. Like 30 million other americans, holly and alex are considered underinsured with high deductibles. You're kind of in a no-win situation. Noah needs a tonsillectomy. Yeah. Reporter: What are you expecting to pay? Four or $5,000. Reporter: Should they really have to pay $5,000? Health care expert michelle katz did some digging, contacting fives and surgery centers in their area. We were shocked by the quotes. 2,800, 3,500, 7,000, 12,000. Even 21 grand -- all for the same procedure. In many cases, facilities can and do charge what they want. The american hospital association telling abc news, each patient's course of care is different and the costs also reflect more than the cost of serving an individual patient. There needs to be a menu. An mri costs this, a ct scan costs this, a tonsillectomy costs this. Reporter: But it turns out patients now have tools to fight back. I missed you! Reporter: Tip number one. Michelle said you can get a pricing menu with brand new applications, like health care blue book. You type in the procedure and it provides a fair price based on your area. Even breaks down each cost, physician, facility, and anesthesia. So you're getting mounds of bills and at least this breaks it down for you. Reporter: Tip numbetwo, take that fair-price quote and negotiate before the procedure with the billing office or your doctor. And finally, tip number three, find out what the government, medicare, medicaid is paying for the same procedure. Do a little digging on this free website. So that's telling us the minimum charges? Right, that's the minimum. Putting michelle's help to use, we find a surgery center just three miles away from the claysons' charging just $2,800. Over $2,000 less than what they expected to pay and $18,000 less than the most expensive option in the area. That's almost half the price. Yeah. Reporter: Peace of mind for mom and dad, and more ice cream for little noah. That's "real money"! Reporter: Of course, any time you're considering surgery or a procedure, make sure the hospital or surgery center is akreted and can confirm your doctor is state certified. You can confirm that with the medical board. Great work, paul a thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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