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Trying to reduce amount of debt before HIAPA strategy


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Ok so I've read extensively on the HIPAA letter strategy from Why Chat's page and here. I have an ER bill from a year ago that is in collections as of March. The bill is mine, but my question is this whether it's a good idea to try to get the amount reduced before proceeding with the HIPAA letter (so I can send in full payment). I have 2 ideas:

1- ask the hospital for financial assistance application (I definitely qualify but they might take the "it's out of our hands" stance)

2- try the claims adjusting service in the sticky to negotiate the amount (I don't think this will work because the service will probably demand payment once they negotiate an amount)

(BTW, I was uninsured at the time). If #1 works, they either lessen or delete the debt amount, then they either update with the CA (and I use HIPAA and pay the amount), or I pay the hospital directly, and dispute with CRA under HIPAA and the fact that nothing is owed.

Worst case scenario, they don't decrease the bill and I have to pay the full amount. I'm waiting for suggestions and a little more research b4 I do anything in case I might screw myself for any later attempts!

Thanks all!

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