HHS names winners of medical bill design contest

HHS has revealed the winners of its "A Bill You Can Understand" contest, a challenge to healthcare professionals to design a more simple, consumer-friendly medical bill to address consumers' current frustrations when it comes to healthcare billing.

HHS said it received submissions from healthcare organizations, technology companies and design agencies. After receiving more than 80 submissions, the challenge awarded two prizes according to "easiest bill to understand" and most "transformational approach" to bill design.

The prize for "easiest bill to understand" was awarded to RadNet in Los Angeles.

"RadNet's design aims to make the bill as concise as possible," HHS said in a news release. "RadNet provides adaptable bills that line up with the patient's current experience, including options for uninsured patients and for patients who are past due on payments. Their use of color segments make it easy for patients to locate and read specific information, and the bill includes a clear presentation of payment due, payment options and insurance details. Additionally, plain language explanations put charges in context."

The prize for most "transformational approach" to bill design was awarded to Sequence in San Francisco.

HHS said Sequence developed "Clarify," a new online- and mobile-based service that extends a retail model of consumer behavior to medical billing. "'Clarify' presents health care services in new ways that allow people to search, browse, weigh their options, compare prices, and decide how they will pay. By modernizing, automating and personalizing the transactional aspect of healthcare services, 'Clarify' could enable better relationships among consumers, providers and payers," the agency added.

To ensure the needs of today's patients were considered in the Challenge outcome, HHS collaborated with the Partners for Better Care patient advocacy coalition to conduct in-depth focus group research on the submissions. The coalition also contributed six patients from various chronic disease organizations to serve on the project's expert advisory panel.

The two winning designs will be further evaluated for testing or implementation in six healthcare organizations nationwide that are working to improve the patient billing experience. The six organizations are:

  • Cambia Health Solutions (Portland, Ore.)
  • Geisinger Health System (Danville, Pa.)
  • INTEGRIS Health (Oklahoma City)
  • The MetroHealth System (Cleveland)
  • Providence Health & Services (Seattle)
  • University of Utah Health Care (Salt Lake City)

The winning designs and honorable mentions can be viewed here.


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