Winners of HHS Medical Bill Design Contest Announced

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AARP and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the winners of the HHS “A Bill You Can Understand” challenge, a design and innovation challenge to solicit new approaches and draw national attention to a common complaint with the health care system: that medical billing is a source of confusion for patients and families.

HHS received submissions from health care organizations, technology companies, and design agencies, and today we are unveiling the two winning designs, which will be tested or implemented in six health care organizations across the country that are working to improve the patient billing experience.

After receiving more than 80 submissions, the challenge awarded two prizes, one for the bill that is easiest to understand, and another for the design that best improves the overall approach to the medical billing system, focusing on what the patient sees and does throughout the process.

Prize 1 was awarded to RadNet of Los Angeles, CA. RadNet’s design aims to make the bill as concise as possible. 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.

Prize 2 was awarded to Sequence of San Francisco, CA. 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 health care services, “Clarify” could enable better relationships among consumers, providers, and payers.

“With nearly 38 million members who are 50-plus, AARP is focused on solving real world challenges like improved medical billing which impacts so many Americans of all ages,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of market innovation, AARP. “The interest in this design contest from companies of all sizes speaks volumes about the pain points that so many of us encounter with medical billing and how innovative solutions like those of RadNet and Sequence can help address some of the challenges.”

The “A Bill You Can Understand” challenge was sponsored by AARP and administered by the design agency Mad*Pow. As part of the challenge, the following organizations have committed to test or implement winning solutions for the patients they serve:

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