HHS Announces Challenge to Redesign the Medical Bill

Speaking at the annual Health Datapalooza conference recently, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced a challenge to encourage health care organizations, designers, developers, digital tech companies and other innovators to design a medical bill that’s simpler, cleaner, and easier for patients to understand, and to improve patients’ experience of the overall medical billing process. The “A Bill You Can Understand” design and innovation challenge is intended 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.

The A Bill You Can Understand challenge, which is sponsored by AARP and administered by the design agency Mad*Pow, seeks to draw attention to the complexity of medical billing and how patients are impacted. Winning designs will be featured at the Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference this September and on the challenge website.

ADVOCATE is in the process of creating a redesign of our patient statement for use this summer and will submit the new format to the A Bill You Can Understand design and innovation challenge. ADVOCATE will be following this process closely with the desire to improve our patient experience to positively impact patients and providers. Since the enactment of Obamacare & the trend toward higher deductibles as insurers and the government cost shift to the patient, the number patient encounters resulting in a bill being sent to the patient has doubled. This brings increased confusion and frustration to an already complex process.

The challenge will issue two awards, one for the innovator that designs the bill that is easiest to understand and a second for the innovator that designs the best transformational approach to improve the medical billing system, focusing on what the patient sees and does throughout the process. Submissions will be judged based on understandability, creativity and how well they address the challenges outlined by patients, providers and payers, among other criteria explained on the challenge website. Challenge winners will be announced in September 2016. Additional information can be found at http://www.abillyoucanunderstand.com.

We look forward to the outcome and improving your patients experience with the billing process. As always, ADVOCATE will keep you up to date on this and all issues impacting radiology as they become available.

Best regards,
Kirk Reinitz, CPA