The Obama’s administration presented Monday a new contest to create a simpler and cleaner medical bill. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said medical billing is a “source of confusion” for patients. The new initiative was presented at the Health Datapalooza conference.
Authorities have recognized that people in the United States often make complaints about medical billing. “A Bill You Can Understand” seeks to combine design and innovation. Two contest winners will receive $5,000 each in September 2016.
People who use the United States health care system claim that the problem lays on the process. Usually, one American can receive several bills from different hospitals, doctors, labs or specialists for the same health care event. All of them may variate in content and presentation.
As a result, many patients do not understand how much they need to pay and how much their insurance plan covers. It may also not be clear if bills are correct or complete, said the HHS in a press release issued Monday.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the new challenge is part of the department’s efforts to “put patients at the center of their own healthcare.”
“We are creating progress toward a medical bill that people can actually understand and a billing process that makes sense – progress that includes creating a forum that brings everyone to the table: patients, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and innovators,” added Burwell on Monday.
— Sylvia Burwell (@SecBurwell) May 9, 2016
A Bill You Can Understand details: New designs will be used for more than 10 million patients
A Bill You Can Understand is sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons. The design agency Mad*Pow’s will be the administrator of the challenge. The latter invites people to reform “the complex” medical billing, and how it can impact patients.
Two winning designs will be exposed at the Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference on September. They also will be featured on the challenge’s website, said the HHS. People interested in participating must pre-register to receive the final application form. Final products will be accepted until august, 10.
— Bon Ku, MD, MPP (@BonKu) May 9, 2016
More than six organizations will implement the new solutions proposed by the winners of the challenge. The list includes Cambia Health Solutions (Portland), Geisinger Health System (Danville), INTEGRIS Health (Oklahoma City), The MetroHealth System (Cleveland), Providence Health & Services (Seattle), University of Utah Health Care (Salt Lake City).
The mentioned health care institutions provide services to more than 10 million patients per year, in hospitals and clinics. Designers in charge of “the simpler design” and the “best transformational approach” will receive $5,000 each.