Ideas Wanted On Making Medical Bills Easier To Understand

Jun 1, 2016

Medical bills can be incredibly confusing and difficult to read.

But do you have a better idea?

No, seriously, do you?

Because federal officials want to hear it.

Medical bills can be full of jargon, unexpected costs and inconsistent charges, and patients often have no clue when and how often they’ll be billed.

The public servants at Health and Human Services know this, and they actually pointed it out in a recent report. It’s why they’re offering up to  $10,000 for proposed redesigns of patient bills.

The contest is open to anyone, and HHS is encouraging people from outside health care to submit entries.

Organizers also urge participants to rethink how insurers, hospitals and patients interact.

A couple of hospital systems across the country have committed to piloting the winners.

Aspiring bill designers have until Aug. 10 to submit their entries. All the details are at the website abillyoucanunderstand.com.

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Sammy Mack is a reporter with WLRN in Miami. WLRN is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.