Feds Announce $5,000 Prize for Better Medical Bill

Photo (cc) by cogdogblog

The Obama administration is promising a cash prize of $5,000 to the person or organization that designs a more readable medical bill.

Dubbed “A Bill You Can Understand,” the contest was announced Monday as a response to the common complaint that today’s medical bills are difficult for patients and their loved ones to decipher.

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release:

People who use health care in the U.S. today can often receive bills from multiple hospitals, doctors, labs or specialists for the same episode of care that vary in content, presentation and use of health industry jargon. Because of this, it can be difficult for patients to understand what they owe, what their insurance plan covers, and whether the bills are correct or complete.

The press release says that HHS hopes to receive entries from many different sources, including:

  • Health care organizations
  • Designers
  • Developers
  • Digital tech companies

HHS will sort through the entries and pick the winners.

Two awards and two cash prices of $5,000 are available in the contest, which is sponsored by AARP and administered by the design agency Mad*Pow.

The first award is for the winner that designs the bill that is easiest to understand.

The second is for the winner that designs the “best transformational approach to improve the medical billing system, focusing on what the patient sees and does throughout the process.”

Criteria for judging the entries include:

  • Understandability
  • Creativity
  • How well they address the challenges outlined by patients, providers and payers

Submissions will be accepted until Aug. 10, and winners will be announced the following month.

To learn more about the contest, check out the website devoted to it, ABillYouCanUnderstand.com.

To learn more about navigating your medical bills, check out “Successfully Negotiate Your Medical Bills in 7 Simple Steps” and “10 Ways to Fight High Medical Bills.”

Which aspect of medical bills would you most want to see changed? Share your thoughts with us below or over on our Facebook page.

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