HHS has announced the winners of a contest challenging designers to leverage technology to make the inscrutable – the basic healthcare explanation of benefits – so easy to read even a human being can comprehend it. Several hospitals around the country will test the designs.
RadNet of Los Angeles won a $5,000 prize for making a bill the easiest to understand. The designer's use of color helps patients locate and read specific information while plain language puts charges in context, according to an HHS statement.
Sequence of San Francisco took the other top prize of $5,000 for a design “that best improves the overall approach to the medical billing system, focusing on what the patient sees and does throughout the process,” HHS said. It created “Clarify,” an online service that runs on mobile devices that allow people to search, browse, weigh their options, compare prices, and decide how they will pay.
The following six payers or healthcare organizations have agreed to test or implement the winning designs: Cambia Health Solutions, Portland, Ore.; Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.; Integris Health, Oklahoma City; MetroHealth System, Cleveland; Providence Health & Services, Renton, Wash.; and University of Utah Health Care, Salt Lake City.
The contest, launched in May, was sponsored by the AARP.
“One of our priorities is to put patients at the center of their own healthcare,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, in a news release. “Helping Americans understand their medical bills empowers them to take more control of their health, and that's a step in the right direction for our entire healthcare system.”