Improving The Healthcare Billing Process With "A Bill You Can Understand" Design Challenge

It’s not news within the healthcare system that medical bills and the medical billing process are a source of confusion for patients and families. Today, we’re launching a challenge issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The “A Bill You Can Understand” design and innovation challenge is intended to solicit new approaches and draw national attention to this common complaint within the health care system.

The “A Bill You Can Understand” challenge, announced today by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, seeks to draw attention to the complexities of medical billing. Winning designs will be featured at the 10th Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference in September 2016. The challenge, which is sponsored by AARP, will result in a cash prize of $5,000 each for two winners: one for the innovator who designs the bill that is easiest to understand and a second for the innovator who designs the best transformational approach for improving the medical billing system. Winners will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the health systems and insurance companies who have agreed to implement winning design challenge concepts. We are also pleased to announce the health systems and insurance companies who have committed to engaging with this challenge as “pilot partners,” bringing their expertise and support to challenge participants. These include Cambia Health Solutions (Portland, OR), Geisinger Health System (Danville, PA), INTEGRIS Health (Oklahoma City, OK), The MetroHealth System (Cleveland, OH), Providence Health & Services (Seattle, WA) and University of Utah Health Care (Salt Lake City, UT).

“Mad*Pow is passionate about fundamentally improving the experience of health for everyone, so we are excited to be able to support this extremely important design and innovation challenge,” said Amy Cueva, Co-founder and Chief Experience Officer, Mad*Pow. “We have been thrilled to collaborate with all involved in this effort and hope to see solutions to the unnecessary frustrations that patients and families are currently experiencing with medical billing.”

Mad*Pow collaborated with HHS to shape the challenge. To ensure participants have a thorough understanding of the problem, Mad*Pow led research that included a patient survey, and interviews with patients, the health care organizations involved with the challenge, and other stakeholders. Research focused on understanding the causes of confusion and frustration resulting from the medical billing experience. Mad*Pow also worked with insurers and providers to understand the issues and opportunities associated with medical billing from the perspective of those organizations. 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 submissions will be accepted until August 10, 2016 and winners will be announced in September 2016. Additional information about the challenge, including how to apply, can be found at

Best of luck!


By: Paul Kahn

Want to offer your customers a better experience?

Let's work together: Contact Us Today

Contributed by:
Paul Kahn Experience Design Director   Contact Paul

Newsletter Sign Up

Mad*Pow HQ

27 Congress Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Office: 603.436.7177
Fax: 603.386.6608


179 Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111

Office: 617.426.7177


Complete Sale Inquiry Form


Sales: solutions
Press: communications

Get in Touch