Can we ever move towards patient friendly medical billing?

Medicine has advanced tremendously in the last 50 years. I mean we’ve come up with antibiotics and image scanning and angioplasty, so why is it we haven’t been able to come up with a bill that doesn’t royally confuse the patients?

If patients are going to be billed high prices for medical procedures, they had better well be able to understand everything they are being billed for!

After many focus groups revealed patient frustration with their medical bills, the Patient Friendly Billing project was born.

Today’s Consumers Demand More
The costs of healthcare are rising, and it’s the consumers’ savings account that’s taking the biggest hit. Today’s consumers expect to wholly participate in their medical care and demand pricing transparency and documentation that is understandable.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) began the Patient Friendly Billing project to promote clear, concise, and correct patient-friendly financial communications.

The project is founded on the following tenets:
• When designing administrative processes and communications, the needs of patients and their families should be the primary focus.
• It should be the responsibility of providers and insurers to coordinate the gathering of patient information in an efficient and private way, and without any unnecessary duplication.
• If at all possible, communication regarding financial matters should not happen during the medical visit.
• The language and format of communications should be understandable to the average reader.
• Better practices should be a goal of all providers and should incorporate patient feedback.
• Billing statements should be easy to understand, accurate, provide comprehensive details, and designed so the information is logical to read. Continue reading

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