MetroHealth Will Help Judge Medical Bill Contest, And Anyone Can Enter

May 18, 2016

MetroHealth's Dr. Sara Laskey says simplified bills should be written in 'real language' that patients can better understand.

Cleveland's MetroHealth hospital system has been chosen to test new, easier-to-read medical bills.

The Department of Health and Human Services contest is called "A Bill You Can Understand," and it aims to give patients medical invoices with fewer codes and confusing jargon. Anyone can submit a design until Aug. 10, and then MetroHealth and five other hospital systems around the country will test the winning entries this fall.

MetroHealth’s Dr. Sara Laskey is in charge of patient experience  and says the way things are listed on medical bills does not go into enough detail for many patients.

“I can call something a 'Level 2 ER Visit,' and I might know what that means.  But the average patient has no idea what a Level 2 visit is.  I think we need to have bills that are in real language.”

Laskey adds that the new bills should also help clear up confusion from multiple invoices for the same medical visit.

“Sometimes for one healthcare encounter, they can get a bill from the doctor.  They can get a bill from the place that the encounter happened, the healthcare site.  And then they can get another – not a bill – with an explanation of what the insurance company paid or didn’t pay.  That’s part of why this is so confusing.

Details on the design contest are at