Making Bills Easier to Understand
Hospital bills are very confusing for consumers. WakeMed recognizes the problem and is working to make its bills easier to understand.
We are putting in place a comprehensive electronic medical records systems. This will help consumers by providing the information in easily understandable terms, including:
- How much the insurer provider paid the hospital for a particular service
- How much your deductible is
- What you owe after all of this has been reconciled
Insurance companies and government can also help here. Today, hospitals' bills have to meet the widely varying requirements of many players: different insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, national billing regulations. If we all work together, we can make bills simpler and clearer.
One example: WakeMed's billing software allows only 30 characters to describe a charge. The descriptions - "pharmacy," "lab," etc. - might be clear to the insurance company, but they sound vague to patients. We must address that problem.