Aynex Designs

A Bill You Can Understand

The “A Bill You Can Understand” Design & Innovation Challenge was an open design competition dedicated to helping patients in the U.S. health care system understand their medical bills and the financial aspect of health. The challenge was organized by AARP in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services. I participated with a group of co-workers and we were proud to receive an honorable mention. I was in charge of the visual design of the entire project.

User Persona

User Persona

The project started with preliminary meetings about the project and next steps. A the start of the project we realized we needed to develop personas to guide us thru our journey. Mary Smith was born as a typical example of a user of our new medical billing system that developed from brainstorming personal experiences.

User Journey

We developed a user journey map next. First, we developed the map from the user's perspective. Then we realized there were steps we wanted to visualize from the health provider's and the insurance company points of view. That is when we decided it was important to develop a map that would take all of these roles into account.

Because the most important aspect of the challenge was to make the process easier on the user, the user's journey is very simple. The points in the journey where the patient has to pay are highlighted. The journeys of the health providers and insurance companies are more complex.

User Persona

user journey map

Designs

We determine that more transparency was the key to a better user experience for our users. We developed health practitioners information sheets with average pricing, specialties, qualifications and contact information. We created mailable postcards that could be mailed to patients informing them of details like where they are in the process, how much they owed, and how much insurance covered. Finally we designed a bill that had all necessary information in an easy-to-find, friendly format.

Doctor Information
Timeline and preparation Timeline and preparation
"Good that there are a lot of visual cues. I understand where I am at during every different point of the process."

PATIENT FOCUS GROUP

"There were many aspects of this design that were a big step forward. All of the following are built into the bill: the timeline, the progress reporting, the integration of EOB, and payment."

DESIGN CHALLENGE ADVISORY PANEL

Conclusion

This was a hard challenge especially for a team that was not very knowledgeable about the medical billing system but I am proud to say we were able to come up with good solutions to the problem. In their words "their proposal is consumer friendly and easy to understand for somebody with no medical training."