Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

“A Bill You Can Understand” Design and Innovation Challenge

Help Patients Understand Their Medical Bills and the Financial Aspect of Health

Department of Health and Human Services

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $10,000
Type of Challenge: Creative (design & multimedia)
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: AARP, Mad*Pow
Submission Start: 05/09/2016 09:00 AM ET
Submission End: 08/10/2016 11:59 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


This Challenge engages those in the health care community working on these issues, as well as new players from other industries, such as human-centered design and digital tech, to help in redesigning the “Medical Bill” or the “Medical Billing Process.”

“A Bill You Can Understand” design and innovation challenge will invite participants to design a medical bill that is easier to understand, as well as reinvent cost of care estimation and the medical billing journey with the goal of improving the patient financial experience. Participants will be asked to submit entries that improve both the design of the medical bill and patient experience of the medical billing process. Submissions will include the (1) design concept for the redesigned medical bill, (2) journey map or wireframe for the redesigned patient experience, (3) written explanation of submission, and (3) video explanation of submission.

Specific criteria for the written and video explanations will be provided on the Challenge Website.  These may include but are not limited to explaining how the redesign will better empower patients to understand the financial information provided on their medical bill and take appropriate action and vision for an improved patient financial experience.

 The challenge is sponsored by AARP, administrated by Mad*Pow, an experience design agency, and organized in collaboration with HHS. Two winning contestants will be selected for the following prizes:

  • Prize 1 – $5000: Most Improved Medical Bill Design (Focusing on the design of the bill itself).
  • Prize 2 – $5000: Transformational Approach to Medical Cost Estimation and Billing Process (Focusing on what the patient sees and does throughout the process).


Prize 1: Most Improved Medical Bill Design
Cash Prize Amount: $5,000

Prize 2: Transformational Approach to Medical Cost Estimation and Billing Process
Cash Prize Amount: $5,000


Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition

The Challenge is open to any contestant, defined as (1) a business or non-profit entity or (2) an individual or team of no more than 5 U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry.

All individual members of a team must meet the eligibility requirements. To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual or entity—
(1) Shall have registered to participate in the competition under the rules issued by CMS;
(2) Shall have complied with all the requirements under this Notice, the rules for participants referenced herein below, and the requirements set forth in 15 U.S.C. 3719;
(3) In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; and
(4) May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.  Federal employees seeking to participate in this contest outside the scope of their employment should consult their ethics official prior to developing their submission.
(5) May not be employees of CMS, judges of the Challenge, or any other party involved with the design, production, execution, or distribution of the Challenge or their immediate family (spouse, parents or step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children).
(6) May not be the trustees, directors, shareholders, employees, clients (with respect to Mad*Pow only), contractors, agents, representatives and affiliates of AARP, Mad*Pow and any entity associated with the funding, administration, judging, or processing of the Challenge and the members of the immediate family which includes a person’s spouse/domestic partner and the parents, siblings, children and grandchildren of the person and his or her spouse/domestic partner.
(8) Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.
(9) Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission.

An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.

By entering, each contestant agrees to:
(a) Comply with, and be bound by, these official rules and the decisions of the Challenge and judges which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Challenge;
(b) assume any and all risks and waive claims against the federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from the contestant's participation in the Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.  The contestant/submitter shall be liable for, and shall indemnify and hold harmless the government against, all actions or claims for any claim, demand, judgment, or other allegation arising from alleged violation of an individual's trademark, copyright, or other legally protected interest in challenge entries submitted to Mad*Pow.  Provided, however, that contestants are not required to waive claims arising out of the unauthorized use or disclosure by AARP and/or Mad*Pow of the intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential business information of the contestant.
(c) Be responsible for obtaining their own liability insurance to cover claims by any third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in the Challenge, and claims by the federal government for damage or loss to government property resulting from such an activity; and
(d) Indemnify the federal government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to Challenge activities. Based on the subject matter of the Challenge, the type of work that it will possibly require, as well as an analysis of the likelihood of any claims for death, bodily injury, property damage, or loss potentially resulting from Challenge participation, no individual (whether competing singly or in a group) or entity participating in the Challenge is required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in this Challenge. Contestants who are determined at any time to have violated the eligibility criteria will be disqualified from the Challenge.

How To Enter

Registration Process for Participants The entry period for the Challenge will begin on May 9th and end at 11:59pm on August 10.  Contestants can enter the Challenge by visiting the Challenge Website at, reviewing official challenge rules and guidelines, and registering a submission by submitting the Official Entry Form according to the instructions posted on the Challenge Website.  Each Submission entered into the Challenge must meet the "Submission Requirements" (any submission that, in the Challenge Judges' sole discretion, violates submission criteria will be disqualified).  Once a submission is made, a team is prohibited from making any changes or alterations to the product described in its submission until the evaluation of the entries is completed.