Healthcare Dollars & Sense®

“How much will I have to pay? What is included in the price? What if I have trouble paying?”

 Now more than ever, people are asking questions about the price of health care. They are called on to make more decisions and pay more out-of-pocket for the services they receive. And they increasingly expect a financial experience that is on a par with their other consumer experiences. Healthcare Dollars & Sense provides industry-consensus recommendations and best practices for meeting consumers’ rising expectations, helping consumers make better healthcare decisions, and improving the patient financial experience. Healthcare Dollars & Sense has four components: price transparency, patient financial communications, medical debt resolution, and consumer education.

HFMA's Consumerism Maturity Model

Explore a new tool for assessing and improving your organization's patient financial experience. This tool incorporates and builds on all elements of HFMA's Healthcare Dollars & Sense. 

Determine your organization's consumerism maturity

Take a self-assessment and use our online calculator to discover the consumer maturity level of your organization. 

Price Transparency

Patients are being asked to act as consumers in a marketplace in which price—a fundamental driver of consumer behavior—is often unknown until after a service has been performed. As patients' financial responsibility for healthcare costs has grown, so too has media and government scrutiny of the healthcare marketplace. This report presents recommendations for improving price transparency developed by a blue-ribbon task force convened by HFMA. Discover recommended roles and responsibilities of hospitals and health systems, physicians and other care providers, and health plans. 


Price Transparency in Health Care

Patient Financial Communications 

These common-sense best practices bring consistency, clarity, and transparency to patient financial communications. They outline steps to help patients understand the cost of services they receive, their insurance coverage, and their individual responsibility. This report includes sections on communication in the emergency department, at time of service outside the emergency department, and in advance of service. Also included are practices that apply to all patient financial communications. Finally, the practices include a framework for measurement to determine compliance.  


Patient Financial Communications Best Practices 

Medical Debt Resolution

A task force assembled by HFMA and ACA International developed consensus practices to bring clarity, fairness, and consistency to medical account resolution. For healthcare providers, business affiliates, and credit bureaus, the best practices provide a standardized process for resolving the patient portion of medical bills. They also provide a framework for educating patients about the account resolution process. For policy makers, the best practices are intended to serve as a guide to the medical account resolution process. 


Medical Debt Resolution

Additional Resources

Receive Recognition for Achievement

FAQs about receiving recognition for adopting the Patient Financial Communications Best Practices.

Consumer Educational Guides

HFMA's Consumer Education Guides explain price transparency and teach how to avoid surprise bills.

Patient-Friendly Billing Resources

Everything you need to develop clear, concise, correct, and patient-friendly bills.