More than one-third of individuals who have challenged a medical bill after receiving it said it took more than three months to resolve the issue.

South San Francisco, Calif. — March 21, 2023 — AKASA™, the leading developer of AI for healthcare operations, released findings from a survey ​​conducted on its behalf by YouGov. The results highlight that most consumers don’t negotiate or challenge the medical bills they receive. However, if they do challenge a bill, about 8 in 10 (78%) prevailed in getting the disputed charges reduced or removed.

More than 2,000 Americans were asked: Have you ever had experience challenging a bill with your physician, hospital, or insurance company?

  • 64% reported never having challenged the validity or accuracy of a medical bill with their physician, hospital, or insurance company
  • Of all uninsured individuals surveyed, 78% have never challenged a medical bill
  • Those with HDHPs (45%) and Medicare Advantage (43%) are more likely to have challenged medical bills than others with different types of health plans

When comparing responses across different health plans, the findings show those with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have the highest rates of negotiating their bills. This is not surprising given the large share that individuals with HDHPs are responsible for paying out of pocket.

“Despite all the negative experiences many patients have with getting surprise bills, we’ve been conditioned not to question or challenge medical bills we receive,” said Amy Raymond, VP of revenue cycle operations at AKASA. “While providers need to take a close look at their revenue cycle department to prevent those billing mistakes in the first place, we also need to drive awareness among consumers that they can indeed push back on a bill that is simply incorrect.”

Individuals who said they had challenged a bill with their physician, hospital, or insurance company (36%) were also asked: How much time did it take you to resolve that issue?

  • 27% of respondents said it took 1-3 months to resolve
  • 18% said it took 3–6 months to resolve
  • 16% said it took more than 6 months to resolve

Finally, the survey asked participants who had challenged a bill: Did you prevail in getting the disputed charges reduced or removed?

  • About 8 in 10 consumers (78%) reported getting charges reduced or removed after they challenged a medical bill

“The survey results show that it pays to be a champion in your own care and take action when getting an inaccurate medical bill,” said Raymond. “However, advocating for yourself — and, in many cases, your loved ones — can require a lot of time and energy. To prevent sending incorrect bills — and lower the time it takes to resolve a mistake — hospitals and health systems need to focus on streamlining inefficient, manual, and error-prone processes and workflows in the revenue cycle. Automation technology can help with that by ensuring work gets done accurately every time.”

The YouGov survey, commissioned by AKASA, fielded responses from 2,026 Americans between March 9–14, 2022. The online survey was conducted at a confidence level of 95% and results for the total sample have a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, while results among those who have had experience challenging a medical bill have a margin of error of +/-3.65%. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults 18 and older.

Survey Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2026 adults (of whom 179 indicated having employer-sponsored high-deductible health plans). Fieldwork was undertaken between March 9-14, 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).


AKASA is the leading developer of AI for healthcare operations. AKASA scales human intelligence with leading-edge AI and ML to continuously adapt to changing environments and deliver comprehensive automation and analytics for complex workflows. The result is a seamlessly integrated solution that reduces operating costs, frees up staff to do the work they love, and helps health systems allocate resources to where they matter most.

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