Photograph: Getty Images

Why America's $2.9 Trillion Medical Industry Still Runs on Paper Payments

Paying medical bills is as inefficient as it was 15 years ago, and the cost is high

Dealing with medical bills, like waiting for the cable guy or buying a used car, has become a cliché of consumer exasperation. Everything from electricity and phone bills to tax returns and parking tickets migrated to electronic payments years ago, but America's $2.9 trillion health-care economy remains stubbornly stuck in the 1990s. The number of medical bills paid by paper check through the U.S. mail has even increased while payments for all other services have decreased dramatically. Medical payments are the only category to register an increase in paperwork since the start of the 21st century: 

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.