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  • Are you or will you be charged for using your patient portal?

    Posted by jen-cueva on July 13, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    Has your MyChart or other patient portal started charging for certain types of usage?

    My son received an email from his hospital stating that some medical advice messages may be billed to you and/or your insurance.

    Messages that will not be billed — You and/or your insurance will not be billed for the following types of MyChart messages:

    *Scheduling an appointment
    *Requesting a prescription refill
    *Questions that lead to an appointment
    *Questions related to a visit you had in the last seven days
    *Questions about billing
    *Messages that take less than five minutes of your provider’s time to answer
    *Messages initiated by your healthcare team

    Messages that may be billed — While most MyChart messages will not be charged, replies that require medical expertise and more than five minutes of your provider’s time may be billed, as we do for other medical services.Messages that will not be billed — You and/or your insurance will not be billed for the following types of MyChart messages:
    *Scheduling an appointment
    *Requesting a prescription refill
    *Questions that lead to an appointment
    *Questions related to a visit you had in the last seven days
    *Questions about billing
    *Messages that take less than five minutes of your provider’s time to answer
    *Messages initiated by your healthcare team

    Messages that may be billed
    — While most MyChart messages will not be charged, replies that require medical expertise and more than five minutes of your provider’s time may be billed, as we do for other medical services. Types of messages that may be billed include:

    *Requests for new medications
    *Questions about new symptoms or problems
    *Questions about news or journal articles
    *Changes to a chronic condition
    *Requests to fill out medical forms
    *Requests for new referrals

    They highlighted that Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance providers cover MyChart messages at little-to-no-cost to patients after standard copays and deductibles are met.

    I think questions about new symptoms or problems and changes to chronic conditions will be the top cost to PH and transplant patients.

    If you have also been notified of this change, how do you feel about it?

    jen-cueva replied 11 months ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • V.R. Peterson

    Member
    July 14, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    That’s horrible! So far, my doctor hasn’t charged for messages sent through the patient portal, nor has my son’s doctor.

    While I understand why they’re doing it (doctor spending more time answering portal questions than seeing patients), I don’t think they’ve thought about the unintended consequences. Like patients calling and asking the receptionist who answers the phone and taking up time for the receptionist, the doctor’s nurse, and the doctor.

    • jen-cueva

      Member
      July 17, 2023 at 12:35 pm

      Hi @mamabear007, I agree; I have yet to be charged. Most of my healthcare providers prefer I use the portal. Usually unless it’s an immediate need, I use it for messages. If it’s something more urgent, I will call.

      I agree that when they set these up, they were unprepared for the time it takes to track and respond. Most of my HCPs respond to their messages themselves most of the time. My previous PCP often responded early mornings, so I don’t know when he slept.

      Also, this topic was one of @colleensteele’s. I posted it for her since she is in WI. Saturday was the Memorial Service for Brian with his family there. I believe they will return tomorrow, so I will pray for their safe travels and comfort because I know this must have been difficult.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience using MyChart/patient portals.

      • V.R. Peterson

        Member
        July 17, 2023 at 12:43 pm

        @jenc, I add my prayers to yours on behalf on @ColleenSteele.

  • Carol Volckmann

    Member
    July 15, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    Oh where, oh where did my comments go … lost in mychart/portal space no doubt!

    Yes, these charges are happening at WA Medical Center. I can certainly understand letting a I patient know they will be charge X if they are asking for an involved diagnosis and/or advice that will take some time to answer, BUT … asking for a referal (how long does it take to jot down a referal?) or noting changes in a patient’s symptom – in this case the patient needs to be told (no charge) to schedule an appointment either in person or zoom.

    At UW Medical Center you can no longer call into the department you need advice from – ALL calls now go directly to a scheduler, they take your question/concern and tell you that they will send it to that department and that department will be in touch!! Unless you have your doctor’s mobile or email you cannot get through. The hospital saves $$$ and the patient gains anxiety and stress 😩!

    Fortunately I do have my Pulmonologist and Cardiologist mobile numbers and their email addresses. I think not being able to reach their office, or nurse etc is outrageous!

    This is the sort of what I posted or thought I posted before. I hope it all makes sense.

    • jen-cueva

      Member
      July 17, 2023 at 1:15 pm

      Hi @cdvol3gmail-com, I’m glad you knew I posted that topic for @colleensteele. I don’t have a son. Even Zoe is a girl, so I guess I have two girls.

      Like you, I become frustrated and anxious when I go through a long line to get in contact with HCPs. That also makes it easy to make mistakes in communication.
      Like you, I am fortunate to have my PH doc’s cell if I am not getting anywhere with the office.

      This is already happening at UW; I can see others following this new way of charging us patients like we need any more healthcare bills. Geez!

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience with this, too. Does anyone else see anything like this with the physicians you see?

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