The Cleveland Clinic will now bill for certain services on its MyChart portal used for telehealth and virtual messaging between patients and clinicians, according to an announcement from the system.
It will bill for messages that require more provider clinical time and expertise, including those regarding changes to medications or a long-term condition, new symptoms, check-ups on long-term conditions and requests to complete medical forms.
Types of messaging that will remain unbilled include those to schedule appointments, get prescriptions refilled, ask questions leading to an appointment and give quick updates.
The amount of messages Cleveland Clinic providers are answering on the portal has doubled since 2019, and they respond within three days, according to the system.
“This will allow us to continue to provide the high level of care you have come to expect from Cleveland Clinic,” the system said.
Most private insurance will cover the billed messages, but if it isn’t a covered benefit or patients have a deductible they could owe $33 to $50, according to the system.
Most Medicare patients will have no out-of-pocket costs, though some will have a $3 to $8 charge, and those with secondary insurance will owe $0.
Cleveland Clinic isn’t the only system to try this appraoch. Stat News reported in January that the University of California, San Francisco was billing for certain patient emails that required medical evaluation. The system reported patients “have largely embraced the system,” according to the report.