How many MyChart messages UW Medicine has charged for

Seattle-based UW Medicine began charging for MyChart on June 27 and said only about 250 messages have incurred a fee, Crystal Gail Rose Kong-Wong, MD, family medicine physician and associate medical director at UW Medicine Primary Care, told Becker's

At UW Medicine, patients are charged for messages that are related to new issues (medications, symptoms, chronic disease changes, referrals) or requests to fill out medical forms. 

Messages are billed in 10-minute increments and costs range from $7 to $28 with Medicaid, $14 to $52 with Medicare and $27 to $98 for people with no insurance. 

Dr. Kong-Wong said it will take some time to assess if the charges are actually lowering the amount of messages clinicians receive, as trend data needs to be aggregated for "several months."

As far as patient feedback on the charges, Dr. Kong-Wong said it has been a quiet rollout. 

"We tried to be very transparent and forthcoming about this," she said. "We held a community conversation that was open to the public prior to going live. And, with any new service, patients just want to understand what it's used for and what would they expect if they wanted to take advantage of this, but overall we have had a really smooth rollout."

The health system joins Cleveland Clinic, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health, and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine in charging for MyChart as clinicians have reported being inundated with too many messages, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2022, UW providers handled more than 1.5 million MyChart messages.

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