Mayo Clinic to charge for MyChart messages

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic plans to charge patients up to $50 for patient portal messages to their providers, the Star Tribune reported Aug. 14.

Mayo joins a growing list of health systems that have started billing for MyChart messages in response to an explosion in the digital interactions. Mayo's new policy starts Aug. 18, according to the story.

"The volume and type and complexity of these messages has been increasing really exponentially," Conor Loftus, MD, chair of Mayo's outpatient practice subcommittee, told the news outlet. "Within those messages, the type of care being delivered … often involves care coordination and complex decision-making."

The charges will apply to messages that require a diagnosis or other clinical decision, according to the story. Mayo providers received 6.4 million messages from patients in 2022. Patients who can't afford the charges will be referred to financial assistance.

Other health systems that now bill for the messages include Cleveland Clinic, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Renton, Wash.-based Providence.

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