Another big health system starts billing for MyChart messages

St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare has begun billing patients for MyChart messages, KMOV reported.

The health system didn't specify how much the messages will cost but noted the charges will apply to "complex interactions," according to the July 24 story.

"Most MyChart interactions are simple transactions that take a minute or two to answer, like refilling a prescription or scheduling an appointment. Those are not billed to insurance," BJC told the news outlet in a statement. "More complex MyChart interactions that involve a new diagnosis or a checkup for a chronic condition will be billed like any other medical interaction."

BJC joins a growing list of health systems that bill for MyChart messages as providers have experienced an explosion in patient portal traffic in recent years. However, hospital executives have differing opinions on the effectiveness of charging for the interactions.

BJC HealthCare and its affiliate, Washington University Physicians, started billing in May for certain messages, which also include those involving a medication adjustment or request to complete a form, according to a health system news release.

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