More health systems charge for online patient portal messages – Chicago Tribune

Good morning, Chicago.

Patients seeking help from their doctors through online portals may soon be in for something new: charges for online consultations with their physicians.

A growing number of health systems in the Chicago area and across the country are now charging fees for certain types of messages sent through online patient portals such as MyChart, with fees often starting at $35 or less. It’s a trend that’s garnering mixed reactions, with some saying it only seems fair, while others see it as a cash grab.

Health system leaders say most messages remain free, and they are billing only for questions that require more than a few minutes of a doctor’s time and that, in the past, would have required in-person visits. There was a possibility of

Read the full story from the Tribune’s Lisa Schenker.

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