Chart Policy Update
Attention Patients-Please Review New Billing & Insurance Changes to MyChart
In the spirit of respect and transparency, we are informing all of our patients about this new billing policy, and we want to be sure that we communicate the expectation clearly so we have provided very specific details and some examples below.
At Family Practice Center, we strive to provide easy access to our outstanding providers in a timely fashion. To help accomplish this, we offer telemedicine appointments and we leave space on our schedules to accommodate same day visits and walk-ins. We also have a great team of live, on-site operators working hard every day to facilitate appointments and communications. The use of email communication and appointment scheduling via MyChart is another example of how we empower our patients with efficient access to our providers.
Over the past several years, the use of MyChart messaging has escalated considerably on a national scale. Owing in large part to its convenience, and spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, patient messages now account for a considerable part of our daily workflow. Most of our providers field dozens of messages per day in addition to seeing and managing scheduled patients. Historically, almost all of the clinical time it takes to handle these messages has been free to you and not compensated by insurance companies. However, starting January 1, 2023, you may begin to receive bills for MyChart message exchanges that require your provider’s clinical time and expertise to answer. Some insurance providers may cover this fee, but it will be your responsibility to check with yours ahead of time to know for sure.
It’s important to know that not every message you send to your provider will be billed. It’s also very important to know that your provider may not feel that managing your particular issue(s) by messaging is appropriate. In these cases, we can help facilitate an appointment for you.
Examples of messages that will not be billed:
- Messages that result in an appointment with us within 7 days.
- Asking a question about an issue you saw your provider for in the last 7 days. This does NOT include asking about things that you forgot to mention during your visit or a new issue that has come up since your visit.
- Checking in as a part of your follow-up care after a procedure.
- Giving a quick update to your provider.
Depending on your insurance policy, the cost of the majority of the applicable messages will be between $30-$60. You could owe closer to $100 for more complex message exchanges requiring at least 20 minutes of your providers’ time. In some cases, insurance will cover the costs completely and you will owe nothing.
Examples of messages that may be billed include:
- A new issue or symptom requiring medical assessment, medical decision making or referral **In almost all these cases, we strongly encourage (and may even require) a scheduled appointment over a MyChart message. You should call 911 in an emergency or be taken to a hospital.**
- Medication management including dose adjustments, changes that you make to your pharmacy, emergency refills and short-term (30 days or less) refills when you’re due for a follow up visit.
- Chronic disease check-in and management
- Flare-up or change in chronic condition
We want our patients to rely on us to be available for all their healthcare needs. MyChart is a great communication tool and you can continue to expect responses from us within three business days. Even with the convenience of MyChart, without question, the best way to ensure you get the highest level of care in the most timely manner is by scheduling an appointment either in person or via telemedicine.
We are grateful to all of you who trust us with your healthcare. We believe that this new policy will help us to continue providing the highest level of care and service that sets us apart. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this policy. Additionally, if you are interested in checking on the specifics of this with your insurance company, the CPT codes currently in use for this are 99421, 99422 and 99423.