This Week Health

I believe that clinician burden and financial challenges are going to lead to some solutions we haven't considered before. Here's one to ponder. Paying for My Chart messages which require more than 5 minutes of physicians time. Thoughts?

Transcript

Today in health, it, Cleveland clinic is going to charge for some my chart messages. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creator of this week health. A set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site nuance, Canon medical.

And current health, check them out at this week. health.com/today. All right. Interesting move. I'm going to share a little bit with you. This was actually reported by the, uh, let's see, Cleveland news station Fox eight Cleveland at w J w. There you go. Uh, let me give you some of the context here. So starting Thursday, November 17th.

Online messages you send to your Cleveland clinic doctor, maybe billed to your insurance. Most messages sent via my chart services are free, but starting Thursday, any messages that require a physician's clinical time and expertise to answer, maybe build true your insurance. According to a notice, my chart users received.

Those include messages to which your physician needs more than five minutes to respond about things like changes to your medication. New symptoms changes to a long-term condition, checkups on your long-term condition care requests to complete medical forms. As the use of virtual healthcare services continue to expand. We have seen an increase in our patients choosing my chart messaging.

ast few years, doubling since:

A patient message that leads to a provider recommending a visit. A message about followup care related to a recent surgery that occurred within the past 90 days. A message that takes under five minutes to answer. A request proceeded by visit for the same problem in prior in the prior seven days. And they request that results in an appointment for the same problem.

In a subsequent seven day period. Uh, how much will it cost? Mo more insurance providers will cover. The messages at little to no cost, according to the notice. But for those with deductibles or plans that don't cover these messages. They could cost between 33 and $50. Most Medicare patients won't pay out of pocket though. Some might have to pay $3 to $8.

Medicare patients with secondary insurance won't have to pay anything since the expansion of tele-health options. Many insurance plans now cover virtual visits, phone call visits, or medical advice given via my chart. According to the notice. All right. So there is the story. Um, you know, it's interesting.

I usually on these stories, I give you a, so what, what's the, so what on this, I really would rather just have the conversation gets started. I know that many health systems are struggling with a financial burden right now, and they're trying to figure out. How to minimize that burden. And one of the things that we're seeing is some new and not yet tried, uh, options like this.

Hitting the market. And we are going to have conversations about which ones work, which ones don't work and what makes the most sense, understand completely how they got here. If it takes a professional. More than five minutes to respond to something. There's value in that. And there is not only perceived value there's actual value in that person's time, they could be doing something else.

Uh, imagine if you were to send that same note to a lawyer and say, you know, how much can you do for free? The answer is going to be not much. And probably it'll fall into that same category of, you know, if I can answer it on the phone, I'll probably just go ahead and answer it on the phone for you.

But if not, I'm going to charge you. I'm going to charge somebody cause that's how that works. And that's how professionals work. And when we're talking a Cleveland clinic, doctor, we're talking. You know, some of the best doctors in the country. Who are just being inundated with messages. We have done a couple of, had a couple of conversations recently.

Where we are hearing that the number of messages doubled and tripled. Over the last, um, I don't know, maybe. Uh, since the pandemic, for sure, maybe three to five years. Uh, so messages are going through the roof. This is a good thing, more interactions with our patients and we'd like that, but there's a cost to doing that. So this is one of the, one of those things. I think you're, you're getting a glimpse into the boardroom.

Not the boardroom, but the leadership room where the leadership teams talking about the financial challenges that we are facing and what are some ways. That we can address that. They're also trying to address physician burnout. Right. So, uh, this will lead to fewer messages likely, and if it doesn't lead to fewer messages, it will lead to more revenue, uh, in, in ways that can be shared with the clinician and potentially lead to less burnout.

So a creative, I think it's interesting. And I think we're going to see more of these. As things move along, but I thought I would get this out there and share it with you and start getting your feedback. Love to get it. Just drop me a note bill at this week. health.com. Uh, I might even post this on LinkedIn just to get the conversation started and see.

What your thoughts are audit. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week. health.com. Or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher. You get the picture. We are everywhere.

We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health Taos. So site nuance, Canon medical, and 📍 current health. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.  

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