Allina Health To Start Charging $49 To Minneapolis Residents For Medical Messaging
Residents in Minneapolis woke up to a message from their health provider stating that they could be charged $49 for medical messaging.
While the policies are clearly outlined in the image below, it still left some people feeling uneasy about how their cases would be handled. For example, if you had some blood taken and didn’t receive the results, it’s not 100% clear whether an inquiry would cost you $49 or not. If this is outside of the recent medical visit of 7 days, it is not a black-and-white answer.
In fairness to the health care providers, their doctors are certainly overworked, with some estimates showing that doctors saw an average of 20.2 patients per day. Of course, this is just an average, with doctors becoming significantly busier in winter months.
The statement above states as follows:
Dear Valued Patient,
This month, we are making changes to our billing policy that may result in charges for using medical messaging. There will be no charge for messages related to a recent visit. However, you may be charged for messages that are unrelated to a recent visit. This is a standard industry practice.
What is changing?
If you submit a medical message through your Allina Health account that is unrelated to a recent medical visit (within 7 days) and it requires medical decision-making or a new care plan on behalf of your provider, you may be charged a fee.
Examples of topics for which medical messaging will not incur a charge:
questions about a medical visit that occurred within the previous 7 days ⚫ scheduling an appointment
- prescription refill requests when refills remain available
- lab or imaging results related to a recent visit
- requests to complete medical-related forms
- inquiries that lead to the recommendation of a new visit update for your provider not needing a response
- inquiries requiring a quick, simple response
Examples of topics for which medical messaging may incur a charge:
- a new issue or symptom requiring a medical assessment or referral medication adjustments
- chronic disease check-ins
- changes in a chronic condition
- orders for labs or imaging
- When will this change happen?
- You may see charges for medical messaging beginning this month.