Resources and support
Here at the Boston Children's Hospital Department of Neurosurgery, we consider you and your child integral parts of the care team—not simply recipients of care. We specialize in family-centered treatment, which means that from your first visit, you’ll work with a team of professionals who are committed to meeting your child's medical needs while providing emotional, psychosocial and educational support for your family.
Read about our patients' experiences at Boston Children's.
At Boston Children’s Hospital, we know how difficult it is—for everyone in the family—when your child has an injury or disorder that may require neurosurgical care. We are always available to offer a second opinion for your child and to set up a consultation with one of our specialists. Please call 617-355-6008 or use our “Request an appointment” form to request a second opinion or consultation.
So that we can make the most accurate assessment possible, please be sure to have a full summary of your child’s initial diagnosis on hand. In addition, please gather as much of the following information as you can:
your child’s full name, address and date of birth
your (or, if you are not the child’s parent/legal guardian, the official guardian’s) full name, address, phone number and relationship to the child
your insurance provider’s name (for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts), the name of the specific plan covering the child (for example, HMO Blue), and your subscriber identification number
the name, address and phone number of your child’s primary care physician
the name, address and phone number of your child’s referring physician (if different from the primary care provider)
your child’s diagnosis (or working diagnosis)
a list of your child’s presenting symptoms
previous x-ray, MRI or CT scan films
previous lab work reports
operative notes (if your child has undergone prior surgery)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I schedule an initial appointment with the Boston Children’s Neurosurgery Department?
A: You may request an initial appointment by calling 617-355-6008 or by using our “Request an appointment” form.
Please be sure you have the following information on hand:
- Your child’s full name, address and date of birth
- Your (or, if you are not the child’s parent/legal guardian, the official guardian’s) full name, address, phone number and relationship to the child
- Your insurance provider’s name (for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts), the name of the specific plan covering the child (for example, HMO Blue), and your subscriber identification number
- The name, address and phone number of your child’s primary care physician
- The name, address and phone number of your child’s referring physician (if different from the primary care provider)
- A basic summary of your child’s symptoms and medical history, including any prior surgeries or treatment procedures
Q: What if I don’t have a referral for my child’s appointment?
A: If you don’t have a referral from your child’s primary physician, you may be asked to reschedule your initial neurosurgery appointment until the referral comes through.
Or, you will have the option to sign a waiver and pay a $250 waiver fee. (We recommend that you pay the waiver fee by check or credit card, as this will make stopping payment easier should you get a referral by the next business day after your child’s appointment. We are able to refund your waiver fee if you call us at 617-355-6008 with the necessary referral information by noon the next business day).
If you get a referral more than 24 hours after your child’s appointment, you will have to wait for your insurance company to pay for the claim. This may take up to 90 days. Your waiver fee will be automatically returned to you once the insurance company pays the claim. (Unfortunately, since this process is fully automated, we are unable to expedite the return of the fee.)
If, after 90 days, you still have not received your refund, please call our billing company at 1-800-853-8110.
Q: What should I bring to my child’s neurosurgery appointment?
A: When you make your initial appointment, a member of the Boston Children's Neurosurgery Department staff will go over everything you’ll need on the day of your visit. A good checklist of take-along items should include:
- The name of the doctor you will be seeing
- The name and floor of the Boston Children’s building you will be visiting
- The name and telephone number of your referring physician
- Co-payment for your insurance, if applicable
- Referrals or authorizations from your child's primary care doctor's office, if applicable
- All medical or personal records, such as x-rays or lab tests, pertaining to your child’s condition
- A list of your child's medications
- A list of questions you have for the doctor and staff (if appropriate for your child's situation and maturity, you may want to have him come up with questions that he is curious about)
- Your child's and your Social Security numbers (for insurance purposes)
- Any forms mailed to you by the Neurosurgery Department
- Books, games, snacks, formula, diapers, a change of baby clothes or other necessities (please do not bring food if your child must fast for testing)
Q: I would like copies of my child’s x-rays, MRIs or CT scans taken at Boston Children’s. How can I request this?
A: All requests for films taken at Boston Children’s need to go through the hospital’s film library. You may be charged a fee, depending on the number of copies you need. Please call the film library at 617-355-6283 to place an order.
Q: What if I have to reschedule my child’s neurosurgery appointment?
A: If you need to reschedule an appointment, please use the list below to call the designated number for your child’s neurosurgeon. (Please give at least 24 hours’ advance notice whenever possible.)
- Dr. Alan Cohen: 617-355-1484
- Dr. Liliana Goumnerova: 617-355-6364
- Dr. Joseph Madsen: 617-355-6005
- Dr. Mark Proctor: 617-355-2403
- Dr. Dody Robinson: 617-355-1485
- Dr. R. Michael Scott: 617-355-6011
- Dr. Edward Smith: 617-355-8414
- Dr. Benjamin Warf: 617-355-6005
Q: My child’s illness can be overwhelming for me sometimes. Does Boston Children’s offer a service that can help me get the information and additional support I may need?
A: Our Center for Families is dedicated to helping families find the information and resources they need to better understand their child’s medical condition and take part in their care. All patients, families and professionals are welcome to use the center's services at no extra cost. The Center for Families is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call 617-355-6279 for more information.