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Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Traffic and parking in the Longwood Medical Area can be difficult and time-consuming. Please take this into account when you leave for your visit. Parking is available in the Boston Children's Parking Garage at a discounted rate with a validated ticket.
We are located in the Fegan Building on the 3rd Floor.
When you arrive to the office in the Fegan Building, 3rd floor, check in at the front desk. There, one of our staff will verify your personal information and collect the copayment for your visit.
During your child's exam
You will meet with several members of the Cleft Lip and Palate team during your visit. Specialists may include:
Each specialist will meet with you and your child individually to review your child's medical history and perform a specialized physical exam.
Length of your visit
Visits to our clinic usually last about two hours.
Name, address and phone number of your referring physician
Name, address and phone number of your primary care physician
Medications and dosages your child is taking, including the last three months
Relevant medical records, X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI's or lab results
Any relevant dental records (X-rays, teeth impressions)
Social Security number of the patient and of the subscriber on the insurance
Insurance card(s) and insurance information
Insurance referrals for each specialist
Copayment for each specialist you're seeing (payable at time of service)
Other helpful items to make your visit more enjoyable:
Books (there are books and magazines available in the waiting area)
Formula, diapers or a change of baby clothes
Our clinic coordinator, Elizabeth Leonard, will help schedule any follow-up appointments you may need.
Your child's office visit is billed through the Billing Department at Boston Children's Hospital.
If your child has surgery, you will be billed by the Children's doctor who performs the surgery.
Know your coverage
We are contracted with most insurance companies and, therefore, will most likely accept your insurance. However, the options and coverage for these plans vary considerably.
We urge you to become familiar with your insurance so that you understand its rules and coverage. Contact your insurance company to see if your visit will be covered.
It is very important that you bring your child's insurance card to our office each time that you visit. All insurance companies have specific billing instructions that are usually found on your insurance card. Presentation of the actual card will reduce the likelihood of any errors.
Copayments for each specialist are due at the time of your visit. Insurance companies require that patients pay a copayment. We appreciate your cooperation in paying your copayment at the time of registration. Please check your insurance card for your copayment amount. We accept cash, personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. An ATM machine is conveniently located in the hospital.
If you do not have a valid referral from your primary care provider (PCP), you will be asked to sign a waiver assuming all responsibility for payment of the visit.
We will ask to see your insurance card (or your child's card if your insurance company issues one in your child's name) so we can verify that we have the correct information. Please remember to bring your card or your child's insurance card to the office for each visit. If you change insurance companies, please notify the office immediately so we can update our records.
If you need to cancel your appointment, we ask that you call the office at least one business day (24 hours) in advance. We have a high demand for appointments, and this will allow other patients to use this time.
To cancel and reschedule appointments, call 617-355-6309.
Billing questions and problems
For billing questions, call 617-355-3397.
You will meet with several members of the Cleft Lip and Palate team during your visit. Each specialist will meet with you and your child individually to review your child's medical history and perform a specialized physical exam.
An audiologist is a hearing specialist that will evaluate and manage any hearing problems your child might have.
In children with a cleft palate, temporary hearing loss is a common problem. If your child has a cleft palate, he will have his first hearing test early in life, and again prior to the operation to repair his cleft palate. An audiologist will monitor your child's hearing every 6 to 12 months.
An otolaryngologist is a doctor that specializes in ear, nose and throat problems.
Some children with cleft palate experience temporary hearing loss that is caused by buildup of fluid in their middle ear. If your child has this problem, one of our otolaryngologists will perform an operation to remove the fluid and insert ear tubes. The ear tubes allow air to circulate in the middle ear and help prevent infection.
We recommend that your child visit our otolaryngologist every 6 months until the ear tubes are removed (usually after 9-12 months).
Dental problems such as missing teeth, misaligned teeth or malformed extra teeth are common in children with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Our dentists specialize in treating these conditions and will be involved in your child's care from infancy to adolescence.
As your child grows and his teeth and bite develop, he will meet periodically with our dentists and orthodontists for check-ups and treatment. Treatment usually includes repositioning teeth with orthodontics (braces).
Our nurse specializes in caring for children with cleft lip and palate. She will be one of your primary contacts throughout your child's treatment at Children's and will be able to answer any medical questions you might have, including questions about feeding and home care.
Our plastic surgeons have specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of cleft lip and palate.
Generally, a cleft lip is treated with one or two operations where the existing muscles and tissues of your child's lip and nose will be used to close the cleft. A cleft palate is treated with an operation where existing muscles and tissues from the split palate are brought together to close the opening.
Speech and Language Pathologist
A speech and language pathologist is a health care professional who will evaluate and manage any speech and language problems your child might have.
Usually, a cleft lip alone does not result in speech problems. However, a child with cleft palate will have difficulty making certain sounds until the palate is repaired. Our speech and language pathologists may see your child as early as one year old to evaluate whether he would benefit from speech therapy.
We recommend that the speech of children with a cleft lip and palate be checked every month until age 3. These monthly check-ups should be coordinated through the Massachusetts Early Intervention Program.
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