Office hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. The on-call doctor is available for sick appointments in the ofﬁce on Saturday mornings. Saturday hours are usually 10am-1pm, but can vary based on time of year and call volume. Dr. James shares ofﬁce space and works closely with Drs. Gupta, Mahony, Diskin, and Alexander of Belmont Cambridge Healthcare.
Your child will be seen by Dr. James or Children's Garden's pediatric nurse practitioner Monica for all well visits and most sick visits. Very occasionally your child may see a Belmont Cambridge Healthcare (BCHC) provider for a sick visit. We reserve several appointment slots daily for same-day sick visits; whenever possible, please call early in the day to schedule. If you call late in the day, you may be scheduled for the following day.
Because we value the time of all of our patients, we request that you always call to make an appointment before coming to the ofﬁce. Walk-ins can rarely be accommodated. If you know that you are running late, please call ahead. You may be asked to reschedule if you arrive more than 15 minutes late for an appointment. In return, we will try our best to see your child within 15 minutes of your scheduled appointment. However, please understand that unexpected delays and emergencies do occur, and it is important that every child receive the time that he or she needs for good care. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please call as soon as possible so that another child may be seen during that time.
Calls during the day
Front desk staff will answer patient calls from 9 am to noon, and 1 pm to 5 pm. In the event that staff is unable to answer live, please leave a message on our voicemail; messages are checked frequently. Urgent calls will be addressed as soon as possible, while non-urgent calls (e.g. travel-related questions, behavioral issues, feeding questions) will be returned by the end of the day. Please let us know your preferred callback number so that we can best reach you.
Please share the reason for your call with the front desk staff so that we can properly triage your call. If you do not leave any information, we will assume that your issue is non-urgent. If you do not hear back within what you consider to be a reasonable amount of time, please call again.
There is always a physician on call when the ofﬁce is closed. The physician, either Dr. James or one of the BCHC staff, is available to discuss urgent matters. We ask that routine matters (non-urgent health questions, non-urgent prescription reﬁll requests) be addressed during regular ofﬁce hours. You can reach the on-call doctor through our answering service by calling the regular ofﬁce number. If for some reason your call to the ofﬁce is not forwarded to the answering service, you can call them directly at 781-979-2731. Your call will generally be returned within 20 minutes. If you do not hear back within 40 minutes, please assume that something went wrong and call again.
Prescription reﬁll requests, referrals, health forms, and MyChart
All of these are important, but take time. We ask that you plan ahead and allow at least 3 days of lead time. These requests may be called in to the ofﬁce, but we encourage you to submit them on MyChart, our online patient portal. In order to use this secure online service, you will need to register in the ofﬁce. You will receive a secure email message from the ofﬁce when your request has been fulﬁlled. Please note that requests submitted on weekends or holidays will not be received until the ofﬁce opens.
Insurance information will be veriﬁed at every visit; please make sure to bring your child’s insurance card. We accept most types of health insurance. We can also help to identify resources for families without health insurance. Insurance copayments are due at the time of your visit. Payments can be made by cash, check, Visa or Mastercard. Please contact our ofﬁce with any insurance or billing questions. You may be referred to our billing company for any questions or issues that cannot be addressed by our front desk staff.
For families with limited English proﬁciency, we can access electronic medical translation services during ofﬁce visits.
Antibiotics have been a valuable tool since their discovery. However, due to widespread over- prescribing, many antibiotics don’t work as well as they used to. To maintain the effectiveness of antibiotics for your child and the community as a whole, we prescribe antibiotics only when medically indicated. Many of the illnesses children get are viral, rather than bacterial, and antibiotics are not helpful. Different antibiotics work well for different types of infections, and some bacteria are resistant to some antibiotics. For these reasons, a doctor should see your child before prescribing antibiotics. With very few exceptions, we rarely call in new antibiotic prescriptions over the phone.
Vaccines prevent a number of potentially debilitating or life-threatening diseases in children. They are also a requirement of most daycares, schools, and camps. Our practice policy is that all children seen in our office need to be immunized. We generally follow the guidelines published by the CDC. If you have questions and concerns about vaccines, we are happy to discuss them.