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Program FAQs

What is Summus? How do they assist in the process?

Boston Children’s Hospital has partnered with Summus, a virtual specialty care company, to help facilitate your online second opinion. You will use the Summus platform to request your second opinion and access all information related to your active and past opinions.

Summus will help guide you through the online second opinion process, on behalf of Boston Children’s Hospital. A dedicated team of advisors and physicians will help collect medical records relevant to your diagnosis, select the appropriate Boston Children’s specialist to review your case, and help answer any questions you may have along the way.

What will my online second opinion report include?

Your child's Boston Children's specialist will send you and your local treating physician a very thorough second opinion report addressing the questions you worked on with Summus. Potential outcomes include:

  • The Boston Children's specialist may have a different diagnosis and, therefore, suggest a completely different treatment plan to you and your local physician.
  • The Boston Children's specialist may agree with your local physician's diagnosis, but may offer a different treatment plan or additional treatment options.
  • The Boston Children's specialist may agree with the diagnosis and the treatment plan of your first opinion, and this second opinion confirmation offers you peace of mind that you are moving forward in the right direction.

After receiving your second opinion, notify your Summus Coordinator if you are interested in traveling to Boston for in-person care. The appropriate Boston Children's care team will contact you about next steps.

When possible, your Boston Children's specialist may also refer you to the most current literature (such as medical journal articles) regarding your child's condition that may also help you make your health care decisions.

After you have received the second opinion report from your specialist at Boston Children's, you should schedule adequate time with your local treating provider to review the recommendations and work with him or her to refine your diagnosis, treatment plan, or plan of care.

How can I get help if I am having trouble opening my case request on Summus?

Please email BCH-support@summusglobal.com for assistance with opening a case on the Summus platform.

If you are seeking a second opinion for one of these diagnoses, please contact the specialty department:

Yes, you may request to see the same physician. However, if your second opinion physician specialist has a long wait time, you may elect to see one of his or her physician colleagues. It is also possible that your medical problem requires your child to see another Boston Children's specialist. If this is the case, the appointment schedulers will coordinate your appointments for you.

Eligibility FAQs

 

Are there any states or countries where you do not offer this service?

If you are a resident of Massachusetts, we encourage you to come to one of our many Massachusetts-based offices. Please use our Find a Doctor tool to find the right specialist for your family.

Due to regulations, we are not able to offer online second opinion to patients in certain countries.

What if my child is hospitalized?

Patients who are hospitalized often have frequent clinical changes that prevent the expert from being able to give up-to-date and relevant advice in the remote setting. For patient safety and quality, we cannot provide expert opinions for patients who are currently hospitalized or in an intensive care unit.

What if I have a Cardiology or Esophageal & Airway Treatment Center request?

The Department of Cardiology and the Esophageal and Airway Treatment Center each offer their own separate online second opinion programs. Please visit the below pages to contact their department:

What if my diagnosis is listed as not clinically appropriate for a remote second opinion?

Unfortunately, some conditions and diagnoses are not good candidates for a remote second opinion due to their need for a multidisciplinary team to opine. If you are seeking a second opinion for one of these diagnoses, please contact the specialty department for an appointment:

Payment FAQs

When is payment due?

An online second opinion from Boston Children's Hospital costs $1,150 for gastroenterology, neurology, and cancer and blood disorder requests and $850 for all other specialties. Payment is due when your online second opinion request is submitted. All major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) are accepted. You may also use your Health Saving Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cover the cost.

Why is there a higher fee for some specialties?

The cost difference is due to the level of complexity in rendering a comprehensive second opinion for these case types. If the Boston Children's physician reviewing the case suggests another review of pathology results, your care coordinator will contact you regarding the next steps. Please note that an additional fee may be charged.

Does my insurance cover the second opinion?

Currently, most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations, so patients are responsible for the cost of the opinion. You may also elect to use your Health Saving Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cover the cost. Boston Children's Hospital will not file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this online second opinion service.

Process FAQs

Does a Boston Children’s doctor examine my child?

No, online second opinions are performed remotely. The Boston Children's physician will provide your second opinion after carefully reviewing all of the comprehensive medical information that is collected by Summus, which includes your local doctor's findings during your child's physical examination.

Who chooses the physician who will provide my child’s online second opinion?

After carefully reviewing your second opinion request and medical records, our experienced medical team at Summus will determine which Boston Children's physician specialist is most appropriate to handle your online second opinion case. You may request a particular physician, and Summus as well as Boston Children's will try to accommodate that request, but we cannot guarantee that specialist will be assigned to your case.

What if I decide to cancel my online second opinion?

If you wish at any time to stop the online second opinion process, please contact your Summus advisor. However, once you have authorized us to proceed (upon completion of the online steps), we have received payment, and we have begun working on your request, we will not be able to refund payment.

Who will obtain my medical records and clinical information?

If you are based in the U.S., the Summus team will work with the physician practices and hospitals you designate to collect your relevant medical records and information. This includes paper documents, CDs, and any radiological (e.g. x-ray) films. If the Boston Children's specialist requires additional documentation for your child (to include pathological slides and paraffin blocks), Summus will work with you to obtain that information.

International patients are required to collect, upload, and translate their medical records. Summus will be available to guide you through this process. We cannot reimburse for translation services for medical records.

Can I add more records, labs, or scans once the case is underway?

Your case cannot be reviewed by an expert until we have received all of the required records. Should additional records, labs, or imaging become available once your case is underway, we regret that we cannot add them to your case, and as such the expert will not be able to review them. However, you are welcome to open and pay for a new case, and we can request the same expert who reviewed your first case. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that the same expert will be available to review your second case.

How many questions can I ask the expert?

The patient family will work with Summus to identify up to eight appropriate questions to ensure they receive the most robust opinion. This ensures that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before we reach out to the expert to review your case, and additional questions cannot be added once your case is assigned.

If you have a clarifying question about an expert's response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Summus medical team is unable to address it, then Summus can contact the expert to request additional clarification.

You may ask a maximum of two clarifying questions within five business days of when the completed second opinion was made available to you. You may not introduce any new questions. Please note that we cannot guarantee that the expert will be available to answer your follow-up question(s).

Will my medical records and radiological (x-ray) films or pathology specimens be returned?

All copies of paper medical records that are sent to Summus will be destroyed once the information has been uploaded into our system. Medical imaging CDs and portable flash drives will be destroyed after the images and documents are uploaded, and therefore cannot be returned. Pathology specimens, including slides and tissue, will be returned directly to the institution from which they were received by Boston Children’s Hospital.

Who will update me on the status of my online second opinion request?

Your Summus Advisor will provide you with updates concerning the status of your case request. Based on your preference, the update will come via phone or email. We aim to deliver the report in 7 to 10 business days after receiving all medical records. However, turnaround times can be extended if a specific provider is requested or if the case is recommended for a multidisciplinary review.

How will I receive my online second opinion report?

When your child's second opinion report is completed, both you and your local physician will be notified via email that an update has been posted to your Summus account. If an email address for your local physician is not provided at the time of registration, Summus will securely fax a copy of your child’s second opinion report directly to the local physician to review.

If I decide to bring my child to Boston Children’s for treatment, can he or she see the same doctor who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, you may request to see the same physician. However, if your second opinion physician specialist has a long wait time, you may elect to see one of his or her physician colleagues. It is also possible that your medical problem requires your child to see another Boston Children's specialist. If this is the case, the appointment schedulers will coordinate your appointments for you.