What is a virtual visit?
Boston Children’s virtual visit service connects you directly to your child’s clinician through a secure, live-interactive video system. This service allows your child to receive the care he or she needs right from home — or another convenient location. Virtual visits are similar to face-to-face visits — the clinician will review your child’s symptoms, answer questions and discuss next steps.
Why should I schedule a virtual visit?
Virtual visits make it easy to get specialized care. A virtual visit allows you to access care from the comfort of your own home, or any other convenient location, using a mobile device or computer. This helps save you time and travel costs. You can also invite other family members to join virtual visits from another location, making the service especially convenient for busy families.
Who pays for virtual visits?
Virtual visits are billed and paid the same way as regular office visits — either through your insurance or by self-pay. You will still need to pay any applicable copayments for an office visit. If your child needs any testing or labs after the virtual visit, these will be billed separately.
Can I request refills of my child’s medication prior to or during a virtual visit?
How will I know if my insurer covers virtual visits?
For medication refills, please allow up to three business days for your refill to be processed. If your child’s medication requires a prior authorization, additional time may be needed. To prevent delay, we recommend requesting a prior authorization request two weeks before the expiration.
How does a virtual visit differ from a regular visit?
If you are interested in verifying your insurance coverage, call your insurer and ask the following questions:
1. Do I have a telehealth benefit as part of my member plan?
2. Can telehealth services included in my benefit be provided by my Boston Children’s provider? (NOTE: Some insurers have their own telehealth platform. If you would like to have a telehealth appointment with your Boston Children’s provider, it must be through the hospital’s platform.)
3. Are the following CPT codes that are covered under my plan? Are there any exclusions?
- Medical office return visit: 99211, 99212, 99213, 99214, 99215
- Behavioral health visits: 90791, 90792, 90832, 90833, 90834, 90836, 90837, 90838, 90846, 90847
4. Is there a co-pay associated with my telehealth visit?
A virtual visit is very similar to a regular face-to-face office visit. To begin your visit, you will access a secure video link provided to you. Once in the virtual waiting room, your clinician will be notified and will connect with you through the video system. You’ll be able to interact in real time, share diagrams, review any labs or medications, and communicate just as you normally would in a face-to-face visit. Please note: the patient must be present at the time of the visit unless otherwise noted by your provider.
What type of technology do I need for a virtual visit?
You can have a virtual visit on any mobile smartphone or tablet such as an iPhone, Android or iPad. If you prefer, you can also use a laptop or PC that has an internet connection and a built-in or attached camera and a speaker/microphone.
How will the virtual visit begin?
After your virtual visit is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email with a secure link to access your virtual visit. Just follow the instructions in the email to download the software in advance and plan to join your virtual visit 15 minutes before your appointment begins.
What if I have any questions?
Please call your clinician’s office to inquire further about virtual visits or if you need to cancel or reschedule your virtual visit. For technical issues, please call 617-919-4390.
What clinics offer virtual visits?
Virtual visits are offered in a majority of clinics at Boston Children's, including primary care appointments.
Check out the participating programs list below to see where virtual visits are currently being offered and ask your provider if virtual follow up care might be right for you.
Are virtual visits offered in multiple languages?
Yes! Boston Children’s Interpreter Services allow for virtual visits in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Armenian, Cambodian, Farsi, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Sign Language, and more!
How do I refer my patient to Boston Children’s for virtual care?
If your patient has not already been seen at Boston Children’s, contact the clinic or department you want to refer them to. Each clinic will decide if a patient should be seen in person or via a virtual visit.
Does Dana Farber/Boston Children’s offer virtual visits?
Yes, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s utilizes the Dana-Farber telehealth platform. Patient instructions and resources for that technology can be viewed here
Where can I find resources for subsidized internet to complete my virtual visits?
Lifeline is a federal program that provides free or low-cost phone or internet service to low-income households through a monthly service discount. Visit this page
to learn more about the program and eligibility. Any questions about the application process or eligibility documentation can also reached via the Lifeline Support Center at 1-800-234-9473. For Boston and Greater Boston residents, visit this page
to view information and resources on connecting to the internet and accessing technology resources during COVID-19.
Can I add subtitles to my virtual visit?
Yes, Virtual Visits at Boston Children’s Hospital now have the option for subtitles! Subtitles are real-time captions that appear at the bottom of the Zoom meeting screen as you or another visit participant speak. They are a great visual tool but do not replace the use of interpreters, including an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, when needed.
To learn more about how to add real-time subtitles to your virtual visit, download our guide.
It is OK to complete my virtual visit from my vehicle?
Please do not login for your appointment while driving. We are concerned for both your safety and ability to focus on the conversation. However, if you need to complete your virtual visit from your vehicle please ensure the vehicle is not moving, you are in a private space, and you do not become a distraction for anyone’s safety.