Virtual Visits

Our Cancer Center community is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care. We care about you and will continue to care for you, just as always. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care and will always be accessible to you.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, exceptions to Out of State Virtual Visits were made due to restrictions on travel and in the interest of keeping patients, staff, and providers as safe as possible.

As of April 1, 2021, our approach to Out of State Virtual Visits is changing and may impact you. Out of State Virtual Visit care is defined as the patient located in a state other than the provider’s primary practice location at the time of the visit.

What does this mean for patients?

In-state Virtual Visits within Massachusetts are not impacted and may proceed with all clinically appropriate role groups.

If you live Out of State and were scheduled prior to April 1, 2021 for a Virtual Visit between April 1 - June 30, 2021, your Virtual Visit will remain as scheduled.

After April 1, 2021, new appointments for Out of State Virtual Visits will only be scheduled for patients in New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and Florida, and only with Attending Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants who are licensed in these six states. Not all of our providers are licensed in all of these states.

After July 1, 2021, Out of State Virtual Visits will only be conducted for patients in New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and Florida, and only with Attending Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants who are licensed in these six states. Not all of our providers are licensed in all of these states.

How do Virtual Visits work?

Virtual Visits are conducted through your electronic device or computer and allow you to see and talk to your provider face-to-face.

For those of you who haven't used distance-communication technology before...don't worry! We will help ensure that you have the best experience possible.

Please note that Virtual Visits will be billed just as an in-person visit would be billed. You could be responsible for a copay, coinsurance, or deductible responsibility.

We want your Virtual Visit to run smoothly while keeping your health information safe and secure. Through Patient Gateway, we are using a special version of Zoom designed for healthcare visits. This version has several security features that are not available with other versions of Zoom.


Video: Dr. Steven Isakoff provides tips for making your Mass General Cancer Center virtual visit run smoothly.

Useful Tips for Virtual Visits:

Select Your Device and Install the Zoom Application:

  • Step 1: If this is your first Virtual Visit, you will need to download and install the Zoom video application to your computer or smartphone before launching your visit. You can find the application for download in the Apple Store, Google Play, or directly from Zoom.
  • Step 2: If you plan to use a mobile device or tablet for your Virtual Visit, download the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway app. If you plan to use a Windows or Mac computer, please use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to log in to Patient Gateway at the time of your Virtual Visit.
  • Step 3: Please click on this link to test your connection.
  • Step 4: We recommend that you log in to your Patient Gateway account and make sure Zoom is downloaded to your device the day before your scheduled visit. This will ensure that you can easily access your account and you will be able to check for any updated Patient Gateway messages about your visit. This will help ensure your visit goes smoothly.

To start your visit:

  • Go to the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway website on your computer’s browser or open your 'Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway' app (mobile).
  • Log in with your username and password.

What to expect when you log in for your visit:

  • When you log in to the Patient Gateway website, click on “Visits” and then “Appointments and Visits” on the drop-down menu, or on the mobile app click on “Appointments”. Then click “Begin Virtual Visit”.
  • You will then see the message: “Please wait for the host to start the meeting” and there will be a blue spinning circle. Seeing this means you are waiting for your provider to start the visit. Leave this window open. Once your provider starts the visit, you will enter the virtual “waiting room”. This “waiting room” prevents unwanted visitors from joining your visit. Your provider will then bring you into the visit from the waiting room. When your provider brings you into the visit, click on the message “Join with Computer Audio” on your computer, or “Call using Internet Audio” on your smartphone to complete the connection.
  • Please be patient if your provider is running late and do not close out of the visit. Clinic timing can be unpredictable, despite their strong efforts to remain on time. If your provider does not start the visit within 20 minutes of your scheduled appointment time, please call their office.
  • If you get disconnected from your visit, re-click on ‘Begin Virtual Visit’ button and you will be connected to your provider again. If this does not work, please reach to your provider’s office.

Patient Support: 1-800-745-9683

For the best possible experience:

  • Prepare your questions for your doctor ahead of time.
  • Have your medications in front of you.
  • Have a telephone and your doctor's phone number handy in case you get disconnected from the Virtual Visit platform.
  • Make sure you are in an area that has a strong consistent internet connection.
  • Set yourself up in a comfortable space in your home where you can speak privately.
  • Make sure there is enough lighting, but avoid excessive backlighting, which can cause your device to cast a shadow over your face. Excessive backlighting can come from sitting in front of a window.
  • Log in 15 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Log in using the link from Patient Gateway.
  • Look directly into the camera when speaking.
  • If using a phone, put it on speaker, so you can look directly into the video.

Disable Popup Blockers:

You may be asked to disable popup blockers in order to launch your Virtual Visit. View a pdf on how to disable popup blockers.


View Virtual Visit FAQs (pdf).

Some helpful phone numbers:
Patient Gateway Support: 1-800-745-9683
HIPAA Privacy: 617-726-5085
Questions About Billing: 617-726-3884
Compliance Hotline: 617-726-1446
Interpreter Services: 617-726-6966