Registering as a Massachusetts General Hospital Patient
If you are a new Mass General patient, please call the Patient Registration and Referral Center at 866-211-6588 to receive a Mass General Medical Record Number (MRN). The center is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm and on Friday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. This unique number is our way of tracking patient information, including insurance providers and important contact information.
Getting a Referral
A majority of patients seen in our practice need a referral from their primary care provider. Please consult with your insurance carrier prior to your appointment. If a referral is needed but not obtained, you will be responsible for payment.
What to Bring to Your Appointment
- Photo ID
- Mass General Medical Record Number (MRN)
- New patient forms completed (if you are a new patient)
- Download and print medical release forms
- Insurance Card
- Prescription plan card
- Referral from your Primary Care Physician (it is the patient's responsibility to obtain this referral). Patients who are seen without a referral will be asked to sign a waiver and may be billed directly
If you will be undergoing skin testing, please see the New Patient Visits and Skin Testing section below.
Getting Your Allergy and Immunology Prescription (RX) Filled or Refilled
You can request refills online at patientgateway.massgeneralbrigham.org or by contacting your pharmacy who can send an electronic request to our office. If your prescription requires a prior authorization, we will work with your insurance to obtain this, but this could require extra processing time.
Generally, refills are processed within 24 hours (except weekends and holidays).
Important Information about Mail Order Prescription (RX) Services
Prescription(s) (RX) sent to mail order prescription services such as Express Scripts are automatically filled and charged to your credit card, unless notification preferences are set up by you with your mail order prescription service.
To avoid unnecessary charges to your credit card, we urge patients to set up preferences with their mail order prescription services to be notified by email, text, or by a phone call before any prescription(s) are charged to your credit card.
Our office cannot stop the charges to your credit card, only you, the patient can stop the charge.
Regarding Your Insurance Deductibles
Many insurance plans now have higher deductibles than in past years. Your Allergist/Immunologist does not have any control over the deductible amounts. The insurance company and your employer determine your deductible amount or if you have private insurance, you and your insurance company determine the deductible.
Your physicians are able to advise you if your service is medically necessary, however; that may not mean that the service is covered in full. We do not have any knowledge of your annual deductible amount or how much you have already paid towards your annual deductible. Please contact your insurance company for questions regarding your deductibles.
Missed Appointment Policy
All patients are required to give at least 24 hours advanced notice when cancelling an appointment.
Any patient that “No Shows” three times in a calendar year may not be scheduled for an appointment in the clinic. A patient is said to “No Show” when they fail to cancel or reschedule a scheduled appointment at which they do not attend.
New Patient Visits and Skin Testing
- Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your appointment to be checked in. If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule to a later date.
- Your initial appointment may take as long as 3 hours because of the time required for skin testing. Your initial examination may include a series of skin tests to identify allergens to which you are sensitive. You will see the doctor at the end of your testing session.
- For patients scheduled for skin testing, all antihistamines should be avoided for 5 days prior to your office visit.
- Please wear a sleeveless shirt for skin testing, as test reagents will be placed on both the upper and lower parts of the arms.
Skin Testing Appointments
Skin testing is a routine procedure used to determine a patient's allergic sensitivities. Your initial examination may include a series of skin tests to identify allergens to which you are sensitive. Wear a sleeveless shirt for skin testing, as test reagents will be placed on both the upper and lower parts of the arms. Your initial visit may take as long as 3 hours because of the time required for skin testing.
Discontinuing Antihistamine Medication
Certain medications can interfere with the interpretation of allergy skin tests and need to be discontinued for 5 days before your initial appointment or any subsequent appointment at which you anticipate having allergy skin testing. These medications include oral or intranasal antihistamines and certain antidepressant medications called tricyclic antidepressants.
Common prescription and non-prescription antihistamines include:
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Clarinex (desloratadine)
- Astelin/Astepro (azelastine hcl) nasal spray
- Patanase nasal spray
- Vistaril and Atarax (hydroxyzine)
- Zyrtec (cetirizine)
- Claritin/Alavert (loratadine)
- Tylenol PM
If you are not certain whether the medication you are taking is an antihistamine, are concerned about discontinuing your medications, of if you have any other questions, please contact us at 617-726-3850. If you are unable to stop taking antihistamines because of the severity of your symptoms, continue on the medication but keep your appointment. Another approach to testing will be considered by your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I check my appointment online?
Yes, you can access your appointments online at Patient Gateway.
What is the best time to call for appointments?
The best times to call for appointments are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
How do I cancel or reschedule an appointment?
Please call our staff at 617-726-3850 to cancel or reschedule an appointment. After hours, you can leave a message at that number. Be sure to provide your name, date of birth and original appointment time. If you access Patient Gateway, you can send a secure email message.
Is there parking available?
Your Care Team
You will be evaluated and cared for by physicians who have received specialized training in the field of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. As Mass General is a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School, doctors receiving advanced subspecialty medical training, such as residents and fellows, may also work with your physician.
The nursing staff is adept at caring for patients with allergic and immunologic diseases, including the performance of allergy skin testing, pulmonary function testing and allergen injection immunotherapy. Your nurse works closely with other members of the team to help you to understand your diagnosis and treatment, manage medications and possible side effects, effectively care for yourself, and prevent medical problems. Also, they can act as case managers, helping you navigate the various services here at Mass General Hospital and elsewhere.