The MGH Virtual Visits Team was honored with the 2020 Nathaniel Bowditch Prize for its quick and innovative work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently questions that we receive from our patients on Virtual Visits. If we haven’t answered your question, please contact us using the information above.
What happens during a virtual visit?
The Mass General Virtual Visits Program will allow you to conduct secure, video visits with your care provider from a computer, tablet or smartphone. It is the same world-class Mass General care from the comfort of your home, the convenience of work or from any other private location.
Am I still able to see my clinician in person if I start using virtual visits?
Of course! You and your clinician will develop a plan of care that will work for both of you.
Am I able to do these visits from work?
Yes, you may conduct these visits from your workplace, but you should check with your IT department about any firewall/network restrictions. You should also confirm that you have a reliable internet/Wi-Fi connection from your workplace location.
I’m interested in conducting virtual visits with my doctor. How do I begin?
Please check with your Mass General provider to find out if they are participating in the Virtual Visits program and if your visit would be appropriate to conduct virtually.
What consent must a patient provide to receive treatment via virtual care?
In-person care is always available for emergencies or as needed to meet your medical needs. If you choose to conduct a virtual visit with your provider, your insurance will be billed for the visit and standard co-pays/deductibles will apply.
How much will I be charged for my virtual visit?
Depending on your insurance coverage, you will be charged your usual co-pay/deductible. For more information, please contact your insurance company.
Will I still be billed if there are technical challenges during my virtual visit?
If you cancel your virtual visit, you will not be charged.
How do I pay for my virtual visit?
Following your virtual visit, you will receive a bill by mail or electronically via Patient Gateway. You may pay by phone, mail or electronically through Patient Gateway. All major credit cards and personal checks are accepted.
Is this expense HSA or FSA eligible?
Most patient payments or co-pays for medical services are eligible expenses for most HSAs or FSAs. However, we recommend that you check with your employer or health insurance company to confirm.
What should I do if I think I’ve received a bill in error?
Please contact the Mass General Billing Office at 617-726-3884 if you believe you have received a bill in error.
Is Zoom safe to use for my doctor’s visit?
We are using a special version of Zoom used for health care visits that has several security features that are not available with other versions of Zoom. Each individual appointment creates a new meeting link between provider and patient. There is also a waiting room function providers use to admit people into the Zoom meeting so that no uninvited guests may join. All the video calls are encrypted, video and chat cannot be recorded and personal health information is not saved by the video system. Connecting to the visit through Patient Gateway provides another layer of security. Patient Gateway Zoom virtual visits are designed to make seeing your provider easy, while keeping you and your health information safe and secure.
How do I disable popup blockers?
Please find instructions for disabling popup blockers here (PDF).
How can I get access to Patient Gateway?
To sign up for a new account, reset your password, or access your existing account visit Patient Gateway. You can also download the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway app to your mobile device or tablet.
What do I need to participate?
- A Patient Gateway account
- A Zoom video application downloaded and installed to your device
- A reliable internet connection
- A reliable device that meets the following minimum requirements:
- PC/Mac with:
- Chrome or Firefox as an internet browser
- Speakers or headphones
- iPhone/iPad/Android Device with:
- The Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway Application
- Front-facing camera
- PC/Mac with:
Is the connection between myself and my clinician secure and private?
Yes, just like a regular doctor’s appointment, your virtual visit is entirely private and confidential. Virtual visits are never recorded or shared. However, it is very important that you conduct your visits in a private, secure location.
How do I start my visit?
A few minutes before your scheduled visit, log into Patient Gateway and hit the button to start your appointment. Your care provider will meet with you shortly.
How do I locate my volume control?
Depending on your device, there may be physical buttons you can use to adjust the volume, an icon on the desktop of your computer or it can be raised or lowered in the virtual visit once you are connected with your provider.
Can I invite a third party (spouse, caretaker, etc.) to my appointment who would be joining from another location?
Yes, you can invite a third party to join your appointment. Please let your clinician know that you would like someone else to join at the beginning of your visit. Your clinician will send you a link to the visit, which you can pass on to the third party.
What are the benefits of virtual visits?
- Receive personalized and convenient care in the comfort of your home, workplace or other private location
- Reduce the time, cost and effort associated with traveling to an in-person office visit
- Stay more connected with your provider
Virtual Visits Frequently Asked Questions
- Jun | 3 | 2021
We care about the family and friends that help provide care for our patients at Mass General Cancer Center and recognize the emotional and physical toll this can take.
- Nov | 24 | 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of mental health care. In addition, there is increasing evidence of a sudden need for mental and behavioral health care. As a result, there has been a quick expansion of telemental health.
- Oct | 9 | 2020
Mass General Center for TeleHealth Helps Hospitals in New York and Maine Launch TeleStroke Services Within Local Regions
As the demand for virtual health services rapidly increases, the Mass General Center for TeleHealth has implemented a hybrid model in Maine and Glen Falls, New York, enabling organizations to launch their own TeleStroke programs.
- Sep | 3 | 2020
Virtual visits at Mass General have grown exponentially in the wake of COVID-19 and its related stay-at-home orders.
- Clinician Resource
- Jul | 15 | 2020
Virtual visits allow patients to still be seen and cared for remotely where feasible, while reducing the exposure of patients and providers. With pediatric health care, however, there can also be some unique challenges that providers should keep in mind when meeting with their patients virtually.