Get Some Tech Help
Get Some Tech Help

Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-Visit

  1. What happens during a virtual visit?

    The MGH Virtual Visit Program will allow you to meet with your care provider through videochat on a computer or tablet. It is the same world class MGH care from the comfort of your home, the convenience of work, or from any other private location.

  2. Who is eligible and how can I start doing virtual visits?

    We are in the process of expanding our Virtual Visit program. Contact your provider to find out if they are participating!

  3. Am I still able to see my clinician in person if I start using Virtual Visits?

    Of course! You and your clinician will develop with a plan of care that will work for both of you.

  4. Am I able to do these visits from work?

    Yes, you can conduct these visits from your workplace but you should check with your IT department about any firewall/network restrictions. You also should confirm that you have a reliable internet/Wi-Fi connection from your workplace location.

  5. I’m interested in conducting virtual visits with my doctor. How do I enroll?

    Currently only select providers are conducting virtual visits. Please check with your MGH provider today to find out if they are participating in the Virtual Visit program.

Payment

  1. Why am I being charged for Virtual Visits?

    Currently, only a subset of health insurance companies offer coverage for telehealth services. To continue offering you this valuable service, the Mass General Hospital (MGH) TeleHealth program needs your help in covering a portion of the cost, just as a copay helps cover the cost of a traditional, in-person clinician’s visit.

  2. Are these charges covered by my health insurance?

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS), Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC), United Behavioral Health (UBH), and Beacon Health are currently the only health insurance plans that cover Virtual Visits for patients in Massachusetts. For all other patients who do not have this coverage, MGH charges a telehealth patient fee of $25 to help cover a portion of the cost that it pays to provide this service.

  3. How much will I be charged for my Virtual Visit?

    If you have one of the insurance plans listed above that offers coverage for Virtual Visits, you will be charged your usual copay or deductible for each visit. If not, you will be charged the $25 MGH telehealth patient fee for your visit. 

  4. How will I be billed for Virtual Visits with my clinician?

    You will be billed for Virtual Visits in the same way you are billed for any of your services at the MGH. Following your Virtual Visit, you will receive a bill by mail or electronically via Patient Gateway if you are enrolled.

  5. Will I still be billed if there are technical challenges during my Virtual Visit?

    If you cancel your Virtual Visit or end up completing your visit with your clinician by phone due to the technical challenges, you will not be charged.

  6. May I prepay in advance for multiple visits?

    Unfortunately prepayment for visits is not possible at this time. You will need to submit payment following each successfully completed Virtual Visit. 

  7. How can I pay for my Virtual Visit?

    You may pay by phone, mail, or electronically through Patient Gateway. All major credit cards and personal checks are accepted.

  8. Is this expense HSA or FSA eligible?

    Most patient payments or co-pays for medical services are eligible expenses for most HSA’s or FSA’s. However we recommend that you check with your employer or health insurance company to confirm.

  9. What should I do if I think I’ve received a bill in error?

    Please contact Patient Billing Solutions at 617-726-3884 if you believe you have received a bill in error.

Technical

  1. What do I need in order to participate?
    • A reliable internet connection
    • A webcam and a desktop computer, laptop or iPad that meets the following minimum requirements:
      • PC: Windows 7 or later
      • MAC: OSX 10.7 or later
      • iPad: iOS 6 or later
  2. 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!

  3. Why can’t I just use Skype or Facetime?

    We cannot guarantee those programs are secure enough for a visit with your provider. MGH uses the most advanced and secure videoconferencing software that will protect your visit from being hacked or intercepted.

  4. How do I start my visit?

    A few minutes before your scheduled visit, open the Virtual Visits application on the device you tested. Login, hit the button to start an appointment, and that’s it! A welcome video will play and your care provider will meet with you shortly.

  5. How do I know if my webcam and microphone are working?

    This will be confirmed when you have your test call prior to your appointment.

  6. 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 application.

  7. I just got disconnected from my virtual visit. How can I reconnect with my doctor?

    If you get disconnected from your visit you can hit “Start Appointment” and you will be connected to your provider again.

  8. How do I reset my password?

    There is a “Change/Reset Password” link located on the log-in screen. You can use this to reset your password.

Benefits

  1. What are the benefits of Virtual Visits?
    • Receive personalized and convenient care to you in the comfort of your home, work or any private location.
    • Reduce the time, cost and effort associated with traveling to an in-person office visit.
    • Stay more connected with your provider.