Located in the heart of Needham, Massachusetts, Needham Pediatrics is a primary care pediatric practice for patients from birth through 20 years of age.
We would like to welcome you to our brand new website! We have added some exciting new features for our patients, including a link to the AAP Patient Education Library to allow you to find useful information to help you care for your child!
If you are new to us, we welcome you to explore this website to learn more about Needham Pediatrics. Please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone if you wish to join our practice. It will be our pleasure to serve you!
Hello everyone. We wanted to pass along an operational update now that we are well into the winter. Here are some current issues we wanted to highlight:
1) COVID Test Turnaround Times: We are now using the Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) laboratory for the bulk of our testing. Turnaround times for BCH tests are within 12-24hrs. These tests are for BOTH symptomatic patients and asymptomatic patients with a known exposure. We additionally continue to offer testing for travel and other convenience PCR testing with approximately 24-48hrs turnaround time. We also continue to have in-office rapid antigen testing.
2) COVID Results/MyChart Interface: COVID test results sent to the BCH lab will be found in the lab results section of MyChart. Test result reports from other labs will continue to be scanned into the chart and available in the "letters" section of MyChart.
3) Front Desk Update: We are re-opening the Front Desk. Staff members will be able to collect copays, help with scheduling future visits, and provide other needed services upon check-out from the office. We will still room patients from their cars with our current texting system, and we continue to not use the waiting room as a sitting area.
4) Staff COVID Vaccinations: Our entire office staff have completed their COVID vaccine series. While we take pride in our infection control measures that remain in place, we all felt like this was important information to share with our patients and families we continue to see in the office.
5) Information Regarding COVID Vaccination for Children and Adolescents: As of today, no COVID vaccine is approved in the United States for any patient younger than 16 years of age. Currently, patients 16 years of age or older with two high risk conditions, which are specifically itemized by State and CDC guidelines, qualify for vaccination. Very few of our patients meet these criteria. Additionally, Needham Pediatrics has not been allocated any vaccine to give to our patients. The State plan currently is prioritizing vaccine allocation to mass vaccination sites, rather than to individual doctors' offices like ours. We have registered with the State and have indicated our desire to participate in the COVID vaccination effort here at Needham Pediatrics. We will certainly provide updates as soon as vaccine becomes available. In the meantime, patients or families who feel they meet the State / CDC criteria as high-risk individuals should seek vaccination at the mass vaccination sites made available by the State.
We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. We will continue to provide updates of any new operational changes as they occur.
Needham Pediatrics Fall Newsletter
Hi everyone. We wanted to pass along an operational update for the early fall now that school has begun. Our general infection control policies remain in place as they have throughout the pandemic. We also have flu clinics up and running and are now booking flu clinics throughout October. Here are some additional notes we wanted to highlight:
- Text/Messaging Line: We are still using our messaging line to room patients for office visits and flu clinic visits. We appreciate all the great feedback we have received on this process. As a reminder, this line is NOT a working phone line that takes calls. Additionally, it is NOT a line to use for medical questions or concerns as it is operated by our non-medical office staff. When you arrive for your appointment PLEASE TEXT 781-343-1017. You will receive a message back to your phone when we are ready to room you from the parking lot.
- Testing: We have started testing for COVID-19 over the past few months in the office. We are currently performing PCR testing that we are sending out to Quest Laboratories to process. At present, turnaround times are averaging 48-96 hours.
- Calling for test results: Due to our higher call volumes, we are encouraging patients/parents to try to wait at least four days after their respiratory swab was completed prior to calling the office for test results. We are checking on results daily and will absolutely let you know if you or your child’s test results come back sooner. Additionally, results should now be visible via the MyChart Mobile Application through your smart phone.
- MyChart Messages: We are happy to see many people have been utilizing the MyChart emailing application to send providers questions directly. We just want to remind everyone that the emailing application is for NON-URGENT (non-same day) medical concerns. Please direct any urgent medical concerns to the nurse phone line.
- We would like to remind our patients and families not to wear masks with valves. These masks protect the wearer to some degree. But because the valve allows your exhaled air to escape unimpeded, these masks do not protect others.
As always, thank you all for your support and understanding during the pandemic. We will continue to pass along major operational updates as they develop over the coming months. We hope everyone stays safe and enjoys a healthy start to the school year.
Billing Update regarding Telehealth and COVID Testing Visits
Hi everyone. We want to share some information about how we bill for care at Needham Pediatrics, specifically regarding some changes that have arisen during the COVID pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly rolled out Telehealth capability, allowing many of our patients to get care remotely if they are unable to come into the office or feel safer being treated remotely. There are two types of telehealth visits: (1) videoconferencing encounters, and (2) audio-only encounters.
We bill both types of telehealth visits to your insurer, just as we would for an in-person visit. During the COVID-19 pandemic, because of a mandate from Governor Baker, insurers have significantly expanded their coverage of telehealth services. In most cases, your insurer will provide coverage for these visits in the same manner that they cover in-office visits. Telehealth encounters may be subject to co-payments or may be applied to your deductible, depending on your insurance plan.
Not all insurers are treating Telehealth visits in the same manner. If you are unsure about the specifics of your coverage for these visits, we suggest you contact your insurer. You are also free to contact our Billing team if you have questions regarding a bill you received from us.
Nursing Visits for COVID Testing
Patients who need COVID tests can have the tests done at Needham Pediatrics. Symptomatic patients or asymptomatic patients with an exposure will typically be given an appointment with our doctors or nurse practitioner for a clinical evaluation and for testing, if indicated. These visits will be billed with an "evaluation and management" or E/M code, as is standard for any "sick visit" in our office.
Asymptomatic patients without an exposure can have a COVID test done via a nurse visit, without needing to be seen by one of our providers. This type of visit is appropriate for asymptomatic patients who need testing because of travel, school, or an extracurricular activity.
Nurse visits for COVID testing will generate a billing charge from us. For these visits, we use a specific nurse-only billing code (E/M code of 99211). This charge is meant to cover our office costs associated with staff time, utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing supplies, and cleaning of examination rooms before and after your visit. In most cases your insurance will cover this charge, but depending on your insurance plan, deductibles or co-pays may apply. If you are unsure about the specifics of your insurance coverage, you should contact your insurer.
Currently, we send all our swabs for COVID-19 testing to either BID-Needham or Quest Laboratories. The labs will also generate a charge for performing the COVID test, separate from our office charge. In most cases, your insurance will cover this charge; again, co-pays and deductibles may apply.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Needham Pediatrics Welcomes Dr. Kailyn McDermott
Needham Pediatrics is very excited to introduce Dr. Kailyn McDermott! Dr. McDermott will be joining our practice towards the end of July 2020, and she will be working Wednesdays and Fridays. She is accepting new patients. Please contact our office if you would like to book an appointment with her.
Coronavirus Update June 2020
At Needham Pediatrics, we are committed to providing safe and outstanding medical care. There are new guidelines in place promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to protect patients and staff as best we can during this reopening phase and beyond.
Some of these organizational changes include:
· Thorough screening questions for all patients and their household contacts prior to the visit
· Anyone over the age of two is required to wear a face covering when entering the office
· Patients will continue to complete check-in from their cars on arrival and will be roomed directly from the parking lot
· We are managing appointments to keep sick and well visits separate as much as possible
· We prefer only one caregiver accompany your child for each visit
· Appointments are best handled by phone. Copays may be made via MyCharts in addition
· Individual exam rooms are cleaned and disinfected between every encounter
We are continuing to offer in-person and virtual appointments for both well and sick visits. Sick visits will be triaged in order to assess the optimal way we can address each issue, whether it be via telehealth or in-office care.
We look forward to seeing you and appreciate all of your support over the past few months. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the office with any questions or concerns. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy heading into the summer.
Coronavirus Update March 20, 2020
As you are well aware, COVID-19 now is classified as a pandemic, spread worldwide, including many cases in the Boston area. Around 300 people have been diagnosed in Massachusetts, but most likely the actual number of infections is much higher.
Based on what we know so far, children are at low risk for complications of COVID-19. Middle aged and elderly people account for the great majority of serious cases. So, even if your child does acquire COVID-19, the illness will most likely be a minor flu-like illness which can be easily managed with routine care. Rarely, children will be hospitalized with pneumonia. Serious complications (requiring ICU care, for instance) are very rare in children.
In most cases, if your child has fever and cough but appears well, it is appropriate to manage with simple supportive care (rest, fluids, and fever control). If your child is younger than 2 years of age, or if fevers persist beyond a couple of days, it would be appropriate to contact us to consider an office evaluation. If your child appears to have trouble breathing or significant lethargy or significant dehydration, please do contact us immediately. In most such cases, we would refer you to the Emergency Department.
Because of the concern for COVID-19, many patients prefer not to come into our office for routine care. In some cases (but not all), we may be able to manage your concern via a Telehealth (or "virtual" visit). Please contact our office if you feel you need a virtual visit, an we can help you make arrangements.
Here are some links to the CDC and Massachusetts DPH for reliable information about COVID-19.
Reader's Choice Winner 2018!
Thanks to our patients for voting us Needham's favorite for Primary Care Physician in the 2018 Wicked Local Readers' Choice Award. Thanks also for voting us Blue Ribbon winner for best doctors in Needham in Hometown Weekly Newspapers. We appreciate these recognitions and look forward to continuing to meet your needs in the coming year!
We are proud to be members of the PPOC, and to be affiliated with Boston Children's Hospital and Newton-Wellesley Hospital.