Welcome to Needham Pediatrics
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 Libraryto 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!
Update on COVID Vaccination for Patients 6months-4years
As you likely know, the FDA and CDC have approved COVID vaccination for young children and recommend that patients 6 months and older now be vaccinated.
At Needham Pediatrics, we have placed an order with the State DPH for vaccine for the 6 months through 4 years old age group. As soon as our order arrives, we will begin scheduling clinics. For these young patients, we will have the Moderna vaccine, which currently requires two doses separated by at least 28 days (recommended range of 4-8 weeks).
We do recommend that our young patients be vaccinated. While it is true that COVID infection is typically mild in young children, there are rare exceptions, with some cases leading to hospitalization and even death. Furthermore, protecting your child will likely reduce the likelihood of spread to parents, grandparents, or other vulnerable family members. The safety profile of COVID vaccines has been excellent. While it is true that we do not yet have abundant data for these young children, the experience with older children and adults gives us good reason to be optimistic. In virtually every case, the risks of complications from COVID infection outweigh the very small risks of vaccination.
We are aware of no advantage to intentionally delaying vaccination till later in the summer or the fall. We recommend getting your child vaccinated soon.
We plan to schedule COVID vaccination clinics dedicated to providing this vaccine for our young patients. We will provide further information as soon as we're able to proceed.
Information Regarding Allergies
Hi everyone. Seasonal allergies are hitting hard right now, and we are hearing from many families suffering from the high pollen counts. Included below are some links to a few helpful tip sheets from healthychildren.org about seasonal and other environmental allergens. Let us know if you have additional questions or concerns, but please be advised that our call volumes and MyChart message volumes are much higher than normal currently. We will absolutely get back to you but turnaround times are a little longer currently given this uptick in volume. We hope these links can provide some helpful information as well. Thanks!
Updates in COVID Guidance
Close contact definition: Someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.
For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
Testing day 5 after exposure is recommended. (Day 0 is the day of exposure).
If you develop symptoms at any time during the 10 days after exposure, you should immediately isolate until you have a COVID test confirming you are negative. If positive follow guidelines below.
Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure and test on day 5 if possible.
People who test positive (PCR or home test) should isolate for 5 days and, if no symptoms on day 5 (and at least 24 hours fever free), they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 additional days to minimize the risk of infecting others. If symptoms are present at day 5, isolation period remains 10 days
For children unable to wear a mask the isolation period remains 10 days.
1) Flu Vaccine: Flu vaccine has arrived. You can call the front desk to schedule an appointment for a flu clinic visit for your child. Your child may also receive the vaccination at any upcoming office visit or well child check. Siblings can tag along to these visits for flu vaccination, but please notify the front desk in advance so we can schedule any add-on vaccination visits appropriately.
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.