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!
Update on COVID Testing 12/23/2020
Hello everyone. We have some exciting news to share regarding our COVID testing! We are now working with laboratories who can process COVID PCR nasal swabs within 24-72hrs (on average 36-48hrs). This turnaround time is the same for all visits in which a COVID nasal swab is completed, including symptomatic patients, asymptomatic exposed patients, and asymptomatic patients wishing to obtain COVID testing for some other reason (travel, visiting family, college, etc). Access to high quality molecular testing with quick turnaround times has been an ongoing challenge for many pediatric practices. And while we realize that testing capability and capacity can change month to month, we are confident in our new system.
Secondly, we can now offer rapid COVID testing in the office (ie. antigen testing). Testing results are available within 15 minutes of the visit. While MA-DPH has adopted the use of these tests into their quarantine clearance guidelines for asymptomatic patients who have been exposed to COVID-19, to our knowledge school systems have not started accepting these tests as a part of their clearance guidelines. PCR tests remain more sensitive, and thus are still considered the gold standard of COVID-19 testing. With that in mind, some may still desire an antigen test in certain circumstances, such as prior to visiting a loved one, participating in a certain extracurricular event, or for any other personal reason. We are happy to offer antigen testing as an additional option available through our office.
As always, we will update you on any changes as they occur in regard to testing. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
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.