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An expert second opinion from the world’s leading specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital may include:

  • An evaluation of a previous diagnosis

  • An evaluation of a current or recommended therapy or treatment plan

  • A review of alternate therapies and treatment options

  • An evaluation of medical management recommendations

  • A review of non-surgical options

  • A review of pain management options

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the online second opinion program be used for medical emergencies or urgent care?

This program IS NOT designed to handle medical emergencies. If this is a medical emergency, please immediately call your local emergency service number (911 in the United States) to get prompt medical attention or go to your nearest hospital, emergency room, or urgent care center. DO not rely on electronic communications for assistance with immediate, urgent medical issues.

Who chooses the physician who will provide my child’s online second opinion?

After carefully reviewing your second opinion request and medical records, our experienced team will determine which Boston Children’s physician specialist is most appropriate to handle your online second opinion case. You may request a particular physician, and Grand Rounds as well as Boston Children’s will try to accommodate that request, but we cannot guarantee that specialist will be assigned to your case.

When will I know if my request has been approved?

Once our personal care coordinator has evaluated the request, he/she will contact you if there is any additional information required before we formally approve the case. Otherwise, your case will be processed according to our normal workflow.

Does a Boston Children’s doctor examine my child?

No. Online second opinions are performed remotely. Therefore, there is no need for an in-person examination. Your Boston Children’s physician will provide your second opinion after carefully reviewing all of the comprehensive medical information that is collected by Grand Rounds, which includes your local doctor's findings during your child’s physical examination.

When is payment due?

Payment is due when your second opinion request is submitted. All major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover) are accepted.

Does my insurance cover the second opinion?

Currently, most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations, so patients are responsible for the cost of the consultation. Boston Children's Hospital will not file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this Online Second Opinion service. We are happy to assist with any questions regarding this process.

What if I cannot afford the consult or ancillary fees for an online second opinion?

Please contact Boston Children’s Hospital Patient Financial Services at (617) 355-3397 for additional options when seeking an expert second opinion.

What if my primary care provider or treating specialist is unaware that I am seeking a second opinion?

We encourage you to have an open discussion with your local pediatrician or treating specialist about your interest in a second opinion. Unfortunately, Boston Children’s is not able to provide the online second opinion service without your local treating physician's acknowledgement and permission. In this situation, if you still wish to have a second opinion from a Boston Children’s Hospital specialist, we are happy to assist you in making an appointment to be seen at one of our many Massachusetts-based offices. Please call Boston Children’s Hospital at +1 (617) 355-5252 to schedule an appointment.

Are there any states or countries where you do not offer this service?

We may not be permitted to offer online second opinions to patients who are residents of or have current mailing addresses in certain countries. If you would like to find out if online second opinion services are available in your country, or to make arrangements to be seen in the US in one of our many Massachusetts-based offices, please call +1 (617) 355-5252.

What if I decide that I would prefer a face-to-face appointment during this process?

If you wish at any time to stop the online Second Opinion process and travel to Boston for a face-to face visit, please contact your personal care coordinator. However, you may not cancel your consultation once you have authorized us to proceed (upon completion of the online steps), we have received payment, and we have begun working on your request.

Can my medical records collected for this request be in a language other than English?

We are not able to process requests that are not in English, and we regret that we cannot provide a document translation service. All documents pertaining to your online second opinion must be translated into English prior to them being submitted to Grand Rounds.

What kind of computer do I need to access an online medical second opinion?

As long as your computer has Internet access and a common web browser, it is likely you may use our site and successfully submit a request. Our online Second Opinion Program website is compatible with all current operating systems and most browsers. We use secure browsing and data transmission technologies that meet stringent healthcare industry standards to safeguard your medical information while it is both in transit and at rest on our internal servers. This ensures that the only people who can access your data are you, the Grand Rounds coordinating team, and the Boston Children’s staff.

Do I need an email account to request an online second opinion?

Yes. Our staff will need to communicate with you via email to let you know that new information has been sent to your secure online portal account, which you will set up during the registration process. We do not send any medical information to your email account, since email is not a secure environment. We strictly send reminders and/or status update notifications about your second opinion, letting you know to log on to your secure account.

Who will obtain my medical records and clinical information?

The Grand Rounds team will work with the physician practices and hospitals that you designate to collect all of your relevant medical records and information. This includes paper documents, CDs, radiological (e.g. x-ray) films, pathological slides and paraffin blocks. If the Boston Children’s specialist requires additional documentation for your child, we and Grand Rounds will work with you to obtain that information.

Will my medical records and radiological (x-ray) films or pathology specimens be returned?

All copies of paper medical records that are sent to Grand Rounds will be destroyed once the information has been uploaded into our system. Medical imaging CDs and portable flash drives will be destroyed after the images and documents are uploaded and therefore cannot be returned. Pathology specimens, including slides and tissue, will be returned directly to the institution from which they were received.

Can I check on the status of my online second opinion request?

Yes. You may check the status of your request at any time. Simply go to the Grand Rounds online second opinion portal and log in to your secure account. Grand Rounds staff will communicate with you via email to let you know that new information has been sent to your secure online account. We do not send any medical information to your email account, as it is not a secure environment. We strictly send reminders and/or status updates about your second opinion, letting you know to log on to your secure account. We recommend checking your email at least once a day. We will notify you by email when:

  • your online request has been received and started
  • your supporting medical materials have been received
  • our experts have begun their review process
  • your second opinion is complete and available on the website
We may also contact you via phone or email if we have a question about your request. Since email is not a secure environment, we will not include any specific medical questions or information in the email. Instead, we will instruct you to contact the personal care coordinator or go to the Grand Rounds website and log on to your secure account for information regarding your online second opinion.

How will I receive my online second opinion report?

When your child’s second opinion report is completed, both you and your local physician will be notified via email that an update has been posted to your account. Your local physician will be able to securely retrieve the report from our second opinion portal using his or her own credentials. He or she can view the report online, print it out, or download it at their convenience. You should log onto the secure online portal with your own private credentials to retrieve a PDF copy of your report which you can view online, print out, or download at your convenience.

What will my online second opinion report include?

Your child’s Boston Children’s specialist will send you and your local treating physician a very thorough second opinion report addressing the specific questions you asked. Potential outcomes include:

  • The Boston Children’s specialist may have a different diagnosis and therefore, suggest a completely different treatment plan to you and your local physician.
  • The Boston Children’s specialist may agree with your local physician's diagnosis, but may offer a different treatment plan or additional treatment options.
  • The Boston Children’s specialist may agree with the diagnosis and the treatment plan of your first opinion, and this second opinion confirmation offers you peace of mind that you are moving forward in the right direction.
  • Once you have received your second opinion, you are welcome to come to Boston Children’s for your treatment.
  • When possible, your Boston Children’s specialist may also refer you to the most current literature (such as medical journal articles) regarding your child’s condition that may also help you make your health care decisions.
After you have received the second opinion report from your specialist at Boston Children’s, you should schedule adequate time with your local treating provider to review the recommendations and work with him or her to refine your diagnosis, treatment plan, or plan of care.

What if my local treating physician and I have additional questions after I receive my online medical second opinion report?

We understand that you both may have some additional questions once you receive your second opinion report. Please work with your personal care coordinator should you have any additional questions after you receive your report.

Will you store my credit card information?

Neither we nor Grand Rounds store any credit card information in our system. All financial transactions are processed by Grand Rounds securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

Will you share my medical information with anyone else?

No. Only the Grand Rounds and Boston Children’s team managing your case will see your medical information. This team may include:

  • your personal care coordinator
  • Grand Rounds staff physician who helps triage your request to the most appropriate Boston Children’s specialist
  • Boston Children’s physician(s) who author(s) your second opinion
  • any medical consultants, such as pathologists, radiologists or other Boston Children’s health care professionals who may be asked to review your case

If I decide to bring my child to Boston Children’s for treatment, can he or she see the same doctor who provided my online second opinion?

If your second opinion physician specialist has a long wait time, you may elect to see one of his or her physician colleagues. It is also possible that your medical problem requires your child to see another Boston Children’s specialist. If this is the case, the appointment schedulers will coordinate your appointments for you.

Note: The account holder should be the parent or guardian for patients under 18.