What is a Virtual Visit?
Virtual visits are video or phone appointments with your health care provider or health care team from the comfort of your home, the convenience of work, or from a private location. Virtual visits are also available for patients of all ages but those under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.
There is no physical contact between the patient and provider during a virtual visit. Some clinical needs may not be appropriate for virtual visits and your provider will make that determination.
Whether it's a first-time consultation or follow-up appointment, our physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and more are here to help you stay connected to care.
To obtain additional information about our virtual care terms and policies, visit the virtual care resources page.
Virtual visits are NOT for medical emergencies. For medical emergencies, please call 9-1-1.
Benefits of Virtual Visits
- Address a new medical concern (like new symptoms or changes in your health)
- Follow up on a specific health condition
- Review or order lab work, imaging, or test results
- Answer questions about a medication or therapy, order a new medication, or refill a prescription
- Discuss an upcoming procedure or surgery
Looking to make a virtual visit appointment?
In order to have a virtual visit with a Mass General Brigham provider, you must first become an established Mass General Brigham patient. To become a patient, please contact the provider you would like to see.
If you are already an established patient of Mass General Brigham, please call or message your provider through Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway directly to see if a virtual visit is an option.
If you are located outside of Massachusetts, please check with your provider to verify if virtual visits are available to you.
Please complete the steps below before your virtual visit appointment with your provider.
- Enroll or log in to Patient Gateway. Please contact Patient Gateway if you have any questions at 1-800-745-9683.
Patient Gateway website
- Download and install the 'Zoom Meeting' video application, set up and test your device.
If using a Safari browser, please disable popup blockers. You do not need to create a Zoom account. Visit the Zoom test website to make sure audio and video work well on your device. Call Patient Gateway at 1-800-745-9683 for further technical assistance.
- Log into Patient Gateway. If you plan to use a mobile device or tablet for your Virtual Visit, download the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway app and log in. If you plan to use a Windows or Mac computer, please visit Patient Gateway and login.
Access your virtual visit appointment on Patient Gateway.
Mass General Brigham strives to ensure that access to a virtual visit is available to everyone, regardless of the language they speak or their skill with technology. If your needs cannot be met with our standard Patient Gateway/Zoom solution, simpler but secure methods of connecting with your provider are readily available. Call your provider’s office to discuss these options.
How to access a Patient Gateway virtual visit from your mobile device or tablet
How to access a Patient Gateway virtual visit from your computer
Frequently asked questions about virtual visits
Am I still able to see my provider in person if I start using virtual visits?
Of course! You and your provider will develop a plan of care that will work for both of you.
Can I participate in a virtual visit from any location?
You can participate in a virtual visit from many locations (at home, at work, etc.). Simply be sure that you have a reliable internet/Wi-Fi connection and that you are somewhere quiet and private. If you are located outside of Massachusetts, please check with your provider to verify if virtual visits are available to you.
I’m interested in doing a virtual visit with my provider. How do I begin?
Please check with your Mass General Brigham provider to find out if they are participating in the virtual visits program and if your visit would be appropriate to conduct virtually.
Is Zoom safe to use between my provider and me?
Yes, just like a regular appointment, your virtual visit is private and confidential. However, it is very important that you conduct your visits in a private, secure location.
We are using a special version of Zoom used for healthcare visits that has several security features that are not available with other versions of Zoom. Each individual appointment creates a new meeting link between provider and patient. There is also a waiting room function providers use to admit people into the Zoom meeting so that no uninvited guests may join. All the video calls are encrypted, video and chat cannot be recorded and personal health information is not saved by the video system. Connecting to the visit through Patient Gateway provides another layer of security. Patient Gateway virtual visits are designed to make seeing your provider easy, while keeping you and your health information safe and secure.
How do I find information about consent?
You can find information about virtual care informed consent on the virtual care resources page.
Before your visit
What do I need to participate?
- A Patient Gateway account
- A Zoom video application downloaded and installed to your device
- A reliable internet connection
- A PC/Mac that meets the following minimum requirements:
- Chrome or Firefox as an internet browser
- Speakers or Headphones
- An iPhone/iPad/Android Device with:
- The Patient Gateway Application
- Front-facing camera
How can I get access to Patient Gateway?
To sign up for a new account, reset your password, or access your existing account visit Patient Gateway. You can also download the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway app to your mobile device or tablet.
How do I start my visit?
A few minutes before your scheduled visit, log into Patient Gateway and hit the button to start your appointment. Your care provider will meet with you shortly.
How do I disable popup blockers?
Please find instructions for disabling popup blockers here.
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 once you are connected with your provider.
Can I invite a third party (spouse, caretaker, etc.) to my appointment who would be joining from another location?
Yes, you can invite a third party to join your appointment. Please let your clinician know that you would like someone else to join at the beginning of your visit. Be prepared to share a mobile number or email for them at the start of the visit so they can receive a link to join the visit.
Costs & payment
How much will I be charged for my virtual visit?
Depending on your insurance coverage, you will be charged your usual co-pay/deductible. For more information, please contact your insurance company.
Will I still be billed if there are technical challenges during my virtual visit?
If technical issues prevent your visit from being completed over video, but it still occurs over the telephone, you will be charged for the visit. If the visit cannot be completed by either method, you will not be charged.
How do I pay for my virtual visit?
Following your virtual visit, you will receive a bill by mail or electronically via Patient Gateway. You may pay by phone, mail or electronically through Patient Gateway. All major credit cards and personal checks are accepted.
Is this expense HSA or FSA eligible?
Most patient payments or co-pays for medical services are eligible expenses for most HSAs or FSAs. However, we recommend that you check with your employer or health insurance company to confirm.
What should I do if I think I've received a bill in error?
Please contact the Mass General Brigham Billing Office at 617-726-3884 if you believe you have received a bill in error.
Have a question or need support?
Technical Support for Patients
Please contact Patient Gateway at 1-800-745-9683.
Explore other virtual care options
Learn about On Demand for urgent care and COVID-like symptoms. Need a second opinion? You can get one online from our world-class specialists.