Mass. Eye and Ear Patient Guide

Providing you the highest quality of care and service excellence


Providing you the highest quality of care and service excellence are our top priorities. Not every patient who visits Mass. Eye and Ear will stay in the hospital. Many of our patients are "ambulatory" or "outpatients." This patient guide is designed to help you find quick answers to your questions, whether your visit here is for a few hours or for a few days.

Please follow this link for the International Patient Guide.

Places to Stay

If you live far from Boston, you will need a place to stay, so we have provided a list of hotels and other accommodations. Whether you simply need a hotel room, short-term housing, or anything in between, this list of local accommodations can help you to start planning your trip.


In addition to our main campus at 243 Charles Street, overlooking Storrow Drive and the Charles River, Mass. Eye and Ear has 18 locations throughout Eastern Mass. and Rhode Island.

In Massachusetts, we have expanded as far north as Stoneham, as far west as Concord and as far south as Duxbury. To the southwest, we have expanded to Plainville, MA, and Providence, RI. 

Different locations provide different services, so find the suburban location that provides the care that you need.

Support Groups

Some health news is difficult to understand or to cope with. In an effort to educate patients and families, or to provide emotional support, we offer a variety of support groups and condition-specific information groups.

Learn more about our support groups.

Notice of Privacy Practices

Protecting patient information is one of our highest priorities as an organization.

Learn how Mass. Eye and Ear securely stores your medical information and how you may access it.

Race and Ethnicity Reporting

In compliance with Massachusetts regulations, Mass. Eye and Ear asks all patients their race and ethnicity.

This information is used only to provide better care, including appropriate interpreter services, translation of patient information into different languages, and ensuring culturally appropriate care.

This information is not required, and will not affect the quality of care our physicians provide.

Read more about these questions in several languages.

Social Work

We understand that this can be a stressful time for you and your family, so our licensed clinical social workers and continuing-care registered nurses are here to provide information, counseling, and referral services before, during and after your Mass. Eye and Ear visit.

Learn more about social work at Mass. Eye and Ear and how to contact the department.


Insurance and paying for your health care can certainly be confusing at times. To learn more, review our insurance and managed-care guidelines, which include information about insurance coverage, co-payments, and doctor referrals.

If you would rather talk with a hospital representative about your insurance coverage, our billing and financial staff members are ready to help.

About Your Bill

Our patients usually receive two bills – one from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and one from the physician group, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates, Inc. (MEEA).

The bill from MEEI includes costs such as outpatient services, testing, prescription drugs, and supplies used in patient care. The bill from MEEA includes costs for a doctor’s service.

Read more about the breakdown of your bill, and who to contact with questions.

Financial Assistance

Mass. Eye and Ear is committed to providing affordable quality health care to our patients. If you need assistance in paying for your services, learn how our financial assistance program might be able to help you.


Every day, our nurses provide compassionate care and demonstrate respect for all patients, whether they are here for routine care or are facing a life-altering condition.

If your nurse provides exceptional care, please take the time to nominate your caregiver for a Daisy Award.


Our staff anesthesiologists have medical staff appointments at Harvard Medical School, and our certified nurse anesthetists are highly trained.
You will have a pre-surgery appointment with your anesthesiologist, and may need an EKG prior to your surgery.

Learn more about Anesthesia at Mass. Eye and Ear, and how to contact an anesthesiologist.

Surgical Guides

We realize that surgery can be a time of great anxiety for patients and families, whether undergoing surgery for the first time or the 10th time.

Our “Pre-Operative Guide for Adult Patients” and "Pre-Operative Guide for Pediatric Patients and Their Families" will help walk you through the pre-surgical process and ease your worries.

Always remember that you can contact your doctor’s office with any questions.

Medical Records

Our Health Information Services Department has very strict policies regarding access to patient records. Where our primary goal is to protect your personal information, only you are allowed access to your personal health information and other personal details.

Any request for medical records must be submitted by you, in writing, and signed by you, before we can release any health or personal information to you or to your new physician.

Access our Patient Authorization Form, and learn more.


To ensure that you receive the best possible care during times of illness, surgery and even wellness, it is important that you be your own best advocate. Where many patients take medications on a daily basis, it is very important that you know what your medications are, when to take them, and the dose that you take.

Mass. Eye and Ear offers a “Current Medications List” form for you to fill out in the privacy of your own home, and to keep with you for doctors’ appointments, overnight trips, or general use.

Download the form and find learn more about medication.

Outpatient Pharmacy

Staffed by licensed pharmacists, our Outpatient Pharmacy is located on the 7th floor and dispenses medications prescribed by our physicians to patients around the time of their visit. We also provide medication-related counseling for discharged and ambulatory-care patients.

Our primary role is to provide compounded medications. We do not take any prescription insurance, thus patients with prescriptions for commercially available medications are encouraged to go to a retail pharmacy to use their prescription insurance. We will still fill prescriptions for commercially available medications if the patient wishes, but we do maintain a limited supply.

Pick-up hours:
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Call: 617-573-3299
Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Patient Stories

Every person has a story, as do our patients. Some of our patients have agreed to share their Mass. Eye and Ear experiences with you.

For those of you who are not currently patients, we hope that these stories will demonstrate how we can help you on the road to wellness. For our current patients, we hope that these patients' experiences can ease any concern and anxiety that you might be experiencing prior to surgery or other care.

Patient Education

Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, but we do not believe in teaching only clinicians. Part of our teaching mission is to educate our patients and the community about disease and disease prevention.

From amblyopia to retinitis pigmentosa, and from balance disorders to sinusitis, learn more about the conditions that we most frequently encounter and treat.

Pain Management

We believe that all patients have a right to pain relief. Doctors, nurses and other staff will always monitor your pain level and location, and will work to ease your pain or discomfort, whether in the hospital or at home.

Learn more about pain relief at Mass. Eye and Ear, and what we expect from you.

Patient Rights

We strive to provide high-quality care to all our patients, regardless of background.

Read a summary of your rights as a patient, as outlined in the Massachusetts Patients’ Rights Statute, Chapter 111, Sec.70E, and learn how to contact our patient-care representative.

For All Visitors

If you're visiting a family member or friend at Mass. Eye and Ear's main campus on Charles Street in Boston, you'll first need directions and parking information.

Once you arrive, you might like to learn more about visiting hours, waiting areas, where to grab a coffee or a meal, our interfaith chaplaincy, interpreter services, or where to purchase a gift. We have create a page with all the valuable information you may find helpful as a visitor.

Wireless Internet Access

Depending upon the duration of your visit, you may need to access the Internet to text a family member, view work email or check the news and latest box scores while you wait.

We offer free wi-fi to visitors and patients in common areas such as conference rooms, hallways, the cafeteria, waiting rooms and the library. 

Request an Appointment

For your convenience, we enable you to request appointments with our ophthalmology or otolaryngology specialists, either online or by phone.

PLEASE NOTE: This form is not for emergency services. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911, go to the nearest hospital emergency room, or to the Mass. Eye and Ear Emergency Room, located on the ground floor of 243 Charles Street in Boston.