Online Medical Second Opinion Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers to Review Before Starting Your Request

Questions and Answers to Review Before Submitting Your Request

Questions and Answers to Review Once the Online Request is Completed

General Questions and Answers about Cleveland Clinic


Why should I receive an online medical second opinion from Cleveland Clinic?
Cleveland Clinic is one of the nation's most prestigious healthcare organizations built on a commitment to international leadership and top quality patient care, education and research. Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit, multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education.Ranked No.4 by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the nation's top hospitals and No.1 in the nation for heart care every year since 1995 and this year our Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute received the distinction of ranking No. 1 in both urology and nephrology. Cleveland Clinic is dedicated to providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation.

When your health - and perhaps even your life - is at stake, you want to make sure you are making the most informed decision about your diagnosis and treatment plan by choosing the best possible medical care for your medical condition. At the root of your care is your physician and Cleveland Clinic has some of the top physician specialists in the nation and perhaps even the world. Cleveland Clinic physician specialists are consistently recognized as experts in their fields by both their peers and consumers. They are all board-certified and frequently lecture in their areas of expertise and publish extensively. Many hold leadership positions in their professional organizations and lead research trials to bring the latest medical advancements to patients as quickly as possible. The MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion program enables individuals to reach our top specialists all by the click of your mouse.
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When should I consider a MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion from Cleveland Clinic?
There are many situations in which an online second opinion from Cleveland Clinic is valuable. You should think about using this program if you:

  • want reassurance that you've received the correct diagnosis and that you're receiving the most appropriate medical care for your individual condition
  • are diagnosed with a chronic illness and want to confirm the proposed treatment plan
  • are faced with a serious illness that does not require immediate treatment and you want to confirm your proposed treatment plan is the right one for you
  • have been offered more than one treatment alternative and do not know which one to choose
  • have been told you need surgery and want to confirm the treatment recommendation
  • have been advised to undergo a controversial or experimental treatment
  • have multiple medical problems that place you at greater risk of suffering complications as a result of surgery or other medical treatment
  • want more answers to your questions to help you make the most informed decision about your health or that of a loved one
  • want a second opinion from our world-renowned specialist physicians, but do not want to incur the time and expense of travel

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Are there consent forms that must be submitted in order to obtain an online second opinion from MyConsult?
Yes, the following consent forms must be completed and submitted to MyConsult in order to receive an online second opinion.

  • Patient Consent Form: All patients must complete and submit this form.
  • Physician Request for Consultation Form: Federal law requires U.S. patients living outside the state of Ohio to submit this form. It must be completed by a physician licensed in the patient's home state.
  • Proxy Consent Form: please complete this form if someone will be assisting you with the MyConsult process as a requestor or is assisting you with medical record collection. Top

How much does an online second opinion cost?
The cost to receive an online medical second opinion is $565.00. If a pathology review (reading) is required to complete your online medical second opinion (as is the case in most cancer-related diagnoses), there will be an additional charge of $180.00 for that review for a total cost of $745.00 for the second opinion and the reading.

Since we do not accept cash, your payment options include one of the following:

  • A major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover) that will not be charged until your second opinion is completed and ready for your review online.
  • A certified bank check or a certified money order from a U.S. bank and in U.S. dollars that will not be processed until your second opinion is completed and ready for your review online.
While we will not process your payment of the online second opinion until the final consultation report has been completed and ready for your review online, it is important to understand that once you have given online authorization in Step 7 to the MyConsult staff to proceed with your second opinion request, your opinion process has begun. At this time you may not cancel your request and you will be responsible for the full payment.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless your employer provides the MyConsult program as an employee benefit (see the FAQ below), the online medical second opinion is your financial responsibility. If your employer offers an employee-sponsored medical savings account, this program may be eligible for reimbursement. Please check with your employer's benefits department for clarification.
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Will my insurance pay for an online second opinion?
MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinions are not covered by Medicare and we are unable to accept any insurance payments. There is no procedure code (CPT code) for this service.

Due to the fact that specific procedure codes have not been assigned to Web-based consultations by insurance companies and is typically not a service recognized by insurance plans as a covered service, it is unlikely that your insurance carrier will reimburse you for your MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion.

This service is not covered by Medicare. Medicare coverage does not include evaluation services that are not provided face to face (meaning in a physician's office) with the beneficiary.

Cleveland Clinic MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion will provide an itemized statement/receipt for your consultation that may be used by you should you choose to seek reimbursement from an employer sponsored medical savings account or other plans. Cleveland Clinic's MyConsult financial services team is not able to file a claim for online consultation services with any insurance company and we are unable to accept any insurance payments.
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Will my company pay for an online medical second opinion?
A number of employers have contracted with Cleveland Clinic to provide the MyConsult program as an employee benefit. To find out if your company offers this benefit and if you are eligible, you may contact your company's human resource representative. If your employer offers an employee-sponsored medical savings account, this program may be eligible for reimbursement. Please check with your employer's benefits department for clarification.
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Can anyone in any state or any country use the MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion program?
Cleveland Clinic's MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion is available to any individual that has been diagnosed with a disease or condition and is interested in receiving an expert medical second opinion that includes treatment options or alternatives, as well as recommendations regarding your future therapeutic considerations. If a person over the age of 18 would like another individual to request an online second opinion on their behalf, they may do so by providing us with a patient consent form.

However, there are a few exceptions. Most states do require that the patient's physician sign a "request for consultation" form, which is available online at the MyConsult website.

We are unable to offer online medical second opinions to patients whose mailing address is in Guam or North Dakota. We are abiding by all state regulations in offering this service. However, if you do not reside in a state that permits an electronic second opinion and you wish to obtain a second opinion from a Cleveland Clinic physician we will be happy to assist you in making an appointment. Please call 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223.

ATTENTION: California Residents
Residents of California that would like to request an online medical second opinion need to inquire with our clinical operations staff at 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223 prior to filling out any online registration information. Due to current restrictions and limitations in your state, our staff will determine your eligibility in advance. Once we determine your eligibility, you may proceed with your request. Thank you for your cooperation.

Click Here to begin registration for the MyConsult program.
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What medical conditions are included in the second opinion program?
To browse a list of conditions and services by keyword, click Here.
We are unable to provide an online medical second opinion for active Workman's compensation cases or any cases involving litigation. We would be happy to facilitate an appointment at Cleveland Clinic, please contact us 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223.
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Can I request an online second opinion for someone else?
Yes. If the patient is over 18 they need to provide written consent for another individual to request their online second opinion. A signed proxy form can serve as written consent. Please print out a Cleveland Clinic proxy form (Click Here for the form) and have the patient complete, sign and date it. Then include this form with the packet of materials you send to the MyConsult office address.

If the patient is under 18 and you are their parent or legal guardian, you do not need to submit a proxy form. If the patient is under 18 and you are not their parent or legal guardian, then the patient's parent or legal guardian needs to complete a proxy form. Please include this signed form with the materials you send to the MyConsult office address.

All of our patients requesting an online medical second opinion from outside of the state of Ohio must submit a signed physician request for consultation form. It should be signed by a physician involved in the care of the patient and it must match the patient's state of residence. Physician consent forms are available on our website in the checklist section. Please click here to download the form.
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How Do I Obtain My Medical Records?

In order to obtain these items, you will need to contact your local physician's office or the facility where your tests were performed. While the process may vary, patients typically need to give the facility a written request for the information. For your convenience, we have drafted a letter template that you may find useful to print and send to your physician's office to request your medical records.

The records may include paper files, pathology slides, X-rays and other radiology and laboratory findings. Requests normally include the patient's name, address, birth date, social security number and dated signature. If the patient is unable to sign the request form, a legal representative may sign for the patient.

Please make sure you specify that you would like the records released to you, rather than released to the Cleveland Clinic. Your physician or facility may require seven to 14 days to complete your request and may charge you a fee.

If you request pathology slides, call the pathology department of the facility that evaluated them and ask about their procedure for obtaining original stained slides. We strongly encourage you to obtain all necessary medical records, such as reports, films, slides, etc. and send them to us (along with all consent forms) in one single package as this will ensure that all necessary medical information stays together in one complete package.

In many instances, pathology glass slides are sent directly to the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office by the outside facility. To provide a high-quality consult it is important that our physicians have access to your original tests and information. If there is something on the checklist that you cannot obtain, please contact the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult Office at 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223 to determine if we can proceed with the consult.

International Patients that are sending pathology samples need to indicate the following information on their package's commercial invoice to avoid delay at U.S. Customs:

  • This specimen is for my medical second opinion review by the Department of Pathology at Cleveland Clinic located in Cleveland, Ohio.
    • The slides and/or paraffin blocks (including corresponding pathology reports) are non-infectious and contain non-contagious human tissue taken from the organ tissue that are fed and /or preserved in paraffin.
    • This specimen has never been cultured.

Please send all materials to the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office. For your convenience, you may print out and use the mailing label provided on our website in the "Mailing Instructions" section of the Request an Opinion process.

Please use a mailing service that requires a signature from the recipient, such as Federal Express, DHL or registered U.S. mail. Our address is:

MyConsult Office H2-260
Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH. 44195
U.S.A.

Once you receive your online second opinion, we will use an overnight courier service to return any films, scans and other materials within approximately two weeks. In most cases, the pathology glass slides are sent directly back to the facility that sent them to us. We do not return medical records and diagnostic reports (paperwork).

If you have any questions about your checklist items or mailing instructions, don't hesitate to contact us at 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223.
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Can I send my medical records to Cleveland Clinic in a language other than English?
We are not able to process requests that are not in English and we do not provide a document translation service. All submissions pertaining to your online medical second opinion must be translated prior to being submitted to the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office. Medical translation services (not within Cleveland Clinic) are available and we would suggest researching to find the one that best suits your needs.
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Do I need my local doctor's permission to request a MyConsult second opinion?
Although you may contact Cleveland Clinic directly to request an online second opinion, you will still be required (if located outside of the state of Ohio within the United States) to submit a signed physician consent form from a physician involved in your care. The physician must be located in your state of residence to comply with State Medical Board regulations. Physician consent forms are available on our website in the materials list section. Please click here to download the form.
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Can I get copies of my medical records and/or test results?
Yes. You have the right to your own medical records and/or test results. In order to obtain these items, you will need to contact your local physician's office or the facility where your tests were performed. While the process may vary, patients typically need to give the facility a written request for the information. The records may include paper files, pathology slides, X-rays and other radiology and laboratory findings. Requests normally include the patient's name, address, birth date, social security number and dated signature. If the patient is unable to sign the request form, a legal representative may sign for them.

Please make sure you specify that you would like the records released to you, rather than released to the Cleveland Clinic. Your physician or facility may require seven to 14 days to complete your request and may charge you a fee. If you request pathology slides, call the pathology department of the facility that evaluated them and ask about their procedure for obtaining original stained slides. We strongly encourage you to obtain all necessary medical records, such as reports, films, slides, etc. and send them to us (along with all consent forms) in one single package as this will ensure that all necessary medical information stays together in one complete package.

In many instances, pathology glass slides are sent directly to the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office by the outside facility.
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Does a Cleveland Clinic doctor examine me?
No. MyConsult online medical second opinions are all performed remotely. Therefore, there is no need for an in-person exam. Your Cleveland Clinic physician will provide your second opinion after carefully reviewing all of the comprehensive medical information that you have provided which includes your local doctor's findings during your physical exam.
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What kind of computer do I need to access an online medical second opinion?
As long as your computer can access the internet, you can probably use our site. We're compatible with all current operating systems and most browsers.

Specifically, we use 128-bit encryption to secure your medical data. This ensures that the only people who can access your data are you and the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office staff.
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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 MyConsult account that you will set-up during the registration process. We do not send any medical information to your email account as this 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.
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What if I don't know my diagnosis or can't find the one my doctor gave me on your list?
If you are unsure of your diagnosis (as displayed in the "diagnosis or problem" section of the request opinion process), please call one of our nurses during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST) at 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223 Monday through Friday. In order to process a second opinion request, we need your original diagnosis in order to match your request with a physician who specializes in your condition.
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What if I can't obtain all the documents requested in the information materials list?
In order to provide you with a comprehensive second opinion, we will need all of the items listed on the materials list (especially those marked mandatory) that we will provide to you. It is important that our physicians have access to all of your original test results and other medical information in order to render the most comprehensive second opinion for you. If there is something on the checklist that you cannot obtain, please call the MyConsult office at 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223 to determine if we are still able to proceed with your online second opinion request.
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Where do I send my materials?
Please send all materials to the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office. For your convenience, you may print out and use the mailing label provided on our website located in the "mailing instructions" section of the request an opinion process. Please use a mailing service that requires a signature from the recipient such as Federal Express, DHL or registered U.S. mail (UPS and Federal Express packages cannot be accepted on weekends or holidays. USPS packages are accepted on Saturday). Our mailing address is:

Cleveland Clinic MyConsult Office
9500 Euclid Avenue
Desk H2-260
Cleveland OH 44195
U.S.A.

Please make sure to include Desk H2 - 260 in the mailing address to ensure delivery to the correct address within Cleveland Clinic.

International Patients that are sending pathology samples need to indicate the following information on their package's commercial invoice to avoid delay at U.S. Customs:

  • This specimen is for my medical second opinion review by the Department of Pathology at Cleveland Clinic located in Cleveland, Ohio.
    • The slides and/or paraffin blocks (including corresponding pathology reports) are non-infectious and contain non-contagious human tissue taken from the organ tissue that are fed and /or preserved in paraffin.
    • This specimen has never been cultured.
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Who will see my information that I send over the internet?
You and the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult staff only. When it comes to handling patients' medical information, Cleveland Clinic has always adhered to the highest standard of privacy throughout its 89-year history. Today, we continue that strict practice when communicating with patients via our website. We ensure your complete privacy via the internet by:

  • Having you register set up a secure online account through our website
  • Establishing a secure account ensures a secure connection between you and Cleveland Clinic
  • Encrypting (scrambling) your information via Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption keys ensures your privacy as well
Your computer securely and privately transfers your information to Cleveland Clinic.
However, you must use a browser capable of 128-bit encryption, Internet Explorer 6.02 or higher. If our system detects that your browser does not meet this specification, we will notify you and instruct you to upgrade your browser. For more information about security, see our Terms and Conditions of Use.
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Can I cancel my online second opinion request?
You may cancel your online second opinion request at any time while you are filling out the online forms. Simply click on the "cancel" button at the end of any section to delete your request. However, you may not cancel your consultation once you have authorized us to proceed (upon completion of the online steps) and we have started working on your request.
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Who chooses the physician who will provide my online second opinion?
After carefully reviewing your second opinion request and medical records, our experienced medical team of nurses will determine which Cleveland Clinic physician specialist is most appropriate to handle your second opinion case. You can view biographical profiles for all Cleveland Clinic physicians at www.clevelandclinic.org. Simply click on the "Find a Doctor" link.
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How long will it take to receive my online second opinion?
The timeframe for rendering your online medical second opinion is typically 10-14 business days. However, the duration of time does not begin until our MyConsult triage nurses have processed through all of the materials they have received and determined that they have all of the necessary medical records from the patient and an appropriate physician is available and assigned the case. Our triage nurses are meticulous at document preparation for the physician rendering the second opinion since this is a key piece in making sure that the most comprehensive report is provided to the patient making the second opinion request to Cleveland Clinic.

The timeframe may be delayed by a few days when any of the following circumstances apply:

  • If a pathology review is required for your second opinion
  • If the specialty physician required to complete your second opinion is not available at the time of your request or you have requested a specific physician to complete the second opinion and they are not currently available (note: the most appropriate physician specialist will be determined by our medical team)
  • Some complicated cases may benefit from our multi-specialty group and institute based model of medical practice. For cases in which multiple specialists may need to collaborate, an additional few days may be required.
  • Weekends and holidays are not included in the 10-14 day timeframe; strictly business days
Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive second opinion to you so you can make an informed decision about your health or the health of a loved one. In the event there will be any delay in rendering your online second opinion, you will be contacted by the MyConsult office.

Please note: If you send materials from outside the U.S., it typically takes three to five days for them to reach our office so please factor delivery time onto the turnaround time.
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What if I have additional questions after I receive my online medical second opinion report?
We understand that you may have some additional questions once you receive your second opinion report. Therefore, the requestor may submit one set of questions within thirty days of receipt of the initial consultation report. Please make sure to formulate all of your questions for submission into one email to the MyConsult office at eclevelandclinic@ccf.org. Our goal is to ensure that all of your questions are addressed.

Your questions will be answered and posted as an addendum to your second opinion report within your secure MyConsult account that you set-up during the registration process. We will notify you by email when the addendum is ready to be viewed.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact our office toll free at 800.223.2273 ext 43223 or 216.444.3223.
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Can I check on the status of my online second opinion request?
Yes. You may check the status at any time. Simply log onto our website and log in to the secure account you set-up during the registration process. Our staff will communicate with you via email to let you know that new information has been sent to your secure online MyConsult account so we recommend checking your email at least once a day. We do not send any medical information to your email account as this 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 will notify you by email when:

  • We receive your online request
  • We receive your supporting medical materials
  • Your opinion is complete and available on the website
We will also contact you via phone or email if we have a question about your request. Since email is not the most secure environment, we will not include any specific medical questions or information in the email. Instead, we will instruct you to contact the MyConsult office or go to our website and log on to your secure account for information regarding your online second opinion.
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What will my online second opinion report include?
Based on the comprehensive medical information you provide, your Cleveland Clinic physician specialist will send you a very thorough second opinion (including recommendations) based on your initial diagnosis and treatment plan. Information that may have changed from your first diagnosis:

  • The Cleveland Clinic physician specialist may have a different diagnosis and therefore a completely different treatment plan.
  • The Cleveland Clinic physician specialist may agree with your physician's diagnosis, but may offer a different treatment plan or additional treatment options.
  • The Cleveland Clinic physician 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 your second opinion, you are welcome to come to Cleveland Clinic for your treatment.
  • When possible, your Cleveland Clinic physician specialist may also refer you to the most current literature (such as medical journal articles) regarding your condition that may also help you as you make your healthcare decisions.
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Will I receive a receipt for my MyConsult second opinion?
Yes. We will mail you your itemized statement/receipt approximately 10 days after your second opinion report is completed.
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Will you store my credit card information?
When you request an online second opinion and provide your credit card information to us, we will store the information in our secure system until your request is complete. We do not store credit card information beyond this time period. If you request an additional online second opinion at a future date, we will ask you to provide your credit card information again. See our Privacy Statement for a full explanation of our information and security practices.
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Will you share my information with anyone else?
No. Only the Cleveland Clinic team managing your case will see your medical information. This team may include the nurses who determine which physician specialist will fulfill your request, the physician(s) who authors your second opinion and any medical consultants, such as pathologists, radiologists or other Cleveland Clinic healthcare professionals who may be asked to review your case. See our Privacy Statement for a full explanation.
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Will Cleveland Clinic return my X-rays and other materials?
Yes. Once we complete your online second opinion, we will use an overnight courier service to return any films, scans and other materials within approximately two weeks. In most cases, the pathology glass slides are sent directly back to the facility that sent them to us. We do not return medical records and diagnostic reports (paperwork). If you would like to save copies of these items, please make sure to make copies prior to sending them to the Cleveland Clinic MyConsult office.
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If I decide to come to Cleveland Clinic for treatment, can I see the same doctor who provided my online second opinion?
You most likely would be able to see the same physician that rendered your online second opinion. However, we would recommend notifying the MyConsult nurse by email or telephone (216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223) prior to making any travel arrangements. Our goal is to direct you to the appropriate department for assistance in scheduling your appointment with the physician specialist that rendered your online second opinion and ensure that the physician is available and is still the appropriate person for your case at the time you make the appointment. If your MyConsult 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 you to see another Cleveland Clinic specialist. If this is the case, the appointment schedulers will coordinate your appointments for you.
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Do I need a referral to come to Cleveland Clinic?
No. Although many doctors refer patients to Cleveland Clinic, a referral is not necessary. Before scheduling an appointment, however, we suggest checking with your insurance company to determine your plan's referral requirements. If you are not working through the MyConsult online second opinion program but would still like to make an appointment at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.444.3223 or 800.223.2273 ext 43223.
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Where are other Cleveland Clinic facilities located?
In addition to our main campus which is located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio which includes, a 934-bed staffed hospital (including a children's hospital), an educational foundation and a research institute, we have an extensive system of regional hospitals in a variety of communities in Northeast Ohio. We also have state-of-the-art outpatient care at various Family Health and Surgery Centers located throughout Northeast Ohio.

In addition to our Ohio facilities, we also operate Cleveland Clinic Florida, a full-service hospital and clinic in Weston, Florida and Cleveland Clinic Canada, a health and wellness center in Toronto.

Your MyConsult online medical second opinion is rendered by our physician specialists located at are our main campus facility located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Therefore, if you would like to come to Cleveland Clinic for treatment, you would schedule your appointment at our main campus facility.
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