Your Child's Appointment at the Pediatric MS Clinic

Making an appointment with the MS Clinic

To schedule an appointment with the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at CHOP, please call the Division of Neurology at 215-590-1719 and ask to speak to one of the MS Clinic coordinators. MS Clinic appointments are typically held every Thursday of each month.

Prior to your scheduled appointment, please contact the pre-registration office at 1-800-977-3734 to confirm your demographic and insurance information. This will ensure timely check-in at the time of your visit.

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call at least 48 hours in advance so that we may schedule other patients.

Before your visit: referrals and authorization

Obtain any physician referrals needed

If required by your insurance, please obtain referrals from your child's primary physician for neurology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Referrals are often sent electronically. Please call your child’s primary care provider prior to your visit to verify that referrals were sent. In addition, your insurance may require a co-pay, which will be collected during your visit.

If you do not have physical therapy or occupational therapy benefits or do not wish to see these specialists on the day of your visit, please call us at 267-425-2063 prior to your visit.

Check your insurance coverage, referral and authorization requirements


Children's Health Care Associates (CHCA) participates with most insurance carriers. If you are not sure whether CHCA participates with your insurance, please call the member service number on the back of your insurance card to verify. If you need to make payment arrangements, please call CHCA at 215- 567-2422.

Referrals/authorization for neurology

If your insurance requires referrals or authorization, please request them from your child's primary physician.

Referrals/authorization for the neurologist should be made out to CHCA/Neurology for evaluation and treatment. Your primary physician may require an NPI number for the referral. That number is 1205991361.

If your child requires additional laboratory studies and/or X-rays, you should have a separate referral made out to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia or to the facility where your child will have the tests done.

Referrals/authorization for occupational and physical therapy

During your visit to the MS Clinic, your child may be seen by an occupational therapist and/or a physical therapist.

Occupational and physical therapy services:

  • Are separate from the physician services your child will receive
  • May have separate co-pays or co-insurance for each
  • May need a separate authorization and/or referral for each
  • May require greater out-of-pocket expenses

Please contact your insurance company in advance to obtain the specifics of your child’s occupational and physical therapy benefit.

You will need the following information to verify the correct benefit detail when you call your insurance company:

  • Let the insurance know that occupational and physical therapy services provided will be institution or facility based — NOT an office visit.
  • You may be asked for the following numbers in order to identify if CHOP OT and PT providers participate in your child’s health insurance, and whether they’re considered in network or out of network.

All companies
CHOP NPI number: 121-5921457
CHOP Provider number: N/A
CHOP Tax ID number: 23-1352166

Horizon BCBS of NJ
CHOP NPI number: 121-5921457
CHOP Provider number: 393303
CHOP Tax ID number: 23-1352166

Blue Cross Blue Shield PPOs
CHOP participates with our local BCBS PPO.

  • Although CHOP OT and PT may be in network, we still might not be your capitated site (preferred site with lowest out-of-pocket expense for family). Please ask if you are capitated to another facility. If you are, you may only be able to receive OT and PT services at CHOP if you obtain a specific out-of-cap authorization.
  • The procedure codes or CPT codes that may be used are:
    • 97001 — Physical Therapy Evaluation
    • 97002 — Physical Therapy Re-evaluation
    • 97003 — Occupational Therapy Evaluation
    • 97004 — Occupational Therapy Re-evaluation
  • If services require a referral, you can obtain one directly from your child’s primary care physician.
  • If services require an authorization, out-of-cap authorization, or precertification, your child’s primary care physician will obtain this directly from your insurance company.
  • For questions regarding insurance related to OT and PT in the clinic, please call 267-426-5358.

On the day of your visit

Where to come

Our MS Clinic is located on the 6th floor of the Wood Center, 3401 Civic Center Boulevard. Parking is available in the underground garages (Wood Center or the Children's Seashore House). Please take the elevators located in the Wood Garage to the sixth floor.

How to dress your child

Please dress your child with loose-fitting pants or shorts for the examination, since children prefer their own clothes rather than a hospital gown.

When to arrive

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. Your child’s appointment will take about two to three hours. Please schedule your appointment appropriately to allow time for the services listed below. This allows us to provide the best treatment to you and your child.

What to bring to your visit

Please remember to bring the following to your visit:

Your child's records

For new patients to our practice, please bring a copy of your child's medical records. For existing patients, please bring any new records since your last visit. Records may include:

  • Physician letters
  • Vaccine records
  • Laboratory test results
  • X-rays
  • Spinal tap/lumbar puncture results
  • MRI or CT scan (copy of CD)

For radiology studies (MRIs, CT scans), please make sure you bring both reports as well as actual images.

Please bring any other records from your primary care physician or other specialists related to why your child was referred to Neurology.

If your child’s studies have been done at CHOP, you do not need to bring these records; we have direct access to them.

What to expect during your visit

During your appointment with the MS Clinic, you and your child will meet with our nurse. She will take a brief history of your child’s condition, review medications and any allergies.

Next you will meet with one of our physicians, Dr. Brenda Banwell, Dr. Gihan Tennekoon or Dr. Amy Waldman. You will also meet with our nurse practitioner, Erin O’Connor Prange.

You may request to meet with Lisa Mullikin, our social worker. Social workers can help families who are struggling with a diagnosis or who need help with concrete resources or access to services (school, disability services, equipment, insurance, SSI/MA etc.).

History and examination

Your child’s physician will discuss your child’s history, perform an examination, and review any MRI studies or other diagnostic studies that were completed prior to your child's appointment. Your child's physician also will discuss the potential diagnosis, prognosis and plan of care. At the end of the visit, the team will provide you with written instructions regarding your child’s health.

Laboratory studies

We may order laboratory studies to help with diagnosing and treating your child. If your insurance participates with CHOP, you may have your child’s blood drawn while at our facility.

Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) consult

During your child's visit, our physicians may recommend physical therapy to assist with your child’s treatment plan. Your child will be asked to participate in a PT evaluation. This will assess your child’s motor strength.

Similarly, an occupational therapist may be asked to assess your child’s fine motor skills. Even if your child is healthy, a PT and/or OT evaluation provides objective data for comparison at future visits.