Day Medicine Unit Offers Expanded Options for Migraine Treatment

Published on in CHOP News

Children who need immediate care for a migraine flare-up can receive IV medications in our Day Medicine Unit as an alternative to the Emergency Department.

We are pleased to announce that, as part of our ongoing commitment to better serve families, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will now provide an additional treatment option for patients with migraine headaches. Children who experience a migraine flare-up that requires immediate care may now receive IV medications in our Day Medicine Unit as an alternative to the Emergency Department.

The Day Medicine Unit is an outpatient unit for patients who require nursing care and observation during or following treatments. Below are some frequently asked questions about the unit.

Why should I go to Day Medicine?

  • We recognize that visiting the Emergency Department when your child has a migraine flare-up can be inconvenient and stressful. This partnership expands the treatment options available to you.
  • Most patients will feel better and go home from Day Medicine after a few hours. If the treatments in Day Medicine are not enough, additional options may include returning to the unit for treatments again the next day or being admitted to the hospital.
  • Children who have new weakness or unusual symptoms that raise concern for problems other than migraine should be evaluated in the Emergency Department or urgently by their doctor. Day Medicine is a treatment unit and does not do any evaluations or testing.

When should I go to Day Medicine?

  • Visits to Day Medicine must be scheduled in consultation with your Neurology team. If your child experiences a significant migraine flare, please contact Neurology via MyCHOP. If the symptoms are urgent, contact Neurology by phone. Your Neurologist may recommend a medication to be tried at home or a procedure such as nerve block. Your child may also be eligible to participate in a clinical trial of nerve blocks. Please click here for more information.
  • If treatments at home have not helped enough or if your child previously had a good response to IV medications, then we may recommend IV medication treatment in the Day Medicine Unit. An appointment may be available that same day or on the next business day.

Will I see my CHOP Neurology team?

  • You may have a visit in Neurology (either in person or via video) to review the details of your child’s headache flare. This visit will be with either your usual Neurologist or with a clinician in our Headache Program. If a visit is not needed then our team will discuss the plan with you via telephone or MyCHOP.
  • The Neurologist will order the medications to be given in the Day Medicine Unit. These medications are similar to the medications recommended in our inpatient migraine pathways and those used in the CHOP Emergency Department.

Will receiving care in the Day Medicine Unit affect my insurance?

  • In most cases there will be two bills for your treatment: one from Neurology for an in-person or video visit, and one from Day Medicine for the IV treatments.
  • This service is available to patients with commercial and medical assistance plans, and at this time most insurance does not require a prior authorization for these medications and selected IV treatments. While you do not have to wait for insurance approval before scheduling your visit, we recommend you confirm your coverage with your insurance company now to confirm your benefits in the event these services are needed in the future. It is recommended to re-check your benefits if your plan changes.
  • Please check with your insurance carrier to understand any financial differences in being treated in the Emergency Department/Inpatient compared to the Hospital Outpatient Day Medicine unit based on your plan and coverage, including any deductible or co-insurance requirements.

For questions, please contact the Division of Neurology at 215-590-1719 or discuss this treatment option with your CHOP Neurologist. We look forward to providing expert and convenient care for your child.