Frequently asked questions

Who goes to Mayo Clinic?

On average, more than 7,000 Chicago-area residents go to Mayo Clinic every year.

Why do Chicago-area residents go to Mayo Clinic?

They know of Mayo's best-in-class reputation. They have researched quality ratings. They have heard and read stories about others' experiences. And they know that Mayo can provide diagnosis and treatment all under one roof in a condensed period, saving them time and stress because they don't have to go to a variety of different places over several weeks or months.

Do I need to be seriously ill to seek care at Mayo Clinic?

You don't have to be seriously ill to seek care at Mayo. In fact, patients travel to Mayo Clinic from every state in the U.S. and more than 140 countries around the world to experience the wide range of specialty and multispecialty care that is available — from general exams to diagnosis and treatment for both common and highly complex medical conditions. The more than 1,700 physicians on the Rochester campus represent virtually all subspecialties of medicine.

How do I get to Mayo Clinic from Chicago?

Rochester, Minnesota can be reached from Chicago by car, plane or Amtrak train. Complete directions are available. Mayo appointment staff will work with your travel needs and desired arrival time when scheduling your appointment.

Will I need to make a separate trip for each specialist or test?

In many cases, Mayo patients can see a variety of specialists during a single visit — a significant benefit of choosing Mayo Clinic. To the extent possible, Mayo appointment staff will work to coordinate all your appointments in one visit.

Is Mayo Clinic for everyone?

Although Mayo Clinic sometimes attracts attention for treating well-known people, the truth is that millions of people from all walks of life have been finding answers at Mayo Clinic for more than 100 years. People just like you go to Mayo to be treated for a wide variety of conditions, including prostate cancer, breast cancer and epilepsy, as well as heart conditions and gastrointestinal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease.

How does the cost of care at Mayo Clinic compare to other providers?

Out-of-pocket expenses are typically determined by your insurance plan. In a recent survey of patients from several Midwest locations, most of them told us that their expenses for care at Mayo were the same as they would have been at other facilities.

Appointment requests/referrals

How long does it take to get an appointment at Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic offers appointments based on the severity and acuity of a patient's condition. Appointment coordinators do their best to build schedules that allow our staff to best meet the needs of patients.

Can I come to Mayo Clinic without an appointment?

Scheduling an appointment before traveling to Mayo Clinic is strongly encouraged. We can't guarantee that you'll be seen if you come without an appointment.

Do I need a referral to request an appointment?

Anyone may request an appointment at Mayo Clinic, and in most cases, a physician's referral is not required. When you call or submit an online appointment request, Mayo appointment staff will advise you if a referral is needed.

Day of Appointment

Will I be an inpatient or outpatient while at Mayo Clinic?

More than 80 percent of Mayo Clinic patients are treated as outpatients, meaning that their evaluation, tests and treatments are done in the clinic and they return to their home or lodging at the end of the day. Patients who require hospitalization are admitted to Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus or Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus, Mayo Clinic's hospitals in Rochester, Minn.

How long can I expect to stay to complete my appointments?

The length of your appointment schedule depends on the number of tests and consultations needed for your condition. Sometimes, length of stay cannot be predicted in advance. Our processes and systems are designed to be highly efficient. Many of our patients tell us they are surprised by how quickly they can move from test to test and appointment to appointment. Mayo appointment staff schedule your appointments in the most efficient and convenient manner possible.

May I bring my children? Is child care offered?

Mayo Clinic does not offer child care for patients. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, please do not bring children under age 13 unless they are actively receiving care. In Rochester, Minn., for pediatric patients a single parent or guardian is encouraged whenever possible, but a second parent or guardian may be allowed when essential for care.

Please understand that policies may shift to ensure patient safety. Refer to campus-specific visitor policies for the most current information prior to your visit:

Are family members allowed to come to my appointments?

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, if needed one relative may accompany you to your outpatient appointments. Visitor policy exceptions may be made for end-of-life care, patients who are minors and other rare and unique circumstances as assessed by the care team. For some exams and diagnostic tests, your relative may be asked to remain in the waiting room. Visitors may not be permitted in Mayo Clinic hospitals.

Medical records

Will I need to bring my medical records with me?

Mayo Clinic encourages patients to bring all recent, pertinent medical records including:

  • Medical summary
  • X-ray films or a CD with radiology studies
  • Pathology slides and reports
  • List of current medications

Can Mayo Clinic call my doctor's office to get my medical records?

Generally, our patients obtain their medical records from their local providers. If additional records are needed once you are here, Mayo Clinic may contact your provider. You will be asked to sign a consent form to release your records.


Will my insurance cover my visit to Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic is an in-network provider for millions of people and works with many insurance companies. Insurance plans vary, and your level of coverage will depend on your specific plan.

Mayo Clinic will submit claims to your insurer. You are encouraged to contact your insurance company to verify coverage and obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Your insurance company's customer service telephone number is listed on your insurance card.


Do you recommend any accommodations? Are discounts offered to Mayo Clinic patients?

Although Mayo Clinic does not own, operate or endorse any lodging facility, Rochester offers many choices for lodging. Many of the lodging options are directly connected to Mayo Clinic facilities via skyway or underground walkways. Hotels not connected to Mayo Clinic buildings often offer a shuttle service for patients, and some hotels offer special rates for Mayo patients.

In addition to hotels, the Ronald McDonald House is available to families of pediatric patients, the Gift of Life Transplant House offers housing to organ transplant patients and Hope Lodge offers housing to cancer patients. For more lodging information, including availability of campground facilities, call the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-634-8277.


When is Mayo Clinic open?

Mayo Clinic is open for outpatient consultations and procedures Monday through Friday. Mayo Clinic hospitals are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

July 25, 2020