Frequently asked questions

Who goes to Mayo Clinic?

Each year, an average of 20,000 Twin Cities residents choose the 90-minute drive to Mayo Clinic for high-quality specialty health care.

Why do Twin Cities 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 the Twin Cities? How long will it take me to get there?

Most Twin Cities patients travel to Mayo Clinic by car; Rochester is approximately 90 minutes from the Mall of America/airport area. Mayo appointment staff will work with your travel needs and desired arrival time when scheduling your appointment. Complete directions are available, and convenient parking is available.

As an alternative, a shuttle service to downtown Rochester is available at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Visit the Go Rochester Direct Web site for fare and schedule information. Mayo Clinic does not own, operate or endorse this service.

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.

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 one of two hospital campuses in Rochester: Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, or Mayo Clinic Hospital, Methodist Campus.

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, but you are welcome to bring your children. Please bring a responsible person to watch your children during your appointments.

Are family members allowed to come to my appointments?

Relatives and friends are welcome and encouraged to accompany you at Mayo Clinic. For some exams and diagnostic tests, your family and friends may be asked to remain in the waiting room.

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 you 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. In the Twin Cities, Mayo Clinic has agreements with multiple plans, including, but not limited to:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
Preferred One

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 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, and the Gift of Life Transplant House offers housing to organ transplant patients and Hope Lodge for cancer patients. For more lodging information, including availability of campground facilities, call the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-634-8277.


Is Mayo Clinic open on weekends?

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