Seeking a Second Opinion

Health policy researchers at Mayo Clinic recently found that only 12% of patients who sought a second opinion for a complex medical condition at Mayo Clinic received confirmation that their initial diagnosis was correct and complete. This should be reason enough to begin educating employees about the benefits of second opinions and how to get them. Common concerns expressed by patients include a fear of offending their physician, a feeling of urgency to begin treatment and of course, concern that their health plan may not cover the cost of a second opinion.

Whether you use employee newsletters, printed handouts and posters or a lunch and learn, it is important to let employees know that most doctors welcome a second opinion and they should never be afraid to ask their physician how much time they can take to obtain a second opinion before making a decision on treatment. Make sure members know if they have a second opinion benefit and consider offering an incentive for taking an active role in health management.

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Double Checking A Diagnosis

As health care plans continue to promote wellness and pro-active health awareness, the use of sophisticated imaging technology and pathology becomes even more widespread. Experience shows that many conditions, including certain types of cancers, can be very difficult to diagnose conclusively. While it is very common to choose a treatment plan from the first doctor you consult, taking time for a second opinion and careful consideration of alternative treatments can prove to be very wise. Continue reading