More companies in New York and across the U.S. are offering second opinion services to their employees. These services cut down on misdiagnoses and reduce overall healthcare costs. According to data from the National Business Group on Health, 66 percent of companies now have second opinion services on their employee health care plans. In 2017, that number was only 47 percent.
Many people think that second opinions are only recommended for serious health conditions, such as cancer, but they can be helpful for any type of health condition. For instance, a 2010 Gallup poll showed that 70 percent of U.S. patients trusted their primary care physician’s diagnosis, but medical experts say that up to one-third of all medical diagnoses are wrong. This is backed up by a Mayo Clinic study that found that 88 percent of patients who sought a second opinion at the clinic received a different or altered diagnosis.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that patients seek second opinions if they are not comfortable with their current doctor, their doctor’s expertise or their proposed treatment plan. They should also seek another opinion if they have been diagnosed with a rare disease, have limited treatment options or want to participate in clinical trials. Medical experts say that getting the proper diagnosis as soon as possible gives patients the best chance of a positive outcome.
A doctor’s failure to diagnose a health condition can have serious, or even deadly, consequences for patients. Victims of misdiagnosis might want to meet with an attorney to see what legal recourse might be available.
Source: HR Dive, “To cut healthcare costs, more employers are offering second opinion services“, Erie Bolden-Barrett, March 7, 2018