How medical second opinions save lives and healthcare costs
Naturally, people trust their doctors to deliver accurate medical diagnoses. Still, it makes sense for patients to get a medical second opinion to ensure that all possible diagnoses and treatment options are considered. Also, where one doctor may take a more conservative approach to treatment another may take a more aggressive stance. This means that treatment recommendations, as well as healthcare costs, for a particular condition or disease may vary dramatically from case to case, and can be expensive and invasive.
In many instances, as our 2018 case evaluation demonstrates, an alternate perspective, better still the second opinion findings of a team of world-leading medical experts, about a diagnosis and/or recommended treatment means:
The most appropriate treatment and care recommendations
Access to world renowned medical facilities
More positive medical outcomes
Peace of mind for the patient
Better quality control
A real-life case study
Carol Khalifé was in her usual state of health when her young child inadvertently bumped her in the neck. After seven days of consistent neck pain, she sought medical attention, and underwent several diagnostic tests including a CAT scan, MRI, and ultrasound. Diagnosed with a cervical artery dissection (a tear in her carotid artery, one of the large blood vessels in the neck), she was told that she was a high risk for stroke unless operated on immediately. The procedure, which carries a significant associated risk, was presented as the only viable option. Surgery was scheduled for first thing the following morning.
That night, Carol reached out to MediGuide and requested a medical second opinion. Based on the seriousness of the situation, our medical team acted fast. Recognising that her situation did not warrant a traditional approach, which can take days, we quickly connected with our telemedicine partner MediOrbis, and within hours had a surgeon review her medical records.
The result: Our medical second opinion advised against surgery, indicating no eminent danger. Carol decided not to have surgery the next morning, and sought an additional second opinion in person, which endorsed our findings. No surgery necessary.
Since deciding against surgery, Carol is doing fine. It was the right decision.
“What MediGuide does is save lives and help people make the best possible decision when it matters the most. Thanks to MediGuide, I have managed to avoid an unnecessary surgery in my neck, with its many associated risks such as stroke or possible neurological issues. I can’t thank them enough and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a good second medical opinion from a knowledgeable and ethical consultant.”
Quality care versus cost savings
A medical diagnosis can be frightening, and navigating the healthcare system for a solution can be complex. As a result, it is important for us to ensure our members have access to the latest medical information, understand their condition, and the range of treatment options available to them. In fact, 80% of our medical second opinion cases result in a change in treatment.
Our objective is always quality healthcare and, yes, in some instances, there may be an added cost to a second opinion recommended treatment but this is the exception not the norm. In Carol’s case, avoidance of unnecessary treatments and procedures meant the best possible outcome and peace of mind for her and her family, but it also meant no unnecessary surgical costs.