Our goal is to make the entire healthcare experience easier for members and their families. Our personalized second opinion service includes researching and locating providers, scheduling appointments, transferring medical records, care coordination, decision support and empowering members to become more educated about and involved in their care.

New Expert Medical Opinion Program

When it comes to second opinions or healthcare in general, there is no “one size fits all” solution.

In response to organizations who are seeking even more in-depth support around second opinions, the new Expert Medical Opinion (EMO) Program takes our existing second opinion service several steps further, promoting measurably improved health outcomes and medical cost savings.

In addition to helping to ensure the accuracy of diagnoses and proposed treatments and accessing best-in-class care, the program has a special focus on helping individuals with complex conditions and potentially life-altering diagnoses.

Next-level support for second opinions

The Expert Medical Opinion Program supports both in-person and remote (chart-based) second opinions. Using our existing Perfect MatchSM physician locator process, our clinical team will research and locate the right specialists, academic centers and Centers of Excellence nationwide to meet each individual’s specific needs. The program is supported by a live, in-house team who can also collaborate with treating physicians, coordinate ongoing care and testing and provide end-to-end follow-up and treatment decision support. We also leverage advanced data analytics and employ multi-channel communications to address member health risks and care gaps, and provide enhanced reporting on health outcomes, ROI and medical cost savings on EMO cases.

Another key advantage is that all of our services are fully integrated and provided by experienced clinicians and Personal Health Advocates, who can also do the work to resolve any other challenges such as time-consuming administrative and related care and insurance-related issues.

No matter what level of clinical support your organization is seeking, Health Advocate can help design and implement a solution to meet your unique needs. Please contact us today to start the conversation.

 

Next Story >> Clinical Corner: The Value of Second Opinions

Clinical Corner: The Value of Second Opinions

By Raffi Terzian, M.D.
Senior Medical Director and
Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations
Health Advocate

Obtaining a second opinion can help patients make better informed decisions about their care. While some patients may be uneasy, providers should reassure their patients that it is acceptable to pursue a second opinion if they elect to do so. The American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics provides guidance to providers regarding consultation, referral and second opinions and asserts that “Physicians’ fiduciary obligation to promote patients’ best interests and welfare can include consulting other physicians for advice.”

In some cases, second opinions can shed light on diagnostic uncertainty. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic published a study in April 2017 which explored the impact of second opinions on changes in diagnosis. They found that final diagnoses were better defined or refined in sixty-six percent of cases. Furthermore, the researchers found that in twenty-one percent of cases, final diagnoses were different from the initial diagnosis. Clarifying diagnostic uncertainty can also lead to more cost-effective care.

The value of second opinions can be viewed through the broader context of care coordination and making sure that patients are accessing the appropriate care in a timely and efficient manner. If a patient decides to pursue a second opinion, it is helpful to be prepared in advance with questions to ask the provider. Second opinions may be sought as in-person consultations or remotely/online by submitting medical records for review by an expert in a given field. The in-person consultation is typically covered by most health insurance plans, though it’s a good idea to confirm benefit coverage in advance. Medicare Part B also allows coverage of second opinions in some circumstances. Centers that provide remote or chart review second opinions will charge for the consultation as well as any medical record collection that may be required. These types of consultations are typically not covered by insurance.

Overall, second opinions can be valuable in bringing clarity to patients facing a diagnostic dilemma, or to those seeking confidence in a proposed treatment plan, further empowering them to take an active role in their ongoing care.

 

Next Story >> Product Spotlight: Expert Medical Opinions

Episode 19: Navigating Second Opinions

Receiving a new medical diagnosis and seeking a second opinion can be overwhelming for employees, but there are resources available that can provide support as they navigate the often complex process. In this episode of Health Advocate’s Ask the Expert series, we’re joined by Dr. Abbie Leibowitz, Health Advocate’s Founder and Chief Medical Officer, to discuss how employers can support employees seeking a second opinion.