Tuesday, October 31, 2017

88% of Patients Who Sought a 2nd Medical Opinion for a Complex Condition Had a New or Refined Diagnosis & Treatment Plan

Whenever your diagnosis is anything beyond a minor matter, it pays to get a second opinion. 

From Employee Benefit News:
When an employee faces a serious health problem or is told he or she needs surgery, seeking a second opinion from another physician can, in some cases, have a significant impact on their diagnosis, treatment plan or prognosis.
But too few patients seek second opinions, and it’s causing issues for both employees and employers. 
A Gallup poll found that 49% of the 5,000 survey respondents said they never seek a second opinion when their physician diagnoses a condition, prescribes a new medication or treatment, or recommends surgery. Not seeking a second opinion in the case of a serious, complex, or rare diagnosis or recommendation for elective surgery is a missed opportunity to lower the risk of misdiagnosis and inappropriate or ineffective treatment. 
A recent study by health policy researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that as many as 88% of those who sought a second opinion for a complex medical condition at the Mayo Clinic had a new or refined diagnosis that changed their treatment plan. In contrast, only 12% of those patients received confirmation that their diagnosis was correct and complete. 
In addition to the harm caused to patients by misdiagnoses that may have been avoided if a second opinion was sought, there’s also a financial impact. The Institute of Medicine reports that approximately $750 billion is wasted each year in the U.S. on unnecessary medical services and other inefficiencies. Employers also bear the impact in the form of the absence or loss of experienced employees, lowered productivity, and increased insurance payouts. ...