Being diagnosed with a new health condition that requires invasive medication or perhaps even a surgical procedure for treatment can be dreadful. This often makes a person worry about themselves, and their future, as well as what would happen to their loved ones should something happen to them. Undergoing certain major surgical procedures, like heart surgery, for example, can be a risky option to undertake. This is why some people tend to prefer to get a second medical opinion before making a final decision.
What Is A Second Medical Opinion?
A second opinion is essentially a Tool, as explained in one medical publication, that patients can utilize in order to help them make a decision in terms of a treatment plan that may be appropriate for a diagnosis with a medical condition. The same publication also explains that at times, a second opinion can have a critical impact not only on the diagnosis that was made, but also the treatment plan that will be accessed by the patient, and possibly also the prognosis.
Many ask if a second opinion is truly needed since many diagnostic guidelines have been established. These guidelines make it easier for physicians to provide patients with a more accurate diagnosis. In one study, researchers studied this particular topic and found that the implementation of guidelines actually causes an increase in the need for patients to get a second medical opinion.
What Are The Benefits Of A Second Opinion?
There are a few reasons why people may want to opt for a second opinion. In addition to looking at the reasons, it is also important to consider the second opinion benefits that a patient may be provided.
According to Cleveland Clinic, one of the most important benefits is the fact that the patient would be able to determine if the initial diagnosis they were provided were correct and appropriate. Additionally, this would also help the patient determine if the suggested treatment plan that was offered to them by the first physician is the most ideal according to their unique circumstances and situation. This can also help to minimize the risk of medical errors – when a condition is misdiagnosed, and it can lead to the wrong drugs or treatment procedure being prescribed for the patient. This may, in the end, do more harm than it would do good.
Other benefits include the fact that the patient can become more educated about the condition that they may be diagnosed with. They would also be able to compare different treatments suggested by the first and second physician, helping them understand potential complications and risks, then allowing them to weight the pros and cons of each option.
Does Insurance Cover A Second Opinion?
The question that many people have is: Does insurance cover a second opinion. A visit to a doctor’s office can be expensive when paid out-of-pocket. Since an initial diagnosis has already been provided at this time, the patient may not know if visiting a different physician for the same diagnosis would yield any charges on their side if they are covered by a medical insurance program.
The answer is neither yes or no, but rather it depends. First of all, each medical insurance company tends to have their own policies in place when it comes to obtaining a second medical opinion. Some may be willing to pay for this, while others may have certain conditions that need to be met. For example, in some cases, the insurance would only cover the costs of a second opinion if the initial diagnosis requires an exceptionally expensive procedure to help treat the disease or condition. In such cases, the insurance company would be willing to pay for the second opinion, as this could eventually help them save on costs in the long run.
Once a patient has obtained an initial diagnosis and feels that they would like to get a second medical opinion, it would be a good idea for the individual to contact their insurance provider directly. Details of the diagnosis should be on hand to provide the insurance agents, as they might need to verify whether the patient would qualify for a second opinion as part of their insurance plan.
A diagnosis with a new medical disease that requires treatment, whether in the form of drugs or surgery, can be a confusing time for many patients. With a significant number of incorrect diagnosis being made in day-to-day scenarios, patients may often feel uncertain about what to think about a serious diagnosis, or which treatment option would truly be best for them. This is where an opportunity to get a second medical opinion comes in handy. A lot of people ask if the insurance cover a second opinion. Unfortunately, there really isn’t a straightforward answer. It depends on the diagnosis and why the patient requests a second opinion, as well as the particular agency that the patient is insured with.
Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing.
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