USA Today reports that online second-opinion services offer patients consultations from specialists based on the medical records that they fax, mail or send via the Internet.
The average cost, payable upfront via credit card, is $500 to $1,500, depending on the number of radiology or pathology interpretations required. Patients then receive online access to a second opinion in about two weeks.
The three main leaders in remote second-opinion services — the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine and POSC — each say they are serving about 1,000 patients a year.
Not all remote second-opinion services will be the same.
There will differences in how your records are handled and who participates in the consultation process.
And, some services use a case manager who may or may not have a medical degree.
In addition, not all remote second-opinion services require that a your personal physician participate. The Cleveland Clinic, for example, delivers consultations directly to a patient, other systems share them with the physician first and then with the patient.
Also, at the present time, most insurance companies do not cover remote second opinions.
But, remote second-opinion services are evolving and improving with advanced technology – and, I predict that the convenience of e-health technologies will continue to grow and become more popular.
Nothing can replace the face-to-face visit with your personal family physician – but, for many patients these types of services will be a valuable addition as more and more people become their own healthcare quarterbacks.
If you want to learn more about becoming your own healthcare quarterback, order a copy of my book God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person.
I am very disappointed in your take on the article… Is there a way of helping people without being so flagrantly materialistic? “…order a copy of my book God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person.” – this is just so tacky!
And your take is what? That we, as patients should NOT be our own healthcare quarterbacks? If so, that is foolish and irresponsible. To me, the data could not be more clear. Men and women who become their own healthcare quarterbacks not only get better service, they are less likely to have medical errors foisted upon them. And, those who bring an attendant with them to an office visit receive better service.
And, I’m interested in why you think it’s tacky to let my readers and constituents know about my books? They are evidence-based and trustworthy sources of information. If someone is interested in looking at information on the book or reading the first chapter, just click the link. If not, ignore it.