Once you’ve received a breast cancer diagnosis, your first question will probably be “What are my options?” The second question might (and should) be: “Do you have a recommendation for a second opinion?”
At the recent Rock Health Summit in San Francisco, a digital healthcare conference focused on tackling healthcare’s biggest challenges, one panelist told a tale that feels all too familiar:
A patient walked into his surgeon’s office ready for his scheduled operation. As requested, he brought along a CD containing a copy of his spine image… only for the surgeons to realize there was no CD drive in the operating room to read it!
If you have a good brand, use it.
Major cities are often home to leading specialty hospitals. We think of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for cardiac care and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City for cancer; brands that are recognizable around the world. The best physician-specialists are attracted to the best hospitals, bolstering their expertise.
Second opinions are, in the words of many within the healthcare industry, essential in the case of critical illness and a right of every patient. Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover or even require an in-person second opinion consultation with a specialist prior to treatment. Medicare even pays for a third opinion if the second opinion differs significantly from the first.
Note: When urgent treatment is required, it is important not to wait to receive a second opinion. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Think about the last time you bought a car. If I were a betting woman, I would wager that you shopped around at many dealers, spoke with friends and family about your options, and gathered all the information you could before deciding on the vehicle that would hopefully transport you for years to come. As well you should – a purchase of that size is a big commitment.