Second opinions are, in the words of many within the healthcare industry, essential in the case of critical illness and should be the 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.
If you are like most practices, the words “virtual care” have become critical to your survival. With the changes the world has faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities that once relied exclusively on in-person treatment have been forced to explore ways to meet their patients’ needs without always seeing them face-to-face. By 2021 and 2022, most practices have used telehealth software to enable a virtual meeting with a patient. These programs allow physicians to talk through simple issues with patients during a live video consultation. But what about complex cases, chronic issues, or complicated cancer diagnoses? What if your practice offers specialized care that requires an assessment of a patient’s case history?
Basic telehealth tech does not typically have an answer for these questions as the systems lack a comprehensive method for aggregating and presenting health information, especially for records like test results and radiology scans. It’s for these cases that your virtual care toolbox needs to include a method for Remote Second Opinions. But what is a Remote Second Opinion (RSO)?
Well, I’m glad you asked…
Telehealth exploded at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as patients and providers scrambled to find safe, effective ways to receive and deliver care remotely.
We work with hospitals, specialty programs, and insurance companies across the spectrum when it comes to the maturity of their second opinion programs. Some have well-established processes, while others are just getting off the ground. Regardless of where you are today, you might be asking yourself if it makes more sense to invest all at once in the people and software needed to run a successful program or if dipping your toes in the water with a Proof of Concept might be a better approach. We can help you answer this question.
When considering new programs for your hospital, it is important to prioritize improving the patient experience. There are a lot of initiatives that could achieve this goal, but leveraging the right technology to deliver care to patients regardless of their geographic location is an initiative that can not only increase your current patient satisfaction but also attract new patients to your organization.