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The Power of Second Opinions

By Samantha Manns, Marketing Specialist

More and more studies are finding that second opinions of breast cancer diagnoses reduce the severity of the original examination. According to the Journal of the American College of Radiology, 51% of patients received a change in radiologic interpretation when scanned a second time.

On average, 25% of lesions are downgraded to benign tumors, allowing 14% of patients to bypass the previously recommended biopsy, while 35% of new cancers diagnosed in this way were undetected in the original radiologic review.

We have seen the trend of second opinions on our patients in chronic and oncology care management programs, as well. Whether you’re just looking to prevent unnecessary costs and treatments—like daily high blood pressure medicine—or to confirm no additional types of cancer, our team at Saisystems Health looks favorably at second opinions.

However, not everyone does.

There is a myth that second opinions drive insurance premiums or will require out of pocket pay, as they typically involve additional visits and treatments. While this may be true for some plans, always check with your insurance company.

Some will cover your efforts because they recognize the value in the long run—getting a second opinion costs less than finding cancer at a later stage, not to mention your increased quality of life if detected early. If they do not cover these services, determine if you can afford the out of pocket costs. If your fears outweigh the price, it may be worth exploring the investment.

When our patients consider second opinions, they work with our care team to better understand their explanation of benefits and determine if they’re already covered. This assistance bridges the gap between insurances and patients who may be too confused to verify this on their own.

Do you want to ensure patient health and reduce unnecessary costs? Are you interested in care management solutions for your practice or company? Contact Sam at smanns@health.saisystems.com or 203-567-5232.