Providers Should Encourage Patients To Seek Second Opinions

According to new research, providers and consumers both benefit when patients get a second opinion about treatment. In 1,000 cases from 2012-2014, approximately 77 percent of “medical interventions” where a healthcare advisory company helped patients obtain a second opinion after initial diagnosis, led to changes in diagnosis and treatment or treatment physician. About 3 percent of patients seeking a second opinion ended up with a change of diagnosis and almost 21 percent decided to change their treatment plans. Another 41 percent of patients transferred their care to another provider. Experts say second opinions are crucial for patients, especially those diagnosed with complex condition, because “medicine is an art as much as a science.” Medical errors, such as misdiagnoses are an acute problem in the healthcare industry today. One report indicates that hospital mistakes may be the third-leading cause of death in the United States.

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