Providing Medical Second Opinions: Sometimes, it’s Personal

November 2, 2021 by Ted Bukowski, M.Ed., CMPE, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer at MORE Health

After spending two decades as a Chief Financial Officer at an Academic Medical Center (AMC), I had the great honor of working with physicians, supporting their tripartite mission of Healing, Teaching, and Learning. Intellectually, I always understood the benefit of receiving a Medical Second Opinion, specifically from academic physicians who provide world-class sub-specialty expertise.

I was introduced to Hope Lewis, CEO of MORE Health, about four years ago by a Physician Leader I worked with during my tenure at the AMC.  After hearing her vision to provide remote access to the best medical minds in the world to those who need it most, utilizing enabling technology and high-touch service for both patients and physicians, I felt compelled to accept a position at MORE Health. My initial role with the Company focused on working with and developing our network of high-end AMCs, both internationally and domestically. 

"I lost feeling in my left leg to the extent I had to stop walking."

This role brought me to a speaking engagement at the International Telehealth Conference of the Telemedicine Society of India, held in New Delhi in November 2019. During the conference, I started experiencing numbness and pain down my left leg, which continued to worsen. On my connecting flight at Heathrow, as I made my way to my flight for the US, I lost feeling in my left leg to the extent I had to stop walking. If you’ve had the pleasure of catching a connecting flight at Heathrow, you know the gates are far apart. I had to stop and rest my leg six times. Upon arriving home, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my PCP. He ordered an MRI, and when the results came back, he referred me to a Neurosurgeon. This surgeon informed me that I had Severe Spinal Stenosis of my L3, 4, and 5, and I required a Spinal Fusion. I’m in my 60s, and I felt the surgery was a bit aggressive. From experience, I knew right away that I wanted to engage the process of receiving a second opinion—of course, now it was personal.

"[The second opinion specialist] also believed that I needed surgery, but he disagreed that I required a Fusion of my L3, 4, and 5."

My records and imaging were collected and sent to a Neurosurgeon at an AMC in Boston, Massachusetts, where a leading Academic Neurosurgeon provided a second opinion. The results came back. He agreed with the diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis L3, 4, and 5. He also believed that I needed surgery, but he disagreed that I required a Fusion of my L3, 4, and 5. He thought my spine structure was fine and recommended a Laminectomy to relieve the pressure on the nerves. I ended up having the surgery recommended by the consulting physician. As the surgery was less costly than the fusion, my insurer authorized the surgery to be performed at the AMC, where the physician who provided the second opinion practiced. I had a great outcome; my insurance company was pleased that it was less costly; my employer was happy that I was back to work and productive in less time; and of course, I was happy with the outcome.

Having a Medical Second Opinion benefit is essential—because sometimes it’s personal.

About MORE Health

MORE Health, a global digital health company, provides peace of mind and confidence when you need it most—when facing a serious life-changing illness. MORE Health delivers a diagnosis and recommended treatment plan from the world's best medical minds through a virtual second opinion. This collaborative approach to diagnosis puts the patient at the center of the process—empowering them to make informed decisions regarding their healthcare. The service ensures that the attending doctor and the expert physician specialist are aligned through their proprietary, GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant Physician Collaboration Platform™; this minimizes errors while also resolving potential conflicts regarding the diagnosis and treatment plan developed. Since 2013, MORE Health has helped patients on six continents and continues its mission to provide clients and their members access to the best medical minds in the world—when they need it most. For more information, please Contact Us.

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