When you’re trying to get to the bottom of an acute or chronic condition, getting a second opinion matters. Getting a second opinion from an expert doctor matters, too.
What differentiates an expert doctor from other physicians? Expert doctors are nationally recognized thought and practice leaders in their fields. Some have headed national societies. Others have written policy statements on treating certain diseases.
When it comes to our medical expert network at MORE Health, the doctors who engage in consultations tend to be highly sought-after as speakers, authors, and interviewees. In other words, they’re the best of the best, have been vetted carefully, and provide the highest-quality second opinions. Their expertise means they can do more to help patients. At the same time, they’re very respectful of a patient's original treating physician — something that's critical to ensure the best ongoing care.
How MORE Health's Expert Physicians Collaborate With Original Doctors
Many patients who use our system are surprised at how cordial expert doctors are to them and their referring, original doctors. They’re not arrogant or insulting. Instead, they give help and recommendations to the original doctors in a genuine, evidence-based manner. This could come in the form of suggesting doses of new medicines or offering an alternative treatment solution. The collegial nature of MORE Health's second opinion process allows patients to understand all diagnosis and treatment possibilities.
Common Misconceptions About Expert Doctor Second Opinions
Of course, not everyone sees the value in second opinions right away. Case in point: Employers and insurance companies often assume that expert doctors — especially those from academic backgrounds — will speak from an esoteric angle or ask for too many tests. As such, they hesitate to introduce their employees or plan members to the opportunity to connect with experts through thecompany health policy.
What employers and insurance providers often don’t realize is that bringing a second physician into treatment can avoid the problems that come with delayed medical careand misdiagnosis. An expert second opinion can reduce medical costs in the long run, too. A lot of money goes into unnecessary tests conducted by baseline physicians taking a shotgun approach to see what sticks. Consulting upfront with an expert doctor can guard against excessive testing and procedures. Additionally, patients can avoid the emotional and physical outcomes related to receiving the wrong diagnosis. This is especially true for individuals with potentially serious illnesses.
How Employers and Brokers Can Encourage the Use of MORE Health Benefits
Typically, once employers and benefits brokers or carriers understand the importance of asecond opinion, they're interested in making MORE Health’s unique platform and service part of their employer health insurance plans. Once they do, there are a few things that can encourage employees to take advantage of what MORE Health has to offer:
1. Advocate for early second opinions.
When it comes to healthcare, it’s easier and less pricey to treat diseases as early as possible — specifically, to treat them the right way. Employers should encourage plan members to use MORE Health and seek out second opinions from expert doctors upfront whenever they feel they need them. While second opinions aren't necessary for all situations, they can be essential in many. Simply helping employees understand that lays a strong foundation.
2. Create company policies around dealing with sick employees.
Workers can get sick at any time. Just look at COVID. Yet most companies don’t have policies specific to handling problems like “long COVID” or COVID-related side effects. Creating policies for how to assist employees who are experiencing certain conditions could be a huge value-add to the organization and its people. Those policies could include virtual consultations with an expert doctorto promote early detection and treatment of disease.
3. Make it OK to get medical care for the first symptoms.
Many patients wait too long to be seen by a doctor. Consequently, they save a little money initially but then end up spending more later on more serious and costly problems. Deferred medical care can add untold expenses for both patients and their employers. Accordingly, employers and benefits brokers need to become patient advocates and urge everyone to seek the best care they can get — immediately.
At MORE Health, our passion is connecting patients with doctors whose expertise is unmatched. After all, we know that a second opinion from an expert physician can have a positive effect on everyone involved in the healthcare journey. To learn more about making MORE Health a part of your benefits offerings, request a demo today.
About Marc Shuman, M.D.
Dr. Marc Shuman is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at UCSF and has been listed among Top Doctors in America for 3 decades. Previously, Dr. Shuman was funded by the NIH and the NCI as a Principal Investigator for 30 years. Dr. Shuman serves as President of Medical Programs at MORE Health.