Monday, June 2, 2014

MUST READ: Mayo Clinic Article on Second Opinions



The Mayo Clinic published an article on second opinions. What they show is amazing:“10% to 62% of second opinions yield a major change in the diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis.”  
One of the biggest shortcomings of modern workplace wellness/prevention is that it can’t stop doctors from misdiagnosing you, e.g., telling you you have heart disease when in fact you do not…or cancer. 
Here are a few just a few tidbits from the article:
  • Cancer second opinion disagreement rates were about 10-15%.
  •  Second opinion disagreements on “abnormal” radiology were about 20-40%.
  • In a study radiologists disagreed with their own interpretations 33% of the time.
  • Second opinions on elective surgery disagreed 34% of the time.
  • Here is the conclusion from the article: "Our analysis suggests that patient-initiated second opinions can offer new or different diagnosis and treatment advice. Most patients perceive the second opinion to have value, either because it is reassuring to them that the original diagnosis or treatment plan is correct or it identifies an alternative. However, the accuracy of the second opinion through follow-up review is generally unknown, and the methodology of studying and reporting the second opinion outcomes is highly variable. Given the sparse data, the practice and value of obtaining a second opinion merits more comprehensive and rigorous evaluation."
The take away.  Be informed and do not hesitate to utilize all the resources available to you.

To read the article go to http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(14)00245-6/fulltext

If you have Health Partners Insurance here is a link to the "Evidence of Coverage" Document containing information about second opinions 
https://www.healthpartners.com/ucm/groups/public/@hp/@public/documents/documents/cntrb_005990.pdf