There may be a time in employees’ lives when they receive a medical diagnosis or feedback they feel uncertain about. Second opinions allow patients facing medical challenges to seek another medical opinion report, which can provide clarity and other treatment options available. With the increase in the popularity of telehealth, there is even the option of virtual second opinions, which can provide convenience by video visit.
A virtual second opinion can help ease some of an employee’s stress after a serious diagnosis or when looking for a diagnosis for ongoing symptomatic issues. It can be difficult for a patient to find an appointment, especially if they need specialty care. Therefore, offering health coverage that includes virtual care gives a more accessible and efficient option for care. This article explains the additional benefits of receiving second opinions virtually.
BENEFITS OF AN ONLINE SECOND OPINION
Access to a second opinion can help relieve worry about diagnosis or treatment uncertainty. A virtual second opinion can provide easier access to all your medical records and make the medical opinion process more efficient, creating peace of mind for a patient. Additional benefits to an online second opinion can include:
- Improved patient care—The most significant benefit patients find from seeking a virtual second opinion is an improvement in overall care. This is due to having access to a large library of medical records and doctors nationwide. No matter where a patient is located, they may potentially receive access to any specialist they need.
- Increased timeliness—Receiving a virtual second opinion is often more efficient than going in person to receive one. The virtual process may allow patients to receive in-depth care and a treatment plan from a physician in about two weeks; in contrast, in-person visits are booked months out in most cases.
- Individualized care—It’s easier to make informed health decisions when all the facts are present. With a virtual second opinion, doctors can take the facts and ease patient anxiety by answering questions and creating a clear treatment plan.
- Expanded care—Offering the benefit of online second opinions to employees helps those who live in areas of the country that do not have adequate access to health care or are not near an expert physician.
- Eased anxiety—Online second opinions can ease the anxiety and stress of employees that may have received a diagnosis or care option they’d like analyzed in-depth. It can also empower an individual to take charge of their health and increase overall health literacy by receiving another medical opinion report.
It’s important to note that there are different virtual second opinion program levels available. For example, these programs can include quality care for cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. Other programs offer care from specialists and subspecialists, such as surgeons and oncologists, that may be required for a patient’s care.
The level of care offering needed at each organization will vary, so it’s important to survey the needs of employees to find out which coverage options will receive the most use. Providing the option of virtual second opinions can give employees comfort in knowing they have access to additional care when they need it most.
If you have questions about virtual second opinions and how you can offer it to your employees, contact us to speak to a consultant. You can also follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn or here on the FBS Blog for more employee health and wellness trends.