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Value of Second Opinions

Why would you consider getting a second opinion?

Imagine being diagnosed with a serious illness for which there are many different treatments – like cancer, where immediate surgery may be the best option for one person, while another may benefit much more from chemotherapy. Or else a rare illnesses, which has very specialized treatments. Wouldn’t you want to be sure before having invasive surgery, or spending your savings on a specific treatment, that you’ve evaluated all treatment options?

  • In a phone survey by the National Patient Safety Foundation, 42% of patients reported that they experienced a medical mistake, 40% of which were “misdiagnosis or treatment error”.1
  • The annual cost of unnecessary medical procedures is about $122 billion.2

That's where a second opinion comes in. By providing an additional perspective(s) on the case, second opinions can help identify additional options, confirm diagnoses, clarify treatment plans, and even catch errors.

  • In a Johns Hopkins study of second opinions on pathology, 20 cases originally diagnosed as malignant were found to be benign, and 5 cases originally thought to be benign were found to be malignant. Overall, the treatment plan was revised in 93% of cases.3
  • Second opinions for 1,443 patients at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic cancelled 73% of 1,053 surgeries for less invasive treatments, for a net savings of $984,000. 4

But a WorldCare Second Opinion is not just any second opinion – it is personalized to your specific circumstances, and from specialists at top hospitals who give recommendations based on the latest advances in medicine.

An independent study found that WorldCare Second Opinions changed diagnoses in 15% of cases and modified treatment plans in 70% of cases.

Members say WorldCare Second Opinions give them “peace of mind” going into surgery, and confidence in their treatment decisions.

Even the smallest enhancement to the diagnosis or treatment plan, due to a second opinion, can make a world of difference when you’re dealing with a serious illness. As a WorldCare member, you can have top specialists weigh in on your condition, when you need them to.

1 Institute of Medicine, "To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System" 2000
2 Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, "Death by Medicine" November 2003
3 Kronz JD, Westra WH, Epstein JI. "Mandatory second opinion surgical pathology at a large referral hospital." Cancer. 1999 Dec 1;86(11).
4 Diagnostic Imaging Online, January 10, 2002

UCLA Healthcare Partners Healthcare MAYO Clinic Duke University Health System Children's Hospital Boston