Iowa patients who want to get another opinion about a diagnosis may want to consider obtaining a virtual second opinion. The telehealth and telemedicine industries have been providing means of communication between patients and providers who are not in the same room for years. However, the trend has expanded in recent years due to advances in virtual communication.
Virtual communication may be used for a variety of reasons. For example, patients can get secure messages from a physician or undergo an online refractory test to obtain a prescription from an optometrist. Virtual communication can also be used for getting a second diagnosis from a specialist or subspecialist who is in another city or on the other side of the country.
Every year, about 12 million Americans under outpatient care receive erroneous diagnoses. This causes $750 billion to be spent to address the misdiagnoses. The errors result in patients being given unnecessary treatments and delays in receiving the appropriate treatment. Misdiagnoses also contribute to the reduced quality of life and financial troubles of the patients, family caretakers and their employers.
Obtaining an additional opinion about one’s diagnosis has always been an option, but patients, their employers and health insurers have experienced difficulty in knowing who to contact. This has resulted in the increasing use of second-opinion and virtual care services. These services are being added to many employee benefits packages. Partnerships are also being formed with health insurers and the companies that offer the second-opinion services.
Individuals who have been misdiagnosed may have legal recourse. An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may examine the factors of a case and advise if pursuing financial compensation is a viable option.