Saving Lives With Second Opinions: Right From Your Home


When you or a loved one are just diagnosed with a serious condition, it can be a frightening, overwhelming experience.  But getting a second opinion can help you feel more confident about your diagnosis and treatment. Now—you can access some of the top physicians around the world, without leaving your home.

When Ella Jakobi was told she'd need back surgery. The busy fashionista worried about how it would impact her lifestyle.

"I thought I was going to be like an old woman, just shuffling around," Jakobi told Ivanhoe.

Her doctor said she would need at least four months to recover and even then there could be mobility issues.

"Then, I decided to go online like a lot of us do. You know when you get a diagnosis; you run around and start Googling," Jakobi explained.

That's where she found SecondOpinions.com founded by Dr. Michael Yuz.

"Medical errors are now considered to be the third leading cause of death. Up to 400,000 patients die in the United States alone from preventable medical errors," Dr. Michael Yuz, Founder & CEO of SecondOpinions.com, told Ivanhoe.

Now—new options like SecondOpinions.com allow you to get a second opinion without leaving your home.

Others include Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic's MyConsult program. Each allows you to upload your medical images to their server and match you with expert board certified physicians.

"40 to 50% of cases that come to us will provide a diagnosis that sometimes is substantially different from the original," Dr. Yuz explained.

In Jakobi's case a neuroradiologist and neurosurgeon reviewed her images.

"She was definitely not a surgical candidate, although she was told that she would be crippled unless she got the surgery," Dr. Yuz said.

Instead with a strict exercise plan, she's feeling better than ever.

"It was a life changer for me; 100% life-changer," Jakobi said.

Medical errors cost the U.S. about 20 billion dollars a year.

As for the cost to you, a second opinion can cost anywhere from 500 dollars and up at Johns Hopkins or the Cleveland clinic, and may or may not be covered by insurance.

BACKGROUND: A study published in the Journal of Patient Safety says that each year between 210,000 and 440,000 patients go to the hospital suffer from some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.  Based on that statistic, it would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.  In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year.  In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous "To Err is Human" report that said 98,000 people died every year because of hospital mistakes.  What's the right number? No one knows for sure, but when it comes to a loved one any prediction of accidental deaths by healthcare professionals is worrisome.  (Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/09/20/224507654/how-many-die-from-medical-mistakes-in-u-s-hospitals)

SECONDOPINIONS:  Sites like SecondOpinions.com could help cut down on medical errors by offering another doctor's opinion.  SecondOpinions.com offers a state of the art, web-based consumer platform connecting patients globally to top U.S. physicians in any specialty and sub-specialty.    A unique feature they offer is called Second Opinions Express.  It enables patients to ask a non-complicated general medical question and receive a quick and concise written response from a medical expert within 30 minutes.  This particular service costs $19.95. 

"We are excited to offer our new quick and affordable service to people across the globe," Michael Yuz, MD, MBA, CEO and Founder of SecondOpinions.com, was quoted as saying.  "Statistics have shown that more than 70% of internet users search the web for health and medical information. Second Opinions Express has been developed, in part, to assist people interested in obtaining general medical information online but are not certain that the information they find is reliable. Our panel of medical experts ensures that patients receive credible, comprehensive and up-to-date medical information without spending a fortune."  The prices for the standard radiology second opinions range from $29.00 to $99.00.  In addition, specialist and sub-specialist physicians in all medical fields are available via telephone and video chat for $49.00 per 5-minute consultation.  (Source: https://secondopinions.com/images/media-room/SecondOpinions-National-Post-PR.pdf)

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Amber Statler-Matthews