Getting A Second Medical Opinion Online
MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Jo Anne Giordano just wanted some peace of mind.
"They thought I had lymphoma," said Giordano.
After seeing what they thought was a tumor the size of tennis ball on her lung, her doctors ordered a PET scan to firm up their diagnosis.
"The hospital had told me it could be 5-7 days," Giordano explained.
Because her father died of lung cancer, Giordano was in a full panic.
"I was a wreck. My husband was a wreck," Giordano confessed.
Instead of agonizing over a potential deadly diagnosis for a week, Giordano uploaded her PET scan to secondopinions.com. It's a new website started by South Florida Radiologist Dr. Mike Yuz.
"And within 24-hours he called me to give me some peace of mind and tell me that it wasn't as serious as maybe the doctors had led me to believe."
Yuz diagnosed a treatable, pneumonia-like infection versus a tumor, and he was right.
"Most of secondopinion requests are related to patients having serious diseases such as if they're diagnosed with cancer or they require surgery," Dr. Yuz told CBS4.
Second opinions are now more important than previously believed. Last year, Johns Hopkins reported that diagnostic errors were the number one most common, harmful and costly medical mistake, higher than surgical or medication mess ups. But insurance often doesn't pay for second opinions. Also, the wait to get an appointment and consultation consumes valuable and possible life-saving time.
"The whole point of our service is to have patients affordable access to some of the top expert physicians," said Dr. Yuz. "It's not about people self-diagnosing themselves online. It's about actually a live physician providing an expert opinion."
Although Florida law doesn't require a telemedicine doctor to be licensed in the state of Florida, Dr. Yuz has a different opinion for secondopinions.com.
"The doctor who provides consultations must be licensed in the state where patient is located and the doctor himself is located," insisted Yuz.
So a thousand board certified doctors are on board in all 50 states, ready to read a mammogram, MRI, X-ray, CT or PET scan 24/7, all for $29 to $99.
"His services are so reasonable. My co-payments are more than what he charges," exclaimed Giordano.
If you want to find out your risk of specific health problems or diseases, there's an APP for that! It's called "Health Genius" and it's free on Apple or Android.
"Love it! Now I'm addicted," declared Giordano.
"As you know, healthcare spending in the U.S. is completely out of control and telemedicine certainly can provide that critical efficiency that we currently need," said Yuz. "Telemedicine is the future of medicine and the future is already today."
Although 10-million people regularly use telemedicine today, Florida is one state that hasn't set guidelines and standards for telemedicine. Several legislative committees are currently considering bills that would do just that, although the House and Senate versions differ on the amount and type of regulation.
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