However, in the face of certain life-threatening or life-changing conditions – for which treatment may not be well documented, or which require new treatment methods – access to a global medical expert for a second opinion, may be of value.
In these cases, seamless access to internationally recognised experts in certain sub-fields of medicine is important.
This is why Discovery Health has partnered with The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic – one of the most well-known and respected medical centres in the world. This partnership gives Discovery Health Medical Scheme members and their doctors online access to international expert specialists (based at Cleveland Clinic) who review each patient case quickly and provide full feedback. Once the online second opinion process has been initiated, a dedicated Discovery Health case manager handles the process of interaction with Cleveland Clinic in full.
When does the The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic second-opinion service apply?
Scheme members and their specialists can ask for a second opinion:
- If they want to consider more treatment options
- If the patient’s condition is not improving
- If the patient has received different opinions from treating doctors in South Africa.
The second opinion service is available in relation to more than 1 200 serious or life-threatening conditions including:
- Cancer, tumours and blood disorders
- Kidney, urological and digestive diseases
- Heart, valve and lung diseases
- Orthopaedic injuries and diseases
- Pregnancy and childbirth (obstetrics) and gynaecological disorders
- Auto-immune, metabolic and neurological disorders
Once a Cleveland Clinic-based, board-certified medical expert has examined all information shared, they collate a second opinion report within about 14 business days (as far as possible), which includes:
- A review of the diagnosis (and an updated diagnosis, if applicable)
- Answers to questions submitted
- A review of treatment options and alternatives
- Information about clinical trials (if available)
Once sent, the treating doctor can discuss the report’s recommendations with the Cleveland Clinic physician.
What does the service cost?
The cost of an online second opinion from Cleveland Clinic is $565. If Cleveland Clinic requires a pathology review to complete the consultation, additional $180 will apply.
Discovery Health Medical Scheme funds 100% of the cost on the Executive Plan and 50% of the cost on other plans and this payment does not affect day-to-day benefits.