Davis Introduces Legislation on Medical Second Opinions

August 10, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-California) introduced legislation to ensure second opinions for patients enrolled in health plans.

The Right to a Second Medical Opinion Act (H.R. 2457) will allow patients to more easily access a second opinion when they face a serious medical procedure or when an illness accelerates, according to a news release.

The bill defines five conditions under which patients are entitled to receive a second opinion:

  • If a patient questions the rationality or necessity of recommended surgical procedures;
  • If a patient doubts a diagnosis or treatment plan because it could lead to the loss of life, limb, bodily function, or a serious chronic condition;
  • If a diagnosis is in doubt due to conflicting test results, or the treating doctor is unable to diagnose the condition, or the clinical indications are complex, unclear, or confusing;
  • If the treatment plan in progress is not improving the medical condition of the patient; and
  • If the patient has attempted to follow the treatment plan, but has serious concerns about the diagnosis or treatment plan.

“We know that a second opinion can save a life or prevent an unnecessary and possibly risky procedure,” said Davis, in the news release.