Get a second opinion from MediBid on Dash

Jed Stuber  ·  Feb 27, 2018

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17

When a health care organization in the U.S. started a second-opinion service for its members in 2016, it resulted in 60 percent of treatment plans being changed from their original course. Money saved by avoiding a single unnecessary surgery amounted to $424,540.

Now Samaritan Ministries partner MediBid is offering a second opinion service that you can access in the Health Resources app in your Dash account.

Anyone paying cash for medical care, which includes Samaritan members, wants to know how to get quality care at a competitive price. Unfortunately, quality and price information are often hidden or obscured in our highly regulated health care system, which is fraught with perverse incentives (see stories here and here). Medical errors, adverse drug reactions, hospital infections, and third-party interference are also huge problems. Thankfully, services like MediBid and Healthcare Bluebook are springing up to help consumers get the information they need.

Healthcare Bluebook’s data shows:

  • It is common for the costs for the same treatment to vary by 400 percent in the same city.
  • The providers with the highest quality ratings are usually very competitive on price.
  • It is not true that you have to pay the most to get the best.

MediBid’s service illustrates the timeless truth that a little competition goes a long way. Members can simply post the treatment they are looking for and receive bids from providers who are willing to do the treatment.

Last year member Doris Stephens was quoted a price of $35,000 for hip surgery. After posting on MediBid, she had the surgery done for $10,000 by a highly qualified specialist at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

MediBid is great for diagnostics, too. Member Kim Henderson used it to save $1,000 on a single MRI.

When members take advantage of these services, there is almost always significant savings. Samaritan member Toby Meisenheimer, a financial adviser by profession, writes this about reductions on his wife’s hospital bill:

“The money saved is meeting others’ needs! If we all did this, our Shares have less of a chance of spiraling out of control like insurance premiums are.”

 Why do second opinions make a difference?

This should go without saying, but diagnosing medical problems is notoriously difficult. It is simplistic to think that medicine has advanced to a precise science where a test is done, recommended treatment is given, and health is summarily restored. A million factors interact in complex ways to affect our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies—not to mention the mental and spiritual factors that play huge roles in our health. A second opinion often reveals more information and different options. Plus, a small fee for a second opinion might result in big savings overall.

The Mayo Clinic, a hospital that specializes in taking on difficult cases, has tried to study the issue of medical diagnosis, but it is very difficult to do so. Experts cannot even agree on common terminology for diagnosis so that changes can be consistently tracked. One Mayo Clinic study did find that when patients went to the significant trouble of seeking a second opinion, 88 percent of them received a change in diagnosis, 21 percent received a new diagnosis, and only 12 percent got confirmation that their original diagnosis was correct.

MediBid is making it easier for Samaritan members to apply the wisdom of Proverbs 18:17 to health care. A second opinion can often be gathered by phone call or Skype interview. A physician offering a second opinion can be granted access to the patient’s medical records and any imaging already taken. The second opinion will be thoroughly explained to the patient, either confirming the initial treatment option or suggesting an alternative.

MediBid recently held a webinar about their second-opinion service, featuring Samaritan member Dr. Jane Orient. Watch the video by registering here.