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Physician manpower seminars. Part IV: patient management.

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  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Getting a Second Opinion before Surgery Revised February 2014 What’s a second opinion? A second opinion is when a doctor other than your regular doctor gives his or her view about your health problem and how it should be treated. Getting a second opinion can help you make a more informed decision about your care. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps pay for a second opinion before surgery. When your doctor says you have a health problem that needs surgery, you have the right to: • Know and understand your treatment choices. • Have another doctor look at those choices with you (second opinion). • Participate in treatment decisions by making your wishes known. When should I get a second opinion? If your doctor says you need surgery to diagnose or treat a health problem that isn’t an emergency, you should consider getting a second opinion. It’s up to you to decide when and if you’ll have surgery. You might also want a second opinion if your doctor tells you that you should have certain kinds of major non-surgical procedures. Medicare doesn’t pay for surgeries or procedures that aren’t medically necessary, like cosmetic surgery. This means that Medicare won’t pay for second opinions for surgeries or procedures that aren’t medically necessary. 2 Don’t wait for a second opinion if you need emergency surgery. Some types of emergencies may require surgery right away, like: • Acute appendicitis • Blood clot or aneurysm • Accidental injuries How do I find a doctor for a second opinion? Make sure the doctor giving the second opinion accepts Medicare. To find a doctor for a second opinion, you can: • Visit to find doctors who accept Medicare. • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Ask for information about doctors who accept Medicare. • Ask your doctor for the name of another doctor to see for a second opinion. Don’t hesitate to ask—most doctors want you to g

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