Finding the Right Program
This article accompanies Second That.
To help distinguish between the varying degrees of assistance and services offered by second-opinion programs, Dr. Alan Shapiro, chief medical officer and chief health assistant at Accolade, a consumer-health-engagement platform for large employers and insurers in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., suggests that HR ask the following questions of potential providers:
* Can you provide examples of the people in your network and their academic affiliations? Are they highly specialized in specific diseases or unusual illnesses? Do they work in the country's top medical centers?
* What is the selection process for experts in your network?
* Do you offer employee support or guidance on securing medical records?
* Can you help HR identify -- in a timely fashion -- employees who are best suited for this program?
* How do you help HR engage employees at the right time -- those who will maximally benefit from this service at the right point in their illness?
* Can you help employees find in-person second opinions?
"The ability to tap into expert networks can be useful," says Shapiro, pointing to employees with unusual or rare conditions. "You have to also get [employees] engaged in the right situations. Otherwise, as the HR manager, you're wasting your time and money."