Sometimes you disagree with your doctor’s judgment. In this case, you can request a second opinion. A doctor not involved in your treatment will give an opinion about your health condition. This may be the case, for example, if you do not agree with a health professional. Another health professional will then check your health complaint again.
You are always entitled to a second opinion
In principle, you are always entitled to a second opinion as a patient. However, in some cases, the second opinion is only compensated when you have a referral from your current doctor. If you frequently ask for a second opinion, your doctor may object. The intention is not for your doctor’s judgment to be tested indefinitely by different doctors.
Whether you need a referral for a second opinion depends on your health insurance company and your type of health insurance. If you want to know whether you are entitled to a second opinion, you can contact your health insurance company.
However, you do not need a referral if you are willing to pay for the treatment yourself. However, if something turns out to be wrong and that you need a lot of treatments, you cannot file the bill with your health insurance company afterward. So be careful though, because a health professional’s costs can add up to a significant amount.
No referral is required
There are some types of specialist care that, contrary to popular belief, generally do not need a referral. This applies to the following types of specialist care:
- Teeth health
- Exercise therapist
- Skin Therapist
- nutrition specialist
- Speech therapist
- Occupational Therapist
There are some exceptions. For example, your policy may be expressly stating that referral is required for one or more of these types of specialist care. It also depends on your health insurance company and potential additional insurance policies whether the costs of care are reimbursed in full.
If you would like a second opinion, it is important to inform your doctor. You can choose a second doctor on your own, but you can also ask your doctor to choose another. This is useful, for example, if you want a second opinion from a health professional. A general practitioner can then be a good link between the incumbent health professional and the second opinion hygienist.
Health professionals also refer directly to another specialist without the help of a general practitioner. However, your doctor should be aware that you have requested a second opinion.
When you ask your doctor for a referral for a second opinion, he or she should always give you this. Only if your doctor has serious objections (for example, if you often seek a second opinion), your doctor may not.