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Online Second Opinion Frequently Asked Questions

When should I get an online second opinion?

If you or your child are faced with complex medical issues or difficult treatment decisions, second opinions are a great way to gather expertise input into your care. Access our specialists from our highly ranked Academic Medical Center. Please note, a second opinion is not advised during Medical Emergencies or for immediate treatment guidance needs.

What specialties are available for an online second opinion?

Stanford Medicine's Second Opinion pediatric program offers expert specialists from:

  • Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Orthopedics, Epilepsy and Brain Tumors
  • Neurosurgery, Heart Transplant/Heart Failure and Cardiothoracic Surgery are record review requests

Who chooses the physician who will provide my online second opinion?

We will carefully review your second opinion request and will determine which Stanford specialist is most appropriate to handle your online second opinion case. Stanford Medicine and Grand Rounds will try to accommodate specific Physician requests but we cannot guarantee that specialist will be assigned to your case.

What is the process?

There are two services offered through our Second Opinion Program. The first is a digital second review for conditions related to: Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Orthopedics, Epilepsy and Brain Tumors for $700. We also offer a complimentary Medical Record Review related to: Neurosurgery, Heart Transplant/Heart Failure and Cardiothoracic Surgery. Payment for the digital second review are due when your online second opinion request is submitted. All major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover) are accepted. Or if you have a Health Care Saving Account (HAS) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may use those to pay for this service as well.

The service includes:

  • Access to a personal care coordinator and staff physician from Grand Rounds
  • Collection, digitization and submission of your medical records by Grand Rounds
  • Medical review by a Stanford expert
  • A written opinion from that expert specialist
  • Post-opinion follow-up for additional questions and referrals

Will my insurance cover the cost?

Currently, most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations, but you may elect to use your Health Care Saving Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

How long does it take?

First, Grand Rounds will work with you to ensure medical records have been collected. From the time the medical records are collected, expect a response five to seven business days afterwards. This program IS NOT designed to handle medical emergencies, or provide immediate treatment guidance.

If this is a medical emergency please immediately call your local emergency service number (911 in the U.S.) to get prompt medical attention, or go to your nearest hospital, emergency room, or urgent-care center.

Please do not rely on electronic communications for assistance with immediate, urgent medical issues.

What if my medical records are in another language?

We are only able to process requests in English at this time. All documents pertaining to your online second opinion must be translated into English prior to them being submitted to Grand Rounds.

What should I do once I have the second opinion?

The Stanford specialist will send over a very thorough second opinion report addressing the specific questions asked during the second opinion request. The results of the report may agree with your original diagnosis or may offer additional treatment options. You should also plan to initially schedule time with your local treating provider to review the recommendations and work with him or her to refine your diagnosis, treatment plan, or plan of care. You are welcome to seek care at Stanford for your treatment after reviewing your second opinion report.