Do you ever wonder whether the tests your doctor orders during a patient visit are necessary? Or whether a procedure is medically indicated? A Florida jury recently found an eye doctor guilty of Medicare fraud after he intentionally misdiagnosed hundreds of elderly patients with an eye disorder known as macular degeneration. Macular degeneration can cause blindness. Dr. David Ming Pon treated his misdiagnosed patients with laser treatments that they did not need and billed Medicare accordingly. It only took the jury two hours to find Dr. Pon guilty. While Dr. Pon’s case is unique, it demonstrates the importance of obtaining a second opinion before undergoing invasive tests and procedures. Many patients do not seek another opinion from a second because it may be time-consuming or they do not want to offend their physician. However, second opinions can be an invaluable tool to prevent unnecessary tests and procedures. In cases of elective surgeries, for example, studies have found 30% of patients receive different opinions from a second physician. Additionally, obtaining a second opinion helps ensure that the most qualified physician performs the recommended procedure.
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