FAQ

Who are the medical experts of FMO?

All our specialists have many years of experience in their relevant fields of specialisation. In large fields of medicine such as general surgery and orthopedics, we only take doctors into our portfolio who have specialised in specific areas. For example, we do not merely work with general orthopedists but instead rely on the expertise of knee surgeons, spine surgeons and foot surgeons. In addition, many of our specialists are respected luminaries in their fields. For instance Prof. Pässler no longer practices full-time and only provides his specialist second opinions through FMO. Overview of all our Specialists

Can I choose a specific specialist to provide a second opinion on a particular condition?

FMO will look at all aspects of your request for a second opinion and will select the most appropriate specialists for your relevant condition. Whilst requests for specific specialists are taken into account, they unfortunately cannot always be guaranteed due to availability. Please contact us at service@fairmedonline.com if you want a particular specialist for your second opinion.

Why should I get a second opinion from FMO instead of going to another doctor?

Our experts are not generalists, but carefully selected specialists with extensive knowledge and many years of experience in their respective fields. In addition, they are truly independent and unbiased in the medical advice that they provide as there are no financial incentives for them (apart from the fee they earn from providing the second opinion). Because of our operating model, our specialists are not generally permitted to provide both a second opinion and ongoing medical treatment (such as an operation) to the same patient, unless you specifically request so.

In case you do decide to opt for a second opinion from a local doctor, you have to consider that their unconditional neutrality is often compromised. The independence and neutrality of our experts is a key advantage FMO brings – and this leads to more peace of mind for you.
Furthermore, our experts are able to work on each case with considerably more diligence before providing their second opinion in just a few days. Given the large number of patients they typically have to deal with, this is hard for outpatient doctors to accomplish and often times leads to misdiagnosis. In the US alone, as many as 12 million patients are misdiagnosed every year, and up to 29% of surgical procedures, diagnostic tests and treatment protocols are unnecessary. This can result in tremendous inconvenience, pain and suffering for the patient and, in some cases, even death. Further, these unnecessary healthcare services are costly to both the patient and provider. Obtaining a second opinion from a qualified, objective medical professional acts as a safeguard against unnecessary and incorrect treatments and helps ensure that a patient receives the appropriate medical care.

Finally, submitting your request online via FMO means you won’t have to spend time in traffic and doctors’ waiting rooms!

What is a second medical opinion?

A second opinion is the opinion of an independent, professionally competent doctor. We provide the information about your case to them and they in turn make an assessment of your medical condition and provide treatment options. This includes an assessment of whether in your case an operation is appropriate or whether alternative treatments should be considered. Our patients then often discuss this second opinion with their primary physician to agree on a course of action together.

When is a second opinion appropriate?

In principle, obtaining a second opinion is always appropriate before any elective surgery in order to eliminate any uncertainty and to ensure that all appropriate alternative treatment methods have been considered. This benefits both the patient and the attending physician. We strongly advise seeking a second opinion in the following cases:

  • Your doctor is not a recognised specialist for your medical condition.
  • You require further guidance to make an informed decision since different doctors have given you different treatment recommendations.
  • You doctors have not made a clear diagnosis of your condition and/or have not made treatment recommendations.
  • You feel that you are not adequately informed about the proposed treatment and possible alternatives available.

How long does it take to obtain a second opinion?

After you have completed the questionnaire and uploaded all relevant documentation (i.e. x-rays, laboratory results or doctor’s recommendations), the second opinion is typically created within 10 working days. In urgent cases, an express second opinion can be done within 5 working days, for which a surcharge is applicable. In cases of extreme urgency, a second opinion can be created in less time. Kindly contact us directly and we will ensure that your request is expedited.

What if I still have questions after receiving the second opinion?

Providing exceptional customer care is of great importance to us – from the initial submission of your request right through to the sending of the final second opinion. If you still have questions after receiving your second opinion, our medical customer service staff and specialists are happy to assist in answering them.

In this case, kindly contact us at service@fairmedonline.com

Isn’t the remote diagnosis of patients illegal in some countries?

The service provided by FMO (and other second opinion providers) is not considered as a remote diagnosis by doctors. The second opinions provided by our experts are an excellent complement to your primary physician’s initial diagnosis. This service does not replace that initial diagnosis but serves to complement and confirm it, providing additional certainty and peace of mind. Our specialist does not conduct remote diagnostics, but creates an independent opinion about your treatment based on the medical records you provide. Our work is therefore completely legal and provides an important contribution to the safety of patients. A direct review of the FMO second opinion by your primary physician, and the resulting treatment, are a prerequisite for a meaningful implementation of the recommendations of our experts. With our one-year follow-up guarantee, we also assist you with issues that may arise or further treatment suggestions.

Are your second opinions supportable in court?

Our second opinions are intended for you as a patient and serve as an aid in your decision making. A judicial opinion is associated with significantly more effort and is not in our focus. Whilst the FMO second opinion can be taken as evidence of any medical malpractice in court, it is unlikely to be recognised by a court.

What do I receive when the Second Opinion review is completed by my assigned specialist?

You receive a Second Opinion Report, which contains a comprehensive summary of your health information and medical records, as well as your specialist’s opinions regarding your medical condition and, as applicable, recommendations regarding potential treatments.

Can I have continued access to my Second Opinion record created through your website?

Yes, you can continue to access all of your records that have been submitted to our system – including your health records, your health questionnaire, and your Second Opinion Report – at any time by logging in to our website.

Can I return to your website for a different condition or symptom?

Yes, you can request a Second Opinion for as many different medical conditions or sets of symptoms as you have.

What do I need to work with your website? Do I need any special programmes or software?

You don’t need any special programmes or software to use our Services. You do need an Internet connection (broadband works best) and an Internet web browser. Our Services support all commonly used web browsers, including Internet Explorer 9 and up and the most recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. In order to download the Second Opinion Report, you must have Adobe Reader 10 or higher or another commonly used PDF reader.

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Cost of a second opinion

Will my insurance cover the cost of my second opinion?

In some countries insurance companies do assume the cost of a second opinion on behalf of their premium holders. Although many insurers do cover our services, we recommend you contact your insurance carrier to confirm the status of your specific policy.

What is the cost of a second opinion, if it is not covered by my insurance?

If your health insurance does not cover the costs of the second opinions,
you will find an overview of the costs here:

Second opinion
(standard)
Second opinion
(double*)
Express
Surcharge
Cost US$ 900 US$ 1200 Surcharge: max 30% of normal price
Duration 10 working days 10 working days 5 working days
Example One knee (left side only) Both knees (left and right)

Note: The deadline period begins once all relevant documentation has been received by our specialists.
* This figure is for a second opinion including both feet, hands, hips, knees or shoulders. It is also applicable to back injuries

We are happy to make you an individual offer for other, more complex requests.

Why am I required to make prepayment for this service?

Once we begin processing your case and the specialist starts their evaluation, we incur costs that must be covered. These costs not only include the fees for the specialist but also costs associated with the FMO Case Management team, who will continue accompanying you for more than a year. You will not only be receiving an expert second opinion but also comprehensive medical support and advice, which starts with the compilation of all your medical records and also includes a search for referring physicians. Overall, our offer is very low in cost in comparison to other alternatives and our results speak for themselves.

Can the amount be paid in installments?

An installment plan is not yet available.

Which documents do you need?

What kind of documents do I need to submit?

Simply log in to www.fairmedonline.com to get started. Kindly provide us with your name and email address. We will contact you within 24hrs and send you a link to a secure portal on our site where you can provide us with all the medical records related to your initial diagnosis (the first opinion), a brief medical history, and a questionnaire tailored to your specific medical condition/issue. Our web-based platform makes all these steps easy to perform, and we will connect you with an appropriate specialist to provide your medical second opinion. Our case expert will also be able to provide assistance through chat or email.

If there are any documents missing, we will notify you promptly and, if needed, gladly support you in obtaining them.

How do I get my documents from my doctor?

Every doctor is obliged to provide his patient access to their medical records – although some may charge a fee for these. If possible, be sure to request both hard and soft copies of these records. Many doctors and hospitals will email medical records directly to you, which will make uploading them a lot easier.

Note: It is important to always request copies of your medical records from your doctor (for example, in case the practice is closed or moves location).

What will my treating physician think about FMO reviewing his/her diagnosis?

Having another doctor look at your case is a reasonable and responsible thing to do. Generally, we find that treating doctors are enthusiastic about receiving guidance from the top physicians in their fields.

Additionally, FMO helps bridge communication between you and your treating physician in a number of ways, provided that you have given us permission to do so.

What medical conditions does FMO cover?

FMO covers most medical conditions – from very complex and serious issues, to primary care and pediatrics. Cases commonly seen by FMO include: orthopedics, oncology, cardiology, neurology, pediatric subspecialties, rheumatology, and pain management.

How do I submit my medical records?

After logging in to www.fairmedonline.com and completing the questionnaire, you can easily upload your documents (doctors findings, x-rays, CT scans etc.) by using the upload manager which is located under your personal space.

Alternatively, you can simply send us all your documents via email and our Case management team will take the submission to the relevant specialists. In this case, email service@fairmedonline.com stating your name.

You can also send all your documentation to us via post. In this case kindly send it to the following address:

FairMed Online Pte Ltd

63 Market Street, #10-02
Bank of Singapore Centre
Singapore 048942

Note that all documents, images and reports that you provide to us in postal form will be sent back to you after completion of the second opinion.

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Data and security

How secure is my data if I upload/ send my documents to you?

Protecting your privacy is a top priority for us. The transmission of your documents is encrypted and protected by a so-called SSL certificate. In addition, we store all data in an anonymous and encrypted way. If you send your application by mail these safeguards apply equally and we will send your originals back to you as soon as you get your second opinion.

Who has access to my data?

Only you have access to your personal, password-protected area. So please save your password in a safe place and do not disclose it to third parties. The collection and processing of your personal data is only for answering and handling your second opinion request. We treat your data with the strictest confidentiality and in compliance with all legal provisions. There is obviously no transmission of your data to third parties, with the exception of the specialists tasked with answering and handling your second opinion request. It is our business practice to only collect the information we need at the time we need it.

Why does a doctor’s medical report have to be submitted? Why not only reply to the questionnaire and the imaging provided?

Each doctor performs an initial physical examination in order to make an assessment of your underlying symptoms. Depending on the outcome of this physical examination, subsequent steps such as x-rays or therapies are undertaken. The physical examination is recorded in writing by your doctor and provides the basis of any further medical action.

Therefore, in order for our experts to provide you with an informed recommendation, we highly recommend that you provide details of the physical examination provided by your primary physician.

Why can’t your specialists use scans or printouts of imaging material (i.e. X-ray or MRI)?

Printouts of X-rays and MRIs are done on low resolution printers and are not diagnostically usable or limited in application. They may, for example, be sufficient to diagnose a fracture, but not to detect subtleties of a tendon.

Digital imaging can be used for diagnostic purposes using the appropriate software and correct output media (special diagnostic screens). Digital imaging allows the specialist to zoom an image in and out and make use of accurate scale displays to make precise measurements of injured areas.

Why do the specialists require the findings of radiologists?

Findings on medical imaging are created by radiologists. Radiologists have typically completed 5-7 years of residency training in order to make very accurate and precise medical findings from medical imaging. The findings of the radiologist are therefore an important source of information for the specialist creating the second opinion.

Why do the doctors need both the imaging and the related findings to write their second opinion?

Our specialists look at both the radiologists findings as well as the actual images to make an accurate assessment.

Our experts often have decades of experience in their respective fields of specialisation (e.g. knee) and may be able to confirm or rule out a diagnosis using only the imaging.

I tried my best, but I could not obtain certain documents and imaging for my condition. Can the FMO specialist still create a second opinion for me?

We can take your case to the relevant specialist with incomplete documents and ask them, whether a second opinion can be created on this basis. Frequently our experts refuse to accept such cases.

However, if it is still possible, the validity of the second opinion could be limited. Essentially, the quality of the second opinion is directly dependent on the completeness of the submitted documents.

Can I get you to transmit the data via email or in Google Drive?

If you want to transfer the documents via cloud (as Dropbox or Google Docs) or email, we have the technical means to receive them, but we do not recommended this for privacy reasons, since the updates received are not encrypted. Sending the imaging by email is possible, but it is not recommended due to the very large file sizes.

Can my case be processed by an expert that I select?

In principle if the patient desires a particular expert, we will always try to assign them. However, the precondition for this is that:

1. the expert is suitable for the case
2. the expert is available

If one of the conditions is not met, we will provide this feedback to the patient, and inform them when the requested specialist will be available or why we will recommend another specialist for their specific case.

Was your question not listed or not fully answered? Contact us directly at service@fairmedonline.com or through our contact form.

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