Web Site Provides Online Second Opinions from ‘Leading’ Oncologists
MDExpert.com allows patients and physicians to obtain second opinions online from 200 "cancer experts," the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports. Dr. Julian Schink, professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, developed MDExpert 18 months ago and launched the site in August 2000. Under the program, medical records are submitted to MDExpert's team of doctors, who review the data without "ever seeing the patient in person" and send it over the Internet to doctors at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Patients can request one of two options: the oncologist can issue a diagnosis and provide a summary of recent research results, available clinical trials and patient education materials, or for an additional fee, patients can request a review of their pathology and radiology records. Costs range between $800 and $1250 -- three or four times the cost of a visit with a "local oncologist." Fifty people have used the service and company officials hope to serve 1,000 more this year (Ross, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.