Online Second Opinion
Frequently Asked Questions | Online Second Opinions

Online Second Opinion Frequently Asked Questions

A second opinion may be helpful if:

  • You or your child has received an unclear diagnosis
  • You or your child have questions or concerns about a diagnosis
  • There’s been a change in diagnosis or the treatment your local care team is recommending
  • Your or your child is not improving with treatment
  • You have questions or concerns about a treatment recommendation

We offer online second opinions for patients and families outside the Greater Cincinnati area (southeast Ohio, southwest Indiana and northern Kentucky). 

Due to state and local healthcare regulations in the areas listed below, online second opinions are not available to families in:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Fulton County, Ga.

The service can only be requested by someone able to provide legal consent for the child such as an adoptive or natural parent, a personal representative, a person who is in loco parentis, or a person who has been appointed by a court or recognized by a court for children under 18 or those over 18 who do not have legal authority to consent on their own behalf. The service is also not available to patients who are currently hospitalized or engaged in a lawsuit related to their medical care. 

If you cannot participate in an online second opinion, we encourage you consider an in-person second opinion visit and learn more about services and specialties at Cincinnati Children’s.

Second opinions are common in healthcare. Medical providers understand this and typically welcome the opinions of other specialists. That’s why we share your second opinion report with your local physician. The report may assist them in developing and carrying out the treatment plan. 

Online second opinions and telehealth video visits are not the same. A telehealth appointment is like any other in-person visit, just over a secure video call. Online second opinions don’t need to include a video or phone call because our physician reviews your existing medical records and focuses on the questions you already gave us. Then, you receive a written report detailing our physician’s opinion about that medical condition, diagnosis or treatment plan.

Many types of specialists at Cincinnati Children’s offer online second opinions. You or your child will be matched to the provider who is best qualified to address your concerns. 

Families can request a provider by name, but we can’t guarantee that the specialist will be available to provide the online second opinion.

Online second opinions cost $850. Additional fees may apply if a radiologist or pathologist is asked to consult on the second opinion. Your case manager will provide details about this if needed. 

Generally, insurance plans do not pay for online second opinions. Families pay for this service using a credit card or health savings account (HSA) card.

After submitting payment through the Patient and Family Portal, you will receive a receipt by email. You can submit this to your HSA, or to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. Cincinnati Children’s will not bill your insurance company directly. 

Your case manager will collect the medical information and records for you. If you prefer, you can upload everything yourself through the Patient and Family Portal.

Yes. Our Patient and Family Portal complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and keeps all medical information protected and secure. 

We will keep your financial information secure, too, using industry-standard payment processing tools. And we do not retain credit card information after processing payment. 

All of the medical records you provide need to be in English. However, we can have your final report translated into another language. If you are interested in this option, please ask your case manager for details.

Once all necessary medical records are uploaded to the Patient and Family Portal, it typically takes five to seven business days for our specialists to provide the second opinion report. Your case manager will notify you by email when the written report is available in the portal for you and your local physician to review.

Our team welcomes questions that relate to your original request and the information in the report. If your questions go beyond that, the case manager will discuss options with you, such as scheduling an in-person visit to Cincinnati Children’s. 

Let your case manager know. They will work with you to make necessary arrangements to transfer your or your child’s care to Cincinnati Children’s. 

Sometimes this is possible, so please let us know if you are interested in this option. However, we cannot guarantee that the same specialists who provided your online second opinion will be the one who treats you or your child.