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Frequently Asked Questions About the Online Second Opinion Program

  • What is Medical Oncology?

    Our Dana-Farber medical oncologists specialize in cancer and oversee chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and other medical treatments. Medical oncologists collaborate with surgical and radiation oncologists but do not oversee radiation treatment or surgery for cancer patients.

    How do I start the process of getting an online second opinion?

    Grand Rounds facilitates the online second opinion process. You can call Grand Rounds between 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. EST at 800-941-9309 if you are located in the United States, or +1-775-440-2559 if you are located outside the United States; a member of the Grand Rounds care team will guide you through the process of starting a second opinion over the phone. Alternatively, you can start a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, please create an account.

    What is included in this online second opinion service?

    Once you create an account, you will receive service from your own personal Grand Rounds Care Coordinator and Staff Physician, who will guide you through the process of collecting your medical records, matching your case with the most appropriate Dana-Farber medical oncologist, delivering your Dana-Farber online second opinion to you, and handling any questions you may have. Your case will be reviewed by a Dana-Farber medical oncologist who specializes in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other systemic therapy treatment options for your diagnosis. At this time, surgical and radiation oncologists are not available to review cases through this program. If you have questions related to surgery and radiation treatment options, you can request an in-person multi-disciplinary appointment by filling out this online form or by calling 877-442-3324.

    How much does an online second opinion cost?

    The cost for all second opinions is $2,000. This fee includes medical record collection, a written second opinion from a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute medical oncologist, and guidance throughout the process from your personal care team at Grand Rounds (comprising a Staff Physician, Care Coordinator and Record Specialist). In rare cases, the complexity of the case will also require an opinion from other doctors, including radiologists and pathologists. In these cases, an additional fee may be charged and you will be contacted to approve the payment.

    Will my insurance cover it?

    Currently, most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations, so patients are responsible for the cost of the second opinion. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service. If you have questions regarding this process, please call Grand Rounds at 800-941-9309 if you are located in the United States, or +1-775-440-2559 if you are located outside the United States.

    How long will it take?

    We do our best to deliver your written second opinion as quickly as possible. However, the timeline can vary based on the amount of time it takes to obtain your medical records and the availability of the specialist best suited to review your case. After you submit your case on the online portal, it can take up to 14 days to collect all necessary medical records. Once record collection is complete, it typically takes 5 to 7 business days to receive your written online second opinion.

    Do I need to send my medical records?

    If you reside or have resided outside of the United States, yes. If all of your care has taken place within the United States, you’ll only need to provide the names and locations of physicians who have seen you previously; our Care Team will then collect your records. If you live in the United States and already have all of your medical records on hand, you can send them directly to the Grand Rounds Care Team for an expedited timeline.

    What if my medical records are in a language other than English?

    Unfortunately, we are not able to process requests that are not in English. All documents pertaining to your online second opinion must be translated into English before being submitted to Grand Rounds.

    Who chooses the physician who will provide my second opinion?

    The Grand Rounds Care Coordinator will carefully review your second opinion request and will match you with a Dana-Farber medical oncologist to handle your case. You may request a particular medical oncologist, and we will try to accommodate that request, but we cannot guarantee that specialist will be available and assigned to your case.

    What if I would rather visit Dana-Farber for an in-person appointment?

    You can request an in-person appointment by filling out this online form or calling 877-442-3324.

    Is this service available to anyone?

    For the most part, yes. However, we cannot offer online second opinions to a small number of patients living in certain excluded states and countries, due to regulatory constraints. If you live in one of these areas, you can still request an in-person second opinion by filling out this online form or calling 877-442-3324.

    Is my medical and payment information secure?

    Dana-Farber and Grand Rounds are strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. The Grand Rounds online portal meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In addition, Grand Rounds does not store any credit card information in their system. All financial transactions are securely processed by Grand Rounds using industry-standard payment processing tools.

    Can I schedule a follow-up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

    In most cases, yes. After you and your local doctor receive the second opinion, a Grand Rounds Staff Physician or Care Coordinator will contact you to answer any questions and discuss next steps. We encourage you to discuss your second opinion with your local provider. If you would like to schedule an in-person appointment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, please alert your Grand Rounds physician at that time. Please note: the cost of your online second opinion cannot be applied to the bill for an in-person visit. Any in-person appointment or pathology review may be covered by your insurance, or you may be financially responsible. It may be possible to schedule an appointment with the specialist who provided your online second opinion, and you may require additional appointments with other Dana-Farber specialty providers.

    If I have an in-person appointment, can my medical records from the online second opinion be transferred to Dana-Farber scheduling staff?

    Yes, but additional materials, including pathology slides, medical records, and imaging, may need to be collected. The scheduling staff will discuss this process with you. You may need to help collect these materials.

    What is the affiliation between Grand Rounds and Dana-Farber?

    Dana-Farber partners with Grand Rounds to offer online second opinions from our specialists in virtually every medical oncology specialty and subspecialty. The Grand Rounds Care Team gathers and summarizes your medical records, images, and history. A Dana-Farber medical oncology specialist – individually selected because of expertise related to your case – reviews your medical records, images, and history, and provides a written second opinion.

    Can I add more records, labs, or scans once the case is underway?

    Your case cannot be reviewed by an expert until we have received all of the required records. All records, labs, and scans must be available at the time you submit the case. Should additional records, labs, or imaging become available once your case is underway, we regret that we cannot add them to your case, and as such the expert will not be able to review them. If new information does become available while your case is underway, you are welcome to open and pay for a new case, and we can request the same expert who reviewed your first case. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that the same expert will be available to review your second case.

    How many questions can I ask the expert?

    Patients may ask a maximum of eight questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before we reach out to the expert to review your case, and additional questions cannot be added once your case is underway. Please note that there is no direct phone conversation with the expert, so it is important that you submit all of your questions at the start of your case.

    What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

    You will receive a notification when your second opinion has been completed and is ready for your review. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Grand Rounds clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

    What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

    If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Grand Rounds clinician is unable to address it, then the Grand Rounds clinician can contact the expert to request additional clarification. Please note that we cannot guarantee that the expert will be available to answer your follow-up question(s). Any such question must be posed to the expert within five business days of when the completed second opinion was made available to you, and you may ask a maximum of three clarifying questions. Please note that you may not introduce any new questions, only clarifying questions. Grand Rounds can also help you to arrange a visit with the expert if needed.

  • View a Sample Dana-Farber Online Second Opinion

    Your Dana-Farber oncologist thoroughly reviews your medical records, diagnosis, and treatment plan and provides clear medical guidance in a written second opinion that will be provided to you and your local provider. See this example of a Dana-Farber online second opinion.

    Pediatric Second Opinion

    When faced with complex medical questions or decisions regarding a new diagnosis or treatment plan for your child, having an expert second opinion from the world's leading pediatric specialists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's can provide peace of mind that your child is getting the best care.