Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from physicians who are looking to work with Best Doctors.
Best Doctors® was founded by two professors from the Harvard School of Medicine who had the vision of ensuring the very best medical advice would be available to patients who needed it, at a time they needed it the most.
Best Doctors connects patients and their treating doctors with the world’s leading medical specialists. These specialists provide an independent diagnostically driven review of the patient’s current diagnosis and treatment options, either confirming the current opinion or offering a new perspective for consideration. The expert report provides clarity, certainty and confidence to both patients and their treating doctors.
Since its foundation in 1989, Best Doctors has grown into a global organisation that contributes to the care of million people in 125 countries and works closely with the medical profession to support the very highest standards of medical practice. Best Doctors has been operating in Australasia since 2009. We are growing our Australasian profile each day and now support close to 1 million Australians and New Zealanders.
You were nominated by one of your Australasian peers from an initial seed list initiated by our Australasian Medical Advisory Board. Each nominee had the opportunity to make further nominations of doctors they would recommend as the best in their specialty. Each doctor nominated was given the opportunity to vote on all doctors in the poll. Only those doctors who received the consensus of support from their peers have been selected for the Best Doctors Australasian database.
As little or as much as you wish. We will offer you involvement in three of our services:
Expert Medical Opinio – Our patented service that focuses the best specialist minds on the medical challenges of our members. The Expert Medical Opinion service is a clinically driven process where we collect all diagnostic material and case notes on a member’s behalf. A clinical summary is produced and then you prepare an Expert Report with personalised recommendations on diagnosis and treatment, helping the member and treating doctors achieve the best possible outcome.
AskTheExpert – A service through which our members can present important medical questions to a greatly trusted resource – expert doctors such as yourself – and quickly receive meaningful responses. Whilst we do not collect medical records and the report does not contain any personal health information, it does provide a concise clinical vignette with 3-4 focused questions that we would request you to answer.
Find an Expert – A service where we help members to find specialists recommended in our database. You simply need to tell us if you are accepting new patients.
The decision to participate in our services is totally up to you.
If the member specifically asks us to share the report with the treating GP we will send him/her a final copy of the Expert Report. We highly encourage our members to discuss the Expert opinions with their treating doctor. The medical team at Best Doctors makes every attempt to ensure that the treating doctors fully understand the recommendations in your report. We pride ourselves on minimising any sort of miscommunication with the treating doctors.
Yes, we will remunerate you for all work you complete for Best Doctors. We have attempted to make our reimbursement rate fair and appropriate to the significant complexity of the task.
It is important to note that in more than 28 years and thousands of similar cases, we have never had legal issues for our work on these cases. We are protected by the fact that:
We do not have a doctor-patient relationship with the members who have access to our services.
In fact, one of the first actions taken by Best Doctors is to notify consumers that neither we nor any doctor we may retain to review their case are the member’s doctor. We specifically require the member to agree to this, in writing prior to the delivery of our services. We make it clear to them in writing that what we do is reviewing the member’s medical information and provide a report to the member and his/her treating doctor for discussion.
No person provides any medical treatment to any member on behalf of Best Doctors.
All treatment that is provided is performed by the treating doctor – who is not affiliated with Best Doctors. The treating doctor has the responsibility of considering his/her own information and medical experience as well as reviewing the report we provide in order to decide upon treatment.
Having said all of this, we recognise that there is always a risk that someone will make a claim at some point, no matter how inappropriate such a claim might be. For this reason, Best Doctors carries a substantial amount of insurance (more than $10M) and is pleased to extend that coverage to you at no cost.
Our detailed Medical Analytical Process can have a positive impact on members, starting with the confidence and peace of mind members receive when diagnosis and recommended treatments are confirmed. Our analysis on Australian and New Zealand Expert Medical Opinion service show that approximately 10% of the time our expert’s recommendations result in a change the patient’s diagnosis and in 27% of the cases we contribute to a recommended change in the patient’s treatment plan. Of course, the member is always encouraged to discuss the findings of the report with their treating doctors.
We refer to our patients as “members”. Best Doctors service is provided through our partner health and life insurance companies throughout Australia and New Zealand, who then offer our service as a policy benefit. The member can utilise the benefit for anyone in their family that is faced with an illness or diagnosis. We do not offer Best Doctors directly to the public.
We will be sponsoring a group of doctor paneled webinars on various topics throughout the year. As a Best Doctor you will receive email invitations to register and attend the webinars.
We will also send out quarterly updates around unique cases.
Your participation in the Best Doctors program is completely voluntary. You may tell us at any time that you no longer wish to receive case requests.