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[Case Study] Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services

By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday February 2, 2021

Unfortunately, instances of chronic disease and other serious illnesses are becoming increasingly common in Canada. These kinds of conditions are often persistent, long-lasting, and life-altering. What’s more, they bring more than just a physical toll, but an emotional and mental one as well.

Critical Illness and Chronic Disease Statistics in Canada

Likewise, the diagnosis of a serious illness can be confusing and complicated. In many cases, Canadians aren’t left with a lot of time to fully process their treatment options — let alone seek out alternative options or opinions — before decisions need to be made.

Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services: Your Health Advocate

Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services can be your health advocate and champion. The MSO service can review your diagnosis and treatment options in a professional capacity and assist you in making an informed decision about your health. This ultimately leads to users feeling more supported, more confident in their decisions, and creates better health outcomes.

Case Study: A Complex and Confusing Health Crisis

Let’s take a look at a real case study from our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and MSO provider, HumanaCare! In this case study, we’ll see how these combined services impacted a Canadian facing a tough diagnosis.


Within a very short period of time, Brandy went from healthy and happy, to confused and overwhelmed as she confronted a daunting health diagnosis. 

The doctors presented Brandy with her treatment options. However, she felt that they were very severe in comparison to the diagnosis she received. She was having difficulty working through all of her options and identifying the best path forward for her, all while feeling that a decision needed to be made quickly.

Emotional Support through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Overwhelmed with the prospect of making a life-altering decision, and still dealing with the initial feelings of confusion following diagnosis, Brandy reached out to her EAP for counselling.

The intake Nurse quickly set Brandy up with counselling sessions to deal with her stress and anxiety. However, the root problem — her diagnosis — remained. The Nurse then informed Brandy about another aspect of her coverage that would better be able to help her understand her diagnosis and treatment options: MSO.

Alternative Solutions Through a Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Service

In the same phone call, the intake Nurse walked Brandy through the MSO process:

Brandy was eager to get help in understanding her diagnosis and treatment options, so she continued down the MSO path. This ultimately brought her to a place where she felt confident in making and validating her treatment decision.

“It was wonderful to have an informed, interested, and caring nurse to talk to and explore the situation that confronted me.” – Brandy

A Combined, Caring Solution

Facing a serious diagnosis affects a person physically, emotionally, and mentally. Such a significant event requires equally significant support and understanding. 

HumanaCare’s EAP and MSO services, working in combination, were able to address Brandy’s immediate needs (anxiety and stress following diagnosis) while also providing next steps towards a resolution and treatment plan.

Medical Second Opinion (MSO) Services helped Brandy come to terms with her diagnosis and forge a path forward. Read the full case study below!

Download the Full MSO Case Study