Doctors in New York have landed into the debate for the right to refer patients to their chosen specialists at their discretion. The primary care provider is best suited to determine if a patient would benefit from medical marijuana. The doctors may be familiar with the patient’s health history and specific needs regarding symptom management.
If a limited list of qualifying health conditions is established, it is possible that doctors can restrict them from obtaining coverage. It will not be possible for a patient to obtain authorization to be able to use medical cannabis if they do not have one or more diagnoses that are approved by their state.
When medical cannabis is used under the supervision of a doctor, it can be more effective. A patient could qualify for health coverage in New York only if they were diagnosed with the following:
- Spinal Cord Injury (with spasticity)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Cachexia (or wasting syndrome)
- Seizures (or severe persistent muscle spasms)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Pain
- Opioid Substance Use Disorder
- Huntington’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Terminal Illness
Several mental health disorders are not included in the list of qualifying conditions, such as depression, ADHD, and anxiety. Medical cannabis is not approved by the New York medical cannabis program to use by people with other health problems, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, agitation caused by Alzheimer’s disease, and more. Moreover, rare disease patients could not be certified.
New York Medical Cannabis Certification
In New York, medical marijuana must be supervised by a doctor. In other words, certified people must refer the patient to the appropriate practitioner.
A physician’s consultation and annual check-up are required to renew their medical cards.
It is compassionate care to offer legal alternatives to traditional medicine instead of restricting patients to only a narrow list of qualifying conditions. As a result, New York has expanded its medical marijuana program, and a physician can now recommend treatment for any debilitating condition to any patient.
FAQs for Patients
If you have applied for a medical card in the past and have been denied, now could be the time to bring back your application. New York residents can schedule an appointment with their primary care providers to discuss the potential benefits of medical cannabis.
What happens if your family doctor won’t refer you?
A physician must certify you as a patient in the New York Medical Marijuana Program before you can apply for a license. This form is called a “patient certification” and is required. The doctor must be a licensed medical professional in the State of New York to perform the evaluation and certification.
Depending on your primary care provider or family physician, medical marijuana may not be a suitable treatment option. If this occurs, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion.
The type of medical cannabis treatment plan you should be on should come from a doctor specializing in medical cannabis. If you wish, arrange an appointment in-office or through telemedicine using your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
2. Is it still necessary to provide proof of diagnosis?
Most doctors will ask you to send them at least a copy of your medical records for the last year, which will help the physician understand your current symptoms and diagnoses better. This information can also be provided with a letter from your primary care provider if that is more convenient for you.
It is now possible for patients to be approved for medical marijuana in New York regardless of whether they have a standard qualifying health condition. However, you must demonstrate that no other treatment or therapy is helping your health disorder.
3. Is it possible for a doctor to refuse to recommend medical cannabis to you?
Yes, indeed. New York physicians can refuse to refer you; the patient may not exhibit moderate to severe symptoms. Medical marijuana may not be an option in those cases, and the doctor will recommend alternatives instead.
While the medication tolerates most patients with medical cannabis, there can be a few exceptions. In other cases, cannabis may conflict with your prescription for another condition. Patients with underlying health problems may be at greater risk of using cannabis than those with other safer treatment options.
As a rule, doctors who believe that medical marijuana may pose more risk to their patients than any benefits to them will not recommend it to them. There is no harm in getting a second opinion. In particular, you would be able to understand your health needs better if you could provide your physician with an accurate history of your health. Despite this, if more than one doctor has advised that cannabis is not to be used, there is probably a reason that they think it would be harmful to you. To protect yourself from potential risks and dangers, you should adhere to that advice to protect yourself.