Category: Patient Care

Becoming a Registered Medical Marijuana Doctor

Patient Care

Qualifications for Medical Marijuana Doctors has adopted strict standards in evaluating medical marijuana doctors and medical cannabis clinics allowed to join our network of trusted physicians. is committed to the advancement of cannabis as a medicine to treat a wide array of ailments and believes that medical marijuana use should be administered and monitored by qualified, board-certified medical marijuana doctors. ensures that physicians meet each state’s specific requirements for the type of doctors that can recommend marijuana. All of our doctors adhere to state medical marijuana laws and supply medical marijuana recommendations, not phony marijuana prescriptions. has established the following procedures and criteria for compliance by physicians and clinics in order tobe featured on our site.

Qualification Criteria for Medical Marijuana Doctors

Only Qualified, Licensed Physicians Are Eligible

● We verify that each of our physicians has an active medical license in good standing
● We review each doctor’s record two times per year All Physicians and Medical Cannabis Clinics are Confirmed
● Each medical cannabis doctor and medical marijuana clinic is confirmed via telephone by a representative
● Each physician’s business phone number is verified via reverse number lookup
● Each physician must confirm that all information on file with is correct and valid Prescribing Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
● Doctors will need to be approved and registered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to certify patients for medical marijuana use.
● Patients will receive certification from a physician and an identification card from the Department of Health.
● Information on certifications issued to patients by doctors is confidential and not subject to public disclosure. However, the names, business address and medical credentials of doctors authorized to provide patients with certification will be made publically available.
● Doctors will be required to attend a four-hour training course on medical marijuana, and continuing education credit will be given.
● There will be disciplinary actions against doctors that have violated the Medical Marijuana Act.
● It is a first-degree misdemeanor if a doctor intentionally, knowingly or recklessly certifies anunqualified patient for medical marijuana.
● Only certain forms of medical marijuana will be allowed.

How Can a Physician Participate in the Medical Marijuana Program?

  1. In order to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program, a physician must:
    First, create a profile in the Department of Health Physician RegistryOpens In A New Window. A validation of the physician’s Pennsylvania medical license with the Department of State will occur.
  2. Physicians will then be prompted to complete the required 4-hour training provided by a Department of Health approved training entity.
  3.  There will be a final review and approval by the Department of Health in order to become a Practitioner who can issue patient certifications.

What is the education process for physicians who want to register with the medical marijuana program and issue certifications to eligible Pennsylvanians to use medical marijuana?
Once validation of the physician’s license occurs with the Department of State, physicians will be prompted to complete a required 4-hour training provided by a Department of Health approved training entity. During the registration process physicians will need to complete 4 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) from an approved provider. The CMEs will count towards the physician’s licensure requirement.

Medical Cannabis Doctor Qualifications

A marijuana doctor is a physician with all of the rights and privileges to practice in your state. They may have a specific specialty like oncology, or they may be a general practitioner. A marijuana doctor is experienced in medical practice and is no different from the other doctors you see — except they are willing and qualified to recommend medical marijuana. Patients can see a medical marijuana doctor in person or online virtually depending on the state.…

A Plan to Resolve Conflict of Interest in Managed Care

Patient Care

Focusing on Medicaid eligibility in the quest for patient centered care.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, which is fueling the debate about conflict-free case management in Managed Care programs.

The Root of the Problem

Historically, Medicaid beneficiaries who needed to access home- or community-based long-term services (HCBS) and support programs underwent an assessment by a care coordinator or case manager. That person helped them develop service plans or make arrangements to identify appropriate local providers, explained Frank Spinelli, vice president of long-term care solutions, Xerox.

“But when the HCBS programs started to take off, a number of providers besides being service delivery providers were also running case management agencies,” Spinelli said.

There’s an increased possibility for conflict of interest in that kind of system; when the assessor is also the provider, he may be more likely to recommend treatments and care options that are more expensive, whether or not they are necessary.

Even when the case management and provider (i.e. homemaker services or group home) units are separate but contained in the same organization, the risk is high.

“In a particular state, we noticed that a significant number of individuals were being recommended for group homes, and some could have functioned very well in independent living,” Spinelli said. “The provider was influencing their choices.”

As reimbursement models changed, providers had incentive to get individuals to choose more complex, expensive services.

Addressing the Issue

Over the last several years, leaders at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began to recognize areas where this type of conflict of interest was common. National health policy has reflected their discovery.

“When the Deficit Reduction Act was introduced in 2005, there was a provision that allows states to develop some plans, requiring that they adhere to conflict-free case management,” Spinelli said.

The Community First Choice Option in the Affordable Care Act allows communities to expand their services as well, provided that they adhere to conflict-of-interest-free case management.

So how can Medicaid health plans remove conflict of interest from case management, and separate managers from provider services? More than 30 states are facing that dilemma as they move the bulk of their Medicaid beneficiaries into Managed Care Organizations.

Guidance from CMS suggests two basic options for long-term managed care plans:

• The state retains control of assessment.

• The state contracts with an outside case-management entity. The company providing the initial assessment must not have any financial interest in the amount or type of long-term services the beneficiary ends up choosing.

• The state allows assessment and provider services to co-exist in one organization, as long as the organization agrees to set up firewalls separating the two units.

Where’s the rub?

“There’s an issue out there now about how states move to managed care, and a number of states over next two years will be doing this,” he said.

To adhere to conflict-free standards, plans must make sure the individuals are not related by blood or marriage to any of the caregivers, or are being paid by any them.

In many ways, plans are attracted to option three, the firewall approach. That would require the least change from the present system.

But will interior firewalls eliminate conflicts of interest, and will patients trust them?, Spinelli asked. He believes option two is the best approach.

An unbiased one-time assessment leaves the family with a detailed document of what the patient’s needs are, to what he is entitled, and what short- and long-term goals should be.

The family can refer back to this document if the level of care in their plan isn’t measuring up.

“The beauty of the independent entity is you’re putting it in the patient’s hands,” he said.

In other markets, when financial institutions need an audit or patients need a second opinion from specialist doctors, the best choice is always the most independent, he said.

“Companies don’t do an audit internally, they hire an outside CPA,” Spinelli said.

“The goal is giving people information so they can make unbiased, independent, informed choice about their lives,” he said.

“You want to empower people to be in a position to ask ‘Why this and not that?’”

Though many states are opting for the firewall approach, some states are choosing independent entities on the eligibility side, which Spinelli says is a good first step.

“I believe we should take this a step further and provide the family with recommendations for needs, goals, options – not just a stamp that says, ‘You are eligible.’”…