Telehealth (connecting doctors and patients over live video) is now a mainstream part of the American healthcare system supported in law by over 30 states. Telehealth has been shown to lower costs, and increase access to doctors particularly for patients that might otherwise not have such access, whether due to mobility issues, unable to obtain transportation, being house bound, uncomfortable visiting doctors whose offices were in undesirable areas, high predatory pricing, privacy issues, etc. Since 2014 the availability of Telehealth for cannabis consultations made this access available to all Californians, no matter where they live.
Getting easy access to medical care is critical. Particularly in the face of a national opioid epidemic that kills 91 people every day. HelloMD in cooperation with the University of California- Berkeley published in June 2017, the largest study ever regarding cannabis and opioid use. It showed that out of over 3,000 participants, 97% of patients were able to decrease their opioid use using cannabis and 95% preferred cannabis to opioids for pain relief. Denying access to care will decrease the number of people able to use cannabis as a alternative to opioids.
Since January 2014, the California Medical Board has supported Telehealth access for cannabis patients, and this has made getting a cannabis recommendation low cost and easy for Californians. HelloMD alone has facilitated over 70,000 such consultations.
The Medical Board is now proposing to take all that away and make physical exams mandatory for cannabis consultations. Thus denying Californians their right to access for care and stepping backwards in time. It is wrong and dangerous.
Help us convince the Medical Board to keep the requirements for physical examination OUT of their new proposed regulations by sending this letter to the Board.
-\tCUT and PASTE into your email. -\tBe sure to complete the MISSING INFO. -\tSend to: Kimberly.Kirchmeyer@mbc.ca.gov
Medical Board of California
Dear Medical Board,
I am writing to express my support for continued Telehealth access for cannabis patients, and ** against ** your proposed plan to require in in-person doctor’s consultation for cannabis.
Telehealth is an important and growing part of our healthcare system. It reduces costs for patients, and makes access to quality care available to patients across California. Many cannabis patients are elderly, sick or infirm, and having to travel to see a doctor in-person puts an unnecessary burden on their access to doctors. Since 2014, Californians have been able to consult with a physician over Telehealth about their use of cannabis, and removing such access is dangerous and wrong.
It is dangerous for the simple reason that cannabis decreases opioid use and can lead to a decrease in deaths due to opioids. There are over 91 death PER DAY due to opioid abuse. HelloMD in cooperation with the University of California- Berkeley published the largest study ever of almost 3,000 patients in June 2018. It showed that 97% of the patients were able to decrease their opioid use and 95% preferred cannabis to opioids for pain relief!
I hope that you will not move forward with this unnecessary and dangerous change in the laws for medical cannabis patients.
Kimberly.Kirchmeyer@mbc.ca.gov - Kimberly Kirchmeyer, Executive Director
Author: Dr. Perry Solomon