OHIO HEALTHCARE NETWORKS PROHIBIT DOCTORS FROM PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA
- November 15, 2018
When you take a good, long look at the marijuana debate in our country, you may begin to notice that Ohio is smack in the middle of a firestorm. While medical-grade cannabis was officially legalized in September 2016, the Buckeye State has still faced a number of delays and confrontations as it has attempted to distribute and regulate the drug. As a result of this tiresome issue, Ohio has only started issuing licenses in September 2018 (talk about a long debate), and more applications are coming in each month. Although 300 doctors have been approved, doctors who work for the state’s largest healthcare providers (MetroHealth, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic, to name a few) will not have the right to provide recommendations for medical cannabis to their patients. So how could this issue impact Ohio? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Big Three Block Recommendations
Not long after the Ohio medical marijuana meeting in Cleveland (last week), the three biggest healthcare providers in the State of Ohio officially announced that they will not allow their doctors to provide recommendations for medical-grade marijuana. So why have the Big Three banned doctors from doing this? According to Katelyn McCarthy (spokeswoman for University Hospitals), doctors cannot recommend this drug on any UH property. However, the Cleveland Clinic has explained that its decision stems from the FDA’s lack of approval for the little green plant.
When in Doubt…Private Practice
Due to these restrictions, Ohio medical marijuana patients will have to seek their medicine from private practitioners, which only include 300 registered doctors. Why is this the case? More likely than other physicians, private practitioners are out-of-network and can provide more in-depth conversations about the benefits of medical cannabis. There is one catch, though: private practitioner sessions are radically expensive.
Based on recent reports, Ohio health officials have determined that the state program could eventually enroll an estimated 200,000 patients. During the first two years of the program, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has predicted that approximately 4,600 to 51,000 patients will also register.
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