Somehow I am amazed when I run into someone who is still trying to tell me that cannabis is illegal in Missouri. The otherwise seemingly nice lady even continued to argue with me as I showed her my patient card (that I laminated myself), and a brochure about how she could become a patient. “You’re out of your mind!”
Granted…the brochure I had looked more legit than the “cards” we get from DHSS, especially when you’re talking to someone that doesn’t believe the program even exists in the first place. So I have to be a little understanding when a boomer goes off on the bearded and tattooed 30-something trying to tell her that the plant that she has been told for decades that is just as dangerous as crack or heroin, is now legal for people to consume. What has this world come to?!
I live out in the country, so honestly these types of run-ins are not all that uncommon for me. Not just with cannabis, but on a number of subjects that I’m just not going to go into here. I am regularly reminded that outside the major metros, Missouri is still very rural and some of my neighbors may not always be up on current events.
At this point in my life, I’ve lived downtown, in the suburbs, and way out in the country. I will say living in the country, away from the busy day to day grind of the city, is peaceful and a great place to raise a family. It is also not without its inconveniences. Getting anywhere, including groceries or gas, becomes a commute. Cellular signal is shotty in some places so you tend to pick your carrier based on who has the best coverage where you live. Not to mention the limited selection of restaurants or bars to choose from. But that’s easy for most of us to get used to.
It is particularly rough on patients with mobility or transportation issues. In most cases, a specialist may not be anywhere close to where they live. Its for these reasons Missouri made some fairly progressive changes to their healthcare system in the hopes of helping patients living in rural Missouri.
In 2016 Missouri signed SB579 into law establishing new telemedicine practice standards, including explicitly allowing a valid physician-patient relationship to be established via telemedicine. Long before that Missouri passed a law that allowed nurse practitioners to operate their own practice under the supervision of a licensed physician. Both with the intent of making sure all of Missouri residents have access to proper healthcare services no matter where they live. Sounds like a great cause, right? That’s why I was surprised when earlier this year there was an effort to take away telemedicine, specifically for Missouri patients seeking access to medical marijuana.
Luckily, that amendment died a swift death.
So what is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a service that makes it possible for doctors to meet with patients on any smart device with video capability and good signal by means of real-time, live-video technology. According to a survey by Software Advice, 75% of the respondents were interested in trying telemedicine. Another study conducted by the Affiliated Workers Association showed that more than 60% of doctor visits are now handled over the phone. Throw a pandemic into the equation and it’s not surprising that most patients are preferring real-time telemedicine over conventional face-to-face doctor evaluations. Missouri doctors are, now more than ever, taking advantage of this technology to be able to see patients looking to become certified for the medical mariajuana program.
Kind Remedy, a patient certification clinic based out of Independence Mo, offers medical marijuana telemedicine services to patients as a way of improving patient access, by bringing medical marijuana health care services to previously under-served, rural and urban communities all across Missouri. Patients with qualifying conditions are able to be evaluated and certified for Missouri’s medical marijuana program from the safety and comfort of their own home.
With so much already going on in one’s life, sometimes it becomes impossible to fit in a trip to the doctor’s office, and will often get put off in hopes that things will improve on their own or just go away. (guilty!) As I mentioned before, getting the proper healthcare can become an issue for patients when they have to travel greater distances to get access to medical facilities or specialists. With telemedicine, patients can easily overcome these barriers.
Telemedicine makes it possible to see a doctor while sitting in traffic, while you’re waiting for your kids soccer practice to let out, or even while you’re cooking dinner (not really recommended). Regardless, the idea is to increase access by using a simple technology many of us already use regularly or have had to rely on recently during the pandemic. With a video call, patients can get evaluated from the medical marijuana doctors or other specialists without affecting other priorities.
How does it work?
With telemedicine, the process of getting certified for cannabis use couldn’t be easier. Patients are able to schedule their appointment on Kind Remedy’s website by filling out a short patient questionnaire, uploading any necessary medical records, and picking a time and date that works best for them. If patients are unsure about how to get a copy of your medical records, or need application assistance, they have a team that will happily assist you.
Once patients have completed and submitted your patient intake form, they receive a videochat link via email and/or text message that can be accessed through your computer, tablet, or smartphone. On the day of your appointment, you simply click the link to enter a virtual waiting room where you will wait to meet with the doctor. When it comes time for your appointment, you will be connected to one of their physicians through a video conference where they will review your medical records, discuss medical marijuana treatment, and write your certification. With that certification, you will then have everything you need to register as a Missouri medical marijuana patient!
Anyone who is considering adding medical marijuana as part of their current treatment plan is encouraged to call or text Kind Remedy at 816-379-6557 and learn how they can help or simply press the Get Started button at the top of their website.