Commission Releases Telehealth Consultation Waiver for Providers Certifying New Patients of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program | March 20, 2020
Certifying Health Care Providers May Waive In-Person Patient Visits for the Duration of Massachusetts’ Coronavirus State of Emergency
WORCESTER—The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) is now authorizing certifying health care providers (providers) to certify prospective patients for the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program through the use of a telehealth waiver in accordance with an order issued by the Administration relative to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) State of Emergency in the Commonwealth.
Recognizing that prospective patients who visit their provider in person in accordance with state regulations may increase their risk of exposure to COVID-19, Executive Director Shawn Collins issued a bulletin on Friday that outlines a process for providers to waive the requirement for the duration of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Telehealth renewals of already registered qualifying patients is permitted under the current regulations.
Providers who wish to provide written certifications for new patients using telehealth means must complete and submit the general waiver request form available at MassCannabisControl.Com/Forms-and-Templates. If approved by the Commission, the waiver will authorize providers to serve all new patients who request written certification for the Medical Use of Marijuana Program using telehealth as long as the March 10, 2020 State of Emergency Order remains in place.
Prior to each clinical visit conducted through telehealth means, providers must first ensure that they are able to deliver patient service through telehealth with the same standard of care and in compliance with licensure and registration requirements that apply to in-person service delivery. If the provider cannot do so, the patient will be directed to seek in-person care.
Providers are required to establish a bona fide healthcare professional-patient relationship during the visit, which includes a full assessment of the qualifying patient’s medical history and condition, including a debilitating medical condition, prior to issuing a written certification for the Medical Use of Marijuana Program. Providers also must inform patients that they will need to be physically present for a clinical visit in order to renew their certification.
The Commission has mandated that providers monitor Massachusetts’ State of Emergency Order in the event that it is modified or rescinded, thereby rescinding the telehealth waiver. At that time, providers will need to satisfy regulations that require in-person patient visits.
Subscribe for updates from the Cannabis Control Commission.