Here we will go over the steps to take when switching medical marijuana doctors.
Having a medical marijuana provider that satisfies your needs and makes you feel comfortable is as important as the cannabis prescription. If you are not happy with your current doctor, don’t feel obligated to stick around.
Keep reading to find out how to find a new doctor and make the switch.
What to Ask Yourself Before Finding a New Doctor
The first step of switching medical marijuana doctors is determining what will make your new doctor an improvement from the last.
To make this determination, you can ask yourself a few essential questions so you are aware of what will satisfy your needs.
Why Are You Switching?
Naturally, the first question to ponder might be why you are switching doctors.
The reason you are changing providers could be anything from unprofessionalism to cost, and no matter the reason, you should take note of what you didn’t like so you can avoid it in the future.
What Do You Need?
Not all doctors are created equal, and what works for one person may not work for you, so determine what you need your doctor to provide to meet your personal needs.
For example, some people prefer a provider that gets you in and out quickly, while others prefer lengthy appointments where they can discuss options and vent their feelings.
What Can You Afford?
Unfortunately, insurance does not cover medical marijuana appointments which might make pricing an essential factor in your decision.
Many providers charge a substantially higher or lower price for your initial appointment and a different fee for follow-ups.
Look at your budget, and determine what you can afford on each office visit.
What Location is Best?
Another thing to consider is whether or not location matters and what area is ideal.
- How far are you willing to travel?
- Do you prefer an office in a big city or a small town?
- Are you worried about finding parking?
- Where can you drive, walk, bike, or Uber comfortably?
Unfortunately, states with more cannabis experience like California have hundreds of doctor locations, but newly legalized states like Texas have few.
Choosing a New Doctor
Once you have narrowed down the specifics of what works best for you, you can start weeding through the providers available by looking into a few essential factors.
Looking at patient reviews can save you the trouble of having to make another switch in the future.
While reading reviews, look at the provider’s overall rating and the general feedback from patients.
Be sure to pay attention to whether people have mentioned issues that triggered your switch in the first place.
For some, price is important, so look at each provider’s website or call the office directly to receive a quote.
When looking at prices, be sure to consider the costs of the initial visit, follow-up visits, and card renewal fees.
Not all doctors will be taking new patients or have appointments available.
To check availability, call the provider’s front desk and ask if they are accepting new patients, how soon they can get you in and how far back they are usually booked.
The Switching Process
Once you have selected your new doctor, you have to start the actual switching process.
Switching your medical marijuana provider is similar to changing primary doctors but may have a few additional steps.
Contact Your Current Doctor
Breaking up with your doctor can be an uncomfortable situation, but it is necessary for moving on to a better doctor-patient relationship.
Call your doctor’s office and let the staff know that you will be discontinuing treatment at their facility, and they will remove you from their patient list and send your medical records to your new provider.
Contact Your New Doctor
Next, you will contact your new doctor and officially enroll as a patient.
The staff will register your personal information, schedule your first appointment, and process any received records.
Update Your Medical Marijuana Account
Lastly, you will need to update your medical marijuana account if you have one.
In some states, individuals who receive a medical marijuana card must register their patient and prescription details online in a database.
To avoid running into card renewal or compliance issues in the future, be sure to update your account information with your new provider and documents. Once this is done, the switching process is complete.
In summary, switching medical marijuana providers can be a lengthy process that requires quite a bit of thought.
To make the switch easier, narrow down your options by first contemplating deciding factors like appointment price, doctor personality, and office location.
Then, consider doctor specifics like reputation, pricing, and availability. Finally, make the switch by contacting both your new and old doctor and updating your information in your state’s online medical marijuana database.