Medical cannabis users in the state of Utah must work with qualified medical providers (QMPs) to obtain their initial medical cannabis cards. Follow-up visits are also required for card renewal. Obviously, QMPs charge a fee for their services. But did you know that you can find out what they charge prior to making an appointment?
You can always call a QMPs office to inquire. However, that could mean waiting on hold. It could also mean spending a lot of time on the phone looking for a QMP that is both near you and affordable. But guess what? Beginning in December 2021, the state started requiring QMPs to submit their fee schedules for publication on a state website.
Requiring fee reporting is part of Utah’s overall effort to make healthcare services more transparent. Whether or not the state is living up to its goals is a matter of opinion. At any rate, you can visit healthcost.utah.gov to find fee schedules for QMP services. A bunch of other healthcare services are included there as well.
Surveys Sent out in December 2021
January’s Medical Cannabis Program update indicated that the Center for Medical Cannabis began emailing QMPs a link to a fee schedule survey in early December. An initial link was sent on December 3 while a follow-up link was sent on December 7. QMPs were expected to complete the surveys and return them no later than December 17.
QMPs are ultimately responsible for both completing the surveys and ensuring their information is accurate and up to date. If anything changes, they are required to notify the state within seven days. Again, all of this is to make sure there is transparency where fee structures are involved.
We took a few minutes to look at the information on the state website prior to writing this post. We noticed there are quite a few providers within the Salt Lake City and Brigham City areas. Some have already submitted their fee information; others have not.
You Choose Your Provider
One of the nice things about our medical cannabis program is that it allows patients to choose providers themselves. You are not locked into any particular QMP. You can choose any provider already approved by the state to recommend medical cannabis. Moreover, you can choose a different provider when it comes time for renewal.
Your QMPs main responsibility is to evaluate your health to make sure you are eligible for medical cannabis based on the state’s list of qualifying conditions. Your QMP also determines whether medical cannabis is an appropriate treatment for you. If so, they make the recommendation with the expectation that the state will approve your card.
We Verify Medical Cannabis Cards
We also have a responsibility where medical cannabis cards are concerned. When you visit our pharmacy, we are required to verify that you possess a valid card. We enter your card information into the electronic verification system (EVS) at the time of your purchase. This ensures that we are following the law at all times.
If you do not yet have your card, we urge you to check out the state website we linked to above. Find a QMP in your area and make an appointment for an in-person visit. Be prepared to pay for the visit at the time of your QMP services.
When it is time to renew, you can use the same QMP or choose a new one. Again, the state website is a handy tool for looking up providers and their prices. It gives you the information you need to make an informed decision.