Discharged by PCP for POSSESSING a Medicinal Cannabis ID Card

"I went to my required 3 month "follow-up" appt with the Nurse Practitioner at my PCP’s office on Fri. 20 Feb. 2016. I take big pharma, in the form of Vicodin 5/325, for excruciating shoulder pain following a radical acromionectomy 19 June 2008 along with additional meds for a myriad of "issues."

When Isabel Lee, RNP pulled out the UA cup & asked "When was your last dose?" I told her the night before and that I "might test positive for THC. While I can’t smoke [diagnosed w/COPD] my daughter and her friends do smoke, a lot – they also have MMC’s — but I live in a condo & didn’t want to get reported for the smell, so I got a card to protect myself." (Not entirely true, I do enjoy pain free moments with edibles.) However, I was given 30 days worth of my medication, Lab orders for a CBC and told to follow up with a different Dr., "you cannot come back here."

It appears that not only do our Doctor’s and their "staff" get to decide how well we are are going to feel, they now dictate who we associate with as well. Since it’s my daughter, she’s a bit more important than any Nurse Practitioner, but my question is simple: Can a Primary Care Physician abandon a patient because they are "IN POSSESSION" of a "Medicinal Cannabis ID Card?" I would test + for THC today, but I wouldn’t have on Fri. 20 May 2016.

This is CA where Medicinal Cannabis is LEGAL, can they do this to me, do I have any recourse? Additionally, I’m on SSI/Disability so my choice of PCP’s taking "New Patients" is extremely limited."

Just as patient can discharge a physician, a physician can discharge a patient as well. There are some caveats to that however. Physicians can discharge patients from their medical practice for any
legitimate and non-discriminatory reason, and thus terminate the doctor-patient relationship.

According to the Medical Board of California, in order to avoid allegations of patient abandonment (unprofessional conduct), a physician should notify patients of the following in writing when the physician wishes to discontinue care:

  1. The last day the physician will be available to render medical care, assuring the patient has been provided at least 15 days of emergency treatment and prescriptions before discontinuing the physician’s availability.

  2. Alternative sources of medical care, i.e., refer patient to other physicians, by name, or to the local medical society’s referral service.

  3. The information necessary to obtain the medical records compiled during the patient’s care (whom to contact, how and where).

The reason that a physician uses to end their relationship are varied. Some of those that are appropriate and acceptable are:

Treatment nonadherence—The patient does not or will not follow the treatment plan.
Follow-up nonadherence—The patient repeatedly cancels follow-up visits or is a no-show.
Office policy nonadherence—The patient uses weekend on-call physicians or multiple healthcare practitioners to obtain refill prescriptions when office policy specifies a certain number of refills between visits.
Verbal abuse—The patient or a family member is rude and uses improper language with office personnel, exhibits violent behavior, makes threats of physical harm, or uses anger to jeopardize the safety and well-being of office personnel with threats of violent actions.
Nonpayment—The patient owes a backlog of bills and has declined to work with the office to establish a payment plan.

If a patient is part of of Managed Care Plan the language in it may prevent the physician from discharging a patient.

Since I am not a attorney, I cannot comment on the legality of your PCP’s choice to discharge you. I can only comment as to their complete ignorance regarding cannabis and their close minded attitude.

Perry Solomon, MD

The following is my opinion only as an experienced licensed provider for 45 years.
I am sorry to hear of your grief but for every dark side there is a positive. This is likely a doctor you want to be away from if the doctor has that much judgement, it may be a blessing they forced you to leave.
Patients must wake up to the fact that we have been sold to the insurance company as if it’s legal for them to own humans. The insurance CEO now controls the way the doctor practices medicine. I personally had an insurance CEO call me up and forbid me to help people get well, he said my job was to drug people and that’s all he would pay for because insurance is not to help people get well but to maintain their disease.
That being said, and getting well it’s up to you and I don’t think your doctor has helped you very much. You certainly want to know what your vitamin D level is because most people in chronic pain have a vitamin D deficiency or a drug addiction problem from pharmaceutical drugs. There are so many ways to help you get well but you must look for a doctor that will help you with this and it will require that you do some research and change what you’re doing with your cannabis. If you took your CBD cannabis regularly you’ve very likely could be out of pain especially if you maintain a blood level of vitamin D (25-OH D) above 50 ng/mL for optimal health benefits and additional pain relief. Add topical CBD salve to your program and used should be able to go six hours without pain medicine. We are here to help you and you can be healthier so take this as an opportunity to work on improving health and prove the doctor was wrong by treating you in such a disrespected manner.
The doctor should be brave enough to stand up to the insurance company instead of refusing you. Start by loving your self and recognize that many of us are shedding our old pain body because it doesn’t work anymore.
I also recommend that you read Eckhart Tolle, "The Power Of Now" and "A New Earth" to help you stay in present moment in order to resolve your stress & anxiety, both only contribute to your pain and let your spirit shine through so positive people will find him. This is a journey worth taking. I hope to see you on the path.


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