Public Policy & Advocacy
As many of you know, on Saturday, August 26th, Oklahoma started accepting patient applications and approval for medical marijuana licenses. While now legal in Oklahoma, the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal substance and any hospice who receives federal money should not pay for any medical marijuana, supplies, or accessories.
However, we do expect some of our patients and their caregivers to request medical marijuana for palliation of symptoms related to their terminal illness. We recommend that each hospice and their medical directors develop policies concerning these requests and notify patients and caregivers that all expenses related to medical marijuana will be not be paid by the hospice. It will also be prudent to let patients and caregivers know that no marijuana products, especially smokable products, should be consumed while hospice personnel are present.
Per the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Website, the following is required for physicians who certify for medicinal marijuana.
1) A physician must be in good standing with his or her licensure board.
2) The physician must establish a medical record for the patient and must have a bona fide physician-patient relationship.
a. Please note that per our review of these regulations, an in-person exam is not specifically required, we recommend that your compliance office determine if an exam is required by a physician or physician representative first and how the physician or physician representative will be paid for their service and time when determining certification.
3) The physician must determine the presence of a medical condition(s) for which the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
4) The physician must recommend a medical marijuana license according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow for recommending or approving any medication.
5) If applicable, the physician may certify that the patient is homebound or does not have the capability to self-administer or purchase medical marijuana due to a developmental disability or a physical or cognitive impairment; and the physician believes the patient would benefit from having a caregiver with a caregiver’s license designated to manage the patient's medical marijuana on the patient's behalf.
6) The physician must verify the patient’s identity as provided in the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Rules (310:681-1-7).
Public Policy and Advocacy
The Oklahoma Hospice & Palliative Care Association (OHPCA) represents hospice at both the national and state levels before legisilative bodies as well as before federal and state regulatory agencies. Our focus is solely on hospice and palliative care. We represent our state on the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization's Council of State and the quarterly J11 Hospice Coalition meetings with Palmetto Government Benefits Administrators (PGBA). Locally we have representaton on the Governor's Hospice Advisory Board meetings.
The OHPCA partners with other organizations with common interest, such as: The National Hospice & Palliative Care Organizations(NHPCO), The State Hospice Organization Executive Roundtable (SHOER), OU Center for Palliative Care, Hospice Analytics, The Oklahoma State Department of Health Medical Facilities, The Oklahoma Hospice Foundation, etc.