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How Has COVID-19 Impacted Access to Medical Appointments?

March 27, 2020 04:38 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Access to Medical Appointments?

In the midst of a global pandemic, society attempts to adjust to the latest advisories from leaders. Changes in daily life may be shifting for the majority of households during this time in efforts to reduce the spreading of the illness as well as, to comply with newly implemented community restrictions. In every home, this time of quarantine will look different. In addition to having to adjust routine, many conveniences are now, in fact, quite less convenient. However, the changes recently made by the US government during this pandemic have increased access to medical cannabis cards for residents in some legal states. 

High-Risk Populations

People over 60 and immuno-compromised are the most at risk for the increasingly life-threatening complications associated with the effect of this virus. The age demographic getting hit the hardest is also the same group turning to cannabis at the highest rate for other age-related conditions. In addition, many immuno-compromised people use cannabis to deal with other symptoms of their conditions. In this time of near-global panic, cannabis is a natural plant medicine, whose uses and value continues to grow. In times like this, it is the older population that reminds us of the importance of knowing how to survive when the store shelves are empty, including harvesting your own agriculture.

Cannabis Naturally Contains Antibacterial Qualities

Cannabis has long been known to contain antibacterial cannabinoids, whose potential to address antibiotic resistance has not yet been fully investigated. All five major cannabinoids:  cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), and delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have shown potent activity against a variety of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Researchers can’t say exactly how these cannabinoids may prove to be superbug infection fighters but the early-stage research results are promising. THC and CBD also have been shown to have pain-relieving, sleep-inducing, and anti-inflammatory properties.

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Virtual Providers Are More Valuable Than Ever

Some health systems are fast-tracking planned technology projects such as telemedicine, aimed at screening patients without requiring them to visit a hospital. The telemedicine bill allows the federal government to waive current HIPAA restrictions on virtual doctors to help deal with the public health emergency created by this virus outbreak. But the services covered for telemedicine is currently contingent upon what each state allows. But it will also open the way for more lasting changes in the coverage of virtual health care, including Skyping or Facetiming a doctor.

Will Telemedicine Services Become the New Norm?

While Trump has given the states individual authority to cover telehealth services for all medical patients, the coronavirus legislation signed by President Donald Trump will also let Medicare expand the use of telemedicine in outbreak areas, potentially reducing infection risks for vulnerable seniors. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is also encouraging states to expand the use of telehealth in their Medicaid programs for low-income people. This new option will allow millions of people to take care of ongoing medical problems as well as new concerns while heeding public health advice to stay home during the outbreak. This includes patients seeking medical cannabis cards in legal states.

Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card Online If Your State Allows It

Those seeking a medical cannabis card in legal states at this time may think they are out of luck due to all the media scares. However, this new allowable expansion on telemedicine services only highlights the ease of access for applying for a medical cannabis card. Veriheal has been connecting doctors and potential patients virtually in states that previously allowed it, but due to these recent exceptions, it is even safer and easier to get a medical cannabis card using Veriheal’s service. Every state is approaching this new expansion differently in regard to cannabis so be sure to sign up to see if we are available in your state.

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