Is Maryland Medical Cannabis ConfidentialGreen Relief Health Admin
Many patients often wonder is Maryland medical cannabis confidential. The answer is without question, YES. A patient’s privacy to their medical information is the most important things any legitimate healthcare facility is concerned with. Every visit you make to any doctor or provider is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which is a confidentiality provision for safeguarding medical information in the United States.
At Green Relief Health, just as with a primary care physician or any other medical facility, a standard medical form is completed which is later added to any other medical data you have in the system. This information is secure, cannot be found in any public records and is kept private in accordance with the law.
Confidentiality and Proof of Prescription
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission database not only contains records of every patient, caregiver, and medical professional that handles medical marijuana, but is required by HIPAA standards to ensure that such information stays secure and confidential. Still, it’s the patient’s and caregiver’s responsibility to keep their medical marijuana prescription cards on hand in the instance of law enforcement involvement. It is also wise to keep copies of any medical records and certificates of acceptance regarding the prescription and diagnosis.
It is also important to note that there is one notable exception on who can access your medical cannabis records in the state of Maryland. The Maryland State Police query individuals who seek to purchase a gun about their status as a medical cannabis patient and bar those who disclose that they are medical cannabis patients from making the transaction. Individuals who provide false information by failing to disclose that they are a medical cannabis patient when purchasing a firearm are in violation of federal statute, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
What Will My Provider Do With My Maryland Medical Cannabis Confidential Records?
OK so the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is required to keep your information confidential, but what happens with your provider or doctor’s office? The answer is that any legitimate provider is also keeping your records confidential.
At Green Relief Health, we take privacy very seriously. We make it a priority to clearly communicate how we use and disclose any of your personal information. Our commitment to privacy is equal to our commitment to providing patients with compassionate care. At our facility all your records are stored in a HIPAA secure way. This means that no one outside of our team can access your information. This also means that we ensure that our team uses and accesses your information if it needs to in accordance with every Maryland and federal law.
When you are looking for a facility to help assist you in this process you should always make sure that your medical provider is adhering to all patient confidentially laws. Unfortunately, there are some providers in this area that do not take this seriously and that is wrong.
During your medical cannabis certification process, Maryland law states that you must have a bona fide patient-provider relationship. Maryland law clearly defines what this means. Essentially, it is a treatment or counseling relationship between a provider and patient in which the provider reviews the patient’s relevant medical records, completes an in-person or tele-medicine assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, creates and maintains medically standardized records, expects to monitor patient program, and takes any medically indicated action to follow up.
This means that any legitimate provider will need to keep your records on hand, but this also means that it needs to be done in a secure way. If you find a provider that tries to certify you without this type of relationship they are violating the law and potentially putting you in jeopardy as well. It is important that you ensure that any provider you see makes sure that you have a legitimate patient-provider relationship.
What If I Am Stopped By Law Enforcement
One question many patients have is whether Maryland medical cannabis is confidential when dealing with law enforcement. As a patient you have no obligation to disclose that you have a medical cannabis card. Patients also do not have to disclose that they possess medical cannabis, and they do not have to consent to a search.
If during a traffic stop with law enforcement a search is conducted and medical cannabis is found, the patient should present their patient ID card or direct law enforcement to our database. This is why it is always helpful to have your ID card on you when traveling with your medical marijuana.
Can I Designate Someone To Access My Maryland Medical Cannabis Confidential Records?
Many medical marijuana patients have a caregiver or someone that they designate to access their records for many different reasons. You can give someone legal permission to access your medical records and make health care decisions on their behalf. This is typically a spouse, child, or other family member who is trusted to handle the relevant information. With the exception of a medical emergency, this is the only way that someone else will be able to access your Maryland medical marijuana records.
What Else Can I Do To Protect My Privacy?
There are several additional steps you can take to ensure protection of your privacy rights under HIPAA guidelines. The first of these steps is to get a copy of your medical records. Under HIPAA, you have the right to receive a copy of your medical records at any time. Once you receive your records, look them over. By reviewing your medical records, you will be able to learn what information is included in them. This is also a great opportunity to review the accuracy of your medical records, which can be vital for future healthcare. If you notice any missing or incorrect information, you can contact Green Relief Health to have them updated.
Although medical records are often kept on paper, many healthcare providers are moving to paperless, electronic healthcare records called EHRs. EHRs will include all of the information that your traditional paper records include, such as medical history, x-rays, diagnoses, and more. Green Relief Health utilizes electronic records, and these offer the same privacy as paper records, since they are kept on secured, backed-up computer systems. EHRs can also be sent more quickly and more securely than traditional paper records. Many patients are embracing the change to EHRs and looking forward to better protected information.
If you are concerned about privacy regarding specific healthcare information, there are a few things you can do. First, you can tell your healthcare provider about specific information that you do not want to be shared. Your doctor may have some objections if it will interfere with your quality of care, but this can be effective if you would like to keep details about your treatment or prescriptions private from other entities.
Another common concern is that receiving healthcare information at home, either via mail or phone call, will jeopardize privacy. If this is an issue, you can ask to be reached at a different phone number, such as a work number. Requesting that mail be sent in discreet envelopes can also help secure your information.
This is your medical information and you have every right to protect your privacy. Just like you would do when purchasing a product, it is always helpful to do your research. You should make sure you are comfortable with the provider you are seeing. If there are any concerns about your Maryland medical cannabis confidentiality it is probably a good idea to go somewhere else. After all, this your health, so you should demand top quality and confidentiality from any provider you see.