This section includes answers to our most frequently asked questions, by healthcare professionals, when considering referring patients to Harvest Medicine.
Do new patients require a referral from a medical doctor?
To maintain the best continuity of care for your patient, sending a referral will ensure that you receive a detailed consult note from Harvest Medicine, containing information about your patient's assessment, medical cannabis authorization (or refusal due to contraindications), treatment recommendations, and next follow-up date.
What is the wait time for a patient to be seen?
At Harvest Medicine we pride ourselves on being patient-focused and responsive to their needs. Wait times can vary by location but we strive to keep them reasonable. At our busiest locations, patients can expect to wait up to 1-2 weeks, but are often seen much sooner if possible, while our newer locations have shorter wait times of 1-2 days.
How does a patient obtain medical cannabis?
There are three basic steps to accessing medical cannabis. 1. After completing a thorough questionnaire on medical and medication history, a patient will be assessed by one of our healthcare professionals who may, at their discretion, authorize (or 'prescribe') an appropriate allotment of cannabis along with applicable restrictions and generate a medical document, similar to a prescription. 2. With Harvest Medicine's assistance, authorized patients will then forward their medical document to register with a licensed producer (LP), from which they will purchase their medication. Those wishing to grow their own cannabis will need to apply directly to Health Canada. 3. Once a patient's account is approved and their medical document verified by their chosen LP, the patient may order their medical cannabis products directly from the LP, either online using their account or by phone. Medication ships directly to their doorstep by secure post, usually within 2-3 business days after ordering.
Does Harvest Medicine follow up with patients?
Yes. Follow-up appointments are scheduled at regular intervals as mandated by each provincial regulatory body. In general, the first follow-up occurs at 90 days. Harvest Medicine also sends regular follow-up communications by email to ensure patients are receiving the support they need. Patients are also welcomed to book follow-up appointments at any time to discuss their treatment plan. Patients who are non-compliant with follow-ups are subject to the cancellation of their medical cannabis authorization.
Why would a patient go through the medical channel if they could purchase it online or at a dispensary the road?
By working with Harvest Medicine patients have access to ongoing support via educational resources, cannabis trained healthcare professionals to guide them in each step of the way with their cannabinoid therapy. Patients receive a complete medication history review to ensure medical cannabis is a safe treatment option. A medical cannabis patient may also be eligible for tax deductions, compassionate pricing, and/or insurance coverage. Patients can buy direct from an LP, eliminating margins for price markups, making medical cannabis a more affordable & safer option. Products sold to a patient by an LP must meet Health Canada's guidelines. Additionally, many LPs are investing in research and development of new Health Canada-approved products geared directly towards medical use such as cannabis sprays, creams, softgels and sublingual strips that improve efficacy and/or patient experience.
What is the cost to the patient?
There are no fees for initial assessments or follow up appointments with Harvest Medicine. This also includes free access to telemedicine, virtual consultations via HMED Connect, as well as our comprehensive offering of patient education materials. These services are covered by provincial health insurance plans (Ex. AHC, OHIP & MSI). The only expense to the patient is the purchase cost of their medical cannabis products. The patient makes their purchases directly from their chosen LP, Harvest Medicine is not involved in that financial transaction. Harvest Medicine offers multidisciplinary services at some of our locations. These will have associated out-of-pocket costs, if not covered by private insurance plans. Additionally, patient-requested documents such as doctors' notes & letters may incur individual fees.
Is it covered through insurance?
Certain Canadian private insurance companies provide coverage depending on the plan or condition being treated. Harvest Medicine has compiled a list of current insurance coverage available to patients. Veteran Affairs Canada provides coverage of up to 3g per day at the fair market price of $8.50/gram (or the equivalent in oil); view available veteran's services. Additional coverage varies depending on the province.