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RI Telemedicine

Updated on June 5, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Program: Telemedicine

Rules governing telemedicine in Rhode Island for prescribing medical marijuana are changing. Patients interested in getting a medical marijuana evaluation conducted in the privacy of their own home, or location of their choosing, can access it via a secure real-time, live-video connection here:

The Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, generally defines telemedicine as “the delivery of healthcare where there is no in-person exchange” — more specifically it defines telemedicine as, the mode of delivering health care services and public health by means of telecommunication technologies, to diagnose, consult, treat, educate, remotely manage patient care, and remotely manage patients situated in rural areas.

However, at this time Rhode Island is one of the lowest-ranking states in the United States when it comes to telemedicine policies. Despite years of attempts, there are currently no parity laws, requiring coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine services by private payers. There is also currently, no telemedicine coverage under Medicaid. However, pending approval, House Bill 7717, introduced on February 24, 2016, would establish a parity law, and legislature allowing the state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact — the bill is currently in committee.

All health care practitioners providing telemedicine services are required to first establish a physician-patient relationship with a patient, prior to providing a diagnosis or treatment — however, telemedicine may be used to satisfy this requirement. Additionally, all health care practitioners providing telemedicine services, are required to first document and record a patient’s informed consent, prior to commencing service.

All out-of-state health care practitioners intending to provide telemedicine services, to patients geographically situated in the state of Rhode Island, must first obtain a valid medical license, from the Rhode Island Medical Board, prior to commencing service — however, physician-to-physician (P2P) exemptions apply.

Out-of-state healthcare practitioners intending to provide telemedicine/telehealth services to patients in Rhode Island are required to first obtain a medical license from the Rhode Island medical board — however, P2P (physician-to-physician) exemptions are permitted.

Rhode Island is one of sixteen states across the United States, to have an informed consent policy, for telemedicine.

HIPAA is a federal law that protects the privacy of identifiable patient information, requires electronic and physical security standards related to the storage and use of PHI, and establishes standard transactions and code sets to simplify billing and other electronic transactions. HIPAA standards were updated in 2009 by the implementation of the HITECH Act and again in 2013 by the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. In accordance with HIPAA standards, is HITECH and BAA certified, and has put in place measures to protect the confidentiality of health information in any form, whether written, oral, or electronic.

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Using Medical Marijuana Telemedicine Services in Rhode Island

For the first time in history, qualified medical marijuana patients may now choose to see a marijuana doctor online, using medical marijuana telemedicine services for the purposes of obtaining a Rhode Island medical marijuana evaluation.
If you are a qualified medical marijuana patient, living in Rhode Island, you can now choose to:

  • See a marijuana doctor in-person for purposes of getting a Rhode Island medical marijuana evaluation, OR

*See full Instructions and Application For Initial Registration As A Medical Marijuana Patient