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Here at KindlyMD, we often say the Utah Med Card is an alternative to other types of treatments. We might recommend the card and its associated plant-based medicines to people suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, and other qualifying conditions. As an alternative, the Medical Card gives patients access to treatments they could otherwise not take advantage of.

All of that is well and good. Yet it doesn't change the fact that a lot of Utah residents are unfamiliar with the Medical Card and what it offers. Moreover, they don't know what it is an alternative to. That is the point of this post. A Utah Medical Card opens the door to plant-based medicines as an alternative to:

1. Prescription Medications

Western medicine is, by its very nature, rooted in pharmacology. This isn't necessarily a bad thing on its face. The pharmacological approach to medicine has accomplished great things over the years. But pharmacology is not the be-all and end-all. It doesn't have all the answers.

It is not uncommon for us to work with chronic pain patients who have been taking prescription medications for years. Not only do they not feel better, but they also have to live with the side effects of their medications. Plant-based medicines are an alternative. They can be a complete replacement for prescription medications or a supplement to them.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is routinely recommended to chronic pain patients. It can do wonders for some but absolutely nothing for others. There is really no way to know until you try it. But in cases where physical therapy is attempted in earnest without yielding the desired results, patients need other options.

Once again, the plant-based medicines available to patients with Utah Medical Cards are alternatives to physical therapy. When physical therapy only offers limited relief, plant-based medicines could be the best approach.

3. Invasive Surgical Procedures

Western medicine often relies on invasive surgical procedures when prescription medications and physical therapy do not yield the desired results. Surgeries are considered a more aggressive approach to treatment, as well they should be. Examples include knee and hip replacements.

To be sure, there are times when surgery is the best possible option. Sometimes tissue breaks down to the point at which only surgery will allow continued function. But in the absence of absolute necessity, plant-based medicines could provide better pain management that ultimately mitigates the need for surgery.

4. Just Living With It

This last option is something we see far too often here at KindlyMD. It is the option of just living with whatever condition is making you uncomfortable. Whether it is chronic pain or PTSD, choosing to suck it up and live with the consequences is not only unnecessary, but it's also unhealthy. The types of conditions that are treatable through plant-based medicine are such that they can affect other aspects of one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Just living with it doesn't help.

An alternative is to apply for a Medical Card so that you can utilize plant-based medicines. More than one patient has come back to KindlyMD for a follow-up visit only to proclaim how much of a game-changer plant-based medicines have been. Such testimonies are heard in our offices all the time.

There's no way we can know if you'll find the relief that you're seeking through alternative treatments without conducting a medical evaluation. But we can tell you this: the Utah Medical Card, which offers access to plant-based medicines, is an alternative to prescription medications, physical therapy, invasive surgeries, and just living with your condition. Let us talk about it for you.

Could the Utah Med Card Be Your Ticket to Better Pain Management - Treating Chronic Pain

The KindlyMD philosophy for treating chronic pain is to help patients find the best possible ways to manage it. The better it is managed the better patients feel on a day-to-day basis. Since feeling better is the goal, we sometimes recommend patients consider obtaining a Utah Medical Card.

Also known as a “Med Card” for short, it is a digital card issued by the state of Utah giving patients access to plant-based medicines that would otherwise not be available. As of May 2023, more than 70,000 Utah patients—just over 2% of the state’s total population—have their Med Cards. Most of them use plant-based medicines for treating chronic pain.

Regular and Consistent Pain

As you might already know, chronic pain is pain felt either every day or almost daily for three months or longer. It is a regular and consistent pain that affects one or more areas of life. Unfortunately, many of our patients live with pain as the most influential factor in their daily lives. They come to us in search of better ways of treating chronic pain that lets them take their lives back.

That is really what pain management is all about. While chronic pain certainly doesn't have to persist for a patient's entire lifetime, it can. It often does. So patients and pain management doctors work together to make the best of the situation. They work together to treat chronic pain so that they can enjoy the best possible life.

That takes us right back to the Utah Med Card. A Utah Med Card represents an alternative to other treatments that may not have worked for a particular patient. Plant-based medicine can be an alternative for treating chronic pain. It can also be a supplement to those treatments.

Options Are What You Need

There is solid historical evidence of ancient cultures utilizing plant-based medicines for a whole host of illnesses and conditions. Even today, plant-based medicines are extremely popular around the world. If they can help you feel better, why not consider giving them a try?

You do not need more of the same treatments that are not really helping you feel any better. You don't need more helpful advice from people who have no experience with chronic pain. What you need are additional options. One of those options in the State of Utah is a Med Card.

We can help you get your card. Our experienced clinicians and staff can guide you through the application process. We can also provide the required medical evaluation you will need to get your card. And once you have it, our clinicians can continue working with you to come up with a treatment plan that will help you feel better.

You Know How You Feel

Governing everything we do here at KindlyMD is the knowledge that you know best. You know how you feel at any given point. You know what your body responds to and what it does not. We ultimately want you to be in charge of your own healthcare and treatments. We are here to help guide you on your journey with knowledge and medical expertise.

If you are living with chronic pain, it is quite likely that you qualify for a Utah Med Card. Remember, a Med Card gives you access to treatments you otherwise cannot utilize. It is a plant-based way to treat chronic pain that could ultimately be the key to managing your pain more effectively.

Better pain management means feeling better on a daily basis. It means taking your life back. We can help you get started with assistance in obtaining a Utah Medical Card.

A Medical Card and Tailored Treatments Could Be Your Ticket

Your health is what you think about most. You have a medical condition that affects nearly everything you do. And because of that, you will try anything that might offer relief so that you can get back to living your best life. Here is what we want you to know: a medical card and tailored treatments could be your ticket to the relief you are after.

KindlyMD is here to help you. Our clinics are more than just pain management clinics. We offer services covering mental health, medication management, and Utah Medical Cards. In terms of treatments, we are advocates of tailoring each individual patient's treatments to their unique needs. Combine a medical card with an expertly tailored treatment plan and you could be well on your way to living your best life.

One-Size-Fits-All Doesn't Work

The need for what we do becomes apparent when you step back and look at how Western medicine has been practiced over the last hundred years or so. Western medicine relies heavily on the one-size-fits-all approach. But that approach has one inherent weakness: one size doesn't really fit all.

We do not know what you are dealing with. It could be chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, or any number of other conditions. But we know for certain that the way you react to various treatments is not exactly how other patients with the same condition react. Patients are people, first. And people are different.

Tailored Treatments Work Better

The fact that people are different is the foundation of the tailored approach. It is an approach we believe works better; an approach that many of our patients will acknowledge works for them. They get exactly the kind of care they need after collaborating with their medical providers to find out what works and what doesn't.

A tailored approach to treatment starts with a baseline. Doctors and patients consult to come up with a general treatment plan that seems to benefit most people. From there, the patient's health is continually monitored. Patient and medical provider continue consulting and modifying the treatment plan until, together, they arrive at the best treatment that offers the most relief.

This is the way medicine should be. It should be a collaborative effort between clinician and patient; an effort designed to help the patient feel better so that they can go out and live. Medicine should not be an exercise in clinicians giving orders and patients dutifully following them.

Don't Forget the Medical Card

We do not want to end this post without discussing the Utah Medical Card. It plays an important role in the tailored treatments patients find through KindlyMD. A Utah Medical Card gives patients access to plant-based treatments that aren't available any other way.

The beauty of the Medical Card is that the plant-based medicines it makes available are very conducive to tailored treatments. Medical providers and their patients talk things over. Patients can also consult with their pharmacists for advice on using plant-based medicines. But no hard-and-fast prescriptions are written. Medical providers and pharmacists do not rely on arbitrary standards for recommending medicines.

Everything in plant-based medicine can be adjusted to the patient's needs. That means dosage, delivery method, and even the particular medicine itself. Again, this is how things should be. Tailoring treatments is the best way to offer maximum relief to every patient.

If you have been looking for relief but haven't found it through traditional healthcare, maybe it's time to consider a fresh approach. Combining a Utah medical card with our tailored treatments could provide the relief you have been looking for.

Three Great Reasons to Get Your Utah Medical Card

One of our specialties at KindlyMD is helping patients get their Utah Medical Cards. A state-issued Medical Card gives a patient access to certain plant-based medicines for the treatment of chronic pain and other qualifying conditions. Tens of thousands of people in Utah already have their Medical Cards. If you’re still on the fence about plant-based medicine, we hope you’ll give it further consideration. People have many reasons to get a Utah Medical Card. Here are just a few of them: 

1. You Live with Chronic Pain

The number one complaint we hear from people looking to get their Medical Cards is chronic pain. If you live with chronic pain, you know how life-altering it can be. You know how your pain can be physically and mentally exhausting; how it can completely change your outlook on life. A Utah medical card gives you the opportunity to address chronic pain in a different way. It gives you access to plant-based medicines that can be combined with other therapies to help you feel better.

2. Other Treatments Have Not Worked

Chronic pain is a difficult symptom to get under control. Pain clinics and pain management physicians do the best they can for patients, but it can be a struggle. So many traditional treatments just don't work well enough. If that has been your experience, a Medical Card opens the door to treatment options you probably haven't tried before. They may work better than anything your doctor has already recommended.

3. You Prefer Plant-Based Medicines

A lot of our patients, especially those dealing with chronic pain, would rather use plant-based medicines whenever possible. It is not that they are dead set against traditional pharmaceuticals. Rather, it is a belief that plant-based medicines are a better choice because they are more natural. You might want to apply for your medical card if the plant-based approach is your preference.

No Way to Know Without Trying

As pain management physicians, we get the fact that no single treatment works for every patient. We also understand how frustrating it is to live with chronic pain – especially when it seems that no relief is in sight. But if a medical card and plant-based medicine can help, why not give it a shot? There is no way to know if it will work for you without trying it.

Whatever reasons to get a Utah Medical Card you have, applying for your card is pretty straightforward. In a nutshell, you start the online application process and then visit with a Qualified Medical Provider (QMP). After your QMP visit, you complete the application and pay your fee. If your application is approved, you are issued a medical card via email. You can keep the digital copy on your phone or print a physical copy to carry with you.

Now that medical cards are good for a year, you have twice the amount of time to try plant-based medicine. If it works well for you, renew your card at the end of the 12-month term. Even if the application does not succeed, you won't lose much except for the small application fee that you paid for submitting the application in the first place.

Getting Off Pain Meds With a Utah Medical Card

One of the frequently asked questions we hear a lot is whether a patient can get off pain meds by getting and using a Utah Medical Card. It is asked frequently enough that we felt a post covering the topic would be appropriate. So here we go.

To start with, the types of pain medications we are referring to in this post are narcotic medications. But we don't stop there. Many of our patients are looking to get off antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and sleeping pills as well. We cannot offer any iron-clad guarantee, but we can offer a bit of hope in plant-based treatments made available through the Utah Medical Card program.

Card Program Basics

Without getting into too much detail here, Utah's medical card program is designed to give people with qualifying conditions access to plant-based treatments they could not otherwise utilize through their GPs, family doctors, etc. The medicines are only accessible with a valid medical card.

Cards are easy enough to get. Patients need only complete an online application, visit a Qualified Medical Provider, and pay a small fee. Cards are good for one year from the date of issue. Near the end of that one-year period, patients can choose to renew or let their cards lapse. Renewal means consulting with a medical provider and paying the annual fee once again.

An Alternative to Other Medications

As for getting off pain meds, plant-based medicines are essentially an alternative. We might help a patient taking narcotic pain medications gradually wean himself of those medications with the help of plant-based treatments. The wonderful thing is that it is sometimes possible to combine plant-based treatments with other alternatives to completely eliminate the need to take prescription medications.

Again, we cannot make any guarantees that plant-based treatments will work. By the same token, clinicians cannot guarantee that traditional treatments will work either. People are different. Patients respond to all sorts of medical treatments in different ways. That is why so much of medicine seems to be trial and error. Clinicians often do not know the best way to treat a condition without trying several things and seeing how the patient responds.

A Cautious and Careful Approach

While we cannot make any ironclad guarantees, we do want to make it clear that we utilize a cautious and careful approach. Many of the prescription medications our patients are looking to wean themselves from cannot be stopped suddenly. Stopping cold turkey could expose a patient to uncomfortable side effects. Instead, it is better to gradually taper the prescription meds while introducing plant-based meds as an alternative.

Over time, and with proper monitoring by a medical provider and pharmacist, it is often possible for patients to completely wean themselves off prescription medications. And even if eliminating a prescription 100% isn't possible, patients are still able to significantly reduce the amount of medication they need to feel better.

Let's Talk About Your Medications

If you are taking prescription medications that you would rather not take and you have been diagnosed with a condition that qualifies for a Utah Medical Card, let's talk about your current treatment. We can go over the medications you use and talk about whether or not plant-based alternatives are appropriate for you.

Getting a Medical Card and using plant-based alternatives could help you to get off pain meds. We can't say for sure in a blog post of this nature, but we can offer you hope by inviting you to visit one of our clinics where you can consult with a KindlyMD provider. This is the first step in getting off those meds you don't like.

Medical Cards Can Be the Key to Patient-Focused Care

There are two angles from which medical providers can approach patient care. The first focuses on the provider, specifically what the provider can offer the patient. The other angle focuses on the actual patient. KindlyMD uses the latter approach. With that approach, we often find that Utah Medical Cards are key to helping patients feel better.

Many of the patients that have turned to KindlyMD for help obtaining their cards suffer from chronic pain. That is expected when you are talking pain clinics and pain management doctors. But we also work with other types of patients. We see patients dealing with PTSD, cancer, nausea, multiple sclerosis, and a variety of other conditions.

Why We Practice Patient-Focused Care

Patient-focused care is extremely important to us. Why? Because it is equally important to patients themselves. When a patient sees a medical provider in hopes of finding relief from chronic pain, the pain is often all that person can think about. For patients like these, pain is an all-encompassing circumstance that dominates life, so focusing on the patient and their need for relief only makes sense.

It is true that healthcare is a business here in the U.S. That's okay, by the way. But any business entity that intends to stick around for the long term needs to focus on meeting the needs of its customers in every possible way. Medicine and healthcare are no different. Healthcare's customer is the patient. Providers need to focus on them just as much as any other industry focuses on its customers.

Medical Cards Play a Role

Patient-focused clinics, like KindlyMD, tend to look for as many alternative treatments as possible. We don't zero-in on a single treatment and recommend it to everyone. That's where Utah Medical Cards come in. The Medical Card plays a key role in many of our treatment recommendations.

If you are not familiar with the Utah Medical Card, it is a state-issued card that gives patients access to plant-based medicines that are otherwise off limits. Plant-based medicines have a long history behind them. They have been an important part of Eastern medicine for as long as history records.

Utah Medical Cards are easy enough to obtain by patients who meet a minimum set of qualifications. But to get a card, you first must visit a medical provider who can certify a recommendation for you. For the record, KindlyMD is the largest QMP group in the state. Our QMPs and staff are intimately familiar with the process for obtaining cards, and we’d be happy to walk through it.

Why a Card Is Key

This post began with the premise that Medical Cards are often key to patient-focused care. Now let us discuss why that is. In a patient-focused mindset, the primary goal is to help the patient feel better. That goal overrides everything else – from billing to coding and keeping insurance companies happy. Utah Medical Cards are all about the patient. They exist for the patient, are obtained by the patient, and designed to give the patient access to more options.

In chronic pain and PTSD situations, it is not unusual for patients to obtain their Medical Cards because no other treatments have provided sufficient relief. It doesn’t make sense to continue pushing treatments that don't work. If a patient isn't feeling any better with traditional medicine, perhaps a Medical Card would be a better option.

There is a lot more about the Medical Card we could discuss. But quite frankly, the discussion is better had between QMP and patient. For now, it is enough to know that the Medical Card is often key to patient-focused care.

How to Get a Medical Card in Utah – It's Not Hard at All

Chronic pain patients in Utah have access to plant-based medicine through state-issued Medical Cards. As the largest QMP specialty group in the Beehive State, we help patients obtain their cards. We are ready and waiting to assist you. If you are asking "how to get a medical card in Utah", we want you to know that getting a card is not as hard as you might think. The process is, in fact, pretty straightforward.

Tens of thousands of Utah residents already have their Medical Cards. There are eligibility requirements, including being diagnosed with a legally recognized qualifying condition. Pain clinic patients generally qualify, given that both chronic and acute pain are on the state list. If you suffer from chronic pain that hasn't been made better through traditional treatments, we invite you to consider getting your Medical Card.

Start the Application Online

Rest assured we can walk you through the entire process of obtaining a Medical Card. It starts with an online application. You visit the state website and create an account. It only takes a couple of minutes to submit the initial information. After that, you make an appointment to see a medical provider.

There are two types of medical providers who can help you obtain a Utah Medical Card. KindlyMD employs Qualified Medical Providers (QMPs) at a number of clinics throughout the state. There are also limited medical providers (LMPs) as well. You can choose either type.

You Undergo a Physical Evaluation

The medical provider's job is to perform a standard medical evaluation. They need to understand your medical condition along with your current health. The evaluation is nothing to be concerned about; it involves a typical exam along with a frank discussion. Following the evaluation, your medical provider completes their part of the application to recommend a Medical Card for you.

During the evaluation, feel free to ask questions about plant-based medicine. Your medical provider should be able to answer them. If you choose KindlyMD, know that we sincerely want you to know everything you can about plant-based medicine in support of your decision. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make the best decision for you.

Finish Up the Application

Following your medical evaluation, the final step is to finish up your application. There is just a little bit more information to submit along with the card fee. Provided you are approved, you will receive your state-issued card shortly thereafter. Just know that Medical Cards in Utah are not paper documents; they are digital documents sent to patients via email.

Once you receive your card via email, you’ll want to print a paper copy. You’ll need to show your card and ID (such as a driver’s license) every time you visit a plant-based medicine pharmacy. Some pharmacies may allow you to show them your card on your smartphone, but it’s a good idea to have a paper copy too, just in case.

As Easy As Possible

We are happy to say that Utah has made the process of applying for a Medical Card as easy as possible. And because they have, tens of thousands of patients now have their cards. In addition, patients expecting to experience acute pain can apply for their cards well in advance. That gives doctors and patients alike access to yet another treatment option.

Do you suffer from chronic pain? Are you scheduled for a medical procedure likely to result in severe acute pain for a limited time? If you answered 'yes' to either question, you may be a candidate for a Utah Medical Card. Feel free to contact KindlyMD to make an appointment to see one of our QMPs. We can walk you through the process step-by-step.

Is a Medical Card a Good Option for You

KindlyMD is one of the largest Qualified Medical Provider (QMP) specialty groups in Utah. We work with patients to help them get their Medical Cards and keep them active. We top it all off with the education our patients need to get the most out of their cards and the plant-based medicines the cards give them access to.

With all that said, here is the question of the day: is a Medical Card a good option for you? Maybe. It is not possible to make a blanket statement in a post like this simply because every patient's circumstances are different. But the fact that Medical Cards and plant-based medicines have already helped so many of our patients suggests that the possibility of getting your own card is at least worth investigating.

Access to Certain Medicines

Also known as a “Med Card” for short, a Medical Card in Utah gives patients access to certain plant-based medicines that would otherwise be off-limits. As specialists in pain management, KindlyMD medical providers know first-hand that plant-based medicines play a vital role in treating chronic pain.

Traditional pain medications are still the number one choice among physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. But it is clear that traditional medications don't always work. In many cases, patients are wary of taking such medications due to the potential risks. That's where alternative, plant-based options come into play.

History is replete with examples of plant-based medicines providing relief. Plant-based medicines existed long before modern pharmacology. Unfortunately, we tend to not give them their due in this day and age. But things are changing. Thanks to emerging attitudes among both patients and the medical industry, plant-based medicine has gained wide acceptance across the US and many other places around the world.

Alternative Medications for Your Pain

Obtaining a Medical Card would open the door to alternative medications that might do a better job of helping you manage your pain. What are those alternative medications? It is not appropriate to get into the details in a blog post of this nature. However, we would be more than happy to discuss them with you when you visit one of our offices.

If one of our medical providers determines you're a candidate for a Medical Card, we'll help you get one. Our staff is fully versed in how the application process works, and we’ll be happy to walk you through it. We’ll explain what you need to do while we do our part in certifying you. Your first Medical Card will be active for six months, and the application process typically takes very little time.

Valid Reasons to Consider Getting a Card

Fairness dictates that we acknowledge Medical Cards are not the best option for every patient. In fact, only certain types of patients with certain medical conditions can apply for Med Cards. If you suffer from chronic pain, you almost certainly will qualify.

Is it a good option for you? Here are some of the reasons we recommend investigating the possibility:

Getting your Medical Card could turn out to be the best opportunity for finding the pain relief you're looking for. As a pain management clinic, helping you find relief is our number one priority. That might mean obtaining a Medical Card in your case. If you would like to know more, make an appointment to see one of our QMPs.

KindlyMD medical providers work with patients to help them obtain and renew Utah Medical Cards. The role we play here is required by law. In addition, state law also mandates that patients apply for their cards online, through the designated electronic verification system (EVS). So it's online or bust.

Our younger patients usually have little trouble with the EVS. But for some of our older patients, doing things online can be challenging. We’re here to help! KindlyMD team members are very familiar with the EVS and the Medical Card application process. We can walk patients through the whole process, step-by-step.

The 3 Steps to Success

The process of obtaining or renewing a Medical Card in Utah isn't all that complicated and there are just three steps to it. Each one is described below. As you read, note that your first Utah Medical Card is good for six months. After that, you’ll need to speak with a Qualified Medical Provider (QMP) again if you want to continue in the program. The renewed card lasts another six months. After one full year in the program, your QMP will decide if annual renewals are appropriate for you.

Step #1: Initiate the Application Process

The first step is for the patient to initiate the online application process. That's done by visiting the EVS website and creating an account. In order to do so, a patient must already have a digital Utah-ID account. Setting up a Utah-ID account isn't hard either and it only takes a couple of minutes.

To start the application process, the patient creates an EVS account with the same Utah-ID credentials. From the main EVS page, the patient can click on a link to open a new Medical Card application. The patient opens that application and completes their portion.

We created a tutorial to demonstrate these steps in more detail. Click here to watch it.

Step #2: Visit with a Medical Provider

The second step is to visit with a medical provider qualified to make a card recommendation. This can be a state-licensed qualified medical provider (QMP) or what the state refers to as a limited medical provider (LMP). It is the medical provider's responsibility to assess whether a Medical Card is appropriate.

If this is the case, the medical provider will log into the EVS through and submit an official recommendation for you to join the program. Once the recommendation is submitted and received, the patient can complete the third and final step.

Step #3: Complete the Application

Now it's time for the patient to return to the EVS and complete the application process. It is a matter of entering a little more information and submitting payment for the state’s $15 fee. Again, it only takes a few minutes to do. Once the payment is submitted, the patient is considered “active” within the program and receives the card via email. At this point, the state still has 30 days to withdraw the patient’s application, but we’ve never seen that happen.

Click here to watch a tutorial about the payment step.

Simple and Straightforward

The process for obtaining a Utah Medical Card is pretty easy and straightforward. It does have to be done online, but that's not a problem for most of our patients. Applying online streamlines the process and gets Medical Cards in patients' hands faster. Applying online is certainly a lot more efficient than downloading a paper document, filling it out, and sticking it in the mail.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think an online application system is the best option for the Utah Medical Card program? Have you tried using the EVS yet? And if so, did you find it easy or difficult?

KindlyMD medical providers are here to help you apply for your Medical Card. If you are interested in trying an alternative, plant-based approach to managing your pain, a Utah Medical Card could be your best option. We can help you get one.

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