A new audit of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program revealed one doctor certified 11,810 patients for medicinal pot in fiscal year 2015, according to a Nov. 3, 2016, article in the Detroit Free Press.
The numbers of certifications coming from small numbers of doctors has raised a red flag with Michigan Auditor General Doug Ringler.
For example, of the 81,090 medical marijuana applications in Michigan last fiscal year, another 22 doctors certified a combined total of 46,854 patients. In other words, less than two dozen doctors certified 56 percent of the state’s medical marijuana patients.
The new audit, released by Ringler on Nov. 3, 2016, said the state should have done a better job of its audit of physician certifications. It warned of “fraudulent physician certification forms,” and told the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program to “improve its process to verify physician certifications.”
Doctors should have a “bona fide physician-patient relationship,” the audit said. For a doctor to certify 11,810 patients in a year of 261 workdays, he or she would have had to have seen an average of 45 patients per day.
The Detroit Free Press, citing a 2014 Physicians Foundation survey, said most primary care physicians in the U.S. see an average of 11-20 patients per day.