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This website is operated by NYMMA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and advancing information about compassionate care treatments available through New York’s Compassionate Care Act.  The website is purely educational and aims to help individuals make informed decisions about compassionate care treatments.

Who’s Your Doctor?

As with any treatment, make sure your doctor has knowledge and experience. If a physician is willing to provide you with compassionate care treatment for 12 months after seeing you over the internet only one time, this should give you pause. Ask yourself: Is this doctor qualified? Do they know what they are doing? Are they putting me in danger?

Beware of 100% Online Medical Card Sites 

A Medical Card is required to obtain alternative treatments available through New York’s Compassionate Care Program at a medical dispensary. 

100% Online Medical Card May Be Illegal

According to the NY Compassionate Care Act a patient has to be “under the practitioner’s continuing care” for their condition.  If you receive a 12 month medical card without any follow up, you may be breaking the law.

100% Online Medical Card Is Not Safe

Like any medication, compassionate care treatments have side effects and worked best with close follow up. If a health care provider gives someone a 12 month prescription for compassionate care treatment with no follow up, they are violating the standard of care, commiting malpractice and can lose their license. Worst of all they are putting you in danger. Telemedicine may be appropriate in certain circumstances. In general, it should not be used for all visits. In fact, in New York it is actually illegal to prescribe a controlled substance without first seeing a patient in person.

Obtaining a Medical Card Legitimately

While it may be tempting to go online to obtain a medical card, this is not safe. If you think you might benefit from a medical card, see a physician in person, who can evaluate you, perform a physical exam and can routinely follow up with you. This will be legal, safe and is the best way to ensure you get the best care while minimizing the risks of side effects from treatment.

Compassionate Care Treatment Steps

Obtain certification from a qualified physician

Apply for your medical card online

Receive your medical card in the mail

Visit a dispensary to obtain medicine

Obtaining a Medical Card

Getting a medical card involves several steps:

1. See a qualified physician who can certify you

2. Register and apply for  a card on NYS website

3. Receive your medical card

Once you receive your medical card bring it with your certification and a physician’s recommendation to a dispensary. Make sure to follow with your doctor soon after receiving the treatment to maximize the chances of treatment success and minimize the risk of developing any side effects.

AvatarAbout the author: Dr. Michael Morgenstern is a double board certified neurologist and expert on alternative treatments available through the NY Compassionate Care Program. He is founder of NYMMA and has helped hundreds of patients with compassionate care treatments in Manhattan, Queens and Long Island. This website is part of a non-profit, the NYMMA that is set up to educate you about compassionate care treatments. It does not provide any services or products. Click here to learn more about our organization or feel free to contact us by email or phone.


The NYMMA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and advancing compassionate care treatment in New York. NYMMAs aims to:

  • Increase awareness about compassionate care treatments
  • Publish content to inform patients about the benefits and risks of compassionate care
  • Educate physicians about the best practices for compassionate care
  • Collaborate with other groups to create publications that help patients, physicians and organizations to navigate complex rules and regulations related to compassionate care

You can reach us by phone, text or by email.

Phone: (646) 598-4571