December 6, 2019

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

MSSNY eNews
December 6, 2019

Vol. 22  Number 45


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Colleagues:

NY State faces a significant budget deficit as 2020 approaches. Assembly Speaker Heastie knows it. Senate Leader Stewart Cousins knows it. Governor Cuomo knows it. This promises to be a Dickensian winter of discontent. Our Medical Society stands as it has always stood – ready to help.

One contentious area has been medical liability. Our governor at his birthday event announced that NY is the most progressive state in the country as he recounted a litany of accomplishments. However, what he failed to mention is that in the arena of medical liability, NY is the most regressive state in the country. NY pays out annually more than the next two highest states put together. NY’s liability environment is so toxic that in the 1980’s, in order to keep physicians’ practicing, NY began providing an excess layer of malpractice insurance.

Our state government perennially rails against waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicaid system. Yet Albany refuses to address the obvious waste, fraud and abuse that is our medical liability system. By enacting even modest reforms, hundreds of millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars could be reclaimed by the Medicaid system by disincentivizing the defensive practices that do nothing to enhance patient care.

Albany wants to fight climate change yet continues to drop lumps of coal into New Yorkers’ stockings every year. I say we embrace climate change – let’s change Albany’s medical liability climate once and for all.

Comments? comments@mssny.org@mssnytweet; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President


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It’s Crunch Time – Please Make Sure Congress Doesn’t Let the Insurance Industry Write the  “Surprise Bill” Solution
As Congress reaches a critical juncture about whether to act on legislation to address “surprise” out of network medical bills, it is imperative that physicians continue to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as your local Representative in Congress, in support of a fair solution that protects patients’ access to needed care, and does not grant huge new powers to the health insurance industry.  By clicking here, you can send a letter, and tweet at your legislators.

This week U.S. Rep Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) authored an op-ed in The Hill that made the case for federal legislation to address surprise medical bills based on New York’s model using an independent dispute resolution mechanism, and in opposition to an approach that would base payment on an insurer-determined median in-network payment.

Also this week, MSSNY sent a letter to the Congressional delegation to address some of the inaccurate statements about the impact of New York’s law. In particular, we highlighted that the New York DFS has commented on multiple occasions that there has been no adverse premium impact of New York’s surprise bill law.  In the May report from Georgetown University analyzing New York’s law, it was noted that “state regulators report that there has not been, as yet, an indication of an inflationary effect in insurers’ annual premium rate filings.”.

Moreover, in a webinar hosted by Yale University professor Zach Cooper with NYDFS staff, it was noted that New York’s law “at least in the first years, was helping to save money”, and that it has “never been raised by any of the plans…as any significant cost driver in making premiums go up.”

It is clear why.  The balance in New York’s law results in a dynamic where the dispute resolution is rarely used.  From 2015 to 2018, there were just over 2,500 decisions, as compared to the over 7 million visits to New York emergency departments each year.   A recent DFS report found that the law saved consumers over $400 million and reduced out-of-network billing by 34%.

Even the health insurance industry has praised New York’s approach.  In a recent statement in support of legislation to extend New York’s law to out of network hospitals, the New York Health Plan Association (which includes representatives of the largest insurance companies in the country) commented that “The existing Independent Dispute Resolution process has worked well to ensure reimbursements for emergency services are fair and reasonable while holding individuals harmless.

Large market dominant companies already hold enormous power over physicians and their patients to dictate the terms of care delivery.  Please do not let Congress make this worse.  Please contact your Senators and Representatives today!


Listen to this Podcast to Hear Why You Need to Be in Albany on March 4
Please plan to be in Albany on March 4, 2020 for Physician Advocacy Day to hear from key health care policy leaders and to meet with your local legislators!  To register, click here.

Want to learn more about why you should come to the State Capitol.  Listen here to a 15-minute podcast featuring Suffolk County Medical Society President Dr. Richard Schoor, Suffolk County Medical Society Executive Director Dr. Aaron Kumar, and MSSNY Senior Vice-President Moe Auster discussing the importance of physician advocacy, including participating in the Albany Lobby Day.


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Dutchess County Medical Society Physician Leader Praises Goal, Raises Concerns at Legislative Single Payor Hearing
On November 25, Poughkeepsie orthopedic surgeon and Dutchess County Medical Society Past President Dr. William Barrick delivered testimony to New York State Senate and Assembly Health Committee members at a Kingston hearing examining a proposal to create a single payor health care system in New York State.  Dr. Barrick’s testimony at the hearing can be viewed here, at the 7:32 mark.

Dr. Barrick’s testimony praised the goals of the New York Health Act legislation to reduce insurance hassles and expand coverage while also raising the significant challenges inherent in implementing such a massive system.  At one point, his testimony elicited a comment from Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera regarding what the fee schedule of this system would likely be if this legislation were to be enacted, to which Senator Rivera characterized as “above Medicare”.

Dr. Barrick’s comments regarding possible prior authorization requirements prompted Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried to praise MSSNY and the New York County Medical Society for engaging in a constructive dialogue, including highlighting specific areas of concern in the far-reaching proposal.  As a result, changes were made to the legislation including limiting prior authorization requirements and providing stronger collective negotiation rights for physicians. Dr. Barrick also raised the importance of liability reform as an essential component if legislation were enacted to create a single payor system.

MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner previously testified at a May hearing in Albany, and New York County Medical Society Past-President Dr. Scot Glasberg testified at a Bronx hearing on this topic.


Data Exchange Incentive Program (DEIP) Step-By-Step
The Data Exchange Incentive Program (DEIP) offers a one-time incentive to help providers offset the cost of connecting to the SHIN-NY via a Qualified Entity (QE). Click here to view a  DEIP step-by-step document that will help physicians know what to expect regarding the DEIP process and timeline.


Hospital Groups Sue HHS to Block Price Transparency Rule
Four organizations representing hospitals and health systems across the nation sued HHS Dec. 4, challenging a final rule that requires hospitals to disclose the rates they negotiate with insurers beginning in 2021.

The American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Children’s Hospital Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The groups argue that HHS lacks statutory authority to require public disclosure of individually negotiated rates between commercial insurers and hospitals. The lawsuit further alleges that the rule violates the First Amendment because it requires “highly confidential” negotiated rates to be disclosed.

“America’s hospitals and health systems stand with patients and are dedicated to ensuring they have the information needed to make informed health care decisions, including what their expected out-of-pocket costs will be,” Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA, said in a press release. “Instead of giving patients relevant information about costs, this rule will lead to widespread confusion and even more consolidation in the commercial health insurance industry. We stand ready to work with CMS and other stakeholders to advance real solutions for patients.”

Under the final rule, issued Nov. 15, hospitals will be required to disclose the standard charges, including payer-specific negotiated rates, for all items and services. Hospitals that fail to publish the negotiated rates online could be fined up to $300 a day.
(Becker’s Hospital Review, 12/5)


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FDA Raises New CBD Concerns
FDA in a Consumer Update revised last week raised new safety concerns about products containing cannabidiol (CBD), particularly CBD-containing foods. In addition, FDA last week sent warning letters to 15 Companies that the Agency said are illegally marketing CBD Products.


HHS Moves to Provide HIV Prevention Drug to the Uninsured
HHS today launched a program to provide HIV prevention or PrEP drugs to an estimated 200,000 uninsured people at risk of HIV.

Officials intend to use Truvada that will be donated by Gilead Sciences in an annual arrangement through 2030. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the department will cover the costs of dispensing the treatment through next March. After that, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens will donate pharmacy dispensing services.

The announcement comes nearly a year after President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address vowed to eliminate domestic HIV transmissions by 2030.

HHS has requested $291 million from Congress to support Trump’s plan. Both the House and Senate have committed to the HIV strategy, and Azar said officials are working to wrap funding into a short-term spending patch if fiscal 2020 appropriations measures aren’t finalized.

“We do need this money to get this moving,” Azar said.


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Deaths from Alcohol-Related Liver Disease at Highest Levels Since 1999
According to Reuters (11/29), CDC data revealed that “U.S. deaths from alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) are at their highest levels since 1999 and have risen every year since 2006 in nearly every racial, ethnic and age group.”

After analyzing “causes of death for people aged 25 and older in the two decades since 1997,” investigators “found that 2017 had the highest rates of death from ALD, at 13.1 per 100,000 deaths in men and 5.6 per 100,000 in women,” which “compares to 1999 ALD mortality rates of 10.6 per 100,000 in men and 3.3 per 100,000 in women.” In particular, “mortality rates and recent increases in ALD diagnoses were…pronounced among middle-aged adults, Native Americans and non-Hispanic whites,” the study found. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.


Health Foundation of Western/Central NY’s Health Leadership Program
The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is now accepting applications from leaders in western and central New York who are interested in participating in Cohort 10 of the Health Leadership Fellows Program. The Fellows program is designed for executives and leaders from health-related non-profit organizations, safety net organizations and public agencies that address the needs of older adults and young children impacted by poverty.

Applications can be submitted online here.

The deadline to apply for the Health Leadership Fellows Program is Friday, April 3, 2020. Interviews will be held throughout the spring, and the program will begin in November 2020. For those interested in learning more about the program, the Health Foundation will hold the following informational webinar sessions. Log-in information for the webinars will be posted on the Fellows web page at a later date.

  • February 13, 2020 at 2 pm
  • March 10, 2020 at 11 am

More than 300 leaders in western and central New York have graduated from Health Leadership Fellows since the program began. Taking what they have learned from the expert faculty, residential sessions, leadership assessments and coaching sessions, fellows have used new information, relationships and ideas to improve health care for people in our regions.

Questions? Visit the Health Leadership Fellows page on our site, check out our FAQ sheet or email Fellows Program Director Nancy Blaschak at nblaschak@hfwcny.org.


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California Surgeon: Prison Time for Role in $580M Billing Fraud
An orthopedic surgeon was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Nov. 22 for his role in a healthcare fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $580 million in fraudulent claims, mostly to California’s worker compensation system, according to the Department of Justice.

Daniel Capen, MD, was sentenced more than a year after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and soliciting and receiving kickbacks for healthcare referrals. He was one of 17 defendants charged in relation to the government’s investigation into kickbacks physicians received for patient referrals for spinal surgeries performed at Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

Dr. Capen received at least $5 million in kickbacks for referring surgeries to Pacific Hospital and for referring services to organizations affiliated with the hospital. He allegedly accounted for $142 million of Pacific Hospital’s claims to insurers between 1998 and 2013, according to the Justice Department.

In addition to the prison term, Dr. Capen was ordered to forfeit $5 million to the federal government and pay a $500,000 fine. Becker’s Hospital. Review

Subject: Continuous Recruitment for NYS DUR Board Membership


Fed Legislation: States Must Maintain a DUR program and Establish a DUR Board The NYS Medicaid DUR Board provides recommendations to the Department of Health associated with establishing clinical standards for Medicaid’s pharmacy program. The composition of the DUR Board can be found on pages 1 & 2 of the Bylaws: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/program/dur/docs/bylaws.pdf

Responsibilities of the DURB include:

  • The establishment and implementation of medical standards and criteria for the retrospective and prospective DUR program.
  • The development, selection, application, and assessment of educational interventions for physicians, pharmacists and recipients that improve care.
  • The collaboration with managed care organizations to address drug utilization concerns and to implement consistent management strategies across the fee-for-service and managed care pharmacy benefits.
  • The review of therapeutic classes subject to the Preferred Drug Program.

CVs associated with interest in becoming a DUR Board member are accepted continuously and can be submitted to the DUR Board mailbox at dur@health.ny.gov. If no vacancies exist, CVs will be kept on file for consideration once a position becomes available. Questions on membership and candidacy can be directed to the DUR Board Member Liaison, Robert Sheehan, at dur@health.ny.gov or 518-486-3209.

For more information about the NYS Medicaid DUR Board please visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/program/dur/


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WORKERS COMP

Important News About WC Authorization/Re-Registration

Back in November 2017, MSSNY notified members that the WCB was updating its directory in 2018 and all WC authorized physicians had to re-register –

New Health Care Provider Registration Coming Soon

The Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) has initiated a registration process to update and maintain a current list of medical providers who are authorized to treat injured workers. The goal of this process is to enable an injured worker to easily and accurately identify Board-authorized medical providers.

Registering

You will be notified in November when registration opens for Board-authorized medical providers. Authorized providers are asked to register with the Board and update their office address(es) and contact information by January 15, 2018. This registration process will be an ongoing initiative every two to three years.

Medical providers who have not registered by January 15, 2018 will:

  • be removed from the public directory of Board authorized providers, and
  • become ineligible for the Board’s disputed bill process.

Creating an Account in the New York State Health Commerce System (HCS)

The Board will use the existing New York State Health Commerce System (HCS) for this registration process. For the initial registration and for future updates to your practice information, you will need to have an HCS account. If you don’t already have one, you can view directions to create an account on the New York State Department of Health website.

Q. If a WC physician did not re-register with the WCB to update the physician directory, what happened?
A. The physician was dropped from the directory of authorized WC physicians.

Q. What will occur moving forward?
A. Anyone who did not re-register with the WCB since 2018 will be dropped from WC authorization on or about 1/1/20. If a WC authorized physician doesn’t register by 1/30/20 their authorization status will be terminated.

Q. What if a physician wants to keep his/her WC authorization status?
A. Please have the doctors complete the registration process, click the link provided:
http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/hcpp/Health_Provider_Registration_Instructions.pdf

Back in November 2017, MSSNY notified members that the WCB was updating its directory in 2018 and all WC authorized physicians had to re-register –


CME

MSSNY Podcast: DPT Vaccine
According to the CDC Provisional Pertussis Surveillance Report, there were 345 confirmed cases of pertussis in New York State in 2018.  There is currently a case in Montgomery County, and in October 2019 Jefferson County had an outbreak.  If pertussis is present in a community, it is possible for fully vaccinated people of any age the contract this highly contagious disease.  Be sure to learn more by listening to MSSNY’s podcast on the Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis vaccine here.

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RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
1100 square foot office for sale on Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill in an elegant pre-war, coop building. High ceilings complement two large consulting offices, spacious waiting room, administrative room/kitchenette and full bathroom. Enter through private, accessible street entrance or attended lobby. Currently configured for two psychiatrists, easily adaptable to any specialty with multiple exam room possibilities. Extraordinary location convenient to transportation and medical centers. Full listing available at http://ow.ly/IdA130pN5Ua. Call Robin J. Roy, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, at 212-360-2292 or email robin.roy@corcoran.com for information and showings.

Furnished Luxury Park Avenue East 70’s Medical Office Rental Available.
Voted most beautiful block on UES. Private Entrance. Central A/C.
Dedicated consultation room, exam room, procedure room, reception and nurse areas in a multispecialty office setting. Suitable for all subspecialties.Walk to Lenox Hill Hospital and NY Cornell. Proximate to Mt Sinai Hospital. Subway 2 blocks away. Full Time/Part Time. No fee.
START SEEING PATIENTS IMMEDIATELY!!!
Please call or text 929 316-1032
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Park Avenue – Private Street Entrance, Same Block as Subway
Rental includes: two consultation rooms, private office, private bathroom.  Common waiting room, back office filing space and reception desks included.  Affordable rent.  Location East 60s between Park and Lexington.  Easy distance to Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Cornell.  Subway access within 1 block. Immediate occupancy available.  Call James: 917-710-7643

Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up


PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Part-Time Pediatrician / Family Practicitioner Wanted for Private Rochester Area Office
Looking to fill a part time position in a private pediatric office serving Rural and Urban diverse population. Pediatrician and Family Practitioner if interested please send CV to : syedmasood@frontiernet.net


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Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
Physicians, are you looking for a change?  Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming patient load?  Come work at a well-equipped and staffed correctional facility where you can MAKE a difference, working with a smaller number of patients for reasonable hours.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *Additional $20,000 geographical differential for Clinton & Franklin CF, and $10,000 for Five Points, Greene and Groveland CFs. We offer full-time, part-time & hourly/per-diem positions.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                 Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Chemung               Elmira and Southport Corrl Facilities (Gateway to the Finger Lakes)
Columbia*             Hudson Correctional Facility (antiquing, arts & collectables)
Dutchess                Green Haven Correctional Facility (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                Franklin & Upstate Corrl Facilities (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                 Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to NY City)
Livingston*            Groveland Correctional Facility (State Parks, hiking, fishing)
Oneida                   Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Orleans                  Albion Correctional Facility (Greater Niagara Region & Canal Town Culture)
Sullivan                  Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, entertainment)
Seneca*                 Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence          Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Ulster                     Shawangunk and Wallkill Corrl Facility (Catskill Mountains, Casinos)
Washington           Great Meadow Corrl Facility (Between Vermont & Green Mountains)
Westchester           Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)
Wyoming               Wyoming Correctional Facility (waterfalls, family farms, natural beauty)

NYS Corrections Personnel Ad

Inquire with the Facility Personnel Office regarding benefits and anticipated opportunities: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/faclist.html. Contact: www.doccs.ny.gov or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.


Physician Insights Wanted to Help Shape the Future of Primary Care
98point6 is a healthcare technology company committed to delivering more affordable, accessible, high-quality primary care. To support our mission, we need the insights of forward-thinking physicians that have opinions about the current state of primary care and are interested in the role technology can play in healthcare. Members of our exclusive Primary Care Council have no clinical responsibilities and are generally compensated for participation, which requires only a few hours per year. Interested? Learn more and apply today at: 98point6.com/pcc/


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MSSNY Ready to Work with Governor and Legislature on Medicaid Budget Gap


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release
December 3, 2019

MSSNY Ready to Work with Governor and Legislature on Medicaid Budget Gap

Need to Work Towards Proposals to Rein in System Costs that Also Protect Patients’ Ability to Receive Timely and Quality Care

Comprehensive Medical Liability Reform IS Healthcare Reform

December 3, 2019, Westbury, NY— Physicians across the state of New York stand ready to work with the Governor and the Legislature to address our enormous Medicaid Budget gap.  However, we must be careful to make sure steps are not taken to further impair patient access to care by creating additional incentives for physicians NOT to participate in New York’s Medicaid program.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation Report demonstrates that New York remains having one of the lowest Medicaid to Medicare physician payment ratios in the country.

“We suggest one reform from the original Medicaid Redesign Team be revisited,” said Art Fougner, MD, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.  “NY should enact comprehensive medical liability reform.  New York’s physicians and hospitals continue to incur, by far, the highest liability costs in the country, far surpassing more populous states such as California and Texas.”

In fact, a recent report by  Leverage Rx showed that in 2018, New York once again had the highest cumulative medical liability payouts of any state in the country, 85% more than the state with the second highest amount (Pennsylvania); the highest per capita liability payment; and, 22% more than the second highest state (Pennsylvania).

“Medical liability reform is an essential component of efforts to reduce unnecessary healthcare spending. Defensive practices increase healthcare costs without improving outcomes,” said Dr. Fougner.  “While estimates vary as to the extent of these costs, multiple studies demonstrate many physicians feel compelled to perform low-value additional tests, consults and procedures in order to defend against a possible future lawsuit. More than budget neutral, medical liability reform would result in real budget dollar savings. In short, liability reform is healthcare reform.”

The Medical Society of the State of New York stands ready to work with all parties to work towards responsible proposals to rein in system costs that also protect our patients’ ability to receive timely and quality care.

# # #

About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

MSSNY Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

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MSSNY Calls on Governor Cuomo to Sign Partial Fill for Controlled Substances Bill

For Immediate Release

 


MSSNY Calls on Governor Cuomo to Sign Partial Fill for Controlled Substances Bill


November 20, 2019, Westbury, NY
— The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) today called upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill passed by the State Legislature that would help to reduce the risk of diversion of powerful opioid medications. The bill would permit physicians to prescribe a controlled substance on a partially filled basis.

“This measure would allow physicians/prescribers to prescribe up to a 30-day supply of controlled substance with a notation to the pharmacist that he/she should only dispense the agreed to amount.  The total quantity dispensed in all partial fillings cannot exceed the total quantity prescribed. We know that one way opioid abuse starts is by persons other than the patient accessing unused medications left in medicine cabinets or other parts of a patient’s home.  By enabling the staggered filling of the prescription, this measure will help to reduce the amount of pain medicines left unused. This will limit the risk of these medications being diverted,” said Art Fougner, MD, president of MSSNY.

New York State action would allow the state to mirror what is already authorized on a federal level. Dr. Fougner also credited Assemblymember John McDonald and Senator Gustavo Rivera for bringing this measure to passage in the NYS Legislature.  The bill was delivered to the Governor for his consideration yesterday. He has until November 30 to sign or veto.

# # #

Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Medical Society of the State of New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

MSSNYeNews: November 22, 2019 – California Dreamin’

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

MSSNY eNews
November 22, 2019

Vol. 22  Number 44


MSSNYPAC Seal


Colleagues:

The AMA Interim Meeting in San Diego was interesting. A major issue discussed concerned Scope – NOT the mouthwash. The meeting highlighted the confusion that often arises among patients as to the credentials of the person who is treating them.

Table of doctorshttps://www.ama-assn.org/media/26936/download

For example, 88% of those surveyed were clear that an Obstetrician-Gynecologist is a physician, 12% either thought an Ob-Gyn was not a physician or were unsure. About one in five thought a Nurse Anesthetist was a physician. More folks than not thought Optometrists were physicians.

Therefore, in NY, we have the requirement to wear identifiers to reduce the confusion. However, there are Doctors of Nursing with PhD degrees. Therefore, they are doctors but not physicians. No wonder patients get confused.

To be clear, we all need each other. Patients clearly fare best when their care is team-based. There should be no room for either – or. No remonstration, no finger pointing allowed. However, when I learn that a physician is being bullied so as not to give a vanilla presentation on the differences in education and training among the various healthcare professionals who treat patients in the area, I am deeply troubled.

To that end, MSSNY has set up an ad hoc Scope of Practice committee.

In the end, it’s the patient who counts.

Please let us end the confusion.

There is a “physician” and then there is “not exactly”.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
If I didn’t go, I could leave today
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day

-John and Michelle Phillips

Comments? comments@mssny.org@mssnytweet; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President


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Please Take Our Survey Re Prior Authorization —A Major Physician Concern
MSSNY has worked together with numerous physicians and patient advocacy groups in support of multiple pieces of legislation to reduce physicians’ administrative burden to ensure that their patients can receive the medications they need. Please click here to complete the survey.

Our success includes a recent law that gives physicians greater authority to override a health insurer “step therapy” or “fail first” prescription medication protocol in certain circumstances.

However, MSSNY continues to work for additional laws that reduce the need for unnecessary and repetitive prior authorizations that take time away from patient care delivery.

Please take just a few minutes to complete the survey.


Physicians: Urge Governor to Sign Legislation to Permit Partial Filling of Opioid Prescriptions
Please urge Governor Cuomo to sign into law legislation (A.3918/S.1813) presented for his consideration this week that would permit a physician to stagger a patient’s short-term opioid prescription, so as to prevent the accumulation of unused opioids in patient medicine cabinets.  You can send a letter from here: https://p2a.co/YRf6CsU.  Specifically, the legislation would allow prescribers, in consultation with their patients, to prescribe up to a 30-day supply of a controlled substance with a notation to the pharmacist that they should only dispense the amount agreed to by patient and prescriber. Each “partial fill” would be dispensed and recorded in the same manner as a normal refill and the aggregate quantity dispensed across partial fillings may not exceed the overall total quantity prescribed. This measure should help to address patients’ pain while reducing the amount of leftover medication in households.

The Governor has until November 30 to decide whether to veto or sign. MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner issued a statement this week calling on the Governor to sign this bill into law, noting that “We know that one way opioid abuse starts is by persons other than the patient accessing unused medications left in medicine cabinets or other parts of a patient’s home.  By enabling the staggered filling of the prescription, this measure will help to reduce the amount of pain medicines left unused. This will limit the risk of these medications being diverted.”


New Law Enacted to Prohibit Unconsented Pelvic Exams When Not in Ordinary Course of Care
As recently reported, Governor Cuomo has signed into law legislation (S.1092-E/A.6325-C) that prohibits the performance of a pelvic examination without consent on an anesthetized or unconscious patient, except when clinically warranted.   The law was designed to respond to reports of medical students being asked to perform such exams, without express patient consent, as part of their medical training in teaching hospitals. Specifically, the legislation provides that “No person shall perform a pelvic examination or supervise the performance  of  a  pelvic examination on an anesthetized or unconscious patient unless the person performing the pelvic examination is legally authorized  to do so and the person supervising the performance of the pelvic examination is legally authorized to do so and:

·   the patient or the patient’s authorized representative gives prior oral or written informed consent specific to the pelvic examination;

·   the performance of a pelvic examination is within the scope of care for the surgical procedure or diagnostic examination scheduled to be performed on the patient and to which the patient has  already given oral or written consent; or

·   the patient is unconscious and the pelvic examination is medically necessary for diagnostic or treatment purposes, and the patient is in immediate need of medical attention and an attempt to secure consent would result in a delay of treatment which would increase the risk to the patient’s life or health.”

It would also make violation of such provision an element of physician misconduct. Several other states have passed similar laws expressly banning this practice without clinical justification. MSSNY worked with the Legislature to ensure that this legislation was drafted in such a way as to not inappropriately interfere with the clinically appropriate delivery of needed medical care.  The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists have issued an ethical opinion that “Pelvic examinations on an anesthetized woman that offer her no personal benefit and are performed solely for teaching purposes should be performed only with her specific informed consent obtained before her surgery”. The law takes effect on April 4, 2020.


It’s Crunch Time – Please Make Sure Congress Doesn’t Let the Insurance Industry Write the “Surprise Bill” Solution
With just a few weeks left in the year, Congress is continuing to have extensive discussions about legislation to address “surprise” out of network medical bills.  It is imperative that physicians continue to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as your local Representative in Congress, in support of a fair solution to this issue that protects patients’ access to needed care, and does not grant huge new powers to the health insurance industry.  By clicking here https://p2a.co/klWfpHT, you can send a letter, and tweet at your legislators.

Please remind them of the successes of New York’s law.  In September, the NY Department of Financial Services released a report detailing the great success of New York’s surprise bill law enacted in 2014. In particular, the report found that between 2015 and 2018, consumers over $400 million and reduced out-of-network billing by 34%, in part through a reduction in costs associated with emergency services and an increased incentive for network participation.   According to a May Georgetown University report, there has not been any adverse premium impact attributable to our law.  

At the same time, please remind them of the grave concerns have been raised about insurance company friendly legislation (H.R.3630 Pallone/Walden, and S.1895-Alexander/Murray), that would limit payment in these surprise bill situations to an insurer controlled “median contracting rate”.  When California enacted a similar law a few years ago, what followed was a 48% increase in patient access to care complaints including delays in obtaining care or securing physician appointments, inadequate selection of providers, and problems accessing facilities.   

Large market dominant companies already hold enormous power over physicians and their patients to dictate the terms of care delivery.  Please do not let Congress make this worse.  Please contact your Senators and Representatives today!  https://p2a.co/klWfpHT


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NYDOHMH Confirms Second Vaping-Related Death
The AP (11/20) reports New York’s Department of Health “has declared the state’s second death linked to a vaping-associated illness.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo “said on Wednesday that the person who died was a man in his 30′s from Manhattan with a reported history of using e-cigarettes and vapor products.” The first death, on Oct. 4, “was of a 17-year-old boy from the Bronx.”

New York AG files suit against Juul

New York Attorney General Tish James filed suit against e-cigarette maker Juul Tuesday alleging the company marketed to underage users and misrepresented the product as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. In the 38-page complaint, the AG’s office says that Juul engaged in “deceptive business practices when marketing and advertising its products, and illegally sold its products to minors through its websites and in third-party retail stores throughout the state.”

“There can be no doubt that JUUL’s aggressive advertising has significantly contributed to the public health crisis that has left youth in New York and across the country addicted to its products,” James said in a statement. “By glamorizing vaping, while at the same time downplaying the nicotine found in vaping products, JUUL is putting countless New Yorkers at risk.”

The suit makes it illegal to sell nicotine products to minors. About 220,000 of the 1 million e-cigarette users across the state are under the age of 18, according to an estimate from the state health department. The federal government has reported 2,172 cases of vaping-related illness — though many cases have been tied to vitamin E acetate found in THC cartridges — and 42 deaths as of Nov. 13.


Canada May Have Found New Vaping Complication: Popcorn Lung
Canadian physicians may have identified a new type of lung injury linked to vaping. In CMAJ, they report a potential case of vaping-associated bronchiolitis obliterans, a form of which is known as “popcorn lung.”

Previously, a number of workers in factories making microwave popcorn developed “popcorn lung” after inhaling the flavoring chemical diacetyl, which is also used in e-liquids.

An otherwise healthy, 17-year-old male with a history of heavy, daily vaping presented with cough, dyspnea, and fever. Tests for infectious agents were negative. Computed tomography revealed a diffuse tree-in-bud pattern, which differs from what has been observed in patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI).

The patient developed refractory hypercapnia and required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, but he improved with corticosteroids. He was hospitalized for 47 days and still had impaired lung function at 4 months.

Separately, a correspondence in the New England Journal of Medicine describes autopsy findings from a young man who died from untreated EVALI.

CMAJ article https://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2019/11/20/cmaj.191402CMAJ editorial (https://www.cmaj.ca/content/cmaj/early/2019/11/20/cmaj.191503.full.pdf

NEJM correspondence on pathology of vaping-related lung illness https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1914980?query=pfw&jwd=000012759862&jspc=%20


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Three LI Children Contract Polio-Like Disease Acute Flaccid Myelitis
Newsday (NY) (11/17) reports on the “rare polio-like disease” acute flaccid myelitis “that has struck at least three Long Island children since a nationwide outbreak began in 2014.” The CDC “has confirmed nearly 600 cases of the disease – mostly in young children – since it began tracking cases in 2014.”


Survey: Women More Likely to be Warned Away from Surgery Careers
Findings were published in Annals of Surgery regarding a recent survey that “punishing hours and concerns about having little time to marry and have children deter both male and female medical students from choosing careers in surgery, but more women say they’ve been warned away from the field because of their gender.” Researchers “sent surveys to roughly 720 students at Harvard Medical School.” Among the 261 who responded, “similar proportions of both genders intended to become surgeons – roughly one in four men and one in five women.”


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Plan Legal Challenge against Health-Pricing Disclosure Rule
The Wall Street Journal (11/20) reports that the hospital industry is planning a legal challenge to block the Trump Administration’s new health-pricing disclosure rule, which would require the disclosure of secret rates negotiated by hospitals with insurers for all services.


CMS Flags Nursing Home Citations
CMS on its Nursing Home Compare website has added a new icon—a red circle with a white stop hand in the center—to ratings for 760 facilities, indicating that the facilities have been cited for an incident of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Consumer advocates have applauded the move, but some in the nursing home industry say the alerts are misleading. (Wall Street Journal, 11/19)


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Incontinence is Increasingly Common Though Few Seek Care
The Wall Street Journal (11/17, Subscription Publication) reported on incontinence and efforts to improve bladder health, adding that according to the Urology Care Foundation one-third of Americans 40 or over have urinary incontinence at least some of the time, though many do not seek care.


Hard-to-Use EHRs Tied to Physician Burnout
Physicians who find their electronic health records (EHRs) difficult to use are more likely to report symptoms of burnout, according to a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Nearly 900 physicians answered a questionnaire about burnout and completed the System Usability Scale (SUS), a 10-item survey assessing how usable they found their EHR (see second link below). SUS scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores denoting better usability.

Overall, the mean SUS score was 45.9, which is considered “not acceptable.” Additionally, nearly half the cohort reported at least one burnout symptom. SUS scores were associated with burnout in a dose-dependent manner. After multivariable adjustment, the odds of burnout were 3% lower with each 1-point increase in SUS score.

Dr. Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement: “The findings will not come as a surprise to anyone who practices medicine. … It is a national imperative to overhaul the design and use of EHRs and reframe the technology to focus primarily on its most critical function — helping physicians care for their patients.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings article; System Usability Scale;


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Survey: Practices Spend One Staff Day Each Week on Provider Directory Upkeep
Modern Healthcare (11/14) reports a new Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare survey reveals “maintaining provider directories is an expensive, time-consuming task that takes up the equivalent of one staff day per week for physician practices.” The not-for-profit health plan alliance “found directory maintenance costs practices nationwide $2.76 billion annually, or $999 per practice per month.”

Additionally, “the cost to practices rises in accordance with the number of providers and plan contracts,” and “practices with more than 25 providers spent an average of about $2,500 per month maintaining provider directories, while those with fewer than five providers spent $319 per month on average.” In its report of the results, CAQH suggests “a seemingly simple solution: health plans adopting a single, streamlined platform where practices can enter, update and review their practice information and share it with multiple plans at once.”


Young Physicians at Interim AMA Meeting

Young Physicians at Interim AMA Meeting. (from left) Charles Lopresto, DO; Ryan Schlobach, MD (in rear); then Ray Lorenzoni, MD (in rear); Carlos Zapata, MD; Anita Ravi, MD; Jocelyn Young, DO; Daniel Choi, MD; and Carlo Milani, MD


WORKERS COMP

Go Live Date Approaching for NY Workers’ Compensation Formulary
The New York Workers’ Compensation Board Drug Formulary (NY WC Formulary) becomes effective on December 5, 2019 for all new prescriptions. Starting that day, all new prescriptions for injured workers in New York State must be listed within the NY WC Formulary unless an alternative medication has been approved through the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board’s new prior authorization process. The new electronic prior authorization process will soon be available through the Board’s Medical Portal; please watch for the notification.

Please visit the Board’s Drug Formulary Overview webpage for:

  • An overview of the NY WC Formulary and the prior authorization process
  • The latest version of the NY WC Formulary (effective 11/5/19)
  • A video overview for Medical Providers
  • A Quick Guide to the NY WC Formulary
  • An NY WC Formulary Dashboard Guide for Medical Providers

Information and resources related to requesting prior authorization through the Board’s Medical Portal, can be found on the Board’s Medical Portal Overview webpage.

For more information or assistance: http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/hcpp/DrugFormulary/overview.jsp


CMS

The CY 2020 MPFS is Now Available
The CY 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) is now available. You can view the new fees using the Fee Schedule Lookup tool page on the NGSMedicare.com website.


Webinars

MSSNY hosted a webinar, “How to Maximize Success and Maintain Control & Ownership of Your Physician Group,” featuring Roy Bejarano, Co-Founder & CEO of Scale Physician Group, and Andrew Blustein, Partner/Director and Vice Chair of Garfunkel Wild, P.C. on November 12, 2019.

Roy shared the lessons and best practices learned from his experience working with over 1,200 physicians across the country and Andrew facilitated Q&A during the presentation. Listen to the replay for Scale’s insights on the benefits of scale, barriers to building sustainable growth, and how to approach a private equity transaction for physician groups.


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RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
1100 square foot office for sale on Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill in an elegant pre-war, coop building. High ceilings complement two large consulting offices, spacious waiting room, administrative room/kitchenette and full bathroom. Enter through private, accessible street entrance or attended lobby. Currently configured for two psychiatrists, easily adaptable to any specialty with multiple exam room possibilities. Extraordinary location convenient to transportation and medical centers. Full listing available at http://ow.ly/IdA130pN5Ua. Call Robin J. Roy, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, at 212-360-2292 or email robin.roy@corcoran.com for information and showings.

Furnished Luxury Park Avenue East 70’s Medical Office Rental Available.
Voted most beautiful block on UES. Private Entrance. Central A/C.
Dedicated consultation room, exam room, procedure room, reception and nurse areas in a multispecialty office setting. Suitable for all subspecialties.Walk to Lenox Hill Hospital and NY Cornell. Proximate to Mt Sinai Hospital. Subway 2 blocks away. Full Time/Part Time. No fee.
START SEEING PATIENTS IMMEDIATELY!!!
Please call or text 929 316-1032
_______________________________________


Park Avenue – Private Street Entrance, Same Block as Subway
Rental includes: two consultation rooms, private office, private bathroom.  Common waiting room, back office filing space and reception desks included.  Affordable rent.  Location East 60s between Park and Lexington.  Easy distance to Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Cornell.  Subway access within 1 block. Immediate occupancy available.  Call James: 917-710-7643

Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up


PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Part-Time Pediatrician / Family Practicitioner Wanted for Private Rochester Area Office
Looking to fill a part time position in a private pediatric office serving Rural and Urban diverse population. Pediatrician and Family Practitioner if interested please send CV to : syedmasood@frontiernet.net


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Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
Physicians, are you looking for a change?  Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming patient load?  Come work at a well-equipped and staffed correctional facility where you can MAKE a difference, working with a smaller number of patients for reasonable hours.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *Additional $20,000 geographical differential for Clinton & Franklin CF, and $10,000 for Five Points, Greene and Groveland CFs. We offer full-time, part-time & hourly/per-diem positions.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                 Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Chemung               Elmira and Southport Corrl Facilities (Gateway to the Finger Lakes)
Columbia*             Hudson Correctional Facility (antiquing, arts & collectables)
Dutchess                Green Haven Correctional Facility (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                Franklin & Upstate Corrl Facilities (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                 Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to NY City)
Livingston*            Groveland Correctional Facility (State Parks, hiking, fishing)
Oneida                   Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Orleans                  Albion Correctional Facility (Greater Niagara Region & Canal Town Culture)
Sullivan                  Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, entertainment)
Seneca*                 Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence          Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Ulster                     Shawangunk and Wallkill Corrl Facility (Catskill Mountains, Casinos)
Washington           Great Meadow Corrl Facility (Between Vermont & Green Mountains)
Westchester           Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)
Wyoming               Wyoming Correctional Facility (waterfalls, family farms, natural beauty)

NYS Corrections Personnel Ad

Inquire with the Facility Personnel Office regarding benefits and anticipated opportunities: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/faclist.html. Contact: www.doccs.ny.gov or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.


Physician Insights Wanted to Help Shape the Future of Primary Care
98point6 is a healthcare technology company committed to delivering more affordable, accessible, high-quality primary care. To support our mission, we need the insights of forward-thinking physicians that have opinions about the current state of primary care and are interested in the role technology can play in healthcare. Members of our exclusive Primary Care Council have no clinical responsibilities and are generally compensated for participation, which requires only a few hours per year. Interested? Learn more and apply today at: 98point6.com/pcc/


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Medical Society of the State of New York Announces Additions to Albany Government Affairs Staff


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Medical Society of the State of New York Announces Additions to Albany Government Affairs Staff

November 18, 2019, Westbury, NY— The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) is pleased to announce the addition of Zina Cary and Raza Ali to its Government Affairs Staff in Albany.  Ms. Cary will be the Senior Associate Director for Government Affairs and Mr. Ali is a Legislative Associate.

“Zina brings a wealth of experience to MSSNY’s advocacy team,” said Art Fougner, MD, a Queens OB-GYN and president of MSSNY.  “She has been extensively involved in numerous health care advocacy campaigns in New York and across the country to promote patient access to timely needed care.  Her many achievements include successful advocacy efforts in support of a 2016 New York law that placed stronger restrictions around health insurers’ use of step therapy prescription medication protocols.”

Prior to joining MSSNY, Ms. Cary worked for numerous patient advocacy organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the National Health Council and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.  Prior to that, she served as a Legislative Analyst for New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.  Zina received her B.S. degree from Northland College in Wisconsin.

Mr. Ali was most recently a reporter for the New York Statewatch service, reporting on the numerous Committee meetings that occur during the legislative session.  He also was a legislative intern for U.S. Representative Paul Tonko.  He received his B.A. degree from the University of Albany.

“Raza brings a great understanding of the legislative process, and has a proven ability to be knowledgeable on a wide breadth of legislative proposals simultaneously, tremendously important skills given the wide array of legislative issues of interest to the physicians of New York State” stated Dr. Fougner.

Ms. Cary and Mr. Ali join MSSNY’s Advocacy team led by longtime MSSNY lobbyists Moe Auster, MSSNY’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legislative Counsel; and Pat Clancy, MSSNY’s Senior Vice-President for Public Health.

# # #

About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

MSSNY Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

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MSSNYeNews: November 15, 2019 – Collateral Damage

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

MSSNY eNews
November 15, 2019

Vol. 22  Number 43


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Colleagues:

This past week, I learned that pharmacies in the Bronx were either out of stock of opioids or on “back order.” This seemed hard to believe but one neurologist recounted his experience in trying to find a pharmacy carrying Percocet for his patient with severe paroxysms of sympathetic nerve pain. In exploring further, he had obtained a memo from a health organization suggesting that opioid manufacturers were loathe to ship supply to NY State because of the opioid excise tax recently enacted.

This particular organization suggested that the medications would be obtainable via a rather circuitous route via their own central distribution center.

This, of course, would be little help for this particular patient or for many who legitimately need narcotic analgesia. Despite the opioid crisis, pain relief is still a quality metric and pain is still the “fifth vital sign.” Measures in place, however well-intended, have put patients and physicians in a bind. Pain must be relieved but the relief is often difficult to obtain. And when the analgesics in question are out of reach, is it so hard to consider that patients might seek alternative means to relieve that pain?

Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee.
John Donne

Comments? comments@mssny.org@mssnytweet; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President


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We Need Your Data
At November’s MSSNY Council meeting, Dr. Sana Block expressed concerns on behalf of physicians who are finding it difficult for patients to obtain medically needed prescriptions for pain.  He explained that pharmacies are not filling prescriptions for opioids when needed for patients with chronic pain.  Other Councilors stated that they have experienced difficulty for patients obtaining pain medications following surgery.  Anecdotal information is fine; but, to bring this to the attention of powers that might be able to address this problem, we need your data.

To help us help you, please download the MSSNY Hassle Factor Form.  Complete the form, letting us know if you have experienced difficulty in obtaining medically needed pain meds for you patients.

In Section C of the form, please indicate the name of the pharmacy.  If you have experienced problems with multiple pharmacies, please use multiple forms.  In addition, please identify the nature of the problem, such as the drug is out of stock; the pharmacy recommends a different drug, etc.  The completed form can be emailed to RxHassles@mssny.org or faxed to: 516-282-7093 or 516 282-7099 or 516-282-7098.


It’s Crunch Time – Please Make Sure Congress Adopts a Fair Solution to Surprise Medical Bills
 With just 6 weeks left in the year, Congress is continuing to have extensive discussions about legislation to address “surprise” out of network medical bills.  It is imperative that physicians continue to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as your local Representative in Congress, in support of a fair solution to this issue that protects patients’ access to needed care, and does not grant huge new powers to already market dominant insurers.  By clicking here, you can send a letter, and tweet at your legislators.

Please remind them of the successes of New York’s law.  In September, the NY Department of Financial Services released a report detailing the great success of New York’s surprise bill law enacted in 2014. In particular, the report found that between 2015 and 2018, consumers over $400 million and reduced out-of-network billing by 34%, in part through a reduction in costs associated with emergency services and an increased incentive for network participation.   According to a May Georgetown University report, there has not been any adverse premium impact attributable to our law.

At the same time, please remind them of the grave concerns that have been raised about insurance company friendly legislation (H.R.3630 Pallone/Walden, and S.1895-Alexander/Murray), that would limit payment in these surprise bill situations to an insurer controlled “median contracting rate”.  When California enacted a similar law a few years ago, what followed was a 48% increase in patient access to care complaints including delays in obtaining care or securing physician appointments, inadequate selection of providers, and problems accessing facilities.

United, Empire Aetna and many of the other market dominant companies already hold enormous power over physicians and their patients to dictate the terms of care delivery.  Please do not give them any more power.  Please contact your Senators and Representatives today!

Cartoon illustration issues with surprise billing


Physician Action on Key Health Care Legislation Needed
As of today, there were still 375 bills that passed both houses in 2019 that were awaiting delivery to the Governor.  But with just 6 weeks left in the year, the flurry of bill signings/vetoes has begun.  This week, MSSNY sent letters to the Governor in support of legislation to extend for 2 years the “nursing home exception” to mandatory e-prescribing (A.1034-A/S.4183) and to permit ophthalmologists to delegate administration of eye drops to assistants (S.4469-B/A.3822-D).

Physicians can quickly and easily send a letter to the Governor here on the following bills:

  • Protect Against Insurer Mid-year Formulary Changes– would prohibit a health insurer from removing a prescription drug from a formulary during the patient’s policy year.  Moreover, if the plan’s drug formulary has two or more tiers of drug benefits with different deductibles, copayments or coinsurance, the plan may not move a drug to a tier with higher patient cost sharing during the policy year. It also prohibits the plan from adding new or additional formulary restrictions during the policy year. Please urge the Governor to sign this bill into law.
  • Support Partial Prescription Fills– would allow prescribers, in consultation with their patients, to prescribe up to a 30-day supply of a controlled substance with a notation to the pharmacist that they should only dispense the amount agreed to by patient and prescriber. Each partial fill would be dispensed and recorded in the same manner as a normal refill and the aggregate quantity dispensed across partial fillings may not exceed the overall total quantity prescribed. This measure should help to address patients’ pain while reducing the amount of leftover medication in households. Please encourage the governor to sign this legislation by clicking here.
  • Oppose Liability Expansion– two bills passed the Legislature that will further tip the scales in lawsuits against physicians and the business community generally, adding costs and potentially increasing your liability premiums while doing nothing to reform the current broken system. One would force physician defendants into making a “blind gamble” in cases involving multiple defendants where one defendant settles prior to trial and would enable in many cases the total payout to a plaintiff to actually exceed a jury’s award. The other would allow plaintiffs to collect a judgment from a third party that is not a direct party to the lawsuit in question. The bill would permit this to occur even though the plaintiff had not sued or perhaps could not have sued the third-party defendant in the first instance. Please urge the Governor to veto these bills.

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NYeC: Shin-NY Reduced Healthcare Costs by Over $160 Million Annually
According to a recent preliminary analysis conducted by New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) use of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) is reducing unnecessary healthcare spending in New York by $160-$195 million annually, which includes significant savings to Medicaid and Medicare.  To see NYEC’s white paper on this analysis click here.

The results of the analysis indicate that the savings are based on the current size and use of the network, using methodology developed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for purposes with recent related federal proposals.

The report noted that, “The approximated savings and value are based and consistent with results of existing peer reviewed academic studies pointing to the value of using HIE generally. HIE has been associated with 50% reduction in rates of hospital readmission, 26% reduction in the rate of emergency department admissions, 35% reduction in the repeat of repeat imaging procedures and 10% lower 30-day readmission rate among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries”

The SHIN-NY is a statewide network that facilitates secure and confidential electronic sharing of patient data across the healthcare system to improve outcomes. It is comprised of and connects regional health information networks (RHIOs) that allow participating healthcare professionals, with patient consent, to quickly access and share comprehensive patient health information and medical records. Statewide, 100 percent of hospitals and over 100,000 healthcare professionals are connected to the SHIN-NY, which facilitates the exchange of health information (HIE) for patients across the state.

MSSNY representatives have been in regular communication with NYeC staff to work towards enhanced physician participation in their local RHIOs and the SHIN-NY.  They have touted HIT as a fundamental tool in positively impacting patient care and outcomes, but also have raised concerns that this technology, for many physicians, is not easily compatible with patient care delivery.  Physicians should be aware of programs such as the Data Exchange Incentive Program (DEIP) that helps subsidize the cost of connecting to your local RHIO.


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New York Is 1st State to Publicize Hospitals with C. Auris Cases
New York health officials on Nov. 13 published a list of healthcare organizations that have treated patients for the deadly fungus Candida auris, making it the first state to share this information with the public, reports The New York Times.

The list includes 64 hospitals, 103 long-term care homes, three hospice units and one long-term care hospital. It does not detail how many cases occurred at each organization.

The New York State DOH released the list in response to a rapid increase in C. auris cases. Health officials said the information is intended to boost transparency for consumers and motivate hospitals to stop C. auris from spreading further, according to NYT. The CDC has reported 836 cases of C. auris nationwide as of Aug. 31. Of these, 388 have occurred in New York.

To view the state’s full list of healthcare organizations reporting C. auris cases, click here. (Becker’s Hospital Review, Nov. 14)


Vaping Illness Leads to Lung Transplant at Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System this week announced that it performed what the health system believes is the first ever double-lung transplant for a patient with a vaping-related illness. Hassan Nemeh, who led the surgical team at Henry Ford, said the patient’s lungs were unlike anything he had seen in his 20-year career, noting that the 17-year-old patient’s lungs were scarred, rigid, inflamed, marked with dead spots. (New York Times, 11/12)


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Hospital Safety Grades
The Leapfrog Group last week released its Fall Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, giving about one-third of hospitals an “A,” but giving more than 40% of hospitals a “C” or lower. Leapfrog also published an infographic that looked at the rates of avoidable deaths at hospitals for each grade. (Source: HealthLeaders Media, 11/7)


CDC: Five Leading Causes of Death
U.S. residents living in rural areas of the country were more likely to die from preventable causes than those living in urban areas from 2010 to 2017, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released last week. Overall, the researchers found heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke ranked as the five leading causes of death in the United States in 2017.


Survey Finds Many PCPs Don’t Discuss How Hair Care Can Be a Barrier to Exercise for Some Black Women
Findings published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine suggests “primary care providers often don’t realize that hair care can be a barrier to regular exercise for some black women.” A survey of primary care physicians “found an overwhelming majority talk to their female African American patients about the importance of exercise. But three-quarters said they don’t talk with these patients about hair care, which can be a barrier to vigorous workouts.”


Families May Feel Better About End-Of-Life Care in ICU if Granted Simple Wishes
Researchers found in a small study that “families of dying patients may feel better about end-of-life care in the ICU if they are granted simple wishes, like letting the patient taste a favorite meal or use a blanket from home.” The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine


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Hospital Price Transparency Rule Could Come Before Year’s End
CMS could release a rule by the end of 2019 on a proposal that hospitals disclose payer-specific negotiated rates, a White House adviser said. CMS is delaying action on the price transparency proposal, excluding it from the 2020 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule released Nov. 2.

The proposal, which CMS released July 29, includes provisions in a price transparency executive order signed this year by President Donald Trump. It would require hospitals to publish all “standard charges,” including the hospital’s gross charges and negotiated rates with payers for an item or service, online in a machine-readable format.

Under the rule, hospitals also would be required to publish the rates they negotiate with insurers for 300 services consumers are likely to shop for in a searchable and consumer-friendly manner. Hospitals that do not comply would be penalized.

The proposal builds on a current federal rule that requires hospitals to publish a list of their standard charges on the internet, but excludes negotiated rates with payers.

The American Hospital Association has come out against the proposal, saying it is “the wrong approach” and “would introduce confusion and fuel anticompetitive behavior among commercial health insurers.” Federal contends the proposal could significantly reduce healthcare costs. (Becker’s Hospital CFO Report Nov.11)


(E/M) Visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)
This document addresses Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding documentation and payment for evaluation and management (E/M) visits under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS).

  1. What parts of the history can be documented by ancillary staff or the beneficiary starting in CY 2019?

The CY 2019 PFS final rule expanded current policy for office/outpatient E/M visits starting January 1, 2019 to provide that any part of the chief complaint (CC) or history that is recorded in the medical record by ancillary staff or the beneficiary does not need to be re-documented by the billing practitioner. Instead, when the information is already documented, the billing practitioner can review the information, update or supplement it as necessary, and indicate in the medical record that she or she has done so.

This is an optional approach for the billing practitioner, and applies to the chief complaint (CC) and any other part of the history (History of Present Illness (HPI), Past Family Social History (PFSH), or Review of Systems (ROS)) for new and established office/outpatient E/M visits.

To clarify terminology, we are using the term “history” broadly in the same way that the 1995 and 1997 E/M documentation guidelines use this term in describing the CC, ROS and PFSH as “components of history that can be listed separately or included in the description of HPI.” This policy does not address (and we believe never has addressed) who can independently take/perform histories or what part(s) of history they can take, but rather addresses who can document information included in a history and what supplemental documentation should be provided by the billing practitioner if someone else has already recorded the information in the medical record.


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Know Your Provider Enrollment Revalidation Due Date Today and Protect Your Bottom Line!
Revalidate before your due date to avoid a hold on your Medicare payments and deactivation of your Medicare billing privileges.

There are several ways to find your revalidation due date:

Generally, the due date will remain with the provider/supplier throughout subsequent revalidation cycles. So you will not have to wonder about the due date the next time you need to revalidate.

NOTE: Unsolicited applications received seven months prior to the revalidation due date will be returned to the provider.

Need assistance? Providers and suppliers can register for our provider enrollment webinars by either using the following links, Part A/Part B or by visiting the NGSMedicare.com website. The webinars below can be found under the Education Tab by selecting Webinars, Teleconference and Events.

  • Provider Enrollment Revalidation Overview
  • Getting Access to PECOS
  • Submitting Revalidation via PECOS Application
  • Submitting Revalidation via CMS-855A Paper Application for a Part A providers
  • Submitting Revalidation via CMS-855B Paper Application for a Part B providers
  • Submitting Revalidation via CMS-855I Paper Application for a Part B providers
  • Let’s Chat about Provider Enrollment Revalidation

PECOS: View and Manage Reassignments through Group Enrollment

Webinars

“When is the Flu not the Flu?” CME Webinar on November 20; Registration Now Open
Flu season is upon us, but there are myriad other illnesses that present similarly.  Be sure to brush up on these by signing up for Medical Matters: When is the Flu not the Flu? on November 20th at 7:30am.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.  Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Recognize the distinction between types of influenza and other similarly presenting illnesses
  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
1100 square foot office for sale on Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill in an elegant pre-war, coop building. High ceilings complement two large consulting offices, spacious waiting room, administrative room/kitchenette and full bathroom. Enter through private, accessible street entrance or attended lobby. Currently configured for two psychiatrists, easily adaptable to any specialty with multiple exam room possibilities. Extraordinary location convenient to transportation and medical centers. Full listing available at http://ow.ly/IdA130pN5Ua. Call Robin J. Roy, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, at 212-360-2292 or email robin.roy@corcoran.com for information and showings.

Furnished Luxury Park Avenue East 70’s Medical Office Rental Available.
Voted most beautiful block on UES. Private Entrance. Central A/C.
Dedicated consultation room, exam room, procedure room, reception and nurse areas in a multispecialty office setting. Suitable for all subspecialties.Walk to Lenox Hill Hospital and NY Cornell. Proximate to Mt Sinai Hospital. Subway 2 blocks away. Full Time/Part Time. No fee.
START SEEING PATIENTS IMMEDIATELY!!!
Please call or text 929 316-1032
_______________________________________


Park Avenue – Private Street Entrance, Same Block as Subway
Rental includes: two consultation rooms, private office, private bathroom.  Common waiting room, back office filing space and reception desks included.  Affordable rent.  Location East 60s between Park and Lexington.  Easy distance to Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Cornell.  Subway access within 1 block. Immediate occupancy available.  Call James: 917-710-7643

Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up


PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Part-Time Pediatrician / Family Practicitioner Wanted for Private Rochester Area Office
Looking to fill a part time position in a private pediatric office serving Rural and Urban diverse population. Pediatrician and Family Practitioner if interested please send CV to : syedmasood@frontiernet.net


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Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
Physicians, are you looking for a change?  Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming patient load?  Come work at a well-equipped and staffed correctional facility where you can MAKE a difference, working with a smaller number of patients for reasonable hours.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *Additional $20,000 geographical differential for Clinton & Franklin CF, and $10,000 for Five Points, Greene and Groveland CFs. We offer full-time, part-time & hourly/per-diem positions.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                  Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Chemung               Elmira and Southport Corrl Facilities (Gateway to the Finger Lakes)
Columbia*              Hudson Correctional Facility (antiquing, arts & collectables)
Dutchess                Green Haven Correctional Facility (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                Franklin & Upstate Corrl Facilities (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                 Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to NY City)
Livingston*            Groveland Correctional Facility (State Parks, hiking, fishing)
Oneida                   Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Orleans                 Albion Correctional Facility (Greater Niagara Region & Canal Town Culture)
Sullivan                  Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, entertainment)
Seneca*                 Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence          Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Ulster                      Shawangunk and Wallkill Corrl Facility (Catskill Mountains, Casinos)
Washington           Great Meadow Corrl Facility (Between Vermont & Green Mountains)
Westchester           Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)

NYS Corrections Personnel Ad

Inquire with the Facility Personnel Office regarding benefits and anticipated opportunities: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/faclist.html. Contact: www.doccs.ny.gov or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.


Physician Insights Wanted to Help Shape the Future of Primary Care
98point6 is a healthcare technology company committed to delivering more affordable, accessible, high-quality primary care. To support our mission, we need the insights of forward-thinking physicians that have opinions about the current state of primary care and are interested in the role technology can play in healthcare. Members of our exclusive Primary Care Council have no clinical responsibilities and are generally compensated for participation, which requires only a few hours per year. Interested? Learn more and apply today at: 98point6.com/pcc/


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MSSNYeNews: November 8, 2019 – Stop Digging

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

MSSNY eNews
November 8, 2019

Vol. 22  Number 42


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Colleagues:

How did things ever get so far? This is the existential question confronting physicians every day. One of the key reasons why so many physicians report burnout or even depression is the feeling of a loss of professional autonomy. Sadly, the only group of professionals licensed to practice medicine have so little control in the way they actually practice. We are burdened by data entry, billing, coding, keeping up with new unfunded mandates, and all the while seeing their practices barely making payroll or even taking out second mortgages to keep their offices open. As said previously, it’s not about profitability anymore but about viability.

There’s an old saying – when you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging. Going along to get along is no longer working. It’s time for a change – but how? Here’s one suggestion. Stop digging. It’s time to say, as Roberto Duran famously said, “No mas.” The decline in fortune did not start yesterday. This did not happen overnight. Therefore, the road back will not be a short one. But we must start. It will, for sure, be a long and arduous journey. But we must start. There will be bumps along the road but we must start. As the infamous Chairman put it, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.”

So let’s take that single step. Get together. Get active. Support your fellow physicians. We need all the help we can get.

Stop digging.

Comments? comments@mssny.org@mssnytweet; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

To all physicians who served in the United States Armed Forces,
 we salute you and thank you for your service!


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Congress Finalizes 2020 Medicare Payment Rule and 2021 E&M Changes with Potentially Significant Redistributive Effects
On November 1, 2019, CMS released its 2020 Medicare Revisions to Payment Policies under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies final rule.  For a brief summary from the American Medical Association as to the highlights of the nearly 2,500 page rule, click here.

Among the highlights:

  • The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor will be $36.09 (CY 2019 conversion factor was $36.04), which reflects a budget neutrality adjustment for reductions in relative values for individual services in 2020.
  • Geographic Adjustment Factor (GAF) Increases. Each of the 5 New York Medicare payment locality will receive a slight GAF bump for 2020 and 2021, as follows
    • Manhattan +1.3% for 2020; +2.6% for 2021
    • NYC Suburbs/Long Island +1.5% for 2020; +2.9% for 2021
    • Poughkeepsie/Northern NYC Suburbs +1.7% for 2020; +3.4% for 2021
    • Queens +1.6% for 2020; +3.3% for 2021
    • Upstate NY +0.2% for 2020; +0.4% for 2021.
  • Effective January 1, 2021, CMS will adopt the CPT guidelines to report office visits based on either medical decision making or physician time. With CMS adopting the RUC work recommendations for the office visit codes, the work value increases represent $3 billion in redistributed spending, resulting in a 3% reduction in the conversion factor.   Moreover, CMS adopted the RUC physician time recommendations. Coupled with the work value increases and some modifications in direct practice costs, these changes lead to an additional $2 billion in redistributed spending, resulting in an additional 2% across-the-board reduction.
  • CMS departed from the RUC recommendations in two ways that further intensify the specialty redistribution impact. CMS will implement an add-on payment for office visits for primary care and patients with serious or complex conditions. This proposal redistributes an additional $2.6 billion, resulting in an additional 3% reduction to the Medicare conversion factor.

CMS states that although they have no specialty restrictions on reporting new code GPC1X, they assume that the following specialties will report this add-on code with 100% of their office visits, essentially making this a bonus payment for: family medicine, general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, endocrinology, rheumatology, hematology/oncology, urology, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, allergy/immunology, otolaryngology, interventional pain management, cardiology, nephrology, infectious disease, psychiatry, and pulmonary disease.

It is estimated that the add-on payment for GPCIX will be approximately $18 per visit.  Therefore, while each of these specialties are expected to see sizable increases in 2021, those expected to see sizable decreases as a result of E&M changes include: anesthesiology (-7%); cardiac surgery (-8%); colon & rectal surgery (-4%); emergency medicine (-7%); gastroenterology (-4%); general surgery (-4%);  neurosurgery (-6%); ophthalmology (-10%); plastic surgery (-5%); radiology (-8%); thoracic surgery (-7%) and vascular surgery (-5%)


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Council Notes — November 7, 2019
Nancy Nankivil, AMA Director of Practice Transformation, and Kyra Cappelucci, AMA Project Administrator, Practice Transformation, presented Practice Transformation Initiative: Solutions for Increasing Joy in Medicine. The AMA has partnered with the Physicians Foundation and several state medical societies to create a practice transformation framework to reduce physician burnout by furthering research focused on evidence-based interventions; collaborate and learn from health systems committed to assessing clinician satisfaction and its correlation to workflow design; and to foster a network or organizations implementing evidence-based solutions, sharing best practices and driving change to improve the joy in medicine.

Council approved the following:

  • MSSNY will become involved in the AMA/Physician Foundation’s Practice Transformation Initiative and will seek appropriate resources for this endeavor.
  • Approval of 2020 Legislative Program
  • MSSNY will file a FOIL request for all documents from the New York Department of Health regarding ZocDoc’s business model exempted from application of NYS Education 6530 laws.

ZocDoc changed its business model to charge practices a per-patient booking fee effective April 1, 2019. The NY DOH indicated that ZocDoc can move forward with the model despite concerns of violations with referral fees; some NY DOH emails regarding ZocDoc have been redacted in a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

  • MSSNY will seek legislation to create a physician-led healthcare cooperative in New York as one pathway for achieving legally permissible state supervised collective negotiation rights for physicians.
  • Strategies to Improve NYS Immunization Rates in Children: MSSNY will urge that New York State provide incentives to parents/guardians who vaccinate their children as a strategy to improve vaccine uptake in school-aged children and advocate that New York State develop programs to pay stipends to community health workers as a strategy to improve vaccine uptake in school-aged children.
  • Healthcare Cooperative Act: MSSNY will seek legislation to create a physician-led healthcare cooperative in New York as one pathway for achieving legally permissible state supervised collective negotiation rights for physicians.
  • Physician Owned Distributorships: MSSNY supports the concept of Physician Owned Distributorships (PODs), provided that they are operated consistently with generally accepted principles of physician ethical conduct (such as the AMA Code of Medical Ethics), including assuring that patients and other potential contractors are sufficiently notified of the physician’s financial interest in such POD.
  • Study of State and National Health Service Corps Needs: MSSNY will advocate for the expansion of the Doctors Across New York Physician Loan Repayment Program, support the development of State funded loan forgiveness and repayment programs for physicians, and advocate for scholarships/grants for medical students who plan to work in the state.
  • Manpower Assistance for Medical Students: MSSNY supports the concept of continuing federal manpower financial assistance, including grants and long term, low interest loans for medical students.
  • Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM): MSSNY will work with the AMA to monitor implementation of the PDGM methodology to determine whether this new program will impose additional administrative burdens on physicians and/or impede patients from receiving needed home care services. Should it be determined that this new model is creating these issues, these concerns will be conveyed to CMS and Congress for remediation.

Complaints Re Pharmacies Not Honoring Scripts: WE NEED YOUR DATA
At yesterday’s MSSNY Council, Dr. Sana Block expressed concerns on behalf of physicians who are finding it difficult for patients to obtain medically needed prescriptions for pain.  He explained that pharmacies are not filling prescriptions for opioids when needed for patients with chronic pain.  Other Councilors stated that they have experienced difficulty for patients obtaining pain medications following surgery.  Anecdotal information is fine; but, to bring this to the attention of powers that might be able to address this problem, we need your data.  To help us help you, please download the MSSNY Hassle Factor Form. Complete the form, letting us know if you have experienced difficulty in obtaining medically needed pain meds for your patients.

In Section C of the form, please indicate the name of the pharmacy.  If you have experienced problems with multiple pharmacies, please use multiple forms.  In addition, please identify the nature of the problem, such as the drug is out of stock; the pharmacy recommends a different drug, etc.  The completed form can be emailed to comments@mssny.org or faxed to: 516-282-7093 or 516 282-7099 or 516-282-7098.


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Gov. Signs Law: Death Certificates to Specify Opioid-Involved Overdose
Following Governor Cuomo’s press release on November 5, 2019, the EDRS Team would like to reinforce the importance of complete and accurate Cause of Death data on all death certificates, including those deaths related to opioid overdose. See the Governor’s press release here. Capturing this data assists State and federal government agencies analyze and pinpoint community impacts and work toward combatting epidemics, such as the opioid crisis.

The EDRS Team would like to take this opportunity to let you know about the recently launched self-paced online course, Mastering the Cause of Death in the 21st Century, for physicians, medical examiners, coroners, and other medical certifiers. This course provides medical data providers with tips to get the best cause of death determination, including opioid related deaths. Participants may be eligible for AMA PRA credit for completing this course and its final assessment.

According to the state Department of Health’s Opioid Annual Data Report for 2018, the rate of opioid-overdose deaths in 2016 was 15.1 per 100,000 people, about three times higher than it was in 2010.

The new law takes effect immediately. Participants may register now by visiting  https://lms.udutu.com/LMSPortal/Account/LogOn?OrgCode=EDRS and using the organization code:  EDRS and select Create New Learner Account.  If you have additional questions related to the new drug specificity requirements or the EDRS implementation, call (518) 408-0243 or kira.cramer@health.ny.gov.  For more information on registration for the course, contact Zina Adams at zina.adams@health.ny.gov or 518-474-4317. Please see the flyer here.


MSSNY President Delivers Testimony to NY State Senate on Potential Harms of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping
MSSNY President Dr. Arthur Fougner, MD, provided testimony to the New York State Senate public hearing held to examine the safety and potential harms of electronic cigarettes and vaping, especially among school-aged youth. (View full testimony here: 1Hr and 5 mins)

Dr. Fougner praised Governor Cuomo and the New York State Health Department for its emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state (http://www.mssnyenews.org/press-releases/mssny-supports-call-to-ban-menthol-flavored-e-cigarettes/).  He also noted MSSNY’s long-standing support for legislation to ban flavored tobacco products, menthol and e-cigarettes and formally codify these provisions into law.

Specifically he noted that, “While evidence exists that adult smokers who completely substitute vaping for traditional smoking reduce their exposure to many of the toxic chemicals and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not risk-free and are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit-smoking aid. The bottom line is neither smoking nor vaping is safe, and people who do not smoke or vape should not begin to do so.” 

Dr. Fougner also urged strong caution regarding proposals to legalize the recreational use of marijuana since it appears from a number of sources that the vast majority of cases of vape-related lung illness are linked to the vaping of THC. Since the FDA has launched an ongoing investigation, he urged that “any proposed adult-use cannabis program, especially with a vaporizer product, be put on hold until completion of that investigation.”


Stolen Flash Drive: U of Rochester Med Center Pays $3M HIPAA Settlement
The University of Rochester Medical Center has agreed to pay $3 million to HHS’ Office for Civil Rights to settle potential HIPAA violations, according to a Nov. 5 news release. In 2013, URMC filed a data breach report with the OCR stating that an unencrypted flash drive had been stolen. Following the notice that patients’ protected health information could have been exposed, the OCR offered technical assistance to URMC.

Then in 2017, URMC disclosed that an unencrypted laptop had been stolen. An OCR investigation found URMC failed to conduct enterprise-wide risk analysis, implement security measures sufficient to reduce risk and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level, utilize device and media controls, and employ a mechanism to encrypt and decrypt electronic protected health information.

“Because theft and loss are constant threats, failing to encrypt mobile devices needlessly puts patient health information at risk,” said Roger Severino, OCR director. “When covered entities are warned of their deficiencies, but fail to fix the problem, they will be held fully responsible.”

Along with paying the $3 million settlement, URMC will also undergo a corrective action plan, including two years of HIPAA-compliance monitoring.


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JAMA: People Turning To Social Media Platforms for STD Diagnosis
The Reddit community r/STDs “encourages its more than 10,000 members to share stories, concerns and questions about sexually transmitted diseases – and according to a study published Tuesday, they have increasingly done so.”

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that “the number of posts significantly increased over time, from just eight in 2010 to 3,375 in 2018.” Investigators “focused on a random sampling of 500 posts” and found over “half – 58 percent – asked the site’s members for a diagnosis,” while “nearly a third of those included photos of the apparent STD in question.”

Medscape reports investigators conclude, “requests for crowd-diagnoses were frequent, with most receiving a reply within hours, and many of these requests were for second opinions after obtaining an original diagnosis from a health care professional.”


Workers Comp

Workers’ Compensation Formulary
The NYS Workers Compensation Board Drug Formulary (NY WC Formulary) becomes effective in four weeks (12/5/19) for new prescriptions.

Training materials related to the NY WC Formulary, as well as an updated version of the NY WC Formulary (effective 11/5/19), can be found on our webpage:

Drug Formulary Overview

Information and resources related to the Board’s Medical Portal, which is used to access the prior authorization system, could be found on the Medical Portal Overview webpage. For more information or assistance Visit http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/ebiz/drugformulary; General Formulary questions:

Subscribe for email notifications at http://www.wcb.ny.gov/notify


 

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CDC

CDC: Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences Can Reduce Chronic Disease Experiencing traumatic things as a child puts you at risk for lifelong health effects, according to a body of research. The CDC’s new report confirms this, finding that Americans who had experienced adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, were at higher risk of dying from five of the top 10 leading causes of death.

And those who’d been through more bad experiences — such as abuse or neglect, witnessing violence at home or growing up in a family with mental health or substance abuse problems — were at an even higher risk. According to the agency, women and minorities—like African Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives—were more likely to experience four or more kinds of harm while they were kids. The conclusions were drawn from surveys taken by adults between 2015 and 2017.


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Webinars

How to Maximize Success & Maintain Full Control & Ownership of Your Practice
MSSNY invites you to tune in on Tuesday, November 12 from 7PM-8PM for a webinar featuring Roy Bejarano, Co-Founder & CEO of Scale Physician Group, and Andrew Blustein, Partner/Director and Vice Chair of Garfunkel Wild, P.C. Scale Physician Group provides expert non-clinical advisory and management services to independent and private equity owned physician groups, empowering physician leaders to build modern healthcare delivery platforms that yield better results.

Roy will share the lessons and best practices learned from his experience working with over 1,200 physicians across the country. Andrew will introduce Roy and facilitate a Q&A session following the presentation. Special thanks to Garfunkel Wild, P.C., who serves as MSSNY’s General Counsel, for bringing us this program. Access the flyer here.


“When Is the Flu Not the Flu?” CME Webinar on Nov. 20; Registration Now Open
Flu season is upon us, but there are myriad other illnesses that present similarly.  Be sure to brush up on these by signing up for Medical Matters: When is the Flu not the Flu? on November 20th at 7:30am.

William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.  Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Recognize the distinction between types of influenza and other similarly presenting illnesses
  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


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MSSNY President-Elect Dr. Bonnie Litvack Delivers Testimony to NY Senate on Veterans Mental Health
President-Elect Dr. Bonnie Litvack, MD provided testimony to the New York State Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities at its public hearing to examine veterans’ mental health.

Dr. Litvack spoke about MSSNY’s “Veterans Matters” educational program which is a part of the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative (VMHTI) that is funded through an appropriation in the New York State budget.  She noted that the program seeks to insure our veterans can receive the care they need and deserve in New York State. She thanked the committee for their foresight in fighting for continued funding for the program.

Dr. Litvack highlighted that roughly 1.64 million troops were deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and had prolonged exposure to combat which took a toll on veterans psychologically.  Additionally she noted that “11% of New York State veterans began serving after 9/11 and this group in New York State is expected to reach 22% by 2025”. Dr. Litvack quoted a 2010 RAND survey on NYS veterans which found that 22% of post 9/11 veterans have a probable mental health diagnosis, 16% screened positive for depression and PTSD.

Dr. Litvack spoke briefly about the VMHTI program which looks to educate the community and healthcare providers on veteran specific mental health issues which includes; PTSD, depression, suicide, traumatic brain injury. Dr. Litvack emphasized the importance of asking individuals whether or not they are veterans in order to help them connect to various organizations that can help them. Dr. Litvack concluded by stating that the program is both timely and critical, emphasizing that the healthcare community needs to be educated on the importance of mental health as it relates to veterans.

MSSNY faculty have participated in numerous presentations at institutions and county medical society meetings all across the State of New York.  Please contact Mhoffman@mssny.org if you would like to have a presentation at your hospital or next county medical Society meeting.

Dr. Litvak at State Senate

MSSNY President-Elect Dr. Bonnie Litvack testified this week before the Senate Mental Health Committee regarding MSSNY’s Veterans mental health training initiative

 

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RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
1100 square foot office for sale on Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill in an elegant pre-war, coop building. High ceilings complement two large consulting offices, spacious waiting room, administrative room/kitchenette and full bathroom. Enter through private, accessible street entrance or attended lobby. Currently configured for two psychiatrists, easily adaptable to any specialty with multiple exam room possibilities. Extraordinary location convenient to transportation and medical centers. Full listing available at http://ow.ly/IdA130pN5Ua. Call Robin J. Roy, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, at 212-360-2292 or email robin.roy@corcoran.com for information and showings.

Furnished Luxury Park Avenue East 70’s Medical Office Rental Available.
Voted most beautiful block on UES. Private Entrance. Central A/C.
Dedicated consultation room, exam room, procedure room, reception and nurse areas in a multispecialty office setting. Suitable for all subspecialties.Walk to Lenox Hill Hospital and NY Cornell. Proximate to Mt Sinai Hospital. Subway 2 blocks away. Full Time/Part Time. No fee.
START SEEING PATIENTS IMMEDIATELY!!!
Please call or text 929 316-1032
_______________________________________


Park Avenue – Private Street Entrance, Same Block as Subway
Rental includes: two consultation rooms, private office, private bathroom.  Common waiting room, back office filing space and reception desks included.  Affordable rent.  Location East 60s between Park and Lexington.  Easy distance to Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Cornell.  Subway access within 1 block. Immediate occupancy available.  Call James: 917-710-7643

Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up


PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Part-Time Pediatrician / Family Practicitioner Wanted for Private Rochester Area Office
Looking to fill a part time position in a private pediatric office serving Rural and Urban diverse population. Pediatrician and Family Practitioner if interested please send CV to : syedmasood@frontiernet.net


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Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
Physicians, are you looking for a change?  Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming patient load?  Come work at a well-equipped and staffed correctional facility where you can MAKE a difference, working with a smaller number of patients for reasonable hours.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *Additional $20,000 geographical differential for Clinton & Franklin CF, and $10,000 for Five Points, Greene and Groveland CFs. We offer full-time, part-time & hourly/per-diem positions.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                  Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Chemung               Elmira and Southport Corrl Facilities (Gateway to the Finger Lakes)
Columbia*              Hudson Correctional Facility (antiquing, arts & collectables)
Dutchess                Green Haven Correctional Facility (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                Franklin & Upstate Corrl Facilities (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                 Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to NY City)
Livingston*            Groveland Correctional Facility (State Parks, hiking, fishing)
Oneida                   Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Orleans                 Albion Correctional Facility (Greater Niagara Region & Canal Town Culture)
Sullivan                  Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, entertainment)
Seneca*                 Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence          Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Ulster                      Shawangunk and Wallkill Corrl Facility (Catskill Mountains, Casinos)
Washington           Great Meadow Corrl Facility (Between Vermont & Green Mountains)
Westchester           Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)

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Inquire with the Facility Personnel Office regarding benefits and anticipated opportunities: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/faclist.html. Contact: www.doccs.ny.gov or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.


Physician Insights Wanted to Help Shape the Future of Primary Care
98point6 is a healthcare technology company committed to delivering more affordable, accessible, high-quality primary care. To support our mission, we need the insights of forward-thinking physicians that have opinions about the current state of primary care and are interested in the role technology can play in healthcare. Members of our exclusive Primary Care Council have no clinical responsibilities and are generally compensated for participation, which requires only a few hours per year. Interested? Learn more and apply today at: 98point6.com/pcc/


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Revisions to Payment Policies under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies Final Rule

On November 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the CY 2020 Revisions to Payment Policies under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies final rule.

The AMA is continuing to review the rule and will work with our colleagues in the federation to further analyze these policies in the coming weeks. Attached is a summary of some of the policies CMS finalized in the rule.

Please see an AMA summary of these Medicare payment rules here.

 

MSSNY President Delivers Testimony to NY State Senate on Potential Harms of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2019 

MSSNY President Delivers Testimony to NY State Senate on Potential Harms of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping

November 4, 2019, Westbury, NY— MSSNY President Dr. Arthur Fougner, MD, today delivered testimony to the New York State Senate examining the safety and potential harms of electronic cigarettes and vaping, especially among school-aged youth.

In particular, he praised Governor Cuomo and the New York State Health Department for its emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state (http://www.mssnyenews.org/press-releases/mssny-supports-call-to-ban-menthol-flavored-e-cigarettes/).   He also noted MSSNY’s long-standing support for legislation, such as that sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, to formally codify these provisions into law.  This legislation will take on even greater importance if the Governor’s action is not upheld by the courts. 

Specifically he noted that “While evidence exists that adult smokers who completely substitute vaping for traditional smoking reduce their exposure to many of the toxic chemicals and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not risk-free and are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit-smoking aid. The bottom line is neither smoking nor vaping is safe, and people who do not smoke or vape should not begin to do so.”

Dr. Fougner also urged strong caution regarding proposals to legalize the recreational use of marijuana since it appears from a number of sources that the vast majority of cases of vape-related lung illness are linked to the vaping of THC. According to the NYS Department of Health we know that those individuals who have developed some of the cases of EVALI were patients who only vaped black market marijuana which had been laced with Vitamin E acetate.  Since the FDA has launched an ongoing investigation, he urged that “any proposed adult-use cannabis program, especially with a vaporizer product, be put on hold until completion of that investigation.”

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

MSSNY Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

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MSSNYeNews: November 1, 2019 – Medicine’s Popeye Moment

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

MSSNY eNews
November 1, 2019

Vol. 22  Number 41


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Colleagues:

Do you recall the days when physicians dictated every manner in which Medicine was practiced?

I do. Today, those days seem just a lovely dream – like Disney World in the rear view. It feels as if every new day brings some new aggravation. EHRs, Billing, Coding, RVUs, MOC, I-STOP occupy a larger portion of a physician’s day than does family dinner. Each year brings with it the promise of a new unfunded mandate. Patient care was once the physician’s raison d’etre. Now, it’s an inconvenient truth.

Physicians are always the good guys, the nice guys, the ones who, when reimbursements are cut, are reduced to plaintively requesting, as Oliver Twist once did, “Please sir, I want some more.“ Medicine is the only US enterprise that regularly receives a cost of living decrease. I’ve said it before— that everyone thrives on the indulgence of physicians’ good will.

If you’re older like me, you’ll remember that moment in every Popeye cartoon when our Sailor, finally at his limit, reached for his spinach, exclaiming, “That’s all I can stand ‘cause I can’t stand no more.”

Physicians are notorious whiners, which usually results in our not being winners. So if you want to start winning, I’ll make one suggestion. Your Medical Society’s annual Lobby Day is March 4, 2020. It’s time to take that passion to Albany. Let those that would make laws affecting your practice, your family and your patients hear your voices, your concerns, your angst.

Or would you rather just settle into Kubler-Ross’ Acceptance and simply shuffle off to watch the sunset?

Your call.

Comments? comments@mssny.org@mssnytweet; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President


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NYCMS Testifies at Legislative Single Payor Hearing
On October 23, New York County Medical Society Past-President and MSSNY Legislative Committee member Dr. Scot Glasberg testified at a Bronx NYS Assembly-Senate Health Committees hearing examining proposals to create a single payor system in New York State. To view Dr. Glasberg’s testimony and Q&A with Committee Chairs Richard Gottfried and Gustavo Rivera, click here and scroll to the 1:25 mark.

While MSSNY and NYCMS continue to support a multi-payor health insurance system and oppose a single payor system, both MSSNY and NYCMS have engaged with legislators to highlight the positives of such legislation but also the many areas of concern effecting patient care delivery with moving to such a system.  During the hearing, Assemblyman Gottfried praised NYCMS and MSSNY for engaging in a constructive dialogue, including highlighting specific areas of concern in the far-reaching proposal.

As a result, changes were made to the legislation including limiting prior authorization requirements and providing stronger collective negotiation rights for physicians.  During the hearing Q&A, Dr. Glasberg highlighted that, even with the changes to the legislation, deep concerns still remain including with the ambiguity of the bill’s patient care payment standard, as well as the risk of steep cuts that could be needed to address Budget constraints.

There have been multiple hearings around the State examining the single payor issue, with the testimony overwhelmingly in favor of legislation.  Earlier this year, MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner testified at an Albany hearing on this issue (click here and here.)
Dr. Fougner’s testimony noted that while there are aspects of a single payor system that are appealing, such as the potential for administrative simplification, MSSNY remains concerned that the good intentions of the sponsors of this proposal may not be how the NY Health system will ultimately operate, particularly when they must respond to situations where anticipated tax revenues do not meet spending projections.

He also noted that continued promotion and expansion of the varied programs to provide health insurance coverage for New York’s uninsured and underinsured is MSSNY’s preferred approach. This legislation will be a major source of discussion during the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session.


Bill Enacted to Provide Greater Clarity to Medical Record Disbursement When Physicians Retire
The Governor this week signed into law a bill (S.5367/A.2349) that sets forth procedures to follow when a physician or other health care practitioner ceases delivering patient care in New York State. The goal of the legislation is to address the often-asked question of where patient records should be sent when a physician or other care provider retires from medical practice or moves to another state.

Specifically, the legislation requires the practitioner, at least 30 days prior to ending their practice, to make a good faith effort to notify the practice’s “current patients” of the impending closure and of the patient’s right to request their patient information or medical records be sent to the health care provider, facility, or practitioner of their choice or returned to the patient.  It also clarifies that the provisions of the bill do not apply to situations where a physician’s practice is acquired or merged with another entity, and the physician continues to deliver care to their patients.

It also notes that the bill does not affect the application of other relevant statutes regarding medical record retention such as provisions that set forth the time periods that physicians are required to retain patient medical records, and provisions that require physicians to provide copies of medical records to other medical practitioners in response to a patient request.

However, MSSNY pointed out to the Governor’s office that the bill does contain an ambiguity in that, as written, it could be interpreted to require retiring health care practitioners to provide patients with the original medical records rather than providing copies of the medical records.  That would be in conflict with the laws noted above instructing physicians to provide patients with copies of medical records and retaining the original records.  MSSNY will work with the New York State Department of Health to assure there is clear guidance to physicians as to how this is to be applied.


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Physician Action Needed on Health Bills to be Considered by Governor
As of today, there were still nearly 500 bills that passed both houses in 2019 that were awaiting delivery to the Governor.  But with just a few months left in the year, the flurry of bill signings/vetoes has begun.

Physicians can quickly and easily send a letter to the Governor here on the following:

  • Support Ending Mid-year formulary changes– would prohibit a health insurer from removing a prescription drug from a formulary during the patient’s policy year.  Moreover, if the plan’s drug formulary has two or more tiers of drug benefits with different deductibles, copayments or coinsurance, the plan may not move a drug to a tier with higher patient cost sharing during the policy year. It also prohibits the plan from adding new or additional formulary restrictions during the policy year. Please urge the Governor to sign this bill into law https://p2a.co/jPbHbaC
  • Support Partial prescription fills– would allow prescribers, in consultation with their patients, to prescribe up to a 30-day supply of a controlled substance with a notation to the pharmacist that they should only dispense the amount agreed to by patient and prescriber. Each partial fill would be dispensed and recorded in the same manner as a normal refill and the aggregate quantity dispensed across partial fillings may not exceed the overall total quantity prescribed. This measure should help to address patients’ pain while reducing the amount of leftover medication in households. Please encourage the governor to sign this legislation by clicking https://p2a.co/YRf6CsU
  • Oppose Liability expansion– two bills passed the Legislature that will further tip the scales in lawsuits against physicians and the business community generally, adding costs and potentially increasing your liability premiums while doing nothing to reform the current broken system. One would force physician defendants into making a “blind gamble” in cases involving multiple defendants where one defendant settles prior to trial and would enable in many cases the total payout to a plaintiff to actually exceed a jury’s award. The other would allow plaintiffs to collect a judgment from a third party that is not a direct party to the lawsuit in question. The bill would permit this to occur even though the plaintiff had not sued or perhaps could not have sued the third-party defendant in the first instance. Please urge the Governor to veto these bills https://p2a.co/HPhmZqB

High Rate of Thyroid Cancer in New York is on Staten Island
The rate of thyroid cancer on Staten Island is 67% higher than other boroughs and 69% higher than rates across the rest of the state, according to data released by the state health department this month. Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer among women aged 20-34 in New York State and on Staten Island, and it is also the most common cancer among women aged 35-39 on Staten Island. The state could not determine why the rate is higher for Staten Island residents than other New Yorkers, and ruled out exposure from the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and its aftermath. The summary found that the number of responders — mostly men — made up a small portion of the population and could not explain the elevation in thyroid cancer among women. Other environmental tests proved inconclusive or not significant to the uptick in thyroid cancer rates. (Politico, Oct. 30)


Medicare Fraud Could Mean More Deaths/Hospitalizations
A retrospective study finds that patients who receive care from physicians who commit Medicare fraud or patient abuse have a higher rate of mortality and hospitalization than those who are treated by doctors without those records. Looking at data from more than 8,200 patients who were treated by those who would turn out to have been defrauding Medicare or engaging in other harmful behavior, researchers found that these patients had between a 13%-23% higher risk of dying during the study follow-up period than those who were not treated by physicians who engaged in risky behavior. Patients treated by those found to be engaging in some kind of illegal activity also had between 11%-30% higher rates of emergency hospitalizations. In addition to the financial savings to Medicare, identifying perpetrators could also improve patients’ health, the authors suggest. (STATMorning Rounds News Oct. 29


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Legislation Will Provide $100M for ED Suicide Prevention
Reps. Eliot Engel and Gus Bilirakis on Monday introduced legislation to curb the country’s rising suicide rate. The law would allocate $100 million in federal funding over a five-year period to emergency departments to help identify and treat individuals at a high risk of suicide.

The money would be earmarked for training emergency department clinicians to identify high-risk individuals and developing programs to coordinate care and follow-up services, Engel’s office said. It also would go toward supporting the recruitment and retention of behavioral health professionals who specialize in treating those experiencing suicidal ideation and the development of telehealth and other approaches.

Suicide rates in New York have increased by about 30% since 2000, Engel, a Democrat who represents New York’s 16th congressional district, encompassing parts of the Bronx and Westchester County, said in a statement. The legislation created with Bilirakis, a Republican from Florida, would “leverage the skills of nurses and emergency department professionals who are trained in identifying and treating at-risk individuals to help end this crisis and save lives.”

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country and was responsible for about 47,000 deaths in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicides and suicide attempts cost the country about $70 billion per year in lifetime medical and work-loss costs. — Health Pulse Oct.29


New York’s MRT 1115 Waiver: Downstate & Upstate Public Comment Day
The Department of Health (DOH) recently held two public comment days—one in NYC and one in Syracuse – regarding its application to the federal government to extend until 2024 the existing DSRIP waiver.  You can view the webcast of both Public Comment Days here.

Phil Alotta from DOH gave a grief summary of the 1115 Waiver as well as the concept paper that was submitted for the DSRIP waiver extension. The 1115 waiver is designed to permit New York to use a managed care delivery system to deliver benefits to Medicaid recipients, create efficiencies in the Medicaid program, and enable the extension of coverage to certain individuals who would otherwise be without health insurance.

Greg Allen from DOH highlighted that potentially preventable admissions (PPA) were reduced by 21%, potentially preventable readmissions (PPR) were reduced by 17% and PPR/PPA costs per member were reduced by 14%.   Mr. Allen also highlighted future DSRIP goals which include; the expansion of medication-assisted treatment into primary care and emergency department settings, partnerships with the justice system, primary care and behavioral health integration and addressing social determinants of health through community partnerships.

Additionally, he emphasized the need to expand practices to high need areas and populations that includes an effort in reducing maternal mortality, bettering children’s population health and focusing on long-term care reform. He emphasized the departments need for continued improvements and investments in workforce flexibility, addressing the opioid epidemic and having interim access insurance fund.  He added that these efforts must be seen through a multi-payer lens and by continuing New York’s investment in the Social Determinant of Health (SDH) Networks as well as aligning performance based measures with value-based payment models.

The vast majority of public comments came from individuals representing different Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) who voiced their support for DSRIP and also urged the department to invest more in the social determinates of health as improving children’s behavioral health and developing a better infrastructure for CBO’s when working with DSRIP.  While the billions in funding to the 25 PPS have increasingly been distributed to downstream community partners such as physician practices, MSSNY and many other groups have raised concerns that there is still insufficient funding being made available to physicians and other community care providers who play a key role in managing patient health to prevent avoidable hospitalization or re-hospitalization.



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In New York, Oral HPV Fairly Common in Sexually Active Adolescent Girls
Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) is not uncommon among sexually active adolescent females, and the vaccine appears to be protective, suggests a JAMA Network Open study.

Nearly 1300 sexually active females aged 13 to 21 in New York City had oral samples tested for HPV at baseline. Roughly 6% tested positive for oral HPV. Nearly 2% were positive for oncogenic types, while 0.2% had types included in the quadrivalent vaccine. Risk for oral HPV decreased with increasing time since their first sexual experience, “potentially reflecting the highlight transient nature of HPV infection,” the authors write.

Patients who received at least one dose of the vaccine had an 80% lower risk for oral HPV types included in the quadrivalent vaccine, relative to unvaccinated participants, although the authors note that few patients were unvaccinated. In addition, the presence of cervical HPV was associated with oral HPV.

The authors conclude: “This study’s findings suggest that … HPV vaccination is associated with a significant decrease in detection of HPV types in the oral cavity.”

Commentators say the results are similar to what is observed in adult patients.

JAMA Network Open article
JAMA Network Open commentary
Background: NEJM Journal Watch Women’s Health coverage of evidence of herd immunity against oral HPV (NEJM Journal Watch subscription required)


TO: New York State Residents, Fellows, and Medical Students
MSSNY Announces the 15th Resident/Fellow/Medical Student Poster Symposium 

When:    Friday, April 24, 2020
Where:   Westchester Marriott
Tarrytown, New York
Time:      1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Click here for detailed guidelinesDeadline for abstract submission is 4:00 pm, Monday, February 3, 2020. We welcome your participation. Participants must be MSSNY members, and membership is free for first-time resident/fellow members, and for all medical students.  Join online.


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Research Suggests Gender Discrimination Contributes to Burnout Among Female Surgical Residents, Physicians
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates “sexual harassment, gender discrimination and verbal abuse are contributing to high rates of burnout among female physicians.” A survey study of over 7,400 surgical residents, 40 percent of which were female, showed “approximately 42% of female surgical residents reported burnout, compared to 36% of male surgical residents.”

Reuters (10/28) reports in a separate study of 26 primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and clinical directors in a rural part of California, researchers found “women and minority health professionals are sometimes driven out of rural communities by the discrimination and harassment from colleagues.” The interview-based study showed “many of the healthcare professionals who were female, nonwhite and of certain sexual orientation and gender identity minority groups described burnout from bias, harassment and hostility from their colleagues.” The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.


Former JUUL Exec Claims Company Knowingly Sold Tainted Nicotine Pods
The New York Times (10/30) reports Siddharth Breja, the former senior vice president for global finance at JUUL Labs, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the company knowingly “sold at least one million contaminated mint-flavored nicotine pods – and refused to recall them when told about the problem.” Breja “claims he was fired on March 21 in retaliation for whistle-blowing and objecting to the shipment of the contaminated and expired pods and other illegal and unsafe conduct.”

The Washington Post (10/30) reports the lawsuit “comes as Juul announced the layoffs of 500 employees, among them a handful of executives, including chief financial officer Tim Danaher.”

On its website, NBC News (10/30) reports Breja claims JUUL CEO Kevin Burns once said, “Half our customers are drunk and vaping,” in response to concerns that customers would notice the poor quality of the tainted pods. Breja also said the company has a culture of “disregard for the law, public safety, and public health.”


Docs Laud E/M Proposal, Blast Pay Cuts in Physician Fee Schedule Rule
As the comment period for the proposed 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule drew to a close on Friday night, CMS received over 30,000 comments, including letters from major industry groups commending the agency for proposing to do away with a policy that would collapse evaluation and management (E/M) payment rates.

CMS decided in the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule to consolidate E/M levels 2 through 5 into a single payment rate by 2021 to reduce the administrative burden associated with Medicare documentation requirements. Facing staunch industry criticism, the federal agency proposed earlier this year to walk back on the policy, which many industry groups are now praising. “CMS recognized that its earlier plan for E/M visits would have disrupted care patterns and may have created other unintended consequences. Having the separate codes helps acknowledge the difference in resources in treating patients with more complex care needs,” the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) president and CEO Jerry Penso, MD, MBA, said in a statement.

Finalizing the proposal to keep separate E/M payment rates would also avert unintended consequences, such as forcing “medical practices to reduce their Medicare patient volume or limit the medical issues addressed during one office visit due to lower reimbursement rates for more complex visits,” MGMA stated in its comments. ( RevCycle Intelligence, September 30, 2019)


Heavy Soda Consumption Associated with Hip Fracture after Menopause
Older women who drink more soda may be more likely to suffer hip fractures than their counterparts who consume little to no soda,” researchers concluded after examining “data on soda consumption, bone health and fractures for more than 70,000 women who were 69 years old on average.” The findings were published online in the journal Menopause.


“When is the Flu not the Flu?” CME Webinar on Nov. 20; Registration Now Open
Be sure to sign up for Medical Matters: When is the Flu not the Flu? on November 20th at 7:30am.  This is a companion program to the October Medical Matters webinar: Influenza 2019-2020.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar herePlease click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Recognize the distinction between types of influenza and other similarly presenting illnesses
  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


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RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
1100 square foot office for sale on Park Avenue in Carnegie Hill in an elegant pre-war, coop building. High ceilings complement two large consulting offices, spacious waiting room, administrative room/kitchenette and full bathroom. Enter through private, accessible street entrance or attended lobby. Currently configured for two psychiatrists, easily adaptable to any specialty with multiple exam room possibilities. Extraordinary location convenient to transportation and medical centers. Full listing available at http://ow.ly/IdA130pN5Ua. Call Robin J. Roy, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, at 212-360-2292 or email robin.roy@corcoran.com for information and showings.

Furnished Luxury Park Avenue East 70’s Medical Office Rental Available.
Voted most beautiful block on UES. Private Entrance. Central A/C.
Dedicated consultation room, exam room, procedure room, reception and nurse areas in a multispecialty office setting. Suitable for all subspecialties.Walk to Lenox Hill Hospital and NY Cornell. Proximate to Mt Sinai Hospital. Subway 2 blocks away. Full Time/Part Time. No fee.
START SEEING PATIENTS IMMEDIATELY!!!
Please call or text 929 316-1032
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Park Avenue – Private Street Entrance, Same Block as Subway
Rental includes: two consultation rooms, private office, private bathroom.  Common waiting room, back office filing space and reception desks included.  Affordable rent.  Location East 60s between Park and Lexington.  Easy distance to Lenox Hill Hospital and New York Cornell.  Subway access within 1 block. Immediate occupancy available.  Call James: 917-710-7643

Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up


PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Part-Time Pediatrician / Family Practicitioner Wanted for Private Rochester Area Office
Looking to fill a part time position in a private pediatric office serving Rural and Urban diverse population. Pediatrician and Family Practitioner if interested please send CV to : syedmasood@frontiernet.net


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Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
Physicians, are you looking for a change?  Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming patient load?  Come work at a well-equipped and staffed correctional facility where you can MAKE a difference, working with a smaller number of patients for reasonable hours.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *Additional $20,000 geographical differential for Clinton & Franklin CF, and $10,000 for Five Points, Greene and Groveland CFs. We offer full-time, part-time & hourly/per-diem positions.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                  Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Chemung               Elmira and Southport Corrl Facilities (Gateway to the Finger Lakes)
Columbia*              Hudson Correctional Facility (antiquing, arts & collectables)
Dutchess                Green Haven Correctional Facility (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                Franklin & Upstate Corrl Facilities (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                 Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to NY City)
Livingston*            Groveland Correctional Facility (State Parks, hiking, fishing)
Oneida                   Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Orleans                 Albion Correctional Facility (Greater Niagara Region & Canal Town Culture)
Sullivan                  Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, entertainment)
Seneca*                 Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence          Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Ulster                      Shawangunk and Wallkill Corrl Facility (Catskill Mountains, Casinos)
Washington           Great Meadow Corrl Facility (Between Vermont & Green Mountains)
Westchester           Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)

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Inquire with the Facility Personnel Office regarding benefits and anticipated opportunities: http://www.doccs.ny.gov/faclist.html. Contact: www.doccs.ny.gov or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.


Physician Insights Wanted to Help Shape the Future of Primary Care
98point6 is a healthcare technology company committed to delivering more affordable, accessible, high-quality primary care. To support our mission, we need the insights of forward-thinking physicians that have opinions about the current state of primary care and are interested in the role technology can play in healthcare. Members of our exclusive Primary Care Council have no clinical responsibilities and are generally compensated for participation, which requires only a few hours per year. Interested? Learn more and apply today at: 98point6.com/pcc/


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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