MSSNYeNews: Lobby Day in the Time of Coronavirus – March 6, 2020

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

March 6, 2020

Vol. 23  Number 10




As I arrived in Albany, the city was abuzz with Coronavirus talk. Representatives of HANYS were preparing to leave. They had just canceled their lobby activity, needing to get back to their respective hospitals. At an event that night, I greeted State Senate Health Committee Chair Sen. Gustavo Rivera with a forearm bump and soon he had the whole room fist bumping, forearm bumping and air high fiving as he pointed me out and laughed. The message, however, was clear. MSSNY was in the house.

The following day 200 physicians – attendings, staff and yes, medical students filed into the auditorium in “The Egg” for the morning program, packed with COVID19 updates and a review of our legislative agenda. I cannot thank NY Society of Addiction Medicine, NY Osteopathic Medical Society, NY Society of Plastic Surgeons and ACOG enough for their participation. Appearances by Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan and DFS’ outgoing chief Troy “Surprise Bills” Oeschner (who received an award) and panel discussion followed, featuring Assembly Insurance Chair Kevin Cahill, Senate Insurance Chair Neil Breslin, and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard “The Dean” Gottfried who all answered questions about our legislative concerns. Finally, outgoing Sen. James Seward received our commendation for years of service.

During the lunch that followed, we all agreed this was the most cordial session we had ever witnessed. Whether it was Coronavirus or a moment of clarity, our doctors went off for appointments with legislators on a real high note to deliver our message that our Medical Society stands ready to work with our state government to insure the health of all New Yorkers.

By the way, keep your fingers crossed— the news was encouraging on the OPMC issue.

As I write this, I’m struck by the dedication of NY physicians who heard the call, left their practices, and traveled to Albany to deliver our message. You all have my thanks and gratitude.

Oh, and the title above? Well, I riffed on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera.

I’m out.

Comments?; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

Coronavirus Update with Anthony Fauci, MD – March 2020

There is an order of priority for testing, defined below (1 through 5):

Capital Update

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This Week’s Legislative Podcast

Physician Advocacy Day – A Great Success!
Thank you to the hundreds of physicians, medical students and other physician advocates who took the time to come to Albany this week to participate in MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day at the State Capitol.    We would also like to give a special thanks to Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Senator Neil Breslin and Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan for educating the physicians in attendance about the health Budgetary issues that are being faced in Albany, and for responding to the many questions posed by physicians regarding various legislative proposals.

Physicians from across the State met with many of the members of the Assembly and Senate that represent the regions where they practice, and MSSNY physician leaders met with (or the top staff to) Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay as well as key health staff to the Governor.

They emphasized the physician community’s strong concerns with proposed Medicaid cuts, proposed elimination of the Excess Medical Liability Insurance Program, and seriously problematic changes to the physician disciplinary process, while also urging support for items such as regulating PBMs and a flavored tobacco/vaping ban.  Direct physician advocacy is an essential component of legislative success and helped in great part by your contributions on days like this.  We look forward to continuing to work with you on the many legislative issues that impact physicians and healthcare in general. (DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)

COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise in NYS
New York State has 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 122 cases under investigation as of March 6th.  Coronavirus is now a reportable disease and physicians are required to report suspected cases to their local department of health. There are 2,733 under quarantine in New York City.  Physicians are urged to stay informed by going to the New York State Department of Health website for healthcare providers here or the New York State Department of Health NYC physicians here.

NYS also has a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.  The latest guidance from the NYS Department of Health can be found here.

MSSNY also has the latest updates from the state on its website at   Please see information located in the blue boxes labeled COVID-19.

MSSNY will also conduct a webinar on COVID-19 at March 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.   Registration is now available here.    (CLANCY)

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Governor, DFS Announce Steps to Ensure Coverage for COVID-19 Testing and Treatment
As one of the many steps being taken to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week a new directive by the NYS Department of Financial Services requiring New York health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for coronavirus including emergency room, urgent care and office visits, and ensuring health insurers cover care related to the testing and treatment for coronavirus.

In addition to prohibiting the imposition of patient cost-sharing, the guidance issued by DFS to health insurers regarding actions they should take in relation to the potential impact of COVID-19 on New York includes:

  • Directing insurers to develop robust telehealth programs with their participating providers where appropriate, particularly for individuals who may have difficulty making an office visit and where a phone call with a medical professional can alleviate the need for a hospital visit.
  • Directing insurers to verify that their provider networks are adequately prepared to handle a potential increase in the need for health care services, including offering access to out-of-network services where appropriate and required, in the event more COVID-19 cases are diagnosed in New York. In addition, DFS is reminding insurers that lifetime or annual limits cannot be placed on in-patient care.
  • In the event an immunization becomes available for COVID-19, DFS is reminding insurers that they must cover the cost of vaccination for children under 19. For adults, DFS’s guidance states that all insurers should be prepared to cover the immunization immediately at no cost-sharing.
  • Directing insurers to provide insurance coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if there is not a formulary drug available to treat the insured, through a formulary exceptions process.
  • Reminding insurers that coverage for emergency services in hospital facilities is required at the in-network cost-sharing even if the hospital is out-of-network or overseas, and that no insurer may require a patient to seek preauthorization prior to seeking emergency care, including for ambulance service.

Directing insurers that they are required to hold harmless insureds who receive surprise medical bills for health care services, including those related to testing and treatment of COVID-19.                                                                   (AUSTER)

“Coronaviruses 2020” CME Webinar on March 18th Registration Now Open
With the number of Covid-19 cases and quarantines growing significantly this week, please sign up for MSSNY’s Medical Matters: Coronaviruses 2020 scheduled for March 18th 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: please click here   

Educational objectives are:

  • Become familiar with the epidemiology and clinical features of coronaviruses
  • Understand the physician’s role in the public health response to an infectious disease outbreak
  • Identify the circumstances that have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at

For more information prior to this webinar, be sure to go to and view Principles of Isolation and Quarantine: Epidemiology as a Decision Maker for more information on the public health response to infectious diseases.

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.      (HOFFMAN)

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Please Continue to Urge Your Legislators to Protect Physician Due Process
With Part L of Governor’s proposed Health/Mental Hygiene Budget bill containing extremely troubling measures to bypass important due process protections for physicians when a complaint has been filed against them with the OPMC, all physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators contact here to urge that the Legislature reject this unfair proposal.

The proposal would, among many other provisions, make it far easier for the Commissioner of Health to disclose to the public that a physician is under disciplinary investigation.  It would also permit the OPMC to summarily suspend a physician without the typical due process requirements with only a minimal finding of “risk to the public”, as opposed to the much stronger “imminent danger” standard now required for bypassing these essential due process protections.  It would also give the OPMC much greater powers to seize physician records and record systems, even that which is necessary for physicians to deliver care to their patients.

That is particularly troubling given that only a small percentage of complaints to OPMC result in a disciplinary sanction.  MSSNY has indicated that we agree with the importance of acting quickly when it is imperative, but these proposals would completely undermine important and longstanding due process protections. Given that most complaints are dismissed without any sanction or action, this series of proposed changes to bypass these rights would create a substantial possibility of unfairly destroying an innocent physician’s career. 

MSSNY has joined with 18 state specialty societies and the NYS Society of Physician Assistants in a communication to the Legislature setting forth our concerns in greater detail. Memo   Moreover, thousands of physicians from across the State have contacted their local legislators to express their severe concerns with this grossly unfair proposal.  Have you?

Please urge your legislators to reject this proposal from the Budget. (AUSTER)

Legislators Urged to Preserve Excess Liability Program
Physicians are urged to contact their legislators to request that the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program be extended.  Unfortunately, the Excess program has become a “political pawn” in discussions regarding ways to address the State’s huge budget deficit.   A letter to your legislators can be sent here.

This program, which provides nearly 17,000 physicians across the State with an additional $1 million/$3 million of liability coverage above the primary $1.3M/$3.9M layer, is being proposed to be eliminated after June 30.  This is despite the fact that this coverage is needed more than ever due to New York’s excessive and growing liability costs that far exceed all other states.  Without this protection, many physicians will be unable to continue to practice. Indeed, those who would be dropped would be personally exposed to financial ruin in the event that a judgment or award exceeded the limits of the primary layer.  If anything, the program actually needs to be expanded, not diminished.

Let your legislator know that, in the absence of comprehensive medical liability reform, physicians need this secondary layer of liability insurance to protect against New York’s excessive verdicts and settlements.  please click here (AUSTER)

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Physicians Meet With Legislators to Discuss Flavored Vaping Ban
Physicians, parents and members of other health care organizations were in Albany on Tuesday to discuss with legislators the need to prohibit flavored nicotine products for use in e-cigarette or vaping products.  Participating from the Medical Society were Gregory Threatte, MD, president of the Albany County Medical Society and Roy Korn, MD, president of the Schoharie County Medical Society and members of MSSNY governmental affairs staff.  Along with meeting with members and staff of the NYS Legislature, the physicians also joined with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD at an early morning strategy session on vaping and at a press conference with Lt. Governor Hochul in the afternoon.

MSSNY supports the proposal put forth by Governor Andrew Cuomo to prohibit the sale of flavored nicotine devices within the context of his 20-21 New York State Budget.  MSSNY also supports legislative efforts in the New York State Legislature.  Statistics show that youth vaping using flavored e-cigarettes has increase in NYS from seven percent to 27% percent over the last five years and 40% of all NYS high school seniors “vape” every day.

Please assist us in the efforts by sending a letter to legislators here.

MSSNY Testifies at NYC MRT2 Forum
MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner delivered comments to the New York City meeting of the Medicaid Redesign Committee this week.  You can see his comments here: please click here (at the 11 minute mark).  The MRT2 is charged with arriving at recommendations to achieve $2.5 billion in State Budget savings for the State Budget due April 1.

Similar to MSSNY Vice President Dr. Joseph Sellers’ comments at the Albany MRT forum and Monroe County Medical Society Executive Director Chris Bell’s comments at the Rochester MRT forum, his recommendations included: expansion of Medicaid coverage for in-home physician care visits and telemedicine to help reduce rising transportation costs, expansion of the Patient-Centered Medical Home program (which according to DOH has demonstrated itself to reduce patient medical costs), and long overdue liability medical liability reform (since the State must subsidize the excessive liability costs in New York that are much less in other states).        (AUSTER)

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Care Delivery Mandate Bills Begin to Pile Up in Albany
MSSNY continues to raise serious concerns with the numerous bills advancing in Albany that, while well-intended, would place substantial new mandates on patient care delivery at a time when physicians are already drowning in administrative tasks diverting time away from treating patients.  A recent Annals of Internal Medicine study concluded that physicians already spend 2 hours on administrative tasks for every hour they spend actually delivering patient care.  These bills unfairly place the physician at risk of financial penalty by DOH or even license sanction by the OPMC if the physician fails to document even one time that they performed the mandated task.  These proposals include:

  • Mandated conspicuous posting in a physician’s office of a patient’s ability to file a complaint with the Office of Professional Conduct (A.7991-A/S.6678-A). Assembly Floor/Senate Floor
  • Mandated notification to epileptic patients of the risk of sudden death due to epilepsy (S.5397-A/A.7807-A). On Assembly Floor/On Senate Floor
  • Mandated co-prescribing of naloxone for patients: a) taking 50 mmg per day b) with a history of substance use disorder or c) concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepine or nonbenzodiazepine sedative hypnotics (S.5150-B/A.5603-B). Passed Senate.  In Assembly Ways & Means
  • Mandated reporting of rescue inhaler prescriptions to the statewide immunization system (S.7337). On Senate floor
  • Mandated dissemination of a pamphlet prior to performance of a pelvic exam (S.7544/A.9600). On Senate floor/In Assembly Health
  • Mandated procedure for a maternal health care provider to provide written notification to patients regarding the risks of a C-section (A.318-A/S.2888-A). Passed Assembly/In Senate Women’s Issue Committee
  • Mandated proof of completion of CME on cultural competency, including paying for an additional fee to SED on top of the biennial $600 registration fee (S.2406-A). Passed Senate/In Assembly Higher Education Committee
  • Mandated seeking of a detailed patient/family member consent for a nursing home resident prior to the receipt of a psychotropic medication, or detailed documentation of the need to provide such medication without consent (A.1033/S.5441). Passed Assembly/In Senate Health Committee
  • Mandated completion of additional questions for the NYS Physician Profile including office hours, whether accepting new patients and an unknown number of practice demographic questions. Contained in Part K of the Governor’s proposed Health/Mental Hygiene Budget bill.


One-Sided Surprise Bill Proposals Advance in Congress
Contact Your Representatives Today
All physicians are urged to continue to contact New York’s Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as their respective Representative to express strong concerns with the various proposals before Congress that would substantially limit insurer responsibility for coverage of out of network emergency and surprise medical bills.  A letter can be sent here: please click here

While MSSNY supports the goals of legislation to prevent surprise medical bills, most proposals advanced so far are steered heavily to the benefit of insurance companies, and do not have the balance of New York’s law.  Recently the House Ways & Means Committee and Education & Labor Committee advanced separate proposals.  While the Ed & Labor proposal was very similar to Energy & Commerce proposal advanced last year strongly opposed by MSSNY and many other physician organizations, the W&M proposal did make some modest improvements including rejecting a benchmark payment and permitting the consideration of many factors.

However, the IDR mechanism identified in the legislation would also prohibit the consideration of physician charge data and require the consideration of median in-network data, which in all certainty will skew the results towards the insurance companies.  In fact, when the proposal was scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it was noted that “in facilities where surprise bills are likely, average payment rates for both in- and out-of-network care would move toward the median in-network rate.  Moreover, the proposal only provides for a minimal review of insurer networks, which is the major contributing factor to the problem of surprise bills.

Please take the opportunity to contact your federal legislators today, urging a fair solution to this issue similar to New York’s law. Please click here            (AUSTER, CARY)

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Registration Now Open for CME Series on Pain Management, Palliative Care & Addiction; NYS Requires Every Prescriber to Take 3 Hour Course By July 1, 2020
The Medical Society of the State of New York announces an updated series of three one-hour CME webinars on pain management, palliative care and addiction.  New York State statute requires all prescribers, holding a DEA license, to complete three hours of coursework every three years.  Coursework must include the following:

  • New York State and federal requirements for prescribing controlled substances
  • Pain management
  • Appropriate prescribing
  • Managing acute pain
  • Palliative medicine
  • Prevention, screening and signs of addiction
  • Responses to abuse and addiction
  • End of life care

These webinars are being offered FREE OF CHARGE to MSSNY members. A discount code was emailed to members on February 24, 2020.  Please contact Melissa Hoffman at if you did not receive this discount code.

The Medical Society of the State of New York has worked with the New York State Office for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) in the development of this program.  Following the webinars, the course will be offered on-line on the MSSNY CME site.  The program will be offered to MSSNY members free of charge and there is a non-member fee of $150 for the on-line series.

The three webinars cover all issues required in the New York State statute and participation is only by computer, or with the Webex app.
Webinars will be held on:

Tuesday March 10, 2020—7:30-8:30am
Understanding the Current Legal Landscape in New York State for Prescribing Controlled Substances
Faculty: Patricia Bruckenthal, PhD, APRN-BS, FAAN & Robert Kent, Esq., NYS OASAS General Counsel
Educational Objectives:

  • Understand New York State and Federal Requirements for Prescribing Controlled Substances
  • Discuss Guidelines for Chronic Pain

Register for this webinar here.

Tuesday March 17, 2020—7:30-8:30am
When to Consider Opioid Therapy for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain & in
Palliative Care
Faculty: Charles Argoff, MD
Educational Objectives:

  • Discuss evidence based best practice recommendations for opioid therapy for chronic pain, patient risk assessments and documentation
  • Describe palliative medical care and end-of-life care

Register for this webinar here

Tuesday March 24, 2020—7:30-8:30am
Patients with Opioid Use Disorders: Identification, Treatment, and Management of Co-occurring Pain
Faculty: Jeffrey Selzer, MD, Marc Manseau, MD, MPH, NYS OASAS Medical Director
Educational Objectives:

  • Describe the Potential for Addiction, Patient Screening, Diagnosis and Subsequent Treatment or Referral
  • Recommend Tools to Assist in the Identification of High-Risk Patients for Whom Opioids are Indicated and Prescribed
  • Describe Strategies for Treating Pain in Patients with Substance Use Disorders

Register for this webinar here.

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.

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at or 518-465-8085       (HOFFMAN)

Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative – Save the Date!
The Medical Society of the State of New York, along with the New York Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Social Workers-NYS will hold a two-day Veterans Healthcare Training Initiative with interactive seminars and panel discussions on the health and mental health care needs of veterans. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be offered for various programs.

The event will be held on Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd at the HNA Palisades Premier Conference Center, 334 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964.

Registration details coming soon!    (SHERPA)

Veterans Matters: The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans Live Seminar in Saratoga
The Medical Society of the State of New York and the Saratoga County Medical Society are hosting a CME live seminar entitled Veterans Matters: The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 6:45 pm.

Nove Restaurant
707 Saratoga Road
Wilton, NY  12831

When:     Sign-in/Reception at 6:00pm – Program begins at 6:45pm
Faculty:   Malene Ingram, MD & Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves

Educational Objectives:

  • Review how the increased role of women in the military has impacted their mental health
  • Describe mental health concerns unique to women veterans and how to identify them
  • Identify the barriers that women veterans face in getting the specific care they need

Reservations can be made by contacting Gregory Pinto, MD at or (518) 587-0772. Dinner charge for non-MSSNY member is $35.00 and no charge for MSSNY members and their spouses.

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 each of these live activities 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          (SHERPA)


MSSNY President Art Fougner, President Elect Bonnie Litvack and Vice
President Joseph Sellers discuss New York’s malpractice problems and
New York’s highest per capita payment.

Dr. Daniel Choi (Suffolk), MSSNY EVP Phil Schuh, Dr. Thomas Lee (Westchester)
and Suffolk County Executive Director Dr. Aaron Kumar.


DFS Deputy Superintendent Troy Oeschner was honored for his many years
of assisting MSSNY in resolving several physician payment issues was presented
a plaque by Dr. Andrew Kleinman, who spearheaded the solutions to these
major issues for over a decade.

MSSNY Vice President Joseph Sellers awarded a commemorative
plaque to retiring State Senator James Seward. Dr. Sellers recalled
that he was impressed by Sen. Seward when he visited
one of Dr. Seller’s patients who was hospitalized.

Students representing their medical schools made the trip to
Albany to discuss their issues with their local representatives.


NY Coronavirus Statistics:

  • NEW YORK #Covid19 numbers
    4,000 people under cautionary quarantine
  • 44 people under mandatory quarantine
  • number of people who’ve tested positive is now 33, with all 11 new cases linked to the New Rochelle lawyer who works in Manhattan.
  • Total infected people hospitalized: 5

Information Sources:

Johns Hopkins Global Interactive Map

CMS Issues Guidance on Coronavirus Coverage
WASHINGTON — CMS released information detailing how government health programs and certain plans will cover coronavirus-related services.

The agency also developed an additional code that labs can use to bill for coronavirus diagnostic tests not made by CDC, which CMS says will help boost testing and tracking of new cases. Medicare will cover diagnostic tests on or after Feb. 4 for the coronavirus test, and the health program for the elderly also covers medically necessary hospitalizations, virtual “check-ins” and more.

Children can receive all medically necessary testing and diagnostic services and recommended vaccines are covered without cost-sharing, CMS said.

In the new guidance, CMS reiterates that Obamacare plans will generally have to cover lab tests — with the caveat that states don’t all require the same standard of benefits and some people may see cost-sharing if the insurers haven’t waived co-pays for the tests.

Some insurers have already said they would waive cost-sharing or the tests. However, CMS notes that large employer plans don’t have to follow Obamacare’s rules — so patients with those plans may not be covered or may be on the hook for a co-pay.

The agency hasn’t decided whether a vaccine would be free under Obamacare’s rules for covering preventive treatment but said officials would offer new guidance when a vaccine hits the market.

Hospital costs associated with coronavirus treatment will also vary by state and by plan, CMS said, even though emergency care and hospitalization fall under the ACA’s essential health benefits.

On telehealth, Medicare pays for “virtual check-ins” for patients consulting practitioners they already know, given certain restrictions on time and content, CMS said. It also pays for communication through patient portals.

Medicare patients treated at rural health facilities may be covered for full virtual visits. Medicaid and CHIP telehealth coverage is determined by states.

How to talk to K-12 Children about Coronavirus
School psychologists are worried about coronavirus anxiety among kids in K-12 schools.

The National Association of School Psychologists is offering guidance to school mental health professionals, administrators, school crisis response teams and parents on how to help staff and students cope with the virus, called COVID-19.

Brock, a past president of NASP who wrote some of the guidance, said educators and psychologists can expect questions, and how they respond should depend on the developmental level of the students. In an interview with POLITICO, he offered some advice on how to talk with students about coronavirus.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

What type of impact are you seeing on kids?

What is being reported to us is consistent with kids asking questions and being somewhat anxious, nervous, worried about the extent to which this could affect them. It’s too soon to be really specific regarding the extent to which this is impacting students. Young children are going to be more likely impacted and affected by adult reactions. Older students, conversely, are going to be in a position to more accurately gauge independently the threat presented by COVID-19.

How should school administrators, teachers and psychologists talk to students about this virus? Should they talk about it at all?

It’s going to vary depending upon developmental level. I would suggest that especially for the younger kids, we want their questions to be our guide. So beyond making sure my younger kids are engaging in behaviors that are going to keep them healthy and safe, I’m not going to give them a lot of unasked-for information about things like mortality statistics. … The other thing that I’ll be careful about with younger kids is screening media. There is an appropriate degree of attention to this being given by the media, but younger children may not be able to accurately interpret that. 

What about for middle and high school students?

For older kids, actually, I like to make available well-crafted media reports to help them understand the objective threat that’s being presented to them. 

What if students start asking more detailed questions?

The answer that I’m going to give for ‘What is COVID-19?’ is going to be different for a second-grader than it is going to be for a high school science class. In high school science class, we’re probably going to talk about viruses. Maybe a good teacher might even use this as a teachable moment, work it into the curriculum. For the younger child, it’s more like, ‘Yeah, there’s this flu that’s going around, and it’s a new flu, so we’re kind of worried about it. Do you have any questions about the new flu? 

Are there any concerns about this virus creating stigmas in a school setting?

We have seen that kind of thing in the past where people try to find someone or something to blame. Sometimes that is associated with behaviors that could be labeled bullying. And we do our best to try to mitigate that because it’s just not helpful. For the kid that’s bullied, now they’re stressed about being sick and they’re being bullied on top of it. For the bully, it’s just not an adaptive behavior. 

Brock provided some questions he expects from young children and how he would respond:

Question: Will I get sick?

Answer: We don’t know. I can’t promise you that you will not get sick, but there are some very important things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy [and then list guidance offered by the CDC.

Question: What will happen if I get sick?

Answer: When people get this virus, they will have a temperature, a cough, and it might be difficult for them to catch their breath. Very few children are getting sick, but when they do, parents, doctors and other adults are able to help them feel better [CDC].

Statement: I am scared of coronavirus!

Response: During cold and flu season people do get sick, and sometimes so sick they need to see a doctor. It is a very good idea to do what we can to stay healthy. In our community … [and then offer any specific guidance from local health officials regarding whether or not a given community is at risk]. Here are things you can to do to keep from getting sick [and then list guidance offered by the CDC].

Question: Why is everyone talking so much about coronavirus?

Answer: Because it is new and for some people who are very old and not in good health it might cause them to see a doctor and go to the hospital.

Question: Will I die?

Answer: So far very few children are getting sick, and no young children have died. [If you are talking to a child 9 years of age or younger you could say: “So far no child your age has died.” (References have been made to World Meter and JAMA)

Low Back, Neck Pain Costs Are the Most Expensive Health Conditions

The total U.S. health bill for 2016 — excluding over-the-counter drugs, home health care, and spending on research and infrastructure — came to some $3.1 trillion, researchers estimate in JAMA. That represents over a doubling in spending since 1996.Payment came from private health insurers (48%), government health insurance (43%), and out-of-pocket payments (9%). Low back and neck pain constituted the top two spending spots. These two, combined with other musculoskeletal disorders, consumed over a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2016.

A commentator notes encouraging declines in spending for ischemic heart disease, heart failure, colorectal cancer, and lower-respiratory-tract infections, which “likely reflect population-wide improvements in primary and secondary prevention.”

What weren’t encouraging were findings for rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, where expensive specialty drugs are commonly used. For such drugs, he advocates negotiations with drug makers based on “rigorous cost-effectiveness analysis.”

Regular Use of Fish Oil Linked to Lower Risk for Premature Death
Research links “regular use of fish oil supplements to a lower risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease (CVD).” Investigators “kept track of participants over a nine-year period on average, and found that fish oil supplements were associated with a 13% lower risk of death, a 16% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 7% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events such as stroke or heart attack.” The findings were published in the BMJ.

Smartphone Users More Likely to Use Pain-Relieving Medication for Headaches
Researchers investigating the association between smartphone use and new headaches “found that smartphone users were more likely to use more pain medication but find less relief compared to those who didn’t use smartphones,” according to a new study published in Neurology Clinical Practice. Specifically, “96% of smartphone users were more likely to take pain-relieving drugs compared to 81% of non-smartphone users.” Moreover, “smartphone users also reported less relief from headaches after taking medication, with 84% finding moderate or complete relief from headache pain compared to 94% of non-users.”



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Accordingly, contact from constituents would be vital to influencing the path and future of that legislation or issue.

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If you are concerned with health care policy formation in New York State, please subscribe today by texting MSSNY to 52886 and you will be prompted to enter your email address.  When you sign up, it is best to use your NY-based voting address or practice address (if you do not reside in NY) for your alerts.

Contact the Division of Governmental Affairs at 518-465-8085 or if youThank you.

Dr. Michael Goldstein Running for Congress in Connecticut
New York County Medical Society Trustee and Past President Michael T. Goldstein, MD, JD, is running for office.   He is running in the Connecticut  Fourth Congressional District  —  information about his platform, which  has a strong health care component, naturally  —   is available at Goldstein for Congress.

Dr. Fougner and Dr. Choi

MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner and Young Physicians
Chair Dr. Daniel Choi at the NY Academy of Medicine
last Saturday, March 1.

Medical Students

YPS Meeting in Manhattan. From left. Dr. Purvi Parikh
who was a panelist for Milennials in Private Practice;
Is It Even Possible?”: Dr. Erik Eiting; Dr. Carlos Zapata;
and Moderator Dr. Daniel Choi.


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Office Rental 30 Central Park South
Three exam rooms, consultation, reception and secretarial rooms. Ground floor next to Plaza Hotel.
Elegantly decorated and fully equipped with operating suite on site. Part or full time. $1280/month for each exam plus consultation room.213.371.0468

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.
Please call or text 929 316-1032

DOH Posting Header Ad

Open to the Public

TITLE Community Health Program Manager 3 – 32201
SALARY/GRADE $109,956 – $138,763 / M-4
NEGOTIATING UNIT Management Confidential (06)
Division of Family Health
Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237
TRANSFER: Current NYS employee with one year or more of contingent-permanent or permanent competitive service in a title at or above Grade 29/M-3 and eligible for transfer under Section 52.6 of the Civil Service Law.
PROVISIONAL*: a bachelor’s degree AND seven years professional public health experience in a governmental public health agency or public health program* that receives funding from a public health governmental agency. Of the seven years required experience, three years must include supervision of professional staff and the following management responsibilities: program planning and implementation, AND program evaluation and monitoring, AND development and implementation of policies and procedures.
The required professional experience must include either:

1. Designing or implementing a public health outreach, promotion, or disease prevention program; OR
2. Conducting disease surveillance or a disease control program.

For the purposes of this recruitment, a public health program focuses primarily on the prevention of disease through outreach and public health education or health promotion, including population-based plans of care, not just plans of care for individual patients, or the study of the prevalence or causes of disease through population-based studies.
Examples of non-qualifying experience include, but are not limited to: providing clinical care in therapeutic health care facilities including public hospitals, physician’s offices, supervised community-based settings or home care settings; discharge planning or utilization review; developing treatment plans for patients in community settings; regulatory oversight of health care providers to determine compliance with laws, rules or regulations; reviewing appropriateness of services for insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, governmental agencies or other third-party payors; or other experience limited to administrative support of public health programs such as operations management, personnel, staff development, fiscal administration, contract/grant management, budgeting or health care finance is not considered qualifying, nor is the provision of medical services to a fixed population.

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