MSSNY and other Physician Organizations Call for NYS DOH and the Governor to Provide Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 Results 

For Immediate Release

 

MSSNY and other Physician Organizations Call for NYS DOH and the Governor to Provide Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 Results

 

October 22, 2020, Westbury, NY—Today, the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), the NY Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians and the NYS American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapters 1, 2 & 3 called upon the NYS Department of Health and the Governor’s office to provide flexibility for  reporting  results of COVID-19 and Influenza tests performed in physician offices.  A survey conducted by these medical societies found that many physicians will be unable to provide these critically needed tests without more time to report results for fear of the potentially significant penalties for failure to comply.

On September 21, NYS Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker sent a notice to all healthcare providers requiring the reporting of all positive and negative COVID-19 and flu tests to the NYS Department of Health within 3 hours.   Additionally, the order requires that the ordering physicians report contact information, employment and/or school information for each patient.  Penalties for non-compliance are up to $2000/day.   The medical organizations are advocating for the removal of the three-hour reporting requirement for the negative tests.

“Physicians across the state share the goal of having information as soon as reasonably possible to begin contact tracing and other containment efforts. Three hours, however, is simply not enough time for busy and overburdened practices to report results, especially negative results,” says   Bonnie Litvack, MD, President, of MSSNY.

“A survey, conducted by MSSNY in conjunction with several specialty societies, found that over 60% of physicians believe the three-hour reporting period is a daunting, if not impossible, task for many practices,” continues Dr. Litvack.  “Over 78% of the respondents indicated that they are unable to comply with the three-hour requirement.  MSSNY is gravely concerned that these requirements may discourage practices from ordering tests and offering testing at a time when COVID-19 rates are rising in our state and more testing, not less is needed.”

“The reporting requirement is likely to compel many practices to forego providing COVID and flu tests which will inconvenience patients by requiring them to have these tests performed elsewhere,” says NYSAFP president Jason Matuszak, MD. “Also, requiring patients to go to multiple locations for tests increases their risk of exposure. Rapid tests could be done at the primary care practice, as opposed to waiting days to get results back from a commercial lab which would allow patients to know their results sooner.”

“Pediatricians across New York are deeply concerned that the recent three-hour reporting requirement for both COVID-19 and Flu test is unrealistic for community-based practices, says Warren Seigel, MD, FAAP, Chair of NYSAAP, District II.  “The recently imposed requirement will discourage offices from offering Flu and/or COVID-19 tests on site.  Sending patients to alternative venues for testing is inefficient, may contribute to the spread of disease and is a breach of medical home principles.  We urge the Department of Health to work with the house of medicine to design a more reasonable turnaround time so all practices can better serve their patients and still meet the state’s requirements for timely data on infections.”

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

MSSNY eNews: October 23, 2020

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Colleagues:

Although it seems like decades ago, it was just 2019 when NY State was at the epicenter of another infectious disease crisis, an outbreak of measles in Rockland County.  Due to religious and philosophical exemptions, vaccination rates in the county had fallen significantly with data showing six schools with vaccine religious exemption rates above 20% and another 17 schools with rates of more than 8%.

Our MSSNY, along with a large coalition, recognized the perils associated with the falling vaccination rates and worked successfully with the NYS legislature and the Governor to enact legislation eliminating non-medical exemption for vaccinations.  This public health law was signed in June 2019 and will help protect NYS residents against common childhood diseases.

However, a lawsuit (F.F. v. State of New York) was filed by a group of families that previously had religious exemptions from vaccines.   They argued that the new law violates the families’ state and federal constitutional rights to religious freedom. They also asserted that the repeal violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and forces them to comply or otherwise violate New York’s compulsory education laws. A trial court heard and dismissed this case, but an appeal has been filed.

Your MSSNY, the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics and the AMA Litigation Center have filed an amicus brief supporting the State of New York in the appeal, saying “eliminating religious objections was clearly in the best interest of public health.”

The brief explains that measles is a highly contagious disease, requiring nearly 95% of the population be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. It goes on to discuss that 3% of the people who receive the vaccination will not be immune and others have medical conditions that prevent them from being safely vaccinated. It explains that, to achieve the goal of herd immunity nearly everyone who does not have a medical contraindication must be vaccinated.

The brief states “New York’s experience has shown that religious exemptions cause vaccination rates to fall below that level, resulting in dangerous and potentially deadly outbreaks. The decision to eliminate these exemptions will protect the health and the lives of New Yorkers.”

Whether we are discussing measles vaccines, flu vaccines or Covid vaccines, scientific knowledge will continue to guide our MSSNY policies and our advocacy as we strive to protect the health and well-being of the residents of NY State.

Bonnie Litvack MD
MSSNY President


MSSNY and Other Physician Organizations Call for NYS DOH and the Governor to Provide Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 Results
October 22, 2020, Westbury, NY—Today, the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), the NY Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians and the NYS American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapters 1, 2 & 3 called upon the NYS Department of Health and the Governor’s office to provide flexibility for reporting results of COVID-19 and Influenza tests performed in physician offices.  A survey conducted by these medical societies found that many physicians will be unable to provide these critically needed tests without more time to report results for fear of the potentially significant penalties for failure to comply.

On September 21, NYS Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker sent a notice to all healthcare providers requiring the reporting of all positive and negative COVID-19 and flu tests to the NYS Department of Health within 3 hours.   Additionally, the order requires that the ordering physicians report contact information, employment and/or school information for each patient.  Penalties for non-compliance are up to $2000/day.   The medical organizations are advocating for the removal of the three-hour reporting requirement for the negative tests.

“Physicians across the state share the goal of having information as soon as reasonably possible to begin contact tracing and other containment efforts. Three hours, however, is simply not enough time for busy and overburdened practices to report results, especially negative results,” says Bonnie Litvack, MD, President of MSSNY.

“A survey, conducted by MSSNY in conjunction with several specialty societies, found that over 60% of physicians believe the three-hour reporting period is a daunting, if not impossible, task for many practices,” continues Dr. Litvack.  “Over 78% of the respondents indicated that they are unable to comply with the three-hour requirement.  MSSNY is gravely concerned that these requirements may discourage practices from ordering tests and offering testing at a time when COVID-19 rates are rising in our state and more testing, not less is needed.”

“The reporting requirement is likely to compel many practices to forego providing COVID and flu tests which will inconvenience patients by requiring them to have these tests performed elsewhere,” says NYSAFP president Jason Matuszak, MD. “Also, requiring patients to go to multiple locations for tests increases their risk of exposure. Rapid tests could be done at the primary care practice, as opposed to waiting days to get results back from a commercial lab which would allow patients to know their results sooner.”

“Pediatricians across New York are deeply concerned that the recent three-hour reporting requirement for both COVID-19 and Flu test is unrealistic for community-based practices, says Warren Seigel, MD, FAAP, Chair of NYSAAP, District II.  “The recently imposed requirement will discourage offices from offering Flu and/or COVID-19 tests on site.  Sending patients to alternative venues for testing is inefficient, may contribute to the spread of disease and is a breach of medical home principles.

We urge the Department of Health to work with the house of medicine to design a more reasonable turnaround time so all practices can better serve their patients and still meet the state’s requirements for timely data on infections.”


Urge DOH to Provide More Flexibility on Reporting Results
Join with @MSSNY and urge @GovernorAndrewCuomo and @NYSDOH to
increase the 3-hour reporting window for all COVID and Flu test results so providers can comply!

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NYS COVID Data: https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-region-dashboard


Physicians Less Likely to Vote Than Others, 3-State Study Finds
Physicians in California, New York, and Texas are less likely than the general public to vote in elections, according to findings in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined data from a national provider registry and voter files from the three states. The proportion of physicians who voted in elections from 2006 through 2018 was significantly lower than the proportion of the general population who voted (average across elections, 37% vs. 51%). This was largely due to lower voter registration among physicians (50% vs. 66%).

Among physicians who were registered to vote, however, voter turnout was higher in all elections relative to the general population (for example, in 2018, 75% vs. 62%).

Findings were consistent regardless of political party.

The researchers conclude, “Future efforts to improve physician voter participation should explore the influence of both increasing voter registration and election turnout.”

JAMA Internal Medicine research letter; Background: Prior Physician’s First Watch coverage of voter turnout among physicians (2016)


Many U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Were Avoidable
If the U.S. death rate had matched that of other wealthy countries, between about 55,000 and 215,000 Americans would still be alive, according to a scathing new analysis by Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness.

Why it matters: These countries have taken a significantly different approach to the virus than the U.S., providing yet another example that things did not have to be this way.

  • “Had the U.S. government implemented an ‘averaged’ approach that mirrored these countries … a minimum of 130,000 COVID-19 deaths might have been avoidable given alternate policies, implementation, and leadership,” the authors write.
  • “This discrepancy, which continues to grow daily, provides objective crude measure for assessing the government response to this unprecedented health emergency.”

Between the lines: The analysis points to several factors that set the U.S. response apart from other countries’, including insufficient testing and contact tracing, a delayed initial response, the lack of a national mask mandate or guidance, politicization and the “failure of top officials to model best practices.”

  • “Particularly, it is the inability or unwillingness of U.S. officials to adapt or improve the federal response over the course of the pandemic that has strongly contributed to the nation’s uniquely high COVID-19 fatality rate,” the authors conclude.


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NYS NEW Paid Sick Leave Law
Need to know more about New York’s new paid sick leave law effective September 30?  Here is more info from NYS Department of Labor: https://www.ny.gov/new-york-paid-sick-leave/new-york-paid-sick-leave#eligibility


AMA Calls for Information Blocking Enforcement Discretion
The Trump Administration’s Final Rule on information blocking requires all physicians to come into compliance with the Rule’s requirements by Nov. 2. While the rule makes several important changes to electronic health record (EHR) vendor technology, including improving usability and interoperability, the rule also creates a new and complex set of administrative and regulatory requirements that physicians must follow in order to be compliant with the information blocking provisions.

Specifically, physicians are required to establish a new compliance framework to handle all medical record requests coming into their office. Information blocking rules require physicians to respond to and release patients’ medical records for nearly every request they receive unless an appropriate exception can be claimed.

Physicians must also examine, create, modify, and update all policies and procedures their organization uses to manage medical record requests. Documenting how a physician applies exceptions—and their organizational policies—to each information request will be important in maintaining compliance with the information blocking rules.

The AMA, along with several professional associations and provider organizations, sent a letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) asking for enforcement discretion for at least one year to allow physicians time to come into compliance with the new rules without fear of being penalized. The COVID-19 pandemic is straining physician resources and office staff and will make coming into compliance with the Nov. 2 deadline impractical. The AMA is also developing a resource to help physicians better understand the rule’s requirements.

Additional fact sheets and webinars on the rule can be found on ONC’s website.


CDC Report: Hispanics’ Death Rates Rose 16.3% in May to 26.4% in August
Hispanic Americans are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than earlier in the pandemic, a CDC report finds. Researchers analyzed data from 114,411 COVID-19 deaths reported to the National Vital Statistics System and found the percentage of Hispanic decedents rose from 16.3 percent in May to 26.4 percent in August.


 

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Paid Family Leave Webinars for Employers and HR Professionals: Updates for 2021
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is pleased to invite you to a special Paid Family Leave webinar specifically for employers and HR professionals.

Each one-hour, online session will provide an overview of the state’s landmark Paid Family Leave benefit, including important information regarding COVID-19, updates for 2021, and resources to help you share information with your employees.

Paid Family Leave is employee-paid insurance that provides employees with job-protected, paid time off from work to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or assist when a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is deployed abroad on active military service.  As of March 2020, Paid Family Leave may also be available in the event an employee, or their minor dependent child, is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

Register

Please join us for a live presentation on one of the following dates. Each session is free, and we will leave time at the end for your questions. Registration is required.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Additional Paid Family Leave resources are available

New York State offers complete details on Paid Family Leave at PaidFamilyLeave.ny.gov, including updates for 2021 and COVID-19. The employer page also contains helpful resources, including employer forms, fact sheets and past webinars. Help is also available via a toll-free Paid Family Leave Helpline at (844) 337-6303, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans Webinar 
The Medical Society of the State of New York and Nassau County Medical Society are hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!
When:             November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:           David Podwall, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms indicative of the spectrum from concussion/mild TBI to severe TBI
  • Examine evidence-based treatment modalities and when to refer to a specialist
  • Identify red flags that indicate alternate or more severe pathology
  • Outline an appropriate management plan for a patient presenting with concussion/TBI including a return to “normal life” protocol

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at jsherpa@mssny.org or call (518) 465-8085
.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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Join Round Table Regarding NYS’s Response to Increase in HIV and Gonorrhea
Dear Colleague,

We invite you to share your ideas and suggestions to inform New York State’s response to the increases in HIV and gonorrhea. This interactive virtual feedback session will provide Monroe County community providers the opportunity to provide input. Insight gained from these sessions will inform New York State Department of Health response to the HIV and gonorrhea increases in Monroe County.

When: Friday, October 30, 2020 | 11am – 12:30pm
Where: Zoom

Please register here. 

Erica Lovrin
Health Program Aide
Office of the Medical Director, AIDS Institute
New York State Department of Health
Room 259, Corning Tower ESP
Albany, NY 12237
518-473-8815 | Erica.lovrin@health.ny.gov


CDC Expands Definition Of ‘Close Contacts,’ After Study Suggests COVID-19 Can Be Passed in Brief Interactions
The CDC, on October 21, expanded how it defines a “close contact” of someone with Covid-19 as it released new evidence showing the coronavirus can be passed during relatively brief interactions.

Previously, the CDC described a close contact as someone who spent 15 minutes or more within six feet of someone who was infectious. Now, the agency says it is someone who spent a cumulative 15 minutes or more within six feet of someone who was infectious over 24 hours, even if the time is not consecutive, according to an agency spokesperson.

Close contacts are those who are tracked down during contact tracing and are recommended to quarantine.

The announcement from the CDC comes as scientists described in a new study how a correctional officer in Vermont appears to have contracted the coronavirus during “multiple brief encounters” with six incarcerated people who had COVID-19. The infected people were awaiting the results of their Covid-19 tests while the interactions happened.

In the study, the authors — including officials from the CDC and Vermont’s health and corrections departments — noted that the data for defining a close contact have been limited. “A primary purpose of contact tracing is to identify persons with higher risk exposures and therefore higher probabilities of developing infection, which can guide decisions on quarantining and work restrictions,” they wrote, adding that “public health officials should consider transmission-risk implications of cumulative exposure time within such settings.”

Experts have long noted that the 15-minute, within-six-feet rule was not some sort of threshold that needed to be hit for transmission to occur. So much about whether spread happens depends on how infectious a person is, how well-ventilated the room that people are in is, how the virus might move through the air in a particular setting, whether people are wearing masks, and more. The 15-minute window had just been used as a benchmark to prioritize who should be followed up with for contact tracing and quarantine.

One reason why the length of interactions might matter, experts think, is because people need to be exposed to a certain level of virus if they are going to get infected. Researchers still aren’t sure what that “infectious dose” is — and if a higher dose corresponds to how sick people are likely to get — but the thought is that the longer someone is around someone else who is infectious, the higher level of virus they will be subjected to, and the more likely they are to get COVID-19.

After the officer was diagnosed with Covid-19 in August, health officials and staff at the correctional facility reviewed surveillance footage of his interactions with the six incarcerated people. Though he never spent 15 straight minutes within six feet of any one of them, he was within six feet of them at least 22 times for one eight-hour shift, cumulating in at least 17 minutes of exposure. During their interactions, the incarcerated people were wearing masks most, but not all, of the time, while the officer always had a microfiber cloth mask, gown, and eye protection on.


Garfunkel Wild Names Andrew Blustein Chairman
MSSNY’s Counsel, Garfunkel Wild, P.C., a premier law firm with a specialty in health law, is pleased to announce Andrew Blustein has been named the firm’s new Chairman, effective October 1, 2020. Andrew succeeds Robert Wild, founding member of Garfunkel Wild. While Robert will assume the title of Chairman Emeritus, he is not retiring and will continue his practice and charitable work.

Andrew was appointed Vice Chairman four years ago as part of the firm’s leadership succession plan allowing him to work with outgoing Chairman Robert Wild while transitioning into the new role.

Andrew arrived at Garfunkel Wild 28 years ago and has held multiple leadership positions. He has been a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee for nearly a decade and co-founded and co-chairs the Firm’s Health Care Information and Technology Practice Group and E-Health and Telemedicine Practice Group.

Andrew steps into his new role after another successful year. In the last 12 months alone, the firm doubled the size of its Connecticut office, introducing a new integrated Biotechnology, Life Science and Medical Device Practice group and added 12 attorneys. The firm continues to focus on strategic planning, including attorney development and future growth into new markets and practice areas.

Garfunkel Wild, P.C. is a full-service law firm providing assistance to a broad range of clients, including hospitals, health care systems and other health care facilities, organizations, practitioners, and technology companies. Garfunkel Wild, P.C. is ranked in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America© and Super Lawyers. For more, visit www.garfunkelwild.com.


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Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

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Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com


OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722 Email: olarugabriela@aol.com. Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th St. Suite 4 New York NY 10021 REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: October 21, 2020 – COVID-19: 1.6% Is the Highest Positivity Rate Since June

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Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call

COVID-19 General:
– Day 235
– Statewide positivity rate: 1.2%
– Statewide positivity rate (with hotspots): 1.6%
– Red Zone positivity rate: 6.6%
– 7 fatalities
– 950 hospitalizations
– 201 ICU patients
– 103 intubations
– 124,789 tests yesterday

Federal:
– COVID cases are increasing across the country
– 43 states are part of the travel quarantine
– Gov states New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut are exempt because there is no easy way to enforce a quarantine against those states
– Positivity rate by state:
– Wisconsin: 13.4%
– Nevada: 58.8%
– Texas: 7.7%
– California: 2.5%
– Florida: 12.4%

Micro-Clusters:
– Gov states that micro-cluster buffer zones will be adjusted based on a 10-day average positivity rate
– Red zone becomes an orange zone if its 10-day average is less than 3%
– Orange zone becomes yellow zone: less than 2%
– Yellow zone returns to normal: less than 1.5%
– Positivity rates for the past 7 days:
– Brooklyn: 5.5%
– Queens (Forest Hills): 2.5%
– Queens (Far Rockaway): 1.8%
– Rockland: 4.8%
– Orange: 4.2%

Q&A:

– 1.6% is the highest positivity rate since June
– How can we set a standard for other states but exempt NJ, CT, and PA from travel restrictions?
– Gov: the only way we are currently enforcing the quarantine is by airports and some trains
– If we quarantined NJ, CT, and PA, we would suffer economically and people would avoid quarantine by driving
– State police are overburdened
– Gov wants to come up with a plan that uses testing to reduce quarantines
– Gov: the numbers overall are increasing because it is Fall
– Poll shows 67% of NY support the Gov’s response to the pandemic
– Gov credits the public for complying with social distancing guidelines


Two More Updates: CDC: “300,000 Deaths in 2020, Not 220,000”
1. Nearly 300,000 excess deaths have occurred this year, suggesting that the official COVID-19 tally of about 220,000 deaths is an undercount, according to a new CDC report. The agency identified an estimated 299,028 excess deaths that occurred from Jan. 26 to Oct. 3, about 66 percent of which were attributed to COVID-19.

2. The nation’s death rate for hospitalized COVID-19 patients is falling, according to two new studies cited by NPR. The decline is evident among all age groups, including patients with underlying conditions that increase the risk of virus complications. One study analyzed 5,000 hospitalizations at New York City-based NYU Langone Health between March and August. Researchers found the death rate fell by 18 percent, on average.


Please Join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, October 22nd at 1-2PM for a COVID-19 Update for Healthcare Providers

To accommodate the large number of participants, find our webinar streaming via YouTube Live (and available for viewing immediately thereafter) on the NYSDOH COVID website for providers:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/weekly-healthcare-provider-update

Audio number and code: 844-512-2950 Access code 9060349#


MSSNY Joins Medical Societies to Urge Delay of Info Blocking Rule on Nov. 2
MSSNY has joined with the medical societies of California, Florida and Texas in a letter to the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology requesting that they delay implementation of the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule for at least one year. 

The rule is scheduled to go into effect on November 2, though there remains the possibility of the rule being delayed.

The state medical associations’ letter notes that “We remain completely committed to the goals of the Final Rule – ensuring that robust health care data is accessible to both clinicians and patients…however, physician practices are spending their time and effort battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians are also preparing for flu season, as well as a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Physicians are struggling to maintain the financial viability of their practices during the pandemic and do not have the additional resources to dedicate to hiring consultants to develop compliance plans. Asking physicians at this moment to come into compliance with a rule set to take effect on November 2nd is simply too much to ask”.

Please go here for a lengthy summary of the information blocking rules prepared by the American Medical Association.


 


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Urge Congress to Waive “Budget Neutrality” to Prevent Steep 2021 Medicare Cut
The 2021 Medicare Physician payment rule advanced by CMS contains a number of important changes, including reduced documentation for E&M codes and long overdue increases for office visits.  However, of great concern it also sets forth a 11% cut to the Medicare conversion factor, greatly limiting the benefit of these other increases and potentially causing great harm to many practices.

The conversion factor cut is required due to statutory “budget neutrality” requirements that prohibit increases without corresponding decreases.  MSSNY and many other groups are urging Congress to pass legislation to waive these “budget neutrality” requirements to prevent devasting cuts and permit needed changes to go forward.

You can send a letter to supplement these efforts here.

We also thank the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who joined their colleagues in a bi-partisan letter initiated by Rep. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Rep. Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) urging that legislation be passed by Congress to prevent these steep Medicare cuts.  The New York Congressional members – both Democrats and Republicans – that signed the letter include Representatives: Brindisi, Clarke, Delgado, Jacobs, Katko, S.P. Maloney, Meeks, Morelle, Reed, Rice, Stefanik, Suozzi, and Tonko

For a comprehensive summary by the AMA of the proposed Medicare 2021 payment rule, please click here.


 

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FDA Advisory Panel to Publicly Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Process
A committee of outside experts will meet Oct. 22 to advise the FDA on its COVID-19 vaccine approval process for the first time, STAT reported. The convening of the panel, known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, could reassure members of the public who worry the FDA is basing its COVID-19 decisions on politics more than science. An October survey conducted by STAT and the Harris Poll revealed that Americans’ acceptance of a potential COVID-19 vaccine is declining rapidly.

The FDA has listed a roster of 20 committee members, consisting of physicians, academics, disease experts and biostatisticians. The committee will also feature a representative from the pharmaceutical industry, Paula Annunziato, MD, Merck’s vice president of vaccine and clinical research, but she cannot vote when the committee is making decisions.

VRBPAC will convene as many as three times in November and three times in December, according to STAT. Members must be vetted for conflicts of interest before each meeting.

The FDA is not required to heed the advice of the VRBPAC, though it usually does.  (Becker’s Hospital Review 10/20)


FOR YOUR PATIENTS
From NYSDOH: Halloween Should Be Spooky, Not Scary!
Creative ways to celebrate more safely


Medicare Punishes Labs with Slow COVID-19 Test Turnaround; Laggards to Receive $25 Less Per Test
Medicare is clamping down on clinical labs that fail to return COVID-19 test results fast enough.

“CMS previously took action in April 2020 by increasing the Medicare payment to laboratories for high throughput COVID-19 diagnostic tests from approximately $51 to $100 per test. CMS announced that starting January 1, 2021, Medicare will pay $100 only to laboratories that complete high throughput COVID-19 diagnostic tests within two calendar days of the specimen being collected,” CMS said in a press release Thursday. “Also, effective January 1, 2021, for laboratories that take longer than two days to complete these tests, Medicare will pay a rate of $75. CMS is working to ensure that patients who test positive for the virus are alerted quickly so they can self-isolate and receive medical treatment.”

“As America continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, prompt testing turnaround times are more important than ever,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Today’s announcement supports faster high throughput testing, which will allow patients and physicians to act quickly and decisively with respect to treatment decisions, physical isolation, and contact tracing.”

Turnaround times for COVID-19 lab tests have been a matter of contention in many states. Quest Diagnostics announced that as of Oct. 12, its turnaround time is “2 days across all populations and 1-2 days for our priority population, which includes hospitalized patients, individuals in long-term care (such as nursing homes), and presurgical patients.”

Not surprisingly, laboratories were not happy with the CMS announcement. “ACLA member laboratories have already implemented innovative solutions and reworked operations to support increased COVID-19 testing capacity and faster turnaround times,” the American Clinical Laboratory Association said in a statement. “We’re concerned this policy could create a domino effect where patient access to testing is severely reduced. Cutting laboratory reimbursement will not address the root causes of delayed turnaround times. Turnaround time is driven largely by fluctuations in demand and access to critical supplies. As states across the country experience a surge in new cases, the global demand for testing supplies remains high.” (Oct.16 Medpage)


Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York and Nassau County Medical Society are hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am.
Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!
When:   November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:  David Podwall, MD
.Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms indicative of the spectrum from concussion/mild TBI to severe TBI
  • Examine evidence-based treatment modalities and when to refer to a specialist
  • Identify red flags that indicate alternate or more severe pathology
  • Outline an appropriate management plan for a patient presenting with concussion/TBI including a return to “normal life” protocol
  • For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at jsherpa@mssny.org or call (518) 465-8085

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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Classifieds

Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


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Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com


OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722 Email: olarugabriela@aol.com. Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th St. Suite 4 New York NY 10021 REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY COVID-19 Update – October 23, 2020 (Latest Alerts, SBA Loans, Health & Safety)

Physicians are required to report suspect cases to their local department of health.

Jump to: Alerts; Health; Finance; Volunteering and Donations; Testing; Telehealth; Patient Information; Statistics; Webinars; Fraud; Research; Additional Information;


Coronavirus Magnified

Alerts and Notifications


Please join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, October 22nd at 1-2PM for a COVID-19 update for healthcare providers.

To accommodate the large number of participants, find our webinar streaming via YouTube Live (and available for viewing immediately thereafter) on the NYSDOH COVID website for providers:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/weekly-healthcare-provider-update 

Audio number and code: TBD


DOH Issues Health Advisory on Reporting of COVID-19 and Influenza Test Results


Revised Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care 

Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure or Infection


SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program


COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Hospital Operators Regarding Visitation


Contact Tracing Opportunities in NYS

Interim Guidance for Reopening the Health Care System & Best Practices for Reopening From COVID-19

COVID-19 update for healthcare providers (Recorded)

Physician’s Resource Page (Updated)


Health and Safety

Interim Guidance on Executive Orders 202.17 and 202.18 Requiring Face Coverings in Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public

COVID-19 and the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Ensuring the Safety of Our Direct Caregivers

Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Self-Assessment Checklist

Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Hospital Operators Regarding Visitation

Advance Care Planning Recommendations During COVID-19


Finance

Applications for SBA Loans

FAQs on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing

CMS Approves Approximately $34 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week

Request for Accelerated/Advance Payment

With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds

Social Security Benefits Will be Paid on Time and Other Updates Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Trump Administration Provides Financial Relief for Medicare Providers

Trump Administration Approves 34th State Request for Medicaid Emergency Waivers

Special Coding Advice During the COVID-19 Crises

Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extends filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed


Volunteering and Donations

Healthcare Workers! New York City Needs You Now!

Nasopharyngeal Swabs Urgent Appeal!

Do You Have Medical Services or Equipment to Donate?

PPE shortage – How to make a request, and steps to preserve equipment

Additional Qualified Health Professionals Needed


Testing

Protocol for COVID-19 Testing Applicable to All Health Care Providers and Local Health Departments

Guidance for Private Physician Practices Operating Specimen Collection Sites

Should ibuprofen be Used to Treat COVID-19?


Telehealth

Medicaid Update on Telehealth

Telehealth Services 

MSSNY Telehealth Video Series

HHS Telemedicine Hack on Telemedicine (One Hour per Week) Begins on July 22
This course is a free 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers. It is a learning collaborative from the US Department of Health and Human Services and others addressing telemedicine. Questions should be directed to: c19ECHO@salud.unm.edu

How to Set Up Free Telemedicine for Your Patients (Video)

If you’re using Zoom for teleconferencing, read this FBI report on “zoom-bombing” which is on the increase.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Use of Telehealth Including
Telephonic Services During the COVID-19 State of Emergency

Humana Telehealth Update

Emergency Medical Aid and Telemedicine

Comprehensive Guidance Regarding Use of Telehealth 

Expansion of Medicare coverage for telehealth (so it is no longer limited to rural areas)

Assuring physicians can use Facetime and Skype for telehealth without worrying about HIPA

COVID-19 Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Telehealth

Telehealth Insurance Circular Letter No. 6 (2020)
Reminder that private insurers must cover telehealth services for patients (including those provided through a smartphone) and without patient cost-sharing.

COVID-19 Telephonic Communication Services
Since Medicare still requires telemedicine to be provided only to patients in a rural setting, you should look at “virtual check-in” services under codes  G2010, G2012, 99421, 99422 and 99423.

State regulated insurers re: required telehealth coverage for all health care services without patient cost-sharing “including technology commonly available on smartphones and other devices”.

Telehealth Benefits in Medicare are  a Lifeline for Patients During Coronavirus


October 23 Statistics

New York State: 490,134 confirmed; 25,694 deaths.
New York City: 250,489 confirmed cases; 19,299 deaths.


SBL Frauds and Scams 

FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Small Business Scams and Fraud

New funding for Coronavirus SBA loans attracts scammers


Research

Authorization of Licensed Pharmacists to order COVID-19 Tests

Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Temporally Associated with COVID-19 Interim Case Definition in New York State

Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Children


Webinars/Podcasts

 

Re-Opening Your Medical Practice in COVID-19 Era (Prerecorded)


Veterans Matters Podcasts
Check out MSSNY’s Veterans Matters podcast series on Veterans’ healthcare topics including PTSD in Returning Veterans, TBI in Returning Veterans, Substance Use in Veterans, Suicide in Veterans, The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans and Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients.

Click here to listen to Part 1 of PTSD in Returning Veterans with Dr. Frank Dowling.

Click here to listen to Part 2 of PTSD in Returning Veterans with Dr. Frank Dowling.

Click here to listen to TBI in Returning Veterans with Dr. David Podwall.

Click here to listen to Substance Use Disorders with Dr. Thomas Madejski.

Click here to listen to Suicide in Veterans podcast with Dr. Jack McIntyre.

Click here to listen to The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans with Dr. Malene Ingram, Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves and Retired Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Marcelle Leis.

Click here to listen to Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients with Retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Lance Allen Wang and Retired Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Marcelle Leis.


Additional Information

Stimulus Package Passed by Congress Provided Several Programs to Aid Physicians Through this Crisis
As reported in an AMA summary of the $2 trillion stimulus package enacted into law last Friday, here are some of the key provisions to benefit physicians:

Small business loans. Small businesses, including physician practices, with no more than 500 employees are eligible to apply for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) section 7(a) Payroll Protection Program. For more information on how physicians can access this program, click here.

This allows a small business to apply to an SBA-approved lender for a loan of up to 250% of the business’ average monthly payroll costs to cover 8 weeks of payroll as well as help with other expenses like rent, mortgage payments, and utilities. The maximum loan amount is $10 million. Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals are eligible.

A loan can be forgiven based on maintaining employee and salary levels. For any portion of the loan that is not forgiven, the terms include a maximum term of 10 years, a maximum interest rate of four percent. Small businesses and organizations will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program is retroactive to February 15, 2020andare available through June 30, 2020.

Emergency loans.  Moreover, there was also Authorization for $10 billion in “emergency” Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to eligible entities with not more than 500 employees. Allows an eligible entity that has applied for an EIDL loan to request an advance on that loan, of not more than $10,000, which the SBA must distribute within 3 days. Advance payments may be used for providing paid sick leave to employees, maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs to obtain materials, making rent or mortgage payments, and repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses

Financial support for hospitals, physicians, and others. Provides $100 billion through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to provide immediate financial relief by covering non-reimbursable expenses attributable to COVID-19. Health care entities, including physician practices, that provide health care, diagnoses, or testing are eligible. Non-reimbursable expenses attributable to COVID-19 qualify for funding.

Examples include increased staffing or training, personal protective equipment, and lost revenue. HHS is instructed to review applications and make payments on a rolling basis to get money into the health system as quickly as possible. HHS is given significant flexibility in determining how the funds are allocated and is expected to release guidance on the application process shortly.


Business Loan Forgiveness Included in CARES Act
Within the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act that President Trump signed yesterday is a $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program that will allow businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees to apply for loans up to $10 million each to cover losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What makes this relief even more significant is the possibility of loan forgiveness, which is available to employers who retain their workforce levels through the crisis. If you follow the guidelines carefully, you can essentially convert your business loan to a grant – even if you’ve already laid off employees.

Loan Forgiveness Requirements

Loans may be forgiven if businesses use the money to pay for payroll costs, salaries, benefits, mortgage interest, rent and/or utilities.  The forgiven amount would be equal to the amount actually paid for these expenses during the eight weeks following disbursement of the loan. Additional wages paid to tipped employees under Section 3(m)(2)(A) of the Fair Labor Standard Acts may also be forgiven.

Forgiveness will be scaled back if the business has a reduction in employees, salaries or wages. Reductions in workforce, salaries and wages that occur from February 15, 2020 to April 26, 2020 will be disregarded for purposes of reducing the forgiveness amount, as long as the reductions are eliminated by June 30, 2020.

For purposes of the loan forgiveness, a reduction in workforce and salary or wages will be calculated as follows:

  • Workforce reductions will be calculated by the initial forgiven amount multiplied by the quotient of average full-time equivalents (FTEs) during the eight-week period, divided by the average FTEs for the period from February 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019 or January 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020, as determined by the loan recipient.
  • Salary or wage reductions will be determined by the amount of any salary or wage decrease in excess of 25 percent of the total salary or wages during the most recent full quarter such employee was employed before the eight-week period. Only employees who did not receive, during any single pay period during 2019, wages or salary at an annualized rate of pay in excess of $100,000 are included in this calculation.

Advance Medicare Payments to Help Physicians Through this Period
Moreover, CMS announced over the weekend a process for physicians to receive 100% of predicted Medicare payments for a 3-month period ( Fact Sheet: Advanced Payment Program During COVID-19 Emergency).  Here is a recommended process for applying for these advanced payments shared with MSSNY by a medical practice, as well as some of the particulars of this program:
Process:

1. Go to your National Government Services (NGS) website and fill in, sign, and submit an Accelerated / Advance Payment request form for your practice.

2. Can request up to 100% of Medicare payment for a 3-month period.

3. Check box 2 (“Delay in provider/supplier billing process of an isolated temporary nature beyond the provider’s/supplier’s normal billing cycle and not attributable to other third-party payers or private patients.”); and

3. State that the request is for an accelerated/advance payment due to the COVID-19 pandemic

4. Will receive payment within seven calendar days from the request.

5. Recoupment will begin 120 days after payment issuance date.

 Eligibility:

1.     Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days immediately prior to the date of signature on the provider’s/supplier’s request form,

2.     Not be in bankruptcy,

3.     Not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and

4.     Not have any outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

For further information, contact Regina McNally, VP of MSSNY’s Socio-Economic

Division at 516-488-6100 ext.332 or email rmcnally@mssny.org.



Questions:

• NYS has a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
• The New York State Department of Health has established a provider email account for physicians to ask questions about COVID-19: Covidproviderinfo@health.ny.gov

MSSNY eNews: October 16, 2020 – What You Need to Know: OPMC Signage Requirement and COVID/Flu Testing Mandates

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Colleagues:

What You Need to Know: OPMC Signage Requirement and COVID/Flu Testing Mandates

Your MSSNY has been aggressively lobbying against what seems like an unending stream of new onerous regulations, unfunded mandates and misguided legislation. We have been meeting regularly with the DOH and the Governor’s office, raising objections and informing them of the many obstructions to compliance and the unintended negative consequences. Here’s what you need to know:

New OPMC Signage Requirement:
Last week, despite strong opposition from a united house of medicine, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation that requires every physician’s “practice setting” to post a conspicuous sign informing patients of the OPMC’s website for reporting suspected misconduct. These signs must be visible in areas accessed by patients and those who accompany patients to visits, such as “waiting rooms, check-in/out areas and treatment areas.”

The law did not mandate verbiage for the sign. However, our MSSNY general counsel has reviewed the law and offered a template as an option to meet the provisions. Please feel free to use the below language and/or customize it as you see fit.

“We are committed to ensuring that our patients receive appropriate medical care. You can get information regarding your rights and how to report professional misconduct at: https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct.”

Please be aware that failure to place this sign in your practice setting will NOT subject you to financial penalties. However, failure to post this sign could subject you to discipline by the OPMC if it is shown that there was a “willful or grossly negligent” failure to comply.

Click here to read the statement MSSNY released objecting to this new requirement.

Executive Order 202.61: COVID and Flu Testing Mandates:
On September 21 Commissioner Zucker sent a notice to all healthcare providers informing us that positive and negative COVID-19 and flu tests results must be reported to DOH within 3 hours of the receipt of results, along with contact information, employment and/or school information for each patient with penalties for non-compliance of up to $2000/day (penalties set forth in statute for violations of New York’s Public Health Laws).

Your MSSNY team has had multiple meetings and communications with DOH and the Governor’s office to express that we share the goal of getting information to the State DOH quickly to begin contact tracing and other containment efforts, but urged greater flexibility for reporting these results, particularly for reporting the negative tests. We explained that complying with these mandates is a daunting, if not impossible, task for many practices and may discourage practices from ordering tests and offering testing at a time when COVID-19 rates are rising in our state and more testing, not less is needed.

MSSNY has initiated a physician survey regarding the challenges of complying with these requirements. Thank you for the many of you who have completed the results, and thank you to the urgent care, family medicine, pediatric, and internal medicine societies for partnering with us to promote the survey.

If you have not already taken the MSSNY survey, please take just a few minutes to complete it here. We will be using the results of this survey to inform ongoing discussions with the DOH and the Governor’s office on practical modifications to this executive order.

In addition, we have created a link where you can send a letter to the Governor and the Commissioner of Health conveying your concerns.

Thank you to all of you for the many letters/emails/tweets and posts you have sent to our government officials, for responding to our surveys, and for participating in our policy discussions and meetings. Together we can make a difference and effect positive change.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


This Week’s MSSNY Update Podcast:


Latest Public Health and Research Information on COVID-19
COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

  • Get the latest public health information from CDC.
  • Get the latest research information from NIH.

Do You Provide COVID-19 or Flu Testing? Please Take Our Survey
To assist the State in its contact tracing efforts, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently sent a notice to all laboratories and all health care practitioners (including physicians) who provide in-office testing for COVID-19 and influenza to report test results, both positive and negative, within 3 hours of receiving these results. The notice further notes that practitioners or labs who do not comply with this requirement could face serious financial penalties.

Upon raising concerns to the DOH that some physicians will be unable to complete this requirement, the DOH has asked MSSNY to provide additional data regarding physicians’ ability to comply. If you haven’t already done so, please take just a few minutes to respond to this MSSNY survey.



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New Nationwide Poll by Kaiser Family Foundation and ESPN’s The Undefeated Reveals Distrust of the Health Care System Among Black Americans
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and ESPN’s The Undefeated conducted a joint nationwide survey that explores the views and experiences of African Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the disproportionate impact of the virus on Black communities, 49 percent of African Americans say they will shun taking a vaccine even if scientists deem it safe and it is available for free to anyone who wants it.

From August 20 through September 14, the study polled 1,769 adults, including 777 African Americans. While half of African Americans said they would probably or definitely decline a coronavirus vaccine, two-thirds of white people said they would definitely or probably get vaccinated, as did 60 percent of Hispanic adults, by comparison.

In addition to exploring the effects of the coronavirus, The KFF/The Undefeated poll is one of the most expansive studies in recent years on Black people’s attitudes and experiences with health care, and the findings reveal how the experiences of Black and white communities differ. A complete analytical report based on the full survey is available here.


Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update CME Webinar
Flu season is upon us! Register now to learn more about dealing with flu season during a pandemic.  Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update will be presented on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  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

Educational objectives are:

  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms
  • Analyze clinical and laboratory diagnostic features and treatment specific to each flu season
  • Identify recommended immunizations and antiviral medications for treatment and how best to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Evaluate seasonal influenza vaccine development and recommendations concurrent with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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.


Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York and Nassau County Medical Society are hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am.
Click here to view the flyer and register for the program.

When: November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty: David Podwall, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms indicative of the spectrum from concussion/mild TBI to severe TBI
  • Examine evidence-based treatment modalities and when to refer to a specialist
  • Identify red flags that indicate alternate or more severe pathology
  • Outline an appropriate management plan for a patient presenting with concussion/TBI including a return to “normal life” protocol

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at jsherpa@mssny.org or call (518) 465-8085

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.


Coronavirus May Survive for 28 Days on Glass, Banknotes, Study Suggests
A new study, “The Effect of Temperature on Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on Common Surfaces,” published in Virology Journal, finds that COVID-19 may remain infectious for weeks on banknotes, glass and other common surfaces.

The research by Australia’s top biosecurity laboratory highlights risks from paper currency, touchscreen devices and grab handles and rails. Researchers showed SARS-CoV-2 is “extremely robust,” surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces like glass on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes at room temperature, or 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), which compares with 17 days survival for the flu virus.


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Survey: Average Annual Cost of Family Health Plan Increased to $21,342 In 2020
Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 4% to average $21,342 this year, according to the 2020 benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey. On average, workers this year are contributing $5,588 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers paying the rest. The peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs has published an article with key findings from the 2020 survey.

The survey was conducted from January to July as the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis unfolded and may not capture its full impact on costs and coverage. The annual change in premiums is similar to the year-to-year rise in workers’ earnings (3.4%) and inflation (2.1%), though over time what employers and workers pay toward premiums continues to rise more quickly than wages and inflation. Since 2010, average family premiums have increased 55%, at least twice as fast as wages (27%) and inflation (19%).

This year 83% of covered workers have a deductible in their plan, similar to last year and up from 70% a decade ago. The average single deductible stands at $1,644 for workers who have one, similar to last year’s $1,655 average but up sharply from the $917 average of a decade ago. These two trends result in a 111% increase in the burden of deductibles across all covered workers.


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White House Says Administration Will Proceed With Implementation Of Hospital Price Transparency Rule
Modern Healthcare (10/9, Cohrs, Subscription Publication) reports the administration intends to proceed with the “implementation of its hospital price transparency rule on Jan. 1,” a White House official said. Hospitals want the “administration to delay the January 2021 implementation of hospital price transparency requirements, but the White House does not appear to be backing down.” According to a White House official, “the administration already delayed implementation when HHS published the final rule and pushed the deadline to Jan. 1.”


 


Classifieds

Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


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Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com


OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722 Email: olarugabriela@aol.com. Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th St. Suite 4 New York NY 10021 REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: October 14, 2020 – COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hit 6-Week High in US

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Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call

COVID-19 General:
– Day 228
– 7 fatalities
– 111,744 tests yesterday
– 938 hospitalizations
– 6.2% infection rate in hotspots
– Statewide rate with hotspots: 1.1%
– Statewide rate without hotspots: .95%
– Gov estimates that hotspots will continue to exist for at least one year
– Gov reiterates that data on school infection rates are available on the dashboard

Infection Rate by Region:
Orange: 7.4%
Rockland: 7.2&
Brooklyn: 6.4%
NYC: 1.2%
Capital: 1.2%
Central NY: 1.2%
Long Island: 1%
Western NY: 1%
Finger Lakes: .7
Mid-Hudson: 1.6
North Country: .1%
Mohawk: .1%
Southern Tier: 1%

Enforcement:
– The promoters of a Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons will be fined $20,000 for violating safety protocols
– Gov will send out a notice to local governments on closing schools and religious gatherings
– Gov will send a letter to schools in red zones reminding them to close
– Local governments and schools that violate closure orders will not receive state funding

Q&A:
What else can the Gov do to increase enforcement?
– Gov: local governments do not have the authority to make their own public health plans
– The state can impound all funding to localities
On reimagining the NYPD: it has taken four months for the NYPD to hold forums
– Gov: the good news is they’re doing something; the bad news is that an agency can’t    reinvent itself
There are officers that have had it with the pandemic, rising crime rates, and reform
– Gov: officers are not the bad guy, we have to address public distrust
On Orthodox Jewish communities, is there still unrest?
– Gov: some groups have been helpful, and some yeshivas have been opened
Why is the governor worried about a sweet sixteen party?
– Gov says even a single party can become a super spreader event
Do we have enough capacity to handle a potential second wave?
– Gov: we have always had more capacity than we have used


COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hit Six-Week High
The U.S. is reporting the highest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations since Sept. 2, according to COVID Tracking Project data cited by The Wall Street Journal. 

As of Oct. 12, 35,056 people were hospitalized nationwide, up 16 percent from a week prior. Hospitalizations are still lower than figures seen in July, when more than 59,000 people were hospitalized nationwide, according to WSJ.

Eight more updates:

  1. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — can survive on some common surfaces for up to 28 days, though it is unclear whether the surviving amount of virus could infect someone, an Australian study published in Virology Journal found.
  2. Johnson & Johnson voluntarily paused the clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Oct. 12 after a participant developed “an unexplained illness,” the drugmaker told STAT.
  3. While Belgium, Spain and the U.K. have higher overall COVID-19 death rates than the U.S., the U.S. death rate has far surpassed other high-income countries since May 10, according to a study published Oct. 12 in JAMA. The U.S. death rate since May 10 is 36.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. Sweden had the second highest rate at 23.5 per 100,000.
  4. There was a 20 percent increase over expected deaths in the U.S. between March 1 and Aug. 1, according to a separate study published in JAMA. Of the 225,530 excess deaths researchers identified, 67 percent were attributed to COVID-19.
  5. Investing in testing and contact tracing for COVID-19 pays for itself at least 30 times over, two economists wrote in a viewpoint article for JAMA. They calculated that improved testing and tracing would cost the government about $6 million per 100,000 inhabitants and prevent an estimated $176 million in COVID-19 costs. Read the full article here.
  6. President Donald Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 “on consecutive days” with Abbott’s rapid antigen test, according to an Oct. 12 memo from White House physician Sean Conley, DO. President Trump is “not infectious to others,” based on those test results and “in concert with the CDC’s guidelines for removal of transmission-based precautions,” Dr. Conley wrote. However, some physicians have warned against relying too heavily on results from rapid tests, reports The Wall Street Journal. The CDC does not recommend using antigen tests to inform decisions about ending isolation, instead recommending a PCR test to confirm rapid antigen test results. Dr. Conley’s most recent memo did not share PCR test results for President Trump.
  7. The number of Americans willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine dropped by 11 percentage points in one monthsitting at 50 percent in late September, according to a Sept. 14-27 Gallup poll of 2,730 adults. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they would receive an FDA-approved vaccine in July, while 61 percent said the same in August.
  8. Some COVID-19 survivors are experiencing “brain fog,” or cognitive symptoms including memory loss, confusion, difficulty focusing and dizziness, reports The New York Times.“There are thousands of people who have that,” said Igor Koralnik, MD, chief of neuro-infectious disease at Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine and head of a post-COVID clinic. Scientists are uncertain what causes the brain fog, which can affect people who were only mildly ill from COVID-19 and had no previous medical conditions. (oct. 13, Becker’s Hospital Review)

NYS DOH Guidance for School Administrators Regarding Limited Temporary Enforcement of Student Immunization Requirement
NYS DOH is suspending enforcement of required vaccinations for students for a period of 30 days if such student intends to obtain the required vaccinations in the coming 30 days. This applies only to students attending school exclusively remotely.

For students using remote learning exclusively, if a school does not receive proof of all required vaccinations by 30 days from the date of the DOH letter, the school shall not permit the student to attend, including through remote learning, until such proof has been received. Read the DOH letter to school administrators here.


 


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New OPMC Signage Requirement
Despite strong MSSNY opposition, the Governor recently signed into law legislation requiring every physician’s “practice setting” to post a conspicuous sign identifying for patients the OPMC’s website for reporting suspected misconduct here.

Click here to read MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack’s statement objecting to this new requirement.

There is no specific template specified in the law or by DOH.  One possible template to meet the provisions of this law as suggested by MSSNY legal counsel is to say in the signage:

We are committed to ensuring that our patients receive appropriate medical care.  You can get information regarding your rights and how to report professional misconduct at https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct.“

It should be noted that, because of the section of the law that was amended by this legislation, failure to place this sign in your practice setting will NOT subject a physician to financial penalties that otherwise are applicable for other violations of the Public Health Law.  However, failure to post this sign could subject the physician to discipline by the OPMC if it is shown that there was a “willful or grossly negligent” failure to comply.

MSSNY continues to have discussions with DOH staff regarding aspects of this new signage requirement, including how it will apply in settings not controlled by the physician, such as a hospital, nursing home or clinic.  DOH has sent a letter to all physicians advising them of this new law, noting that these signs must be visible in areas accessed by patients and those who accompany patients to visits, such as “waiting rooms, check-in/out areas and treatment areas.”


NYS DOH COVID-19 Update on Thursday, Oct. 22

The Thursday October 15th 1 PM NYS DOH Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Webinar is CANCELED FOR THIS WEEK ONLY!

Please join the NYS Department of Health on Thursday, October 22nd at 1-2PM for a COVID-19 update for healthcare providers. To accommodate the large number of participants, find the webinar streaming via YouTube Live (and available for viewing immediately thereafter) on the NYSDOH COVID website for providers.

Audio number and code: TBD

Recipients: All Prescribers

For questions: Please send an e-mail to bcdc@health.ny.gov.



 

 


Classifieds

Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


.
Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com


OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722 Email: olarugabriela@aol.com. Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th St. Suite 4 New York NY 10021 REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN

 

 

 

 

 .

October 9, 2020 – Call for Flexibility in Reporting COVID and Flu Test Results

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Colleagues:

This week, MSSNY staff and I met with New York State Department of Health and the Governor’s office to raise concerns with the new reporting requirements for COVID-19 and influenza testing.  MSSNY was joined by physicians who represent urgent care practices.  Under the Commissioner’s September 21 notice, positive and negative COVID-19 and flu tests results must be reported to DOH within 3 hours of the receipt of these results, along with contact information, employment and/or school information for the patient.

Your MSSNY team expressed that we share the goal of getting information to the State DOH as soon as possible to begin contact tracing and other containment efforts, but MSSNY also urged greater flexibility for reporting these results, particularly for reporting the negative tests.  While there are also federal requirements to report COVID-19 test results, those results must be reported within 24 hours and do not apply to influenza testing.  Complying with these mandates is a daunting, if not impossible, task for many practices.  To make matters worse, the DOH notice raises the prospects of serious financial penalties for failure to comply. This is very counterproductive as it is likely to discourage practices from testing at a time when COVID-19 rates are rising in our state.

To obtain further data to back up the many individual concerns we have heard, MSSNY has initiated a physician survey regarding the challenges of complying with the requirement to report COVID-19 and flu tests – both positive and negative – within 3 hours of receiving the results.  If you have not already, please take just a few minutes to complete our survey here.

Results are still coming in, but of the several hundred responses we have received so far, over 60% of those who are providing these tests have indicated that they are unable or will be unable to provide these tests if the requirements set forth in the September 21 notice are continued.  In the “Comments” section of the survey, multiple physicians indicated that they agree with the importance of providing a quick turnaround for positive COVID-19 test results but urge a change in the requirements regarding reporting flu tests and negative COVID-19 tests.  Also noteworthy were the comments we received in the survey concerning the difficulty of obtaining work and school information as part of this reporting mandate.

As a second surge in cases is beginning to emerge, we share the goal of providing test information as soon as reasonably possible so we can together contain the spread of the virus.  However, it is counterproductive to impose measures that make it difficult, if not impossible, for physicians to provide this needed testing for our patients.

Again, please take our MSSNY survey if you provide COVID-19 or Influenza testing.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


MSSNY Weekly Legislative Podcast


Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call:

COVID:
– Day 223
– 6 fatalities
– 779 hospitalizations
– 168 ICU patients
– 78 intubations
– 139,000 tests yesterday
– 5.4% infection rate in hotspots
– Statewide rate without hotspots included is  0.9%
– Statewide rate including hotspots is 1.1%
– Gov. stressed hotspots are being oversampled, and this skews the rate when included in statewide rate, as those regions are a small percentage of state’s population
– “misleading” to include hotspots in statewide rate
– Red zones of hotspots are 2.8% of state’s population, but 20% of state’s COVID cases
– 6.6% infection rate in red zones
– Gov. called this data evidence of state’s advanced testing capabilities

Infection Rate by Region:
– NYC – 1.2%
– Capital Region – 0.7%
– Central NY – 0.9%
– Finger Lakes – 0.8%
– Long Island – 1%
– Mid Hudson – 2.1%
– Mohawk Valley – 0.5%
– North Country – 0.3%
– Southern Tier – 1%
– Western NY – 1.3%

Hotspot Regions:
– Orange: 3.6%
– Rockland: 5.6%
– Broome: 3.2%
– Brooklyn: 1.9%, up from 1.7%

Schools:
– 4,500 new school reported tests
– Total of 66,000 tests reported since beginning of dashboard
– 648 school districts have submitted data, which is 94% of districts
– 42 schools receiving orders for non-compliance in submitting data
– 97 new COVID cases reported in schools: 58 students, 39 faculty and staff

Brooklyn Protests:
– Enforcement is continuing
– Gov. said clusters have always been targeted, regardless of the population involved

On Gov. Whitmer and President Trump:
– Gov. said President Trump continues to be “divisive”, “Anti-American”
– Gov. asserted President’s behavior is also driving protests in ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn
– Gov. played an ultra-Orthodox robocall which claimed being in contact with Trump campaign, and being directed by the campaign to protest and hold signs saying, “Cuomo killed thousands”
– Gov. cited tweets from ultra-Orthodox leader Heshy Tischer, requesting flags be created saying, “Cuomo hates Jews” and “Cuomo killed thousands”
– Gov. called this “hurtful, disgusting, painful”, and this rhetoric is putting lives at risk



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More on New OPMC Signage Requirement
As reported in Wednesday’s MSSNY e-news, despite strong MSSNY opposition, this week the Governor signed into law legislation requiring every physician’s “practice setting” to post a conspicuous sign identifying for patients the OPMC’s website for reporting suspected misconduct at https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/.

Click here to read MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack’s statement objecting to this new requirement.

There is no specific template specified in the law or by DOH.  One possible template to meet the provisions of this law as suggested by MSSNY legal counsel is to say in the signage:

We are committed to ensuring that our patients receive appropriate medical care.  You can get information regarding your rights and how to report professional misconduct at https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct

It should be noted that, because of the section of the law that was amended by this legislation, failure to place this sign in your practice setting will NOT subject a physician to financial penalties that otherwise are applicable for other violations of the Public Health Law.  However, failure to post this sign could subject the physician to discipline by the OPMC if it is shown that there was a “willful or grossly negligent” failure to comply.

MSSNY continues to have discussions with DOH staff regarding aspects of this new signage requirement, including how it will apply in settings not controlled by the physician, such as a hospital, nursing home or clinic.  DOH has sent a letter to all physicians advising them of this new law, noting that these signs must be visible in areas accessed by patients and those who accompany patients to visits, such as “waiting rooms, check-in/out areas and treatment areas.”


Do You Provide COVID-19 or Flu Testing? Please Take Our Survey
To assist the State in its contact tracing efforts, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently sent a notice to all laboratories and all health care practitioners (including physicians) who provide in-office testing for COVID-19 and influenza to report test results, both positive and negative, within 3 hours of receiving these results. The notice further notes that practitioners or labs who do not comply with this requirement could face serious financial penalties.

Upon raising concerns to the DOH that some physicians will be unable to complete this requirement, the DOH has asked MSSNY to provide additional data regarding physicians’ ability to comply. If you haven’t already done so, please take just a few minutes to respond to this MSSNY survey.


CMS Announces New Repayment Terms for Medicare Loans Made During
COVID-19
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program as required by recent action by President Trump and Congress.

This Medicare loan program allows CMS to make advance payments to providers and are typically used in emergency situations.  Under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act repayment will now begin one year from the issuance date of each provider or supplier’s accelerated or advance payment.  CMS issued $106 billion in payments to providers and suppliers in order to alleviate the financial burden healthcare providers faced while experiencing cash flow issues in the early stages of combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).

For more information visit the CMS website.


 

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Flu Season is Upon Us! Vaccine Update Webinar on 10/21
Flu season is upon us! Register now to learn more about dealing with flu season during a pandemic.  Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update will be presented on Wednesday October 21, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  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

Educational objectives are:

  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms
  • Analyze clinical and laboratory diagnostic features and treatment specific to each flu season
  • Identify recommended immunizations and antiviral medications for treatment and how best to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Evaluate seasonal influenza vaccine development and recommendations concurrent with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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.


Medical Errors Increase by Nearly 20% Around Daylight Savings, Study Finds
In the days following the switch to daylight saving time, human mistakes tied to patient safety-related incidents increased by almost 20 percent, according to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed voluntarily reported data from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic that occurred seven days before and after the spring and fall time changes for 2010-17.

Patient safety-related incidents included defective systems, equipment failure or human error. Researchers did not report significant differences in overall errors in the weeks before and after the time changes. However, when analyzing human error only, they found the number of human errors increased by a statistically significant 18.7 percent after daylight saving in the spring. Most of the errors involved medications, such as administering the wrong dose or wrong drug.


ICD-10 Updated Codes: October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021
CMS has updated the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes. The new ICD-10 codes are to be used from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.


Some Insurers Will No Longer Waive Co-Payments for Telemedicine
The New York Times (10/3, Abelson) reported, “Some people will have to start paying more out of their own pockets for telemedicine appointments, if their virtual visits with doctors are unrelated to COVID-19 and are needed to monitor conditions like diabetes or to check out sudden knee pain.” Both Anthem and UnitedHealthcare “are no longer waiving co-payments and deductibles for some customers beginning on Oct. 1.” Patients “who have been relying on telehealth to steer clear of the emergency room or a doctor’s office during the coronavirus pandemic will need to check with their insurers to see how much they will now owe for a virtual visit.


 

 


Classifieds

Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com


OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722. Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th st Suite 4 New York NY 10021
REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY Responds to Governor Signing Legislation to Require OPMC Signs in Physician Offices

For Immediate Release 

October 7, 2020

MSSNY Responds to Governor Signing Legislation to
Require OPMC Signs in Physician Offices

Statement Attributable to:
Bonnie Litvack, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“As we stated repeatedly when this bill was being considered by the Legislature, MSSNY has no objection to expanding public awareness for how patients can file complaints about a particular physician with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC).  The OPMC provides an essential patient safety oversight function that helps to protect the public by removing aberrant practitioners.

“However, we are very concerned with the distrust and unnecessary anxiety that will be created by a mandate that every physician post a readily noticeable sign in their office or other practice setting regarding how patients can report a physician to the disciplinary Board.

“We believe this law unfairly singles out physicians – as opposed to any type of health care provider or other professional – for this signage requirement.  With already ample information available through a basic internet search regarding how a patient can file a complaint to the OPMC about a particular physician, this requirement is unnecessary.

“Many physicians have expressed frustration that this signage requirement is symbolic of the confounding lack of appreciation for the countless patient lives saved and improved every day by physicians across this state.  It was only a few short months ago that physicians were regularly lauded as heroes for their efforts in responding to the pandemic.

“Legislation such as this will only serve to discourage more physicians from wanting to practice in the State of New York, threatening patient access to needed specialized care.  Indeed, New York already loses the vast majority of resident physicians it pays to train.  We urge our policymakers to focus on measures to maintain and increase physician supply rather than measures that will drive them away.”

# # #

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

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

MSSNY eNews: October 7, 2020 – Gov. Signs Legislation to Require OPMC Signs in Physician Offices

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Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call:
COVID:

– Day 221
– 108,000 tests conducted yesterday
– 5.1% infection rate in hotspots
– Statewide infection rate at 1.05%
– Statewide rate with hotspots 1.25%
– 8 fatalities
– 748 hospitalizations, up 43 from day before
– Gov. stated increase in hospitalizations are in clusters
– 176 ICU patients
– 72 intubations

Infection Rate by Region:
-Capital Region: 0.9%
– Central NY – 0.9%
– Finger Lakes – 0.5%
– Long Island – 1.2%
– Mid Hudson – 2%
– Mohawk Valley 0.4%
– North Country 0.1%
– NYC 1.5%
– Southern Tier 1.4%
– Western NY – 0.9%  “good for western NY”
– Orange County – 3.9%
– Rockland County – 4.5%
– Broome – 6.1%
– Brooklyn – 2.2%

– Gov. reiterated COVID data on schools available on dashboard
– Focus is on hotspots – infection rate is five times statewide rate
– Gov. said state will continue to enforce cluster initiative announced
yesterday
– Gov. noted some communities are unhappy, but non-compliance
caused current restrictions
– Gov. questioned President’s comments on refusing to discuss stimulus
until after election

Q&A:
– Gov. stated case data by address are being used to determine clusters
and restrictions, restrictions are not targeted at any one community
– Gov. emphasized the importance of putting public health first

-On whether state will work with NYC to enforce compliance, Gov. said current clusters are a result of lack of enforcement, local governments need to improve.


Today’s MSSNY Statement in Response to Governor Signing Legislation to Require OPMC Signs in Physician Offices
Despite strong MSSNY opposition, this afternoon the Governor signed into law legislation requiring every physician’s “practice setting” to post a conspicuous sign identifying for patients the OPMC’s website. MSSNY has requested its legal counsel to determine if there is anything that is illegal about such a requirement. MSSNY has also reached out to the DOH to identify the timeframe for compliance.

MSSNY President Dr. Litvack’s Press Statement:

“As we stated repeatedly when this bill was being considered by the Legislature, MSSNY has no objection to expanding public awareness for how patients can file complaints about a particular physician with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC).  The OPMC provides an essential patient safety oversight function that helps to protect the public by removing aberrant practitioners.

“However, we are very concerned with the distrust and unnecessary anxiety that will be created by a mandate that every physician post a readily noticeable sign in their office or other practice setting regarding how patients can report a physician to the disciplinary Board.

“We believe this law unfairly singles out physicians – as opposed to any type of health care provider or other professional – for this signage requirement.  With already ample information available through a basic internet search regarding how a patient can file a complaint to the OPMC about a particular physician, this requirement is unnecessary.

“Many physicians have expressed frustration that this signage requirement is symbolic of the confounding lack of appreciation for the countless patient lives saved and improved every day by physicians across this state.  It was only a few short months ago that physicians were regularly lauded as heroes for their efforts in responding to the pandemic.

“Legislation such as this will only serve to discourage more physicians from wanting to practice in the State of New York, threatening patient access to needed specialized care.  Indeed, New York already loses the vast majority of resident physicians it pays to train.  We urge our policymakers to focus on measures to maintain and increase physician supply rather than measures that will drive them away.”


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State Health, Education Departments Strike Deal to Share COVID-19 School Data
The New York State Education Department has agreed to share some information on students and staff tested in-state for COVID-19 with the state health agency, according to a new data sharing agreement. The agreement, shared with, marks the first of its kind between the two agencies since the coronavirus pandemic struck New York. The deal is intended to bolster COVID-19 reporting on schools by verifying that a student or staff member is indeed associated with a particular institution, according to the agreement. The education department — which has some more independence from Gov. Andrew Cuomo than the state health agency — agreed to provide some identifiable details on those tested for the virus in the state.

The education department will provide names, birthdays, and BEDS codes to identify schools of students and staff members tested for COVID-19, in the hopes of strengthening reporting on positive results. The details are intended to verify that a child attends or a person is employed within a certain school or school district. Staff members will also be described as a “teacher” or “non-teacher” by the education department, the agreement says. Those granular details will not be made publicly available, but will be used to report the number of positive cases at a school or school district through the state’s COVID-19 dashboard for schools.

School-related information, once confirmed, will be relayed to local health departments to aid contact tracing efforts, the deal says. A spokesperson for SED did not immediately provide details on when schools were notified. The agreement was signed by Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Oct. 2 and Interim Education Commissioner Betty Rosa on Oct. 3.

Zucker asked SED for details on those tested in New York, “including personally identifiable information,” to carry out a school COVID-19 reporting mandate under an executive order issued by Cuomo, according to the document. Schools are required under the order to report Covid-19 testing and results to the health agency on a daily basis. DOH has pledged to only use the information to verify that a student attends or an employee works at a particular school or school district, the deal shows. (Politico, Oct. 7).


82% of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Had Neurologic Symptoms
More than 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had neurologic symptoms during their disease course, a retrospective Chicago-area study showed.

Neurologic manifestations were present at COVID-19 onset in 42.2% of 509 consecutive hospitalized COVID-19 patients, at hospitalization in 62.7%, and at any time during the disease course in 82.3%, reported Igor Koralnik, MD, of Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

Myalgia (44.8%), headache (37.7%), encephalopathy (31.8%), and dizziness (29.7%) were the most frequent neurologic manifestations, followed by dysgeusia (15.9%) and anosmia (11.4%). Patients presenting with neurologic symptoms were younger than those who did not have symptoms. Most patients with neurologic manifestations had a favorable functional outcome at discharge, but encephalopathy — which affected nearly one in three patients — was associated with increased morbidity and mortality, independent of respiratory disease severity.

“This is the first study in the U.S. of the prevalence of neuro manifestations in a large population of hospitalized patients,” Koralnik told MedPage Today. Only two other papers describing the prevalence of neurological manifestations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients have been published: one based in China, the other in Spain. Neurological complications of COVID-19 are frequent and in many cases long-lasting, but have not yet received much attention, noted Avindra Nath, MD, senior investigator of nervous systems infections at the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, who wasn’t involved with the study.

The study’s retrospective nature may mean the frequency of neurologic manifestations is underreported, he pointed out. In their study, Koralnik and colleagues retrospectively analyzed the first 509 consecutive patients admitted with COVID‐19 to the Northwestern Medicine Healthcare system between March 5 and April 6. The Northwestern Medicine system consists of one academic medical center and nine other hospitals in the Chicago area. (MedPage, October 6)


How Many Hours Can Coronavirus Survive on Your Skin? Nine Hours
A Japanese study, which was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on Oct. 3, set out to determine how long the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) could survive on different surfaces such as stainless steel, glass, plastic, and human skin compared to a common strain of the flu, influenza A virus. The researchers found that the novel coronavirus remains active for longer on all surfaces, including human skin. In comparison to the more than nine hours COVID can live on your epidermis, the flu virus only survives for 1.8 hours. Even on non-human surfaces, the results also showed that the coronavirus lasted much longer than the flu, surviving for about an average of 11 hours to the flu’s much shorter span of just over an hour and a half. (KHN 10/5)


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Surgical Face Masks Do Not Cause Buildup of Carbon Dioxide or Restrict Oxygen
A new study reiterates that surgical face masks don’t cause a buildup of carbon dioxide or restrict oxygen, despite opposing claims.” The study was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, and “was conducted after a group of Florida residents challenged Florida’s mask-wearing mandate in June, arguing that wearing the protective face coverings could result in the buildup of too much carbon dioxide.”


Classifieds
Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

Upper East Side Office for Rent

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Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com


OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722. Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th st Suite 4 New York NY 10021
REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: October 2, 2020 – Remain Calm and Carry On

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Colleagues:

With all that has happened in the last 6-7 months it is no wonder that that in a recent Physicians Foundation survey, half of physicians reported anger and anxiety.

COVID-19 has placed a heavy burden on physicians, and it is taking a toll on our well-being.  58% of those surveyed expressed feelings of burnout with 13% seeking mental health consultation related to the pandemic.  While not unexpected given the circumstances, these survey findings are nonetheless alarming.

Adding to the stress in New York are the many increased mandates on physician practices including reporting requirements and fines for non-compliance, all proffered while physician practices are struggling to just stay afloat.  Proposed legislation (S.6678-A/A.7991-A) Mandatory OPMC Signage Legislation that is sitting on the Governor’s desk is also in this category of increased stressors.  This law would require every physician “practice setting” to post a sign regarding how a patient can file a misconduct complaint with the OPMC.   This misguided legislation if signed into law will create unnecessary distrust in the physician-patient relationship and increase patient anxiety and confusion which would be problematic at any time but more so now with Covid-19.  This legislation is unnecessary as information regarding OPMC and how to file a complaint is easily available through a simple Google search.  Since nearly 10,000 complaints are filed each year with OPMC (resulting in only a few hundred actual disciplinary actions), it is clear there is already strong public awareness of how to file a complaint. This legislation unfairly singles out physicians for this requirement as opposed to any other type of professional and if passed, it will surely add to the growing problem of physician demoralization.   A “Scarlet Letter” requirement like this is not the way that New York’s healthcare heroes should be treated.  Please take a moment to send a letter and tweet to the Governor opposing this baffling legislation. 

Peer Support in Stressful Times 

On the constructive end of the spectrum, our MSSNY P2P program is up and running.  If you are feeling stressed, call 1-844-P2P-PEER or email p2p@mssny.org 24/7 and we will put you in touch with a peer supporter for a confidential non-judgmental conversation to gain perspective and point you in the right direction.  We also recognize that most of our physician stressors are system issues.  With this is mind, the AMA and MSSNY have launched the Practice Transformation Initiative in New York with a goal to make physician burnout a thing of the past.  We are happy to report that several hospitals/hospital systems around the state have joined the initiative and will be collaborating with us to effect positive change.  As of today, we have received confirmation from Bassett Hospital, Ellis Hospital, Northwell Health, NY Presbyterian Hospital, Brooklyn, and St. Peter’s Health Partners.

I believe the country is correct to refer to physicians as heroes, but the fact remains that physicians are not invincible nor are they superhuman.  There is a limit to how much can be imposed on them and the physician foundation poll, indicates that in many cases the limits have been reached or exceeded.  We ask our government officials and our hospital leaders to be mindful of what and how much they are asking of our New York physicians and to work with MSSNY to lessen the burdens so that physicians, who are highly resilient, can “Remain Calm and Carry On.”

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President

Doctors oppose increased awareness about how to report professional misconduct


MSSNY Weekly Legislative Podcast


Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call:
President’s COVID Diagnosis:

– Gov. said he wishes President and First Lady the best
– President reported mild symptoms
– WH briefing call for Governors today at 12:15 on healthcare related issues, President is supposed to be on the call
– Gov. said he also a call with National Governors Association today

COVID:
– Day 216
– 7 fatalities
– 648 hospitalizations
– 146 ICU patients
– 65 intubations
– Hot spot zip codes are at 6.4% infection rate overall
– Outside hotspots, infection rate is 1.03% statewide
– Seeing increase in infections in Orange, Brooklyn, some spread into Queens
– DOH sending Section 16 letter to local governments, advising them of compliance laws, potential fines for poor enforcement of compliance

Schools:
– 1,258 positive cases on state’s school dashboard
– State receiving questions on sparse reporting from NYC schools
– Gov. stated no specific testing being done in NYC, testing would begin on Oct. 1, and be conducted over a month

Infection Rate by Region:
– Western NY 1.2%
– Southern Tier 1.1%
– North Country 0.2%
– Mohawk Valley 0. 4%
– Mid Hudson  2.6%
– Long Island  1.3%
– Finger Lakes 1%
– Central NY 0.7%
– Capital Region 0.9%
– NYC 1.4%

Q&A:
– On specific parameters of fines to local governments:
– Garvey said section 16 of public health law allows DOH Commissioner to determine if any entity is willfully in violation of public health rules
– Fines can be up to $10,000 according to Section B
– DOH would need to have compliance activity info from local governments, and actions taken
– If deficient, statement of charges would be provided, and charges can be per day
– Gov. added this was done with Ebola previously, reiterated public education campaigns are not enough
– On implications of President’s positive diagnosis:

  • Gov. stated this is further evidence to take virus seriously
  • Gov. discussed spectrum of COVID symptoms, said if President is on 12:15 call, this would suggest a mild case
  • Gov. called it “frightening” for the first family, said he wishes them the best on a personal level


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New York State Launches COVID Alert NY App
New York has launched COVID Alert NY Exposure Notification App that was created by the New York State Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple.  An individual can now use the phone COVID-19 exposure alerts, without compromising privacy or personal information. This is a free smartphone app for anyone 18+ that lives and/or works in New York available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store starting October 1st.

The COVID Alert NY app notifies users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Upon receiving an exposure notification, the app will encourage users to contact their physician or the State Health Department hotline (1-833-227-5045) to get more information about quarantining and testing.

According to the NYS Department of Health anyone who downloads the app does not have to worry about being tracked, identified, or having their personal information shared. The app is completely anonymous and does not track location or movement. No personal data is collected. COVID Alert NY uses Bluetooth proximity-enabled exposure notification technology provided by Apple and Google which is safe and secure.  To learn more about COVID Alert NY, visit http://ny.gov/covidalerts.


Congress Passes Measure to Fund Government Through December; Additional Protections for Medicare Advance Payments
This week, the US Senate completed passage of H.R. 8337, legislation to fund federal operations until December 11, 2020 and is intended to avert a potential government shutdown prior to the November elections.   Among the important healthcare provisions of this legislation:

  • Extends the Medicare GPCI cost index floor, important for helping to prevent Medicare cuts to the upstate New York payment locality; and
  • For physicians and other health providers who had received Medicare accelerated or advance payments over the last several months, the legislation extends the period before repayment begins and the period before the balance must be repaid in full, reduces the recoupment percentage, and lowers the interest rate for payments from 9.6% to 4%.

New York DFS Regulation Requires Insures to Continuing Waiving Patient Cost-Sharing for Telehealth Services
This past Wednesday’s MSSNY e-news shared a STAT News article that detailed that some health insurers across the country, as of October 1, have stopped waiving cost-sharing for patient health services provided via telehealth.  However, please be aware that the New York State Department of Financial Services has adopted a regulation that requires health insurers to continue to waive patient cost-sharing responsibilities (co-payment, coinsurance and deductibles) for telehealth services until at least November 9, for all state-regulated health insurance plans.

MSSNY also continues to strongly advocate for legislation that would require health insurers to pay for telehealth services at the same amount as the health insurer would pay for the same service were it provided in-person.


 

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CMS Releases Snapshot of COVID-19’s Impact on Medicare Population
Today, CMS released the monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. The updated data show over 1 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and over 284,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Other key findings:

  • The rate of COVID-19 cases among Medicare beneficiaries grew 30% since the August release to 1,562 cases per 100,000 beneficiaries.
  • Similarly, the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries grew 32% since the August release to 444 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries.
  • The rate of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations grew the most among rural beneficiaries, Hispanic beneficiaries, and Medicare-only beneficiaries (those who are not dually eligible for Medicaid).
  • Medicare Fee-for-Service (Original Medicare) spending associated with COVID-19 hospitalizations grew to $4.4 billion or just under $25,000 per hospitalization.
  • Data on discharge status and length of stay for COVID-19 hospitalizations remained similar to previously reported figures in the August release. 31% of beneficiaries went home at the end of their hospital stay and 22% died. Nearly half of the hospitalizations lasted 7 days or less while 5% lasted more than 31 days.

The updated data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries covers the period from January 1 to August 15, 2020. It is based on Medicare Fee-for-Service claims and Medicare Advantage encounter data CMS received by September 11, 2020.

For more information on the Medicare COVID-19 data, visit: https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-systems/preliminary-medicare-covid-19-data-snapshot For an FAQ on this data release, visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/medicare-covid-19-data-snapshot-faqs.pdf


Actions of the 2020 MSSNY House of Delegates
The 214th MSSNY House of Delegates was held virtually on Sunday, August 23. Resolutions on Government Affairs, Public Health and Education, Socio-Medical Economics, Report of Officers and Administrative Matters, and Bylaws are detailed in the following links:


HHS Will Be Disbursing Another $20 Million in CARES Act Fund
HHS announced today that it will be disbursing another $20 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Funds. Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, physicians that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments may apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus.

Recognizing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased anxiety and depression in the country and behavioral health providers have continued to provide care through telehealth and other means, HHS is also announcing that the nation’s behavioral health care providers, including psychiatrists, are now eligible for funding. Previously ineligible physicians, such as those who began practicing in 2020, will also be eligible to apply. Physicians will have from October 5, 2020 through November 6, 2020 to apply for Phase 3 General Distribution funding. Providers can begin applying for funds on Monday, October 5, 2020.


33,159 Confirmed Corona Virus Deaths in NY 


 


Teen’s Death Prompts Warning on ‘Benadryl Challenge’
The FDA issued a warning Thursday against taking diphenhydramine (Benadryl) at more than recommended doses, following accounts of at least one teen dying from overuse.

The agency is investigating reports of teens who have been hospitalized and died after taking part in the latest social media craze encouraging youth to consume a dangerous amount of antihistamine tablets.

“We are aware of news reports of teenagers ending up in emergency rooms or dying after participating in the ‘Benadryl Challenge’ encouraged in videos posted on the social media application TikTok,” the FDA stated. “We are investigating these reports and conducting a review to determine if additional cases have been reported.”

The recommended dose is generally one or two tablets every 4-6 hours for children and adults, respectively. Taking more than the recommended amount of the over-the-counter allergy medicine can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or death. Hallucinations are also possible, which appear to be the challenge’s goal.

Healthcare professionals should be on the lookout for overdose cases and report any side effects involving Benadryl and other generic forms of diphenhydramine to the FDA’s MedWatch program, the agency stated. “We also contacted TikTok and strongly urged them to remove the videos from their platform and to be vigilant to remove any additional videos that may be posted.”


Registration Now Open
October 21, 2020 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar
Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update

Learn more about dealing with flu season during a pandemic.  Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update will be presented on Wednesday October 21, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  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

Educational objectives are:

  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms
  • Analyze clinical and laboratory diagnostic features and treatment specific to each flu season
  • Identify recommended immunizations and antiviral medications for treatment and how best to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Evaluate seasonal influenza vaccine development and recommendations concurrent with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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. 


Veterans Matters Podcast Series
Check out MSSNY’s Veterans Matters podcast series on Veterans’ healthcare topics including PTSD in Returning Veterans, TBI in Returning Veterans, Substance Use in Veterans, Suicide in Veterans, The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans and Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients.

Click here to listen to Part 1 of PTSD in Returning Veterans with Dr. Frank Dowling.

Click here to listen to Part 2 of PTSD in Returning Veterans with Dr. Frank Dowling.

Click here to listen to TBI in Returning Veterans with Dr. David Podwall.

Click here to listen to Substance Use Disorders with Dr. Thomas Madejski.

Click here to listen to Suicide in Veterans podcast with Dr. Jack McIntyre.

Click here to listen to The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans with Dr. Malene Ingram, Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves and Retired Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Marcelle Leis.

Click here to listen to Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients with Retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Lance Allen Wang and Retired Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Marcelle Leis.


Joyce & Duane Cady Scholarship Fund
Memorial Service for MSSNY Past President Duane M. Cady, MD held on Sept. 26
A Celebration of Life for Dr. Duane Cady was held on September 26 at the Westvale Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Syracuse. Click here to view the service.

Contributions in Dr. Cady’s memory may be made to the Duane and Joyce Cady Scholarship, AMA Foundation, 330 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 38300 Chicago, IL 6061-5885. The link for online donations is https://amafoundation.org/

Classifieds

Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at drfox.903parkave@gmail.com.

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

 

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email enbmd@aol.com

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