MSSNY eNews: November 25, 2020 – Steps to Become a COVID-19 Distributor

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Colleagues:

Over the River and Through the Woods
Running through my mind today is the Thanksgiving poem “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Unfortunately, not too many of us will have the privilege of going to Grandmother’s house this year.  It will be a different and strange holiday but the light at the end of the tunnel grows closer with promising vaccine updates released this week from Pfizer and Moderna.

While we can draw some degree of comfort, hope, and relief from the vaccine news, there is still a great deal of work that will need to be done to vaccinate enough people to achieve herd immunity and return to some semblance of normalcy.  Many of you are already involved in the effort and have taken the steps necessary to become COVID-19 vaccine distributors.  However, before we can distribute the vaccine the public needs to be ready, willing and able to receive the vaccine. In fact, in a recent Gallup pool, only approximately 60% of American adults said they were willing to take a coronavirus vaccine.

A non-profit marketing group, the Ad Council, who led a campaign in the 1950s to get people vaccinated against Polio, has recently stepped in to develop a COVID-19 vaccine public education and advertising plan.  As physicians, we will be an integral part of any such plan as we are trusted sources of health information and our patients will be looking to us for advice and to lead the way.

Your Medical Society is conducting a physician survey on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.  This survey is being conducted following media reports that the healthcare workforce and patients may not participate in getting the vaccine.  Please take the survey here.

I wish all of you and your families a safe and healthy Thanksgiving 2020 and hope and pray to be over the river and through the woods next year with family, friends, a large turkey, and lots of pie.

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


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Steps to Become a COVID-19 Vaccine Distributor
The Medical Society of the State of New York is providing you with information on the steps to become a COVID-19 vaccine distributor; it is MSSNY’s understanding that physicians and other healthcare providers and organizations will be receiving information next week from the NYS Department of Health regarding the enrollment process.   The information below is meant to help you begin this process. The following information was obtained from the NYS Department of Health November 19, 2020 webinar regarding steps for physicians to serve as a distributor of COVID 19 vaccine to patients.

Step One: Register for the Immunization Information System

  • Physicians who do not have an account are urged to register in the NYS Immunization Information System (NYSIIS).  Physicians residing in New York City will need to register with the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR)
  • This is because all COVID-19 Vaccination Program providers (each location submitting a profile) will need a NYSIIS or a CIR account
  • Your practice may currently have a NYSIIS or CIR account, but it is important to review the information so that appropriate staff has access

For health care providers located outside of New York City, take the following steps for new users in NYSIIS-See the Checklist to Go Live with NYSIIS here.

  1. NYSIIS is located on the Health Commerce System. If responsible staff do not yet have an HCS account, they must apply for one.
  2. Take the NYSIIS Administrative User Training located here

New York City physicians should register their practice online in CIR here.

Step Two: Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program

  • In addition to registering with NYSIIS or CIR, physicians will then need to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program
  • NYSDOH and NYC DOHMH are implementing a phased approach to provider enrollment and will notify private practice physicians as each new group is opened for enrollment.  MSSNY understands that this will occur for private practicing physicians next week.
  • Providers in NYS, outside of NYC, will enroll in the NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Program through the Health Commerce System.
  • Providers in NYC will enroll in the NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Program through the CIR.
  • Networks with facilities or providers in both NYS and NYC should enroll their facilities or providers outside of NYC in the NYS Covid-19 Vaccination Program through the Health Commerce System and enroll facilities or providers in NYC in the NYC Covid-19 Vaccination Program through the CIR.

Step Three: Ordering, Receiving, and Administering Vaccine

  • When COVID-19 vaccine is available, providers in NYS, outside of NYC, will order Covid-19 Vaccine through NYSII and providers in NYC will order Covid-19 vaccine through the CIR.  Orders will be approved by NYS DOH and shipped directly from the vaccine manufacturer or CDC distributor.
  • When vaccine is available, functions staff perform in NYSIIS or CIR will include monitoring vaccine inventory, entering doses administered and/or performing data exchange (uploading and downloading data) between the provider’s electronic health system and NYSII/CIR; entering vaccine returns and wastage, and generating reports for internal review (e.g. doses administered).

Any questions on this process can be directed to Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org.


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MSSNY Survey on COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
The Medical Society of the State of New York is conducting a physician survey on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.  This survey is being conducted following media reports that the healthcare workforce and patients may not participate in getting the vaccine. Please take the survey here.


Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Briefing:
COVID:
– 5.2% positivity rate in micro-clusters
– 3.04% statewide rate without micro-clusters
– 3.6% statewide rate with micro-clusters
– 173,000 tests conducted yesterday
– 41 fatalities
– 2,982 hospitalizations
– 596  ICU patients
– 277 intubations
– 10 days after Thanksgiving is when a spike will be evident
– Gov. stated experts recommend developing a plan to get through winter months
– Gov. said a plan needs to be developed to keep schools open, particularly
K-8
– Gov. noted emergency field hospitals are beginning to open in other states
due to overwhelmed hospital systems
VACCINE:
– Gov. will speak with Biden’s COVID advisory team again today to discuss
difficulties with vaccine distribution plan
– 330 million vaccines will be needed, twice
– Gov. reiterated states will need funding to implement vaccine plans
– Gov. discussed need to convince Americans vaccine is safe
– Gov. stressed need to find ways to eliminate disparities for black, brown, and
low-income communities in vaccine administration
HOLIDAYS:
– VT, HI, ME are the only states with lower positivity rate than NY
– Other states are much higher than NY, despite less density than NY
– Gov. urged New Yorkers to remain cautious through the holidays
– Gov. reminded that 35% of cases are from pre-symptomatic spread, 24% of
cases are from asymptomatic spread
– Gov. said celebrating holidays is fine, as long as it’s kept within households,
with is in accordance with CDC guidance
Q&A:
– On reports from Monroe County DOH that COVID has not been contact traced to gyms, salons, but those services are closed when an orange zone is designated
– Gov. questioned where spread is reported to be occurring instead, which questioner
responded was living room spread, small gatherings
– Gov. said all experts say restaurants, bars, gyms, home gatherings are where spread
primarily occurs
–  Gov. cited difficulty in enforcement for home gatherings, but argued that restaurants, bars, gyms, salons can be enforced
– DeRosa said services such as those provided at salons, gyms, do not allow for
adequate social distancing
– DeRosa stressed the importance of reducing spread before it gets out of control
– DeRosa explained there is greater community spread with these services, so if
restrictions are not helping enough, closures are needed

– On Erie County progress:
– Gov. said numbers are leveling off, which is an indication restrictions are working
– Gov. stated numbers will continue to be watched through Thanksgiving, 7-10 days
after
– Gov. added winter plan will add factors to yellow, orange, red zones, such as
hospitalization rate to ensure system is not overwhelmed

– On inconsistencies in micro-cluster approach in closures and how this varies
upstate vs. downstate:
– Gov. said the line will always intersect something, there will always be one area
closed with nearby areas open with this approach
– Rhodes added that this works upstate, sends message that if action is not taken,
more restrictions will be needed
– Gov. emphasized large discrepancies in positivity rate by neighborhoods, said
the focus on individual neighborhoods will “get the attention” of residents, will
improve compliance
– Gov. added this approach is “fairer” than shutting down businesses in entire
regions, this approach could not have been done at the beginning of COVID

On the economy:
– Gov. reiterated federal government needs to pass a stimulus plan
– “The choice cannot be the economy or public health”

On Gov.’s previous comment that Western NY did not see full force of COVID
at start of pandemic:
– Gov. said Western NY was not initially hit as hard as downstate was
– The numbers were so much higher in NYC, so they felt greater intensity
– Gov. noted continuous sirens, emergency cemeteries, refrigerated trucks being
used as morgues
– Gov. said although tragic everywhere, Buffalo did not get impacted the
way NYC did

– On testing in schools in orange and red zones:
– Gov. said part of winter plan is vaccines, testing, hospitalizations, and how to
keep schools K-8 open safely, which would be through continuous testing but testing capacity is needed for that.


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New WC Initiatives
The NYS WCB is moving forward toward electronic claim filing, which is expected to reduce the current paperwork burden.  For more information on this process, please see this link.

In addition, the NYS WCB is making progress toward making the CMS 1500 claim form as the required form for filing Workers’ Compensation claims for injured workers.  More information can be found here.

MSSNY’S Committee on WC and NF Insurance has been supportive of both these initiatives. 


MSSNY’s Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
Last weekend we heard of the suicide death of a physician at North Shore University Hospital. MSSNY has been working with hospital officials to make sure that all personnel have resources available to reach out and get help or speak with a peer if needed.  We have since heard of a death among a resident staff member of Rochester General. Since these tragedies may have impacted many of our colleagues, MSSNY wants to let you know that you are not alone.

The Medical Society of the State of New York offers to physicians, residents, and medical students an opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the emotional issues related to this event, may also be troubling for our colleagues.   MSSNY now has over 40 peer supporters trained to support their colleagues.

If you or someone you know is struggling with everyday life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to be connected with a peer supporter to help!

Email: P2P@mssny.org or phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter.


 

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REGISTER NOW

COVID-19 from a Physician-Patient Perspective: CME Webinar
Learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of physicians who have had COVID-19.  Register now for: “COVID-19 from a Physician-Patient Perspectiveon Wednesday December 16, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  Lorraine Giordano, vice chair of MSSNY Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response and Parag Mehta, MD, MSSNY Vice President will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here

Educational objectives are:

  • Describe COVID-19 from the perspective of both patient and physician
  • Examine insights gained from experiencing SARS CoV-2 firsthand
  • Identify chronic and acute symptoms that are prominent as a result of experiencing COVID-19 as a patient

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.


NYS Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) Fall Newsletter
The NYS Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) Team has released the latest EDRS Newsletter Fall 2020 issue, which includes Important information on the following:

  • Amendment Supporting documentation and the HCS Secure File Transfer
  • Key EDRS fields for Medical Certifiers to Complete
  • Troubleshooting the dreaded “404 Server Error”
  • …and more!

Review the newsletter, along with other updates, training and resources on the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records EDRS website here.


Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency Webinar
Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency, presented by Frank Dowling, MD, will be held on December 10th from 7:30-8:30 am. This program looks at aspects of physician wellness and discusses depression, suicide, anxiety, and substance use warning signs and when to ask for professional assistance.

Register by clicking here

The educational objectives are:

  • Review the warning signs that stress, depression, anxiety or substance use may impact work or personal life
  • Identify strategies to increase personal empowerment toward making positive change, including self-assessment tools
  • Recognize self-monitoring strategies for stress related problems and know when to seek professional assistance

Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

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. 

If you have questions, please reach out to Cayla Lauder at clauder@mssny.org or Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.


Veterans Healthcare Training Conference on December 5
The Medical Society of the State of New York, New York State Psychiatric Association and the New York State Chapter of National Association of Social Workers is hosting a joint ½ day virtual conference on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

Register HERE for the program! Click HERE to view the flyer.
View the Agenda 
HERE.

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms of mental health responses, including depression, anxiety, PTSD,and suicidal ideation in veteran patients
  • Review relevant statistics related to the veteran population, including their access to and use of healthcare
  • Recognize the importance of primary care specialists and community mental health providers in screening individuals for military service
  • Discuss the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health of veteran patients

Panel 1: 9:15 – 10:10 am.

The Challenges: The Health & Mental Health Issues Facing Veterans & Their Families Amid Pandemic, & Efforts to Address, Including VMHTI.

Keynote Speaker: Joe Geraci, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army; LMHC
Panelists: Frank Dowling, MD (MSSNY)
Gretchen Foley, MD
Sharon Bailey, Major, USAF (Ret.), LCSW-R.
Invited legislators: Senator Carlucci, Assemblywoman Gunther.

This panel will focus on challenges faced by veterans, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including factors that exacerbate mental health and substance use disorder, suicidal ideation, and self-medication trends.

The focus of this panel will be to discuss short term impacts that have emerged as a result of COVID-19, as well as longer-term effects of global fear, stress, and isolation, including the re-triggering of Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms.

Speakers will review current statistics related to the pandemic and cultural factors that may cause or heighten anxiety and/or depression symptoms, as well as efforts that have been put in place to address and manage these challenges. Keynote Speaker, Moderator, and Panelists will include Veterans, Physicians, and Mental Health Experts in the Field of Veteran Services.

Panel 2: 10:30 – 11:20 am.

What Has Helped: The Successes, Including Veterans Sharing What Has Made a Difference in Transition, & Clinicians Sharing Best Practices for Identification,
Treatment & Referral.

Panelists: Malene Ingram, MD & Colonel, U.S. Army (MSSNY)

Marianne Goodman, MD
Mike Shurmatz, U.S. Army (Ret.), LMSW
Ben Pomerance, Esq., Deputy Director for Program Development for NYS Division
of Veterans’ Affairs.

Invited Legislators: Senator Brooks, Assemblywoman Barrett

This panel will be a continuation from Panel 1 (The Challenges) and will subsequently focus on what has been most helpful for veterans who have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what that brings up for them.

Speakers will discuss what is most effective in terms of improving overall mental health, decreasing anxiety, minimizing substance misuse, and reducing the risk and prevalence of suicide in the veteran community.  Speakers will share what practices have been most effective, as well as what areas to focus on for screening, treatment, and best-fit referrals.

This panel will discuss what has proven to be successful, in order to pave the way for, and build upon, positive outcomes for veterans seeking care. Keynote Speaker, Moderator, and Panelists will include Veterans, Physicians, and Mental Health Experts in the Field of Veteran Services.

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 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™. Physicians should only claim 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.

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY COVID-19 Update – November 27, 2020 (Latest Alerts, SBA Loans, Health & Safety)

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

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


Survey on COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
The Medical Society of the State of New York is conducting a physician survey on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. This survey is being conducted following media reports that the healthcare workforce and patients may not participate in getting the vaccine.

Please take the survey here.


November 27 Statistics

New York State: 607,001 confirmed; 26,441 deaths.
New York City: 281,948 confirmed cases; 19,549 deaths.


Recent News

  • Nearly 2/3 of the physician respondents indicated that they are at least “sometimes” finding it difficult to obtain needed PPE
  • Over 40% of the physician respondents have indicated that it takes them at least 4 weeks to get their PPE from when they order it; Nearly 20% said it takes at least 6 weeks.
  • 53% of the physician respondents said the cost of PPE has gone up by at least 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and nearly 1/3 have said the cost has gone up by more than 50%
  • 1/3 of the physician respondents indicated that the lack of available/affordable PPE has impacted their ability to care for patients; and
  • Only 6% of the physician respondents said that health insurers were at least “sometimes” helping to cover the increased cost.

Alerts and Notifications

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


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

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:           November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:         Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them

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.


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: November 20, 2020 – I Am Thankful


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Colleagues:

I Am Thankful
While this is a Thanksgiving season like no other, as the holiday approaches I find myself even more thankful than in years past.

I am thankful that our scientists worked around the clock to develop effective vaccines to combat this pandemic and that delivery of the first shipment is imminent. Our NYS Vaccine Task Force is hard at work to ensure a seamless vaccine roll out in New York. Thank you to all who have signed up to distribute the vaccine and those that intend to sign up.

Here is information that you will need concerning the process:

Information for Private Practicing Physicians Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine 

The following information was obtained from the NYS Department of Health November 19, 2020 webinar regarding steps for physicians to serve as a distributor of COVID 19 vaccine to patients.

Step One — Register for the Immunization Information System

  • Physicians who do not have an account are urged to register in the NYS Immunization Information System (NYSIIS). Physicians residing in New York City will need to register with the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR)
  • This is because all COVID-19 Vaccination Program providers (each location submitting a profile) will need a NYSIIS or a CIR account
  • Your practice may currently have a NYSIIS or CIR account, but it is important to review the information so that appropriate staff has access

For health care providers located outside of New York City, take the following steps for new users in NYSIIS-See the Checklist to Go Live with NYSIIS here.

  1. NYSIIS is located on the Health Commerce System. If responsible staff do not yet have an HCS account, they must apply for one.
  2. Take the NYSIIS Administrative User Training located here.

New York City physicians should register their practice online in CIR here.

Step 2: Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program

  • In addition to registering with NYSIIS or CIR, physicians will then need to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program.
  • NYSDOH and NYC DOHMH are implementing a phased approach to provider enrollment and will notify private practices physician as each new group is opened for enrollment. MSSNY understands that this will occur for private practicing physicians beginning in December.
  • Providers in NYS, outside of NYC, will enroll in the NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Program through the Health Commerce System.
  • Providers in NYC will enroll in the NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Program through the CIR.
  • Networks with facilities or providers in both NYS and NYS should enroll their facilities or provides outside of NYC in the NYS Covid-19 Vaccination Program through the Health Commerce System and enroll facilities or providers in NYC in the NYC Covid-19 Vaccination Program through the CIR.

Step 3 Ordering, Receiving and Administering Vaccine

  • When COVID-19 vaccine is available, providers in NYS, outside of NYC, will order Covid-19 Vaccine through NYSII and providers in NYC will order Covid-19 vaccine through the CIR. Orders will be approved by NYS DOH and shipped directly from the vaccine manufacturer or CDC distributor.
  • When vaccine is available, functions staff perform in NYSIIS or CIR will include monitoring vaccine inventory, entering doses administered and/or performing data exchange (uploading and downloading data) between the provider’s electronic health system and NYSII/CIR; entering vaccine returns and wastage, and generating reports for internal review (e.g. doses administered).

I am thankful to our Physician Wellness and Resilience Committee for actualizing our Peer to Peer program just when it was needed most.  I am thankful to all that volunteered as peer supporters and am comforted to know that you are there should any of us need you. Please spread the word about our Confidential helpline phone number (1-844-P2P-PEER) and email address (p2p@mssny.org).

I am thankful that our MSSNY has professional and dedicated staff that go above and beyond to promote our agenda and help sustain our practices.  This past weekend our MSSNY EVP Mr. Phillip Schuh received the well-deserved honor of the AMA Medical Executive Lifetime Achievement Award for guiding New York physicians through a rapidly changing medical practice environment during his more than 30 years with MSSNY.

This year, I am thankful for things big and small but most importantly for the health of my family and friends and the fortitude of our profession.

Wishing you and your family a safe and very happy Thanksgiving,

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


MSSNY in the news this week:

Also ran in:


MSSNY Weekly Podcast


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Gov. Cuomo’s Press Conference Last Night

  • The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas dropped slightly to 4.11 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 2.38 percent. Of the 195,239 tests reported yesterday, 5,310, or 2.72 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations rose to 2,276. Sadly, we lost 31 New Yorkers to the virus.
  • New York updated the COVID-19 micro-cluster focus zones. Rockland County’s Yellow Zone will be expanded, and parts of Orange and Westchester counties will become Yellow Zones due to increased cases, positivity, and hospital admissions from these areas. All the maps of the current micro-cluster focus zones are available here.
  • I met with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and fellow governors to discuss the ongoing COVID response. We look forward to a strong federal-state partnership and to working hand-in-hand in the months ahead. Topics of discussion included how to achieve a fast and equitable vaccine distribution, how to help our communities recover economically and more.
  • Round two of the successful Nourish NY program is underway. So far, 1.7 million pounds of raw milk has been turned into dairy products and distributed by food banks, in addition to 210,000 pounds of produce. Over 940,000 households have received products sourced from New York farms through this initiative, which is helping keep businesses and families afloat.
  • A smaller Thanksgiving celebration doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the great food. To help New Yorkers plan for smaller holiday gatherings, I Love NY created a list of scaled-down recipes that are great for smaller Thanksgiving celebrations.

NYSDOH Gives Update on Medicaid Redesign Team’s (MRT II) Pharmacy Benefit Carve Out Initiative
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) hosted a webinar earlier this week to provide an update on the State Budget initiative to transition the Medicaid Pharmacy benefit from Managed Care back into the fee-for-service (FFS) program. Among the goals in transitioning the pharmacy program from Managed Care back to FFS, is to provide full transparency into prescription drug costs, centralizing and leveraging negotiation power, and, importantly, providing a single drug formulary with standardized utilization management protocols rather than dozens of separate formularies.

Key highlights for providers from the November 16th webinar included an update on the transition and communications timeline. Specifically, that Managed Care Plans (MCPs) will no longer be responsible for physician/practitioner administered drugs that are not included on the Medicaid Pharmacy List of Reimbursable Drugs and that those drugs will not be subject to the carve-out.

However, the new policy also directs the MCPs to continue to offer the benefit when provided by a non-pharmacy provider. (e.g. outpatient hospital, clinic, physician’s office)[1] To learn more details, please click here.

The update also included critical information for physicians about enrollees and billing under the new system such as providers must be enrolled in the FFS program as billing providers in order to continue to serve Medicaid Managed Care members. For additional information regarding this aspect of the transition, please go here.

MSSNY’s Department of Governmental Affairs will provide an update following DOH’s next webinar, which is scheduled for mid-December.


NY Physicians Still in Need of Affordable PPE to Meet Patients’ Needs
Many physician offices across the state of New York are straining to meet their patient care needs due to a lack of available and affordable PPE. This challenging dynamic was highlighted in a USA Today-New York article earlier this week.

A recent physician survey conducted by MSSNY noted that nearly 2/3 of the physician respondents indicated that they are at least “sometimes” finding it difficult to obtain needed PPE. Over 40% of the physician respondents have indicated that it takes them at least 4 weeks to get their PPE from when they order it; while 53% of the physician respondents said the cost of PPE has gone up by at least 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and nearly 1/3 have said the cost has gone up by more than 50%.

Of greatest concern, 1/3 of the physician respondents indicated that the lack of available/affordable PPE has adversely impacted their ability to care for their patients. The survey results indicate that further government intervention is urgently needed to help make PPE more widely available to our community physician practices.

We look forward to working with Senator Schumer and our New York Congressional Delegation on measures such as that announced today to help expand this availability so that patient care is not disrupted or delayed due to these shortages.

(See AMA Project N95 article below to order PPE if you are an AMA member.)


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MSSNY President Speaks About Physicians’ Efforts to Combat Misinformation During The COVID-19 Pandemic
MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack spoke to Spectrum News Buffalo ‘s Captial Report about physicians’ efforts to combat misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York, Dr. Litvack said that while physicians are facing an increase in coronavirus cases, they also have to confront misinformation about how dangerous the virus is, how the virus spreads, and the importance of different public health measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.


AMA Collaborates with Project N95 Again to Make PPE Available to AMA Members
The American Medical Association (AMA) is collaborating with Project N95 (a not-for-profit, National COVID-19 Clearinghouse) again to make quality-certified personal protective equipment (PPE) available exclusively for AMA members to purchase with no minimum.  

To place an order: 

Go here to begin the process. Please note that Project N95 has updated its website, so the order process has changed.

  • Order deadline:

The deadline to place an order is Monday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m. Central time.

  • Available equipment(we are offering two new products (duck bill respirator, face shield))
  • Makrite 9500 N95 Surgical Respirator; size S
  • Makrite 9500 N95 Surgical Respirator;size M/L
  • Makrite 910-N95FMX Surgical Respirator (Duck Bill)
  • AAMI Level 1 Isolation Gown
  • Face Shield 2/ Elastic and Foam Headband
  • Bundle (1 box M/L Surg Respirator, 1 box S Surg Respirator, 3 bags Isolation Gowns)

All orders will be aggregated and shipped no later than December 26, via UPS ground.  Gowns and face shields may start shipping as early as December 8. Respirators ship on December 21 and the bundle ships December 26.


MSSNY in Crain’s: Physicians Urge against Looming Medicare Cuts
The Medical Society of the State of New York last week issued a statement in support of New York congressional members—both Democrats and Republicans—who signed a letter urging legislation to prevent double-digit Medicare cuts in 2021.

Dr. Bonnie Litvack, president of the medical society, said in a statement that the proposed decreases could “significantly, adversely impact access to care to many seniors.” The group, she added, earlier this month also joined with eight other northeastern state medical associations in sending a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to prevent the cuts.

Litvack said they “could not come at a worse time as we again confront a surge in Covid-19 cases and practices have not fully recovered from record drops in patient visits.”

The cuts are tied to a proposed change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The medical societies noted in their letter to congressional leaders that the rule would increase payments for evaluation and management codes, which are needed. At the same time, however, CMS is bound by statute to remain budget neutral, needing to offset any increases by making corresponding decreases.

To meet the requirement, CMS has proposed a nearly 11% decrease to the conversion factor that determines all Medicare payment rates, the medical societies noted.

“These cuts will be harmful to primary care physicians and other medical specialty types,” the group wrote. “For example, while the positive evaluation and management changes were meant to give primary care providers a significant increase, having a conversion factor decrease of 11% means that those benefits are diminished—especially in the face of increased cost and decreased reimbursements during the pandemic.”

The proposed rule would bring extreme cuts to many specialties—8% for critical care, 9% for cardiac surgery, 11% for radiology and 8% for anesthesiology, they noted.

“Many of these physicians are the same ones that are on the front lines of Covid-19 and cannot withstand further cuts of this magnitude,” the medical societies reiterated in their letter. “We urge you to work together to pass legislation to waive the statutory budget neutrality requirements to avoid these cuts.”


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AMA Announces New CPT Codes For COVID-19 Immunizations
The AMA on November 10 announced a handful of new CPT codes for reporting COVID-19 vaccine products and immunization administration.

The code release includes two vaccine product codes and four vaccine administration codes. These new CPT codes will allow healthcare providers to report and track the administration of these COVID-19 vaccines once they receive approval or an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. The codes will go into effect at that time.

The vaccine codes are linked to products manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. They are:

  • 91300, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 30 mcg/0.3 mL dosage, diluent reconstituted, for intramuscular use. Vaccine manufacturer: Pfizer Inc.
  • 91301, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 100 mcg/0.5 mL dosage, for intramuscular use. Vaccine manufacturer: Moderna Inc.

Each vaccine product code is linked with a pair of vaccine administration codes, which correspond to first and second doses.

For the 91300 product code, providers would report:

  • 0001A, immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 30 mcg/0.3 mL dosage, diluent reconstituted; first dose
  • 0002A, …; second dose

For the 91301 product code, providers would report:

  • 0011A, immunization administration by intramuscular injection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 100 mcg/0.5 mL dosage; first dose
  • 0012A, second dose

The AMA says that it is critical that the codes “are available prior to the public availability of the vaccines to facilitate updating of healthcare electronic systems across the U.S.” November 16, 2020 Medicare Web


Monica Sweeny MDDr. Monica Sweeney Receives AMA Spirit of Medicine Award
The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Board of Directors have named Dr. Monica Sweeney as a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Medicine Awards.

In her notification to Dr. Sweeney of her Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award, Dr. Jacqueline A. Bello, the AMAF President, stated:

“This annual awards program honor physicians who represent the highest values of altruism, compassion and dedication to patient care. The caliber of our nominees was awe-inspiring, and your selection from such an impressive group speaks volumes in recognizing your dedication to the profession of medicine. As an Excellence in Medicine Awards recipient, you will be honored during an awards ceremony hosted by the AMA Foundation in 2021 (date TBD). In addition, this award comes with an AMA Foundation grant of $2,500 to the organization of Dr. Sweeney’s choosing.”

Dr. Sweeney has been an active member of MSSNY since 1989. She currently serves on MSSNY’s Committee to Eliminate Health Disparities, Infectious Diseases Committee, Task Force on End of Life Care, and Women Physicians Committee. She previously served as a delegate to MSSNY’s House of Delegates and on the Preventative Medicine and Family Health Committee and the Rural Subcommittee.


Phil Schuh MSSNY CEO

MSSNY EVP Is Recipient of AMA Medical Executive Lifetime Achievement Award
Phil Schuh, CPA, has been MSSNY’s Executive Vice President and CFO since 2010 and head of MSSNY’s Finance Division for the previous 20 years. He has been an innovator, mediator, and financial wizard during challenging times. Phil is also a Founding Board Member of the prestigious Physicians Foundation, where he meets with other key state medical society leaders to collaborate on solutions endemic to all. Phil is also the CEO of MSSNY’s Empire State Medical, Scientific & Educational Foundation, Inc.

As Phil stated in his AMA speech, “I want to thank the New York Delegation, MSSNY’s leadership and staff for allowing me to be part of their lives. My job has provided me the opportunity to work with many AMA delegates. I am always amazed at the intensity and focus that you bring to the table.”

Mr. Schuh will be retiring from MSSNY at the end of 2020.


Don’t Wait, Apply Now! 2020 MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception and Interoperability Hardship Exception Applications are Due Dec. 31

Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Application & COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all clinicians across the United States and territories. However, CMS recognizes that not all practices have been impacted by COVID-19 to the same extent. For the 2020 performance year, CMS will be using our Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories to 0% due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency.

If you have any concerns about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on your performance data, including cost measures, for the 2020 performance period, submit an application now and be sure to cite COVID-19 as the reason for your application.

If you have an approved application, you can still receive scores for the Quality, Improvement Activities, and Promoting Interoperability performance categories if you submit data. If the cost performance category is included in your approved application, you will not be scored on cost measures even if other data are submitted.

Learn more in the 2020 Exceptions Applications Fact Sheet.

Note: CMS has proposed to allow APM Entities to apply to reweight MIPS performance categories as a result of extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more in the 2021 Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule Overview Fact Sheet.

MIPS Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exceptions

MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may qualify for a re-weighting of the Promoting Interoperability performance category to 0% if they:

  • Are a small practice;
  • Have decertified EHR technology;
  • Have insufficient Internet connectivity;
  • Face extreme and uncontrollable circumstances such as disaster, practice closure, severe financial distress, or vendor issues; or
  • Lack control over the availability of CEHRT.

Note: If you are already exempt from reporting Promoting Interoperability data, you don’t need to apply.

How do I Apply?

New for 2020: You must have a HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) account to complete and submit an exception application on behalf of yourself, or another MIPS eligible clinician, group, virtual group or APM Entity. For more information on HARP accounts, please refer to the Register for a HARP Account document in the QPP Access User Guide.

Once you register for a HARP account, sign in to qpp.cms.gov, select ‘Exceptions Applications’ on the left-hand navigation, select ‘Add New Exception,’ and select ‘Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception’ or ‘Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception.’

How do I Know if I Am Approved? If you apply for either of the exceptions, you will be notified by email if your request was approved or denied. If approved, this will also be added to your eligibility profile on the QPP Participation Status Tool, but may not appear in the tool until the submission window is open in 2021.

For More Information

Questions? Contact the Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 or by e-mail at: QPP@cms.hhs.gov. To receive assistance more quickly, please consider calling during non-peak hours—before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m. ET.


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Calling All MSSNY Social Media Ambassadors!
MSSNY has created a gallery of social media assets for both our Peer to Peer (P2P) program, which offers physicians, residents, and medical students an opportunity to talk with a peer about life stressors, and our “Masking Up” campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Please download and share to your social media accounts to help get the word out:

Tag us @mssnytweet and @mssnygram and use one or more of the following hashtags in your posts: #MSSNY, #MSSNYStrong, #P2P #MaskUpNY #MaskUpAmerica.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:                 November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:               Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them

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.

If you missed the TBI in Returning Veterans webinar on November 3rd, you can now view it online at https://cme.mssny.org/.  

MSSNY’s Peer to Peer (P2P) Program

Last weekend we heard of the suicide death of a physician at North Shore University Hospital. MSSNY has been working hospital officials to make sure that all personnel have resources available to reach out and get help or speak with a peer if needed.  Since this tragedy may have impacted many of our colleagues, MSSNY wants to let you know that you are not alone.

The Medical Society of the State of New York offers to physicians, residents, and medical students an opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the emotional issues related to this event, may also be troubling for our colleagues.   MSSNY now has over 40 peer supporters trained to support their colleagues

If you or someone you know is struggling with everyday life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to be connected with a peer supporter to help!

Email: P2P@mssny.org or phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter.


Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:           November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:        Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them

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 </a.of their participation in the activity.


Registration Now Open 
Veterans Healthcare Training Conference
Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative: ½ Day Virtual Conference
Saturday, December 5th @ 8:30 am – 11:30 am
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The Medical Society of the State of New York, New York State Psychiatric Association and the New York State Chapter of National Association of Social Workers is hosting a joint ½ day virtual conference on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:30 am to 11:30 am. .

Register HERE for the program! Click HERE to view the flyer.
View the Agenda HERE.

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms of mental health responses, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicidal ideation in veteran patients
  • Review relevant statistics related to the veteran population, including their access to and use of healthcare
  • Recognize the importance of primary care specialists and community mental health providers in screening individuals for military service
  • Discuss the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health of veteran patients 

Panel 1: 9:15 – 10:10 am.

The Challenges: The Health & Mental Health Issues Facing Veterans & Their Families Amid Pandemic, & Efforts to Address, Including VMHTI .

Keynote Speaker: Joe Geraci, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army; LMHC
Panelists: Frank Dowling, MD (MSSNY)
Gretchen Foley, MD
Sharon Bailey, Major, USAF (Ret.), LCSW-R.
Invited legislators: Senator Carlucci, Assemblywoman Gunther.

This panel will focus on challenges faced by veterans, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including factors that exacerbate mental health and substance use disorder, suicidal ideation, and self-medication trends..

The focus of this panel will be to discuss short term impacts that have emerged as a result of COVID-19, as well as longer-term effects of global fear, stress, and isolation, including the re-triggering of Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms..

Speakers will review current statistics related to the pandemic and cultural factors that may cause or heighten anxiety and/or depression symptoms, as well as efforts that have been put in place to address and manage these challenges. Keynote Speaker, Moderator, and Panelists will include Veterans, Physicians, and Mental Health Experts in the Field of Veteran Services.

Panel 2: 10:30 – 11:20 am.

What Has Helped: The Successes, Including Veterans Sharing What Has Made a Difference in Transition, & Clinicians Sharing Best Practices for Identification,
Treatment & Referral .

Panelists: Malene Ingram, MD & Colonel, U.S. Army (MSSNY)

Marianne Goodman, MD
Mike Shurmatz, U.S. Army (Ret.), LMSW
Ben Pomerance, Esq., Deputy Director for Program Development for NYS Division
of Veterans’ Affairs.

Invited Legislators: Senator Brooks, Assemblywoman Barrett

This panel will be a continuation from Panel 1 (The Challenges) and will subsequently focus on what has been most helpful for veterans who have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what that brings up for them.

Speakers will discuss what is most effective in terms of improving overall mental health, decreasing anxiety, minimizing substance misuse, and reducing the risk and prevalence of suicide in the veteran community.  Speakers will share what practices have been most effective, as well as what areas to focus on for screening, treatment, and best-fit referrals.

This panel will discuss what has proven to be successful, in order to pave the way for, and build upon, positive outcomes for veterans seeking care. Keynote Speaker, Moderator, and Panelists will include Veterans, Physicians, and Mental Health Experts in the Field of Veteran Services..

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 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Registration Now Open for Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency
Registration is now open for Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency on December 10th from 7:30-8:30 am.

Frank Dowling, MD will serve as faculty for this webinar.

Educational Objectives are:

  • Review the warning signs that stress, depression, anxiety, or substance use may impact work or personal life
  • Identify strategies to increase personal empowerment toward making positive change, including self-assessment tools
  • Recognize self-monitoring strategies for stress-related problems and know when to seek professional assistance

Register by clicking here.  Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

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

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

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


 

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Rhinebeck Estate for SaleElegant, custom-built home with unparalleled craftsmanship and attention to detail. Set on 10.6 acres in Rhinebeck, bordering Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill, this home offers character, ambiance and livability. The foyer entry features a tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings & cherry wood floors. Custom windows provide plenty of natural light. The kitchen with marble counter-topped island evokes farmhouse luxury, with cozy fireside seating area for winter, and glass doors from the hexagonal eat-in kitchen leading to the expansive stone terrace for warmer months. The master suite boasts a high vaulted ceiling, double walk-in closets & bath with clawfoot tub. Two bedrooms with generous closets plus two full baths are also on the second floor plus a sitting room/office or fourth bedroom. Generous closets throughout including a hidden 3 floor elevator. Immaculate lower level with media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar & full bath. Beautifully landscaped gardens surround the home, a well-established vegetable garden is adjacent to 2-story barn, which is equipped with water & electricity and hilltop views abound. Close to Village & Amtrak. EXCLUSIVE View full listing http://garydimauro.com/listing/traditional-rhinebeck-luxury/ Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / entdoc53@aol.com or Rachel Hyman-Rouse at Gary DiMauro Real Estate 845-876-5100 x 10 / 917-686-4906

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.

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space         


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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY Applauds Senator Schumer and other U.S. Senators on New Bill to Use Government’s Purchasing Power to Increase PPE Production and Distribution

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2020  

MSSNY Applauds Senator Schumer and other U.S. Senators on New Bill to Use Government’s Purchasing Power to Increase PPE Production and Distribution  

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

“We thank Senator Schumer and the several other US Senators who have advanced legislation to increase the production and distribution of critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 masks.  Legislation such as this will help to make PPE more readily available to our community physician practices so that they can continue to provide the care needed by their patients.

“Many physician offices across the state of New York are straining to meet their patient care needs due to a lack of available and affordable PPE.   This challenging dynamic was highlighted in a USA Today-New York article earlier this week.  A recent physician survey conducted by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) noted that nearly 2/3 of the physician respondents indicated that they are at least “sometimes” finding it difficult to obtain needed PPE.  Over 40% of the physician respondents have indicated that it takes them at least 4 weeks to get their PPE from when they order it; while 53% of the physician respondents said the cost of PPE has gone up by at least 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and nearly 1/3 have said the cost has gone up by more than 50%.  Of greatest concern, 1/3 of the physician respondents indicated that the lack of available/affordable PPE has adversely impacted their ability to care for their patients.

“The survey results indicate that further government intervention is urgently needed to help make PPE more widely available to our community physician practices.  We look forward to working with Senator Schumer and our New York Congressional Delegation on measures such as that announced today to help expand this availability so that patient care is not disrupted or delayed due to these shortages.”

# # #

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: November 18, 2020 – NY COVID-19 Test Positivity Rates: On Nov. 18, It Is 2.9

 

COVID-19 Test Positivity Rates: Nov. 18
New York: 2.9
New daily cases: 5,088
Tests per 1,000: 8.3


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US Daily Death Toll Highest Since May
The U.S. hit 77,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations Nov. 17, a single-day record, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project. Twenty states also reported the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for their state Nov. 17, reports The COVID Tracking Project.

  • Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective beginning 28 days after the first dose, the companies said 18. Phase 3 clinical trial data showed the vaccine’s efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race, and ethnicity demographics. The companies plan to apply for FDA emergency use authorization within daysand expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
  • The FDA on Nov. 17 issued emergency use authorization to the first at-home COVID-19 test. The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit is a molecular single use test that produces results within 30 minutes. A prescription is required to obtain the test.
  • Less costly interventions like promoting social distancing and food assistance programs may be as effective, or more, than lockdowns at controlling the pandemic, according to a study published in Nature Human Behavior. The finding is based on an analysis of 6,068 non-pharmaceutical interventions implemented in 79 territories worldwide this spring.
    (Becker’s Hospital Review, 11/18)

AAP: More than One Million Children in US Have Had COVID-19
More than 1 million U.S. children have had COVID-19 as of Nov. 12, according to data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. The highest weekly increase in new pediatric COVID-19 cases was reported during the week ending Nov. 12, with 111,946 new cases. In states reporting cases by age, children accounted for 11.5 percent of all COVID-19 cases.


 

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COVID ASSISTANCE: New App for New Yorkers Locating Benefits
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on Monday, announced the new app, Find Services, to help users locate benefits during the pandemic. The state Office of Information Technology Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance developed the app in partnership with Google. During a three-week pilot, more than 100,000 New Yorkers accessed it. Its code has been open-sourced to allow government entities to build their own benefits assistance system. (Crain’s Health Pulse 11/18)


Modern Healthcare: Amazon Pharmacy Not Likely to Disrupt Drug Fulfillment
Amazon customers in the U.S. can get prescriptions delivered to their home and receive up to an 80% discount when paying without insurance, the e-commerce giant announced Tuesday in its latest push into the healthcare industry. Amazon Prime members across 45 states will have access to unlimited, free two-day deliveries and can compare prices across 50,000 pharmacies. They can also save up to 80% on generic drugs and 40% off branded products when paying without insurance, which is administered by Evernorth subsidiary Inside Rx. (KFF, 11/17)


CDC Quietly Removes Guidance Pushing for School Reopenings
The CDC has quietly removed controversial guidance from its website that pushed for schools to reopen in the fall and downplayed the transmission risks of COVID-19 to children and others.  The CDC’s website now states that “the body of evidence is growing that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and contrary to early reports might play a role in transmission.” The website also acknowledges that “teachers and students are in close contact for much of the day, and schools can become a place where respiratory diseases like COVID-19 can quickly spread.” (The Hill, 11/17)


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Important Info: Workers’ Compensation Board Prescription Drug Formulary
As you are aware, legislation was signed in 2017 that required the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) to establish a prescription drug formulary. After multiple public comment periods, the Board adopted the New York Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary (Formulary) regulations in May 2019. These regulations required new prescriptions to comply with the Formulary by December 5, 2019, and refill prescriptions to comply by June 5, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board moved the date for refill compliance with the Formulary to January 1, 2021.

As with any formulary, providers must have a way to prescribe non-formulary agents to treat worker-specific issues. To accommodate that need, a prior authorization process, using the Board’s online Medical Portal, was implemented. To date, there have been nearly 40,000 requests by providers to use non-Formulary medications through the Medical Portal prior authorization process.

As the Board approaches the final step in Formulary implementation, refill compliance, it is taking some additional time to ensure that the Formulary and prior authorization process work for all stakeholders. Thus, the Board is temporarily suspending the January 1, 2021, date for refill compliance, and a new date (likely spring, 2021), will be announced soon. Between now and then, the Board will address feedback from providers and payers; make system and process improvements by aligning with the initial release of the Board’s new business information system, OnBoard; and continue outreach and education to key users.

In the meantime, if providers have any difficulty getting needed medications for injured workers, or if payers have questions, please reach out to the Board’s Medical Director’s Office at wcbformularyquestions@wcb.ny.gov.

                           About the Formulary Prior Authorization Process
A full description of the Formulary and the prior authorization process, including two sets of Q&As, are posted on the Board’s website. You are encouraged to review the Q&As as a reminder of associated prior authorization requirements and parameters.


Waiving ACA Provision for Essential Benefits Would Raise Out-Of-Pocket Costs
As the Supreme Court considers the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, an analysis released Monday found that eliminating or permitting states to waive the law’s provision that protects 10 essential health benefits could contribute to thousands of dollars in new out-of-pocket expenses for patients. On Monday, David Sandman, president of the New York State Health Foundation, detailed in a new blog post that if the law were to fall, the effect on New York would include 3.2 million individuals losing coverage; rising premiums, which have dropped by about 55% under the ACA; and the potential loss of some $10 billion in federal funding for the state. If the ACA does “survive another near-death experience,” it would be good news for New York, which has been among the states to implement it most successfully, Sandman noted.

“In the meantime, our leaders will need to focus on curbing the pandemic, ramping up for an equitable distribution of vaccines and ensuring that everyone can get the care they need,” Sandman wrote. “But we also need to make sure that our health care and public health systems are prepared to keep us safe and healthy in the long term, during and beyond the pandemic.” (Crain’s Health Plus 11/18)


AMA 2020 House of Delegates
Physicians discussed the best way to advocate for new flexibilities in telemedicine granted to patients and clinicians due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the American Medical Association virtual Special Meeting of its House of Delegates.

Whether in response to mandatory quarantines or patients’ concern for their own risk of transmitting the virus, many more patients are choosing telemedicine, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has encouraged that shift in care by relaxing many of the restrictions that typically limit patient access to telemedicine.

At the meeting on Saturday, during committee discussions, AMA delegates introduced two separate resolutions focused on this issue.

The New York delegation called for continued coverage of “the full spectrum of technologies” available during the pandemic; urged that public and private payers appropriately account for the “time and complexity” of care; and suggested that current emergency regulations, which have improved access and reimbursement, be made permanent.

Robert Goldberg, DO, a New York delegate and the author of the policy recommendation, sought to amend his original resolution from calling for insurers to provide coverage for telemedicine “with any physician licensed and registered to practice in the United States” to “any physician permitted to practice under state law.”

Goldberg called for more narrow language in order to discourage insurers from hiring physician assistants and nurse practitioners across the country in place of physicians. (Medpage, Nov.17)


 


John Maese, MD, Honored: Staten Islanders Who Stepped Up to Fight COVID-19
                       At the pandemic’s peak, heroes put their neighbors first

A strong advocate for keeping doctors connected to the community, Dr. John Maese had his staff call a number of patients every day to check on their mental well-being at the onset of the pandemic.

“It’s so important to have that doctor-patient bond,” Maese says. “And for people who are alone, it’s very frightening to be by yourself. And so many elderly are by themselves – knowing somebody cared enough to call was really a plus.”

The line of communication between doctor and patient didn’t end there. For years, Maese has been one of the many physicians encouraging hospitals to adopt the telehealth option. Previously, Maese worked on the National Governors Association’s telemedicine team from 2004 to 2006. During the pandemic, Maese worked with other physicians in the Richmond County Medical Society to bring the necessary resources and training to hospitals on Staten Island to make more telehealth appointments possible, especially for the borough’s most vulnerable patients, like the elderly and those who live alone.

“About 15% of the doctors were using telemedicine before COVID-19, and we were able to convert and give out information and teach the doctors how to do telehealth so that 85% of them were doing telehealth within a month of COVID,” Maese says.

Maese was also involved with the Staten Island Community Organizations Active in Disasters, a coalition of nonprofit organizations and health facilities dedicated to combating the pandemic. It created a communications system to effectively transmit the same information communitywide to avoid misinformation as the pandemic progressed.

Now that physicians have a better understanding of how to effectively treat patients with COVID-19, the group is communicating less frequently. However, Maese and his team continue to stay dedicated to community guidance and ensuring that Staten Island residents feel cared for.

Dr. Maese is a 31-year member of MSSNY the Richmond County Medical Society and the Academy of Medicine of Richmond.


Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Bi-Weekly Call
Please join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, November 19th at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM 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 7359106#

REGISTER NOW

Registration Now Open: Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans Webinar
Monday, November 23rd @ 7:30 am
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans live webinar on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:             November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:           Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them.

Register here.

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.




Registration Now Open for Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency
Registration is now open for Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency on December 10th from 7:30-8:30 am.

Frank Dowling, MD will serve as faculty for this webinar.

Educational Objectives are:

  • Review the warning signs that stress, depression, anxiety, or substance use may impact work or personal life
  • Identify strategies to increase personal empowerment toward making positive change, including self-assessment tools
  • Recognize self-monitoring strategies for stress related problems and know when to seek professional assistance

Register by clicking here.  Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

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

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

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


 

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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: November 13, 2020 – Survey: 66% Have Difficulty Obtaining PPE

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Colleagues:

Over the last few weeks amid the rising number of COVID 19 cases in NYS and rising COVID-19 hospital admissions, MSSNY heard anecdotal reports of increasing PPE supply chain disruption from members. A MSSNY survey was conducted last week to ascertain the scope of the problem.  Highlights of the survey show:

  • Nearly 2/3 of the physician respondents indicated that they are at least “sometimes” finding it difficult to obtain needed PPE 
  • Over 40% of the physician respondents have indicated that it takes them at least 4 weeks to get their PPE from when they order it; Nearly 20% said it takes at least 6 weeks. 
  • 53% of the physician respondents said the cost of PPE has gone up by at least 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and nearly 1/3 have said the cost has gone up by more than 50% 
  • 1/3 of the physician respondents indicated that the lack of available/affordable PPE has impacted their ability to care for patients; and 
  • Only 6% of the physician respondents said that health insurers were at least “sometimes” helping to cover the increased cost. 

MSSNY has shared these results with the NYS DOH and has reiterated our need for additional state assistance on this front. We have also sought to share our concerns with the media and the public to have them be more aware of the consequence of these challenges to patient care delivery.  NYS must heed the lessons learned this spring. Our NYS community physicians are our first line of defense in the fight against COVID. Our community physician offices must remain open to take care of patients and help fend off the rise in hospital admissions.  To stay open, they need a ready supply of affordable, reliable PPE and they need the state government to help provide that PPE.  Models exist that have worked in states like California and Texas that helped to procure millions of dollars’ worth of PPE for their State Medical Societies to distribute to their community-based physicians.

Second Wave

As cases begin to surge in NYS, our physicians are not only concerned about PPE but also their ability to keep their doors open for patients amid a second wave. With this in mind, your MSSNY member benefits committee has been actively looking for products and partnerships to enhance your bottom line. MSSNY is excited to present such an offer to our members– a GPO (Group Purchasing Organization) member benefit through Premier Inc, one of the largest group purchasing companies.  There are no fees and no minimums, just savings for you and your practice.  The savings in most cases are significant and will more than cover the cost of MSSNY membership.  Enrollment is simple and employed physicians can also sign up (as long as their employer does not belong to a different GPO). You can save on PPE, office supplies from companies such as Staples, Fed Ex, cell phone contracts, vaccines, office equipment, laboratory supplies and much more.  The pricing is transparent and not dependent on purchasing volume.  Stay tuned for details on sign up which will be sent in emails, communications from county societies and on our MSSNY website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Things are progressing rapidly with the vaccine and it is anticipated that the first supply of Pfizer’s vaccine will arrive in the state in December. Plans call for the initial supply to be disbursed to the healthcare workforce in hospitals and local health departments. As vaccine supplies become available, the plan calls for it to be dispersed to healthcare workers and patients in long term care facility, federally qualified health centers, urgent care centers, pharmacies, state institutional settings, ambulatory care providers, including independent private practices and clinics, and home health/hospice care.

For any private practice or clinic to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to patients, they MUST BE ENROLLED in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) or in New York City’s Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR). The New York State Department of Health has informed us that enrollment in the NYSDOH COVID-19 Program for ambulatory care providers, including independent private practices and clinics, is expected to open on December 21, with a webinar slated for December 22 to answer questions. A recorded webinar will be available earlier in December to review at your convenience. Additional written material, including an enrollment instructions guide, will also be provided. MSSNY will provide you with this information as soon as it is available. ​

The next few weeks will be filled with some uncertainty but one thing you can be certain of is that your MSSNY will be looking out for you and your patients.

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


MSSNY, AMA Part of Team Efforts to Prevent Steep Medicare Cuts for 2021
This week the AMA joined together with several other national specialty society to send a letter to Congressional leaders urging action to prevent steep Medicare cuts to many specialties in 2021.  Last week, MSSNY also joined with several other northeastern state medical societies in a joint letter to Congress urging action to prevent these cuts, and MSSNY issued a statement on Thursday on this issue:

To supplement these efforts, physicians are urged to send a letter to their respective members of the House of Representatives and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand here.

Joining MSSNY on its letter to Congress were the medical societies of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.   The letter notes that: “the CMS MPFS Proposed Rule would increase payments for Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes—increases that are sorely needed, and which we support. However, in doing so, CMS is bound by statute to remain budget neutral—to offset any increases by making corresponding decreases.

To meet these requirements, CMS has proposed a drastic, nearly 11% decrease to the conversion factor that determines all Medicare payment rates. These cuts will be harmful to primary care physicians (PCPs) and other medical specialty types. For example, while the positive E/M changes were meant to give PCPs a significant increase, having a conversion factor decrease of 11% means that those benefits are diminished—especially in face of increased cost and decreased reimbursements during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call

COVID:

– Day 258
– 200,000 tests conducted yesterday, all-time high
– Statewide rate is 2.6% with hotspots included, down from 2.9%
– Statewide rate without hotspots included is 2.2%
– Rate in micro-clusters is 4.5%, down from 4.8%
– 24 fatalities
– 1,700 hospitalizations, up 60 from yesterday
– 331 in ICU
– 137 intubations

COVID Restrictions:
– Rockland will go from orange to yellow zone
– Gov. said he will speak with Governors of neighboring states this weekend to align policies, believes additional measures will need to be taken in addition to recent restrictions to restaurants, bars, and gyms

Q&A:

On Mayor de Blasio’s comments on closing schools on Monday:
– Gov. said infection rate in schools is low
– State has general parameters for schools: less than 5% to open, 9% requires closure
– Local districts were to specify their own parameters within these, NYC agreed on 3%
– Mayor de Blasio is correct that 3% would trigger closure, but Gov. suggests schools remain open, saying schools “are not the problem” right now

On long waits for testing in NYC:
– Gareth Rhodes (DFS Deputy Supt.) said over 1,200 test sites statewide, 425 in NYC
– Rhodes said some sites may have delays, but many have open appointments daily
– coronavirus.health.ny.gov lists sites, residents can see where openings are near them

On COVID in schools upstate and why yellow zone schools are required to conduct testing as opposed to “problem areas”
– Gov. said yellow zone is considered a problem area, just to a lesser degree than red or orange zones

On why de Blasio is being allowed to close NYC schools when Gov. has previously asserted it is within the state’s jurisdiction to mandate school closures:
– Gov said state overrides all localities on closures, however, schools could set their own parameters for closure
– NYC’s parameters are within compliance of state regulation, infection rates were based on geographic area, not the infection rate within the school district


 

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Department of Financial Services (DFS) Extends COVID-19 Telehealth Policy
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced on November 9th that it had extended its existing, critically important policy for requiring New York State health insurance plans to cover Telehealth services without patient cost-sharing for another 60 days:

Earlier this year, the DFS had issued a circular letter noting its requirements for insurers to a) waive cost-sharing requirements for services delivered via telemedicine b) permit coverage for health care services delivered via audio-only mechanisms and c) enabling delivery of telemedicine services through basic smartphone and video technologies.

MSSNY is also working with the American Medical Association (AMA) to advocate for making permanent Medicare policies to help cover telemedicine services for patients and is seeking permanent policy changes at the state level that will provide parity in payment for physicians for health care services delivered via video, as well as required insurer coverage for delivering care for audio-only visits with patients. MSSNY will continue its work with outside partners, and key lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session to make these temporary policies permanent, as well as legislation to require health insurers to ensure “payment parity” between telemedicine visits and in-office visits. Additionally, Governor Cuomo signed legislation, early this summer, that requires Medicaid coverage for “audio-only” telemedicine.

Some physicians across the state had integrated Telemedicine into their practices prior to the onset of the pandemic, but the COVID19 crisis forced physicians and other health care providers to quickly increase their capacity to provide care remotely. A May MSSNY survey showed that 83% of the physician respondents indicated they had incorporated telemedicine into their practice, with nearly half the respondents noting that they were treating at least 25% of their patients remotely. Moreover, a recent Fair Health study showed that, for the northeastern part of the country, use of Telehealth went from 0.08% of claim submissions in May 2019 to 12.5% of claims submitted in May 2020.

Even though two of the many vaccines in clinical trials have shown great promise, none have received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health experts anticipate that COVID-19 will remain a public health threat for the foreseeable future, even once they are approved. Therefore, it is reasonably likely that this expanded Telehealth coverage policy will be extended beyond January.


NY: Positive Tests Climb to 2.9% from Less than 1%
On Wednesday, New York reported 4,820 additional virus cases and 21 deaths. At the beginning of September, it was reporting between 700 and 800 daily cases and less than 10 daily fatalities. The rate of positive tests has climbed to 2.9%, from less than 1%. The state has 1,628 people hospitalized for COVID, twice as many as a month ago. (Bloomberg, 11/11)


HHS Secretary Azar: Predicted “Enough Vaccine for General Public Vaccination”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar predicted “there would be enough COVID-19 vaccine for general public vaccination campaigns by spring 2021.” He “outlined what he said would be the distribution schedule for Pfizer’s and other companies’ experimental vaccines, none of which are approved, but Pfizer said Monday its vaccine is over 90 percent effective at preventing coronavirus infection.”

Azar said “there would be enough of the vaccine to inoculate at-risk nursing home residents, health care workers and first responders by the end of January and that there should be ‘enough for all Americans by the end of March to early April to have general vaccination programs.’”


Young People with Coronavirus Often Asymptomatic Can Still Transmit Virus
Young, healthy people who contract the coronavirus are often asymptomatic, very rarely need hospital care and can transmit the virus to a roommate unwittingly even when following strict quarantine orders, according to two new studies” published in the New England Journal of Medicine. These “findings support the need for strong measures, like daily testing, that go beyond the temperature checks and symptom reporting now commonly deployed to prevent transmission in offices, dormitories and other group settings, the authors said.”  One study examined the spread of the virus among Marine recruits, while the other examined the outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.


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AMA Calls on State Medical and Pharmacy Boards to Review Walmart’s Admitted Interference into The Practice of Medicine and Pharmacy
It has come to our attention that Walmart may have sent you a letter regarding its recent lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice. A copy of the complaint is attached for your reference. While we do not have any comment at this time on the legal arguments made by Walmart in its complaint against the U.S. Department of Justice, there are several factual matters of concern.

First, it is concerning that Walmart says it has denied prescriptions to hundreds of thousands of patients and thousands of physicians and other health care professionals. The concern stems from the fact that these denials likely result from an inappropriate corporate policy built on arbitrary prescribing restrictions that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says should not be used to create hard policy thresholds.

The AMA is further concerned that Walmart describes a type of back-room investigatory body at its corporate headquarters that decides whether individual patient care decisions are appropriate or not—using some unknown algorithm to approve or deny a patient’s prescription for controlled substances. If a Walmart—or any other pharmacist—has a question about a prescription, the AMA has full faith in the physician-pharmacist-patient therapeutic triad to resolve questions. As it is, Walmart’s corporate policy results in no due process for physicians, handcuffs its pharmacists and harms patients.

Whether Walmart wins or loses its lawsuit is for the courts to decide, but the AMA once again calls on state medical and pharmacy boards to meaningfully review Walmart’s admitted interference into the practice of medicine and pharmacy. State medical and pharmacy boards are the appropriate venue to ensure the safe, ethical practice of medicine and pharmacy, respectively. A corporate entity should not be permitted to take these wide-ranging actions that have harmed health care professionals and the patients they care for.


Starting Monday!
OnBoard: Limited Release Informational Webinars for Health Care Providers
This is a reminder that starting Monday, the Workers’ Compensation Board will be presenting informational webinars about OnBoard: Limited Release and how it will benefit you as a health care provider. Each one-hour webinar will cover an overview and timeline for OnBoard: Limited Release, the efficiencies it will bring to your processes, what you can do now to prepare, and how we will be training you to use the new system.

Registration is required and you can register for the session that works best for you.

November 16, 2020, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (Session is full)
November 17, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


REGISTER NOW

Registration Open; November 18, 2020 @ 7:30 am Medical Matters CME Webinar
COVID-19: Stories from the Frontline

Learn more about the COVID-19 timeline, best practices, and adaptive measures.  Register now for: “COVID-19: Stories from the Frontlineon Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, vice-chair of MSSNY Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities 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:

  • Examine the timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Discuss best practices and need vs. supply for personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Outline adaptive measures taken to remedy shortfalls in staffing and equipment

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

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

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


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Registration Now Open: Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans Webinar
Monday, November 23rd @ 7:30 am
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans live webinar on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:             November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:           Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them.

Register here.

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.




Registration Now Open for Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency
Registration is now open for Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency on December 10th from 7:30-8:30 am.

Frank Dowling, MD will serve as faculty for this webinar.

Educational Objectives are:

  • Review the warning signs that stress, depression, anxiety, or substance use may impact work or personal life
  • Identify strategies to increase personal empowerment toward making positive change, including self-assessment tools
  • Recognize self-monitoring strategies for stress related problems and know when to seek professional assistance

Register by clicking here.  Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

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

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

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


 

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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 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 Applauds NY Congressional Members Who Signed Letter Urging Legislation to Prevent 2021 Double Digit Medicare Cuts

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2020

MSSNY Applauds NY Congressional Members Who Signed Letter Urging Legislation to Prevent 2021 Double Digit Medicare Cuts
 

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

“We thank the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined their colleagues in a bi-partisan letter initiated by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) urging that legislation be passed by Congress to prevent double digit Medicare cuts for 2021 as proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that could significantly adversely impact access to care to many seniors.

“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.

“MSSNY also recently joined with eight other northeastern state medical associations in a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to prevent these cuts that could not come at a worse time as we again confront a surge in COVID-19 cases and practices have not fully recovered from record drops in patient visits.

“As Congress begins to look towards an end of year package to extend funding for the federal government, New York’s physicians working alongside physicians across the country are strongly urging Congress to prevent these cuts to help maintain continuity of care for our patients.”

# # #

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

AMA Supports H.R. 8702

Today, a coalition of organizations representing physicians and allied health professionals, including the AMA, sent the attached letter to Congressional leadership expressing support for H.R. 8702, the “Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act of 2020,” which was introduced by Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN).

The legislation was drafted in response to the anticipated impact of the 2021 Medicare physician payment schedule rule, scheduled to be released about Dec. 1, that will cause a significant redistribution in payments beginning in January.  In the proposed rule issued last summer, CMS estimated the range of impacts on specialties to range between -11% and +17%, depending on the mix of services provided.

Medicine has been arguing for waiving the budget neutrality requirement, or at least postponing it during the COVID-19 pandemic, given the pandemic’s already severe impact on practice revenues.  However, due to the budget impact and concerns in Congress about setting a precedent of legislative intervention into statutory budget neutrality requirements, a total waiver is no longer being discussed.

H.R. 8702 would effectively freeze payments at 2020 rates for services scheduled to be cut in 2021 for a period of two years, while allowing the planned E/M payment increases to take place as scheduled.  It would also avert steep payment cuts for hospital, nursing home, and critical care visits.  At the end of the two-year reprieve, the full budget neutrality adjustment would take effect.

Importantly, as the attached impact table illustrates, all specialties will benefit from higher average payments under H.R. 8702.  No specialty would experience a negative impact below 0% (as opposed to a cut of 11% under current law) and specialties anticipating total Medicare payment increases in 2021 will see additional increases.  (Columns 3 and 4 show the estimated impacts without and with implementation of H.R. 8702, respectively.)  The legislation is broadly, but not universally, supported by physician organizations.

The pandemic has hit all specialties hard, and there is no question that payment reductions in a program as important as Medicare threaten practice viability and must be stopped.  The AMA is supporting H.R. 8702 because it will stop very ill-timed Medicare payment cuts while allowing scheduled payment increases to move forward.

Final legislation will be crafted by the committees of jurisdiction; they are watching developments on the Bera-Bucshon legislation closely as a potential solution that does not involve an actual waiver of budget neutrality.  We will keep you informed of further developments.

MSSNY eNews: November 6, 2020 – To Offer COVID-19 Vaccine You Must Enroll in NYSIIS

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Colleagues:

The Medical Society of the State of New York is involved in helping New York State to plan for the COVID-19 vaccine.  As your president, I have been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force to help guide the process and  Pat Clancy, Sr. Vice President for MSSNY Public Health and Education, has been asked to serve on the operations workgroup for the state, which includes ensuring clinical training and provider support once the vaccine is available.

We must do all we can to prepare for this vaccine, and the first step is for any physicians interested in providing the COVID-19 Vaccine to be enrolled in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS). This includes physicians whose patients are adults only.  All physicians who are interested in providing the vaccine must first complete a survey for the state Department of Health.

This questionnaire can be found here and will begin the enrollment process into the NYSIIS system. Those physicians who are already enrolled in NYSIIS must also complete the questionnaire.  The survey assesses your interest in providing the vaccine to patients, and queries about practice size, location, storage ability, etc.

NYSIIS was established in 2008, and is a web based statewide immunization system that maintains computerized immunization data. Immunization information systems are operational in 46 states.  Any physician, who provides immunizations to children less than 19 years of age, must be enrolled in the system to enter the immunizations into the system.  For adults, Immunizations can be entered into the system if the adult consents to have that information stored.  More information about NYSIIS and how to enroll in this system can be found here.

Physicians who immunize children in New York City must enter the date into the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR).

Under New York State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program plan, New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution approach will be based solely on clinical and equitable standards that prioritize those at higher risk of exposure, illness and/or poor outcome. It is likely that initial vaccine distributions from the federal government will be for high risk populations and essential healthcare workers.  New York State is not only relying on community-based providers, but local health departments, long term care facilities, community health centers, rural health clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals to assist in this effort.

Concerns have been expressed by the public about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, and to that end Governor Cuomo has also appointed an array of experts to the Clinical Advisory Task Force to help advise the state on the vaccine’s safety and also assist with helping us to craft a positive message to our patients.

There will be further information in the weeks ahead and we will provide you with vaccine updates as the program takes shape.  If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org.

As we enter the “next wave” of the pandemic, we must work together to help New York State begin this major public health campaign. Today, we are asking you to take the first step to ensure that you can provide this immunization.

Our patients need us, now more than ever, in this pandemic!

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


NY Legislative Election Results Still Being Tabulated; Join Us for Virtual Lobby Day March 2
As reported earlier this week, with potentially over a million mail-in ballots to be counted across New York State, election results for New York legislative races remain under development. Based upon the initial tallies, Republicans stood a chance to pick up several seats in the New York State Senate to narrow the Democratic majority, currently at 40-23.  More on this here.

At the conclusion of Tuesday night, Republican candidates were winning in 7 Senate districts currently held by Democrats, including districts in Long Island, Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley.  On the other hand, Democrats had a chance to win 3 Senate districts currently held by Republicans in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.  There are also other competitive Senate races still too close to be called in Syracuse and the greater Capital District, where the number of outstanding ballots to be counted exceeds the difference in vote totals.  But in each of these races there are tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted.

With regard to New York’s Congressional delegation, after Tuesday night’s election, Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents held a lead in 3 Congressional seats, including on Long Island, Staten Island and the Mohawk Valley/Southern Tier, again with thousands of ballots still to be counted.  More here.

Even with these potential Republican gains, the New York State Assembly and Senate will still be governed by sizable Democratic majorities in 2021, and the US House of Representatives will maintain a Democratic majority.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of these races, there are likely to be dozens of new legislators in Albany next year, and we will need physicians to continue to work to educate these new lawmakers on the litany of issues physicians face in delivering care to their patients. Please plan to put Tuesday, March 2 on your calendar for MSSNY’s Virtual Physician Advocacy Day!


Updated PPE Survey for Physicians

Several months ago, MSSNY sent a survey to physicians asking them about whether they have experienced challenges in procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) for their practices. Thank you to the many of you who responded.

The purpose of this survey is to obtain updated data to share with policymakers whether these difficulties in obtaining PPE continue to exist for physicians. Since the last survey, MSSNY has taken several steps to assist physicians with obtaining needed PPE, and soon will be announcing an agreement with an entity to help further ensure availability. .

Please take just a few minutes to complete the survey.


MSSNY Weekly Podcast


Governor Cuomo’s NYS Coronavirus Update: “Mask Up”

Chart of the Day: Yesterday, NY State reported over 160,000 diagnostic tests.

The positivity rate in the “micro-cluster” focus areas fell was 3.04 percent yesterday. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.70 percent. Of the 161,019 tests reported yesterday, 2,997, or 1.86 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations were at 1,277. Sadly, we lost 24 New Yorkers.


Download the COVID Alert NY App Today
New York launched an Exposure Notification App so that New Yorkers can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and receive exposure alert notifications without compromising privacy or personal information. Click here to download it directly to your iPhone. Click here to download it directly to your Android device.


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Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Cases Top 120,000 in a Day
The U.S. recorded another record day of newly reported coronavirus infections Thursday, a nearly 20% increase from a day earlier.

Thursday’s 121,888 newly reported infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, bring the U.S. total to more than 9.6 million. The tally is 18.5% higher than the previous record high, Wednesday’s count of 102,831. It is the third day in a week the U.S. has set a daily record. Last Friday’s tally was 99,321.

The number of people dying of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is increasing again as well. More than 1,200 deaths were reported on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins data, a figure not seen since mid-September following sharp increase in the summer. Overall, nearly 235,000 people have died of the disease in the U.S.

States in the Midwest are being hit particularly hard—with many reporting record-high infection counts on Thursday—including Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Several others have reported record-high daily figures in recent days.

Overall, 13 states posted record-high numbers on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins. The nation’s seven-day moving average of daily new cases—which smooths out data irregularities—is 94,626, including Thursday’s tally, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. The 14-day average is 85,569. When the seven-day average is higher than the 14-day average, it suggests case numbers are rising. (WSJ, Nov. 6)


Council Notes-November 5, 2020

  • Council approved the 2021 Legislative Program.
  • New member benefit: MSSNY members will soon have access to Premier, a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) that offers the most comprehensive purchasing portfolio of products and services available in the market.  Premier offers best pricing on everything from medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, to business solutions and support, to employee benefits and IT/Telecom services. MSSNY members will soon receive an email with a link to join and begin receiving these premier benefits.
  • Council approved working with the AMA in supporting litigation that defends the right of the New York State government to place restrictions on the size of indoor gatherings to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
  • Council approved taking further steps to work with entities and law firms that are defending against a further troublesome expansion of New York’s “date of discovery” exception to its Statute of Limitations for medical liability claims.
  • MSSNY’s virtual Lobby Day will be hosted in Albany on March 2, 2021.
  • Council approved the following resolution: MSSNY will support legislation that prohibits a “restrictive covenant” provision in a health system-physician employment contract or in a contract between an MSO and a physician that limits the ability of the physician to deliver care in the same region after the physician leaves employment from the health system or the medical practice. MSSNY will conduct a survey of physicians to assess support or opposition to legislation to prohibit all restrictive covenants.

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How Many Lives Could Be Saved by Mask Wearing?
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD reviewing IHME COVID-19 Forecasting Team. Nat Med 2020 Oct 23

A model suggests that universal mask wearing could save more than 100,000 U.S. lives in the next 4 months.

Mask wearing has become politically polarizing: Some people regard it as a silly constraint on their freedom. Studies show that mask use reduces transmission of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, by about 40%. In the U.S., only about 50% of people are wearing masks in public in November 2020. In countries with much higher rates of mask use — such as South Korea and New Zealand — sustained reductions in cases of COVID-19 have been achieved, and their economies are rebounding.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle has collected data from all states since the onset of the pandemic. Their models estimate that universal mask use (defined as 95% mask use in public) could save 130,000 lives between September 22, 2020, and February 28, 2021. (NEJM Journal Watch, Nov.5) https://www.jwatch.org/na52734/2020/11/05/how-many-lives-could-be-saved-mask-wearing?query=etoc_jwgenmed&jwd=000012759862&jspc=

COMMENT
Disease modeling is sometimes disparaged as “just a model, not reality.” That surely is true, but future reality can only be estimated by models. The IHME projections about the future of this pandemic have been used extensively by the U.S. government’s COVID-19 task force and have proven to be quite accurate. Thus, the IHME estimate, that 130,000 lives could be saved in the U.S. in just the next 4 months by universal mask wearing, should be taken seriously — and it likely would help keep the economy open, too. These points are worth discussing with patients.


MSSNY’s Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
The Medical Society of the State of New York now offers to physicians, residents, and medical students an opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. MSSNY’s Physician Wellness and Resiliency Committee launched a Peer 2 Peer (P2P) program to assist their colleagues who are need of help in dealing with work and family stressors. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the emotional issues related to this event, may also be troubling for our colleagues.

If you or a physician colleague is struggling with everyday life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to be connected with a peer supporter to help!

Email: P2P@mssny.org and request that you be connected with a peer supporter

Phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter.

MSSNY is seeking volunteer peer supporters!

A peer supporter is an individual who has shared experiences, listens without judgement, can validate feelings, and provide SUPPORT, EMPATHY AND PERSPECTIVE. This is someone who also provides supports to systems and practices and encourages the use of positive coping skills. They also help connect the individual with needed treatment.

Physicians, residents, or medical students who are members of MSSNY can become volunteer peer supporters.

Upcoming Peer to Peer training

MSSNY is offering free training to volunteer peers. There is a required total of 3 ½ hours of training needed to be a peer supporter with MSSNY.

The 2-hour “How to be a Peer” taught by Dr. Jo Shapiro, will be offered November 18th from 5-7PM.

A 1 ½ hour Psychological First Aid and Administrative Overview of the P2P Program, taught by Dr. Craig Katz and Pat Clancy, Sr. Vice President/Managing Director of Public Health & Education, will be offered in the near future.

There will also be other on-line course work that a peer can avail themselves of through MSSNY’s CME website.

If you are interested in participating in the upcoming training to become a peer supporter with MSSNY, please contact Cayla Lauder at clauder@mssny.org or call (518) 465-8085.


MSSNY in the News

Crain’s Health Pulse – 10/28/20
State taps 25 health leaders to help reduce administrative costs
(MSSNY Senior Vice President and Chief Legislative Counsel, Moe Auster mentioned)

Democrat & Chronicle – 10/30/20
Buckle up: New York to mandate safety belt use in rear seats Sunday
(Pat Clancy, MSSNY Sr. Vice President/Managing Director
Public Health and Education in video clip)

Press Republican – 10/31/20
Docs say legal weed would be bad medicine for New York’s fiscal ailments
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Also ran in Niagara Gazette
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online
Daily Star
Orleans Daily Herald
Post-Star

Crain’s Health Pulse – 11/02/20
Medical societies urge states to weigh negative effects of legalizing recreational marijuana
(MSSNY mentioned)

Marijuana Moment
State Medical Societies Team Up To Condemn Marijuana Legalization Efforts Amid COVID
(MSSNY mentioned)

Crain’s Health Pulse – 11/05/20
As NJ voters say yes on recreational marijuana, health experts remain cautious
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)



Registration Now Open for: COVID-19: Stories from the Frontline
November 18, 2020 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar

On Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM vice chair of MSSNY Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities 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.

Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, an emergency department physician at Mt. Sinai Downtown, will share his experience from the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Discuss best practices and need vs. supply for personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Outline adaptive measures taken to remedy shortfalls in staffing and equipment

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: Suicide in Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:    November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty: Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them

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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AMA: The Year Ahead: Exclusive Interview with Dr. Fauci and AMA Reaction Panel
When: Saturday, Nov. 7, 9-10:30 a.m.
Join us for a discussion with Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and James Madara, MD, AMA CEO and EVP, as they explore COVID-19 and what lies ahead for physicians and medical students. Following the interview, a panel of experts will discuss the AMA’s ongoing work in the areas of health equity, physician wellness and practice sustainability, medical education, advocacy and more.

You must be an AMA member to register. Registration Now Open


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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.

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 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 Praises Governor’s Executive Order Provision for Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 and Influenza Test Results to DOH

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2020

MSSNY Praises Governor’s Executive Order Provision for Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 and Influenza Test Results to DOH

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

“Physicians across the state very much appreciate that the Governor’s latest Executive Order contains a provision to provide some additional time flexibility for reporting positive and negative COVID-19 and influenza test results to the Department of Health.  Under this provision, physicians and other test providers can report positive and negative test results in 24 hours, rather than 3 hours as previously required.

“Physicians are anxious to provide these needed tests to their patients to ensure proper diagnoses, to begin necessary treatments and if necessary, to ensure their patients can begin quarantining as soon as possible.  Physicians are also anxious to ensure that results are reported timely to assist the State in its containment and other response efforts.

“We thank the Governor and the Commissioner of Health for taking this important action.”

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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

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