MSSNY eNews: December 3, 2021


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Colleagues:

This week, MSSNY extended a warm welcome to Dr. Mary Bassett as she begins her tenure as New York State’s Health Commissioner. We look forward to working closely with her to address the health needs of all New Yorkers.

As I said in my press statement, Dr. Bassett joins New York State at a uniquely challenging time in history and we are confident that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of public health will help her to guide New Yorkers through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic—and future public health challenges.

At the moment, the greatest challenge is the concerning rise of COVID positivity and hospitalizations in parts of New York. There are nearly 40, mostly upstate, hospitals whose bed capacity is less than 10 percent. And just yesterday we received news that several cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in New York State.

This week, I—along with MSSNY President-Elect Dr. Parag Mehta and Vice-President Dr. Paul Pipia—met with top officials to Governor Hochul to discuss aspects of her recent emergency order that will give the NYS Department of Health the authority to limit elective procedures at hospitals that have less than 10% bed capacity, and cannot safely coordinate patient services with a nearby hospital who does not face similar capacity limitations.  While this may be a necessary step for some hospitals based upon their current capacity challenges, we also urged caution in blanket restrictions on “elective” surgeries to ensure patients continue to have the ability to receive urgently needed care, such as necessary cancer screening tests (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) and surgeries that address patient health issues that substantially impact patients’ ability to live without pain and go to work. See the first article below for specific guidance on limiting elective surgeries set forth today by Governor Hochul and the Department of Health. Determinations as to which hospitals are subject to the limitations will be made this Monday 12/6; procedures at these hospitals to be delayed starting on Thursday 12/9.

Earlier this week, the CDC strengthened its recommendation on booster doses to indicate that everyone 18 years of age and older should get a booster shot either 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine. If you are a physician COVID vaccine provider, click here to view Guidance for The New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Let’s do all we can to encourage our patients to get their vaccinations and boosters so we can all look forward to enjoying a safe and healthy holiday season with family and friends.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President


Governor Hochul and DOH Set Forth Guidance for Limiting Elective Surgery at Certain Hospitals
The New York State Department of Health sent a “Dear Administrator” Letter (DAL) today to hospitals across the state detailing the framework when facilities must, upon DOH review and determination, limit non-essential elective procedures and/or implement other actions to coordinate services as determined by DOH to ensure New York State health systems and Impacted Facilities can address potential capacity constraints.  Governor Hochul had announced last week that such restrictions would be forthcoming in response to the big jump in COVID hospitalizations in several regions of the State, and the unknown impact of the Omicron variant.

As noted in our e-news article earlier this week, as part of a meeting with MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers, President-elect Dr. Parag Mehta and Vice-President Dr. Paul Pipia, key health staff to the Hochul Administration indicated that a key goal in implementing such a policy is that it be far more nuanced and limited than previous iterations of elective surgery restrictions. A few of the notable components of the DAL include:

  • Determinations of which hospitals will need to restrict elective procedures will be on Monday, December 6, to apply to procedures scheduled to occur on or after Thursday, December 9.
  • The restrictions on elective surgeries do not apply to procedures performed at specialty facilities (such as a cancer treatment facility), non-hospital owned ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery practices, or free-standing diagnostic and treatment centers.
  • The limitations will apply to only those facilities that are in regions of the State considered to be high risk (as defined in the DAL) AND have less than 10% bed availability. While not stated in the DAL, it would appear that those regions currently considered “high risk” are: North Country, Capital District, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Western New York
  • Impacted Facilities may be required to limit non-essential elective procedures at a hospital-owned ambulatory surgery centers if the Impacted Facility has an occupancy of 95% or higher based on the previous 7-day average.
  • The following procedures are considered essential, and not subject to the restrictions.
    • Cancer, including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer
    • Neurosurgery
    • Intractable Pain
    • Highly symptomatic patients
    • Transplants
    • Trauma
    • Cardiac with symptoms
    • Limb threatening vascular procedures
    • Dialysis Vascular Access

Moreover, there is an important “catch all” provision to provide flexibility to physicians and their patients to enable procedures not listed above at these restricted facilities where “Patients are at a clinically high risk of harm if their procedures are not completed”

MSSNY staff is continuing to review this document and will be discussing with allied groups to assess the impact to patient access to needed care. MSSNY will also continue to stay in regular communication with the Governor’s office and the DOH about where patient access gaps exist to ensure necessary flexibility to this policy.


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MSSNY Legislative Podcast
Rising COVID Cases, the Omicron Variant & Elective Surgery Restriction Policies


MSSNY Micro Masterclass Webinar:  Submitting Formal Insurer Complaints to the Appropriate Agency
Do you have unresolved claims payment issues with an insurer? Not sure how to pursue a resolution? Settle in with your lunch and join Heather Lopez, Director of MSSNY’s Payment and Practice Division, at 12:15 pm on December 9 for a 15-minute masterclass on filing and following up on insurer complaints. Heather will share information on how to determine the proper agency for the complaint as well as providing contact information for each of the agencies. Please register to join us for the webinar at https://bit.ly/31j1fUt 


Higher and Faster Growing Spending Per Medicare Advantage Enrollee Adds to Medicare’s Solvency and Affordability Challenges
The Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis examining Medicare spending per person for beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage (MA), relative to traditional Medicare. The number of people enrolled in Medicare, along with its spending, has increased since its inception. In the last decade, there has also been a significant increase in MA enrollment – with enrollment doubling in the last decade. Publicly available data from CMS was used in this study. Findings include:

  • Medicare spending for MA enrollees was $321 higher per person in 2019 than if enrollees had been covered by traditional Medicare. This difference in spending contributed to an estimated $7 billion in additional spending in the Medicare program in 2019.
  • The growth in MA enrollment only explains half of the projected increase in total MA spending between 2021 and 2029, while half is attributable to growth in Medicare payments per MA enrollee (adjusting for inflation).
  • Using Medicare Payment Advisory Commission protections and recommendations for MA plan payments could save $82 billion between 2021 and 2029. If Medicare payments for MA plans grew at the same rate as is projected for traditional Medicare spending (per person), total Medicare spending would be $183 billion lower between 2021 and 2029.

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More Than Half of Global Telehealth Providers Have Patients Who Declined Telehealth Over Privacy, Data Concerns, Survey Says
mHealth Intelligence reports that while “the popularity of telehealth has grown over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic,” 52% of “global telehealth providers have experienced cases where patients refused to participate in a virtual visit either because they do not trust the technology or due to privacy or data concerns, according to” a new Kaspersky survey (PDF).

In addition, clinicians “have concerns, with 81 percent saying that they are uncertain about how patient data will be used and shared from these virtual sessions. They also expressed concerns about data security and the personal penalties that may arise if data is leaked.”


Obituaries
BAYARRI, Vincent; White Plains NY. Died September 18, 2021, age 94. Suffolk County Medical Society
BROWN, Howard Raymond; Williamsburg VA. Died August 25, 2021, age 88. New York County Medical Society
CUTLER, Leonard; Pittsboro NC. Died September 15, 2021, age 92. Medical Society County of Westchester
CUTROFELLO, Paul Joseph; Jamaica NY. Died July 24, 2021, age 88. Medical Society County of Queens
DAVIS, Paul Harvey; Staten Island NY. Died May 15, 2021, age 82. Richmond County Medical Society
DREYER, Ronald William; Scarsdale NY. Died November 18, 2020, age 92. Medical Society County of Rockland
FRIEDMAN, Norman Elliot; Scarsdale NY. Died November 07, 2020, age 91. Medical Society County of Westchester
GOLDMAN, Mitchell Barry; Oakdale NY. Died April 19, 2020, age 88. Suffolk County Medical Society
HEITZMAN, E. Robert Jr.; Syracuse NY. Died November 04, 2020, age 93. Onondaga County Medical Society
KATYAL, Inderjit; Medford NY. Died September 14, 2021, age 84. Suffolk County Medical Society
KORMAN, Elise H.; Moorestown NJ. Died August 17, 2021, age 84. Suffolk County Medical Society
MENDELOW, Joseph; Boca Raton FL. Died May 11, 2020, age 92. Erie County Medical Society
MUCCIA, John Richard; Liberty NY. Died October 03, 2019, age 78. Medical Society County of Sullivan
UEHLBAUER, Peter F.; Somers NY. Died November 09, 2020, age 81. Medical Society County of Westchester
NAUMANN, Ronald A.; Hilton Head Island SC. Died May 04, 2021, age 86. Onondaga County Medical Society
PARKER, Albert Cushman; Port Chester NY. Died July 11, 2021, age 88. Medical Society County of Westchester
PRIEBE, Cedric Joseph Jr.; East Setauket NY. Died January 19, 2019, age 88. Suffolk County Medical Society
RESZEL, Thaddeus F.; Massena NY. Died September 20, 2018, age 90. Medical Society County of St. Lawrence
SHAPIRO, Robert T.; Smithtown NY. Died August 20, 2020, age 82. Suffolk County Medical Society
WANLASS, Stanley A.; Columbus NC. Died January 06, 2012, age 89. Medical Society County of Westchester
WEI, Wen-Chen; New Hartford NY. Died November 21, 2021, age 87. Medical Society County of Oneida
WEIR, William H. Jr.; Wading River NY. Died June 22, 2017, age 87. Suffolk County Medical Society


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Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302


For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY Welcomes Mary Bassett, MD, MPH as NYS Department of Health Commissioner

Media Alert Banner

MSSNY Welcomes Mary Bassett, MD, MPH as NYS Department of Health Commissioner

Statement Attributable to: Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“MSSNY extends a warm welcome to Dr. Mary Bassett as she begins her tenure today as New York State’s Health Commissioner. Our member physicians look forward to working closely with Dr. Bassett to address the health needs of all New Yorkers.

“Dr. Bassett joins New York State at a uniquely challenging time in history and we are confident that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of public health will help her to guide New Yorkers through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic—and future public health challenges.

“During her years as commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Bassett worked to tackle racial, ethnic, and economic health inequities. We look forward to working with her to address those needs throughout the State in our shared fight for quality, accessible, and affordable health care for all New Yorkers.”

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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 Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x302 | rraia@mssny.org

MSSNY eNews: December 1, 2021 – MSSNY Meets with Gov’s Team about Recent Emergency Order

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MSSNY Physician Leadership Meets with Governor Hochul’s Team to Discuss Elective Surgery Limitations
MSSNY physician leaders and staff met with top officials to Governor Hochul this week to discuss aspects of her recent emergency order that will give the NYS Department of Health the authority to limit elective procedures at hospitals that have less than 10% bed capacity.

MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers, President-Elect Dr. Parag Mehta, and Vice-President Dr. Paul Pipia emphasized MSSNY’s ongoing strong support for Governor Hochul’s efforts to ensure that all health care workers be vaccinated against COVID and offered the physician community’s assistance to help tackle the enormous challenges facing our healthcare system currently due to rising COVID hospitalizations across the State. At the same time, they urged caution in restrictions on “elective” surgeries to ensure that such restrictions do not unduly interfere with patients’ ability to receive urgently needed care, such as necessary cancer screening tests (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) and surgeries that address patient health issues that substantially impact patients’ ability to live without pain and go to work.

The elective procedure limitations will begin on Friday December 3 and be re-evaluated by January 15. They will be implemented on a hospital-by-hospital basis, not based on cumulative numbers in the county or the region of the State. Hospitals with less than 10% bed capacity could be able to continue to perform elective procedures if patients can be safely moved and/or directed to other facilities not facing similar bed capacity limitations.  As of now, 37 facilities across the State, mostly in Western NY, Central NY, the Mohawk Valley and the Capital Region have reached the threshold of less than 10% bed capacity and some of these facilities have already paused elective procedures.

As of this writing, it is unclear how the restrictions on elective procedures could apply to procedures to be performed at ambulatory surgery centers that are part of health systems containing hospitals facing these capacity limitations. The NYS DOH is developing a document that will set forth how the elective procedure limitations would be implemented in hospital systems, as well as the medical procedures that will be subject to these limitations. MSSNY will share that information with our members when it becomes available.


MSSNY Welcomes Mary Bassett, MD, MPH  as NYS Department of Health Commissioner
MSSNY sent the following statement to the press today:

Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“MSSNY extends a warm welcome to Dr. Mary Bassett as she begins her tenure today as New York State’s Health Commissioner. Our member physicians look forward to working closely with Dr. Bassett to address the health needs of all New Yorkers.

“Dr. Bassett joins New York State at a uniquely challenging time in history and we are confident that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of public health will help her to guide New Yorkers through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic—and future public health challenges.

“During her years as commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Bassett worked to tackle racial, ethnic, and economic health inequities. We look forward to working with her to address those needs throughout the State in our shared fight for quality, accessible, and affordable health care for all New Yorkers.”


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Health Equity from an Actuarial Perspective
The American Academy of Actuaries published a discussion brief exploring if and how methodologies or approaches actuaries use to develop financial models and identify physicians for network participation may contribute to health disparities. Health plans contract with physicians and other health care providers to develop networks to serve their members.

These contracts establish a health plan’s reimbursement for services and other terms of network participation. However, these methodologies do not typically account for physicians’ patient mix, putting physicians who treat high risk patients at a disadvantage. This thoughtful report on how these methodologies for evaluating reimbursement levels and network participation may impact health equity or health care disparities focuses on the following areas/questions:

  • How do overall health plan spending goals or other outcome goals and considerations affect network development and physician contracting, and do they have effects on access to care and health disparities?
  • How do alternative payment models (APMs) and cost targets for risk-bearing contracts affect physician incentives and disparities in health care access and outcomes?
  • Are quality provisions and outcome measures in APM contracts aligned with achieving equitable health outcomes?
  • How do the risk adjustment methods used in physician
    contracting and network development affect access to care outcomes?

Patients to be Held Harmless for Inaccurate Health Plan Provider Directories
Reliance on inaccurate information provided in a health insurer’s provider directory would become a basis for a patient to receive protection from out of network bills under New York’s surprise bill law, pursuant a regulation recently proposed by the New York Department of Financial Services. Payment for care in those instances would be determined through New York’s Independent Dispute Resolution process.

The regulation will help to conform New York’s law to the provisions of the federal No Surprises Act enacted by Congress last December and which takes effect in January. It requires health plans to ensure provider directories are current and accurate, with regular verification of provider contract status and updates required at least once every 90 days, and for the updated information to be posted within 2 business days of the receipt of the information. The federal NSA law also requires a health care provider to have a process in place to provide updated practice information to the health plan to help ensure that the health plan’s provider directory information remains accurate. No Surprises Act: Three Ways to Address New Provider Directory Requirements – Healthcare Business Today.

For more information regarding other important new requirements physicians need to be aware of regarding the implementation of the NSA, please review our e-news article from November 19.



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MSSNY Micro Masterclass Webinar:  Submitting Formal Insurer Complaints to the Appropriate Agency
Do you have unresolved claims payment issues with an insurer? Not sure how to pursue a resolution? Settle in with your lunch and join Heather Lopez, Director of MSSNY’s Payment and Practice Division, at 12:15 pm on December 9 for a 15-minute masterclass on filing and following up on insurer complaints.

Heather will share information on how to determine the proper agency for the complaint as well as providing contact information for each of the agencies. Please register to join us for the webinar at https://bit.ly/31j1fUt.


MSSNY Tip of the Week: Current Guidance on Medicare Revalidation Process
Medicare revalidation is due every 5 years and there are multiple scenarios that can influence how yours is processed. Click here to view the most current information from the CMS manual to ensure you are following guidelines to help save time.

If you have questions about this or any other insurance concern, contact MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice, Heather Lopez, at 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org.



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Guidance for Physicians: CDC Recommends COVID Boosters for 18 and Older
On November 29, 2021, the CDC strengthened its recommendation on booster doses to indicate that everyone 18 years of age and older should get a booster shot either 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine. Click here to view Guidance for The New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Vaccinations and boosters continue to protect and are critical to enjoying a safe and healthy holiday season with family and friends. New Yorkers are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.


Contact Your Representatives of Congress to Prevent Staggering Medicare Cuts in 2022
Physicians are just 31 days away from a disastrous 10% Medicare payment cut unless Congress acts to stop this cut. Please contact Senators Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and your Congressional Representative today. Tell Congress to cancel Medicare cuts today!

The 2022 Medicare payment rule reduces the conversion factor by approximately 3.75% resulting from the expiration of an increase to the conversion factor enacted by Congress last December. In addition, there is a 2% cut resulting from the scheduled re-implementation of the previously delayed Medicare sequester provisions, and imposition of a 4% Statutory PAYGO sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Earlier this fall, Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter highlighting the financial uncertainty within the Medicare payment system and the dangers facing patient care if Congress fails to enact legislation to prevent this staggering cut. Within a matter of weeks 245 of their colleagues showed their support for fixing the problem of these extreme Medicare cuts by co-signing the letter, including many of the members of the New York Congressional delegation. This strongly supported letter was an important advocacy building block towards stopping these cuts, but we need our Representatives to strongly push leadership to ensure that funding to prevent these cuts is included in a year end package.

Please urge Congress to act to protect care for our seniors! Tell Congress to cancel Medicare cuts today!


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Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 


For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases

Press Releases 2021

October

October 30, 2021  Medical Society Supports Court Decision to Uphold Governor Hochul’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements.

October 29, 2021  MSSNY Applauds FDA Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer Vaccine for Children 5-11

October 12, 2021 MSSNY Opposes U.S. Northern District Decision to Continue to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

October 8, 2021 “No Surprises Act” Puts Insurance Co Profits Over Patient Care

October 1, 2021 Surprise Billing Legislation Interim Final Rule: MSSNY Calls for Prioritizing Patient Care Over Insurance Profits

September

September 29, 2021   MSSNY Applauds Gov. Hochul’s Appointment of Mary Bassett, MD, MPH as NYS Department of Health Commissioner

September 28, 2021    MSSNY/AMA Statement re Gov Hochul’s Vaccine Mandate

September 23, 2021  MSSNY Statement Regarding Resignation of Dept. of Health Comm. Howard Zucker, MD

September 14, 2021   MSSNY Opposes Northern District Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements 

September 10, 2021  MSSNY Calls on Biden Administration to Simplify COVID-19 Vaccination Process for Physicians

August

August 23, 2021    MSSNY Statement on FDA Full Use Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

August 16, 2021 MSSNY Applauds NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers

August 11, 2021 MSSNY Congratulates Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul

No July Press Releases Published

June

June 15, 2021     New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization

May

May 3, 2021 Joshua M. Cohen, MD, MPH, FAHS, Elected Assistant Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 Frank Dowling, MD Elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York 

May 3, 2021 Howard H. Huang, MD Elected Assistant Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 Maria A. Basile, MD Elected Vice Speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 Mark J. Adams, MD, MBA, FACR Elected Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 William Latreille, MD Elected Speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 Paul Pipia, MD Elected Vice President of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 Parag Mehta, MD Elected President-Elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York

May 3, 2021 Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP, Elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York

April

April 7, 2021       MSSNY Thanks NYS Assembly and Senate Leadership and Governor for Restoration of Health Care Cuts That Had Been Advanced in Executive Budget 

March

March 31, 2021 Medical Society Urges Governor Cuomo to Stay Strong on Public Health Restrictions to Keep COVID in Check

March 29, 2021 Medical Society Calls on Governor and State Legislature to Restore Cuts to Excess Medical Malpractice Program

March 19, 2021 Medical Society Applauds Decision Protecting Public Health by Upholding Law Providing for Vaccination Requirements

March 17, 2021 Legislature for Advancing One-House Budget Proposals Re: Restore Health Care Cuts

February

February 18, 2021 State Med. Societies Urge Biden Admin..& State Govs to Facilitate Distribution of Vaccine to Comm-Based Physicians

February 17, 2021 Troy Oechsner Named Executive VP of Medical Society

February 3, 2021 I’s Time for COVID-19 Vaccines to be Distributed to Community-Based Physicians

January

January 20, 2021 New York Physicians: From Healthcare Heroes to Healthcare Zeros

January 12, 2021 MSSNY Welcomes Governor Cuomo’s Efforts to Expand Telehealth Services in New York

January 10, 2021 Docs Upset by Nixing Due Process When Patients Make Unproven Allegations

January 4, 2021 MSSNY Stands Ready to Support NYS in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Effort

MSSNY eNews: November 19, 2021 – 10 Key Provisions of No Surprises Act Implementation in NY

ENEWS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED NEXT WEEK AND WILL RETURN ON
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1.

MSSNY WISHES ALL OUR MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
A HAPPY AND HEALTHY THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving picture


A Grateful Thanksgiving

Colleagues:

A National Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863 as our country was torn apart by civil war that threatened our nation’s survival. Next week we will once again celebrate a day of Thanksgiving, with our nation now confronting pandemic and civil strife. Despite all the negative chatter on broadcast and social media, I am optimistic for the future and have an abundance of blessings to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the medical students, residents, fellows, and young physicians who give me faith for the future of medicine.

I am thankful for science, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, and PPE that give me hope for ending the pandemic.

I am thankful for physician colleagues, nurses, technicians, and therapists and so many support staff who have displayed courage in keeping our medical offices and hospitals open to care for our patients through almost two years of pandemic.

I am thankful for the dedicated MSSNY staff who work hard to support the medical profession and to help us to serve the patients of New York State, particularly during these challenging times.

I am thankful for all the MSSNY physician members and leaders who volunteer their time and talents in service to our communities.

I am thankful for my family and friends who support me, encourage me, and provide gentle correction when I need it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President


MSSNY Testifies at Joint Assembly Committee Hearing on Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Delivery of Healthcare in New York State
Niraj Acharya, MD, Treasurer & Trustee of the Medical Society of County of Kings, Delegate to MSSNY’s House of Delegates (HOD), and a practicing Primary Care physician in Brooklyn, testified on behalf of MSSNY at a joint legislative hearing this week in New York City. The event was hosted by the chairs of the Assembly Health, Higher Education and Labor Committees and centered on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the delivery of health care services in New York State and the impact on various health care practitioners. Among the issues Dr. Archarya’s remarks focused on were the impact on the pandemic on physician wellness, promoting expansion of, and access to, care through Telehealth, and MSSNY’s strong concerns with the Governor’s Executive Orders waiving otherwise applicable collaboration and supervision requirements for various non-physician practitioners.

To view Dr. Acharya’s testimony, click here and move to the 46:00 mark.

Leglisator at NYS conferenceThe Committees’ goals for the hearing were many-fold with a heavy emphasis on examining lessons learned during the pandemic, including the appropriateness of Executive Orders issued by the Governor during the declared emergency period as it relates to access to health care, training requirements of health care workers and the status of the health care workforce, including rates of attrition, worker wellness, training and development programs, and the effect of telehealth on access to care for patients and providers.

MSSNY anticipates that many of the issues raised during the hearing will be part of existing or new legislation, as well as budget proposals for FY 2023 in the coming legislative session and we will continue to work key policymakers and provide updates as things go forward.


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Implementation of the No Surprises Act in New York
While MSSNY continues to work with the AMA and the federation of medicine to raise strong concerns with one aspect of the implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA) that relates to criteria to be considered in the surprise medical bill Independent Dispute Resolution proceeding (Nov. 19, 2021: National Advocacy Update | American Medical Association (ama-assn.org), there are many other very important “below the radar” provisions that will also be taking effect in 2022.

Recently, MSSNY staff participated in a meeting convened by various New York state agencies discussing integrating the provisions of the NSA into New York State law. Several key differences between the state and federal law were discussed that will likely need to be reconciled with New York’s law. These provisions include:

  • Exempt CPT Codes. Claims for out of network emergency services for patients insured state-regulated plans with CPT codes exempted from New York’s law will likely need to be resolved through the federal IDR process unless these exemptions are deleted from New York’s statute.
  • Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Federal law does not require an AOB from the patient to be protected from surprise out of network medical bills, while New York’s law requires an AOB for patient protection from surprise medical bills.
  • Facility-Based Providers. Federal law for IDR covers facility-based provider services after an emergency room admission.  New York State law only provides coverage for in-patient hospital services, not facility-based providers at those hospitals.
  • Patient Cost-Sharing Limits. Federal law limits patient cost-sharing responsibility for surprise medical bills to the qualifying payment amount (QPA).  New York does not have a similar provision.
  • Continuity of Care-General. Federal law requiring 90-day continuity of care for patient care when a health care provider leaves a network requires that the health care provider to continue to accept the in-network rate.  That is not required in the New York state law.
  • Continuity of Care-Pregnancy. Federal law requiring 90-day continuity of care for health care providers who leave a network provides for continued coverage through the end of a pregnancy.  New York state law requires continued coverage just through the 2d trimester.
  • Updated Information for Directories. Federal law requires health care providers to provide necessary information to health insurers to have updated provider directory information. New York state law does not.
  • Consequence of Faulty Directories. Federal law requires patients to be “held harmless” for out of network bills for reliance upon “faulty” provider directory information maintained by a health insurer. New York State law does not.
  • Detailed Insurance ID Cards. Federal law requires more detailed information on patient insurance ID cards, including applicable deductibles and out of pocket maximums.  New York law requires the ID card note whether plan is state-regulated, or ERISA regulated, but not deductible or maximum information.
  • Good Faith Estimates. Federal law requires much more detailed information in a Good Faith estimate of anticipated charges to be provided to uninsured/self-pay patients than New York law requires.

Please remain alert for further updates from MSSNY regarding possible regulatory or legislative changes, or DFS circular letters seeking to reconcile these patient protections in the NSA.


Women Physicians Leadership Webinars Now Available Online
MSSNY Educational and Scientific Foundation (MESF) webinar series on leadership for women physicians is now available. Visit the MSSNY CME website to view the following three webinars:

  • “Albany, Women Physicians and Their Legislative Impact”
  • “How Do CEO’s and Medical Administrators Deal with Women Physicians”
  • Wellness and Women Physicians” 

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

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates each enduring activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™. Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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MSSNY Legislator PodCast
Testimony, Medicare Changes & Prior Auth Items


5 Real Estate Considerations for Physicians Nearing Retirement
When retirement looms for physicians, it may be time to consider a reexamination of real estate holdings, depending on the circumstances, the American Medical Association reported Nov. 10.

Many older physicians may have invested in real estate throughout the years, whether in private practice space, a primary residence or a vacation home. Tal Frank, the president of PhysicianLoans, a specialized home loan provider, spoke to the AMA about how to navigate real estate when approaching retirement.

  1. Consider timing and value.
    Mr. Frank advises real estate holders to carefully consider whether their property has reached peak appreciation. He also says that the current market offers an excellent opportunity for sellers.
  1. Plan ahead.
    If physicians are planning to relocate and buy property in another location upon retirement, Mr. Frank recommends meeting with a real estate agent in the area in the three years prior to the move. That way, physicians can be protected from potential surprises.
  1. Decide whether to keep playing the game.
    When winding down, getting cash and increasing investments may not be for everyone. Mr. Frank explains, “You earn it to use it, and many physicians have invested over the years to use their profit for their own benefit or enjoyment.”
  1. Do you want to keep being a landlord?
    If retiring and relocating, consider whether you want to be an out-of-state landlord. Owning a commercial property may require more energy and time than anticipated, so consider selling it. If necessary, physicians can always lease back the property.
  1. Balance costs.
    Mr. Frank recommends reassessing seriously how much money a property would give retiring physicians and balance that against the cost of upkeep and retaining the property.

“The lifestyle you imagine at retirement could easily be more expensive than your lifestyle during your working years. That may be a reason to unload the asset and cash out,” said Mr. Frank.

–Gonzalez, Becker’s Hospital Review


Attention MSSNY Resident and Fellow Members
You were recently sent a survey asking for your input as to how MSSNY CAN HELP YOU…WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

You are a significant part of MSSNY, and your input is important to us! Please check your e-mail and submit your responses. You can also click here to access the survey.


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Contact Your Representatives of Congress to Prevent Staggering Medicare Cuts in 2022
With CMS recently announcing its final rule for the 2022 Medicare physician fee schedule, physicians are urged to contact their member of Congress to prevent payment cuts approaching 10%. Tell Congress to cancel Medicare cuts today!

Of significant consequence the 2022 Medicare conversion factor will be reduced by approximately 3.75% as a result of the expiration of an increase to the conversion factor enacted by Congress last December.  In addition, there is a 2% cut as a result of the scheduled re-implementation of the previously delayed Medicare sequester provisions, and imposition of a 4% Statutory PAYGO sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will result in a cumulative Medicare payment cut of nearly 10%.

Earlier this fall, Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter highlighting the financial uncertainty within the Medicare payment system and the dangers facing patient care if Congress fails to enact legislation to prevent this staggering cut. Within a matter of weeks 245 of their colleagues showed their support for fixing the problem of these extreme Medicare cuts by co-signing the letter, including many of the members of the New York Congressional delegation.

The 2022 payment rule also finalized provisions that extend coverage of services that were added to the Medicare telehealth list on an interim basis in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency until the end of 2023 and eliminated geographic barriers, allowing patients in their homes to access telehealth services for diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of mental health disorders. In addition, CMS announced plans to permanently increase payment for immunization administration, beyond COVID vaccines, and relied on information from the AMA and the RUC in developing the improved payment rates. CMS is also moving forward with the first round of seven MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs) that will be available, beginning with the 2023 performance year.

Text of the proposed rule. (Tables 136 and 149 show the specialty by specialty impact of the payment rule).
CMS Press ReleasePhysician Fee Schedule Fact Sheet


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Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302


For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: November 17, 2021 – 3 Tips to Increase Patient Reliance on Physician Guidance


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3 Tips to Increase Patient Reliance on Physician Guidance
MLMIC recently highlighted two articles that look at online research vs. physician guidance: are patients turning to the internet even more? In addition to researching symptoms and health concerns ahead of seeking care, patients are also turning to Google following medical appointments or in lieu of disclosing information to their doctors altogether.

The two articles reflect opportunities to build trust in the doctor-patient relationship and to emphasize the value of guidance from a physician that knows the patient personally and is invested in their health.

To help you be proactive with your efforts (like patient engagement and patient education, including addressing limited health literacy), MLMIC published these three Risk Management Tips:


Female Physician Family Life Impacted by Pandemic More Than Male Counterparts, Jama Open Network Study Finds
Stresses to work-life balance and family life https://www.mlmic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/TIP-22-2-21-2018.pdfexacerbated by COVID-19 have differed among men and women physicians, with female physicians bearing the brunt of family-related burdens, a study published Nov. 12 in JAMA Open Network found.

Researchers surveyed 276 physicians enrolled in the Intern Health Study during August 2020 on family-to-work conflict and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Depressive symptoms between 2018 and 2020 were compared by gender.

Key findings:

  • Among physician parents, women were more likely to be responsible for childcare or schooling and household tasks during the pandemic compared with men.
  • Women were more likely than men to reduce work hours and work primarily from home.
  • Women experienced greater work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, and depressive and anxiety symptoms compared with men.

–Gleeson, Becker’s Hospital Review


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What Physicians Need to Know Re Upcoming Workers’ Comp Changes
The Workers’ Compensation Board has released a PowerPoint detailing the upcoming changes to the program. Following are the covered topics:

  1. Implementing the Expanded Provider Law
  2. New York States Workers Compensation Fee Schedule
  3. On Board/ On Board: Limited Release
  4. New York Workers Compensation Drug Formulary
  5. New/Updated New York Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs)
  6. Reducing Paperwork for Providers: Transitioning to the CMS-1500 Form
  7. Resources
  8. Questions

Workers’ Comp Board PowerPoint is available here.
Workers’ Comp Board recorded webinar is available here.

If you have questions about this or any other insurance concern, contact MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice Heather Lopez at 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org.


Attention MSSNY Resident and Fellow Members
You were recently sent a survey asking for your input as to how MSSNY CAN HELP YOU…WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

Please check your e-mail and submit your responses.  You are a significant part of MSSNY, and your input is important to us! You can also click here to access the survey.



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Statement from Governor Kathy Hochul on COVID-19 Boosters
 “As Governor, I am committed to protecting the health and safety of all New Yorkers, and with the holidays coming up, we must continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We know the vaccine not only slows the spread, but also improves outcomes and reduces the stress placed on our hospitals and health care system. Dr. Fauci recently noted that making the booster shot available to all is ‘absolutely essential’ to fighting this deadly virus – especially as people start to congregate indoors for holiday gatherings.

“I am strongly encouraging all New Yorkers who live or work in a high-risk setting to get the booster. I received the booster and believe no one who feels they are at risk should be turned away from getting a COVID-19 booster shot. If you feel at risk, please get the booster.”


AMA Adds New Guides to a Growing Compendium of Behavioral Health Resources
The American Medical Association (AMA) has added four new practice guides to the Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Compendium of best-in-class resources designed to help physicians and health systems create practices that incorporate health services for both the mental and physical needs of patients.

The new how-to guides expand and enhance the ongoing work of the BHI Collaborative, established and supported by the AMA and seven other leading medical associations, to make mental health care more accessible by helping physicians and their care teams through the barriers to successful behavioral health integration.

Four key barriers to accessible and equitable treatment for patients’ behavioral, mental, and physical health needs are addressed in the new guides, along with practical strategies to overcome each barrier. These barriers include:

Practice workflow design – The workflow guide identifies key questions and criteria to help establish an efficient and effective integrated workflow for addressing the behavioral health needs of patients. Pharmacological treatment – The psychopharmacology guide offers strategies for reducing stigma associated with psychopharmacology and includes best practices to treat patients with psychotropic medications, when needed.

Substance use disorder screening and treatment – The substance use disorder guide provides actionable, evidence-based steps to identify and address unhealthy substance use and misuse among patients.

Suicide prevention for at-risk patients – The suicide prevention guide helps identify at-risk patients and connect them with the most appropriate treatment plan.

The BHI Collaborative also offers a webinar series with free access to remote learning opportunities to accelerate behavioral health integration. The growing series covers BHI topics that include collaborative cultures, billing and coding, privacy and security, telehealth, and health equity.

Through the ongoing work of the BHI Collaborative, and in partnership with other leading medical organizations, the AMA is committed to helping physicians navigate and succeed in a continually evolving health care environment, while ensuring a professionally satisfying, sustainable physician practice experience that meets the comprehensive health needs of patients.



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Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 


For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: November 12, 2021- 61% of Physicians Reported Burnout in 2021, Survey Finds

Good News on the Vaccine Front

Colleagues:

It’s been a good couple of weeks on the vaccine front. Within the span of two days at the end of October, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Governor Hochul’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for New York healthcare workers, and the FDA announced emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5 through 11.

Getting our children, grandchildren—and all adults—vaccinated against COVID-19 opens our path back to normalcy. And that cannot come soon enough for this grandfather. Last week my eight-year-old granddaughter and five-year-old twin grandson and granddaughter were excited to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. My daughter sent a picture of the three of them—and their excitement was apparent in their smiling faces and their flexed muscles. We all hope that they will see an end to this pandemic and a return to their normal childhood activities.

Likewise, our MSSNY delegates and our county medical societies have had in-person meetings curtailed for two years in a row.  We have missed out on celebrating the 200th anniversaries of several county medical societies. Despite the challenges, we have, at both the county and the state level, continued to do our work to support and protect the medical profession and patients we serve.

I look forward to the time soon when we can all meet in person and renew our bonds of friendship, to celebrate our achievements, and to plan for even more success in the future.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President


2021 Survey of America’s Physicians COVID-19 Impact Edition:
A Year Later

Physicians Foundation | June 2021

The Physicians Foundation released 2021 survey results examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the nation’s physicians. The report is based on responses from 2,504 physicians collected between May 26 and June 9, 2021. The survey found that 61% of physicians reported experiencing burnout in 2021, up from 40% in 2018, prior to the pandemic. Some additional key survey findings include:

  • Slightly more employed physicians (64%) reported burnout compared to independent physicians (57%).
  • Primary care physicians were slightly more likely (66%) than medical and surgical specialists (59%) to report burnout.
  • A significant majority of female physicians (69%) reported often feeling burned out, compared to 57% of their male counterparts.

More than half of all physicians surveyed (57%) reported inappropriate feelings of anger, tearfulness or anxiety because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 14% of physicians said they have received medical attention for a mental health problem and 20% of respondents reported knowing a colleague who has either considered, attempted or died by suicide during the pandemic.


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Are You Feeling Overwhelmed by Chronic Stress? MSSNY’s Peer-to-Peer Program is Here to Help
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking and feelings of loss.

Without an intervention, it is possible that a high number of physicians over the next few years may develop chronic stress reactions, anger, clinical depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidality.

MSSNY’s P2P program Co-Chairs Dr. Frank Dowling and Dr. Charles Rothberg were interviewed recently about the program. Watch the interview here.

If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org. If you or someone you know is struggling with everyday life stressors, email  P2P@mssny.org or call 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) to be connected with a peer supporter to help.


Healthcare Associations Continue to Press HHS to Revise Insurer-Biased Interpretation of “No Surprises Act”
MSSNY thanks the several members of the New York Congressional Delegation who joined a letter co-authored by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island) and others to various federal agencies in response to the Interim Final Rule (IFR) implementing components of the No Surprises Act (NSA) passed by Congress last December.   The letter urges Congress to amend the IFR to synchronize the law’s implementation with the NSA. Instead of following the statutory language included within the NSA, HHS and other federal agencies designed an Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process for resolving out of network surprise medical bills that heavily favors health insurance companies in payment disputes by prioritizing health insurer median contract rates over other factors.

In addition to MSSNY, the rule has also been criticized by numerous national and state medical organizations, including the AMA, the American Hospital Association (AHA), and numerous specialty societies. The Congressional intent articulated in the NSA was to create an IDR process to protect patients that was appropriately balanced and did not favor either the insurer or the physician in claims disputes. Specifically, the final language adopted by Congress required that numerous factors be considered, including patient acuity or complexity of services, demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates and previously contracted rates, in addition to the insurers’ median in-network rate, without specifying that one factor takes precedence over another.

Recently, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) filed a lawsuit in a federal district court in Texas, arguing that the federal agencies: 1) improperly failed to follow direction from Congress about how to implement the IDR process set forth in the NSA and 2) violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to appropriately solicit and incorporate comments from stakeholders. Other medical associations are strongly considering taking similar action.

Regardless of the outcome of this litigation, the provisions of the NSA creating an IDR process for non-state regulated surprise medical bills will take effect on January 1, 2022.  Moreover, there are many other components of the NSA that will take effect on 1/1/2022 that create significant new obligations on the health care industry, including enhanced requirements on medical practices to provide updated information to health insurers for their directories, as well as detailed disclosure requirements for providing Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of expected medical charges to patients who are insured or are self-pay.

Please remain alert for further updates. Following is information about these new requirements:

Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part II Interim Final Rule with Comment Period | CMS

Key Details of the No Surprises Act IFR (natlawreview.com)

Government Issues No Surprises Act Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (Part II) | Blogs | Health Care Law Today | Foley & Lardner LLP

Initial AMA Summary of Interim Final Rule (Part 2): Requirements Related to Surprise Billing | AMA (ama-assn.org)

The NY Delegation Members Who Signed the Suozzi-Wenstrup Letter

  1. Yvette Clarke (D- Brooklyn)
  2. Adriano Espaillat (D- Manhattan)
  3. Brian Higgins (D- Buffalo)
  4. Chris Jacobs (R- Western New York)
  5. John Katko (R- Central New York)
  6. Nicole Malliotakis (R- Staten Island)
  7. Carolyn Maloney (D- Manhattan)
  8. Sean Patrick Maloney (D- Newburgh)
  9. Grace Meng (D- Queens)
  10. Joe Morelle (D- Rochester)
  11. Tom Reed (R- Corning)
  12. Kathleen Rice (D- Long Island)
  13. Elise Stefanik (R- Plattsburgh)
  14. Tom Suozzi (D- Long Island)
  15. Ritchie Torres (D- Bronx)


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Contact Your Representatives of Congress to Prevent Staggering Medicare Cuts in 2022
With CMS announcing its final rule for the 2022 Medicare physician fee schedule last week, physicians are urged to contact their member of Congress to prevent payment cuts approaching 10%. Tell Congress to cancel Medicare cuts today!

Of significant consequence the 2022 Medicare conversion factor will be reduced by approximately 3.75% as a result of the expiration of an increase to the conversion factor enacted by Congress last December.  In addition, there is a 2% cut as a result of the scheduled re-implementation of the previously delayed Medicare sequester provisions, and imposition of a 4% Statutory PAYGO sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will result in a cumulative Medicare payment cut of nearly 10%.

Earlier this fall, Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter highlighting the financial uncertainty within the Medicare payment system and the dangers facing patient care if Congress fails to enact legislation to prevent this staggering cut. Within a matter of weeks 245 of their colleagues showed their support for fixing the problem of these extreme Medicare cuts by co-signing the letter, including many of the members of the New York Congressional delegation.

The 2022 payment rule also finalized provisions that extend coverage of services that were added to the Medicare telehealth list on an interim basis in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency until the end of 2023 and eliminated geographic barriers, allowing patients in their homes to access telehealth services for diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of mental health disorders. In addition, CMS announced plans to permanently increase payment for immunization administration, beyond COVID vaccines, and relied on information from the AMA and the RUC in developing the improved payment rates. CMS is also moving forward with the first round of seven MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs) that will be available, beginning with the 2023 performance year.

Text of the proposed rule (Tables 136 and 149 show the specialty-by-specialty impact of the payment rule).

CMS Press Release

Physician Fee Schedule Fact Sheet

Excel sheet of the added/deleted CPT codes with AMA’s recommendation for replacement codes


 

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Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302


For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: November 10, 2021 – 7 Steps to Prepare for Medicare Final Rule


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7 Steps to Prepare for Medicare Final Rule
The proposed Medicare rule is finalized, and now is the time to prepare for implementation. Below are some best practices that should be conducted to ensure your office is ready to go live on January 1st. After the implementation on January 1, schedule a follow-up meeting with staff to catch any issues and ensure all is going well with the changes.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the contents
  2. Schedule a meeting with your administration/office manager to review changes
  3. Review any current practices that will need to be changed
  4. Delegate administration staff to create clear and thorough steps to roll out these changes with the office
  5. Recap with the administration team to review the process they have set up
  6. Administration staff to huddle with the team and review action items about new processes
  7. Test any changes and confirm the new process flows appropriately

Following are links to the final rule as well as an excel sheet of the added/deleted CPT codes with AMA’s recommendation for replacement codes.

Lastly, tell Congress to cancel Medicare cuts by clicking on this link to send a letter to Congress.

If you have questions about this or any other insurance concern, contact MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice, Heather Lopez, at 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org


1st Year New York Med Students from Underrepresented Backgrounds Tops 20%, Report Says
The number of New York-based first year medical students from underrepresented backgrounds increased to 21.1 percent, the first time the percentage has surpassed 20 percent, according to an annual report from Associated Medical Schools of New York.

The data accounted for the 11,193 students enrolled in New York-based medical schools during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Of the students from underrepresented backgrounds, 8 percent identified as Black/African American, 7.5 percent identified as Hispanic/Latino, and 7.3 percent identified as 2 or more ethnicities/races. Students who identified as Black/African American, including those who identify as multiethnic/racial, where one of the races is Black/African American, account for 9.7 percent.

“Twenty percent is worth celebrating, as long as we acknowledge that we have a way to go,” Jo Wiederhorn, president and chief executive officer of AMSNY, said in a press release. “Diversity in medicine is important because we know patients have better health outcomes when they see doctors from their own backgrounds.”

Read the full report here.

–Gleeson, Becker’s Hospital Review


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Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets
American Medical Association, Division of Economic and Health Policy Research | September 2021

The American Medical Association released their annual U.S. health insurance market concentration study. The newest analysis found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of all metropolitan statistical areas are highly concentrated health insurance markets, based on the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission’s horizontal merger guidelines. The study also found that:

  • In 91% of the markets, a single health insurer had a market share of 30% or more and in 46% of the markets, a single health insurer’s market share was at least 50%.
  • 57% of the markets saw their contraction index rise, and the increase was at least 500 points in 21% of the markets.
  • Highly concentrated markets increased from 71% to 73% of all markets between 2014 and 2020.
  • More than half (54%) of markets that were highly concentrated in 2014 became more so by 2020.

26% of health insurance markets that were not considered highly concentrated in 2014 shifted to highly concentrated by 2020.


Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Hochul’s office to urge her to veto multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills passed at the end of the Legislative Session that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims.  While these bills do not have the same gargantuan premium impact as other legislation sought by the trial bar that would expand lawsuits and awards against physicians, they would continue to make New York’s already dysfunctional medical liability adjudication system even more unbalanced and add to New York’s notorious outlier status with regard to medical liability payouts.  These bills include:

  • A2199/S473 – Expanding the time period for the imposition of New York’s excessive 9% judgment interest in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not initially granted, but then overturned on appeal.
  • A8040/S7093 – Changing a long-standing rule that heretofore excluded a “hearsay” statement made by a defendant’s employee.
  • A8041/S7052 – Imposing excessive insurance disclosure requirements on defendants during litigation.

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MSSNY Member Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould Offers Insights into Rural Transgender Care in New Publication
MSSNY member Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould published a book chapter in September about the challenges faced by transgender patients and their medical providers in rural communities. The peer-reviewed piece, entitled “From Margins to Mainstream: Creating a Rural-Based Center of Excellence in Transgender Health for Upstate, New York,” distills hard-earned insights from her and her teams’ experience working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Clinical Scholars Program to create FoxCare Center’s Gender Wellness Center.

“As a physician, my driving concern is caring for the health and wellbeing of my patients,” explains Wolf-Gould. “That begins, of course, with caring for the individual needs of my patients. But the transgender and gender-nonconforming community is chronically underserved by our health system. Caring for them demands more—creating institutions, like the Gender Wellness Center, that help them find the services they need. And changing the culture and climate of the entire system to include their needs. My hope is that pieces like this might help in that big picture work.”

Wolf-Gould’s piece forms chapter six of “Leading Community Based Changes in the Culture of Health in the US,” edited by Claudia S.P. Fernandez and Giselle Corbie-Smith at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The open-source book is free and available to read or download here.


Free Online Clinician Curriculum to Improve IDD Healthcare
Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS (CP State), in partnership with the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, is proud to offer a free educational training series to all New York State clinicians, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, therapists, dentists, students of these disciplines, and any health professional who works one-on-one with patients.  This training series teaches the fundamentals of IDD healthcare.

The “Curriculum in IDD Healthcare”, written and delivered by Craig Escude, MD, FAAFP, FAADM, with over 20 years’ experience providing medical care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is an online training course which includes 5 hours of CME credit for prescribing clinicians and 6 CEU nursing credits.  There are six (6) modules within the course covering everything from healthcare basics in IDD to common behavioral presentations of medical conditions in people with IDD.  Learners can complete this 4.5 hour course at their own pace through CP State’s learning management system.

The “Fatal Five Advanced E-Learn Course” was developed to educate clinicians on the topic of the fatal five conditions affecting individuals with IDD, to include:  aspiration, bowel obstruction, dehydration, seizures, sepsis, and GERD.  This 6-hour self-paced course provides 7 CEU credit hours for registered nurses.

All courses will be presented on the SAP/Litmos learning management system platform, administered by CP State. To sign up for your free account to gain access to the online library of training courses, visit www.cpstate.org/bettercare. Questions? Contact Cindy Morris, Project Director for the Clinician Training Program, at (518) 612-4510 or cmorris@cpstate.org.



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Urge Governor Hochul to Sign Legislation to Prevent Mid-Year Formulary Changes and to Regulate PBMs
Physicians are urged to send a letter to Governor Hochul urging that she sign into law bills passed by the Senate and Assembly earlier this year that would significantly limit mid-year formulary changes made by health insurers (S.4111 Breslin/A.4668 Peoples-Stokes) and to regulate PBMs (S.3762, Breslin/A.1396, Gottfried). Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes.

MSSNY together other with patient advocacy groups met with Governor Hochul’s office last week to urge that she sign into law the legislation to protect against mid-year formulary changes. MSSNY recently joined with 65 other physician and patient advocacy organizations in a joint letter to Governor Hochul urging her to sign this legislation.


COVID Vaccination Program Guidance for Physicians: Vaccination of Children Ages 5-11Following are links to updated guidance for the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) COVID-19 vaccination program:

A NYSDOH webinar on Pediatric and Booster vaccines is available here.



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Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 


For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY Media Highlights

Group of doctors standing as a team with thumbs up

November

WCNY Capitol Pressroom – 11/01/21
New York Readies to Vaccinate Kids
President Dr. Joseph Sellers Interviewed

Politico – 11/01/21
Weekly New York Healthcare
New York Readies to Vaccinate Kids
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed)

Niagara Gazette – 11/01/21
Top New York doctor discusses pediatric vaccines following federal approval
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Also ran in:
Press Republican
Oneonta Daily Star

Poughkeepsie Journal – 11/01/21
Court upholds religious exemption ban in NY medical worker vaccine mandate. What to know
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
Also ran in:

Star-Gazette
Genesee Country Express
Wayne Post
Daily Messenger
Observer-Dispatch
Times Telegram
The Steuben Courier Advocate
The Evening Tribune
Wellsville Daily Reporter
The Journal News – lohud.com
The Leader

Rochester First / News 8 WROC (CBS) – 11/01/21
CDC: Vaccine-induced COVID-19 immunity better protects than infection-induced immunity
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed)


October

WROC-8 TV (CBS) / Rochester First – 10/26/21
FDA advisers back Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young kids
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed)

Times News Network – 10/26/21
NYC Shares Timeline for Kids Age 5-11 1st COVID Vaccine Doses Pending Federal OK
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
Also ran in News Nation USA

WNBC-TV – 10/19/21
White House Says COVID Vaccine For Children Coming in Weeks
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed) 

Medpage Today – 10/14/21
More Physicians are Now Employees Rather Than Owners
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Albany Times Union – 10/12/21
Judge issues injunction against New York’s vaccine mandate
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

The Daily Gazette – 10/13/21
Editorial: Public Health Should Override Religious Views
(MSSNY mentioned)

AMA Advocacy Update– 10/13/21
High court should uphold commonsense N.Y. concealed-carry law
(MSSNY Mentioned)

Buffalo Business First – 10/11/21
Walmart, CVS and Walgreens bring competition to world of primary care
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)


September

Crain’s New York – 09/30/21
Bassett gets warm reception as next health commissioner
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Spectrum News 1 – 09/30/21
Public health community backs Hochul’s health commissioner appointment
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted) 

Newsday – 09/29/21
Gov. Kathy Hochul names Mary Bassett as state health commissioner
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted) 

Cheddar News – 9/20/21
Dr. Joseph Sellers Answers Your Burning Covid-19 Questions
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed)

WVNY-TV – 09/20/21
Who is the incoming New York DOH Health Commissioner?
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
Also ran on WTEN
WIVT-TV
WIBV

Media Coverage of MSSNY Statement on Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements

MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers was quoted in the following media outlets:

NBC NY 9/15/21
We Have to Continue the Mandates:’ Hochul Vows to Fight Blocked NY Vaccine Rule 

CBS NY – 09/14/21
Judge Blocks New York State Medical Worker Vaccine Mandate 

AP – 09/15/21
Judge blocks medical worker vaccine mandate in NY state 

AP story also ran in:
WDBD FOX 40 Jackson
New York Times Post
Compsmag
Alert Forbes
PostX News
NewsNation USA
Fox News
The Leader Herald
PressFrom – Germany
New York Amsterdam News
Digital Press Network
WAVE-TV
Think Business Today
Niagara Gazette
NewsNation USA
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online
Niagara Gazette
Granthshala News
The Witness Daily
RomeSentinel.com
The World Insiders
Travel Leisure Mag
Deck Biz
Buzzing Globe
Eastern Tribunal
In The Headline – [Newswire]
DNYUZ
Brown County Democrat
Bay News 9
The Titusville Herald
The Washington Times
The Daily Feeder 

USA Today Network/Evening Tribune – 09/15/21
NY’s medical worker COVID vaccine mandate entangled in lawsuits, protests. What’s next

USA Today Network story also ran in:
MPN Now
The Wellsville Daily Reporter
Times Telegram
The Observer-Dispatch
The Leader 

Buffalo News – 09/15/21
Judge issues temporary halt to state’s Covid vaccine mandate on all health care workers

Buffalo News story also ran in:
The Marietta Daily Journal
The Cherokee Ledger News
AuburnPub.com
Curated Tncontentexchange
The Evening Tribune 

Newsday – 09/15/21
Judge: Temporary religious exemption for health workers refusing vaccine

WBFO NPR – 09/15/21
NY may have to allow religious exemptions to the COVID vaccine for healthcare workers, judge says

NPR story also ran in:
WMHT – 09/15/21


August

Cheddar – 08/25/21
Covid-19 Cases Among Children Skyrocket as Kids Head Back to the Classroom
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Interviewed)

WNYT HealthBeat – 08/19/21
Health Beat: Medical Records
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Interviewed)

CNY Central – 08/19/21
Doctor weighs in on vaccine misconceptions
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Interviewed)

DNYUZ – 08/16/21
Health Care Workers in New York Must Get Vaccine, Cuomo Says

(MSSNY mentioned)LoHud – 08/16/21
NY mandates COVID vaccine for health care workers, nursing home staff. What to know
(MSSNY mentioned)

WNYT HealthBeat – 08/12/21
Health Beat: Getting People Vaccinated
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Interviewed)


July

Medpage Today -07/21/21
Is the ‘Open Notes’ Rule as Good in Practice as It Is in Theory?
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Quoted)

Newsday – 07/20/21
An Olympian task awaits Great Neck physician for U.S. team in Tokyo
(MSSNY member Dr. Ariel Nassim mentioned)

CNY Central – 07/10/21
If a booster shot becomes necessary, don’t expect to get it at the Fairgrounds
(MSSNY Immediate Past President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)


June

Crain’s Health Pulse – 06/24/21
Telehealth waivers are set to expire, but advocates are hopeful for a fix
(Moe Auster, MSSNY Moe Auster, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, quoted)

Crain’s New York – 06/17/21
Supreme Court dismisses GOP challenge to Affordable Care Act
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Quoted)

CNY Central – 06/16/21
As the state reopens, Syracuse vaccine rates lag behind – what that means for the city
(MSSNY Immediate Past President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Medpage Today – 06/16/21
AMA Supports Docs Receiving MAT for Substance Use
(MSSNY Secretary Dr. Frank Dowling Quoted

Medpage Today – 06/14/21
Medical Residents Need Better Working Conditions, AMA Delegates Say
(MSSNY Secretary Dr. Frank Dowling quoted)

Empire State Weekly 06/05/21
End of Legislative Session and increasing vaccine confidence
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed)


May

Lohud.com – 5/24/21
Some are hesitant to get the COVID vaccine. Here’s how doctors are convincing them.
MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Also ran in:
The Poughkeepsie Journal
Ithaca Journal
LoHud.com
Democrat and Chronicle
Star-Gazette
Pressconnects.com
The Wellsville Daily Reporter
The Leader
MPN Now
Evening Tribune
Wayne Post
Times Telegram
The Dansville Online
The Observer-Dispatch
The Steuben Courier Advocate

Newsday – 05/17/21
People on the Move

(MSSNY President-elect Dr. Parag Mehta, VP Dr. Paul Pipia, Secretary Dr. Frank Dowling mentioned)

Rochester Business Journal – 05/12/21
People and Awards
(MSSNY Treasurer, Dr. Mark Adams mentioned)

Crain’s Health Pulse – 05/04/21
Who’s News
(MSSNY  Officer Appointments Mentioned)


April

Spectrum News – 04/27/21
Husband and wife helping to vaccinate Hudson Valley community
(MSSNY member Dr. Neal Dunkelman mentioned)

Crain’s Health Pulse 04/19/21
Doctors sustain their income level during pandemic: Medscape report
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

WABC-TV (NY) – 04/06/21
Coronavirus NY: Gov. Cuomo announces memorial to New York essential workers
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack mentioned)

Also ran in WTEN
LocalSYR
Rochester First
MyChamplainValley

Adirondack Daily Enterprise – 04/05/21
Vaccine ‘passport’ possible reopening tool
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)


March

Spectrum News Albany: New York State of Politics – 03/29/21 Medical Society Urges RestoMedical Society Urges Restoration for Malpractice Program(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

CBS News NY – 03/29/21New York Lawmakers To Start Process Of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana After Reaching Deal Over Weekend
(MSSNY Past President, Dr. Thomas Madejski interviewed)

Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journals – 03/28/21Cuomo, legislative leaders agree to legalize recreational marijuana; votes expected this week
(MSSNY mentioned)The Guardian – 03/28/21
New York lawmakers reach agreement to legalize recreational marijuana
(MSSNY mentioned)

Archyde – 03/28/21New York lawmakers agreed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana(MSSNY mentioned)

CNY Central – 03/17/21
Supply will determine how quickly NYS can expand vaccine eligibility to all adults(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack interviewed)Spectrum News Albany – 03/17/21Vaccine Eligibility Expands, But Not All New Yorkers are Covered
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

MSN Money / Bloomberg – 03/11/21New York Tries to Rein In the Laser Hair Removal Industry
(Former #MSSNY President, dr. Andrew Kleinman and VP Legislative Affairs, Morris Auster quoted)

CNY Central – 03/03/21 (Briskin)Who could be eligible next for COVID-19 vaccines?
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack interviewed)


February

Crain’s Health Pulse – 02/21/21
At a Glance – Who’s News
MSSNY New EVP Troy Oechsner Announced

Associated Press – 02/19/21
Troy Oechsner Named Executive VP of Medical Society
(New MSSNY EVP Troy Oechsner mentioned)

Other Coverage:
1st Discount Brokerage
The Antlers American
Benton Courier
Big Spring Herald
Borger News Herald
Buffalo News
Chronicle Journal
Crain Business Insurance
Crain’s Health Pulse
Daily Herald
Daily Press
Daily Times Leader
Decatur Daily Democrat
Deer Park Tribune
Dental Economics
Digital Journal
Dow Theory Letters
Evening Leader
Fat Pitch Financials
Franklin Credit Business Services
International Business Times
Inyo Register
Kane Republican
KTVN Channel 2 -Reno, NV
KUTV – Salt Lake City
Lethbridge Herald
Livermore News
Medicine Hat News
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Morning News
Newport Daily Express
Newsok
Newswire
Observer News Enterprise
Observer Reporter
Pawtucket Times
Penticton Herald
Pilot News
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Post and Mail
Poteau Daily News
Punxsutawney Spirit
RI Central
Ridgway Record
Rockford Register Star
Saline Courier
Silicon Investor
Star Tribune
Starkville Daily News
Statesman Examiner
StreetInsider
Sweetwater Reporter
Tamar Securities
Valley City Times Record
Value Investing News
Wapakoneta Daily News
Woonsocket Call
Workboat Indexes
Observer Reporter

NY1 Spectrum News 02/04/21
Community Based Physicians Seek more Vaccine Doses
(MSSNY President Dr.  Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Medpage Today – 02/03/21
Frustrating Ordeal for Community Doc Seeking COVID Shot
(MSSNY President Dr.  Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Buffalo News 02/02/21
Unapproved by FDA, Ivermectin useful as Covid-19 treatment, local doctors say | Local News | buffalonews.com
(Former MSSNY President D. Thomas Madejski Quoted)


January

LoHud – 01/27/21
Legalizing marijuana in NY: Concerns persist over funds to communities of color
(MSSNY mentioned)

NY Daily News – 01/25/21
Advocates make renewed push for ‘death with dignity’ legislation in N.Y.
(MSSNY mentioned)

Also ran in:
Ithaca Journal
Democrat and Chronicle
Star Gazette
Pressconnects.com
The Wellsville Daily Reporter
The Observer-Dispatch
Times Telegram
Wayne Post
The Leader
Recordonline.com

Crain’s New York – 01/06/21
5 issues to watch in New York’s quest to legalize marijuana
(MSSNY mentioned)

Bloomberg Law – 01/05/21
Cuomo Softens Threat to Fine New York Hospitals for Vaccine Woes
(MSSNY mentioned)

City and State NY –
The 2021 Health Power 100: 51-100 | City & State NY
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack #53)

Stat News – 01/04/21
‘Still waiting for my turn’: Primary care doctors are being left behind in the vaccine rollout
(MSSNY mentioned)

NY Times – 01/04/21
Vaccine Rollout Is Sluggish. Can These Pop-Up Inoculation Sites Help?
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Niagara Gazette – 01/04/21
Cuomo threatens to fine hospitals for dawdling with COVID vaccine
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Also ran in Lockport Union Sun &  Journal

Oneonta Daily Star

 

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