Medical Society Applauds Decision Protecting Public Health by Upholding Law Providing for Vaccination Requirements 

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2021  

Medical Society Applauds Decision Protecting Public Health by Upholding Law Providing for Vaccination Requirements


NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department
 Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to the NYS Law Ensuring Only Medical Contraindication Exemptions for Vaccinations

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

“The Medical Society of the State of New York applauds the decision of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department affirming the dismissal of the challenge to the law passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor to eliminate religious exemptions for state vaccination requirements.

“This court decision is an important victory for public health.  As we are seeing in the current COVID pandemic, vaccinations are an absolutely essential component to combatting communicable diseases.  Physicians across the State will continue to work on the front lines to ensure they protect their patients’ health, and make sure the public is educated about the importance of vaccinations in protecting everyone’s health.

“The Medical Society of the State of New York, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics participated as amici curiae in the litigation in support of New York State and the law, and offered their conclusion that having medical exemptions only was in the best interest of public health.  This brief is cited several times in the decision.

“In 2019, as the measles outbreak was exceeding record levels, the Medical Society led the fight to advocate for ensuring that medical contraindications were the only permitted exception to otherwise applicable vaccination requirements.  MSSNY was joined by a diverse array of 46 public health and patient advocacy organizations in this effort.”

# # #

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: March 19, 2021 – We’ve Been Heard – Now Let’s Keep It Going

We’ve Been Heard – Now Let’s Keep It Going
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Colleagues:

The Assembly and Senate proposed their one-house budgets this week and for the most part recommended the rejection of the numerous problematic proposals that we lobbied against on Physician Advocacy Day earlier this month, at a joint NYS legislative budget hearing and for the last several months through our grassroots network.

This was a very important step forward, and is the result of our collective advocacy including extensive physician grassroots and advocacy by our government relations team.  However, there is more work to be done as the Legislature begins negotiations with the Governor’s office towards adoption of a final Budget in 12 days.  Because there is no guarantee that the recommendations of the Assembly and Senate are what will be carried through during difficult Budget negotiations, please continue your grassroots advocacy here and from the specific links below.

Here are the One-House Budget Highlights:

  • The Assembly and Senate both rejected the $51 million cut to the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program and the proposed 50% physician cost share. You can continue to send letters/tweets here.
  • The Assembly and Senate both rejected the “OPMC Modernization Act” provisions from the Executive Budget that would substantially reduce physician due process rights. You can continue to send letters/tweets here.
  • The Assembly entirely rejected the pharmacy scope expansion provisions and the Senate rejected the proposals to greatly expand the physician-pharmacy Collaborative Drug Therapy program and pharmacist self-ordering of lab tests, but mostly accepted the proposal to expand the immunizations by pharmacists.
    You can continue to send letters/tweets here.
  • The Senate proposed restoring the proposed cuts to the Committee on Physician Health (CPH)
  • Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the proposal to eliminate the right of prescribers to apply for a year-to-year waiver of e-prescribing requirements.
  • Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the proposal to eliminate Medicaid Prescriber Prevails provisions.
  • The Assembly rejected almost all of the Executive Budget telehealth proposal except for a provision that expands the locations where telehealth services can be provided.  The Senate accepted the Governor’s telehealth Budget proposal, but added language requiring payment parity.
  • Only the Assembly included the Governor’s proposal to extend the existing modified nurse practitioner independent practice statute for another 6 years.
  • Both the Senate and the Assembly rejected the 1% across the board Medicaid cut.

When the House of Medicine stands together, our voice is strong, our message resonates and much is accomplished.  We need to keep up the volume until the 3-way budget negotiations with the Governor are finalized. Thank you to all that have taken the time out of your busy days and practices to contribute to the chorus. Make sure to sign up for MSSNY Grass Roots Alerts by texting MSSNY to 52886 so that you can take action quickly and easily.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


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Assembly, Senate Advance One-House Budget Proposals that Would Reject Many Problematic Budget Proposals; Conference Committees Begin
This week, both the Assembly and the Senate passed their respective “one-House” Budget recommendations setting the stage for 3-way negotiations with the Governor’s office to complete a State Budget before the April 1 deadline.   Below is an initial summary of the most pressing Budget issues where MSSNY has been advocating.

While the actions of the Assembly and Senate represent significantly positive developments, it is imperative that physicians continue their extensive grassroots efforts on these issues as the State Budget is finalized over the next 2 weeks.

Excess Insurance
Both the Assembly and Senate Budget proposals rejected the $51 million cut to the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program and 50% physician cost share imposition that had been proposed in the Executive Budget. Physicians can send a letter to legislators urging that they continue to fight to prevent this cut from being included in the Budget:  (Click Here)

OPMC Changes
The Assembly Budget proposal rejected the “OPMC Modernization Act” provisions from the Executive Budget in its entirety including several provisions that would substantially curtail physician due process rights when a complaint has been filed against them with the OPMC.

The Senate Budget proposal rejected most of the “OPMC Modernization Act” provisions including all the proposed reductions to physician due process but left in “non-OPMC” components that would:

  • Require new applicants for licensure to undergo criminal background checks
  • Require physicians to include on their NYS Physician profile updates office hours, whether accepting new patients, and health plan participation information (which would be based upon information already publicly available at another DOH website that is based upon information provided by the health plan)

Physicians can send a letter urging the Legislature to continue to fight to preserve due process protections for physicians and rejecting these seriously unfair proposed changes: (Click Here)

Pharmacy Scope
The Assembly Budget proposal rejected in its entirety the pharmacy scope expansion provisions from the Executive Budget proposal.

The Senate Budget proposal rejected Executive Budget proposals to greatly expand the physician-pharmacy Collaborative Drug Therapy program and pharmacist ordering of lab tests for patients without coordination with a physician, but mostly accepted the proposal to expand the immunizations that can be performed by pharmacists.

Please urge your legislators to continue to fight to reject these short-sighted proposals that would empower big box chains at the expense of community-based physician medical homes: (Click Here)

Committee for Physicians Health
The Senate Budget proposal restored the nearly $200,000 cut that had been proposed to CPH in the Executive Budget.  While the Assembly Budget proposal did not affirmatively restore the cut, there have been indications that they will support the restoration of this cut.

E-Prescribing Waivers
Both the Assembly and Senate Budget proposals rejected the Executive Budget proposal to eliminate the right of prescribers to apply for a year-to-year waiver of e-prescribing requirements.

Medicaid “Prescriber Prevails”
Both the Assembly and Senate Budget proposals rejected the Executive Budget proposal to remove the statutory protection for the prescriber’s determination (not State Medicaid’s) to prevail for a medication prescribed to a patient covered by Medicaid.

Telehealth
The Assembly Budget proposal rejected almost all of the Executive Budget telehealth Budget proposal except for a provision that expands the locations where telehealth services can be provided.

The Senate accepted the Governor’s telehealth Budget proposal, but added language supported by MSSNY that would require payment parity for telehealth services as compared to in-person services.

Nurse Practitioner Collaborative Practice
The Assembly Budget proposal included the Governor’s proposal to extend the existing modified nurse practitioner independent practice statute for another 6 years.  The Senate Budget proposal did not include these provisions.

Expanded “De-Credentialing” of Physicians/Providers Under No-Fault Insurance
Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the Governor’s Budget proposal.

Medicaid Cuts
Both the Senate and the Assembly rejected the 1% Across the Board Medicaid cut.

Recreational Use Marijuana
This was excluded from both one-House Budget proposals, but a separate bill is currently under extensive 3-way negotiation. (DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


NYS Congressional Delegation Leads Push Urging the Biden Administration to Include Physicians in Vaccination Effort Following Meetings with MSSNY
Following meetings by MSSNY physician leadership with members of the NY Congressional Delegation, the delegation is leading an effort to urge the Biden Administration to include physicians in the COVID 19 vaccination effort.  

MSSNY advocated for the delegation to collectively urge for the inclusion of office-based physicians into the national COVID-19 vaccine administration plan in order to address demographic gaps in access to the vaccine, and to combat existing hesitancy to receiving the shots across urban, suburban, and rural areas.  MSSNY believes that community-based physicians are uniquely situated to address these concerns, are trusted by their patients and have always play a pivotal role administering the flu vaccine and other vaccines.  The announcement by New York Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Grace Meng, and Rep. Adriano Espaillat can be viewed at this link: Click Here

MSSNY has also been working with other state medical societies to urge federal action.  Joining in the statement were the: Connecticut State Medical Society, Massachusetts Medical Society, Medical Society of New Jersey, Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the Ohio State Medical Association. (Click Here)  This week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that ambulatory physician offices will be added to the team of groups giving the coronavirus vaccine. (Click Here)          (CLANCY, AUSTER)


NYS Continues to Expand Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine
On March 17, 2021 New York State expanded eligibility criteria for vaccinations to include March 17th public-facing government and public employees, not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need, and essential in-person public-facing building service workers and providers of essential building services.   Additionally, enrolled vaccine providers other than pharmacies, may vaccinate any eligible individual. The March 17 guidance is here: Click Here.

MSSNY has been working closely with the state to get vaccine supply to community physician offices and several physician practices around the state may receive an allocation of vaccine supply shortly.  Physician practices should also be in touch with their local health departments who are authorized to reallocate a portion of their supply to physician practices. According to the NYS Department of Health there are 1,609 medical practices enrolled in the state vaccination program and this represents 22,943 staff; 6,287,392 patients (of which 29% are 60+) and requests for approximately requests for 187,147 doses. Physicians who would like to become a COVID-19 immunizer, will need to enroll into either the NYSIIS or CIR systems. Physicians can find information about enrolling here: Click Here.

Effective immediately, providers in receipt of COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective as to whether such doses are via a direct State or federal allocation or a redistribution, will now be required to report to the vaccine tracker on Mondays and Thursdays by 10 am.  All providers with COVID -19 vaccine doses on hand or that depleted their allocation since their last report are now required to fill out the vaccine tracker both days. This reporting will continue to be used for allocation determinations and is still required. Click Here.

Physicians and patients can determine eligibility by going to Click Here.

President Biden has announced that he will be directing all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults, people 18 and over, eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1 and has also indicated the federal government is working to increase the supply of vaccine.  Twelve states are expanding eligibility to COVID-19 vaccines earlier than planned for every adult, accelerating the biggest such campaign in the country’s history and making long strides toward President Joe Biden’s May 1 deadline for eligibility.  (CLANCY)


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NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to the NYS Law Ensuring Medical Contraindications Exemptions Only for Vaccinations
The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department this week affirmed the dismissal of the challenge to the New York State Legislature’s passage of a law to eliminate religious exemptions for vaccinations.   Plaintiffs had raised a number of constitutional challenges, and the case was originally brought in 2019 to the Supreme Court who also dismissed it.

The American Medical Association, the Medical Society of the State of New York, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, as amici curiae in support of New York State and the law, and offered their conclusion that eliminating religious exemptions is in the best interest of public health.  This brief is cited several times in the decision.

In 2019, the Medical Society led the fight to advocate for allowing only medical exemptions to be a reason not to be immunized.   MSSNY was joined by 46 public health and patient advocacy organizations in this effort and this dismissal is a huge victory for public health.  A copy of the decision can be found at:  Click Here.     (CLANCY)


Bill to Repeal COVID Immunity Protections Advancing – Contact Your Legislators to Oppose
Legislation (S.5177) to repeal the COVID liability protections provided to physicians and other care providers enacted as part of last year’s State Budget has advanced to the Senate floor and could be voted on at any time. Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators (Click Here)  to oppose efforts to remove these important protections.

The same-as legislation (A.3397) recently passed the Assembly. In a state notorious for its already hostile liability climate, these protections enacted by the Governor and the Legislature last year were absolutely essential for hospitals, physicians and other care providers to build the capacity necessary to treat an unending stream of Covid patients during the height of the pandemic.

Many groups including MSSNY have written to legislators to oppose this legislation and to highlight the importance of maintaining these protections for the duration of the public health emergency given that New York continues to have thousands of new Covid cases every day and an increasing penetration of more easily spread variants.

MSSNY has also raised concerns with the possibility that S.5177/A.3397 could be interpreted by a court to retroactively repeal these essential liability protections for care provided during the height of the pandemic when there were not clear medical protocols for Covid treatment and when many non-COVID health care services were required to be postponed.  At the same time, it should be noted there were comments made by several Assemblymembers during the floor debate on the legislation when it was passed by the NYS Assembly that the “effective date” language means that the repeal provisions would only apply prospectively, in other words, for acts or omissions after the date the bill was signed into law, if it were to be passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor. (AUSTER)


MSSNY Working to Secure Telehealth Expansion in FY 2022 Budget While Preserving Patient Access to their Physicians
As noted above, the Assembly and Senate released their one house budget bills this week, with both including some components on Telehealth expansion. The Assembly plan rejected mostly all of the Executive Budget’s Telehealth proposal, with the exception of a provision that expands the locations where Telehealth services can be provided. The Senate, however, accepted the Executive’s Telehealth full, but added language supported by MSSNY, that would require payment for Telehealth services that is on par with in-person visits.

MSSNY is supportive of efforts to include expansion of Telehealth services through the budget and is working with legislative staff to address our significant concerns with the Telehealth proposal that was advanced in the Executive Budget, and to include strong language in the final FY 2022 budget that creates a comprehensive set of Telehealth policies that creates access to care for patients.  MSSNY has sent to the Legislature its recommendations on these various Budget proposals including its request:

  • That the Interstate Compact provisions be deleted from any Telehealth Budget language;
  • Language be added to ensure that health insurers cannot exclude coverage for telehealth services delivered by physicians that are participating in that health plan for providing in-person services; and
  • “Payment parity” be required for services delivered via telehealth, similar to the provisions set forth in S.5505 (Rivera)/A.6256 (Gottfried).

The Governor and legislature must agree on a new budget by April 1st and MSSNY will provide updates as negotiations go forward.    (CARY)


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New York Health Act Re-Introduced
Legislation to create a single payor system in New York was recently re-introduced in the New York State Assembly and NYS Senate (A.6058, Gottfried/S.5474, Rivera). The bill has 79 co-sponsors in the Assembly and 33 co-sponsors in the Senate.

Previous iterations of the bill passed the Assembly from 2015-2018.    MSSNY continues to have a long-standing policy position in support of a multi-payor system to achieve universal coverage and in opposition to a single payor system, but also recognizes that there is a wide array of physician perspectives on this issue.  Indeed, this position has been regularly debated at the MSSNY annual House of Delegates meeting.  MSSNY has repeatedly stated that it looks forward to continued open dialogue and careful evaluation of the likely “real world” impact of such a far-reaching proposal to ensure that New York moves forward in a manner that ensures that patients’ access to needed care from the physician of their choice is not impaired.

MSSNY has also noted in public statements and testimony that there have been meaningful improvements to the legislation based upon comments from physician groups, including MSSNY and the New York County Medical Society (including this statement from 2019 – Click Here).  This year’s version has been revised to require the Commissioner of Health to consider “usual and customary rates” maintained by Fair Health as part of the development of a payment schedule for this program, in response to concerns that State Budget constraints could force this system to use grossly inadequate Medicaid rates as the model for payment.  The legislation had also been amended from previous versions to limit the use of prior authorization on care delivery and to provide a fairer process to negotiate payments for patient care.

There will likely be extensive discussions on this far-reaching proposal after the State Budget is enacted, and MSSNY will continue to provide updates to its members as these discussions progress.                                                                     (AUSTER)


MSSNY Joins Patient Advocates to Examine Impact of Step Therapy Reforms
This week, MSSNY joined with several patient advocacy organizations for a meeting with staff at the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) raising concerns that some New York health plans may not be complying with the important step therapy reform law that passed the Legislature and enacted in 2016.

Step Therapy, also known as “fail first”, is a policy used by insurers to “control costs”, that requires patients to try and fail on one or more drugs prescribed by their physicians, before an insurer will provide coverage for the originally prescribed treatment. Step therapy protocols can also lead to serious health consequences and increased costs for patients. MSSNY was a key player among the many groups that worked to pass the law in 2016, which set forth a number of criteria under which a health plan must grant a step therapy override request based upon information submitted by the patient’s physician (for more info, see here: Step Therapy New Law (mssny.org))

A recent survey by the advocacy group Aimed Alliance indicated that there are situations where patients are still facing challenges of having to “fail first” on certain medications that treat serious health conditions, despite the protections under New York’s law.   If you have examples of health plans not following the law, or you know of other physicians who have had issues, please contact zcary@mssny.org to share details.

The group is planning on having future discussions a and we will provide updates as they happen.                                              (CARY)


House Passes Bill to Prevent 2% Medicare Sequester Cut; Senate Activity Uncertain
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to many — physically, emotionally, and financially – and physicians are no exception. And while the number of Americans getting vaccinated is encouraging, there is still deep concern that persistently high COVID-19 rates will continue to stress the entire health care system, especially physician practices.

Congress recognized early on during the pandemic the severe financial strain facing our health care system and provided a much-needed reprieve from the 2% Medicare payment sequester through the remainder of 2020. Realizing the severity of the situation Congress again extended the sequester moratorium until March 31, 2021.  However, if Congress doesn’t act by March 31, the Medicare payment sequester will take effect, triggering a devastating cut for physician practices across the country, many of which are already strained to the breaking point.

Today, legislation was passed 246-175 by the US House of Representatives (HR 1868) that among other provisions would protect physician practices by extending the current Medicare sequester moratorium beyond the March 31 deadline.  MSSNY thanks the 25 of 27 New York’s Congressional delegation members representing both parties who voted in favor of the legislation (only Rep. Zeldin and Rep. Reed voted against the legislation). However, it is unclear what the Senate will do.  Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer supports the legislation but several Representatives and Senators have raised objections over the cost of this legislation as it relates to the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill enacted a few weeks ago.   Please remain alert for further updates.       (AUSTER)                               


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Registration Now Open – Veterans Matters: Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients Webinar

Thursday, April 22nd @ 7:30 am

The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled Veterans Matters: Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients live webinar on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to register for the program! View the program flyer HERE

When:                 April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am
Faculty:               Lt. Colonel Lance Allen Wang (Ret.) & Sharran Chambers-Murphy, Desert Storm-era Veteran

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe the unique aspects of military culture and how they impact patients who are veterans;
  • Explain the Dwyer Peer-to-Peer program as a resource to assist veteran patients re-acclimating from a group to an individual mentality; and
  • Review and identify resources to improve physician’s ability to fully treat veterans who are transitioning back to civilian life

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.


MSSNY Medical Matters Program on the History of Coronavirus

Registration now open
Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades
Date: March 24, 2021 @ 7:30am 

Did you know that since 2003 there have been three coronavirus outbreaks?  Learn more about the epidemiology and evolution of coronaviruses by registering for Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades. This webinar will take place on Wednesday March 24th at 7:30 am.  Stephen Morse, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Identify three different coronaviruses and the epidemiology specific to each one;
  • Discuss SARS-CoV-2 in relation to other coronaviruses; and
  • Evaluate the circumstances that contributed to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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

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


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 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

The Medical Society of the State of New York now offers to physicians, residents and medical students a completely confidential and anonymous 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 in 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.

MSSNY has established a confidential helpline phone number (1-844-P2P-PEER) and an email address (p2p@mssny.org) so that physicians may be connected with a peer 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In addition to offering a trained, empathetic ear, peer supporters may provide information on specific resources that can offer further support, provide positive coping skills, or connect physicians to professionals for more focused assistance when needed. MSSNY has nearly 50 trained peer supporters across NYS who are just a phone call away!                                               (Lauder)


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eNews

 

UHC’s Optum Pay
UHC introduced a new product called Optum Pay.  This product has two components.  Optum Pay Basic Portal Access and Optum Pay Premium Portal Access. Originally, under the Basic option, plan remittance advice notices would be available for viewing for 30 days. The Basic option is provided for free.  Under the Premium option, remittance advice notices would be available for a longer period of time, would be downloadable and would cost the practice .5% of payments made to the practice.

For more information about the original versions of Optum Pay Portal Access, please see the attached.

Due a large outcry from physicians, UHC agreed to provide enhancements to the Basic option.  Please see this link which now includes enhancements to the Basic option-

Physicians can now complete an Optum Pay Premium cancellation form and email it to Optum. This cancellation from the Premium option must be emailed to optumpay_cancel@optum.com through the end of March without penalty.  Note, the website states that the Basic plan allows access to remittance data for 13 months; but the cancellation form says users will have access for 30 days, only. Based on an additional clarification from UHC, they clarified that the form is old. Basic users will have 13 months of access to remittance data.


New York Hospital Takes $34M Hit from Nearly 2,700 Canceled Surgeries
Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., is working to recover revenue lost due to canceled surgeries and lower patient volumes tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 573-bed hospital reported a 6 percent year-over-year decline in emergency department visits in 2020, leading to a revenue drop of $1.5 million, according to Buffalo Business First.

Canceled elective surgeries took a bigger financial toll on the hospital. The suspension of elective procedures last year led to nearly 2,700 canceled surgeries and $34 million in lost revenue, according to the report.

“It is a financial hit for us to have less visits, but the more severe financial hit was lack of surgeries, that is the heart financially of the organization,” Erie County Medical Center President CEO Thomas Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., told Buffalo Business First.


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Deloitte: Six Predictions for Hospitals, Health Systems and Medical Professionals
The national sector leader for Deloitte’s healthcare practice in the U.S. (Tina Wheeler), has written a report outlining trends she expects to emerge or accelerate in healthcare.

Six predictions:

  1. More interest in practicing medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in medical school applications— one that admissions officers link to the example of Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Ms. Wheeler said she expects this increased interest in medicine to continue for people who want to help others.
  2. Medical school students could be more interested in public health. Ms. Wheeler predicts more medical school students could be more interested in job opportunities with public health organizations several years from now. She cited information from the Association of American Medical Colleges showing that some medical schools have already added electives that offer students more of these types of opportunities.
  3. Physicians will likely see their reliance on virtual health grow. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of virtual health. In fact, students at her daughter’s school learned how to interview standardized patients in hospital exam rooms before the pandemic, but they have since seen face-to-face encounters moved to an online platform in response to the public health crisis, said Ms. Wheeler. She predicts physicians will likely need this skill as more care is delivered virtually.
  4. Patients could receive more hospital-level care at home. The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in hospitals providing more care in people’s homes. For example, telehealth company Amwell announced its involvement on March 10 in a hospital-at-home care initiative backed by Amazon, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain and St. Louis-based Ascension. Ms. Wheeler said more hospital-level care could be delivered in the home in the future.
  5. Transparent pricing could spur newly engaged digital customers. The CMS price transparency rule requiring hospitals to post their standard charges online took effect Jan. 1. Ms. Wheeler said this could help educate and empower consumers, and newly engaged digital consumers will likely have more influence in healthcare. “The new rules are creating mandates and opportunities for greater data-sharing in the industry,” she wrote. Ms. Wheeler said health plans might specifically find opportunities for greater data-sharing to improve social, economic, and environmental factors that affect health outcomes.
  6. Interoperability will change healthcare interactions: HHS has finalized two interoperability rules issued by ONC and CMS. Ms. Wheeler predicts these rules will change healthcare interactions by meeting empowered consumer needs and supporting consumer choice. She said health plans can spend time understanding how data sharing can help them empower and guide members and improve their healthcare experience.

Open Payments National Provider Call
Thursday March 25, 2020 2:00pm – 3:00pm (ET)

REGISTER HERE

Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 25, 2020 for an informative session on the Open Payments Program and the upcoming review, dispute, and correction processes.

Reporting entities are currently submitting data to the Open Payments system on payments or transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals during 2020.  Beginning in April, physicians and teaching hospitals have 45 days to review and dispute records attributed to them. CMS will publish the Open Payments Program Year 2020 data and updates to previous program years in June 2021.

During this call, learn about the Open Payments program and how to access the system to review the accuracy of the data submitted about you before it is published on the CMS website.

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Topics:

  • Overview of the Open Payments Program
  • Program Timeline
  • Program Roles
  • Registration Process

Target Audience: physicians, teaching hospitals and office staff.

CMS requests that all press inquiries related to this call and the Open Payments program are sent to the CMS press office mailbox at press@cms.hhs.gov. Please include your professional contact information, specific concerns, and your deadline. Note: The Review and Dispute period is targeted to begin on April 1, 2021 and end on May 15, 2021


Please Submit Names of Doctors and Family Members Who Lost Their Lives During COVID-19
Doctors Day is March 30. This year, to honor our physicians and family members who died of COVID-19 in 2020-2021, MSSNY is designing a poster with the names that are submitted. Please send the names to jvecchione@mssny.org



NYS DOH Informational Message: Monoclonal Antibodies
Monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid19 are no longer being distributed through a state allocation system. There is no shortage in supply of these drugs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has enough on hand to meet the needs of all treatment facilities. For this reason, these therapies are now available through direct ordering only. All treatment sites meeting EUA requirements must now order Covid19 mAb therapies directly from AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC), the drugs’ sole distributor. The products remain free of charge to requesting sites.

HHS will continue to monitor all direct orders and retains the capacity to resume allocation of these and future therapies if needed. Treatment sites should review the direct ordering process guide and place orders directly with ABC at this site.

Please note that in addition to reporting therapeutics data in HHSProtect or the National Healthcare Safety Network, treatment sites wishing to place direct orders will be required to provide ABC with a board of pharmacy license or physician letter of authorization, attest to their designated class of trade, and ensure that product administration will be conducted according to the drugs’ EUAs.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the direct order process for COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies, you may contact HHS/ASPR at COVID19Therapeutics@hhs.gov or ABC at C19therapies@amerisourcebergen.com.


15 Recent Findings from COVID-19 Related Studies
A number of recent studies have focused on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, hospitalization trends and variants.

Here are 15 findings from studies published since March 3:

  1. Pfizer said March 11that its COVID-19 vaccine prevented 94 percent of asymptomatic cases, according to an Israeli study.
  2. Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 96.4 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in its phase 3 U.K. trial, the drugmaker announced March 11.
  3. Eli Lilly said on March 10 its COVID-19 antibody cocktail reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 87 percent during a recent phase 3 study.
  4. GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology said on March 10that their COVID-19 antibody drug was 85 percent effective at reducing virus-related hospitalizations and death in a phase 3 clinical trial.
  5. Despite few hospitalized COVID-19 patients having a bacterial infection, 52 percent of hospitalizations led to at least one antibiotic prescription, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Antibiotic Resistance Project published March 10.
  6. People who have more than five symptoms of COVID-19 during the first week of illness may be more likely to develop prolonged health issues, known as “long COVID-19,” according to a study published March 10 in Nature Medicine.
  7. Patients ages 30 and older infected with the U.K. coronavirus variant had a 64 percent higher death risk than those infected with previously circulating strains, according to a U.K. study published March 10 in The BMJ.
  8. People who received both doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s messenger RNA vaccine and had no symptoms had an 80 percent lower risk of testing positive for COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, according to research published March 10 in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The findings suggest mRNA vaccines are effective at reducing the risk of asymptomatic infection.
  9. Among 71,491 U.S. adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19, 27.8 percent were overweight and 50.2 percent were obese, according to the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published March 8.
  10. Just 0.025 percent of staff from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital experienced anaphylaxis after receiving Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to a study published March 8 in JAMA.
  11. The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was shown to be 95 percent effective in neutralizing a more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that was discovered in Brazil, according to a study published March 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  12. Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines were at least 10 times less effective against a virus variant first found in South Africa in a small study conducted by researchers from Columbia University, Business Insider reported March 8.
  13. In-hospital mortality for COVID-19 patients fell 15 percentage points from March to August 2020, according to a study published March 5 in JAMA Network Open.
  14. Among 152 children hospitalized with COVID-19, 18, or 12 percent, developed acute kidney injury, according to a study published March 3 in Kidney International.
  15. The SARS-CoV-2 virus may more easily bind to the airway cells of people with Type A blood, according to a study published March 3 in Blood Advances. (Becker’s Hospital Review, March 16)

Nassau County Med Society Virtual Event: Women on the Frontlines: Stronger Together March 31st, 2021 from 6-7 PM

You’re invited to a conversation with:

Dr. Susan Bailey, President of the AMA • Dr. Elizabeth Fontana, Neurosurgeon and Chief Resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital • Dr. Bonnie Litvack, President of MSSNY • Dr. Carmen Rodriguez, FACOG, President of the LIJ, Medical Staff Society and Associate Chair of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center – Performance Improvement Coordinating Group • Dr. Aisha Terry, MPH, FACEP, Emergency Physician and Associate Professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Milken Institute School of Public Health and Pandemic Advisor • Dr. Haritha Veeramachaneni, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and recipient of the New York Times’ Super Doctors Rising Stars

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women who have been leaders on the frontline during the pandemic. Please register here for our virtual event on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021. For further details or registration assistance, please email information@nassaucountymedicalsociety.org or call (516) 832-2300.


Now Accepting Applications: Primary Care First Model Cohort 2
Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Request for Applications (RFA) for Cohort 2 of the Primary Care First (PCF) Model. Primary care practices in eligible regions are encouraged to apply. Practices that participate in PCF will have flexibility in terms of care delivery and the opportunity to increase practice revenue through performance-based model payments. The deadline for practice applications is April 30, 2021; the deadline for payer applications is May 28, 2021. The PCF Model tests whether the way Medicare pays for advanced primary care—shifting from a fee-for-service to a value-based payment approach—can positively affect the quality of care and reduce total Medicare expenditures. By tying performance-based payment adjustments to health outcomes, the PCF Model seeks to improve advanced primary care for participating practices and patients alike.

What this means for model participants:

  • You have greater independence and can tailor care delivery approaches to meet the special needs of your patients.
  • You have the opportunity to prioritize the doctor-patient relationship.
  • You are supported in offering patients increased access to care, greater engagement in the decision-making process and enhanced care coordination.

Further, participating practices that focus on patients with complex chronic needs receive higher model payments for the care of these patient populations.

PCF Cohort 2 will have five performance years and is scheduled to begin in January 2022. You can access the RFA, practice application, and more information on the PCF Model, on the CMS Primary Care First website.

Webinars for interested applicants will be held in the coming weeks, and will include opportunity for live question and answer:

Introduction to PCF

Become a Primary Care First Payer Partner


Ready, Set, Apply!


MSSNY is Accepting Nominations for the 2020 Albion O. Bernstein, MD Award
This prestigious award is given to:

“…the physician, surgeon or scientist who shall have made the most widely beneficial discovery or developed the most useful method in medicine, surgery or in the prevention of disease in the twelve months prior to December, 2020.”

This award was endowed by the late Morris J. Bernstein in memory of his son, a physician who died in an accident while answering a hospital call in November, 1940. The $2,000 award will be presented to the recipient during a MSSNY Council Meeting.

Nominations must be submitted on an official application form and must include the nominator’s narrative description of the significance of the candidate’s achievements as well as the candidate’s curriculum vitae, including a list of publications or other contributions.

To request an application, please contact:

Committee on Continuing Medical Education
 Miriam Hardin, PhD, Manager, Continuing Medical Education
Medical Society of the State of New York
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 408
Albany, NY 12210
518-465-8085

mhardin@mssny.org

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS:    June 9, 2021


Classifieds

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 Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188


Soho Rental Office
Two Offices Available for Rent in Established SoHo Primary Care Practice
Newly constructed loft space. Dedicated private waiting area available.  This space is ideal for individual psychiatry, psychology, social work, physical therapy, or acupuncture services. Potential to work with existing Primary Care Practice as a referral source. Centrally located in the heart of SoHo, close to all subways. Available 7 days/week. Contact: SpringPrimaryCare@gmail.com

Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – maya@mallannyhomes.com or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information http://www.mallannyhomes.com/properties/detail/800-second-avenue-806/

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway


Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY Enews: March 17, 2021 – Excess, OPMC and CPH Proposals


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Assembly, Senate Advance One-House Budget Proposals that Reject Many Problematic Budget Proposals
Over the weekend, both the Assembly and the Senate introduced their respective “one-House” Budget proposals to set the stage for 3-way negotiations with the Governor to complete a State Budget before the April 1 deadline.  Below is an initial summary of the most pressing Budget issues where MSSNY has been advocating.    While these certainly represent significant positive developments, it is imperative that physicians continue their extensive grassroots efforts on these issues as the State Budget is finalized over the next 2 weeks.

Please take action consistent with the grassroots requests below and please be on the lookout for additional alerts based upon how negotiations are pressing on each of these issues. 

Excess Insurance 

Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the $51 million cut to the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program and 50% physician cost share imposition that had been proposed in the Executive Budget. Physicians can send a letter to legislators urging that they continue to fight to prevent this cut from being included in the Budget:  Don’t Balance the Budget on the Backs of Physicians

OPMC Changes

The Assembly rejected the “OPMC Modernization Act” provisions from the Executive Budget in its entirety including several provisions that would substantially reduce physician due process rights.

The Senate rejected most of the “OPMC Modernization Act” provisions including all the proposed changes to physician due process but left in “non-OPMC” components that would:

  • Require new applicants for licensure to undergo criminal background checks
  • Require physicians to include on their NYS Physician profile updates office hours, whether accepting new patients, and health plan participation information (which would be based upon information already publicly available at another DOH website that is based upon information provided by the health plan)

Physicians can send a letter urging the Legislature to continue to fight to preserve due process for physicians and rejecting these proposed changes: Reject Governor’s Physician Disciplinary Proposal

Pharmacy Scope 

The Assembly rejected in its entirety the pharmacy scope expansion provisions from the Executive Budget proposal.

The Senate rejected Executive Budget proposals to greatly expand the physician-pharmacy Collaborative Drug Therapy program and pharmacist self-ordering of lab tests, but mostly accepted the proposal to expand the immunizations that can be performed by pharmacists.

Please urge your legislators to continue to fight to reject these short-sighted proposals that would empower big box chains at the expense of community-based physician medical homes: Oppose Uncoordinated Siloed Care to be Provided by Pharmacists

Committee for Physicians Health 

The Senate restored the $198,000 that had been cut in the Executive Budget proposal.  While the Assembly did not appear, at first glance, to restore the cut, but there have been indications that they are supporting the restoration of this cut.

E-Prescribing Waivers 

Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the Executive Budget proposal to eliminate the right of prescribers to apply for a year to year waiver of e-prescribing requirements (which apparently was still being used by over 2,000 prescribers in New York)

Medicaid Prescriber Prevails 

Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the Executive Budget proposal to remove the statutory protection of the prescriber’s determination (not State Medicaid’s) to be final for a medication prescribed to a patient covered by Medicaid.

Telehealth 

The Assembly rejected almost all of the Executive Budget telehealth Budget proposal except for a provision that expands the locations where telehealth services can be provided.

The Senate accepted the Governor’s telehealth Budget proposal, but added language supported by MSSNY that would require payment parity for telehealth services as compared to in-person services.

Nurse Practitioner Collaborative Practice

The Assembly included the Governor’s proposal to extend the existing modified nurse practitioner independent practice statute for another 6 years.  The Senate did not include these provisions.

Expanded “De-Credentialing” of Physicians/Providers Under No-Fault Insurance 

Both the Assembly and Senate rejected the Governor’s Budget proposal.

Medicaid Cuts

Both the Senate and the Assembly reject the 1% Across the Board Medicaid cut.

Recreational Use Marijuana 

This was excluded from both one-House Budget proposals, but a separate bill is currently under extensive 3-way negotiation.


NYS DOH Guidance for the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Effective March 17, 2021
Effective March 17, enrolled providers other than pharmacies, may vaccinate any eligible
individual. Pharmacies must continue to vaccinate individuals age 60 and older, and
prioritize P-12 school faculty and staff, and childcare worker per federal guidance, however
are now authorized to vaccinate individuals with comorbidities or underlying conditions. All
providers must make efforts to vaccinate the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including those
with comorbidities or underlying conditions, and individuals 60+.
Effective March 17, public-facing government and public employees, not-for-profit workers
who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need, and essential in-person public-facing building service workers and providers of essential building services are eligible to be vaccinated. Read the full guidance report here.

Important Update to NYS Vaccine Tracker Reporting
Effective immediately, providers in receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of whether such doses are via a direct State or federal allocation or a redistribution, will now be required to report to the vaccine tracker on Mondays and Thursdays by 10 am.

All providers with COVID-19 vaccine doses on hand or that depleted their allocation since their last report are required to fill out the vaccine tracker both days.

This reporting will continue to be used for allocation determinations and is still required. If you have any questions regarding this change or the vaccine tracker in general, please
email: VaccineTracker@health.ny.gov.


Please Join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, March 18th at 1 – 2 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. Audio number and code: 844-512-2950 Access code 6542067#


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Americans More Comfortable Seeking Care Amid Pandemic, Survey Suggests Americans’ comfort with visiting a hospital or physicians’ office is growing amid the COVID- 19 vaccine rollout, according to Healthgrades’ latest COVID-19 Patient Confidence Study published Feb. 18.

Healthgrades launched the study in March 2020 to assess trends in consumer behavior amid the pandemic. The report is based on a weekly survey of a random sample of 200 Americans. The most recent study represents data through Feb. 12.

Three findings:

  1. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they’d feel comfortable going to their primary care physician tomorrow, up from 40 percent in April
  2. Sixty-nine percent said they’d feel comfortable visiting a specialist tomorrow (up from 38 percent in April), and 63 percent said they’d be willing to visit urgent care (up from 32 percent in April).
  3. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they’d feel comfortable having an elective procedure at a hospital, and 64 percent said they’d undergo an in-office medical
    .
    To view the full survey, click here.

15 Recent Findings from COVID-19-Related Studies
A number of recent studies have focused on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, hospitalization trends and variants.

Here are 15 findings from studies published since March 3:

  1. Pfizer said March 11 that its COVID-19 vaccine prevented 94 percent of asymptomatic cases, according to an Israeli
  2. Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 96.4 percent effective in preventing COVID- 19 in its phase 3 K. trial, the drugmaker announced March 11.
  3. Eli Lilly said March 10 its COVID-19 antibody cocktail reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 87 percent during a recent phase 3
  4. GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology said March 10 that their COVID-19 antibody drug was 85 percent effective at reducing virus-related hospitalizations and death in a phase 3 clinical trial.
  1. Despite few hospitalized COVID-19 patients having a bacterial infection, 52 percent of hospitalizations led to at least one antibiotic prescription, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Antibiotic Resistance Project published March 10.
  1. People who have more than five symptoms of COVID-19 during the first week of illness may be more likely to develop prolonged health issues, known as “long COVID-19,” according to a study published March 10 in Nature
  2. Patients ages 30 and older infected with the K. coronavirus variant had a 64 percent higher death risk than those infected with previously circulating strains, according to a U.K. study published March 10 in The BMJ.
  1. People who received both doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s messenger RNA vaccine and had no symptoms had an 80 percent lower risk of testing positive for COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, according to research published March 10 in Clinical Infectious The findings suggest mRNA vaccines are effective at reducing the risk of asymptomatic infection.
  2. Among 71,491 S. adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19, 27.8 percent were overweight and 50.2 percent were obese, according to the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published March 8.
  3. Just 0.025 percent of staff from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital experienced anaphylaxis after receiving Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to a study published March 8 in JAMA.
  4. The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was shown to be 95 percent effective in neutralizing a more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that was discovered in Brazil, according to a study published March 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  5. Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines were at least 10 times less effective against a virus variant first found in South Africa in a small study conducted by researchers from Columbia University, Business Insider reported March 8.
  1. In-hospital mortality for COVID-19 patients fell 15 percentage points from March to August 2020, according to a study published March 5 in JAMA Network Open.
  2. Among 152 children hospitalized with COVID-19, 18, or 12 percent, developed acute kidney injury, according to a study published March 3 in Kidney International.
  3. The SARS-CoV-2 virus may more easily bind to the airway cells of people with Type A blood, according to a study published March 3 in Blood Advances.

NYC DOH MH Hosts Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)
Overdose death in the United States continues to climb during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recent provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred across the country in the 12 months ending in May 2020—higher than any previously recorded 12-month period. The CDC recommends that clinicians co-prescribe naloxone to patients with high morphine milligram equivalents and those receiving opioids and benzodiazepines. Prescribers such as physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can help by optimizing how we use prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in clinical care.

Starting Tuesday, March 30, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in partnership with Montefiore Medical Center and NYC Health + Hospitals, will host a series of webinars with practical and current guidance for health care providers to optimize use of PDMP data in clinical care. The presentations were developed by a team of experts and include case-based discussions highlighting common and challenging case scenarios. Topics for the eight CDC Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)-funded webinars will cover: a history, overview, and importance of using PDMPs; prescribing opioids for inherited patients; equity and racial bias in opioid prescribing; prescribing for patients with complex medical histories; and more. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits (or equivalent) will be offered with each webinar.

Key points and recommendations:

  1. Clinical practice guidelines encourage use of the PDMP prior to prescribing Schedule II-IV controlled substances, including opioids, benzodiazepines, other sedative-hypnotics (e.g. zolpidem), and pregabalin.
  2. PDMP data can help prescribers to: verify prescription fills (e.g., dates and quantity), review trends in prescription fills, identify patients at high risk for substance use disorder or overdose, guide collaboration with other prescribers and patients, and identify activity suggesting diversion or fraud.
  3. Incorporating PDMP data into clinical decision-making should be guided by several principles;
  4. PDMP data provide objective data that must be interpreted in context
    1. Decisions about whether and how to prescribe should consider the broader risks and benefits to the individual
    2. Avoid abrupt discontinuation or dose reduction of controlled substances that would result in severe withdrawal symptoms. These could lead to illicit use, overdose, seeking emergency care, dysphoric mood, and suicide risk. For some medications including benzodiazepines, it could result in seizures or
    3. Assess patients taking controlled substances for substance use
    4. Substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, are chronic illnesses that require long-term All patients with substance use disorder should be provided or referred for evidence-based treatment. Treatment for opioid use disorder is effective, safe, and available throughout the country.
    5. Communication with patients about pain and substance use can take place in a way that preserves and improves the therapeutic relationship with This includes using active listening, validating, using non-stigmatizing language, and using shared decision-making.

These principles and others will be addressed in the webinar series (see accompanying information), along with practical tips for implementing them in patient care. We hope you can join us for one or more of the webinars.

Click here to register for the first webinar in the Optimizing Provider Use of Prescription Monitoring Programs series.


CDC: Most People Return for Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose
Most people who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from either Pfizer or Moderna have gotten their second dose on time, according to research published by the CDC March 15, The Hill reported.

During the first two months of the U.S. vaccination campaign, 95 percent of people completed their two-dose vaccinations within the FDA-recommended time period, the CDC said.

But the agency noted that most people prioritized for the vaccine at that time were healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents, who likely had better access to their second doses because they’re more likely to have been vaccinated at work or their residence, The Hill reported.

“As priority groups broaden, adherence to the recommended dosing interval might decrease,” the CDC said.

The FDA authorized Pfizer’s vaccine to be given in two doses 21 days apart and Moderna’s vaccine to be given in two doses 28 days apart. But the CDC has said there can be up to 42 days between doses in emergency situations.

The CDC recommended that public health officials work to understand the causes of missed second doses, The Hill reported.

Read the full article here.


 

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The State of COVID-19 in the US Today: 6 Stats & Why They Matter
Amid the ever-changing pandemic, it can be difficult to draw conclusions from constantly changing data, which is why Becker’s has compiled six recent statistics and provided the context for each number.

Six statistics regarding the state of the pandemic in the U.S.:

Total U.S. COVID-19 cases: 29,496,142

Context: The figure, reported at 8:30 p.m. CDT March 16 from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins’ coronavirus dashboard, totals out to about 1 in 670 Americans having had COVID-19 at some point. As of March 16, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. account for nearly a quarter of all cases worldwide, or 24.5 percent.

Total U.S. COVID-19 deaths: 535,657

Context: A third of Americans know someone who has died from COVID-19, reports The New York Times. As of March 16, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. account for more than a fifth of global virus deaths, or 20.1 percent.

U.S. COVID-19 case rate: 57,083 new cases reported March 15, per The New York Times.

Context: As of March 13, The number of new reported cases per day remains nearly as high as the summer record, reports The New York Times. However, daily cases are on the decline, and the average number of new cases per day has dropped more than 75 percent since the Jan. 8 peak.

U.S. COVID-19 death rate: Almost 1,500 Americans are dying from COVID-19 every day as of March 13, reports The New York Times.

Context: That number still exceeds the summer peak, though daily deaths are lower than the initial surge last spring.

Percent of U.S. population fully vaccinated: 11.5 percent

Context: As of March 15, 38,335,432 Americans have received all necessary COVID-19 vaccine doses, per the CDC. Overall, 71,054,445 Americans (21.4 percent) have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to reach herd immunity is still not known, according to The World Health Organization and CDC.

Vaccine Eligibility: Alaska and Mississippi are currently the only states with eligibility open to all adult residents, with everyone 16 or older eligible in Alaska and residents 18 or older in Mississippi. For a list of each state’s eligibility, click here.


CDC Considering Three Feet as Safe Distance in Classrooms
A new Harvard study suggests that sitting kids closer in the classroom doesn’t spread COVID-19 any faster.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering reducing the distance in classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet following the findings from the study. Students and staff members in the study wore masks.

“We are taking all of those data carefully and revisiting our guidances in that context,” says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Dr. Frederick Davis, of Northwell Health, says schools should wait until more adults are vaccinated before making the change. Davis says kids usually don’t get as severe a disease and sometimes are asymptomatic, but they can still bring it home and spread it to family members.

The CDC has not given a date for a possible decision, but the World Health Organization has already recommended three feet as a safe distance.


Please Submit Names of Doctors and Family Members Who Lost Their Lives During COVID-19
Doctors Day is March 30. This year, to honor our physicians and family members who died of COVID-19 in 2020-2021, MSSNY is designing a poster with the names that are submitted. Please send the names to jvecchione@mssny.org


Administration Increases Medicare Payment for Life-Saving COVID-19 Vaccine
the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is increasing the Medicare payment amount for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. This new and higher payment rate will support important actions taken by providers that are designed to increase the number of vaccines they can furnish each day, including establishing new or growing existing vaccination sites, conducting patient outreach and education, and hiring additional staff. At a time when vaccine supply is growing, CMS is supporting provider efforts to expand capacity and ensure that all Americans can be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Effective for COVID-19 vaccines administered on or after March 15, 2021, the national average payment rate for physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and many other immunizers will be $40 to administer each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This represents an increase from approximately $28 to $40 for the administration of single-dose vaccines, and an increase from approximately $45 to $80 for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines requiring two doses. The exact payment rate for administration of each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will depend on the type of entity that furnishes the service and will be geographically adjusted based on where the service is furnished.

These updates to the Medicare payment rate for COVID-19 vaccine administration reflect new information about the costs involved in administering the vaccine for different types of providers and suppliers, and the additional resources necessary to ensure the vaccine is administered safely and appropriately.

CMS is updating the set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system swiftly administer the vaccine with these new Medicare payment rates. These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine, ensure adequate payment for administering the vaccine to Medicare beneficiaries, and make it clear that no beneficiary, whether covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, should pay cost-sharing for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.


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Nassau County Med Society Virtual Event: Women on the Frontlines: Stronger Together March 31st, 2021 from 6-7 PM
You’re invited to a conversation with:
Dr. Susan Bailey, President of the AMA • Dr. Elizabeth Fontana, Neurosurgeon and Chief Resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital • Dr. Bonnie Litvack, President of MSSNY • Dr. Carmen Rodriguez, FACOG, President of the LIJ, Medical Staff Society and Associate Chair of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center – Performance Improvement Coordinating Group • Dr. Aisha Terry, MPH, FACEP, Emergency Physician and Associate Professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Milken Institute School of Public

Health and Pandemic Advisor • Dr. Haritha Veeramachaneni, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and recipient of the New York Times’ Super Doctors Rising Stars

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women who have been leaders on the frontline during the pandemic. Please register here for our virtual event on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021. For further details or registration assistance, please email information@nassaucountymedicalsociety.org or call (516) 832-2300.


  1. Meeting with Maria Oparal, Health Legislative Associate (LA) for Representative Joe Morelle.
  2.  Meeting with Matt Fuentes, Health Legislative Associate for Senator Chuck Schumer.
  3. Meeting with Mike Demakos, Health LA for Representative Kathleen Rice

Zoom Participants 1  Zoom Participants 2

Zoom Conference


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 Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale.
Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring.
Waiting room
Secretarial area for 3
1 Consult room
2 exam Rooms
2 Toilets
Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – maya@mallannyhomes.com or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information http://www.mallannyhomes.com/properties/detail/800-second-avenue-806/

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway


Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY Applauds NYS Assembly and Senate for Advancing One-House Budget Proposals to Restore Health Care Cuts in the Executive Budget    

For Immediate Release
March 17, 2021

 

MSSNY Applauds NYS Assembly and Senate for Advancing
One-House Budget Proposals to Restore Health Care Cuts
in the Executive Budget
   

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

“We thank the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate for advancing one-house Budget proposals that would restore numerous steep health care cuts that have been advanced in the Executive Budget.  With physicians facing historic drops in patient visits and patient revenue over the last year as a result of the crisis we collectively faced, there could not be a worse time to cut Medicaid as well as other essential programs that help to preserve patient access to needed care such as the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program.

Moreover, with so many physicians and other health care practitioners struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, cuts to MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health would only reduce access to these critical services needed by many.  We applaud the Assembly and Senate leadership for rejecting these cuts and look forward to working with them on these and other key health care issues under Budget consideration as the Legislature and Governor work towards adoption of a final Budget by April 1.”

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


Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

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

 

MSSNY eNews: March 12, 2021 – A Year of Agony: A Week of Progress


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Colleagues:

March 11th marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the COVID-19 global pandemic. While we are not entirely out of the woods, we have made considerable progress.  This week we add to those gains with a stimulus package, expansion of vaccine coverage, a new webinar and a new member benefit. 

Stimulus Package Passes Congress–Still awaiting Medicare Sequester Reprieve 

This week Congress passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package with many important health care related provisions including increasing the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies for two years, providing 100% coverage of a consumer’s COBRA costs through September, extending Medicaid coverage for one year for women after childbirth where eligibility was based upon the pregnancy, $12.5 billion in aid to the New York State government and $ 4 billion to support/enhance vaccine delivery and Covid testing in New York State.

However, absent from this package was a provision to postpone the Medicare sequester payment cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2021. To make matters worse, the Congressional Budget Office, estimates that the final passage of the American Rescue Plan Act will set in motion further statutorily required cuts in Medicare spending of 4% next year. Having Déjà vu? Remember the SGR?

Congress did recently introduce bipartisan legislation, H.R. 315 the “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act” which would continue the current Medicare sequester moratorium for the duration of the current public health emergency.  Please click here to contact your congressional representatives and urge them to sign on to the “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act”.

Vaccine updates

Vaccine rollout expansion continues, this week adding those older than age 60 to the list of eligible New Yorkers.  Click here for the most recent guidance Your MSSNY has been working closely with the Governor’s office to get vaccine to supply to community physician offices and several physician practices around the state may receive an allocation of vaccine supply next week. Physician practices should also be in touch with their local health departments who are authorized to allocate a portion of their supply to physician practices.  

Physician Wellness

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) has invited MSSNY to present at their Recovery and Preparedness Webinar Series.  Dr. Charles Rothberg, Chair of the MSSNY Physician Wellness and Resilience Committee, Dr. Frank Dowling, MSSNY Secretary and myself will be speaking on “Physician Wellness and Peer to Peer Program”.  Please click here to join us on 3/17/2021 at 3pm.

New Member Benefit: Virtual Volunteer Homework Assistance Program   

Our Women Physicians Committee met recently and recognized the considerable additional responsibility that has fallen on our physician families with school age children due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  To help ease the burden MSSNY is launching a Virtual Volunteer Homework Assistance Program.   If you have children in high school or college who would be interested in helping other members’ children with K-12 homework, this is a great community service opportunity. If you have school age children (K – 12) who could use a helping hand with homework, let us know. Contact sbennett@mssny.org. and tell us if your child will be a tutor or a tutee and include their email address.

On this anniversary let us all take time to reflect on a year like no other. Let us keep the memory of those we lost close at hand, cherish our hero colleagues, and count our many blessings as we look toward herd Immunity and the end of the pandemic.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


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Capital Update

MSSNY Weekly Podcast


In Case You Missed MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day on March 2nd
For those physicians who missed our Physicians’ Advocacy Day program – you can now view the entire program by visiting MSSNY’s CME website here.

Please note that you will need to create an account there if you haven’t already. (ALI)


NYS Expands Eligibility Criteria for COVID-19 Vaccine
This week New York State has expanded eligibility criteria for vaccinations to include those who are 60 years and older and on March 17th public-facing government and public employees, not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need, and essential in-person public-facing building service workers and providers of essential building services.  A copy of the guidance is here.

Beginning March 17th, enrolled vaccine providers other than pharmacies, may vaccinate any eligible individual. MSSNY has been working closely with the state to get vaccines to supply to community physician offices and several physician practices around the state may receive an allocation of vaccine supply next week. Physician practices should also be in touch with their local health departments who are authorized to reallocate a portion of their supply to physician practices.   Physicians who are enrolled providers in the NYSIIS or CIR system are also reminded that they should be filling out their pre-booking of vaccines every Monday, by 5 p.m.

Physicians and patients can determine eligibility by going here.

New York State has also released interim travel guidance for healthcare workers.

President Biden has also announced that he will be directing all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults, people 18 and over, eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1 and has also indicated the federal government is working to increase the supply of vaccine.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also released interim guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.                  (CLANCY)


MSSNY Peer to Peer Program to be Presented as Part of HANYS Recovery and Preparedness Webinar Series
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.

Join us Wednesday, March 17, at 3 p.m. for a webinar with the Medical Society of the State of New York to better understand physician burnout and gain tools and resources to encourage physician resiliency and wellness. The objectives of this presentation are to provide an understanding of why physician wellness is important for the organization, recognize and promote the concept that it’s okay to not be okay, and provide the tools and resources to encourage resiliency and wellness within the physician and physician community.  Learn more and register online.   (LAUDER)


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Assembly and Senate Budget Proposals Set the State for 3-Way Budget Negotiations – Contact Your Legislators Today
Next week, both the New York State Assembly and Senate will advance their respective “one-House” Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2021-22, setting the stage for 3-way negotiations with the Governor’s office towards finalizing a state Budget by the State’s April 1 deadline.  Among the key issues where physicians need to continue to advocate:

Protecting against huge new costs for Excess Insurance CoveragePlease continue to urge your legislators to reject an extraordinarily ill-timed Budget proposal that would foist thousands to tens of thousands of dollars of new costs on the nearly 17,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance.   You can send a letter and/or tweet them from here: Click Here 

This proposal would require enrolled physicians to bear an extraordinary 50% of the cost of these policies, which could translate to thousands to tens of thousands of dollars of new costs on physicians receiving this coverage at a time when patient visits and practice revenue are way down compared to previous years.  A recent AMA survey reported that during the pandemic the average number of in-person visits to physician offices dropped nearly in half.   The bottom line is that the new costs this proposal would impose are simply not assumable by physicians, meaning that many physicians will face no choice but to forgo receiving this additional coverage.

NEW COSTS TO BE IMPOSED ON PHYSICIANS FOR EXCESS COVERAGE BASED UPON GOVERNOR’S 50% COST BUDGET PROPOSAL

SPECIALTY Long Island Bronx, Staten Island Brooklyn, Queens Westchester, Orange, Rockland, and Manhattan
Emergency Medicine $5,653 $6,561 $6,118 $4,500
Cardiac Surgery $4,482 $5,202 $4,862 $3,567
OB-GYN $20,881 $24,235 $22,648 $16,617
Neurosurgery $35,222 $40,879 $38,202 $28,030

Protecting Physician Due ProcessPlease contact your legislators to urge them to reject an Executive Budget proposal that that would greatly curtail due process protections for physicians when a complaint has been filed with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), including making information public about a complaint even if no professional misconduct is found and greatly lessening the burden for imposing an interim suspension prior to the conclusion of the statutory hearing process.   You can send a letter and/or tweet to your local legislators from here: Click Here

New York’s physicians share the goal of assuring the State has ample power to protect the public when the conduct of a particular health care provider places patients at risk.  However, the Commissioner already has authority to take summary action prior to the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing in the absence of a finding of misconduct.  MSSNY together with several specialty societies have raised concerns his proposal is greatly over-reaching given that most complaints never result in findings of misconducts or even formal charges being filed. Of greatest concern is that information released to the public, even if there is no action ultimately taken, can remain available through “Google searches” forever, with the potential to eviscerate a physician’s professional reputation.

  • Preventing Uncoordinated Siloed Care to be Provided by Pharmacists Please contact your legislators to urge that they reject proposals that would greatly expand the scope of services provided to patients by pharmacists without coordination with patient care physicians.  You can send a letter from here: Click Here.  Please let them know these proposals would greatly enhance the power of big box giants to control various aspects of patient care delivery not in coordination with but to the exclusion of community-based primary care and specialty care physicians that typically manage the care of their patients.

Specifically, these Budget proposals would 1) permit pharmacists to order various lab tests without any physician oversight and without any requirement to coordinate with the patient’s physician for follow-up care; 2) greatly expand the physician-pharmacist Collaborative Drug Therapy Program to enable pharmacists to adjust the medications provided to entire classes of patients rather than individual patients and 3) permit pharmacists the power to administer any vaccination approved by the federal Advisory Commission on Immunization Practices (ACIP), including those which may be added in the future.

All of these programs together could incentivize the development of health care silos at the expense of the patient centered medical home model we have worked so hard to develop in New York.   It would also marginalize community based primary care and specialty care physicians’ ability to continue to be able to manage their patients’ ongoing care needs.    Please urge your legislators to reject these measures as they finalize the State Budget for 2021-22.        (AUSTER)


Legislation to Require Consolidated Hospital/Physician Billing Moving in the Assembly – Please Urge Amendments!
Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators to urge them to amend the Patient Medical Debt Reduction Act, A.3470-A/S.2521-A, to ensure non-employed hospital-based physicians continue to have the ability to bill distinct from hospitals. You can send a letter from here: Send Letter Now. 

This week the Assembly Codes Committee reported the bill to Ways & Means Committee by a 16-6 vote, with Assemblymembers Giglio, Lavine, Mikulin, Morinello and Tannousis voting against the bill.

The legislation has laudable goals to protect patients during this difficult time.  However, there is one seriously problematic provision contained within this comprehensive legislation that would prohibit a physician or other provider with any financial or contractual relationship with a hospital from separately billing a patient, instead, requiring a single combined hospital and physician bill.  Because of the reimbursement structures of Medicare and commercial insurance, physicians are required to bill patients directly for cost-sharing amounts that insurance will not cover. This provision will seriously adversely impact community-based independently practicing physicians who would thereafter be forced to rely on hospitals to collect and transmit all monies owed to them for services rendered. The new dependent relationship that would be created were this bill to be passed as is, would essentially end independent practice for many, requiring all patient billing to be filtered through the hospital’s billing system.

Please let your legislators know you appreciate the intent of the legislation to minimize the financial burden on our patients but that this “single bill” component will most heavily adversely impact community physicians, and ultimately result in the loss of patient choice and exacerbate health care monopolies in our health care system. Click here to contact your legislators today!   (AUSTER) 


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MSSNY Supported Legislation Would Provide Payment Parity to Physicians for Telehealth Services
Legislation (S.5505, Rivera) is before the Senate Health Committee next week that will ensure insurer payments to physicians for delivering telehealth services are on par with those received for in-office appointments. MSSNY supports this legislation.  The same-as bill (A.6256, Woerner) has been referred to the Assembly Insurance Committee.

The social distancing requirements of the COVID19 crisis caused patients and physicians to embrace new ways to ensure patients received needed care. While some New York physicians had already integrated Telemedicine into their practices, prior to the onset of the pandemic, the COVID19 crisis pushed thousands of physicians to quickly increase their capacity to provide care to their patients remotely. From the start, though, payments to physicians from insurers for care delivered by telehealth were woefully inadequate to what they were receiving for in-office visits, creating a barrier to care for many patients.

A May 2020 MSSNY survey bolstered the urgency for payment parity, showing that 83% of the physician respondents had incorporated telemedicine into their practice, with nearly half the respondents noting that they were treating at least 25% of their patients virtually. Moreover, a spring 2020 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% in the span of a month.  Showing that this was not just a temporary bump, telehealth claims also increased 2,938 percent nationally from November 2019 to November 2020, rising from 0.20 percent of medical claim lines in November 2019 to 6.01 percent in November 2020, according to new data announced recently from FAIR Health.

MSSNY has argued for some time that rates at which physicians are paid by insurers have not kept pace with those paid for in-office visits and the withering financial situation for physician practices during COVID exacerbated the disparity. To better understand the impact of inadequate payment on physician practices, surveys conducted by key MSSNY partners, of their memberships, revealed the following:

  • Participants of a survey by one of our partner organizations, the New York Medical Group Management Association (NY MGMA), revealed that only 23% of all health plans pay equal to what they received for in-office visits.
  • 25% said that most plans pay significantly less for in-office visits.
  • More specifically, surveys conducted by MSSNY partner organizations found that while Telehealth visits conducted by video were reimbursed at higher rates than audio-only, physicians were compensated as little as 30% the rate of in-person appointments, depending on the health plan.
  • Audio-only visits were the least compensated, with most payers reimbursing 80% less than for in-office visits.

It is possible that provisions of this legislation could come up as part of the ongoing budget negotiations.               (CARY)


Legalization of Marijuana Negotiations Underway at State Capitol
Negotiations between the Legislature and the Governor’s Office have begun on the marijuana legalization issue, and the Medical Society of the State of New York and other public health groups are weighing in against it.  The NYS Parent Teacher Association released a letter to the NYS Legislature.

The letter has been signed by MSSNY, NYSPTA, Rural Schools Association of New York State NYS Association of Chiefs of Police New York State Sheriffs’ Association New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) and Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).  MSSNY also participated last week in a SAM press conference opposing this measure.   Physicians are urged to send a letter to the governor and the NYS Legislature urging that this issue be removed from Budget consideration, and can do this by logging onto the MSSNY Grassroots Action Center here.         (CLANCY/AUSTER)  


Congress Completes Passage of $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package
President Biden has signed into law the $1.9 Trillion stimulus package that was passed by the US House of Representatives this past Wednesday and passed by the US Senate last weekend.  Among the many important health care related provisions of this package include:

  • increasing the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies for two years for those making up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The bill also adjusts subsidies for people who make more than 400% of the poverty level to ensure that out of pocket premium costs do not exceed 8.5% of their income for coverage.
  • Providing 100% coverage of a consumer’s COBRA coverage costs through September
  • Extending from 60 days to 1 year Medicaid coverage for a woman after the birth of a child where eligibility was based upon the pregnancy.
  • $12.5 billion in direct aid to the New York State government to help potentially offset steep Budget cuts and program revisions that had been proposed in the January Executive Budget
  • $4 billion to support/enhance vaccine delivery and Covid testing in New York State

Please remain alert for further comprehensive updates regarding this far-reaching legislation.                                  (AUSTER)


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Please Urge Our Senators and Representatives to Stop Impending Medicare Cuts
One issue left unaddressed in the stimulus package just approved by Congress is preventing an upcoming 2% cut in Medicare payments scheduled to go into effect April 1.   Recognizing the enormous challenges associated with the pandemic, Congress last year on multiple occasions halted the otherwise applicable 2% Medicare sequester cut, including as part of comprehensive legislation in December that further postponed the cut until March 31, 2021.

Please urge Senator Schumer and Gillibrand and your Respective Representative to take action to prevent this upcoming cut by sending a letter from the AMA’s Grassroots Action platform: Stop physician Medicare payment cuts NOW!

Legislation (H.R. 315 the “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act”) was recently introduced in Congress that would continue the current Medicare sequester moratorium for the duration of this public health emergency.  Among the co-sponsors of this legislation is Rep.. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island).

If Congress doesn’t act by March 31, the Medicare payment sequester will take effect, triggering a devastating financial impact on physician practices across the country, many of which are already strained to the breaking point.

New York’s and America’s physicians need relief!  Please take action today: Stop physician Medicare payment cuts NOW!         (AUSTER)


Bill to Repeal COVID Immunity Protections Advancing – Contact Your Legislators to Oppose
Next week the New York State Senate Health Committee will be considering concerning legislation (S.5177) that would repeal the Covid liability immunity provisions provided to physicians and other care providers enacted as part of last year’s State Budget.  The same-as legislation (A.3397) recently passed the Assembly.  In a state notorious for its already hostile liability climate, these protections enacted by the Governor and the Legislature last year were absolutely essential for hospitals, physicians and other care providers to build the capacity necessary to treat an unending stream of Covid patients during the height of the pandemic.

Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators to oppose efforts to remove these important liability protections.  MSSNY and many other groups have written to legislators to highlight the importance of these protections.  They have also raised concerns with the possibility that S.5177/A.3397 could be interpreted by a court to retroactively repeal these essential liability protections for care provided during the height of the pandemic when there were not clear medical protocols for Covid treatment and when many non-Covid health care services were required to be postponed.

However, it should be noted there were several comments made by Assemblymembers during the floor debate on the legislation when it was passed by the NYS Assembly that the “effective date” language means that the repeal provisions would only apply prospectively, in other words, for acts or omissions after the date the bill was signed into law, if it were to be subsequently passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor.  (AUSTER)


NYS DOH to Hold Virtual Training on Organizational Resilience and Making Meaning: During COVID-19 and Beyond
The New York State Department of Health, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Mental Health and the SUNY New Paltz Institute for Disaster Mental Health, will hold a virtual training on March 18, 2021 from 1-2:30 p.m. on Organizational Resilience and Making Meaning During COVID 19 and Beyond.  Speakers: Rachel Kaul and Kayla Siviy from the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

This virtual yet interactive workshop will examine current impacts of stressors within organizations and provide participants with concrete leadership and organizational activities and evidence-informed strategies that promote well-being and enhance workforce performance. Stressors explored through an organization approach will include burnout, compassion fatigue and complex grief. Participants will be provided tools and re-sources to reflect on their experiences, meet the current challenges, and make meaning as we move forward.

Registration

To enroll in the training, please go to www.NYLearnsPH.com and either register or login to the LMS. Search Course Catalog for:

Course Description or go to: Training-Announcement.pdf (CLANCY)


MSSNY Medical Matters Program on the History of Coronavirus
Registration now open
Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades
Date: March 24, 2021 @ 7:30am

Did you know that since 2003 there have been three coronavirus outbreaks?  Learn more about the epidemiology and evolution of coronaviruses by registering for Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades. This webinar will take place on Wednesday March 24th at 7:30am.

Stephen Morse, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Identify three different coronaviruses and the epidemiology specific to each one
  • Discuss SARS-CoV-2 in relation to other coronaviruses
  • Evaluate the circumstances that contributed to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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

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


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Stressed Physicians, Residents and Students: Peer Support is Here for You!
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 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

The Medical Society of the State of New York now offers to physicians, residents, and medical students a completely confidential and anonymous 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.

MSSNY has established a confidential helpline phone number (1-844-P2P-PEER) and an email address (p2p@mssny.org) so that physicians may be connected with a peer 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In addition to offering a trained, empathetic ear, peer supporters may provide information on specific resources that can offer further support, provide positive coping skills, or connect physicians to professionals for more focused assistance when needed. MSSNY has nearly 50 trained peer supporters across NYS who are just a phone call away!


MSSNY MEMBER BENEFIT
CareClix Remote Patient Monitoring Provides Better Access &Higher Quality Care to Patients

CareClix incorporates Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) into its system to realize key benefits for providers, including, but not limited to:

  • Preventing Readmissions
  • Shortened Patient Stays
  • Increasing Treatment Adherence
  • Improving Post-discharge Planning

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is an essential tool that supports post-discharge planning and helps patients adhere to treatment after they leave a hospital. Through the use of wearable medical devices that transmit data in real-time, patients are able to maintain constant contact with their providers.

The types of devices today vary in scope of technology. There are a number of devices for managing blood pressure, glucose levels for diabetes, spirometers for asthmatics, pulse oximeters, and weight scales. Each device has a different application for patients depending on the disease, condition, or other parameters being monitored. Chronic disease management, post-acute care management, and safety monitoring are key applications of RPM technologies for the older adult population.

While chronic care management and post-acute care are more obvious uses for RPM technologies, there are several applications, such as patient care safety, that people often overlook. Many RPM technologies are now focusing on detecting and preventing falls and wandering, particularly in dementia patients. Fall detection, fall prevention, and location tracking technologies allow caregivers to track patients through continuous surveillance.

All in all, RPM technology will continue to expand, particularly as the aging population grows, as it can help slow the progression of chronic disease, ensure a steady recovery post-discharge, and alert caregivers when a vulnerable patient is at risk. There is ample opportunity in the remote monitoring space, and CareClix offerings support hundreds of RPM devices to provide the best benefits to patients and providers.

To learn more about CareClix RPM program: careclix.com/remote-patient-monitoring/

To implement telemedicine for your practice visit: careclix.com/provider-signup/

Have questions contact us at:  sales@careclix.com


NYS: This Week We Received Limited Supply of J&J Vaccine
New York State and other jurisdictions received a very limited initial supply of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine this week. DOH has instructed hospitals to use Janssen for vaccinating only the following populations: Individuals being discharged from inpatient care, prioritizing those 65 years of age or older first, followed by those ages 18-64 with one or more of the currently eligible comorbidities or underlying conditions. Then non-hospital patients who are 65 years of age or older New York State DOH updated the COVID-19 vaccination guidance to include the newly authorized single-dose Janssen vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older.


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Very Few Severe Allergic Reactions Tied to Vaccines, Research Shows
Just 0.025 percent of staff from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital experienced anaphylaxis after receiving Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to a study published March 8 in JAMA. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both based in Boston, sent survey links to 64,900 of the hospitals’ employees who received either a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Dec. 16 to Feb. 12. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use mRNA, which means they mimic infection in the body by carrying the genetic instructions for cells to produce antigens that fight COVID-19.

Acute allergic reactions, which were defined on the survey as itching, rash, hives, swelling, and/or respiratory symptoms, occurred in 2.10 percent of respondents, but anaphylaxis occurred in only 0.025 percent. Anaphylaxis occurred in 16 employees who received Moderna’s vaccine and seven employees who received Pfizer’s vaccine. Among these 23 people, the mean age was 41. All recovered without experiencing shock or requiring endotracheal intubation.

The mean time from vaccination to anaphylaxis onset was 17 minutes. One patient required intensive care, and 56 percent received intramuscular epinephrine to steady their breathing. Ninety-seven percent of the employees who experienced anaphylaxis were women, 63 percent had an allergy history and 31 percent previously had anaphylaxis.


New York Surgeon to Pay $783K to Resolve Fraudulent Billing Case
A New York vascular surgeon and his medical practice agreed to pay $783,200 to resolve a civil case alleging fraudulent billing, the U.S. Justice Department said March 8.

According to prosecutors, Feng Qin, MD, and Qin Medical PC fraudulently billed Medicare for vascular surgery procedures performed on end-stage renal disease patients that were not covered under Medicare rules or were not medically reasonable or necessary.

In addition to the payment, Dr. Qin agreed to enter a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement with HHS, prohibiting him from participating in Medicare and other federal healthcare programs for four years.

As part of the settlement, Dr. Qin also admitted to routinely scheduling and treating end-stage renal disease patients every three months regardless of medical need, treating those patients with fistulagrams and angioplasties even though there was insufficient evidence to justify the treatments and filing false claims to Medicare, knowing that Medicare would not pay for the fistulagrams and angioplasties without required clinical justification.

Dr. Qin was criminally charged for the scheme in December 2018, and the U.S. filed a civil complaint against him later that same month.

The government agreed to defer Dr. Qin’s criminal prosecution for one year. If he abides by the terms of his deferred prosecution agreement, the U.S. will seek to dismiss the criminal charges. In addition to the $783,200 settlement announced March 8, the state of New York is expected to enter into an additional settlement with Dr. Qin and the medical practice in the amount of $16,800. (Becker’s Hospital Review, March 8)


Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Utilization Decreased During the Pandemic

  • During the first three months of the pandemic, outpatient health care services plunged 51% and overall services decreased by 42% in April.
  • The largest utilization decreases were observed among Asian beneficiaries, who account for 2% of the overall Medicare FFS population.
  • Click here to view the full report.

Telehealth’s Impact: Physician Survey Analysis
The experience of physician practices engaging in an unprecedented number of telehealth visits in 2020 is captured in this report from a survey of 1,600 physicians, issued by the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition.

  • 75% of physicians reported that telemedicine enabled them to provide quality care in the areas of COVID-19-related care, acute care, chronic disease management, hospital/ED follow-up, care coordination, preventative care, and mental/behavioral health.
  • 60% reported that telehealth improved the health of their patients. 55% reported that telehealth improved their work satisfaction.
  • 73% reported that no or low reimbursement will be a major challenge postCOVID.
  • 64% said that technology challenges, such as lack of access to broadband and technological illiteracy, are a barrier to sustained use of telehealth, pointing to the need for policies that support audio-only services where needed.

AMA Candidate Workshop is Going Virtual
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the AMPAC Candidate Workshop will be conducted virtually this year. Full details including dates and how to register below.

Ever wonder how Doctors get elected to Congress or your state legislature? Considering a run for office for yourself? The AMPAC Candidate Workshop will teach you how to run a winning political campaign, just like we taught many of your AMA colleagues over the years.

The Candidate Workshop is designed to help you make the leap from the exam room to the campaign trail and give you the skills and strategic approach you will need to make a run for public office. 

To provide the same high-quality content of the in-person program, the Virtual Candidate Workshop will be conducted over the course of two consecutive weekends: May 1-2 and 8-9. Both weekends are part of the full program and must be attended by participants. Each of the four virtual sessions will start at 11:00am EST and run approximately four hours.

At the Candidate Workshop, political veterans from both sides of the aisle will give you expert advice about politics and the sacrifices needed to mount a competitive campaign. You will learn how and when to make the decision to run; the importance of a disciplined campaign plan and message; the secrets of effective fundraising; what kinds of media advertising are right for your campaign; how to handle the inevitable crises that emerge for every campaign; and the role your spouse and your family will play.

Note: Registration fee is $250 for AMA Member/$1000 for non-AMA members. This fee is waived for AMA residents and students; however, space is limited and the AMPAC Board will review and select four participants from the pool of qualified resident and student applicants.

Registration for the Virtual Candidate Workshop is now OPEN. Space is limited and the deadline to register is April 9.

For more information please contact: Politicaleducation@ama-assn.org

Your run for office begins today!


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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 Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale.
Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring.
Waiting room
Secretarial area for 3
1 Consult room
2 exam Rooms
2 Toilets
Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – maya@mallannyhomes.com or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information http://www.mallannyhomes.com/properties/detail/800-second-avenue-806/

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway


Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: March 10, 2021 – Taking Toll on Physician Practices


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NYC Kids Who Attended School Did Not Have Higher Infection Rates—But Teachers Did
Students attending New York City public schools last year did not experience a higher prevalence or incidence of Covid-19 infection compared with the general community, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics, although school staff had an elevated risk of infection relative to other NYC adults.


Congress Completes Passage of $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package
Today, the US House of Representatives completed passage of the $1.9 billion stimulus package that had been passed by the US Senate this weekend.  Among the many important health care related provisions of this package include:

  • increasing the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies for two years for low- and middle-income Americans, or those making up to 400 % of the federal poverty level. The bill also adjusts subsidies for people who make more than 400% of the poverty level to make sure that nobody pays more than 8.5% of their income for coverage.
  • Providing 100% coverage of a consumer’s COBRA coverage costs through September
  • Extending from 60 days to 1 year Medicaid coverage for a woman after the birth of a child where eligibility was based upon the pregnancy.
  • $12.5 billion in direct aid to the New York State government to help potentially offset steep Budget cuts and program revisions that had been proposed in the January Executive Budget
  • $ 4 billion to support/enhance vaccine delivery and Covid testing in New York State.

Please remain alert for further comprehensive updates regarding this far-reaching legislation.


Guidance for Facilities Receiving Vaccine Been Posted to MSSNY Website


COVID-19 Taking Toll on Physician Practices
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the country, America’s physicians remain entrenched on the front lines, fighting to save their patients. After nearly a year of combating the deadly virus, there is a growing evidence of the toll it is taking on physician practices.

The continued negative fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physician practices is undeniable. A recent AMA report analyzed Medicare claims data exclusive to physician services and found spending dropped as much as 57% below expected pre-pandemic levels in April 2020. During the first half of 2020, the cumulative estimated reduction in Medicare physician spending associated with the pandemic was $9.4 billion (19%).

Stop physician Medicare payment cuts NOW!

Recognizing that the challenges associated with the pandemic continue, Congress included provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, signed into law last December, that further postponed the Medicare sequester until March 31, 2021. Yet, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will extend well beyond the first quarter of this year and, absent additional Congressional intervention, these harmful payment cuts will be re-imposed on April 1, 2021.

Now to make matters worse, as Congress prepares to pass an economic stimulus plan, physician practices confront an even greater threat of Medicare cuts in 2022. According to the Congressional Budget Office, final passage of the American Rescue Plan Act would set in motion PAYGO statute reductions in Medicare spending of 4% next year, totaling $36 billion.

This needs to stop!

Thankfully, H.R. 315 the “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act” has been recently introduced in Congress. This bipartisan legislation would continue the current Medicare sequester moratorium for the duration of this public health emergency.

Please contact your member of Congress and Senators today and urge them to support the “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act” today!!

If Congress does not act by March 31, the Medicare payment sequester will take effect, triggering a devastating financial impact on physician practices across the country, many of which are already strained to the breaking point.

America’s physicians need relief!

Attached is the letter the AMA sent to Congressional leaders urging action to stop the re-implementation of the upcoming Medicare sequester cuts.


78% of COVID-19 Patients Hospitalized in the US Overweight or Obese
Among 71,491 U.S. adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19, 27.8 percent were overweight and 50.2 were obese, according to the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published March 8. 

The analysis included 148,494 patients who received a COVID-19 diagnosis at emergency departments or inpatient visits between April 1 and Dec. 31 across 238 hospitals. Of those, 71,491 were hospitalized.

Those who were overweight or obese were more likely to require invasive mechanical ventilation, findings showed. Obesity was also linked to increased risk for hospitalization and death, especially among those under age 65. As BMI rose, so did the risk, the CDC found.

The risks for hospitalization, ICU admission and death were lowest among those with BMIs under 25. The “healthy weight” BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9.

The report notes that obesity is a recognized risk factor for severe COVID-19, which is possibly due to chronic inflammation that disrupts the body’s immune response and impairs lung function.

“These findings highlight the clinical and public health implications of higher BMIs, including the need for intensive COVID-19 illness management as obesity severity increases, promotion of COVID-19 prevention strategies including continued vaccine prioritization and masking, and policies to ensure community access to nutrition and physical activities that promote and support a healthy BMI,” the agency said.

To view the full report, click here.


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CDC Reports Drop in HIV Testing During Pandemic
HIV screenings and prescriptions for preexposure prophylaxis have declined during the pandemic, according to CDC research presented at the 2021 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

The agency is slated to present nearly 30 abstracts at the virtual conference March 6-10.

In one study, researchers found a large commercial lab reported nearly 700,000 fewer HIV screening tests and nearly 5,000 fewer diagnoses between March 13 and Sept. 13, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

A separate study analyzed data on PrEP prescriptions from January 2017 through September 2020. Researchers found a 21 percent drop in prescriptions from March 15 to Sept. 30, 2020, compared to modeling estimates of prescription volumes if the pandemic had not occurred. They also identified a 28 percent decrease in new PrEP users over the same period.

“Strategies that deliver HIV testing and care in innovative, community-tailored ways will be critical to reversing these declines, including the use or expansion of telemedicine and telehealth, rapid HIV self-tests, mail-in self-tests and the deployment of higher numbers of community health workers,” the CDC said in a news release.


REMINDER: The MIPS 2020 Data Submission Period is Open
MIPS Eligible Clinicians Can Submit Data for 2020 through March 31

The data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in the 2020 performance year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) ends at 8:00 p.m. EDT on March 31, 2021.

How to Submit Your 2020 MIPS Data

Clinicians will follow the steps outlined below to submit their data:

  1. Go to the Quality Payment Program webpage.
  2. Sign in using your QPP access credentials (see below for directions).
  3. Submit your MIPS data for the 2020 performance year or review the data reported on your behalf by a third party. 

How to Sign into the Quality Payment Program Data Submission System

To sign in and submit data, clinicians will need to register in the HCQIS Authorization Roles and Profile (HARP) system. For clinicians who need help enrolling with HARP, please refer to the QPP Access User Guide.

Note: Clinicians who are not sure if they are eligible to participate in the Quality Payment Program can check their final eligibility status using the QPP Participation Status Tool. Clinicians and groups that are opt-in eligible will need to make an election before they can submit data. (No election is required for those who do not want to participate in MIPS.)

Small, Underserved, and Rural Practice Support

Clinicians in small practices (including those in rural locations), health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas may request technical assistance from organizations that can provide no-cost support. To learn more about this support, or to connect with your local technical assistance organization, we encourage you to visit our Small, Underserved, and Rural Practices page on the Quality Payment Program website.

For More Information

To learn more about how to submit data, please review the resources available in the QPP Resource Library, including the 2020 MIPS Data Submission FAQs and the 2020 QPP Data Submission User Guide. Watch our series of data submission demo videos:

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, consider calling during non-peak hours—before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. ET. We also encourage you to contact us earlier in the year, as response times often increase with heavier demand as the March 31 data submission deadline approaches.


 

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How to Sign into the Quality Payment Program Data Submission System
To sign in and submit data, clinicians will need to register in the HCQIS Authorization Roles and Profile (HARP) system. For clinicians who need help enrolling with HARP, please refer to the QPP Access User Guide.

Note: Clinicians who are not sure if they are eligible to participate in the Quality Payment Program can check their final eligibility status using the QPP Participation Status Tool. Clinicians and groups that are opt-in eligible will need to make an election before they can submit data. (No election is required for those who do not want to participate in MIPS.)

Small, Underserved, and Rural Practice Support

Clinicians in small practices (including those in rural locations), health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas may request technical assistance from organizations that can provide no-cost support. To learn more about this support, or to connect with your local technical assistance organization, we encourage you to visit our Small, Underserved, and Rural Practices page on the Quality Payment Program website.

For More Information

To learn more about how to submit data, please review the resources available in the QPP Resource Library, including the 2020 MIPS Data Submission FAQs and the 2020 QPP Data Submission User Guide. Watch our series of data submission demo videos:

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, consider calling during non-peak hours—before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. ET. We also encourage you to contact us earlier in the year, as response times often increase with heavier demand as the March 31 data submission deadline approaches.


Brits Watching US Meghan/Harry Interview Shocked by Number of Pharma Ads
Many U.K. residents took to social media this week to express shock at the pharmaceutical ads that ran during Oprah Winfrey’s March 7 interview with Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Rather than waiting a day for the British broadcast of the interview, some British viewers tuned in early on March 8 to catch the American broadcast by using VPN connections and other tech workarounds. This gave U.K. viewers a glimpse into the content of and frequency of pharmaceutical ads than run during U.S. television broadcasts.

In the U.K. and other European countries, pharma companies are banned from advertising directly to consumers on the basis that physicians should be making independent decisions about what drugs to prescribe patients instead of managing requests based on ads patients have seen on TV and are eager to try, according to the report.

Dartmouth College researchers found that pharma companies nearly doubled the amount they spend on marketing between 1997 and 2016, and sales of prescription drugs almost tripled during that same time period, according to the report. In the U.K., the socialized National Health Service and government regulations has helped to keep most prescriptions at around a $12 cost for patients, the Post reports. (Becker’s Hospital Review, March 9)


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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 Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale.
Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring.
Waiting room
Secretarial area for 3
1 Consult room
2 exam Rooms
2 Toilets
Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – maya@mallannyhomes.com or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information http://www.mallannyhomes.com/properties/detail/800-second-avenue-806/

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway


Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Notes: March 1, 2021

Council Notes: March 1, 2021

Council passed the following:

  • Ensuring Correct Drug Dispensing
    MSSNY will request that the New York State Education Department work with the pharmaceutical and pharmacy industries to facilitate the ability of pharmacies to ensure that when a prescription is dispensed, a color photo of the prescribed medication and its dosage is attached to the receipt to ensure that the drug dispensed is that which has been prescribed. MSSNY will forward this resolution to the AMA.
    .
  • Scientific Studies to Support Legislative Agendas
    MSSNY will continue to work with allied groups and health care policy influencers such as think tanks to help generate support for MSSNY’s key advocacy goals and will continue to work with entities that can produce high quality scientific evidence data to help generate support for MSSNY’s key advocacy goals. The MSSNY delegation to the AMA will introduce a resolution at the next AMA House of Delegates meeting urging the AMA to expand its efforts to work with allied groups, health care policy influencers such as think tanks and entities that can produce high quality scientific evidence.
    .
  • Separation of Clinical Portions of EHRs from Administrative and Financial Uses
    MSSNY will continue to work with the AMA and specialty societies to advocate for legislation, regulation or other appropriate mechanisms to ensure that electronic health record (EHR) systems are developed and implemented in such a way as to facilitate the compiling and sharing of clinical information, as appropriate, in a manner that is consistent with how physicians regularly deliver care.

MSSNY eNews: March 5, 2021 – The Cliff Notes Guide to the Week at MSSNY

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The Cliff Notes Guide to the Week at MSSNY

Colleagues:

This was an eventful week at MSSNY.  We started the week welcoming our new MSSNY Executive Vice President, Mr. Troy Oechsner, JD who officially joined team MSSNY on 3/1/2021.

The MSSNY Board of Trustees and the MSSNY Council both met this week.  New policies were adopted (click here to view MSSNY policy), discussions ensued about our MSSNY House of delegates scheduled for 9/18/2021 (click here to view the most recent speaker’s letter) and committee and commission reports were discussed.

Our Annual MSSNY Physician Advocacy Day was held on 3/2/2021.  This year it was held virtually, making it even easier for our members to attend.  Close to 400 attendees registered for this event.  The agenda was robust thanks to MSSNY’s very dedicated Government Relations staff.  We heard from our MSSNY leadership, had an update from our legislative staff led by Mr. Moe Auster, Senior Vice President and Chief Legislative Counsel, and heard from NYS Assembly and Senate Leadership including a panel with the Assembly and Senate Health and Insurance Chairs.  We thank all the legislators for making time in their busy schedules to speak with us and answer our questions.

In the afternoon physicians met with their local representatives and MSSNY leadership met directly with many of our NYS legislative leaders.  We discussed numerous issues with provisions in the executive budget and in particular stressed our deep concerns with the proposed restructuring of the state’s Excess Medical Malpractice Program; the new huge cost imposition on the 17,000 physicians enrolled in the program; the unreasonable bypassing of due process for physicians through the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC); the very large and mistimed cut in the funding for MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health (CPH); and the inappropriate expansion of pharmacy scope of practice that would significantly undermine our patient-centered medical home concept.

Last week, we met with our NYS congressional delegation and advocated for federal allocation of vaccine supply to community physicians.  This week we expanded those discussions to include our NYS legislature and the Governor’s office.   We discussed that supply is increasing nationally with the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and that there is now more flexibility in the storage of the Pfizer vaccine.

All agreed that we must employ all resources available to vaccinate NYS residents as quickly as possible and were receptive to the role that our community-based physicians can play in quickly identifying the most vulnerable and in reaching large numbers of patients who suffer from significant co-morbidities in urban, rural and suburban settings. After discussions this week, we believe that community-based physicians will shortly start receiving vaccine supply.  Please make sure that you are fully registered with the state and that you have submitted your weekly planning request.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


Capital Update


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Virtual Physician Advocacy Day a Great Success!
Thank you to the several hundred physicians, and county medical and specialty society leaders for taking the time to participate in MSSNY’s first virtual Physician Advocacy Day earlier this week, as well for participating in advocacy meetings with their State Assemblymembers and Senators on the litany of challenging State Budget issues New York’s physicians face.  We also thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera, Senate Insurance Committee Chair Neil Breslin, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Cahill for participating with this great event and answering questions from the (Zoom-) assembled physicians.   (DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


NYS DOH Reminds Physicians and Other Providers of Pre-Booking Process for Ordering COVID 19 Vaccine
New York State Department of Health is reminding physicians and other health providers that they need to submit a weekly planning requests (“prebook requests”) for COVID-19 vaccine for the provider location enrolled in the NYSDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Program to include Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine. The requests are always due by 5 pm each Monday and must be data entered in NYSIIS on Monday (and not in advance).  If your facility location is closed on all or any Mondays, please ensure that a designated staff person is identified to perform the data entry each Monday.

The system is accessible remotely from any computer. This is necessary due to the timing of when NYSDOH must make allocation decisions and place orders.  Beginning March 1, 2021, in addition to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, you will be able to submit a planning request for Janssen vaccine (Johnson and Johnson).  Janssen vaccine is a single-dose vaccine that will be transported and stored at refrigerated temperatures (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 to 8 degrees Celsius).  More information on this process can be found here.

MSSNY continues in its sustained advocacy campaign to work with the Governor’s office as well as the federal government to ensure patients are able to receive the vaccine from their physicians. (CLANCY)


New York Assembly Passes Bill to Repeal Covid Immunity Protections – Assembly Debate Expresses that Changes Would Apply Prospectively
Among the bills passed this week by the New York State Assembly as part of its nursing home reform package was concerning legislation (A.3397) that would repeal the Covid liability immunity provisions provided to physicians and other care providers enacted as part of last year’s State Budget.

MSSNY and many other groups wrote in opposition to the legislation noting the importance of these protections, and raising concerns with the possibility that A.3397 could be interpreted by a court to retroactively repeal absolutely essential liability protections in effect for health care services provided from March through August 2020.  However, there were several comments made by Assemblymembers during the floor debate on the legislation that the repeal provisions would only apply prospectively, in other words, for acts or omissions after the date the bill was signed into law, if it were to be subsequently passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor.  Identical legislation (S.5177) has been introduced in the Senate, and is referred to the Senate Health Committee.

Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators (Protect Liability Protections for Care During the Pandemic (p2a.co)) to oppose efforts to remove these important liability protections.  In a state notorious for its already hostile liability climate, these protections enacted by the Governor and the Legislature last year were absolutely essential for hospitals, physicians and other care providers to build the capacity necessary to treat an unending stream of Covid patients during the height of the pandemic.  These protections also recognized the extraordinary circumstances that many physicians found themselves, with the lack of defined medical protocols for treating this deadly diseases, and the fact that physicians were unable to provide their patients with needed care for many months last spring due to the New York State prohibition on elective medical procedures. (AUSTER)


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Please Urge Your Legislators to Reject Huge New Costs Placed on Community Physicians for Excess Coverage
Please continue to urge your legislators to reject an extraordinarily ill-timed Budget proposal that would foist thousands to tens of thousands of dollars of new costs on the nearly 17,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance.   You can send a letter and/or tweet them from here: Click Here.

This proposal, which would require enrolled physicians to bear an extraordinary 50% of the cost of these policies, would thrust over $50 million of new costs on the backs of our community-based physicians who served on the front lines of responding to the pandemic.  This new cost imposition would hit these practices at a time when many of these practices are already facing huge losses resulting from the substantial reduction in the number of patients receiving care during the pandemic. 

NEW COSTS TO BE IMPOSED ON PHYSICIANS FOR EXCESS COVERAGE BASED UPON GOVERNOR’S 50% COST BUDGET PROPOSAL 

SPECIALTY Long Island Bronx, Staten Island Brooklyn, Queens Westchester, Orange, Rockland, and Manhattan
Emergency Medicine $5,653 $6,561 $6,118 $4,500
Cardiac Surgery $4,482 $5,202 $4,862 $3,567
OB-GYN $20,881 $24,235 $22,648 $16,617
Neurosurgery $35,222 $40,879 $38,202 $28,030

MSSNY has joined with nearly 20 other specialty medical societies in a letter to the entire State Legislature that expresses our strong objection to this proposal.  Among the key points in the letter is that a recent AMA survey reported that during the pandemic the average number of in-person visits to physician offices dropped nearly in half.   The bottom line is that the new costs this proposal would impose are simply not assumable by physicians, meaning that many physicians will face no choice but to forgo receiving this additional coverage.

MSSNY thanks the many legislators who expressed their strong opposition to this proposal in physician meetings with legislators this past week.  (AUSTER)


Urge Your Legislators to Reject Overbroad Proposal to Severely Curtail Physician Due Process
Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators to reject an Executive Budget proposal that that would greatly curtail due process protections for physicians when a complaint has been filed with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), including making information public about a complaint even if no professional misconduct is found and greatly lessening the burden for imposing an interim suspension prior to the conclusion of the statutory hearing process.   You can send a letter and/or tweet to your local legislators from here: Click Here.

While New York’s physicians share the goal of assuring the State has ample power to protect the public when the conduct of a particular health care provider places patients at risk, the Commissioner already has authority to take summary action prior to the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing in the absence of a finding of misconduct.  MSSNY together with several specialty societies have raised concerns his proposal is greatly over-reaching given that most complaints never result in findings of misconducts or even formal charges being filed. Of greatest concern is that information released to the public, even if there is no action ultimately taken, can remain available through “Google searches” forever, with the potential to eviscerate a physician’s professional reputation.    (AUSTER)


Please Oppose Proposals That Facilitate Uncoordinated Siloed Care to be Provided by Pharmacists
Please contact your legislators to urge that they oppose several components of the Executive Budget that could upend the patient-centered medical home model and threaten patient safety by greatly expanding the scope of services provided to patients by pharmacists without coordination with patient care physicians.  You can send a letter from here: Click Here.  Please let them know these proposals would greatly enhance the power of big box giants to control various aspects of patient care delivery not in coordination with but to the exclusion of community-based primary care and specialty care physicians that typically manage the care of their patients.

Specifically, these Budget proposals would 1) permit pharmacists to order various lab tests without any physician oversight and without any requirement to coordinate with the patient’s physician for follow-up care; 2) greatly expand the physician-pharmacist Collaborative Drug Therapy Program to enable pharmacists to adjust the medications provided to entire classes of patients rather than individual patients and 3) permit pharmacists the power to administer any vaccination approved by the federal Advisory Commission on Immunization Practices (ACIP), including those which may be added in the future, thereby removing the discretion of the State Legislature to make these decisions.  Some of these proposals have been rejected by the Legislature in previous Budget cycles.

All of these programs together could incentivize the development of health care silos at the expense of the patient centered medical home model we have worked so hard to develop in New York.   It would also marginalize community based primary care and specialty care physicians’ ability to continue to be able to manage their patients’ ongoing care needs.  Please urge your legislators to reject these measures as they finalize the State Budget for 2021-22. (AUSTER)


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MSSNY Extends Deadline for Members to Participate in Survey to Compare Payments to Physicians for Care Provided via Telehealth Services vs. In-Office Visits
To support its continued advocacy efforts to expand coverage for Telehealth services, MSSNY is conducting a new survey of its members to update data originally collected last spring, comparing generally how physicians are reimbursed for care delivered virtually, as compared to in-person appointments.

To take the new survey, please fill out the following Survey Monkey questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSSNY_Telehealth_Survey. Please also share this link with your networks to participate, as well. The deadline to take the survey has been extended to close-of-business next Friday, March 12th(CARY)


MSSNY Continues to Urge Revisions to Telehealth Proposal in FY 2022 Executive Budget
MSSNY continues to raise serious concerns with the Telehealth expansion proposals included in the proposed FY 2022 Executive budget. In addition to not including a requirement sought by MSSNY to ensure payment parity for care delivered virtually that is on par with in-office visits, MSSNY has raised concerns that if passed, certain other proposed policies may be used by the insurance industry to actually reverse Telehealth gains made over the past year. Specifically, linking coverage of Telehealth services to insurers having a “so-called” adequate network, together with the proposal to permit Telehealth delivery services by out-of-state physicians, could essentially empower insurers to limit who it will pay for Telehealth services once it asserts it has an “adequate” network.

It is not hard to imagine a scenario where a health plan asserts it has an adequate network through a national Telehealth service provider (such as Teladoc or MDLive), and then exclude coverage of Telehealth services by all or some of its in-network community-based physicians. That is completely at odds with the expansive approach to Telehealth coverage taken over the past year as a result of policies set by the New York State DFS and DOH.

MSSNY is continuing to work with a range of other patient and provider partner organizations to urge the Legislature to address these concerns and will update members as discussion on this issue further unfolds.                                            (CARY)


Legislation to Allow Pharmacists to Conduct Lab Tests During Public Health Emergency on Senate Health Agenda
Legislation that would authorize pharmacist to order and administer tests suspected of having an infectious disease in a public health emergency.   This measure, Senate Bill 1742, is sponsored by Senator James Skoufis and is on the Senate Health Committee next week.  MSSNY is opposed to this measure as provisions already exist in the statute to allow the governor to suspend some laws or regulations through executive orders.  In addition, the New York State Legislature has the ability to provide additional powers to the governor during a public health emergency.

There has already been a suspension of various scopes of practice that authorized testing of individuals throughout all settings, including pharmacies.  There is also the ability under federal law to suspend similar law.  Moreover, it is open-ended as to which infectious diseases a pharmacist could test during a PHE.  Therefore, MSSNY believes that this legislation is not needed and urges physicians are urged to contact legislators of the Senate Health Committee:  Senators Gustavo Rivera, Patrick Gallivan, Brian Benjamin, Alessandra Biaggi, Phil Boyle, Samra Brouk, Brad Hoylman, Todd Kaminsky, Rachel May, Peter Oberacker, Edward Rath, Sean Ryan, Julia Salazar, Daniel Stec, Kevin Thomas.  Physicians can call the NYS Senate at 518-455-2800.                (CLANCY)


 

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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 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 now offers to physicians, residents and medical students a completely confidential and anonymous opportunity to talk with a peer about some of their 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 myriad of challenges we are all facing related to the pandemic, some physicians may need the support of their colleagues to help manage these stressors.

MSSNY has established a confidential helpline phone number (1-844-P2P-PEER) and an email address (p2p@mssny.org) so that physicians may be connected with a peer 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In addition to offering a trained, empathetic ear, peer supporters may provide information on specific resources that can offer further support, provide positive coping skills, or connect physicians to professionals for more focused assistance when needed.

MSSNY has nearly 50 trained peer supporters across NYS who are just a phone call away!  (LAUDER)


Registration now open – Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades
Date: March 24, 2021 @ 7:30am 

Register now to learn more about the evolution of coronaviruses over the past three decades.  Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades webinar will take place on Wednesday March 24th at 7:30am.  Stephen Morse, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Identify three different coronaviruses and the epidemiology specific to each one
  • Discuss SARS-CoV-2 in relation to other coronaviruses
  • Evaluate the circumstances that contributed to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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

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


eNews

Council Notes: March 1, 2021
Council passed the following:

  • Ensuring Correct Drug Dispensing
    MSSNY will request that the New York State Education Department work with the pharmaceutical and pharmacy industries to facilitate the ability of pharmacies to ensure that when a prescription is dispensed, a color photo of the prescribed medication and its dosage is attached to the receipt to ensure that the drug dispensed is that which has been prescribed. MSSNY will forward this resolution to the AMA.
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  • Scientific Studies to Support Legislative Agendas
    MSSNY will continue to work with allied groups and health care policy influencers such as think tanks to help generate support for MSSNY’s key advocacy goals and will continue to work with entities that can produce high quality scientific evidence data to help generate support for MSSNY’s key advocacy goals. The MSSNY delegation to the AMA will introduce a resolution at the next AMA House of Delegates meeting urging the AMA to expand its efforts to work with allied groups, health care policy influencers such as think tanks and entities that can produce high quality scientific evidence.
    .
  • Separation of Clinical Portions of EHRs from Administrative and Financial Uses
    MSSNY will continue to work with the AMA and specialty societies to advocate for legislation, regulation or other appropriate mechanisms to ensure that electronic health record (EHR) systems are developed and implemented in such a way as to facilitate the compiling and sharing of clinical information, as appropriate, in a manner that is consistent with how physicians regularly deliver care.

NY CMS Office Invites You to a March 18 Listening Session
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services New York Office invites you to a listening session on current topics in the Medicare Program.  The topics being considered for discussion are: COVID-19 vaccines and antibody treatment, telehealth, MIPS measures and reporting, EM coding and documentation, 2021 pricing levels, CMS oversight of Medicare Advantage plans and care management. The format of the session will consist of short presentations followed by discussion periods. Please register for the session here.

A final agenda for the meeting will be sent to registrants on March 15th.


Moderna Vaccine Causing Delayed Rash in Some Recipients, Small Study Says
Some recipients of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine experience delayed rashes that can take about six days to heal, according to a small study published March 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers from Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital examined 12 patients who developed a rash at the injection site eight or more days after receiving their first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Their symptom onset ranged from four days after receiving their first dose to up to 11 after receiving their first dose. The patients’ rashes varied in size and severity. Ice and antihistamines treated most patients’ rashes, but some required corticosteroids and one erroneous case was treated with antibiotics, according to the study. Half of the patients experienced a rash after receiving their second dose around 48 hours after getting the shot, but none of them experienced a reaction that was more severe than their first dose reaction.

“Whether you’ve experienced a rash at the injection site right away or this delayed skin reaction, neither condition should prevent you from getting the second dose of the vaccine,” Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, the study’s lead author and co-director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s clinical epidemiology program, said in a news release. “Our immediate goal is to make physicians and other care providers aware of this possible delayed reaction, so they are not alarmed, but instead well-informed and equipped to advise their patients accordingly. (Becker’s Hospital Review March 3)


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Please Submit Names of Doctors and Family Members Who Lost Their Lives During COVID-19
Doctors Day is March 30. This year, to honor our physicians and family members who died of COVID-19 in 2020-2021, MSSNY is designing a poster with the names that are submitted. Please send the names to jvecchione@mssny.org.


Volunteer Opportunity for Children of MSSNY Members
During this ongoing pandemic, considerable additional responsibility has fallen on women, especially those who have had to become more involved in their children’s education due to remote schooling and limitations on childcare.

As a solution to this problem, the MSSNY Women Physicians Committee is launching a Virtual Volunteer Homework Assistance Program.  

Do you have high school or college students who would be interested in helping other members’ children with K-12 homework? This is a great volunteering and community service opportunity.

Do you have school age children (K – 12) who could use a helping hand with homework?  

If so, please contact sbennett@mssny.org. Tell us if your child will be a tutor or a tutee and include their email address.

  1. For tutors, state the subjects with which they would like to work (e.g., elementary math, middle school English, high school biology, etc.).
  2. For tutees, tell us the subjects with which they are most in need of support. We will match up pairs as best we can. Tutors and tutees can then make the arrangements that work best for them. Sessions can be half an hour to an hour per week, depending on subject and participant choice, and can be held on the same day and time.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Rose Berkun, MD and Maria Basile, MD
Co-Chairs, MSSNY Women Physicians Committee


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Behavioral Health Integration Research Study Looking for Participants
The Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Collaborative, a partnership between the AMA and seven other leading physician organizations, is launching a research study in 2021 to gather feedback and experiences from primary care and physician practices that are interested in integrating behavioral health care for their patients.

The study will run through early April, and participation includes a 45-minute interview and completion of a series of online activities. Participation will allow practice representatives to share valuable feedback on resources that will ultimately help make integrating behavioral health care a feasible, standard practice in primary care, rather than an exception.

Learn more and respond to a series of screening questions to see if your practice qualifies.


New Analysis Shows Medicare Spending Patterns Upended by COVID-19 Pandemic
The new report “Changes in Medicare Physician Spending During the COVID-19 Pandemic” analyzed Medicare claims data exclusive to physician services and found spending dropped as much as 57% below expected pre-pandemic levels in April of 2020. Medicare spending on physician services partially recovered from the April low but was still 12% less than expected by the end of June 2020. During the first half of 2020, the cumulative estimated reduction in Medicare physician spending associated with the pandemic was $9.4 billion (19%). The report also provides estimates by state and specialty.

When compared to expected 2020 Medicare spending on physician services, the AMA report found that actual Medicare spending on physician services for the first six months of 2020 declined regardless of service type, setting or specialty, and state or region. The severity of the impacts varied substantially. Telehealth spending increased dramatically during the study period but was concentrated in a handful of service categories.

Spending by service type

  • Evaluation and management (E/M) spending fell nearly 50 percent by late March before levelling off.
  • Spending for imaging, procedures and tests continued to drop until mid-April, falling as much as roughly 65% to 70% below expected 2020 spending.
  • By the end of June spending was down 10% for E/M and imaging, but only slightly more for procedures and tests.

Spending by setting or specialty

  • Spending lows reached in April by all major settings ranged from a 25% decline for skilled nursing facilities to a 90% decline for ambulatory surgical centers.
  • All major settings recovered from these spending lows but remained 9 to 19% below expected 2020 spending at the end of June.
  • Reductions in cumulative spending over the first half of 2020 varied among specialties, ranging from a 6% decline for nephrology to a 29% decline for ophthalmology and a 34% decline for physical therapists.
  • Primary care specialties fared slightly better than average with cumulative spending for internal medicine and family medicine down 14% and 16%, respectively.

Spending by state or region

  • Reductions in cumulative spending ranged from a 13% decline for Oklahoma to a 27% decline for New York.
  • There was a strong regional pattern to the impacts, with the biggest reductions concentrated in the Northeast and Upper Midwest and the smallest impacts in the South and Southwest.

Telehealth spending

  • Telehealth increased from less than 0.1% of total Medicare spending on physician services prior to the pandemic to more than 16% in April 2020 but was concentrated in a handful of service categories.
  • Established patient office visits accounted for one-half of Medicare telehealth spending on physician services after the start of the pandemic through the end of June 2020.

Classifieds

Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale.
Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring.
Waiting room
Secretarial area for 3
1 Consult room
2 exam Rooms
2 Toilets
Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – maya@mallannyhomes.com or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information http://www.mallannyhomes.com/properties/detail/800-second-avenue-806/

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway


Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix 85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com


Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: March 3, 2021 – Can I Order Vaccine?


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Please Submit Names of Doctors and Family Members Who Lost Their Lives During COVID-19
Doctors Day is March 30. This year, to honor our physicians and family members who died of COVID-19 in 2020-2021, MSSNY is designing a poster with the names that are submitted. Please send the names to jvecchione@mssny.org


Open Payments National Provider Call
Thursday March 25, 2020 2:00pm – 3:00pm (ET)

REGISTER HERE

Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 25, 2020 for an informative session on the Open Payments Program and the upcoming review, dispute, and correction processes.

Reporting entities are currently submitting data to the Open Payments system on payments or transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals during 2020.  Beginning in April, physicians and teaching hospitals have 45 days to review and dispute records attributed to them. CMS will publish the Open Payments Program Year 2020 data and updates to previous program years in June 2021.

During this call, learn about the Open Payments program and how to access the system to review the accuracy of the data submitted about you before it is published on the CMS website.

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Topics:

  • Overview of the Open Payments Program
  • Program Timeline
  • Program Roles
  • Registration Process

Target Audience: physicians, teaching hospitals and office staff.

CMS requests that all press inquiries related to this call and the Open Payments program are sent to the CMS press office mailbox at press@cms.hhs.gov. Please include your professional contact information, specific concerns, and your deadline.

Note: The Review and Dispute period is targeted to begin on April 1, 2021 and end on May 15, 2021


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Volunteer Opportunity for MSSNY Members’ Children
During this ongoing pandemic, considerable additional responsibility has fallen on women, especially those who have had to become more involved in their children’s education due to remote schooling and limitations on childcare.

As a solution to this problem, the MSSNY Women Physicians Committee is launching a Virtual Volunteer Homework Assistance Program.  

Do you have high school or college students who would be interested in helping other members’ children with K-12 homework? This is a great volunteering and community service opportunity.

Do you have school age children (K – 12) who could use a helping hand with homework?

If so, please contact sbennett@mssny.org. Tell us if your child will be a tutor or a tutee, and include their email address.

  1. For tutors, state the subjects with which they would like to work (e.g., elementary math, middle school English, high school biology, etc.).
  2. For tutees, tell us the subjects with which they are most in need of support.

We will match up pairs as best we can. Tutors and tutees can then make the arrangements that work best for them. Sessions can be half an hour to an hour per week, depending on subject and participant choice, and can be held on the same day and time.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Rose Berkun, MD and Maria Basile, MD
Co-Chairs, MSSNY Women Physicians Committee


Have You Used the MTG Lookup Tool Yet?
This is a reminder of the availability of a recently released tool that is available in the Medical Portal related to the Workers’ Compensation Board’s New York Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs).

The MTG Lookup Tool allows users to quickly determine whether a particular condition or treatment/test combination is “Recommended,” “Not Recommended” or “Conditional,” according to the MTGs. When a treatment/test name is selected, the relevant section of the full MTGs for that condition will display. This online tool will help speed treatment decisions and ultimately provide more effective and efficient care for injured workers.

The MTG Lookup Tool also has a feature for use by providers that produces a Verification Summary document (PDF) that confirms a lookup was completed, provides treatment recommendations for that condition, and displays patient-specific case information. This document can be kept by the health care provider or attached to any request for service or medical bill being sent to an insurer as verification that the treatment adheres to the recommendations set forth in the MTGs.

To support the timely delivery of medical care consistent with the MTGs, the Board has made the MTG Lookup Tool available to all Board-authorized providers. For other stakeholders interested in utilizing the Lookup Tool, after logging into the Board’s Medical Portal and selecting “MTG Lookup Tool” on the Treatment card, you will be given contact information for ReedGroup to purchase a license for the tool. If you are an insurer that has previously licensed the ReedGroup Medical Treatment Guidelines in other states, you may be able to access the NYS MTGs via the Lookup Tool at no additional charge.

The MTG Lookup Tool is available for the following MTGs:

  • Elbow Injuries
  • Foot and Ankle Injuries
  • Hip and Groin Injuries
  • Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries (including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
  • Occupational Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Occupational/Work-Related Asthma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder

The full MTGs are available on the Board’s website and accessible via the Medical Portal.

To access the Medical Portal and these resources, visit the Board’s website at wcb.ny.gov and select “Medical Portal” from the Online Services menu at the top of the homepage.


Allergic Reactions to Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Can Get J&J Shot as Dose, CDC
Patients who had an allergic reaction to their first dose of either Moderna’s or Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could get Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine as their second dose, a CDC scientist said March 1, CNBC reported. 

Jessica MacNeil, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said those who had an allergic reaction to vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer should wait at least 28 days before getting a second dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Ms. MacNeil said patients should only mix vaccine types in “exceptional situations,” and should be monitored by healthcare workers for at least 30 minutes after getting the second dose, CNBC reported.

The official CDC recommendations say patients who experienced severe allergic reactions to Moderna’s, or Pfizer’s vaccines shouldn’t get a second dose.

There have been 4.7 cases of anaphylaxis for every million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine administered and 2.5 for every million doses of Moderna’s as of Jan. 18, according to CNBC.

Ms. MacNeil also noted the efficacy of taking one shot of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccine and one shot of Johnson & Johnson’s has not been tested in clinical trials. Read the full article here.


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WHO Advises Against Hydroxychloroquine to Prevent COVID-19?
The World Health Organization published a new recommendation March 2 stating that hydroxychloroquine should not be used to prevent COVID-19. The recommendation, published in The BMJ, states that multiple clinical trials of more than 6,000 people have shown that hydroxychloroquine has no meaningful effect on death or hospital admissions in people with no prior exposure to COVID-19. The trials also showed a “moderate certainty” that hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of adverse effects. “The panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should rather be oriented to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent COVID-19,” the WHO said.

Hydroxychloroquine is FDA approved to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.


Join NYSDOH Tomorrow at 1PM for COVID-19 DOH Update
Please join the NYS Department of Health, Thursday, March 4th 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.

Audio number and code: 844-512-2950 Access code 7413229#

Recipients:
All Prescribers
Clinical Labs
Diagnostic and Treatment Centers
Healthcare Associations
Hospitals
Nursing Homes
Schools, Daycares and Colleges
BCDC 09 – LHD’s, Regions, NYSDOH-LHD’s, Regions, NYSDOH CCH
BCDC 13 – Internal Distribution-All who should be notified including exec staff, regions, and division
BCDC 17 – EPI-List of staff who should receive epi related informational messages
BCDC 18 – Immunization-List of BI staff to be included for weekly flu report distribution

Roles:
For questions: Please send an e-mail to bcdc@health.ny.gov, as notify01 is a non-monitored mailbox.
Click here when you are ready to confirm receipt of the email.
If you cannot click the above link, use the following URL by copying into your browser.
https://apps.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/pubforms/ihans/rest/AlertAcknowledge2?AID=c5a64f4d-ab99-4ebd-961e-339472af6a33


CDC Director to States: Don’t Roll Back COVID-19 Safety Measures
As COVID-19 cases improve, the head of the CDC said she is “really worried” about states rolling back public health measures, according to a March 1 article published in CNBC.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said in a March 1 news briefing that the U.S. has declined to about 70,000 new COVID-19 cases each day.

“With these statistics, I am really worried about more states rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,” Dr. Walensky said.

She said emerging COVID-19 variants can disrupt the downward trajectory in infection cases.

“Seventy thousand cases a day seems good compared to where we were just a few months ago,” she said. “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained.”


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Trending’ Clinicians’ Notes in EHRs May Help Predict Real-Time COVID-19 Surges
Tracking “trending phrases” in EHR notes may help hospitals forecast surges in infectious disease outbreaks, according to a Feb. 24 report in Nature Digital Medicine. The study analyzed keywords in EHRs to produce real-time maps of trending symptoms. Researchers monitored symptoms like “pneumonia” and “dry cough.”

The spikes resembled positive COVID-19 test result spikes reported by their respective hospital, indicating that tracking keywords could provide up to four days’ notice for hospitals to prepare for surges in COVID-19 admissions. Researchers said that tracking trending words is easy and cost-effective. While this study operated at the single-hospital level, the study says it can be scaled at the local and national levels.

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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 Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188


Office Rental 30 Central Park South
Two fully equipped exam, two certified operating, bathrooms and consultation room.  Shared secretarial and waiting rooms.  Elegantly decorated, central a/c, hardwood floors. Next to Park Lane and Plaza hotels. $1290 for four days a month. Available full or part-time. 212.371.0468 / drdese@gmail.com.


Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


Physician & Other Healthcare Jobs. P/T & F/T
Check us out @….bit.ly/38xkgDv


Unique Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Partnership opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join our practice or merge practices. Contact 516-972-2986 / susanrita1@msn.com for more info.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: February 26, 2021 – Advocating for Physicians in DC and NY

.MSSNY’s Partnership with Premier Group Purchasing

 

Colleagues:

Early this week the American Medical Association held its annual National Advocacy Conference.  While we could not meet in person in Washington, the event was none-the-less impactful.  We heard from Doris Kearns Goodwin, a presidential historian about lessons from the past that can shape our future; AMA leadership on AMA priorities and our AMA legislative agenda; and Dr. Bechara Choucair, vaccination coordinator for the Biden administration.  We were also briefed and prepped for virtual Hill visits.

Our MSSNY team met with many of our New York State congressional delegation and advocated for federal allocation of vaccine supply to community physicians, federal stimulus money to New York State to offset our enormous state budget deficit, bipartisan legislation that would continue the current Medicare sequester moratorium at the very least for the duration of the public health emergency, and permanently removing the rural limitations on Medicare telehealth reimbursement.

From there it was onto the NYS joint legislative public hearing on the 2021 Executive Budget Proposal.  The legislature heard from the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Health, and many stakeholders in a marathon session lasting for nearly 12 hours. MSSNY provided detailed written testimony on the many budget issues affecting physician practices in New York State.  We were also fortunate to be granted a slot to provide a brief verbal summary of our concerns with the proposed State Budget and used our time to highlight the following:

  • Opposition to the restructuring of the state’s Excess Medical Malpractice Program and the new huge cost imposition on the 17,000 physicians enrolled in the program
  • Opposition to the unreasonable and un-American bypassing of due process for physicians through the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC)
  • Opposition to a very large and mistimed cut in the funding for MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health (CPH)
  • Opposition to the inappropriate expansion of pharmacy scope of practice that would significantly undermine our patient-centered medical home concept.

I also had the opportunity to answer questions from several legislators regarding our concerns on these issues.  We were heartened that several legislators raised our concerns with these proposals in their questioning of the DFS Superintendent and Health Commissioner.

Next up: Tuesday, March 2nd is virtual Physician Advocacy Day.  While every day is advocacy day at MSSNY, some days—and at some times—our voices need to be stronger and louder to effect change. Make a difference: sign up for Physician Advocacy Day to stand up for your rights, your patients, and our noble profession.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


 



Capital Update

MSSNY Weekly Podcast


Join Us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 2
We are just a few days away from MSSNY’s Annual Physician Advocacy Day, we are excited to have you all join us, If you haven’t already, please register by clicking here.

The format will follow previous years formats, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders and physician leaders in the morning (this year via Zoom) from 8 AM-11 AM, and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (organized by their county medical societies).  With physicians facing so many challenging issues this year as noted below, there has never been a more important time for you to join with your colleagues on these important advocacy efforts.

Please plan to join hundreds of colleagues from around the State on March 2! (ALI)


MSSNY Members Meet With New York Congressional Delegation to Discuss Priority Federal Issues
MSSNY members and staff conducted virtual meetings with several members of the New York Congressional Delegation this week to discuss a range of timely federal issues, that impact physicians. Among those discussed were:

  • The need for significant federal funding in the COVID Relief Package, to help prevent state budget cuts.
  • Making vaccines available to community-based physicians to immunize patients with co-morbidities.
  • Preventing Medicare sequester cuts from going forward on April 1, 2021.
  • Eliminating in statute the “rural only” provision in Medicare for Telehealth coverage.

The meetings were part of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual National Advocacy Conference (NAC).  Participating MSSNY physician leaders included MSSNY’s current President, Dr. Bonnie Litvack, its President-elect, Dr. Joseph Sellers, MSSNY Vice-President Dr. Parag Mehta, MSSNY Past Presidents, Dr. Arthur Fougner and Tom Madejski, Dr. Dan Choi, Dr. Paul Pipia, Dr. Carlos Zapata, Dr. Rose Berkun, and Dr. Alan Klitzke. The group met with Ways & Means Committee member Tom Suozzi and with the top health policy staff for Representatives Clarke, Higgins, Morelle, Rice, and Tonko, as well as for Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.

MSSNY staff will continue to monitor, and advocate, on these issues on members’ behalf, and update members as discussions unfold on Capitol Hill.       (CARY)


MSSNY Continues to Urge Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine to Community Based Physicians
MSSNY continues to urge the New York State Department of Health to supplement its efforts to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to its residents by making doses available to community-based physicians to immunize their patients—especially since patients with co-morbidities are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

As the country moves forward into the immunization process, and as supply increases, it is vitally important that the country and the states employ all resources available and that includes the community-based physicians.   Currently, hospitals, chain pharmacies and mass vaccination sites have been prioritized while very few doses have been made available to those who know their patients’ best – the community physician. These are individuals who can quickly identify the most vulnerable and can reach large amounts of patients who suffer from significant co-morbidities and cannot travel to a vaccine distribution site due to health reasons.

Community-based physicians practice in a wide range of communities such as urban, rural and suburban settings and serve the poor, the elderly, individuals of color and those with co-morbidities.   Many of these patients do not have transportation, are in communities without mass transportation, lack the financial resources or are simply too ill to travel.

Community based physicians care for thousands of patients each and can quickly identify those patients who are most of risk of getting COVID-19 or having complications due to their comorbidities.  More importantly, patients often feel comfortable with their physicians, with whom they can discuss the vaccine, and address any vaccine hesitancy, and feel comfortable in the office setting.

MSSNY physician leaders were featured in numerous articles in papers and media across the State this week on this issues including in the Buffalo News, and WNYT-TV and WTEN-TV (Albany). WTEN-TV 10, Buffalo News (1), Buffalo News (2), Press Release, WNYT-TV.

It was also the subject of numerous conversations that MSSNY leaders had with members of New York’s Congressional delegation this week.       (CLANCY, AUSTER)


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Please Urge Your Legislators to Reject Huge New Costs Placed on Community Physicians for Excess Coverage
Please urge your legislators to reject an extraordinarily ill-timed Budget proposal that would foist thousands to tens of thousands of dollars of new costs on the nearly 17,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance.   You can send a letter and/or tweet them from here: Click Here.

This proposal, which would require enrolled physicians to bear an extraordinary 50% of the cost of these policies, would thrust over $50 million of new costs on the backs of our community-based physicians who served on the front lines of responding to the pandemic.  This new cost imposition would hit these practices at a time when many of these practices are already facing huge losses resulting from the substantial reduction in the number of patients receiving care during the pandemic.

NEW COSTS TO BE IMPOSED ON PHYSICIANS FOR EXCESS COVERAGE BASED UPON GOVERNOR’S 50% COST BUDGET PROPOSAL

SPECIALTY Long Island Bronx, Staten Island Brooklyn, Queens Westchester, Orange, Rockland, and Manhattan
Emergency Medicine $5,653 $6,561 $6,118 $4,500
Cardiac Surgery $4,482 $5,202 $4,862 $3,567
OB-GYN $20,881 $24,235 $22,648 $16,617
Neurosurgery $35,222 $40,879 $38,202 $28,030

MSSNY has joined with 16 other specialty medical societies in a letter to the entire State Legislature that expresses our strong objection to this proposal (Click Here).  Among the key points in the letter is that a recent AMA survey reported that during the pandemic the average number of in-person visits to physician offices dropped nearly in half.   The bottom line is that the new costs this proposal would impose are simply not assumable by physicians, meaning that many physicians will face no choice but to forgo receiving this additional coverage.

MSSNY thanks the many legislators, including Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Cahill, Senate Finance Committee Chair Liz Krueger, and Assemblymembers Bichotte, Byrne, and Ra, for raising concerns with this proposal during this week’s Health Budget hearing. (AUSTER) 


Urge Your Legislators to Reject Overbroad Proposal to Severely Curtail Physician Due Process
Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators to reject an Executive Budget proposal that that would greatly curtail due process protections for physicians when a complaint has been filed with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), including making information public about a complaint even if no professional misconduct is found and greatly lessening the burden for imposing an interim suspension prior to the conclusion of the statutory hearing process.   You can send a letter and/or tweet to your local legislators from here: Click Here.

While New York’s physicians share the goal of assuring the State has ample power to protect the public when the conduct of a particular health care provider places patients at risk, the Commissioner already has authority to take summary action prior to the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing in the absence of a finding of misconduct.  MSSNY together with several specialty societies have raised concerns his proposal is greatly over-reaching given that most complaints never result in findings of misconducts or even formal charges being filed. Of greatest concern is that information released to the public, even if there is no action ultimately taken, can remain available through “Google searches” forever, with the potential to eviscerate a physician’s professional reputation.  (AUSTER)


Please Contact Your Legislators to Raise Concerns with “Consolidated Billing” Legislation
Physicians are urged to contact their Assemblymembers and Senators to urge them to substantially revise A.3470- A/S.2521-A, “The Patient Medical Debt Reduction Act”. Click here to contact your legislators today! Click Here.

While there are many components to this well-intended legislation, there is a seriously problematic component which would prohibit a physician or other provider with any “financial or contractual relationship” with a hospital from separately billing a patient for a course or episode of treatment in the hospital. While it doesn’t appear to prohibit continued separate billing to insurance companies or other payers, a single hospital-physician bill would be required when a bill is sent to a patient for costs not covered by the patient’s insurance, such as collection of a deductible. It would also require such consolidated bill to be sent within 7 days of a patient’s discharge from the hospital, before there is any clarity as to what expenses will actually be covered by a patient’s insurance.

If this bill were to pass and this provision not amended, it would put non-employed physicians at the mercy of the hospitals where they practice since the legislation does not specify how payments to hospitals from this “single bill” would then be distributed to these physicians.

In an era when patients’ insurance policies regularly impose enormous deductibles, it would likely force even more physicians to sell their practices and become employees of hospitals in response to the helpless position many physicians would find themselves.  Other physicians may leave the state altogether.  The impact of this prohibition will fall most adversely on physicians who are on the front lines of the pandemic, many of whom are facing an enormous drop in patient volume due to a significant amount of delayed care.                                   (AUSTER)


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Please Oppose Proposals That Facilitate Uncoordinated Siloed Care to be Provided by Pharmacists
Please contact your legislators to urge that they oppose several components of the Executive Budget that could upend the patient-centered medical home model and threaten patient safety by greatly expanding the scope of services provided to patients by pharmacists without coordination with patient care physicians.  You can send a letter from here: Click Here.  Please let them know these proposals would greatly enhance the power of big box giants to control various aspects of patient care delivery not in coordination with but to the exclusion of community-based primary care and specialty care physicians that typically manage the care of their patients.

Specifically, these Budget proposals would 1) permit pharmacists to order various lab tests without any physician oversight and without any requirement to coordinate with the patient’s physician for follow-up care; 2) greatly expand the physician-pharmacist Collaborative Drug Therapy Program to enable pharmacists to adjust the medications provided to entire classes of patients rather than individual patients and 3) permit pharmacists the power to administer any vaccination approved by the federal Advisory Commission on Immunization Practices (ACIP), including those which may be added in the future, thereby removing the discretion of the State Legislature to make these decisions.  Some of these proposals have been rejected by the Legislature in previous Budget cycles.

All of these programs together could incentivize the development of health care silos at the expense of the patient centered medical home model we have worked so hard to develop in New York.   It would also marginalize community based primary care and specialty care physicians’ ability to continue to be able to manage their patients’ ongoing care needs.    Please urge your legislators to reject these measures as they finalize the State Budget for 2021-22.     (AUSTER)


CMS Waives MIPS Penalties for 2022 Amid Public Health Emergency
This week, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will not impose Medicare payment penalties in 2022 related to performance in the Medicare Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) due to the significant disruptions on physician practices’ performance in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The AMA noted in a memo to the federation that it “strongly advocated for this automatic relief from MIPS penalties and sincerely thanks CMS for ensuring physicians will not be unduly penalized during the pandemic.”

The AMA further noted that the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Hardship Exception policy will be automatically applied to ALL MIPS eligible clinicians who do not submit any MIPS data for the 2020 performance period and avoid a 2022 payment penalty. CMS is also reopening the hardship exception application for group practices, virtual groups, and alternative payment model entities who missed the previous 2020 deadline. The re-opened application deadline is March 31, 2021. The AMA further noted that groups and eligible clinicians who submit data in at least two MIPS categories will override the hardship exception and be eligible to earn a bonus from the exceptional performance bonus pool or potentially be subject to a penalty.            (AUSTER)


MSSNY Conducts New Member Survey to Compare Payments to Physicians for Care Provided via Telehealth Services vs. In-Office Visits; Continues to Urge Revisions to Telehealth Proposal in FY 2022 Executive Budget
To support its continued advocacy efforts to expand coverage for Telehealth services, MSSNY is conducting a new survey of its members regarding use of telehealth and comparing generally reimbursement for telehealth and in person services.  To take the new survey, please fill out the following Survey Monkey questionnaire: Click Here.

As a reminder, the Executive Budget proposal for FY 2022 does not include a provision to ensure that payments for Telehealth services are on par with in-office visits, creating a significant hurdle for community physicians and the patients that they serve. Despite wide adoption of telehealth use arising from the pandemic, insurers’ reimbursement for audio and video Telehealth services has not kept pace with those paid for in-office visits and the gap is wide. According to a MSSNY survey last year, physicians reported that less than 1/4 of health plans had set their reimbursement levels for Telehealth equal to what they pay for in-office visits, with audio-only visits the least compensated.

MSSNY is also concerned that if passed, certain policies included in the budget may be used by the insurance industry to actually reverse Telehealth gains made over the past year. Specifically, linking coverage of Telehealth services to insurers having a “so-called” adequate network, together with the proposal to permit Telehealth delivery services by out of state physicians, could essentially empower insurers to limit who it will pay for Telehealth services once it asserts it has an “adequate” network. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where a health plan asserts it has an adequate network through a national Telehealth service provider, and then excludes coverage of Telehealth service by all or some of its in-network community-based physicians. That is completely at odds with the expansive approach to Telehealth coverage taken over the past year as a result of important actions taken by the New York DFS and DOH.

MSSNY is continuing to work with a range of other patient and provider partner organizations to address our concerns and will update members as the issue unfolds. (CARY)


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MSSNY to Conduct Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades

Date: March 24, 2021 @ 7:30am
Register now to learn more about the evolution of coronaviruses over the past three decades.  Medical Matters: Three Coronaviruses in Three Decades webinar will take place on Wednesday March 24th at 7:30am.  Stephen Morse, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Identify three different coronaviruses and the epidemiology specific to each one
  • Discuss SARS-CoV-2 in relation to other coronaviruses
  • Evaluate the circumstances that contributed to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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

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


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CMS Holds Physicians Harmless from MIPS Penalties Amid COVID-19 PHE
CMS announced this week that it will hold physicians harmless from up to 9% MIPS penalties due to the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 public health emergency on physician practices’ performance in 2020. The AMA strongly advocated for this automatic relief from MIPS penalties.

The Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Hardship Exception policy will be automatically applied to ALL MIPS eligible clinicians who do not submit any MIPS data for the 2020 performance period and avoid a 2022 payment penalty. CMS is also reopening the hardship exception application for group practices, virtual groups, and alternative payment model entities who missed the previous 2020 deadline. The re-opened application deadline is March 31, 2021. Note, groups and eligible clinicians who submit data in at least two MIPS categories will override the hardship exception and be eligible to earn a bonus from the exceptional performance bonus pool or potentially be subject to a penalty.


Dr. Fauci Introduces New Acronym for Long COVID at White House Briefing
As officials scramble to get vaccines and protective gear to the public, scientists are working overtime to gain knowledge of the long-term effects of COVID-19, said Anthony Fauci, MD, during a wide-ranging briefing at the White House this week.

“Many of you are now aware of what had long been called ‘long COVID,’ ” said Fauci, the White House COVID-19 Response Team’s chief medical adviser. “But actually, what that really is is post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which we’re now referring to as ‘PASC,’ or P-A-S-C.”

He noted that the National Institutes of Health launched an initiative yesterday to further study the phenomenon, which Fauci called “alarming” and “puzzling.”
He stressed that even patients with moderate cases of the infection can develop PASC. Symptoms include fatigue; gastrointestinal problems; “brain fog,” or an inability to focus; depression; anxiety; sleep difficulties; and, in extreme cases, impaired lung capacity.

“New symptoms sometimes arise well after the time of infection, or they evolve over time and persist for months,” Fauci continued. “They can range from mild or annoying to actually quite incapacitating.” He referred to a study from researchers at the University of Washington that was published online February 19 in JAMA Network Open. In that study, more than 30% of the 177 participants reported symptoms that persisted for up to 9 months.
“It’s very difficult to treat something when you don’t know what the target of that treatment is,” Fauci said. “There are a lot of important questions with this series of initiatives that we will ultimately answer.”
Medscape, 2/24/21


How to Recognize Phishing Scams
Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they are often successful. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $57 million to phishing schemes in one year.

Scammers often update their tactics, but there are some signs that will help you recognize a phishing email or text message.

Phishing emails and text messages may look like they are from a company you know or trust. They may look like they are from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website or app, or an online store.

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. They may:

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information
  • say you must confirm some personal information
  • include a fake invoice
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund
  • offer a coupon for free stuff

Here’s a real-world example of a phishing email.

Netfilx Scam Imagine you saw this in your inbox. Do you see any signs that it’s a scam? Let’s take a look.

  • The email looks like it is from a company you may know and trust: Netflix. It even uses a Netflix logo and header.
  • The email says your account is on hold because of a billing problem.
  • The email has a generic greeting, “Hi Dear.” If you have an account with the business, it probably would not use a generic greeting like this.
  • The email invites you to click on a link to update your payment details.

While, at a glance, this email might look real, it’s not. The scammers who send emails like this one do not have anything to do with the companies they pretend to be. Phishing emails can have real consequences for people who give scammers their information. And they can harm the reputation of the companies they are spoofing.

How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
Your email spam filters may keep many phishing emails out of your inbox. But scammers are always trying to outsmart spam filters, so it is a good idea to add extra layers of protection. Here are four steps you can take today to protect yourself from phishing attacks.

What to Do If You Suspect a Phishing Attack
If you get an email or a text message that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment, answer this question: Do I have an account with the company or know the person that contacted me?
If the answer is “No,” it could be a phishing scam.
If the answer is “Yes,” contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Not the information in the email. Attachments and links can install harmful malware.



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CDC Backs New Vaccine Finder Website
The CDC has backed a vaccine finder website, VaccineFinder.org, to make it easier for Americans to find vaccination sites. Run by Boston Children’s Hospital, the online portal allows the public to search for available vaccination sites and appointments. The developers hope to expand the program nationally  to include nearly all vaccine providers who participate.


J&J’s COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe, Effective, FDA Review Shows
Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine had an overall efficacy rate of 72 percent in U.S. trials, meaning it provides strong protection against severe illness and death from the virus, according to an FDA analysis posted Feb. 24, The New York Times reported.

The U.S. clinical trial showed the vaccine was 86 percent effective against severe forms of COVID-19, and a South African clinical trial showed it was 82 percent effective against severe disease there, where a more contagious variant called B.1.351 emerged and is causing most COVID-19 cases, according to the Times. The vaccine had an overall efficacy rate of 64 percent in South Africa.

The FDA’s vaccine committee is set to meet Feb. 26 to vote on whether to recommend the agency authorize the vaccine, and authorization could come as early as tomorrow, Feb. 27, according to the Times.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires a single dose, as opposed to two doses required by Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines, and it can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures for at least three months, according to the Times.

Access to the vaccine will be severely limited at first, if approved Feb. 27. Richard Nettles, vice president of U.S. medical affairs for the drug development arm of Johnson & Johnson, said Feb. 23 that nearly 4 million doses would be ready to be shipped after the FDA authorizes the vaccine. But White House officials said the same day that only about 2 million doses would be available next week if the vaccine is authorized, the Times reported.

The drugmaker said Feb. 22 that it would have 20 million doses shipped to the U.S. government by the end of March.

Side effects reported in clinical trials of the vaccine were noticeably milder than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, the Times reported. There were no reports of anaphylaxis.

Headaches, fatigue, muscle pain and injection site pain were the most common side effects reported, according to CNBC. Injection site pain was reported by nearly half of clinical trial volunteers; headaches were reported by about 40 percent; and fatigue was reported by about 38 percent. More than 33 percent of volunteers reported muscle pain, CNBC reported.

Most of the adverse reactions occurred in people ages 18 to 59, and the FDA said most side effects went away a couple of days after receiving the vaccine, according to CNBC.

–Becker’s Hospital Review


Three Reasons COVID-19 Vaccines Remain in Short Supply
Though the U.S. has invested billions of dollars in COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and invoked the Defense Production Act to boost supplies needed to make the vaccines, there are still not enough doses to meet demand, Kaiser Health News reported Feb. 23.

Experts told Kaiser Health News that three main bottlenecks are contributing to the lack of supply:

  1. The production of lipids. Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines contain billions of lipids, and lipids are only made in a handful of U.S. factories, Kaiser Health News

    “No one has ever thought of a scenario where we would use lipid nanoparticle formulation for [billions of] doses,” Prashant Yadav, PhD, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development at Harvard University, told Kaiser Health News. “We have not invented a process for doing lipid nanoparticles at scale.”Before COVID-19, the companies making the lipids made only small amounts, mainly for use for such things as clinical trials, according to Kaiser Health News. It takes time to get FDA authorization for a facility to make large quantities of lipids, so Moderna and Pfizer have been forming agreements with existing manufacturers to convert to lipid production, Pieter Cullis, PhD, a University of British Columbia professor, told Kaiser Health News.
    .
  2. The availability of glass vials. Though the Defense Production Act has been invoked to require some glass makers, such as Corning and SiO2 Materials Science, to prioritize making vials to store vaccines, it takes time to get the needed equipment installed to boost production, Prashant Yadav, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development at Harvard University, told Kaiser Health News.
    .
  3. Filling the vials. Vaccine-filling lines that get the finished vaccines into vials or syringes must be extremely efficient and sterile, Kaiser Health News Few companies in the world are up to the task, Mike Watson, former president of Valera, a subsidiary of Moderna, told Kaiser Health News. Moderna has hired a company named Catalent to fill and finish its vaccine doses at a facility in Bloomington, Ind., as well as at least two other companies to do the same for its vaccines abroad, according to Kaiser Health News. Sanofi agreed to let Pfizer use its fill/finish vaccine line in Germany for its vaccine, but that line isn’t expected to be up and running until July, Kaiser Health News reported.

Becker’s Hospital Review, 2/23/21


 

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Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix 85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com


Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


Physician & Other Healthcare Jobs. P/T & F/T – Check Us Out


Unique Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Partnership opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join our practice or merge practices. Contact 516-972-2986 / susanrita1@msn.com for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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