Frank Dowling, MD Re-elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Frank Dowling, MD Re-elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Frank Dowling MSSNY Sect.Westbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Frank Dowling, MD was re-elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) at its 213th House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown, NY on April 13, 2019.

A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Dowling received both his medical degree and his residency training from SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine.  Since 2004, he has served as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Prior to that appointment, he was Clinical Assistant Professor from 1993-2004.

Board certified in both Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Dr. Dowling has an outpatient private practice in Garden City and Islandia that focuses on treating victims of trauma and disaster, emergency responders and healthcare professionals and their families. He also treats patients with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Dowling serves as Medical Advisor to the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA), an independent, confidential, non-departmental voluntary assistance program for the NYPD.

An active member of MSSNY, Dr. Dowling has served as Commissioner for Science and Public Health, co-chair of the Addiction and Psychiatric Medicine Committee, chair of the Task Force on Alcohol and Health and vice chair of the Committee on Bioterror and Emergency Preparedness. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Committee and as faculty for the Veteran’s Mental Health Training Initiative, a collaborative effort by MSSNY, NYSPA and NASW-NY to train NY practitioners to assist warriors and veterans with post-traumatic stress and TBI.  

When the ISTOP law was under consideration in Albany, Dr. Dowling—working with MSSNY staff—was instrumental in helping a MSSNY led coalition obtain the right for a designee to assist a physician with mandated PMP lookups.  He currently serves on the AMA’s Opioid Task Force and on MSSNY’s Task Force on Physician Stress and Burnout. He previously worked with the MSSNY/OASAS Planning Committee that developed a 3 hour CME program on pain management and opioid abuse, which is available free to MSSNY members to meet the New York State mandated CME requirement.

As a member of the New York Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA), Dr. Dowling has collaborated with others to update AMA policies in several public health areas, including psychiatric and substance use disorders, access to care issues, LGBTQ health issues and healthcare disparities.

Dr. Dowling received the American Psychiatric Association’s Bruno Limo Award in 2003 for “outstanding contributions to the care and understanding of victims of disaster” for his work with emergency services personnel after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. In addition, Dr. Dowling received a Long Island Healthcare Heroes Award from Long Island Business News for his work in support of veterans and others with chronic psychiatric illnesses. In 2015, he was awarded MSSNY’s Charles D. Sherman Award for his support of medical students.  He is co-author of Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment, a text book intended to prepare psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to respond to disasters and mass casualty events.

Dr. Dowling lives in Oakdale, NY with his wife Theresa, sons Frank, Sean and Finn and daughter, Casey.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Arthur C. Fougner, MD Elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Arthur C. Fougner, MD Elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Author Fougner MSSNY Presiident

Westbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Arthur C. Fougner, MD, was elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) at its 213th annual House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown, NY on April 13, 2019.  Board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Fougner is Chief of Gynecologic Ultrasound at Northwell Health.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Fougner earned his MD degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral training in OB-GYN at St. Clare’s Hospital, NYU Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital and Booth Memorial Medical Center.

An attending OB-GYN at North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Forest Hills Hospital, Dr. Fougner is an assistant professor of OB-GYN at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and formerly an assistant clinical professor at SUNY Stony Brook and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Fougner is a member of the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology and of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Active in organized medicine since 1979, Dr. Fougner will serve as a New York Delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) from January 2019-December 2020. He previously served as MSSNY’s President-Elect, Vice President and Assistant Secretary. Additionally, he was MSSNY’s Commissioner of Communications from 2012-2013, Assistant Commissioner of Public Health from 2009-2010 and Commissioner of Governmental Affairs from 2010-2012. He serves as a trustee for the Medical Society of the County of Queens.

# # #

About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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April 5, 2019 – Non-Stop Flight

Thomas J. Madejski, MD MSSNY President
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Thomas J. Madejski, MD
MSSNY President


MSSNY eNews
April 5, 2019
Volume 22  Number 14

MSSNYPAC Seal

 


Colleagues:

I like to joke with my kids about there being good news and bad news when we discuss certain topics.  The bad news from my standpoint is that this will be my last MSSNY Enews communication to you as President of MSSNY.  I didn’t expect to enjoy writing the weekly column as much as I have. (I’m cognizant that the end is very good news for some of you as well.  My three fans can continue to see my occasional healthcare rhapsodizing at @TomMadejski).  The good news is that MSSNY will be well led by our incoming President, Dr. Art Fougner.  Art and I have become friends over many years and I look forward to his leadership over the next year and in the future.

The end of a term naturally is accompanied by reflection on what did, and what didn’t happen during your time at the helm.  Today, I want to relate some behind the scenes activity that I think is important for MSSNY and our members moving forward.

The President of MSSNY is the executive of the organization and works on a daily basis with our Executive Vice President, Mr. Phil Schuh, and our excellent MSSNY staff.   Coming into the Presidency, I’ve always felt that one of the challenges for any volunteer organization is the potential for staff to drive activity more than the members.   We have great staff that executes our plan well, but I think more direct involvement by the officers helps us to hone our message and activity and, with our staff’s valuable input, gets us closer to where we want to go as a membership organization. We began every week with a management call with the Office of the President  (current prez, Immediate Past prez, Prez-elect, VP and Chairman of the Board) and our MSSNY Division heads to review and plan strategies weekly, as well as create a tactical planning guide for periodic review. I am very thankful to my fellow officers, Dr. Litvak, Dr. Fougner, Dr. Rothberg and Dr. Hughes for their excellent counsel and assistance in carrying out my Presidential duties.  I also wish to thank and acknowledge our excellent MSSNY staff who continue to perform at the highest level, and always strive to provide great service to our members. 

Membership

MSSNY has had a major increase in membership over the last year due to the activity of our leaders and staff, prior to this year.  Coming into the Presidency, I felt it was important we review our value proposition to new members and work with our County Societies to integrate efforts in marketing to additional new individual members and groups.  Nothing moves as quickly as I would like, but I’m thankful to Dr. Robert Hughes and the Board of Directors for their help in moving forward on this issue.  We have a team of staff and physician officers presently vetting options and I look forward to implementation over the next year.

Our Communications department had a successful year in expanding our media footprint.  The MSSNY Daily, and MSSNY Enews is now available to your healthcare teammates.  We want to continue to grow our media presence and your help sharing these communications helps to expand our message.

MSSNY Communications and Advocacy staff were very effective in helping our leaders engage other non- physician groups.  Single Payer, Marijuana, and Collective Negotiation issues helped us to expand our influence outside of the merits related to advocacy around the issue itself.  We have a great relationship with a number of other professional societies.  I was very pleased to have increased involvement in coordinating advocacy with our other professional societies.  I particularly want to salute NYACP, NYSSAM, NYSSA, ACOG, NYSOMS (Osteopathy), NYSOS (Ophthalmologists), NYSSOS (Orthopedic Surgeons), NYSSPS (Plastic Surgery), and NYSDS (Dermatology) for participating in our CME activities for Advocacy Day and walking the halls of the Leg buildings arm-in-arm with MSSNY.  Together, We REALLY Are Stronger!

I’m very thankful for the activity of my MSSNY Committee Chairs and members.  They have spent countless hours creating, and sometimes reviewing MSSNY policies on short notice. All of our Committees have done excellent work.  I want to thank Dr. Robert Goldberg and Dr. Jay Weiss who were instrumental in negotiating a substantial Workers Compensation fee increase; and our Bioethics Committee, Diversity, and Addiction Committees that reviewed our marijuana policy over the last year.

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide remains a contentious issue for our profession.  I caught some heat for advocating our MSSNY policy during Assembly hearings last Spring. In an attempt to bring us closer together on this challenging issue, I established a Task Force on End of Life Care.  The Task Force has made substantial progress over the last year and will provide an interim report to the HOD next week. Understandably, this is a critical topic and they will continue their work to completion.  I am very thankful to Dr. John Maese for his excellent leadership of the Task Force.  We anticipate a final report to be available by the end of 2019.

The MSSNY Physician Wellness and Resilience Committee made substantial progress this year.  We have great programming available and are in the process of securing additional funding to make the programming more widely available.  We have restructured the internal management of the program to facilitate that.  We continue to work toward creation of a MSSSNY Peer to Peer Mentoring Service, not only for MSSNY members but for all New York physicians.

Thanks to all who provided feedback throughout the year.  I’m grateful for the thoughtful comments and tried to acknowledge and respond to as many as possible.  Please continue to reach out with your thoughts on issues affecting your practice and patients.

Finally, I want to thank each of you for your activities on behalf of your patients— both the care you provide to them individually, and your understanding of the importance of MSSNY membership to enhance your ability to care for your patients. Help us to be more effective by becoming more active in your County Medical Society, joining our MSSNY PAL program and joining MSSNYPAC. Your personal actions through membership are critical to providing the best care to your patients and providing stewardship to our learned profession.  

Ubi caritas, Deus ibi est.

Excelsior!

Comments? comments@mssny.org; @mssnytweet; @TomMadejski

Thomas J. Madejski, MD
MSSNY President


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Capital Update

Legislature Finalizes $175 Billion Budget; Several Positive Items for Physicians
Overnight Sunday into Monday morning, the New York State Legislature completed passage of a $175.5 Billion Budget for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year.  The State Budget contained a number of positive items for physicians and their patients in terms of new proposals adopted, and adverse proposals defeated.  We thank the many physician leaders and county society staff who took the time to meet, send letters and make phone calls to their local legislators on these issues.

Some of these positive outcomes include:

  • Rejection of the proposed approximate $80/patient Medicaid cut for deductibles for patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid that had been strongly opposed by MSSNY.  This action prevents the imposition of potentially tens of thousands of dollars in cuts to physicians who treat many such “dual eligible” patients as part of their practice.
  • Rejection of a proposed measure opposed by MSSNY that would have placed new prior authorization on physicians prescribing medications to their patients covered by Medicaid.
  • A proposal to legalize recreational or “adult use” marijuana was not included in the final Budget, though discussions on this issue will continue for the remainder of the Legislative Session.
  • Funding for the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program was continued at its historical level, as well as continuation of the authority of the DFS Superintendent to set medical liability premium rates.
  • Comprehensive reforms to better ensure insurance coverage parity for mental health conditions (MHC) substance use disorders (SUD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
      • Prohibits prior authorization for formulary forms of prescribed medications for treatment of SUD.
      • Provides coverage for ALL MHCs, SUDs, and ASDs as each is defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or the most recent edition of another generally recognized independent standard of current medical practice such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
      • Prohibiting preauthorization and concurrent utilization review of SUD services during the initial 28 days of treatment;
      • Medical necessity criteria with respect to benefits for MHCs/SUDs and ASDs shall be made available to patients and their physicians (and other health care providers) upon request.

Perhaps one of the most significant provisions of this section is an expanded “Anti-retaliatory” measure that prohibits a health insurer from taking “any adverse action, including but not limited to refusing to renew or execute a contract or agreement with a health care provider as retaliation against a health care provider for filing a complaint, making a report or commenting to an appropriate governmental body regarding policies or practices of such insurer… “ 

  • Greater oversight on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in their dealings with Medicaid Managed Care plans including imposing new disclosure requirements and limits on PBM fees.
  • Health Insurance policies for groups with 100 or more full-time employees will be required to cover at least three cycles of in vitro fertilization,
  • A new 20% tax on the sale of “vapor products” to be used in e-cigarettes, e-cigars and vaping pens, and requiring sellers of such products to register with the NYS Tax Department.
  • A new $150,000 grant for MSSNY’s Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative physician educational programming.
  • Continued funding of $990,000 for MSSNY’s Committee for Physician’s Health
  • A re-appropriation of $100,000 to MSSNY to continue its educational programming for physician’s regarding women’s health issues.
  • While not specifically in the State Budget, the Legislature passed legislation supported by MSSNY that would raise the tobaco and e-cigarette purchase age from 18 to 21. (see separate article)

Other Budget Provisions of Note Include: 

Opioid Tax – The final Budget contained a $100 million tax on opioid manufacturers and distributors.  Last week, MSSNY, the NYS Academy of Family Physicians and the NY Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians joined patients, pharmacists and several legislators raising concerns with the possibility of the cost being passed on to pharmacies, hospitals and patients. 

Medicaid Cuts – The proposed 0.8% across-the-board cut in Medicaid payments was not included in the final Budget, however, there is language that provides authority to the state to reduce Medicaid payments during the fiscal year (up to $190 million across the board) in the event of an unexpected drop in revenue such as federal cuts.  MSSNY will continue to monitor the potential implementation of this provision. 

Health Insurance Exchange – The Budget codified the New York State of Health into law, including its structure for providing health insurance products at the bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels, as well as appealing health plan formulary restrictions.  It also sets forth in statute the 10 essential benefits that Exchange plans had been required to cover and provides greater assurance of no prohibitions on coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Workers’ Compensation  – With a new medical fee schedule that begin Monday, April 1 that provides long-overdue increases to physicians treating their patients covered by Workers’ Compensation (WC), the Legislature and Governor agreed to a WC package that would expand the types of practitioners who can treat and be reimbursed for treating injured worker patients while at the same time seeking to reduce some of the carrier-imposed barriers to injured workers receiving needed medical care and treatment.

The bill would expressly permit injured workers to receive treatment by Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Social Workers, Physician Assistants (PAs), acupuncturists, Physical Therapists (PTs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) acting within their statutory defined scopes of practice.  For example, this means that a NP will no longer need to be employed by a physician to provide care to an injured worker.

MSSNY raised concerns during negotiations regarding the lack of an express requirement for some of these professionals to coordinate with a specialized physician for the care of injured workers.  However, that concern was not fully addressed.  We note that the bill would prohibit these newly listed health care professionals from performing Independent Medical Examinations.  It would also specify that Acupuncture, PT and OT care could only be provided pursuant to a referral from a physician, podiatrist or NP, and that the report of a PA, PT, OT or acupuncturist could not be used as evidence to determine that a particular injury or illness is work-related.

Importantly, the bill also contains provisions designed to reduce delays in injured workers receiving needed treatment, and physicians being paid for delivering this care:

  • Specify that the purpose of the pre-authorized procedures list maintained by the WCB is for “expediting authorization of treatment of injured workers” and “shall not prohibit varied treatment when the treating provider demonstrates the appropriateness and medical necessity of such treatment.”
  • Expressly prohibiting an employer, carrier, or third-party administrator from attempting to interfere with the selection by the  injured  employee  of an authorized medical provider;
  • Eliminating the 3-arbitrator panels for review of disputed medical bills, so that every dispute would only need to be reviewed by a single arbitrator in the same profession as the professional bringing the dispute (the arbitrator can continue to be a physician recommended by MSSNY).

Moreover, unlike some previous versions, the budget provision preserves the historical role of the county medical societies to provide peer review of physician applications to participate in the Workers’ Compensation program.

The new provisions will take effect January 1, 2020.  There will likely be follow up communications from the WCB regarding how these provisions will be implemented.

Staff is continuing its review of the thousands of pages of Budget documents and will provide further updates on these and ERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


Post-Budget Call to Action: Make Sure Your Voice is Heard on Needed Insurance Reforms
With the State Budget now passed physicians are urged to contact their legislators in support of bills to address the hassles they and their patients face with insurance companies. Post-budget, legislative activity will begin to build steam, culminating in a flurry of bills being passed at the end of session. That’s why it is vital that you join the fight and make your voice heard about the issues affecting your ability to advocate on behalf of your patients.  Among these important measures include:

Collective negotiationsNegotiating with insurance companies regarding patient care terms is extremely difficult, especially when monolithic payers control a huge portion of the market in which you practice. The fact that you are barred from banding together with your colleagues is unfair, so MSSNY strongly supports legislation introduced by Senator Rivera and Assemblymember Gottfried (S.3462/A.2393) that would allow independently practicing physicians to collectively negotiate with insurance companies under close state supervision.  Please urge your Assemblymember and Senator to join on as a co-sponsor here.

Prior authorizationsThe burdens caused by excessive and often repeated prior authorization requirements take away from the time that physicians can spend with their patients and lead to far too many hours being spent on paperwork. A just-released American Medical Association (AMA) survey reported that 91% of responding physicians said that the prior authorization process delays patient access to necessary care; with more than ¼ of the respondents indicating that a PA process led to a serious adverse event. Moreover, 86% said that burdens associated with prior authorization were “high or extremely high”; and 88% reported that these PA requirements had increased in the last 5 years.   Senator Breslin and Assemblymember Gottfried have introduced legislation (S.2847A.3038) to reduce these burdens, including by reducing the insurer time frame for reviewing prior authorization requests, and by limiting when an insurer can withdraw or repeat a previously granted pre-authorization.    Please urge your Assemblymember and Senator to join on as a co-sponsor here.

Mid-year formulary changesSurprisingly, current law does not restrict insurance companies from making changes to their formularies mid-year. This is particularly egregious because some patients choose insurance plans based on the prescription medication formulary coverage and provisions. Senator Breslin and Assembly Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes have introduced legislation (S.2849/A.2969) that would prevent mid-year formulary changes so that patients do not experience removal of a drug or changes in tiering when there is no similarly effective option.

Please urge your Assemblymember and Senator to join on as a co-sponsor here.
(AVELLA, AUSTER)


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Senate Passes Bill to Increase Purchase Age for Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes; Bill Now Goes to Governor
The NYS Senate has approved legislation that would increase the purchase age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age.  The measure, S. 2833/A.558, sponsored by Senator Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, has already passed the NYS Assembly.  The bill now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.   It is anticipated that the governor will sign this measure. The Medical Society of the State of New York supports this measure and issued a public statement praising the Legislature for this action which you can read here.          (CLANCY)


Urge Congress to Create Sensible Surprise Billing Law, Looking to New York as a Model
Physicians are urged to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand as well as their respective member of Congress to urge that they assure that any legislation addressing “surprise” out of network medical bills be consistent with New York’s innovative law, including making self-insured plans covered under a similar approach.  You can send a letter here.

Surprise out of network bills care in a hospital have been the focus of much attention as of late, with the Congressional Committee on Education & Labor holding a hearing this week on this issue. MSSNY has been working with the AMA and other state medical associations in support of efforts to remove patients from the middle of these “surprise” bill disputes while at the same time assuring physicians are paid fairly for these services.   However, some of the rhetoric has unfairly cast a disproportionate share of the blame on physicians, rather than on those insurance companies which are failing to offer fair contracts to some physicians. During the April 2nd hearing, some testifiers made inflammatory comments regarding physicians charging prices that are “largely made up” and suggested limiting payment for such for out-of-network services to grossly inadequate insurer-determined or Medicare rates.  Such an approach could have significant adverse consequences for the ability of hospitals to have sufficient on-call specialty care in their emergency departments, and greatly limit the ability of physicians to fight for fair contracts with health insurers.

New York’s law establishes a fair balance among health insurers, hospital and physicians, not only in deciding how these bills are paid, but also in addressing a number of other factors which lead to surprise bills.  To that end, MSSNY has written to the New York Congressional delegation, urging that any legislation to be considered is consistent with New York’s comprehensive law on the subject enacted in 2014 (see MSSNY’s letter here).

New York’s law stands as a model for other states that are looking at this issue. We believe that any federal action on the topic should be consistent with New York’s surprise billing law which has been lauded as an equitable and sensible solution.

Please take a minute to write to your elected officials expressing your support for New York’s system and urging Congress to use it as a template for federal legislation. You can do so by going here(AVELLA, AUSTER)


                                        Women Matters HOD Seminar


Office-Based Surgery Mandated Reporting Update
The NYS Department of Health has sent Office-based Surgery (OBS) practices a letter indicating that it was not moving forward in 2019 with a proposed requirement for OBS practices to report information to DOH regarding the numbers of each type of procedure performed in their OBS practices.

MSSNY working together with the NYS Society of Plastic Surgeons and NY Chapter of the American College of Physicians had indicated its support for the goals of the proposed reporting requirements to provide necessary context to assess the frequency/lack of frequency of certain adverse events reported to DOH.  However, given the potential complexity this presented for some practices, MSSNY, NYSSPS and ACP also suggested alternatives to this reporting requirement such as having DOH request such cumulative procedural information from the accrediting entities from which OBS practices are required to receive accreditation.

Instead, the DOH will be placing additional efforts to ensure all OBS physician practices are complying with the New York law that requires all adverse events arising in an OBS setting to be reported to the DOH patient safety center within three business days of the adverse event.  NYS Public Health Law Section 230-d defines an “Adverse event” as a “(i) patient death within 30 days;  (ii) unplanned  transfer  to  a hospital or emergency department visit within 72 hours of office-based surgery for  reasons  related  to  the   office-based  surgery encounter; (iii) unscheduled hospital admission or assignment to observation services,  within 72 hours of the office-based surgery, for longer than 24 hours; or (iv) any other serious or life-threatening event”.

MSSNY looks forward to partnering with the DOH to educate and ensure physicians are in complete compliance with these adverse event reporting requirements.   (AUSTER)


CME at MSSNY 2019 House of Delegates
MSSNY is proudly offering the following CME seminars at the 2019 House of Delegates in Tarrytown on Thursday April 11th and Friday April 12th: 

Thursday April 11th 1:00-2:00pm:

Medical Matters: What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious Diseases
Register here.
Faculty: William Valenti, MD

Educational Objectives:

Identify the modes of transmission of infectious agents

Discuss presumptive treatment of infectious diseases in advance of diagnostic testing results

Describe two scenarios and review questions and answers 

Thursday April 11th 2:00-3:00pm:

Veterans Matters: The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans
Register here.
Faculty: Malene Ingram, MD, Lt. Col. US Army Reserves

Educational Objectives:

Review how the increased role of women in the military has impacted their mental health

Describe mental health concerns unique to women veterans and how to identify and treat them

Identify the barriers that women veterans face in getting the specific care they need 

Friday April 12th 1:00-2:00pm

Health Matters for Women: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia
Register here.
Faculty: Florence Shum, DO

Educational Objectives:

Review potential causes of chronic diffused pain and fatigue

Discuss how to accurately diagnose Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Discuss treatment options for Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

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™.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Friday April 12th 2:00-4:00pm

Improving Maternal Mortality Trends in New York State – Seminar and Panel Discussion – Register here.
Faculty: Linda Clark, MD, Lisa Eng, MD, Kenyani Davis, MD & Lauren Tobias, Director, Division of Family Health, NYS DOH

Educational Objectives:

Review maternal mortality trends in NYS

Examine racial disparities around maternal morbidity and mortality

Identify potential practice models to improve patient outcomes

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


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Measles Outbreak in New York State Continues: Measles Educational Programs Available Online at MSSNY CME Website
The measles outbreak in New York State continues to be one of the worst in recent history.  There have been extreme measures taken in Rockland County where, according to the New York Times, only an estimated 72.9% of the population is vaccinated.  Since October of 2018, there have been 153 confirmed measles cases in Rockland County and 259 in New York City.  MSSNY conducted a just-in-time Medical Matters webinar entitled “The Continued Public Health Threat of Measles 2018” in December.  This webinar is available at the MSSNY CME website.  Also be sure to check out The Importance of Herd Immunity, another Medical Matters program that is pertinent to the current measles outbreak.  Please check it out and keep yourself informed about the ongoing measles outbreak in New York State.  You can also have patients listen to MSSNY’s brief podcast on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine here. (HOFFMAN)                                                                                                                                                                                              


Registration Now Open for Medical Matters Webinar
Be sure to register for the next Medical Matters interactive webinar, What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious Diseases.  This program will include interactive components for participants.  You will be asked to answer questions about a case and discussion will follow.  Find out if you’re fully prepared to diagnose and treat an infectious disease. 

Medical Matters: What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious Diseases
Register here.

When:  Wednesday, April 17th at 7:30am
Faculty: William Valenti, MD

Educational Objectives:

Identify the modes of transmission of infectious agents

Discuss presumptive treatment of infectious diseases in advance of diagnostic testing results

Describe two scenarios and review questions and answers

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™.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. (HOFFMAN)                                                             


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MSSNY CME Webinar Health Matters for Women Registration Now Open
The Medical Society of the State of New York is proud to announce a live continuing medical education (CME) webinar on a women’s health topic entitled “Health Matters for Women: Endometriosis” on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM for all physicians and other health care providers. Registration for the webinar is now open.

Health Matters for Women: Endometriosis – Register here.
When:  Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:30am

Faculty: Lisa Eng, DO

Educational Objectives:

Review potential causes of pelvic pain and discuss how to identify endometriosis

Discuss the benefits and risks as well as the efficacy and limitations of available medical therapies for long-term treatment of endometriosis

Discuss implementation of individualized endometriosis treatment plans and options

The Medical Society for 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™.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. (ULUKAYA)


 

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For more information relating to any of the above articles, please contact the appropriate contributing staff member at the following email addresses:

pschuh@mssny.org mauster@mssny.org  pclancy@mssny.org  mavella@mssny.org
charring@mssny.org

eNews

New York Sues Six Opioid Manufacturers, Four Distributors, and Sackler Family
The New York AG Letitia James is suing six opioid manufacturers, the Sackler family and four prescription drug distributors in a massive legal fight against the pharma industry accused of fueling the opioid crisis. The amended lawsuit accuses the 11 defendants of using false and deceptive marketing practices to create the “opioid epidemic that has ravaged New York.” The Attorney General called the amended complaint the country’s most comprehensive lawsuit aimed at addressing the ever-growing problem of opioid addiction, according to The New York Law Journal.

The complaint names the defendants as the Sackler family; Purdue Pharma; Janssen Pharmaceuticals a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson; Mallinckrodt; Endo Health Solutions; Teva Pharmaceuticals; Allergan Finance; McKesson Corp.; Cardinal Health; AmerisourceBergen; and Rochester Drug Cooperative. “Defendants caused this disaster together,” the lawsuit states. (Becker’s Hospital Review) 

Where VA Hospitals Lead and Lag in New York State
A recent study comparing Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals across the nation found that VA hospitals provided the best care in most regions for at least 9 of 15 quality measures. But how do they compare in New York State? Many of the nearly 800,000 veterans in New York State do not live near a VA hospital, and nearly half of veterans in the State prefer to get their care from outside the VA.

A new NYSHealth data snapshot examines levels of performance on various quality measures for each of the 10 VA hospitals in New York State. The measures span four domains of care: patient satisfaction, patient safety, health outcomes, and the timeliness and effectiveness of care.

VA hospitals and community-based hospitals perform similarly on most measures in this snapshot—and with a few exceptions, VA hospitals do not consistently out- or under-perform relative to community-based hospitals. These mixed results underscore the value of veterans having options to choose from both VA and community-based care.


Garfunkel Ad


Growing Open Notes Across New York State
The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is pleased to launch a Request for Proposals (RFP) to support federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), multispecialty group practices, hospital-affiliated physician groups, independent physician practices, and other health care settings across New York State in adopting or spreading OpenNotes.

OpenNotes is a national effort to give patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians. Established in 2010, OpenNotes creates partnerships toward better health and health care by giving everyone on the medical team, including the patient, access to the same information. When patients have access to their own visit notes written by health care providers, they better remember what was discussed during the visit; feel more in control of their care; are more likely to take medications as prescribed; and can share notes with their caregivers.

This RFP is open to FQHCs and other non-hospital health care settings in New York State. Awards of up to $100,000 will be granted per organization. Proposals will be due on May 2, 2019.

Read details on the RFP and apply.


NY Has Second-Highest Percentage of Insurance Claims for Retail Clinics
Crain’s New York Business (4/2) reports, “New York had the second-highest percentage of insurance claims for retail clinics nationwide, according to a new white paper from the nonprofit Fair Health.” The article notes that the state’s “prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine” limits retail clinics in the state, and as an alternative, “for-profit companies such as CVS and Walgreens lease space to medical practices within their stores.”


AMA, Unitedhealthcare Propose Billing Codes for Nonmedical Health Needs
The AMA and UnitedHealth care are supporting the development of 23 billing codes related to social determinants of health. The healthcare system lacks a consistent, organized way to capture such nonmedical needs as food, housing and access to transportation, and incorporate them into individual care plans, executives of both organizations said. But through their collaboration, UnitedHealthcare has created — and the AMA has endorsed — ICD-10 codes related to these needs, according to Forbes. “By combining traditional medical data with self-reported [social determinants of health] data, the codes trigger referrals to social and government services to address an individual’s unique needs, connecting them directly to local and national resources in their communities,” UnitedHealthcare and the AMA said. One proposed ICD-10 code, for example, would help a dialysis patient who needs transportation, according to Forbes.

The proposal for ICD-10 codes for social determinants of health was reportedly submitted to the ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee, which includes members from the CDC and CMS. According to an AMA report, the codes, if approved by CMS, would apply to the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2020. (Becker’s Hospital Review, April 2)


Online Drug Vendors Shifting Physician-Patient Relation in Absence of Regs
The New York Times (4/2) reports the growing popularity of websites such as Roman and Hers have made “obtaining lifestyle drugs for sexual health, hair loss and anxiety nearly as easy as ordering dinner online,” but are changing how patients interact with their healthcare providers. The websites allow people to “self-diagnose and select the drug they want” with the supervision of a physician who “assesses their choice, with no in-person consultation.” In response, physicians, regulators, and legal experts are warning that the companies “operate in a regulatory vacuum that could increase public health risks.” The Times adds that some companies are working to enhance their oversight by seeking expert advice, including from former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders; however, in some cases, companies make claims about treatments that are at odds with FDA regulations.


Capping Insulin Costs
Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager owned by health insurer Cigna, announced on April 4, that it will offer its clients an option to cap enrollees’ monthly out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $25. The announcement comes amid increased scrutiny of rising insulin prices and costs for patients. (Wall Street Journal, 4/3)


CMS finalizes Medicare Advantage, Part D payment policies: Four Things to Know
On April 1, CMS issued a final rule to update 2020 payment policies for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans.

Four things to know:
1. Under the rule, Medicare Advantage health plans will see a 2.53 percent pay raise in 2020.
2. In addition, chronically ill patients with Medicare Advantage can receive coverage for products and services aimed at addressing social determinants of health.

  1. This includes meal delivery, transportation for nonmedical needs like grocery shopping and home environment services.
  2. For example, CMS said Medicare Advantage patients with asthma could receive coverage for air cleaners and carpet shampooing to address irritants that could cause asthma attacks. A patient with diabetes could receive coverage for transportation to a physician’s appointment or other services like a nutritionist.

For the full fact sheet, click here.


Classified

RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Bronx Physician’s Office for Sale or Lease
Physician’s running office fully equipped for sale or lease. Effective immediately, retiring, Bronx, near Einstein Hospital, near subway. Call 914-882 3797 / shiva381@yahoo.com


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
On Park Ave, for sale is a large medical office, in a beautiful full service co-op with two entrances, one of which is an impressive doorman in lobby entrance.The office has high ceilings, easily adaptable to any specialty and priced to sell. Three good size rooms easily converted to five exams, plus consult, bathroom, reception and large waiting room. Outstanding location. A must see. View floorplan http://ow.ly/kKOI30o6MjI. Call Jeff Tanenbaum,  646-234-2226 or email jtanenbaum@halstead.com for showings and more information.


Fully Renovated Office Space for Part-Time Lease in Hauppauge
Available Tuesdays/Fridays, $450 half session, $750 full session. Elegant office space, beautiful waiting room with new stone and granite reception desk, custom molding, large windows, abundant natural light, TV, and refreshment counter.  Four new exam rooms and dictation room.  New stainless and granite kitchenette.  State-of-the-art network infrastructure meets HIPPA & PCI DSS compliance standards.  Digital X-ray room with PACS in each exam room available as an option.  Located in close proximity to LIE, Northern State Pkwy, and Vets Memorial Hwy. Contact us at (631) 486-8855;  Please see our listing: https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/517-Route-111-Hauppauge-NY/15298633/


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. $1250 for four days a month. Available full or part-time. 212.371.0468drdese@gmail.com.


5th Ave Medical Office for Share
Facing Central Park in exclusive building, ground floor, separate entrance.
Perfect for psychiatrist, physiatrist, osteopath, or other.
880 5th Avenue (between 69th and 70th Sts.), New York, N.Y.
Please call 917-715-2464


Rare Find — Great Office Share
Wonderful office share in terrific location at great price. Available Monday, Wednesday, Friday and weekends. Choice of smaller windowed consultation room with adjoining exam room or big windowed consultation room with one or two exam rooms. Beautiful bright rooms, lovely reception area and front . First-rate building on 58th Street between Park and Lexington. Rent by day (about $180). Front desk and office management available if needed, along with many other amenities, including internet, ultrasound, EMG Kitchen, optional C Arm. Willing to make changes for new tenant. Call 646-642-0700.


Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up

PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Seeking Executive Director of the Onondaga County Medical Society
Concept:
 An exciting opportunity for the right person to provide leadership for physicians Salary: Commensurate with experience Job Description: Direct day-to-day operations of the Onondaga County Medical Society Some evening meetings, travel required. RequirementsExperience with leading political advocacy; political sophistication. Must know how to interface with government officials. Good networking and communication skills. Conversant with budgets and finance. Excellent media relations skills, including electronic, social media, and written communications. Familiar with medical issues and comfortable discussing them. Education: BA/BS required.  MPH or MBA desirable. We expect innovation and project initiation. The Executive Director will receive a contract that increases remuneration commensurate with membership growth. Application Instructions: Please direct your application to: Dr. Brian Johnson, johnsonb@upstate.edu.


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


Pediatrician BC, P/T
Seeking motivated, enthusiastic pediatrician for P/T position in solo practice in Long Island. Coverage will increase over time. Great opportunity or those seeking part time hours in an established practice. Fax resume to 516-858-2389.



CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


MSSNY Applauds Important Measures in the NYS Budget that Will Improve Patient Access to Care


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

MSSNY Applauds Important Measures in the NYS Budget that Will Improve Patient Access to Care

April 3, 2019, Westbury, NY—The physician community thanks the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo for enacting a number of important measures in the State Budget to improve patient access to care, as well as agreeing to reject a number of proposals that could have adversely impacted timely patient access to needed care and treatment.

The new State Budget provides important new health insurance coverage protections for patients suffering from mental health conditions and substance abuse disorder.  These new provisions also provide important new protections for their physicians and other health care providers who advocate on their patients’ behalf.

MSSNY also thanks the many legislators who fought to prevent significant cuts to physicians and other health care providers who treat patients covered by both Medicare and Medicaid—who are the elderly and the poor.  Importantly, their efforts also resulted in the rejection of a proposal that would have imposed new prior authorization requirements on physicians and other care providers when they prescribe certain medications to their patients insured under the Medicaid program.

We look forward to working with legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo on further measures to enhance patient access to needed care and treatments from the physician of their choice.

# # #

About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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MSSNY Calls Passage of Bill Raising Legal Age to Purchase Smoking, Vaping Products to 21 a Significant Victory for Public Health


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

MSSNY CALLS PASSAGE OF BILL RAISING LEGAL AGE TO PURCHASE SMOKING, VAPING PRODUCTS TO 21 A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY FOR PUBLIC HEALTH

Statement attributable to:
Thomas Madejski, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“We know that data suggest the earlier a child is when he/she smokes the more severe the addiction is likely to be and 90% of all smokers begin before age 20.  Each day, 6,000 children under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.  Children most often try their first cigarette with a friend or peer who already smokes.  A NY Department of Health survey has also found that e-cigarette use by high school students nearly doubled in the last two years, and a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report shows the number of high school students using e-cigarettes soared 900 percent between 2011 and 2015, becoming the most commonly used form of nicotine among youths.

This major public health victory will help prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking by delaying children and young adult’s access to tobacco products. We will reduce the likelihood they ever start smoking and therefore create a healthier state.  Today, we thank the Assembly and the Senate for their action and we are confident that Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign this measure into law.

We are also grateful for the actions that the Governor and Legislature took in the context of the budget by requiring any vapor products retailor to be registered with the state tax commissioner and to show proof of the certificate.  The budget also imposed a 20% tax on vapor products—taxes have been one of the most effective interventions in reducing smoking and will clearly have the same impact on our youth when it comes to vaping”.

# # #

About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Council April 14, 2019

  AGENDA
Council Meeting – HOD
Sunday, April 14, 2019
                         Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown, NY                    

A. Call to Order and Roll Call

B. APPROVAL of the Council Minutes of March 5, 2019

C. New Business           

President’s Report:

Please welcome our MSSNY Officers, Councilors, Trustees, County Execs,
and MSSNY Staff
  1. APPROVAL – 2019/2020 Meeting Schedule
  2. APPROVAL – 2019/2020 Committee Appointments
     (Future changes only)

D.  Treasurer’s Report – Mark J. Adams, MD
Financial Statements
1/1/19 – 2/28/19 and 1/1/18 – 12/31/18

E. Report of the Executive Vice President, Philip Schuh, CPA, MS

1. Membership Dues Schedule
2. Group Institutional Dues Report

F. Report of the General Counsel, Garfunkel Wild, Barry Cepelewicz, MD, Esq.
APPROVAL Bylaws of the MSSNY Medical Student Section

G. Commissioner of Socio Medical Economics, Howard H. Huang, MD
Interspecialty Committee Minutes, February 28, 2019

H. Commissioner of Communications, Maria A. Basile, MD
 Social Media for Physicians

I.  Reports of Councilors
1. Seventh District Branch Report – Janine L. Fogarty, MD
2. Ninth District Branch Report – Thomas T. Lee, MD
3. Nassau County Report 
Paul A. Pipia, MD
4. Suffolk County Report – Linda S. Efferen, MD
5. Kings and Richmond Report Parag H. Mehta, MD
6. Manhattan and the Bronx Report – Joshua M. Cohen, MD

 J. Adjournment

Take Recreational Marijuana Use Out of the Budget


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

MSSNY: Take Recreational Marijuana Use Out of the Budget

March 28, 2019, Westbury, NY—As the New York State Legislature continues to grapple with its 2019-20 State Budget, MSSNY is hopeful that any discussion regarding legalization for recreational or “adult use” of marijuana be taken out of the budget.

Since Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) legalized marijuana, past-month use of the drug has continued to rise above the national average among youth aged 12–17 in all five jurisdictions (National Survey on Drug Use and Health [NSDUH], 2006-2017).  Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive, but brain scans of marijuana users show changes in the structure of the brain’s reward center to be consistent with addiction (Gilman et al., 2014).  Colorado Department of Health Services, Office of Behavioral Health reported in 2017 that marijuana is the second most implicated drug—after alcohol—in addiction treatment admissions.  These are just some of the reasons that we have been strong in our opposition to legalizing this substance.

We have been making some headway and part of this effort has been through collaboration with the Medical Societies of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware.   We offered a joint statement opposing the legalization and just this week the New Jersey Legislature was unable to muster the votes for passage.

However, we have heard from many legislative members about the need to “decriminalize” certain aspects that lead to disparities in arrests and convictions of minorities that come from involvement with marijuana.  All of us have different views on what “decriminalization” means in the context of marijuana.   Does it mean lower fines, no jail time?  Or does it mean treatment rather than arrest? Should we expunge a criminal record related to marijuana convictions?  These are all questions that will need to be answered.

We will be asking the other states to join with us in urging that their respective governors and legislatures of each state have a meaningful discussion on “decriminalization.” While we recognize that each state has its own set of laws and regulations, perhaps it’s time for us to combine our effort in resolving this issue of ensuring that all individuals are treated equitably under the law.

Our geographical nearness should permit the creation of an interstate task force to allow us some common sense rules that would be applicable along state lines.

# # #

About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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March 29, 2019 – March Madness

Thomas J. Madejski, MD MSSNY President
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Thomas J. Madejski, MD
MSSNY President


MSSNY eNews
March 29, 2019
Volume 22  Number 13

MSSNYPAC Seal

 


Colleagues:

Happy Doctor’s Day, tomorrow, March 30! 

On behalf of MSSNY, I want to thank you for your devotion to your patients and our profession.  Your commitment to caring for your patients helps to improve our communities and our society in general.

It’s been a busy week.  I had hoped to spend a little time watching my favorite NCAA teams, the Syracuse Orange, and the University at Buffalo Bulls charge into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Basketball tournament.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  Both suffered crushing defeats accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth by me and the other diehard fans in the Madejski family room.

Marijuana and Science

Proposals to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana continues to be an issue of statewide and national concern.  I have received comments from a few readers questioning why we are spending time on this issue.  I’ve responded to them individually, but thought it might be worth reviewing where we’ve been and where we are going.  To begin with, we are very sympathetic to the goals of many seeking legalization regarding the unfair and arbitrary application of current laws. We agree with the concept of decriminalization.  However, we are spending time on this issue because MSSNY (and the AMA) policy is based on science and advocates for the best care of our patients, and prevention of reasonably avoidable harms to our citizens.  We are very concerned that the push for legalization of recreational marijuana has been funded by an evolving industry that has been given a pass on proper testing of their pharmacological products with regards to usual standards of efficacy and clarification of risk. We are watching Big Tobacco attempt to morph into Big Marijuana before our eyes and create a new generation of users of an addictive product.  This industry has also draped itself in specious arguments that wider access and use will result in a panacea for multiple disease states and economic benefits to state governments.  The emerging data from states that have legalized recreational marijuana is disturbing at best.  Harms are clear, benefits less so.  Most physicians understand the importance of dealing with this complicated substance in a scientific fashion.  Potential harms could be avoided by obtaining better data on the benefits and risks of both medicinal and recreational use. I also want to make clear that we are in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.

New York should use the data from the ongoing state experiments to inform our policy creation in New York with regards to a product with well-defined harms.  Importantly, this means we need to change federal law to reschedule marijuana to allow more, higher quality research to answer the many questions about medicinal and recreational use.

Again, this need to be based on science, not anecdote.

New York is not alone in dealing with this question.  While, there is a furious, well-funded push by the marijuana/ tobacco industry to push recreational marijuana through before our society wakes up to the potential harms, we have our own allies. We have been working with county health officials, PTAs, school administrators, and substance abuse councilors who share our concerns.

If you will forgive my Hamilton reference, we don’t have Laurens, Mulligan and Marquis de Lafayette, but we have reached out to our friends in New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware .Thanks to Dr. Poole, Dr. Gruss and Dr. Dahlke for their leadership and courage.

New Jersey was scheduled to pass a bill for recreational marijuana this week.  The vote wasn’t taken, in part due to the advocacy of the Medical Society of New Jersey in concert with MSSNY and our allies.  We are hopeful that New York has taken legalization out of its soon to be finalized State Budget, but one never knows until the last Budget bill is passed. Connecticut remains under pressure for a revenue fix which, if based on marijuana as opposed to tolls, will have much greater financial and societal costs down the road.

It is our duty to speak as physicians to evaluate the available information, seek out the answers to the known unknowns, and then speak out on behalf of our patients, fellow citizens, and ourselves. Thanks to all for your contributions to the conversation.

Together we are stronger!

Quicumque damnantur praeteritis memoria repetere

Comments? comments@mssny.org; @mssnytweet; @TomMadejski

Thomas J. Madejski, MD
MSSNY President


MLMIC Insurance Banner


Capital Update

MSSNY House of Delegates Banner


Legislature, Governor Trying to Finalize State Budget
At press time, while several of the Budget bills were printed, there were still multiple outstanding issues that were complicating a final agreement between the Assembly, Senate and Governor for a State Budget due by April 1. Here is a quick synopsis of some of the top issues being advocated by your Medical Society.

LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA – Reports were that the legalization of “adult use” or “recreational” marijuana use was not going to be in the final State Budget, as had been urged by MSSNY and several other groups.

EXCESS INSURANCE – Reports were that the historical funding the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program that had been proposed in the Governor’s Budget and supported by MSSNY was to be included in the final Budget.

MEDICAID – There has not been a final determination on several Medicaid proposals, including the proposed $80/patient Medicaid cut for deductibles for patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid that the Assembly and Senate had rejected in its one-House Budgets and strongly opposed by MSSNY.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PARITY – There is momentum towards strengthening New York laws that assure comprehensive health insurance coverage for mental health conditions and substance abuse services.   MSSNY working together with the NYS Psychiatric Association supported these proposals. These include provisions that would remove prior authorization for MAT, and strengthening New York’s “gag” laws that provide important legal protections to physicians and other health care providers who file complaints with state agencies about potential insurer violations.

WORKERS’ COMP (see related article)–  The Legislature and Governor reached agreement on a modified proposal that expands the use of certain health care providers in WC that also seeks to address some carrier-imposed barriers to patient care and preserves the historical peer review role played by the county medical societies. MSSNY had raised concerns with this proposal.

OPIOID TAX – Reports were that a revised $100 million tax on opioid manufacturers and distributors would be included in the final Budget.  Earlier this week, MSSNY, the NYS Academy of Family Physicians and the NY Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians joined patients, pharmacists and several legislators to raise concerns with the aspect of this proposal that would permit the cost to be passed on to pharmacies, hospitals and, in some cases, patients.

PUBLIC HEALTH– Last week the Senate and Assembly passed legislation to create a Maternal Mortality Review Board (A.3276, Joyner/S.1819, Rivera) instead of acting on the Governor’s Budget proposal. MSSNY supported this proposal.

Instead of including in the State Budget, the Senate has advanced to the floor legislation (S.2833, Savino) to raise the age of tobacco/e-cigarette sales from 18-21. The Assembly recently passed identical legislation on this issue (A.558, Rosenthal). MSSNY supported this proposal.

PBMs – There was progress being made towards the inclusion of language in the State Budget to increase the transparency of financial arrangements made Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBMs), and its connection to health insurer formulary and tier development.

Please stay tuned for further updates.
(DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


State Budget to Include Workers Compensation Package
With a new medical fee schedule to begin Monday, April 1 that will provide long-overdue increases to physicians treating their patients covered by Workers’ Compensation (WC), the Legislature and Governor agreed to a WC package of reform in one of the State Budget bills (– pp.16-32) that would expand the types of practitioners who can treat and be reimbursed for treating injured worker patients while at the same time seeking to reduce some of the carrier-imposed barriers to injured workers receiving needed medical care and treatment.

The bill would expressly permit injured workers to receive treatment by Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Social Workers, Physician Assistants (PAs), acupuncturists, Physical Therapists (PTs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) acting within their statutory defined scopes of practice.  For example, this means that a NP will no longer need to be employed by a physician to provide care to an injured worker.

MSSNY raised concerns during these negotiations regarding the lack of express requirement for some of these professionals to coordinate with a specialized physician for the care of injured workers.  However, that concern was not fully addressed.  We note that the bill would prohibit these newly listed health care professionals from performing Independent Medical Examinations.  It would also specify that Acupuncture, PT and OT care could only be provided pursuant to a referral from a physician, podiatrist or NP, and that the report of a PA, PT, OT or acupuncturist could not be used as evidence to determine that a particular injury or illness is work-related.

Importantly, the bill also contains provisions designed to reduce delays in injured workers receiving needed treatment, and physicians being paid for delivering this care:

  • With regard to the list of pre-authorized procedures required to be maintained by the WCB, a new provision is added to specify that the purpose of this pre-authorized procedures list is for “expediting authorization of treatment of injured  workers” and that it “shall not prohibit varied treatment when the treating  provider  demonstrates  the appropriateness and medical necessity of such treatment.”
  • Expressly prohibiting an employer,  carrier, or third-party  administrator  from attempting to interfere with the selection by the  injured  employee  of an authorized medical provider, including attempting to direct that the injured employee seek treatment from a specific provider or type of provider selected by the employer,  carrier, or third-party administrator.
  • Eliminating the 3-arbitrator panels for review of disputed medical bills, so that every dispute would only need to be reviewed by a single arbitrator in the same profession as the professional bringing the dispute (the arbitrator can continue to be a physician recommended by MSSNY).

Moreover, unlike some previous versions, the budget provision preserves the historical role of the county medical societies to provide to the WCB peer review of physician applications to participate in the Workers’ Compensation program.  It also preserves language that permits a county medical society to designate another county medical society to perform this function on its behalf.  While it reduces from 60 to 45 days the time to review these applications and to make a recommendation to the WCB, it starts the clock upon receipt of a “completed and signed” participation application. The new provisions will take effect January 1, 2020.  There will likely be follow up communications from the WCB regarding how these provisions will be implemented.                                                                      (AUSTER, AVELLA)


Women Matters HOD Seminar


NY State Education and Health Departments Meet with MSSNY on Student Health Form, Progress Being Made
Progress is being made on efforts to reduce some of the hassles physicians have identified with the new student health form. Staff from the New York State Education Department (SED) and the Department of Health met this week with MSSNY physicians and physicians representing the NY Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to discuss revising this form.   This was the second meeting of MSSNY and AAP NY with SED on the school health form.  At this meeting information was provided by staff from SED and DOH indicated that both departments were amenable to the following:

  • All school health forms data would need to be in the same order (yet to be determined), thereby allowing various EHR systems to generate the form instead of having to force a mandated form into the EHR system. There was also discussion about MSSNY and AAP reaching out to physicians about whether their systems would allow for formatting in the designated order.
  • The use of ICD codes would be optional, but would remain on the form
  • An explanation of the heart rate and respiratory rate to recognize congenital heart disease would be placed in the SED cover sheet explaining how the form is to be filled out
  • The last lead level at ages 1 and 2 and whether it was greater than 10 would be identified if known
  • There was also discussion about another school year delay in use of the form until a cover sheet and a final format for the form has been agreed upon.
  • There will be an implementation plan once format and cover sheet is agreed upon.

In 2016, the Board of Regents adopted amendments to the form that required physicians and other providers to use.  However, physicians indicated that the revised form was problematic for complying with their EHR systems.   In September, MSSNY and AAP physicians were able to delay implementation of the form for the 2018-19 school year and SED issued the following letter to schools:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/documents/HealthRequirements.pdf
Joseph Sellers, MD, incoming Vice President for the Medical Society, moderated the meeting and Gail Schonfeld, MD, from the NYS Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics was also in attendance.  Dr. Schonfeld has been working closing with SED to make the health form compatible to EHR systems.   Additional meetings are planned  over the next several months. (CLANCY, AUSTER)


Assembly Passes Measure to Standardize Credentialing and Referrals
Assemblymember Richard Gottfried’s A.3077 passed the Assembly on Tuesday and Senator Julia Salazar’s companion S.4335 is currently in the Senate Health Committee awaiting action. If enacted, the policy would require the creation and use of uniform credentialing, re-credentialing and referral forms for physicians and other providers to use for the purposes of applying for and being maintained on a health care plan’s provider panel and hospital’s staff. The intent of this legislation, which is supported by MSSNY, is to streamline administrative processes, reducing the time physicians and their staff spend on the paperwork and administrative tasks necessary to obtain and maintain participation in an insurer’s network and to refer patients to a specialist.

During credentialing, physicians present documentation of their professional privileges, licensure, evidence of malpractice insurance and malpractice history to such health care plan or hospital for their review.  While many use a shared system, there are still situations where insurers use different forms and methods for credentialing and referrals. A uniform method, created with collaboration from all stakeholders would reduce redundancies and would alleviate some of the cumbersome burdens on physicians and their staff.

For more information, you can watch the Assembly debate at the 01:49:49 mark here.      (AVELLA)


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SED Issues Emergency Regulations to Allow Nurses to Provide Immunizations Under a Non-Patient Specific Script Due to Measles Outbreak
In light of the measles outbreak in New York State, the State Education Department has issued emergency regulations giving nurses authority to provide immunizations pursuant to a written non-patient specific order and protocol prescribed or ordered by a licensed physician or a certified nurse practitioner.  The nurse needs to be certified in CPR and ensure that anaphylactic agents, syringes and needles are available at the location whether the immunizing agents are being administered.   Currently there a two major measles outbreaks in New York State communities with very low vaccination rates. Thus, it is critical to make such vaccines available to as many children and infants as possible to protect them from this disease. According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious virus.  The emergency regulations expand access to seasonal influenza and measles vaccines for infants, children and adults effective beginning with the current influenza season and measles outbreaks.

The amendment will authorize more registered professional nurses to immunize infants, children and adults against additional infectious diseases, in accordance with current recommendations from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The emergency rule is set to expire on June 9, 2019 but it is anticipated that the amendment will be presented to the Board of Regents at its regular July meeting for adoption into the normal regulatory process.  A copy of the emergency regulations can be found on page 12 here.                                                                                (CLANCY)


New York AG’s Office Releases Report Detailing Health Care Bureau Intervention in 2018
The New York Attorney General’s Health Care Bureau released a report summarizing the results of its Health Care hotline from 2018.  Specifically, the report noted that the hotline handled nearly 2,000 consumer complaints and another 2,400 were referred to other agencies with appropriate jurisdiction.

Among the notable cases in the report where AG intervention led to a positive result for the patient:

  • A reversal of an insurer Medical Necessity denial for coverage for an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”) medication;
  • A reversal of a denial of coverage for an anti-cancer drug;
  • A Health Plan incorrectly processed coverage for fertility treatments as an Out-of-Network Benefit.
  • A health plan error delays payment for Emergency Surgery.
  • A health plan delay in updating credentials leads to incorrect claim processing
  • An In-Network Ambulance provider improperly bills a consumer
  • A physician improperly coded a “preventive” colonoscopy as “diagnostic”.

Specifically, the report noted that, among the complaints:

  • 41% were related to Provider billing;
  • 15% were related to health plan claim processing/payment complaints, which include health plan mistakes in preparing, processing, or paying claims;
  • 13% were related to health plan denials of care or coverage, such as denials based on the treatment not being “medically necessary” or the care provided not being a covered benefit;
  • 10% were related to misleading advertising and other business deceptions;
  • 9% were related to problems obtaining and keeping health insurance coverage, including helping 216 consumers in having their health insurance coverage re-instated;

6% were related to problems accessing prescription medications.                       (AUSTER)   


Expedited Partner Therapy Bill Passes Both Houses
The New York State Legislature has passed a measure supported by MSSNY that would allow for expedited partner therapy (EPT) for sexually transmitted infections.    A. 2988/S.1799, sponsored by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Senator Gustavo Rivera, would allow EPT when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend it for the sexual partner or partners of someone having been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.   EPT is currently used for the treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis and gonorrhea.   EPT has been shown to be highly effective in decreasing infections rates with STIs.  In 2013, the Medical Society of the State of New York House of Delegates passed policy supporting the use of EPT.   The measure will now go to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his approval. (CLANCY)


Association Health Plan Ruling Struck Down in Federal Court
Federal District Court Judge John D. Bates issued a decision this week that struck down a United States Labor Department rule that would have expanded access to Association Health Plans (AHPs) – insurance plans for covering the employees of independent employers that would not be required to conform to ACA mandates, such as essential benefits coverage requirements and annual and lifetime limits. MSSNY and the American Medical Association had joined the New York Attorney General as an amicus to the successful lawsuit that was filed by a group of attorneys general representing 11 states plus Washington, DC. The lawsuit contended that the administration’s ruling violated Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) provisions.

In December, MSSNY President Dr. Thomas Madejski had given the following statement supporting the concept of the AHP rule while also raising strong concerns: “MSSNY supports efforts to expand the availability of health insurance through a wide variety of options, including through increased options for employers to band together to obtain insurance coverage for their employees.  However, we are concerned that these AHP plans authorized in the federal proposal would not be subject to state regulation and enforcement, which could make it difficult to ensure that patients receive coverage for the care they need and physicians to be timely paid for providing this care.”                       (AVELLA, AUSTER)


Measles Outbreak in New York State Continues: Measles Educational Programs Available Online at MSSNY CME Website
The measles outbreak in New York State continues to be one of the worst in recent history.  There have been extreme measures taken in Rockland County where, according to the New York Times, only an estimated 72.9% of the population is vaccinated.  Since October of 2018, there have been 214 confirmed measles cases in the lower Hudson Valley and New York City.  MSSNY conducted a just-in-time Medical Matters webinar entitled “The Continued Public Health Threat of Measles 2018” in December.  This webinar is available at the MSSNY CME website.  Also be sure to check out The Importance of Herd Immunity, another Medical Matters program that is pertinent to the current measles outbreak.  Please check it out and keep yourself informed about the ongoing measles outbreak in New York State.  You can also have patients listen to MSSNY’s brief podcast on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine at: Click here.                                   (HOFFMAN)


MSSNY CME WEBINAR
Health Matters for Women on Endometriosis Webinar To Be Held April 23. 

The Medical Society of the State of New York is proud to announce a live continuing medical education (CME) webinar on a women’s health topic entitled “Health Matters for Women: Endometriosis” on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM for all physicians and other health care providers. To pre-register for “Health Matters for Women: Endometriosis,” please click here.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019
Faculty: Lisa Eng, DO

Educational Objectives:

  • Review potential causes of pelvic pain and discuss how to identify endometriosis
  • Discuss the benefits and risks as well as the efficacy and limitations of available medical therapies for long-term treatment of endometriosis
  • Discuss implementation of individualized endometriosis treatment plans and options

The Medical Society for 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 credit TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

(ULUKAYA)                                                                                   


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CME at MSSNY 2019 House of Delegates
MSSNY is proudly offering the following CME seminars at the 2019 House of Delegates in Tarrytown on Thursday April 11th and Friday April 12th:

Thursday April 11th 1:00-2:00pm:

Medical Matters: What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious DiseasesRegister here

Faculty: William Valenti, MD

Educational Objectives:

Identify the modes of transmission of infectious agents

Discuss presumptive treatment of infectious diseases in advance of diagnostic testing results

Describe two scenarios and review questions and answers 

Thursday April 11th 2:00-3:00pm:

Veterans Matters: The Special Mental Health Needs of Women VeteransRegister here

Faculty: Malene Ingram, MD, Lt. Col. US Army Reserves

Educational Objectives:

Review how the increased role of women in the military has impacted their mental health

Describe mental health concerns unique to women veterans and how to identify and treat them

Identify the barriers that women veterans face in getting the specific care they need

Friday April 12th 1:00-2:00pm

Health Matters for Women: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and FibromyalgiaRegister here

Faculty: Florence Shum, DO

Educational Objectives:

Review potential causes of chronic diffused pain and fatigue

Discuss how to accurately diagnose fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis

Discuss treatment options for fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis

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 creditsä.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Friday April 12th 2:00-4:00pm

Improving Maternal Mortality Trends in New York State – Seminar and Panel Discussion – Register here

Faculty: Linda Clark, MD, Lisa Eng, MD, Kenyani Davis, MD & Lauren Tobias, Director, Division of Family Health, NYS DOH

Educational Objectives:

Review maternal mortality trends in NYS

Examine racial disparities around maternal morbidity and mortality

Identify potential practice models to improve patient outcomes 

Friday April 12th 4:00 – 6:00 PM

Physician Wellness: Moving from Resilience to System Culture ChangeRegister here

Faculty: Arthur Hengerer, MD, Maria Basile, MD, Brian White, MD

Educational Objectives:

Understand the impact of organizational attempts to address physician stress

Envision large-scale changes in our health care system that can protect against physician burnout

Participate in needs assessment for institutional intervention strategies

Review survey tools to help measure the health of medical staffs

Identify and prioritize actionable strategies for institutional wellness

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 2.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 creditsä.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Registration Now Open for Medical Matters webinar on April 17, 2019 @ 7:30am

What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious DiseasesRegister here

Be sure to register for the next Medical Matters interactive webinar, What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious Diseases  This program will include interactive components for participants.  You will be asked to answer questions about a case and discussion will follow.  Find out if you’re fully prepared to diagnose and treat an infectious disease.

Faculty: William Valenti, MD

Educational Objectives:

Identify the modes of transmission of infectious agents

Discuss presumptive treatment of infectious diseases in advance of diagnostic testing results

Describe two scenarios and review questions and answers

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 creditsä.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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NYS DOH Launches Prevention Agenda Website for 2019-2024
The NYS Department of Health has launched its prevention agenda for 2019-2024 and has announced the creation of a new website.  The Prevention Agenda 2019-2024 is the state’s health improvement plan and it is designed to improve the health of New Yorkers.  The Prevention Agenda was developed in cooperation with various stakeholders, including the Medical Society of the State of New York.   This is the third cycle for this statewide plan and MSSNY has been involved since 2008.   The agenda includes five major health areas that include:  1) Prevention of Chronic Diseases 2) Promotion of Healthy and Safe Environment 3) Promotion of Health Women, Infants and Children 4) Promotion of Well-being and Prevention of Mental and Substance Use Disorders 5) Prevention of Communicable Diseases.  A copy of the plan is here and a copy of the goals are here.

MSSNY physicians are encouraged to contact their county health department to determine what the local health goals are the localities and to discuss way that they may engage patients to help improve health.   The DOH Prevention agenda website is here.           (CLANCY)


Senate Finance Committee Moves Purchase Age For Tobacco to the Senate Floor
The NYS Senate Finance Committee has approved and move to the Senate Floor legislation that would increase the purchase age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age.  The measure, S. 2833/A.558, sponsored by Senator Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, has already passed the NYS Assembly.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has also made passage of increasing the purchase age to 21 a priority within in the context of his state budget.  The Medical Society of the State of New York supports this measure.                                                                                                                 (CLANCY)


 

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For more information relating to any of the above articles, please contact the appropriate contributing staff member at the following email addresses:

pschuh@mssny.org mauster@mssny.org  pclancy@mssny.org  mavella@mssny.org
charring@mssny.org

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Zocdoc Pricing Change; DOH Says Change is Not Illegal nor is It Fee Splitting
At the request of MSSNY, our General Counsel, Garfunkel Wild, P.C., met with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to discuss DOH’s opinion concerning Zocdoc’s new pricing model scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2019.

DOH had issued an opinion that Zocdoc’s change in pricing model from charging  customers a flat annual fee, to a reduced annual fee with per booking fees based on physician specialty, does not constitute an illegal referral business or fee splitting under New York law. After that meeting, DOH advised Garfunkel Wild that DOH’s opinion is still valid.

Zocdoc previously advised that it was also seeking guidance on its new pricing model from the federal government. To date, Zocdoc has not advised us that it has received such guidance.

However, Zocdoc had previously advised that it has modified its electronic scheduling platform to not accept appointment requests from patients who self-identify as Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. Whether to participate with Zocdoc under its new pricing model remains a business decision for physicians and their practices.  Any MSSNY member who requires specific guidance or has questions should contact MSSNY for further information.


Anthem Accused of Sending Checks to Patients to Force Providers in Network
San Clemente, Calif.-based Sovereign Health is suing Anthem and its Blue Cross entities for sending more than $1.3 million in payments to patients that is allegedly owed to facilities that treated them, according to CNN.

Three things to know:

  1. The lawsuit alleges Anthem is sending payments directly to patients after they seek out-of-network care to pressure providers into joining its network and accepting lower reimbursement, according to the report.
  2. The patients are supposed to send the money to providers, but some patients don’t. Arthur Caplan, PhD, director of medical ethics for New York University’s School of Medicine, told CNN it is “insane” to send reimbursement directly to patients. “I’m enormously surprised that anyone would think this is a doable approach,” he said.
  3. In court filings, Anthem does not dispute that checks are given to patients in some cases for out-of-network care. The insurer argues Sovereign Health’s lawsuit should be dismissed for lack of legal standing. The insurer also argues previous court decisions determined anti-assignment clauses that allow for payments to patients are legal, according to CNN. Becker’s Hospital Review 3/4)

Access the full CNN article here.


AMA: No Meaningful Progress on Prior Authorization
The majority of health plans aren’t “making meaningful progress” on prior authorization reforms, according to a physician survey released by the American Medical Association.

The survey took place in December 2018 and included responses from 1,000 physicians on their experience with prior authorization.
Five key takeaways from the survey:

  1. Just 8 percent of physicians said they work with a health plan that allows some providers to be exempt from prior authorization requirements.
  2. Phone and fax are still the most commonly used methods for prior authorization, according to the physicians. Only 21 percent of physicians said their EHR system completes electronic prior authorization for prescription medications.
  3. Most physicians (88 percent) said the number of drugs that require prior authorization has increased. Eighty-six percent said the same about the number of services requiring prior approval.
  4. Nearly 7 in 10 physicians said they find it difficult to determine if a prescription or medical service requires prior authorization.
  5. Eighty-five percent of physicians said prior approval processes interfere with care continuity.

Register Today for MLMIC’s Risk Management Program – April 11th in Tarrytown
April 11, 2019 at 9:00am
Westchester Marriott Hotel
670 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591

MLMIC is pleased to invite you to attend its Risk Management Program on Thursday morning, April 11, 2019, at the Westchester Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown, New York. The program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

This year’s program will address several topics including Top Risks of the Office Practice Setting, Effective Coordination of Hospitalist Care, and High Exposure Liability Cases.

Attendance at this complimentary educational event will enable physicians to earn 3.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits and provide the opportunity to complete a second component of the program online, at their convenience, to:

  • Earn additional CME credits;
  • Secure a 5% premium credit on their primary insurance policy, and
  • Qualify for participation in the “free” Section 18 excess medical malpractice insurance program.

There is no charge to attend however, pre-registration is required.

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY
Click on the link below to register
www.mlmic.com/2019RMProgram


A Conversation with Assemblyman David Buchwald Friday, April 12 3-5pm in Tarrytown
All are welcome to come learn about the importance of getting involved in physician grassroots advocacy and effective messaging from local Assemblymember David Buchwald representing parts of Westchester County. Assemblymember Buchwald worked to bring ethics reform to Albany through amending the NYS Constitution to include pension forfeiture for public officials convicted of corruption.  Experienced politically active physicians will discuss the many tools MSSNY offers physicians to assist them in engaging in strategic community and state-wide advocacy efforts on behalf of their patients and for the profession of medicine in New York State.  For as long as you will be a physician, local community involvement and grassroots advocacy on behalf of your patients and your profession will be essential.  Event is free to MSSNYPAC members. Download flyer.  Join online at www.mssnypac.org/contribute or donate at the event. RSVP to mssnypac@mssny.org.


CVS Asks 60 Drugmakers to Suspend Drug Price Hikes
CVS Health sent letters to 60 drugmakers asking them not to increase the net costs of their drugs in response to a proposed rule that would overhaul the rebate system, according to an Inside Drug Pricing news report. HHS proposed a rule Jan. 31 that would eliminate rebates — the discounts drugmakers pay to pharmacy benefit managers. The rebate ban, which is expected to be finalized before health plans’ deadline to submit 2020 Medicare bids in three months, would cut profits for PBMs and health insurers.

The ban also would make it hard for insurers to accurately set Medicare Part D premiums.

Medicare plans rely on drugmakers’ existing prices to design plans for the upcoming year, and they would need to redesign those plans if drugmakers increased drug prices.

Rebates also been have been used to keep insurance premiums low, but if rebates are instead passed along to patients at the pharmacy counter, patient premiums could go up.

HHS officials said health plans will do all they can to keep these increases as small as possible.

“In the best possible scenario, this would give the Part D Plans just 26 days to adjust their bids in response to any final rule,” CVS said in a letter to drugmakers, according to Inside Drug Pricing. “We require assurances that, regardless of the issuance of any final rule, you will, at a minimum, honor the financial value of your current offer and continue to provide to the Part D plans the same or lower net effective drug price for calendar year 2020.”


Sign Up for CME Courses at the Westchester Marriott April 11-12
The following is a list of CME courses that will be presented at the Westchester Marriott

You don’t want to miss these! REGISTER NOW at sbennett@mssny.org

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019, 3:00 – 4:00 pm, Grand Ballroom D/E, Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown

Protect Your Patients, Your Practice, and You!*

Join us at the OMSS Annual Meeting for an interactive presentation by Garfunkel Wild on MEDICAL RECORDS, including the impact on records of the controlled substances “epidemic,” what to consider when emailing and texting, dealing with non-compliant patients, additional areas of exposure from EMRs, and what to include in a telemedicine record.

Business meeting to follow, 4:00 – 6:00, Putnam Room

  • Friday, April 12, 2019, 5:00 – 6:30 pm, Grand Ballroom B, Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown 

Women in Medicine: Reaching Your Potential Now!**

A panel presentation at the Women Physicians Caucus on PAY, PROMOTIONS and CAREER ADVANCEMENT in Academic Medicine, Private Practice and Organized Medicine

Gender imbalance in medicine and academic sciences still exists. Hear three women physicians who have achieved significant leadership positions describe their own pathways, provide advice on how to achieve success, and show how to overcome gender bias, gender pay gaps and system-wide barriers to career advancement. Learn how to achieve success in your career!

* The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) 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. 

** The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) 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 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Calling All IMGs! Symposium on April 18 at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx
Essen Health Care will host an IMG Symposium on April 18 from 5-8 pm at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. MSSNY member Parag Mehta, MD, Senior Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine at NYP Brooklyn Methodist Hospital will speak about Pre-Residency Preparation. Other topics include Residency Application and Interview Tips, Primary Care Pathway and Externship Opportunities. RSVP at internship@essenmd.com or by calling 646.876.0141. Click here for more information on the symposium.


MSSNY Officer/ Psychiatrist Speaks About Negative Consequences of Marijuana
WNYC-FM New York (3/25) reported on its website that while New York’s Democrat leaders are pushing to legalize marijuana, opposition appears to be growing. Critics of legalization concede that how the drug is “policed and prosecuted” should change, but also argue that proponents of legalization are ignoring the risks of the drug. For example, Dr. Frank Dowling, a psychiatrist in Long Island, and MSSNY Secretary said, “The consensus is that using marijuana regularly does alter areas of the brain that are involved in cognition and thought processes in memory and learning. And the long-term usage, especially as a teen or young adult, can lead to long-term cognitive issues, even if someone stops using later on in life.”


CMS Annual Survey for Medicare Contractors
CMS is once again conducting their annual survey of Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) performance and requesting feedback from the provider community we serve through the MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MSI).The MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MSI) is the best way to share your opinions of our service directly with the CMS. This survey should only take 10 minutes of your time and helps us understand how we can better serve you. To take the survey, click on the URL below:

Jurisdiction K (JK) providers may access the survey by clicking here:

2019 Jurisdiction K MSI Survey


Dr. Anthony P. Santomauro, 89, Former Chief Surgeon at Kenmore Mercy Hospital
Dr. Anthony Patrick Santomauro, retired chief surgeon at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, died March 2 in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., where he had lived for the past 20 years. He was 89. Born in Buffalo, the son of longtime Buffalo restaurateur Anthony V. Santomauro, he was a 1947 graduate of Amherst High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University in Ohio and his medical degree from the University at Buffalo.

A vascular surgeon, Dr. Santomauro joined the staff at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in 1963 and retired with emeritus status in 1995. He was president of the hospital’s medical staff in 1977. He also practiced at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda.

Active in the Medical State Society of New York, he was a former member of its executive board and for seven years was an MSSNY delegate to the American Medical Association. He had been an officer in the MSSNY Political Action Committee since 1993 and served for 14 years as chairman. He was past president of the Erie County Medical Society and the Buffalo Surgical Society.  Survivors include four daughters, Melissa Rush, Mary Pilat, Karen Albert and Susan; a son, James A; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Leslie Ann, died in November. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. May 11 in the UB Newman Center, 495 Skinnersville Road, Amherst.


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RENTAL/LEASING SPACE


Bronx Physician’s Office for Sale or Lease
Physician’s running office fully equipped for sale or lease. Effective immediately, retiring, Bronx, near Einstein Hospital, near subway. Call 914-882 3797 / shiva381@yahoo.com


Park Avenue Medical Office for Sale
On Park Ave, for sale is a large medical office, in a beautiful full service co-op with two entrances, one of which is an impressive doorman in lobby entrance.The office has high ceilings, easily adaptable to any specialty and priced to sell. Three good size rooms easily converted to five exams, plus consult, bathroom, reception and large waiting room. Outstanding location. A must see. View floorplan http://ow.ly/kKOI30o6MjI. Call Jeff Tanenbaum,  646-234-2226 or email jtanenbaum@halstead.com for showings and more information.


Fully Renovated Office Space for Part-Time Lease in Hauppauge
Available Tuesdays/Fridays, $450 half session, $750 full session. Elegant office space, beautiful waiting room with new stone and granite reception desk, custom molding, large windows, abundant natural light, TV, and refreshment counter.  Four new exam rooms and dictation room.  New stainless and granite kitchenette.  State-of-the-art network infrastructure meets HIPPA & PCI DSS compliance standards.  Digital X-ray room with PACS in each exam room available as an option.  Located in close proximity to LIE, Northern State Pkwy, and Vets Memorial Hwy. Contact us at (631) 486-8855;  Please see our listing: https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/517-Route-111-Hauppauge-NY/15298633/


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. $1250 for four days a month. Available full or part-time. 212.371.0468drdese@gmail.com.


5th Ave Medical Office for Share
Facing Central Park in exclusive building, ground floor, separate entrance.
Perfect for psychiatrist, physiatrist, osteopath, or other.
880 5th Avenue (between 69th and 70th Sts.), New York, N.Y.
Please call 917-715-2464


Rare Find — Great Office Share
Wonderful office share in terrific location at great price. Available Monday, Wednesday, Friday and weekends. Choice of smaller windowed consultation room with adjoining exam room or big windowed consultation room with one or two exam rooms. Beautiful bright rooms, lovely reception area and front . First-rate building on 58th Street between Park and Lexington. Rent by day (about $180). Front desk and office management available if needed, along with many other amenities, including internet, ultrasound, EMG Kitchen, optional C Arm. Willing to make changes for new tenant. Call 646-642-0700.


Are You Trying to Lease Your Medical Office or Sell Your Medical Practice? Trying to Sell New or Used Medical Equipment?
Clineeds, the new online platform designed for medical providers. With Clineeds you can lease your medical officeshared your office spacebuy and sell used medical equipment, or post healthcare job opportunities. LISTING IS FREE! Why wait? Click here to sign-up: www.clineeds.com/sign-up

PHYSICIAN OPPORTUNITIES

Seeking Executive Director of the Onondaga County Medical Society
Concept:
 An exciting opportunity for the right person to provide leadership for physicians Salary: Commensurate with experience Job Description: Direct day-to-day operations of the Onondaga County Medical Society Some evening meetings, travel required. RequirementsExperience with leading political advocacy; political sophistication. Must know how to interface with government officials. Good networking and communication skills. Conversant with budgets and finance. Excellent media relations skills, including electronic, social media, and written communications. Familiar with medical issues and comfortable discussing them. Education: BA/BS required.  MPH or MBA desirable. We expect innovation and project initiation. The Executive Director will receive a contract that increases remuneration commensurate with membership growth. Application Instructions: Please direct your application to: Dr. Brian Johnson, johnsonb@upstate.edu.


Nurse, RN Utilization Review Full-Time-Westbury, NY (In-office position only)
Excellent opportunity for a RN who is seeking a position performing utilization review.  We require 1-2 years recent experience in hospital and/or insurer utilization review and experience using Interqual criteria and/or MCG Guidelines. Data entry/PC skills a plus. Benefits include 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Send resume and salary requirements to: Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation, Inc. Human Resource Department e-mail: chunt@mssny.org  Fax: (1-516) 833-4760 Equal Oppty Employer M/F


Pediatrician BC, P/T
Seeking motivated, enthusiastic pediatrician for P/T position in solo practice in Long Island. Coverage will increase over time. Great opportunity for those seeking part time hours in an established practice.   Fax resume to 516-858-2389.


Physician Wanted to Help Shape the Future of Primary Care
98point6 is a healthcare technology company committed to delivering more affordable, accessible, high-quality primary care. To support our mission, the insights of forward-thinking physicians like you are invaluable. Members of our exclusive Primary Care Council have no clinical responsibilities and are generally compensated for participation, which requires only a few hours per year.

Interested? Learn more and apply today at www.98point6.com/pcc


CALL FOR RATES & INFO. CHRISTINA SOUTHARD: 516-488-6100 ext. 355

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New York is the Worst State in the Country to be a Physician According to Wallet Hub’s 2019 Report


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

New York is the Worst State in the Country to be a Physician According to Wallet Hub’s 2019 Report

March 27, 2019, Westbury, NY— As National Doctor’s Day approaches on March 30, the fact that New York has once again received the dubious distinction as the worst state in country to be a physician should be an embarrassment for our great state that has a reputation for having a world class health care system.

“Whether it’s our exorbitant and crushing medical liability insurance costs, having among the lowest Medicaid fee schedules in the country, or the excessive amount of mandates placed on physicians delivering care to their patients, it is becoming increasingly difficult for physicians to remain in practice here to provide needed patient care,” said Dr. Thomas Madejski, President of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

New York continues to lose a majority of the resident physicians that are trained in the state, in part due to this challenging practice environment.

“It is critical that our policymakers take steps to improve this environment, which include efforts to reduce our administrative burdens in delivering patient care and to bring down the cost of liability insurance,” said Dr. Madejski. “One such critically important measure would grant independent practice physicians the ability to collectively negotiate with insurers to reduce excessive administrative burdens. Policymakers should take actions to eliminate the hostile environment in which New York physicians practice.”

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Four State Medical Society Presidents: No, No, No, No to Recreational Marijuana


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

March 22, 2019
For Immediate Release

Four State Medical Society Presidents: No, No, No, No to Recreational Marijuana

March 22, 2019—We, the undersigned, as presidents of our state medical societies, have joined together to express our mutual opposition regarding our states’ approval of any policies that legalize recreational marijuana.

We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults.

Most importantly, not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe.  We must look at the potential effect legalization will have on overall use and significant harms, including impaired driving and accidents, creation and worsening of severe mental health issues, and negative impacts on developing minds.  We also must look at the data from other states where there has been an increase in teen usage and an increase in car accidents.  The huge increase in teen vaping causes great concern and it is very possible that we will have a similar situation with legalized marijuana.  We need to learn the lessons from history to ensure that any legalized marijuana product does not become the Big Tobacco of the 21st Century.

States that are rushing towards legalization of recreational marijuana are ignoring how profit-driven corporations hooked generations of Americans on cigarettes and opioids, killing millions and straining public resources.

We are in full agreement that calls for a rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II classification. As a Schedule II drug, government funding can be sought for necessary research that clearly defines the positive and negative elements of marijuana use. When we have the science, we can make a qualified and quantified decisions about legalization.

To date, ten states have legalized recreational marijuana. Let’s stop the tide now.

While we are cognizant of the legal inequity that is all too often attached to marijuana use, we agree with the AMA that public-health-based strategies are a better solution than either the old commitment to incarceration or this new attempt to dodge the problem through legalization.  We must keep patients first and ahead of profits and taxable revenue.

As physician leaders, we agree, as one voice, that the legalization of recreational marijuana does not serve the best interests of our patients nor will it serve the best interest of our states.

Thomas J. Madejski, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

John W. Poole, MD
President, Medical Society of New Jersey 

Claudia B. Gruss, MD
President, Connecticut State Medical Society 

Andrew W. Dahlke, MD
President, Medical Society of Delaware

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
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

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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