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

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Colleagues:

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

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

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

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

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

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


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

Step One: Register for the Immunization Information System

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

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

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

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

Step Two: Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program

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

Step Three: Ordering, Receiving, and Administering Vaccine

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


 

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REGISTER NOW

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

Educational objectives are:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Register by clicking here

The educational objectives are:

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

Please click here to view the flyer for this program.

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

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

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


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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

Panel 1: 9:15 – 10:10 am.

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

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

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

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

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

Panel 2: 10:30 – 11:20 am.

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

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

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

Invited Legislators: Senator Brooks, Assemblywoman Barrett

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Classifieds

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

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

Upper East Side Office for Rent

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: November 20, 2020 – I Am Thankful


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Colleagues:

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

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

Here is information that you will need concerning the process:

Information for Private Practicing Physicians Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine 

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

Step One — Register for the Immunization Information System

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program

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

Step 3 Ordering, Receiving and Administering Vaccine

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

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

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

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

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

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President


MSSNY in the news this week:

Also ran in:


MSSNY Weekly Podcast


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Gov. Cuomo’s Press Conference Last Night

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

To place an order: 

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

  • Order deadline:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

For the 91300 product code, providers would report:

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

For the 91301 product code, providers would report:

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

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


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

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

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

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


Phil Schuh MSSNY CEO

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

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

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


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

Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Application & COVID-19

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

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

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

Learn more in the 2020 Exceptions Applications Fact Sheet.

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

MIPS Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exceptions

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

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

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

How do I Apply?

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

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

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

For More Information

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


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

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

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

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

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

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

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

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

MSSNY’s Peer to Peer (P2P) Program

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

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

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

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


Registration Now Open 
Veterans Healthcare Training Conference
Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative: ½ Day Virtual Conference
Saturday, December 5th @ 8:30 am – 11:30 am
.

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

Panel 1: 9:15 – 10:10 am.

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

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

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

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

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

Panel 2: 10:30 – 11:20 am.

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

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

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

Invited Legislators: Senator Brooks, Assemblywoman Barrett

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Educational Objectives are:

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space         


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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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


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

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

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


 

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Bi-Weekly Call
Please join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, November 19th at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM for a COVID-19 update for healthcare providers.

To accommodate the large number of participants, find our webinar streaming via YouTube Live (and available for viewing immediately thereafter) on the NYSDOH COVID website for providers: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/weekly-healthcare-provider-update

Audio number and code: 844-512-2950 Access code 7359106#

REGISTER NOW

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

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

Register here.

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

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

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




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

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

Educational Objectives are:

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

Upper East Side Office for Rent

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Colleagues:

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

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

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

Second Wave

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

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

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

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

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


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

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

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

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


Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call

COVID:

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

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

Q&A:

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


REGISTER NOW

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

Learn more about the COVID-19 timeline, best practices, and adaptive measures.  Register now for: “COVID-19: Stories from the Frontlineon Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, vice-chair of MSSNY Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here

Educational objectives are:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

Register here.

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

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

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




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

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

Educational Objectives are:

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

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

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

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

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


 

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Classifieds

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

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

Upper East Side Office for Rent

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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Colleagues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


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

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

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

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

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


Updated PPE Survey for Physicians

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

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

Please take just a few minutes to complete the survey.


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


Council Notes-November 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

MSSNY is seeking volunteer peer supporters!

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

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

Upcoming Peer to Peer training

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

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

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

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

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


MSSNY in the News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

On Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM vice chair of MSSNY Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.

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

Educational objectives are:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

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

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

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


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

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


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Classifieds

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

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

Upper East Side Office for Rent

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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: November 4, 2020 – COVID-19 Stories from the Frontline

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Gov. Provides Flexibility for Physicians to Report COVID/Flu Test Results
Governor Cuomo’s latest Executive Order issued Tuesday night importantly contains a provision providing greater flexibility to physicians and other professionals to report positive and negative COVID-19 and influenza tests to the NYS Department of Health.  Physicians and labs will now be required to report these test results within 24 hours of receipt rather than 3 hours, as had previously been required in a September 21 notice from the NYS Commissioner of Health.

MSSNY together with the pediatric, family physician, internal medicine, emergency medicine and urgent care associations had strongly advocated for the Commissioner and Governor’s office to provide this additional flexibility.


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

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

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

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


NY Legislative Election Results Still Being Tabulated but Seat Flips Likely
With tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted within many legislative races across the State, after Tuesday’s election, Republicans stood a chance to pick up several seats in the New York State Senate to narrow the Democratic majority, currently at 40-23.  More on this here.

As of this writing, Republican candidates were winning in 7 Senate districts currently held by Democrats, including districts in Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Hudson Valley.  On the other hand, Democrats were winning in 3 Senate districts currently held by Republicans in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.  There are also other competitive Senate races still too close to be called in Syracuse and the greater Capital District, where the number of outstanding ballots to be counted exceeds the difference in vote totals.

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

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

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of these races, there are likely to be dozens of new legislators in Albany next year, and we will need physicians to continue to work to educate these new lawmakers on the litany of issues physicians face in delivering care to their patients. Play stay tuned for further updates.


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About 20 Percent of New Yorkers Have Had COVID-19, Study Finds
While the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in New York City March 1, the virus was present as early as mid-February, and more than 1.7 million have been infected, according to a study published Nov. 3 in Nature. Researchers analyzed 10,691 blood plasma samples in weekly intervals between February and July from patients at New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System. After measuring antibodies from two groups, a positive control group from patients seeking urgent care at the health system’s emergency departments and a second group seeking routine care visits, they determined that at least 1.7 million New Yorkers have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 so far, with a 0.97 percent fatality rate — 10 times higher than the flu.

The positive control group, or “urgent care” group, included 4,101 samples and was meant to detect increasing infections in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19. The routine care group included 6,590 samples and was intended to represent the general population, since scheduled visits were not related to COVID-19.

Researchers said antibody presence increased in both groups at different rates, with the urgent care group seeing a sharp rise. Positive samples were detected as early as mid-February and leveled out around 20 percent across both groups after cases started to let up at the end of May. Antibody levels stabilized between May and July.

“We show that the infection rate was relatively high during the first wave in New York but is far from seroprevalence that might indicate herd immunity,” Florian Krammer, PhD, study author and vaccinology professor at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, said in a news release.  “Knowing the detailed dynamics of the seroprevalence shown in this study is important for modeling seroprevalence elsewhere in the country.”  (Becker’s Hospital Review, Nov.3)


US Sees Five Highest Days of COVID-19 Cases Leading Up to Election
The US recorded 91,530 new Covid-19 infections on the day many Americans cast their ballots, adding to a series of staggering case numbers reported within just the past week. The country’s five highest days of coronavirus cases have all been recorded since October 29, affirming experts’ warnings another surge is well underway and will only get worse.

The nationwide seven-day average of new daily cases now stands at about 86,363 — more than double what it was on September 4, data from Johns Hopkins University show.

And while doctors have stressed basic public health measures like masks and social distancing can turn things around, such measures remain a point of contention in some parts of the US.

As of Tuesday, at least 36 states reported more new cases in the last week versus the week prior, Johns Hopkins data show. And six states — Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania –reported their highest one-day COVID-19 case count Tuesday.


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Reminder: Upcoming MIPS Important Dates and Deadlines
CMS would like to remind clinicians of important upcoming Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) dates and deadlines:

  • December 31 – 2020 Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Applications Clinicians, groups, and virtual groups who believe they are eligible for these exceptions may apply, and if approved, will qualify for a re-weighting of one or more MIPS performance categories. CMS will notify applicants via email whether their requests are approved or denied. If approved, the exception will also be added to the QPP Participation Status Tool but may not appear in the tool until the submission window opens in 2021.
  • Note: CMS has proposed for the 2020 performance year to allow Alternative Payment Model (APM) Entities to submit Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances applications as a result of COVID-19. For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on Quality Payment Program participation, see the Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response webpage.
  • December 31 – 2021 virtual group election period closes. Solo practitioners and groups with 10 or fewer clinicians (including at least one MIPS eligible clinician) who want to participate in MIPS as a virtual group for the 2021 performance year must submit their election to CMS.
  • January 4, 2021 – 2020 MIPS performance year data submission window opens.
  • March 1, 2021 – Deadline for CMS to receive 2020 claims for the Quality performance category. Claims must be received by CMS within 60 days of the end of the performance period. Deadline dates vary to submit claims to the MACs. Check with the MACs for more specific instructions

Training for New Medical Treatment Guidelines Available
Training is available for the new Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs) that are to go into effect on January 1, 2021.

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

The Board has developed training for each of the MTGs to introduce health care providers to the new guidelines. Each training will provide an overview of the General Guideline Principles, conditions associated with the body part or disease, and treatment recommendations.

As an added benefit, there is opportunity to obtain complementary continuing medical education (CME) accreditation upon completion of each course. For those on your staff who would benefit from the training but do not need CME accreditation, training presentations are available as pdfs.

To register for the training courses and receive CME accreditation, go to MTG Training for CME Accreditation

For the non-CME training, go to Training for Non-medical and Administrative Staff

* Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder have been posted for a 60-day public comment period starting on October 21, 2020.  Training for these MTGs will be adjusted if needed based on the feedback received during the public comment period.

More Information

For more information, please visit the Board’s website or call (877) 632-4996. You can also email MTGTrainings@wcb.ny.gov..


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

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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

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

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

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


 

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Classifieds

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

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

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space         


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: October 30, 2020 – Good News: Hot Off the Presses

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Colleagues:

I am happy to report that the closing of this week brings some good news. 

Delay in Compliance Deadline for the Information Blocking Rule

Yesterday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced that it will be extending the deadline for compliance with the Information Blocking Rule, a provision of the 21st Century Cures Act.  Under the interim rule, providers won’t be required to come into compliance with the regulation’s information-blocking provisions until April 5, 2021. Compliance for conditions and maintenance of certification requirements related to application programming interface (API) will also go into effect in April 2021 while standardized API functionality won’t be required until December 2022. This extension is a direct result of advocacy by both MSSNY and the AMA who urged the ONC to give healthcare providers more time and flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Resources on the Information Blocking Rule and how to comply can be found through the AMA at:

MSSNY Awarded Scope of Practice Partnership Grant

The AMA Scope of Practice Partnership yesterday awarded our MSSNY a grant to help subsidize a campaign to defeat legislation in the New York State Legislature that would create complete independent practice for various non-physician practitioners while promoting the concept of maintaining physician-led team care.

Each of these non-physician groups believe that they will have a significant opportunity to achieve legislation to permit independent practice as a result of a Governor’s Executive Order issued this past March at the height of the Covid pandemic, and continued since then, to waive otherwise applicable statutory collaboration and/or supervision requirements.

Physicians very much value the enormous contributions of these non-physician professionals to helping ensure patients have access to needed care.  However, it is imperative to continue to ensure and enhance existing physician collaboration and/or oversight requirements. Physician led teams are the best vehicle to achieve the quadruple aim of providing better patient experience, better population health, lower overall costs and improved professional satisfaction. This grant will help EXPAND PUBLIC AWARENESS FOR our patients and our legislators of our concerns with legislation to “silo” the delivery of care away from a team-based system.

Happy Halloween–wishing you treats and no tricks.

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President


MSSNY Weekly Podcast


Appointments for MSSNY President, MSSNY Chief Counsel and VP of Public Health

  • Bonnie Litvack, MSSNY President, has been named by Governor Cuomo to the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force which has been established to guide the process of how the vaccine will be distributed and administered throughout NY State.
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  • Moe Auster, JD, MSSNY Senior Vice President and Chief Legislative Counsel, was appointed to the DFS Administrative Simplification workgroup. The state departments of Financial Services and Health on Tuesday announced that they had chosen 25 members for a new group aimed at reducing health care administrative costs. Members include leaders from insurers, health systems, and physician and advocacy groups across the state. The departments noted in announcing the list that, as a result of a recent change in New York law, they are required to convene to study and evaluate methods to reduce costs and complexities through standardization and technology. To help do so, the group will examine claims submission and attachments; preauthorization practices; provider credentialing; insurance eligibility verification; and access to electronic medical records, the departments said. The group will issue a report to the departments’ respective heads and the state Legislature in October 2021.
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  • Pat Clancy, MSSNY Vice President for Public Health and Education/Managing Director, has been asked by Department of Health to serve on the Operations Work group to the State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Planning—this group will identified as immunizers, distributors, vaccination priorities based on clinical guidance and any necessary training for providers.


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FBI Warns Imminent Cybercrime Threat to Hospital/Health Care Providers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and two federal agencies are warning of an “imminent cybercrime threat” to US hospitals and health care providers, noting that several hospitals across the country have already been hit. In a joint advisory, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said they have “credible information” that cybercriminals are taking new aim at health care providers and public health agencies as the COVID-19 pandemic reaches new heights. “Malicious cyber actors” may soon be planning to “infect systems with Ryuk ransomware for financial gain” on a scale not yet seen across the American healthcare system.

Hospitals, physician practices, and public health organizations should take “timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.” Malware targeting techniques often lead to “ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services.” The agencies recommend several mitigation steps and best practices for health care entities to take to reduce their risk, including the following:

  • Patch operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as manufacturers release updates.
  • Regularly change passwords to network systems and accounts and avoid reusing passwords for different accounts.
  • Use multi-factor authentication where possible.
  • Disallow use of personal email accounts
  • Disable unused remote access/Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) ports and monitor remote access/RDP logs.
  • Identify critical assets; create backups of these systems and house the backups offline from the network.
  • Set antivirus and anti-malware solutions to automatically update; conduct regular scans.

Note: The AMA and the American Hospital Association (AHA) have created two resources to help physicians and hospitals guard against cyber threats. Those resources and additional cyber security information can be found at the AMA’s cybersecurity webpage

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MSSNY Vice President Dr. Parag Mehta Shares His Personal Journey
with COVID-19
As a COVID-19 survivor, MSSNY’s Vice President Dr. Mehta has a unique perspective on the pandemic.  Here, he shares his reflections on COVID-19:

When the COVID 19 crisis/pandemic started:
I felt responsible
: I am in a leadership position at my institution and a member of a vibrant community. I felt responsible to take care of my patients and protect my team from a murky future., treatment or severity of COVID 19 and there was a scarcity of PPE.
I felt proud and grateful
: I am surrounded by compassionate people who showed exceptional courage and willingness to treat COVID 19 while risking their own lives. I am grateful to see their sacrifices, and willingness to help each other. I did not find any resistance from my residents or colleagues to help others, rather they came forward to help each other. If someone was sick, that person came right back to work as soon as he or she could.
I felt helpless: We all were ignorant of the havoc this disease would bring upon us and how to manage the havoc.  I witnessed ignorance and misuse/mishandling of resources: We were ignorant of the mode of transmission
I was tormented: my smiles became sorrow: I got COVID 19, my team members got COVID, and my family and many friends were infected while working. Several physicians, nurses, and family members became sick and we lost many souls. I was surrounded by pain, suffering, death, separation, anxiety, and uncertainty. I was tormented with this question “Why do people who tried to help others have to suffer?” I was looking for hope, healing, and health.
If you love someone say it now: I learned that to take care of the patient, we should comfort the family who cannot be with the patient. We need to connect people and the family virtually and spiritually. When I took care of many families and patients during times of illness and death, I learned if you love someone, say it now and often. Do not wait until it is too late.
Finding Peace: Forgiveness to self and all. Grateful for what we have. Practicing mindfulness and meditation. Going back into memory lane made me think how lucky I am and how blessed I am to have caring friends and family. Stay Positive.

Click here to view Dr. Mehta’s PowerPoint on his journey.


Medical Societies Concerned with State Governments’ Efforts to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
October 30, 2020, Westbury, NY— On behalf of the tens of thousands of physicians we represent, the medical societies of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are again joining together to express mutually shared concerns about state governments’ efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Legalization continues to present serious public health concerns.

Legalization continues to be considered across many states.  For example, New Jersey voters will consider legalization of cannabis through a ballot referendum on Election Day.  The New York State’s Governor’s office has announced that the legalization of recreational use marijuana will be again be part of the state’s 2021 budget proposal.

We appreciate the enormous challenges state policymakers face to address burgeoning budget deficits, but we strongly believe that further detailed research must be undertaken and assessed regarding the effects legalization of cannabis will have on important public health markers, such as emergency department visits and hospitalizations, impaired driving arrests, and the prevalence of psychiatric and addiction disorders. We are very concerned that the long-term public health costs associated with hospitalizations and treatment for psychiatric/addictive disorders could significantly outweigh any revenues that these states anticipate would be received from the legalization of cannabis.

Data shows that despite best efforts of states to limit the purchase of legal marijuana to adults, it has also led to a troubling increase in youth use. Overall use by youth aged 12-17 is up in “legal” states while declining in non-legal states, according to a uniform survey of marijuana use conducted by the federal government. The percentage of youth aged 12-17 using marijuana in states where marijuana is “legal” was 7.7%, versus 6.2% in non-legal states (NSDUH State Reports 2016-2017).  The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey of American Youth reported that between 2017 and 2018 the percentage of 8th and 10th graders who report “vaping” marijuana increased 63%.  And according to a 2019 report by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s toxicology reports, the percentage of adolescent suicide victims testing positive for marijuana continues to increase. Between 2011 and 2013, 20.7% of suicide victims between the ages of 10 and 19 tested positive for marijuana (compared with 12.7% who tested positive for alcohol). Between 2014-2016, 22.4% tested positive for marijuana (compared with 9.3% for alcohol) And, in Colorado, the annual rate of marijuana-related emergency department visits increased by 62% from 2012 to 2017 and marijuana-related poisoning hospitalization rates in Colorado rose by 143% from 2012 to 2017 (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 2019).

We are in the midst of a world-wide pandemic and we already know that smoking or vaping marijuana can increase patient risk for more severe complications from COVID-19.  Additionally, there are concerns about the secondary effects on adults and young people from COVID-19 regarding the increased rates of addiction due to the stress of isolation, boredom, and decreased access to recovery resources.

We further note that the American Medical Association has a recently updated position (H-95.924) that continues to assert that “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a serious public health concern,” that the sale of cannabis for recreational use should not be legalized and discourages its use—especially by persons vulnerable to the drug’s effects and in high-risk populations such as youth, pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding.  At the same time, our states continue to assert that the best step states can take to address the very real and legitimate concern regarding unfair enforcement of these laws is to remove criminal sanctions for small amounts of marijuana possession, and to ensure the availability of treatment for addiction.

The cost to the public health system from cannabis use will likely far outweigh any revenues that states secure by legalizing marijuana.

We must proceed cautiously and pay close attention to the public health impacts in states where legalization has occurred.


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MSSNY’s Medical Students Section Elects New Officers
Last Sunday, October 25, the medical student section elected the following students:

MSSNY Medical Student Section Councilor (April ’21 to April ’22)
Leanna Knight – University of Rochester School of Medicine

2021 MSSNY HOD – Medical Student Section Delegates
Eunice Choe – SUNY Upstate Medical University
Christian Coletta – NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jess Hubert – University of Rochester School of Medicine

2021 MSSNY HOD – Medical Student Section Alternate Delegates

Yung Chan – New York Medical College
Claire Choi – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Divya Seth – Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harlem


Live Webinar on Vaccines: What You Need to Know
Join the Nassau County Medical Society for this live webinar with Bruce Farber, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital. Dr. Farber will provide an update on current vaccines and what to expect in the near future.

What: Vaccines: What You Need to Know
Date: November 18, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Register here
Link to Flyer


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U.S. Tops 88,000 COVID-19 Cases, Setting New Single-Day Record

COVID-19 Graph


The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

COVID-19 Daily Graph

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CME

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

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

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

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


 

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Classifieds

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

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

Consult Room Consult Room

Exam Room Exam Room

 

Waiting Room Waiting Room


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: October 28, 2020 – Be Aware of Email Spoofing from MSSNY.org Addresses

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MSSNY Joins Medical Societies to Urge Delay of Info Blocking Rule on Nov. 2; New Resources from the AMA
As noted in previous MSSNY e-news, MSSNY has joined with the medical societies of California, Florida and Texas in a letter to the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology requesting that they delay implementation of the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule for at least one year.  Though there remains the possibility of the rule being delayed with a proposed rule before the federal Office of Management & Budget. the rule is scheduled to go into effect on November 2.

The MSSNY/state medical associations’ letter notes that “We remain completely committed to the goals of the Final Rule – ensuring that robust health care data is accessible to both clinicians and patients…however, physician practices are spending their time and effort battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians are also preparing for flu season, as well as a resurgence of the coronavirus. Physicians are struggling to maintain the financial viability of their practices during the pandemic and do not have the additional resources to dedicate to hiring consultants to develop compliance plans. Asking physicians at this moment to come into compliance with a rule set to take effect on November 2nd is simply too much to ask”.

This week, the American Medical Association developed the following materials to assist physicians to comply with these new requirements when they become applicable

Part 1: What is Information Blocking

Part 2: How do I comply with Information Blocking and where do I start?


Early Voting Underway – Look for These Helpful MSSNY Tools
With early voting already underway in New York State, please check out the bi-partisan list of 24 members of the New York State Assembly, New York State Senate and New York Congressional delegation who received the endorsement of MSSNYPAC for re-election. .  Each has demonstrated themselves to be champions of issues to preserve the ability of patients to continue to receive needed and timely physician care.

Moreover, MSSNYPAC members may receive a copy of MSSNY’s “Legislator Scorecard” with provides physicians with voting and co-sponsorship records of state legislators on 10 key bills that were strongly supported or strongly opposed by MSSNY.  Please contact jwilks@mssny.org to request a copy.


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President’s Claim Physicians Inflated COVID-19 Death Count Provokes Backlash
President Trump’s claim that physicians inflated the COVID-19 death count for financial gain sparked backlash from medical organizations and doctors who called his assertions a smear on the medical profession. Responses came after Trump commented at a Wisconsin campaign rally last weekend that doctors in the U.S. were attributing deaths to COVID-19 when they were actually due to preexisting conditions such as heart disease or cancer, because it increases their reimbursements.

“You know some countries, they report differently,” Trump said in a speech. “If somebody’s sick with a heart problem, and they die of COVID they say they die of a heart problem. If somebody’s terminally ill with cancer and they have COVID, we report them [as COVID-19].”He added that “doctors get more money and hospitals get more money,” telling the audience to “think about this incentive.”

The accusation provoked an immediate response from healthcare professionals. Among those protesting: the American Medical Association (AMA), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the Society for Hospital Medicine, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“Let’s be clear physicians are not inflating the number of COVID-19 patients,” the American Medical Association said in its statement. The tweet highlighted a study published in JAMA that showed there were 220,000 excess deaths in the U.S. this year, more than two-thirds of which were COVID-related.

Referring to the president’s statements as “junk news,” Ashish Jha, MD, dean of Brown University School of Public Health, said on Twitter that the federal CARES Act did provide some additional funding for patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis so that hospitals could buy more PPE. However, he added that false coding could get physicians “fined or jailed…Doctors aren’t taking random deaths, calling them COVID deaths,” Jha said. “That’s fraud.”

However, some physicians stated that there has been confusion about which deaths are from COVID, or from underlying conditions, with many erroneously recorded as having been caused by the coronavirus. (Medpage, Oct. 28)


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Members: Be Aware of Email Spoofing from MSSNY.org Addresses
Some MSSNY members may have received an email “spoof” in the last day or two requesting donations to a GoFundMe page. Please be aware that MSSNY does not send GoFundMe pages. This is a scam, and the email should be immediately deleted.  

The most common method for spammers and scammers to get your attention is now e-mail impersonation.  It is a low-tech approach that is easy to implement and takes advantage of the fact that many users check e-mail primarily on a mobile device.  The senders forge the name of the e-mail address they are using, substituting a familiar name to the sender.

Because mobile e-mail clients are constrained by the size of the screen of the device, they will omit the e-mail address and just show the name of the sender.  Depending on the OS of the phone in question, there are methods to display the sender’s e-mail address.  Most of them just require you to tap on the sender’s name and you will see more info about the sender.  Once you do that, it’s easy to tell that this is not genuine, especially if you are familiar with the alleged sender.

The second type of name spoofing is to use the actual e-mail address of the sender to further add legitimacy.  These attacks are more uncommon because they are narrower in focus and targeted against a single person.  Security professionals call this spear phishing.

Methods of Protection Against Becoming a Victim

Most spam and scam e-mails fail the simple test of, “Why is so and so sending me this?” Ask that question.  If still unsure, contact the suspect sender directly.  Do not hit reply on the suspicious e-mail. Most of these emails imply some sort of exigent circumstance.  Don’t be in a hurry to respond.

Do your due diligence and examine the e-mail.  Once you click on the sender’s name and see that it is overwhelmingly suspicious, the scam is almost over.

Always be generally suspicious of anything sent in an e-mail.  MSSNY, your credit card company, the local police, the FBI, your bank, etc. will never contact you via e-mail about an emergency and will never request restitution or resolution in the form of an iTunes gift card.


All SUNY Students Required to Test Negative Before Leaving for Thanksgiving
All on-campus SUNY students will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before leaving campus for Thanksgiving break, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced.

Chancellor Malatras says students must test negative within 10 days prior to returning to their hometowns.to help prevent community spread.  “As in-person classes and instruction come to a close next month, tens of thousands of students will travel across the state and country to be with their families and complete their fall courses remotely.”

The colleges must work with their county health department to isolate or quarantine any residential student who tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to COVID-19 within 14 days of the closing of the fall semester.

The decision means SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities will test about 140,000 students over a 10-day period preceding Thanksgiving break.  All campuses will shift to remote learning after Thanksgiving and resident halls will be closed, with a few exceptions.

Colleges and universities must submit a plan to test all of their on-campus students within that 10-day window no later than Nov. 5. Background: SUNY colleges and universities have tested more than 270,000 students since the beginning of the fall semester, reporting 1,410 positive cases for a positivity rate of 0.52 percent.


What Are the Most Popular COVID-19 Tests?
The FDA has authorized nearly 230 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, but which ones are most commonly used? Through interviews with companies, lab directors and pathologists, MedPage Today has compiled a list of key players. We’ve grouped them by molecular versus antigen tests. Molecular tests identify viral RNA (frequently, but not always, through PCR testing), while antigen tests detect viral surface proteins. Either type can yield “rapid” tests, but antigen tests are inherently faster.

However, antigen tests are not as sensitive as molecular tests, carrying a greater chance of false negatives. Indeed, the emergency use authorization for each of the antigen tests indicates use in symptomatic patients only. Still, antigen tests are driving the point-of-care testing that many experts have urged. Most of these tests require the purchase of an instrument, but the machines are generally much smaller than PCR analyzers. Only the self-contained BinaxNOW, which is the size of a credit card, does not require instrumentation.

The Trump administration has purchased 150 million Binax NOW tests from Abbott and is distributing them to schools and nursing homes.

A key to the information below: EUA = emergency use authorization; IFU = instructions for use. All sensitivity/specificity figures are manufacturer-reported and based on strict adherence to protocols for sample collection and handling. Note that result turnaround times specify only how long it takes to obtain results after a sample is placed in the analyzer; it does not account for sample transportation, in-lab backlogs in processing samples, or reporting of results, which often make for significant delay. Serology tests for anti-coronavirus antibodies are not covered here.

Molecular Tests

Antigen Tests

Last Updated October 27, 2020 (Medpage)


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CME

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

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

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

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


 

MSSNY OPMC Banner


 


Classifieds

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

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

Consult Room Consult Room

Exam Room Exam Room

 

Waiting Room Waiting Room


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MSSNY eNews: October 23, 2020 – Non-Medical Vaccine Exemptions Endanger Public Health—Law Must Stand

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Colleagues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonnie Litvack MD
MSSNY President


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Findings were consistent regardless of political party.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


 

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

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

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

Register

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

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

Additional Paid Family Leave resources are available

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


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

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

Educational Objectives:

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

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at jsherpa@mssny.org or call (518) 465-8085
.The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
.The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


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Join Round Table Regarding NYS’s Response to Increase in HIV and Gonorrhea
Dear Colleague,

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

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

Please register here. 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Classifieds

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

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

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Notes from Governor Cuomo’s Conference Call

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

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

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

Q&A:

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


 


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

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

You can send a letter to supplement these efforts here.

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

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


 

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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Classifieds

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

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

Consult Room

Consult Room

Exam Room

Exam Room

 

Waiting Room

Waiting Room


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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