MSSNY eNews: January 14, 2022 – Ready to Influence and Inspire? Become a MSSNY Social Media Ambassador

Ready to Influence and Inspire? Become a MSSNY Social Media Ambassador

Colleagues:

As we all know, the use of social media has become a daily activity for most of our society. To harness this important tool, MSSNY is launching a Social Media Ambassador program. We hope to use our ambassadors to help MSSNY deliver information to the physician community by using their own social media platforms to distribute and promote MSSNY’s content. Social Media Ambassadors’ primary responsibilities are to help spread the word about MSSNY’s work, including important public health information, the benefits of membership, lobbying efforts, respective calls to action and MSSNY news.

I hope you will consider signing up to be a MSSNY Social Media Ambassador by submitting this form.

Social Media also impacts our physician practices by enabling us to share important medical information with current and prospective patients. It provides new opportunities for building and maintaining physician-patient relationships. However, concerns associated with its use include advertising risks, breaches of patient confidentiality, inappropriate use and distraction in the workplace, and negative online posts and reviews by patients. Join MLMIC for a webinar entitled “Managing your Healthcare Team’s Social Media Presence” at 8 am on January 19th. 

Social media is a powerful tool that—when used properly—can benefit our practices, our patients, and our MSSNY.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP
MSSNY President


MSSNY Podcast- January 14: What Will Next Week’s Executive Budget Include?
Listen to MSSNY’s January 14th podcast with Senior Vice-President & Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster as he looks ahead to next week’s Executive Budget. 


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Join us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 8th
With Governor Hochul releasing her proposed State Budget next week, it is more important than ever that leaders in Albany listen to the concerns of physicians. To make their voices heard, physicians should plan to attend MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 8th. Register Now!

The format will follow previous year’s formats, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).

As part of her State of the State message last week, Governor Hochul articulated support for a number of measures advocated by MSSNY such as support for telehealth payment parity, significant increases in loan repayment programs for physicians, and increased eligibility for subsidized health insurance coverage for patients. However, she also indicated support for measures where physicians have raised strong concerns, such as eliminating statutory collaborative agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician.

There are countless other items that will be under discussion this legislative session as well, including proposals to reduce health insurer prior authorization hassles, proposals to address various public health threats, and further proposals to change scope of practice of various non-physician practitioners. We urge all physicians to join their colleagues in advocacy to their legislators to protect accessto quality care for their patients.


Governor to Release Proposed State Budget Next Week
Governor Hochul will be releasing her proposed Budget for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year next week. It is expected to incorporate many of the legislative priorities outlined in her State of the State Address and briefing book last week. The most positive items related to health care included:

  • Requiring health insurers to reimburse Telehealth Services at the same levels as traditional Services. Physicians can send a letter of support here: Urge Legislators to Support Payment Parity in Telehealth (p2a.co)
  • Increasing funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for physicians who work in underserved areas for 3 years.
  • Expanding the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program which recruits and trains a diverse healthcare workforce that represents underserved communities
  • Expanding from 200% FPL to 250% FPL eligibility for New York’s Essential Plan coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Eliminating premiums for CHIP coverage for children in families between 160-222% FPL
  • Expanding Medicaid coverage for post-partum care for one year after birth

Some of the concerning items included:

  • Eliminating remaining statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician. Physicians can send a letter of opposition here: Protect Physician-Led Team-Based Care for Patients (p2a.co)
  • Joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to permit out of state physicians to be licensed in New York and New York physicians to be licensed in other states expeditiously

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NYS PHHPC Mandates Booster Shots for All Healthcare Workers
This week, the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) passed an emergency regulation that will require health care workers to obtain a booster COVID-19 vaccine.  Governor Kathy Hochul indicated at a January 7th press conference that health care workers are expected to receive the booster within two weeks of being eligible, absent a valid medical exemption.

In a related matter, the US Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s order requiring vaccination for healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds. However, the US Supreme Court did reject an OSHA mandate that would have required vaccination or weekly testing for non-healthcare business employees.


MSSNY Facilitates COVID-19 Workgroup with State and City Health Officials
MSSNY is facilitating a monthly virtual meeting with state and city Department of Health officials for the purposes of obtaining information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and other pandemic questions. Participants include many physicians, county medical society executives, specialty society executives, state health department officials, NYC health officials, local departments of health commissioners, and the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO).

Topics discussed at the Zoom meeting held this week included vaccine distribution, the level of COVID-19 spread throughout the state, monoclonal antibody treatment distribution, and antiviral therapies. Additionally, there was discussion of COVID-19 home test kits and making them available to physicians’ practices. Currently, the state distributes home test kits to the local department of health, and nothing prohibits the locality from redistributing them to a physician’s office. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized both molecular and antigen OTC COVID-19 tests. A list of molecular tests can be found here.  A list of OTC antigen tests can be found here


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40 Upstate Hospitals Now on List of Hospitals Where Non-Urgent Surgeries Limited
Earlier this week, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced that it had updated the list of hospitals notified to stop non-essential non-urgent elective surgeries to include 40 hospitals, mostly in Central New York, the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley. This is because they had met the state’s threshold for being in a “high-capacity region” and had limited bed capacity due to Covid hospitalizations. On November 26, Governor Hochul signed an Executive Order that said non-essential surgeries could be limited in some cases, and the DOH issued   related Guidance to hospitals on December 3 setting forth the criteria.

Impacted facilities include:

Mohawk Valley Region: Faxton-St Luke’s Healthcare St Luke’s Division, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, St. Mary’s Healthcare, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, Cobleskill Regional Hospital, Little Falls Hospital, Nathan Littauer Hospital, Rome Memorial Hospital, Inc, St Elizabeth Medical Center, and St. Mary’s Healthcare – Amsterdam Memorial Campus

Finger Lakes Region: F.F. Thompson Hospital, Geneva General Hospital, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, Rochester General Hospital, The Unity Hospital of Rochester, United Memorial Medical Center North Street Campus, Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, Highland Hospital, Medina Memorial Hospital, Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital of Yates County Inc, Strong Memorial Hospital, and Wyoming County Community Hospital

Central New York Region: Crouse Hospital, Oneida Health Hospital, Oswego Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, University Hospital SUNY Health Science Center, UPSTATE University Hospital at Community General, Auburn Community Hospital, Community Memorial Hospital Inc, and Guthrie Cortland Medical Center

Impacted Hospitals in Other Regions: Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., Mount St Mary’s Hospital and Health Center, Erie County Medical Center, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, and Olean General Hospital

The DOH criteria used to determine “high risk regions” includes low current regional bed capacity with 90% or more beds occupied based on the previous 7-day average; or 85-90% occupancy rate based on the previous 7-day average AND a new COVID-19 hospital admission rate for the region (previous 7-day average per 100,000 population) greater than 4%.

Patient procedures that are considered essential and not subject to the restriction include: cancer care (including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer), neurosurgery, intractable pain, highly symptomatic patients, transplants, trauma, cardiac with symptoms, limb threatening vascular procedures, dialysis vascular access, and patients that are “at a clinically high risk of harm if their procedures are not completed”.


MSSNY Continues to Press for Payment Parity for Telehealth Services
In the 2022 legislative session, MSSNY will continue its work with several organizations including the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Division II, to pass legislation (A.6256-Woerner/S.5505-Rivera) to ensure that payments to physicians for Telehealth services, including video and audio-only visits, is equal to those received for in-office appointments.

The Senate version of the bill, S.5505, is on the agenda for the next meeting of the Senate Health Committee, which is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 19th. Physicians can send a letter in support here: Urge Legislators to Support Payment Parity in Telehealth (p2a.co). The Assembly legislation, A.6256, is in the Assembly Insurance Committee. 


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Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well-documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking, and feelings of loss. Without an intervention, it is possible that a high number of physicians over the next few years may develop chronic stress reactions, anger, clinical depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality.

Watch here, to see Frank Dowling, MD, and Charles Rothberg, MD give an interview on MSSNY’s P2P program.

If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter!

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

If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org.


Registration Now Open – January 19, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical & Veterans Matters CME Webinar
Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans
As Omicron numbers continue to increase exponentially, National Guard troops are being deployed to help throughout the country. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on veteran populations. Learn more about military involvement in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the veteran population by registering for Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at 7:30 A.M. Frank Dowling, MD, MSSNY Secretary and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Register now.

Educational objectives are:

  • Identify the wide ranging medical and mental health impact of COVID on veterans
  • Discuss post-traumatic growth of veterans who have experienced COVID related post-traumatic stress
  • Recognize the role of physicians in assessing the impact of the pandemic in veteran patients
  • Outline the role played by the Department of Defense in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

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 – February 16, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical Matters CME Webinar
The Impact of the COVID-19Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities
The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on health inequities that lead to inequitable health outcomes amongst racial and ethnic minorities. Learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial and ethnic minorities by registering for “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities” on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 7:30 A.M. Yvette Calderon, MD, MS will serve as faculty for this program. Register now.

Educational objectives are:

  • Outline some social determinants of health that put racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19
  • Identify the ways in which racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Describe strategies to improve COVID-related health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities

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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Classified Ads Available for:

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

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


For the MSSNY 2022 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.com!


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: January 19, 2022 – How Will the Governor’s Proposed Budget Impact Physicians?


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How Will the Governor’s Proposed Budget Impact Physicians?
MSSNY’s Division of Government Affairs staff is continuing to pore through the thousands of pages of Budget documents contained in Governor Hochul’s proposed $216.3 Billion State Budget submitted to the State Legislature yesterday. Below is a very brief “thumbnail” of items that – at first read – are of importance to physicians.

The positive items include:

  • Require health insurers to pay telehealth services at rates equal to comparable in-person services
  • Restoration of last year’s 1.5% cut and a 1% across the board increase for Medicaid payments
  • Funds MSSNY Committee for Physicians Health (CPH) at the historical level of $990,000
  • Require that all health insurers follow credentialing application deadlines applicable currently to only some insurers
  • Gives DFS power to enforce violations of some federal health insurance protections and provide some protections against excessive medical record requests
  • Lowering judgment interest rate from 9% to a market rate
  • Increases from $9 million to $15 million funding for the Doctors Across NY program
  • Increase Essential Plan eligibility from 200-250% FPL.  Additional 92,000 eligible
  • Eliminates CHIP insurance payments for patients in families making less than 233% FPL
  • Support for additional Harm Reduction Services ($9 million recurring) and
  • Naloxone distribution ($8 million in FY 2023 and $10 million thereafter)
    $400 million new investment in opioid abuse/substance abuse services
    Provide Medicaid post-partum coverage for up to 1 year
  • Expands who a physician can designate to take a Covid test of a patient

Items that will require further review:

  • Conforms New York surprise bill law provisions to be consistent with federal law protections including eliminating requirement of obtaining assignment to go to IDR (similar to DFS Circular letters 10, 11 and 12).  It protects consideration of UCR in NY IDR but permits consideration of insurer QPA.
  • Adds NY to the 30 states who have joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
  • Transfers to DOH oversight of all Education Law regulated health care providers
  • $1.2 billion in bonuses for health care workers at Article 28 facilities who make less than $100,000 and employees of non-Article 28s who see at least 20% Medicaid patients
  • Expansion to Medicaid eligibility so that low-income New Yorkers aged 65 and up, as well as those with disabilities, are able to maintain Medicaid eligibility after they become eligible for Medicare.

Concerning items include:

  • Eliminates remaining statutory informal collaborative requirements for those NPs practicing in primary care with more than 3,600 hours practice but maintains collaborative requirements for specialty care NPs and written collaborative agreement requirement for NPs with less than 3,600 hours of practice.
  • Permits pharmacists to perform limited services lab test authorized by FDA
  • Eliminating “prescriber prevails” protections in Medicaid and Medicaid managed care.
  • Provides $102 million for Excess Malpractice Insurance Program (same as last year) but requires physicians to purchase it themselves and then be reimbursed by the carrier in 2 yearly installments.  (We’ve been in touch with MLMIC to set the stage for our joint advocacy to the Legislature to oppose this new wrinkle to Excess coverage). Again, this is a preliminary summary.  It may be revised as we look more closely at these provisions as well as others in the thousands of pages that encompass the State Budget.

Check back with eNews for potential updates.


MSSNY Press Statement Regarding the Governor’s Proposed Budget
MSSNY sent the following statement to the press today, January 19:

MSSNY Supports Several Health Care Initiatives in Governor Hochul’s Proposed Budget; Voices Concern over New Costs for Insurance Coverage to Offset NY’s High Medical Liability Costs 

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

“Governor Hochul’s proposed Budget recommends a number of far-reaching initiatives to help support both our health care system and our health care workers who are weary from multiple years of responding to the COVID crisis we have collectively faced.   Importantly, the Governor invests in the future of patient medical care delivery by providing significant increases to the Doctors Across New York loan repayment program and invests in care accessibility by ensuring fair payment for patient care delivered via telehealth.  The Budget also makes significant investments to ensure more patients have comprehensive health insurance coverage to obtain the quality medical care they need.

“The Governor’s proposal to significantly reduce interest rates on court judgments would help to bring down New York’s exorbitant medical liability insurance costs.  However, given the enormous challenges we have faced over the last two years, physicians are very concerned with another proposal that would thrust potentially significant new costs on countless physicians in the State who are enrolled in a long-standing program to provide supplemental insurance coverage to help offset New York’s notoriously high medical liability costs.

“We are continuing our review of the many facets of this Budget submission that would impact patient access to primary and specialty physician care. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure the final Budget due April 1 will continue to ensure patient access to the physician of their choice.”


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New PMG Members Welcome!
MSSNY’s Post-Medical Graduate (PMG) membership category was especially designed for International Medical School Graduates (IMGs) preparing to enter a residency in New York State.

One of the requirements for PMG membership has been certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). But we recognize that due to Covid exigencies, the new pathways set up to obtain ECFMG certification may be a barrier for recent international graduates who wish to join MSSNY.

Noting the importance of diversity and inclusivity, we have therefore re-evaluated and revised the requirements for IMGs applying for PMG membership. Effective in years 2022, 2023 and 2024, ECFMG certification will not be a requirement for membership in this category. It will be replaced by an applicant’s attestation to having passed Step 1 and Step 2CK of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or an equivalent pathway to licensure if there is a future change in ECFMG requirements.

Let any of your interested colleagues know! Applications for the PMG category are available by contacting memberresources@mssny.org.


MSSNY Immediate Past President Talks to USA Today Network About Omicron Surge
The Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News (USA Today Network) reports, “New York’s recent explosion of COVID-19 cases shattered dreams of a return to the carefree pre-pandemic world, awakening many New Yorkers to the prospect of living with the coronavirus indefinitely.” The article adds, “From another COVID-marred holiday season and chaotic remote-school reboots to overwhelmed emergency rooms, the stark reality of getting infected with coronavirus struck home for at least 1.8 million New Yorkers since Dec. 1.” The “Omicron odyssey” for Dr. Bonnie Litvack, Immediate Past President of the Medical Society of the State of New York, “included the crush of colleagues at her Mount Kisco medical offices missing work after contracting COVID-19,” and the variant also “breached the homes of Litvack’s brother and sister-in-law.” Dr. Litvack said, “It’s just the sheer number of cases. … Omicron has really affected everybody’s life in and out of the office.”

Yahoo! News (1/18) carries the Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News story.


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MSSNY Members, Do You Have a Question?
If you have a question about dues, CME programs, a billing issue, legislation you’re concerned with, or any other concern you may have, contact Memberresources@mssny.org and a Member Services Representative will respond or refer you to a staff member familiar with your issue.


New Electronic Process for Workers Comp Deposition Fee Collection Process
Historically the Workers Comp deposition fee collection process was to send all information to the WCB via hard copy by mail. This process can now be done electronically through email. This will save time and money. Instructions are available here.

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


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Place Your Order for Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. Here’s what you need to know about your order:

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

FYI, free COVID tests are now available from the government and will ship at the end of the month. Use this link to order your kits:

https://special.usps.com/testkits


MSSNY’s In-Person House of Delegates Set for May 21
As MSSNY prepares for the in-person House of Delegates on May 21 in Tarrytown, we alert you to several important deadlines.

The first deadline is for credentialed delegates, which must be submitted by Thursday, January 27.  Send credentialing to Michael Reyes.

The next deadline is for submission of resolutions to be considered, discussed, and voted on. Submit your resolutions by 5 PM on Friday, February 25. Send your resolutions to Laurie Mayer.

Resolutions should be properly formatted, well thought out and constructed, and any research to document the author’s resolved clause should be included. This is a substantial help to reference committee staff.  Authors should include policy citations from MSSNY’s position statements. Please remember that resolutions that repeat existing policy will likely wind up on the reaffirmation calendar!

The House of Delegates will begin promptly at 8 AM on Saturday, May 21 and will continue until late afternoon. The completed reference committee reports and the recommendations made within them will be the focus of the day. While we will make every effort to complete discussion of our ref com reports on Saturday, discussion may continue Sunday


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Updated Information from CDC on COVID-19 Vaccine for Individuals who Received Primary Vaccination Not Approved/Authorized in the US
The CDC recently updated the Emergency Use Instructions (EUI) and clinical guidance for persons who received primary vaccination with vaccines not approved/authorized in the U.S. The updated EUI and clinical guidance state that individuals who received an incomplete series of a vaccine listed for emergency use by the WHO but not authorized nor approved by the FDA no longer need to restart the primary COVID-19 vaccine series in the U.S. Instead, these individuals may now receive a single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after receipt of their most recent dose, after which they will be considered fully vaccinated.

Attached are updated documents:


Classified Ads Available for:

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

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


For the MSSNY 2022 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.com!


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


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

 

 

MSSNY eNews January 7, 2022 – Federal No Surprises Act Is in Effect: Are You Ready?

Good News from Albany

Colleagues: 

While many New Yorkers were busy celebrating the holidays over the last few weeks, many things were happening in the health care arena that will impact both physicians and our patients.

Governor Hochul signed a few important bills in the waning days of 2021, including legislation that will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of PBMs, require PBMs to be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, terms, and conditions, that they place on their networks of pharmacies. Another significant bill signed by the Governor limits the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year.

And the Surprise Bills Act (NSA) took effect on January 1, 2022. Every physician—whether in-network or out-of-network—will have to comply with the NSA by providing a form to patients outlining their rights. The AMA has developed a toolkit to assist physicians in implementation of various aspects of the NSA, which prohibits out-of-network health care providers and facilities from balance billing commercially insured patients in certain circumstances.

During Wednesday’s State of the State Address, Governor Hochul highlighted several important and positive initiatives related to health care, including incentives to train and keep physicians and other critically needed health care providers in New York State, expanded availability of affordable health insurance coverage for our patients, and expanding the delivery of care and fair payment for telehealth.  However, the Governor also raised some potentially concerning proposals to change scope of practice for some non-physicians.

As we head into this new legislative session with ever-changing priorities and challenges before us, I urge my colleagues to set aside Tuesday, March 8 to participate in MSSNY’s virtual Physician Advocacy Day. Register here.

I have every confidence that when we as a profession take the time to be actively engaged in policy discussions that impact the care to our patients, the results—far more often than not—are successful.

I wish every MSSNY member a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP
MSSNY President


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Join us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 8th
In her State of the State address this week, Governor Hochul put forth a legislative agenda that would have profound impact on all New York physicians. To make their voices heard, physicians should plan to attend MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 8th. To register, click here:  Physician Advocacy Registration

The format will follow previous years formats, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).

As noted below, Governor Hochul’s State of the State message this week highlighted a number of measures supported by MSSNY such as support for telehealth payment parity, significant increases in loan repayment programs for physicians, and increased eligibility for subsidized health insurance coverage for patients.  However, it also notes her support for measures where physicians have raised strong concerns, such as eliminating statutory collaborative agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician.

There are countless other items that will be under discussion this legislative session as well, including proposals to reduce health insurer prior authorization hassles, further proposals to change the scope of practice of non-physician practitioners, and proposals to address various public health threats.  We urge all physicians to join their colleagues in advocacy to their legislators to protect access to quality care for their patients. (BARTLETT)


Governor Identifies Legislative Priorities in State of State Message:
This week, Governor Kathy Hochul presented her legislative priorities for the year in her first State of the State Address.  As outlined in her briefing book, among the most notable positive items relating to health care include:

  • Require health insurers to reimburse Telehealth Services at the same levels as traditional Services
  • Increase funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for physicians who work in underserved areas for 3 years.
  • Expand the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program which recruits and trains a diverse healthcare workforce that represents the diversity of patients in underserved communities
  • Expand from 200% FPL to 250% FPL eligibility for New York’s Essential Plan coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Eliminate premiums for CHIP coverage for children in families between 160-222% FPL
  • Expand Medicaid coverage for post-partum care for one year after birth

Some concerning items included:

  • Eliminating remaining statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician
  • Joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to permit out of state physicians to be licensed in New York and New York physicians to be licensed in other states expeditiously 

Many of these items will be included within the Executive Budget that will be presented by Governor Hochul on or about January 18th.
(DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


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MSSNY Supports COVID-19 Immunizations for Healthcare Workers and Children
The Medical Society of the State of New York this week released a statement in response to an anti-vaccine rally held at the State Capital on the first day of the NYS Legislative Session.   MSSNY continues to strongly support the requirement for COVID-19 immunization of all healthcare workers. MSSNY also supports requiring immunization of school age children.   A copy of the statement can be found here.

Children’s Health Defense New York, led by anti-vaccine founder Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has organized and funded a group called The People’s Coalition for New York.  Children’s Health Defense New York provided funding for buses for the groups involved in the rally.   The group is

opposed to various legislative measures that would improve public health.  MSSNY will continue to aggressively promote the importance of being vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19 and to counter the group’s messaging that threatens our public health. (CLANCY)                                                                                                    


Go to MSSNY Webpage for More Information on No Surprises Act Implementation
The implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA) on January 1, 2022 means that physicians must familiarize themselves with the many aspects of this law that will impact the care they provide to patients both when they are out of network and in-network.

For more information on these new requirements, physicians can go to the following page on the MSSNY website: Preparing for the No Surprises Act – (mssnyenews.org) where they can find:

Physicians are also reminded that MSSNY’s General Counsel, the Garfunkel Wild law firm, has developed a webinar on February 1 at noon to discuss what health care providers need to know.

GW Complimentary Webinar – February 1, 2022 – Federal No Surprises Act – One month in. What have we learned? What questions remain? | Garfunkel Wild. (AUSTER)               


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Governor Hochul Signs Bills to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Ability to Make Mid-year Formulary Changes
Governor Hochul signed two bills into law in late December that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensure greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices.  MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send letters to Governor Hochul in support of these bills over the last several months.

  • The first bill (1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices ofPharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS.    MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one way to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.  The law takes effect on or about March 31, 2022.
  • The second bill, (A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin), will significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. To address concerns raised in a veto message from 2019, the new law will prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur. Based upon a chapter amendment negotiated by Governor Hochul with the State Legislature, the provisions will take effect for policies beginning 
    January 1, 2023. (CARY, AUSTER)

Please Urge Your Legislators to Protect Physician-Led Team Care
With a new Legislative Session beginning this week, physicians are again reminded to contact their Senators and Assemblymembers to oppose legislation (S.3056-A/A.1535-A) that could lead to uncoordinated, siloed care by eliminating any statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative arrangements with a physician practicing in the same specialty.  A letter can be sent from here: Protect Physician-Led Team-Based Care for Patients (p2a.co).  The legislation would also eliminate the requirement for a newly practicing nurse practitioner to maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician.

The legislation had advanced to the Senate floor last Session, and Governor Hochul announced her support for this concept as part of her State of the State briefing book this week.  As part of last year’s State Budget, there was a provision enacted that extended until June 30, 2022 the existing law that permits nurse practitioners with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice without a written collaborative agreement provided they maintain evidence of “collaborative relationships” with a physician in the same specialty practiced by the NP.

In an Assembly public hearing this past November, and in communication with the Governor’s office, MSSNY raised concerns that the crisis standard of care that led to the waiving of these very important patient protections during the height of the pandemic should not become the general

standard of care.  These communications highlighted a recent MSSNY survey in which 75% of the physician respondents to this survey indicated that advanced care practitioners working independently during the pandemic under the Governor’s Executive Orders (waiving physician

supervision requirements) had committed an error while treating a patient and 90% indicated that the error could have been prevented had there been physician oversight.                   (AUSTER)


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NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) Makes Audio-Only Telehealth Coverage Policy Permanent
After ongoing, temporary emergency regulations from DFS, the department has made permanent the policy that requires private commercial insurance plans to cover Telehealth services delivered via audio-only. An insurer may still engage in reasonable fraud, waste, and abuse detection efforts, including to prevent payments for services that do not warrant separate reimbursement.

The new policy was adopted to mitigate health and safety risks during the ongoing pandemic and because Telehealth has proven to be an effective tool in providing quality care for patients around the state. To view the permanent regulation: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/12/rfin_adopt_reg62_amend62_text.pdf

Additionally, it is important to note that a statute was enacted in 2020 that requires Medicaid to cover audio-only Telehealth services.  (CARY)


The Telehealth Initiative
Through the Telehealth Initiative, MSSNY and the AMA will work together to develop relevant educational content, resources, measurement tools, and evaluation support to help practices with telehealth implementation. Through the program, MSSNY will be part of a national network and will offer support to physicians, practices, and health systems interested in implementing, optimizing, or sustaining telehealth.

In addition to providing ongoing support, this year’s program will emphasize the importance of realizing the true value of virtual care. MSSNY has secured four signed statements of interest: C DOC, Mount Sinai, Northwell TeleICU/Telehealth, and Eger Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. MSSNY is hoping to have close to 10 practice sites all together. As a collaborating partner, team leaders will participate in a “kick-off” meeting with leaders from practice sites in New York and in other states. Each practice site will be involved in dissemination of a telehealth survey assessing practice/physician experience using telehealth.

In addition to participation in the Telehealth Survey, the project team will collect baseline, mid- point, and final data points to measure the impact of telehealth in their practices using the Return on Health framework. Access to educational resources from the AMA, expert mentoring to discuss optimization and sustaining telehealth into practice, and virtual events/discussions which provides a network for physicians and care teams to share experiences will be provided to all participants.

Are you interested in learning more about joining the Telehealth Initiative? Join us for a Town Hall call on Tuesday, January 11th at 5:30pm ET to hear more about the program, how to get involved, and what to expect.  Leaders from across the participating associations and organizations will also be available for questions! We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here to join the meeting

If you or someone you know is interested in joining this initiative, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator at clauder@mssny.org.                              (LAUDER)


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Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking, and feelings of loss.

If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter! Email: P2P@mssny.org and request that you be connected with a peer supporter or by Phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337).  Without an intervention, it is possible that a high number of physicians over the next few years may develop chronic stress reactions, anger, clinical depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality.

If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org.     (LAUDER)


Registration Now Open – January 19, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical & Veterans Matters CME Webinar
Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans
The Department of Defense has contributed widely to COVID response throughout the pandemic, and COVID has had significant impacts on veteran populations. Learn more about military involvement in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the veteran population by registering for Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans on Wednesday January 19, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.  Frank Dowling, MD, MSSNY Secretary 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:

  • Identify the wide ranging medical and mental health impact of COVID on veterans
  • Discuss post-traumatic growth of veterans who have experienced COVID related post-traumatic stress
  • Recognize the role of physicians in assessing the impact of the pandemic in veteran patients
  • Outline the role played by the Department of Defense in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

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.                                                          (HOFFMAN)


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MSSNY Podcasts Had a Great Year
If you haven’t had the chance to catch up with MSSNY’s podcast offerings, be sure to check them out.  Besides frequently published MSSNY Legislative Updates, there are podcasts on the COVID pandemic, Emergency Preparedness, and myriad other topics of relevance to New Yorkers.  Click here to explore the library of MSSNY podcasts.                                                                    (HOFFMAN)

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Federal No Surprises Act Is in Effect: Are You Ready?
On January 1, 2022, a new and complex set of rules enacted by the federal government regarding “surprise bills” went into effect. The statute is broad and sweeping and will have significant effects on any health care provider who renders services to out-of-network or uninsured patients. While many jurisdictions, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida already have rules addressing surprise bills, the Federal law varies from the state laws in many ways, including having a far wider application.

The penalties for violating the Federal No Surprises Act law can be substantial. If you are uncertain about an aspect of the new law—whether you are covered, what aspects of your practice are covered, and how to comply—the GW Federal Surprise Bill Working Group can provide unmatched expert guidance.

Garfunkel Wild, P.C., a law firm dedicated to the health care industry, is pleased to announce the creation of a Federal Surprise Bill Working Group that has developed a particular level of expertise in addressing client questions about the new Federal No Surprises Act law.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact us at info@garfunkelwild.com.

Additional assistance is available from the AMA, which has developed a toolkit to assist physicians in implementation of various aspects of the NSA.


MSSNY Podcast: Wrap-Up of the State of the State and No Surprises Act Updates
Listen to MSSNY’s January 7 podcast on the No Surprises Act and a wrap-up of the Governor’s State of the State Address.


January 5 Press Statement: MSSNY Looks Forward to Further Discussion with Governor and State Legislature on Health Care Initiatives Outlined in State of the State Address
Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“Governor’s Hochul’s State of the State Message and briefing book highlights several important initiatives designed to provide some stability to New York’s extraordinary but beleaguered health care system weary of two years of fighting to save the lives of New Yorkers through the COVID-19 pandemic.  These include incentives to train and keep physicians and other critically needed health care providers in New York State, expanded availability of affordable health insurance coverage for our patients, and expanding the delivery of care via telehealth.

“We look forward to further discussion with the Governor and the State Legislature on these and the myriad of other health care proposals the Governor has advanced.  Physicians across the State of New York are anxious to ensure that patients can continue to access the quality care they need in a timely manner, and from the physician of their choice.”


Updated CDC COVID Recommendations
On January 4, 2022, the CDC updated the recommendation for receipt of a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine following receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. CDC now recommends receipt of a booster dose at least five months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. This previously recommended interval was at least six months.

On January 3 and 4, 2022, the FDA amended the EUA and CDC updated recommendations such that moderately to severely immunocompromised 5-11 year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children ages 5-11.

On January 5, 2022, the CDC endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP) recommended expansion of booster dose eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 to individuals ages 12 to 15. CDC now recommends that all adolescents ages 12 to 17 should receive a booster dose five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNtech vaccination series.

Following are updated guidance documents, consent forms, and screening checklists:


Classified Ads Available for:

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

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


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


Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.com!


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: January 5, 2022


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Governor Identifies Legislative Priorities in State of State Message:
Supports Increased Telehealth Payments, Expanded Insurance Coverage, and Loan Support for Physicians, but also Concerning Scope Changes
This afternoon, Governor Kathy Hochul presented her legislative priorities for the year in her first State of the State Address.  As outlined in her briefing book 2022StateoftheStateBook.pdf (ny.gov), among the most notable items relating to health care:

  • Require health insurers to reimburse Telehealth Services at the same levels as traditional Services
  • Increase Funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for doctors who work in underserved areas for three years.
  • Expand the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program which recruits and trains a diverse healthcare workforce that represents the diversity of the patients in underserved communities
  • Expand from 200% FPL to 250% FPL eligibility for New York’s Essential Plan coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Eliminate the $9 premium for CHIP coverage for children in families between 160 and 222% FPL
  • Expand Medicaid coverage for post-partum care for one year after birth
  • Expanding naloxone and buprenorphine access by mandating pharmacies to maintain a stock of these medications
  • Create a new Pharmacy Benefits Bureau to begin licensing PBMs and hire a new compliance team to investigate PBM business practices and review complaints of misconduct. Additionally, this team will expand DFS’s ongoing efforts to investigate significant spikes in prescription drug prices and to require drug manufacturers — or whoever is responsible for the price increase — to show a reasonable justification for sudden increases.
  • Advance regulations to ensure that New Yorkers are not charged surprise out-of-network costs when a healthcare provider is incorrectly listed as in-network in the insurer’s provider directory, an insurer provides incorrect information about a provider’s network participation status in response to a request from a consumer, or the insurer fails to respond to a consumer’s request for such information. 
  • Eliminating remaining statutory written practice agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician
  • Joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to permit out of state physicians to be licensed in New York and New York physicians to be licensed in other states more easily
  • Updating the definition of “emergency medical services” to include community paramedicine, which permits EMTs to provide some non-emergency health care services  

Many of these items will be included within the Executive Budget that is presented by Governor Hochul on or about January 18th.


Tools to Assist with Compliance with the No Surprises Act
The AMA has developed a toolkit to assist physicians in implementation of various aspects of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA) that took effect on January 1, 2022.  The NSA prohibits out-of-network health care providers and facilities from balance billing commercially insured patients, in certain circumstances. The NSA and its implementing regulations set a method for determining the patient cost-sharing for these out-of-network situations, and when state law does not establish a payment methodology, the NSA establishes an independent dispute resolution (IDR) system to determine provider payment. The toolkit assists with situations involving: non-emergency services at in-network facilities, emergency services and post-stabilization care at hospitals or free-standing emergency departments; and Good Faith estimates (GFE) required to be provided to self-pay patients and uninsured patients.

Throughout the fall, MSSNY has been in continuous discussions with the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) regarding how the federal law will co-exist with the comprehensive New York surprise billing law that was enacted in 2014. To the end, the DFS has issued a series of “circular letters” that seek to clarify how various aspects of the NSA will be reconciled with potentially incongruous New York State laws.

Physicians should familiarize themselves with these DFS implementation guides:

Physicians are further reminded that beginning January 1, 2022, the NSA requires that each health care provider and facility must make publicly available, post on their public websites, and provide to insureds, a one-page notice in clear and understandable language containing information on:  the requirements and prohibitions of such provider or facility relating to prohibitions on balance billing for emergency services and surprise bills; any other applicable state law requirements on such provider or facility prohibiting out-of-network balancing billing; and information on contacting appropriate state and federal agencies in case an individual believes that such provider or facility has violated any state or federal prohibitions on balance billing for emergency services and surprise bills.  The New York DFS has developed a state-developed model notice that adheres to the requirements of the federal law.


A Veto, a Signing and a Compromise – Governor Hochul Takes Action on Several Trial Lawyer Bills
MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send letters to Governor Hochul to raise objections to three problematic pro-trial lawyer bills opposed by MSSNY and many other groups but passed by the State Legislature that could further hamper all defendants generally in litigation in New York State.     Governor Hochul vetoed one of the bills, signed one of the bills and reached an agreement with the Legislature on the third bill to significantly limit its impact.

  • Importantly, one bill (S.2199/A.473) was vetoed by Governor Hochul which would have expanded the time period for the imposition of New York’s excessive 9% judgment interest in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not initially granted, but then overturned on appeal.  Her veto message raised concerns regarding the “significant negative impact on defendants in litigation” including health care providers and state and local governments, “all of which are already under a great amount of strain due to COVID-19.”
  • The second bill (S.7052/A.8041 “The Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act”) was signed into law, which imposes a much more detailed list of requirements for any defendant to provide with respect to the insurance that may be responsible to pay for any award in a personal injury action.  However, Governor Hochul engaged in negotiations with the Legislature for “chapter amendments” that will significantly reduce the burden this law would otherwise impose on defendants in these actions.  The chapter amendments include eliminating the requirement that the insurance application be provided in discovery, eliminating the requirement to provide information on any lawsuits that may erode the applicable insurance policy’s limits, and eliminating the bill’s required disclosure of the amount of any payment of attorney fees that erode or reduce the insurance limits.
  • The third bill (S.7093/A.8040) was signed into law which modifies the current NY law governing the “hearsay” exception for a statement made by an employee to now permit the introduction into evidence of any statement by the employee within the course of their employment and during that employment relationship.

MSSNY will continue to coordinate with MLMIC and other allied groups to ensure physicians are further informed about the implications of these new laws.


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As Opponents of COVID Vaccine Mandate Rally in Albany Today, MSSNY Amplifies its Support of Vaccines
MSSNY sent the following statement to the press today, 1/5:

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

“MSSNY continues to be grateful for the science that has made the COVID-19 vaccines a reality. The importance of getting every eligible New Yorker vaccinated and boosted against this virus cannot be overstated. The vaccine not only slows the spread of the disease, but also improves outcomes and reduces the stress on our health care system.

“In addition, we unreservedly support the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers. The SCOTUS ruling in December upholding the vaccination requirement for health care workers—which denied a request to block New York’s vaccination mandate for health care workers—was an important win for our collective public health.

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing at a high level, we encourage parents to vaccinate their school-aged children and those with questions or concerns to discuss the vaccine with their trusted physician.

“MSSNY once again encourages every eligible New Yorker to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.”


Governor Hochul Signs Bills to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Ability to Make Mid-Year Formulary Changes
Governor Hochul signed two bills into law in late December that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensure greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices.  MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send letters to Governor Hochul in support of these bills over the last several months.

The first piece of legislation, (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), signed at the 11th hour on New Year’s Eve, will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was amended from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but was vetoed by Governor Cuomo, to address concerns raised in the Governor’s veto message two years ago. Governor Hochul signed the legislation with an agreement that there will be several chapter amendments to the law by the Legislature in the coming legislative session.

The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, terms, and conditions, that they place on their networks of pharmacies. One of the chapter amendments will ensure that the DFS is the entity that will be responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced.  MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one way to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications. The law takes effect on or about March 31, 2022.

The second bill, (A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin), is going to significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both the Assembly & Senate two years ago, but was vetoed by then Governor Cuomo. To address concerns raised in his veto message, the new law will prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.  Based upon a chapter amendment negotiated by Governor Hochul with the State Legislature, the provisions will take effect for policies beginning January 1, 2023.

We will provide further updates on the implementation of these important new laws as well as the negotiated chapter amendments.


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NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) Makes Audio-Only Telehealth Coverage Policy Permanent
After ongoing, temporary emergency regulations from DFS, the department has made permanent policy that requires private commercial insurance plans to cover Telehealth services delivered via audio-only. An insurer may still engage in reasonable fraud, waste and abuse detection efforts, including to prevent payments for services that do not warrant separate reimbursement.

The new policy was adopted to mitigate health and safety risks during the ongoing pandemic and because Telehealth has proven to be an effective tool in providing quality care for patients around the state. View the permanent regulation.

Additionally, it is important to note that a statute was enacted in 2020 that requires Medicaid to cover audio-only Telehealth services. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) also issued guidance for how Medicaid will continue to cover Telehealth services, including audio-only.


New York Attorney General Letitia James Warns Companies to Stop Misrepresenting Turnaround Times for COVID-19 Test Results
On January 3, 2022, NY AG Letitia James sent warning letters to EZ Test NY and Keep Health Safe, two companies providing COVID-19 testing in New York City. According to the AG’s press release, this is because the two companies have been making false promises regarding turnaround times for COVID-19 test results. The press release notes that, despite claiming to deliver results within 24 hours (EZ Test NY) or 48-72 hours (Keep Health Safe), both companies have made customers wait as long as 11 days for test results. AG James has instructed both companies to stop their false advertising by updating their websites and signage, and by notifying patients of realistic timelines in which they will receive results. AG James is also asking consumers to report labs or testing facilities that are making false promises about turnaround times for COVID-19 test results by filing a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau or by calling the office at 1-800-771-7755.

Read the full press release.


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Legislation Signed into Law to Remove Prior Auth Requirements for MAT
Governor Hochul has signed legislation (A.2030/S.649-A) into law that will eliminate prior authorizations for all Medication Assisted Treatment (“MAT”) for patients enrolled in Medicaid or Medicaid Managed Care plans that are prescribed “in accordance with national professional guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorder.” Similar legislation to eliminate prior authorization requirements for MAT prescribed to patients enrolled in state-regulated commercial insurance plans became law in 2019.

MSSNY together with several other patient advocacy groups supported this important legislation, which will take effect on or about March 22, 2022.


Legislation Signed into Law to Require Co-Prescribing Naloxone for Certain Patients Taking Opioid Medications
Governor Hochul has signed legislation (A.336-A/S.2966-A) into law that will require physicians and other health care practitioners to co-prescribe an opioid antagonist for the first opioid prescription of the year to a patient where the patient 1) has a history of substance abuse disorder; 2) has concurrent use of a benzodiazepine or non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics or 3) is taking at least 90 MME per day in prescribed opioids.  The requirement does not apply to patients in a hospital, nursing home, mental health facility, or hospice.

While MSSNY is a strong proponent for ensuring patients have access to opioid antagonists with a minimum of hassles, it raised concerns with the potential overbroad nature of this requirement as it was being considered by the State Legislature.  Importantly, the sponsors of the legislation amended the bill by significantly narrowing the applicable patient cohort to whom the co-prescribing requirement applies, which had set at 50 MME daily under the original version of this legislation.

The law will take effect on or about June 27, 2022.


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MSSNY Member Obituaries
ABDELAZIM, Mohamad I.; Binghamton NY.  Died December 15, 2021, age 83.  Broome County Medical Society
COUCH, George G.; Watertown NY.  Died October 01, 2020, age 92.  Jefferson County Medical Society
FAUST, Robert Roy; Arlington MA.  Died June 23, 2020, age 84.  Medical Society County of Albany
FEIGELSON, Eugene B.; Brooklyn NY.  Died August 30, 2020, age 89.  Medical Society County of Kings
HOROWITZ, Lawrence; Lawrence NY.  Died January 16, 2021, age 89.  New York County Medical Society
HUH, Chung Ho; Westbury NY.  Died February 19, 2020, age 90.  Medical Society County of Kings
KLINGON, Gerald Harvey; New York NY.  Died October 31, 2021, age 101.  New York County Medical Society
MARMOR, Bruce M.; Las Vegas NV.  Died December 26, 2021, age 82.  Onondaga County Medical Society
MOSHER, Paul W.; Voorheesville NY.  Died September 14, 2021, age 84.  Medical Society County of Albany
RAKOFF, Saul Julian; White Plains NY.  Died May 11, 2020, age 87.  Bronx County Medical Society
RIZZO, Charles Anthony; New Rochelle NY.  Died December 21, 2018, age 90.  Bronx County Medical Society
ROSENBERG, Benjamin A.; Brooklyn NY.  Died December 12, 2021, age 96.  Medical Society County of Kings
SADLER, Arthur H.; Tarrytown NY.  Died May 09, 2020, age 89.  Bronx County Medical Society


Ads Available for:

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

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


For the MSSNY 2022 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.com!


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medical Society Supports Gov’s Plans for State COVID-19 Mandate for School-Aged Children

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2021 

Medical Society Supports Gov’s Plans for State COVID-19 Mandate for
School-Aged Children

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

“In recent press interviews, Governor Hochul said she plans to seek approval from the NYS Legislature to require COVID-19 vaccines for all school-aged children. The Medical Society of the State of New York supports the Governor in her efforts and supports mandatory COVID-19 vaccination among all school-aged children.

“Vaccinating our school-aged children is yet another step towards getting this pandemic under control. We once again encourage school-aged children to get vaccinated and adults to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.”

# # #

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

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

 

MSSNY eNews: December 22, 2021


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THIS IS THE LAST ENEWS PUBLICATION BEFORE THE HOLIDAY.
WE WILL RETURN ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5.

WISHING ALL OF OUR MEMBERS A HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2022!

Digital Holiday Card


COVID-Related Stress and Work Intentions in a Sample of U.S. Health Care Workers
A new Mayo Clinic Proceedings article led by the American Medical Association explores the relationship between COVID-related stress and work intentions of U.S. health care workers. The article found that physicians, nurses, and advanced practice providers are at the highest risk of reducing clinical work hours or leaving their practice, with one in five physicians and two in five nurses intending to leave their practice altogether.

Factors associated with a greater intention to reduce work hours or leave a practice include higher levels of burnout, stress, workload, fear of infection, anxiety or depression due to COVID-19, and the number of years in practice. The article concluded that organizations should implement measures to enhance health care workers’ sense of value, create supportive environments, and reduce work overload through better teamwork to reduce stress and prevent turnover.


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Federal Law Restricting Patient Surprise Bills Takes Effect January 1:
Be Prepared
As reported in recent MSSNY eNews articles, the New York Department of Financial Services has issued a lengthy advisory letter detailing how it intends to reconcile potentially conflicting provisions between the federal No Surprises Act that takes effect January 1, and New York’s surprise bill law provisions.  The letter discusses that New York’s law will now:

  • Ensure that that the provisions of New York’s surprise bill law will apply to all out of network providers, not just hospitals and physicians;
  • Clarify that the “visit” subject to patient protection under New York’s surprise bill law includes: equipment and devices, telemedicine services, imaging services, laboratory services, preoperative and postoperative services, and other such services as HHS may specify;
  • Clarify that New York’s surprise bill law applies to all safety net hospitals;
  • Clarify that previously exempted CPT codes 99281 – 99285, 99288, 99291 – 99292, 99217 – 99220, 99224 – 99226, and 99234 – 99236 are no longer exempted from NY’s surprise bill law;
  • Clarify that the insured’s cost-sharing will be calculated based upon the health insurer’s initial payment amount to the physician, hospital or other care provider
  • Clarify that patients cannot be asked to waive protections for both emergency and surprise out of network bills
  • Clarify that, even if a patient does not sign an assignment of benefits form, upon receipt of a claim from a provider for a surprise bill or for emergency services, an issuer must send the initial payment or notice of denial of the payment directly to the provider
  • Remind health care providers of the federal NSA requirement to post on their website and in their practice location a New York-specific model form advising their insured patients of their legal protections against surprise medical bills.

This is just one of numerous federal patient protections that will become effective on January 1.  Litigation has been filed by various medical and hospital associations against one aspect of the federal No Surprises Act relative to the consideration of various data points during an independent dispute resolution between an out of network health care provider and health insurer.

MSSNY’s General Counsel, Garfunkel Wild, P.C., has announced the creation of a Federal Surprise Bill Working Group that has developed a particular level of expertise in addressing client questions about the new Federal No Surprises Act law.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact info@garfunkelwild.com.


Governor to Sign Legislation to Limit Formulary Adjustments
Governor Hochul will be signing into law legislation (S.4111, Breslin/A.4668, People-Stokes) advocated for by MSSNY and several other patient advocacy groups that will greatly limit the ability of health insurers to implement prescription formulary changes or cost-sharing tier changes for medications during the middle of a policy year.  Based upon some technical amendments agreed to by the State Legislature, the law will take effect for policy years that begin January 1, 2023 and after.

We thank the many physicians who took the time to send a letter to Governor Hochul urging her to sign this bill into law.  Still pending before Governor Hochul is legislation also supported by MSSNY that would regulate the practices of Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBMs).

Governor Hochul has signed into law another bill (A.1677, Gottfried/S.2008, Jackson) supported by MSSNY that requires health insurers to provide greater details to a physician or hospital when a claim has been partially approved, as opposed to being denied.


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UnitedHealthcare Offers New Process to Expedite Claims
UnitedHealthcare is now offering a new process to better serve care providers in a more responsive and efficient way.  It will expedite both the handling and accuracy of claims.  They now have a dedicated team of individuals that includes claims processors assigned to handle all open claims issues.

With this new process, your unresolved claims issues will be quickly resolved by a dedicated and experienced claims reviewer who will respond with the resolution or a status usually within 2 days.   When you have a claims question or dispute that was not resolved to your satisfaction through the service model (e.g., LINK reconsideration, call center or appeal) you now can utilize their dedicated team to handle your escalated issues by sending an email to NewYork_PR_Team@uhc.com.   By sending issues as soon as they are identified, your issues will be resolved without further delay.

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


Mark Your Calendars: MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day is on March 8th
Please plan to put aside Tuesday, March 8th for MSSNY’s Annual Physician Advocacy Day. To view the flyer, click here: MSSNY 2022 Lobby Day. To register, click here: Physician Advocacy Registration

The format will be similar to previous years, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).

With COVID cases on the rise across NYS, we will be advocating for policies that encourage vaccination and support fair payment for telehealth care. We will also advocate for proposals that reduce prior authorization hassles. At the same time, we will voice our opposition to policies that would inappropriately expand the scope of practice for non-physicians and mandate how physicians provide care to their patients.

Please plan to join hundreds of colleagues from around the state on March 8th!


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New CPT Modifier 93: Audio-Only Services
At the September 2021 CPT Editorial Panel Meeting, a new Modifier was accepted to describe real-time telemedicine services between a patient and a physician or other qualified health care professional rendered via audio-only.  This new modifier is effective January 1, 2022.
Modifier 93 – Synchronous Telemedicine Service Rendered Via Telephone or Other Real-Time Interactive Audio-Only Telecommunications System:
Synchronous telemedicine service is defined as a real-time interaction between a physician or other qualified health care professional and a patient who is located away at a distant site from the physician or other qualified health care professional. The totality of the communication of information exchanged between the physician or other qualified health care professional and the patient during the course of the synchronous telemedicine service must be of an amount and nature that is sufficient to meet the key components and/or requirements of the same service when rendered via a face-to-face interaction.

The official release information can be found on the AMA website.


AMA Updated Specialty Impact Analysis
The American Medical Association’s updated specialty impact analysis factors in the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act, which avoided a 4% statutory cut from the PAYGO provisions, extended the moratorium on the 2% Medicare payment sequester, and mitigated the 3.75% Medicare physician payment cut. Note, the analysis is focused on the impact at the beginning of the year.


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CMS Releases Updated CFs
CMS has now released the new 2022 PFS conversion factor of $34.6062 and Anesthesia CF of $21.5623. The updated CFs were included in newly updated spreadsheets on cms.gov.


Ads Available for:

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

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


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


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: December 17, 2021 – Provider Relief Fund Reporting Open Until December 20

Wishing Each of You a Joyful Holiday Season and a Happy, Healthy 2022

Colleagues: 

As we come to the end of 2021 and look forward to 2022, I am filled with hope for the future. Despite huge challenges for physicians in the face of this historic pandemic, we have dug deep, persevered, and helped our patients navigate extraordinary challenges.  My hope is that 2022 will bring an end to this pandemic.

2021 has been a busy year for MSSNY. The improvements and changes underway give me a renewed sense of hope that our future—and the future of all organized medicine—is bright. We started the year by conducting a nationwide search for a new MSSNY EVP and were thrilled to hire Troy Oechsner, who hit the ground running. After extensive research, MSSNY is getting ready to implement a new database service to replace our present database dinosaur and is in the process of developing a plan for a complete overhaul of the MSSNY website. Troy hired Valerie Cammiso as our new VP of Membership and Heather Lopez as Director of Physician Payment and Practice. Troy, Valerie, and Heather each possess a sense of optimism and confidence—and all three have a wealth of experience in their respective fields that I’m confident will bring renewed value to MSSNY membership. They join an existing stellar MSSNY staff that continues to produce excellent work on behalf of all of us.

And our voice in Albany and Washington, DC remains strong. Here are just a few highlights of MSSNY’s work this year:

  • Rejected Physician Responsibility for 50% Excess Insurance Cost-Share
  • Protected Physician Due Process During OPMC Investigations
  • Protected Physician Confidentiality When a Complaint Has Been Filed Against Them With OPMC
  • MSSNY Advocacy resulted in the recent announcement that claims submitted to liquidated health insurer Health Republic would be paid
  • MSSNY worked with the NY Congressional Delegation, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Federation of Medicine to prevent implementation of a 2% sequester cut until at least 2022 and to mostly prevent implementation of a 10% cut to Medicare physician payment conversion factor while continuing to move forward with payment increases to E&M codes.

As the year winds down, I wish each of you a joyful holiday season and a wonderful 2022 filled with good health and happiness.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP
MSSNY President


Provider Relief Fund Reporting Period 1 Portal Open Until December 20 @ 12 PM
The Provider Relief Fund Reporting Period 1 portal will be reopened from 9:00 a.m. ET on December 13, 2021 through 11:59 p.m. ET on December 20, 2021. During this time, PRF recipients may register, request corrections, and/or submit their report on PRF payments received prior to June 30, 2020. This will be the final opportunity for providers to report on Reporting Period 1 payments.  Providers who submitted their reports before November 30, 2021 may request to have their report reopened for revisions by contacting the Provider Support Line (866-569-3522). All reports must be finalized and submitted before December 20, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET to be compliant with the terms and conditions of the PRF program.

To access the PRF reporting portal, please click here.
For additional information about PRF reporting, please visit the PRF webpage.


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Federal No Surprises Act Takes Effect in 15 Days: Are You Ready?
On January 1, 2022, a new and complex set of rules enacted by the federal government regarding “surprise bills” goes into effect. The statute is broad and sweeping and will have significant effects on any health care provider who renders services to out-of-network or uninsured patients. While many jurisdictions, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida already have rules addressing surprise bills, the Federal law varies from the state laws in many ways, including having a far wider application.

The penalties for violating the Federal No Surprises Act law can be substantial. If you are uncertain about an aspect of the new law—whether you are covered, what aspects of your practice are covered, and how to comply—the GW Federal Surprise Bill Working Group can provide unmatched expert guidance.

Garfunkel Wild, P.C., a law firm dedicated to the health care industry, is pleased to announce the creation of a Federal Surprise Bill Working Group that has developed a particular level of expertise in addressing client questions about the new Federal No Surprises Act law.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact us at info@garfunkelwild.com.


DFS Develops Model Form for Physicians to Share with Patients Regarding Protections from Surprise Billing
The New York Department of Financial Services has finalized a New York-specific model form that physicians, hospitals and other health care providers will need to post on their website and in their practice location advising their insured patients of their legal protections against surprise medical bills.  The form developed by the DFS is a modified version of the template form developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services.  As noted in an upcoming DFS Circular letter, “Beginning January 1, 2022, each health care provider and facility must make publicly available, post on their public websites, and provide to insureds, a one-page notice in clear and understandable language containing information on:  the requirements and prohibitions of such provider or facility under 42 U.S.C. §§ 300gg-131 and 300gg-132 (relating to prohibitions on balance billing for emergency services and surprise bills); any other applicable state law requirements on such provider or facility prohibiting out-of-network balancing billing (including any state laws that provide consumer protections that go beyond the NSA); and information on contacting appropriate state and federal agencies in case an individual believes that such provider or facility has violated any state or federal prohibitions on balance billing for emergency services and surprise bills.

45 C.F.R. § 149.430(c) provides clarification regarding the methods for this disclosure.  When posting on the provider’s or facility’s website, the information or link to the information must appear on a searchable homepage of the provider’s or facility’s website.  If a provider or facility does not have a website, this requirement does not apply.  Additionally, for the information to be publicly available, the provider or facility must include the information on a sign posted prominently at the provider’s or facility’s location.  A sign is posted prominently if the sign is posted in a central location, such as where insureds schedule care, check in for appointments, or pay bills.  If the provider does not have a publicly accessible location, this requirement does not apply.  Lastly, the notice provided to the insured must be a one-page (double-sided) notice, using print no smaller than 12-point font.

The provider or facility must provide the notice in person or through postal mail, or if the insured consents, through electronic mail.”


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MSSNY Podcast: Omicron, Medicare and Surprise Bills
Listen to today’s MSSNY podcast as MSSNY Senior VP and Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster updates physician members on Omicron, Medicare, and Surprise Bills.


MSSNY in the News
WSYR LocalSyr.com (News 9) – 12/14/21
President of the Onondaga County Medical Society discusses the strain of COVID-19
(Interview with Dr. Robert Dracker,  President of the Onondaga County Medical Society)

PoliticsNY – 12/14/21
PoliticsNY Power Players in Health Care
(MSSNY President-Elect Parag Mehta named PoliticsNY Power Player)

CBS WRGB News 6 Albany  12/10/21
Capital Region hospitals not concerned over elective surgery postponements
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted) 

The Journal News (LoHud) – 12/06/21
Some NY counties lagging behind in COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 5 to 11. Here’s where
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Also ran in:
Daily Messenger
Wayne Post
Genesee Country Express
Democrat and Chronicle
Observer-Dispatch
Times Telegram
Star-Gazette
Poughkeepsie Journal
The Steuben Courier Advocate
Irondequoit Post
The Evening Tribune
Wellsville Daily Reporter
Yahoo News
The Leader

Rochester First (WROC) – 12/03/21
Free rapid take-home tests and booster shots coming to Monroe County
MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers Interviewed

The Hill – 11/29/21
Time to think beyond the vax? Reflections from a COVID-stricken doc
Op-ed by MSSNY Member, Dr. Frank Contacessa

LoHud.com – 11/22/21
As COVID surges, New York’s flu season is off to a troubling start. Will ‘twindemic’ hit?
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Also ran in:
Daily Messenger
Democrat and Chronicle
Genesee Country Express
Star-Gazette
The Evening Tribune
The Leader
The Poughkeepsie Journal
The Steuben Courier Advocate
Times Telegram
Wayne Post
Wellsville Daily Reporter
Yahoo news           

InsuranceNewsNet – 11/21/21
Stakeholders Praise 4 House Members Letter to Admin Regarding Surprise Billing Interim Final Rule
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Buffalo News – 11/12/21
Covid cases are rising in younger people. So are urgent calls to get them vaccinated
(Former MSSNY President Dr. Thomas Madejski quoted)

Harlem World Magazine – 11/03/21
Attorney General James Defends New York State’s Gun Licensing Protection Law At Supreme Court
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Crain’s Health Pulse – 11/3/21
Labor costs driving up expenses for hospitals, physician practices
MSSNY Past Presidents Dr. Thomas Madejski and Dr. Charles Rothberg interviewed)


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Podcast on Omicron and Antivirals with MSSNY Infectious Diseases Committee Chair Dr. William Valenti Available Now
Questions about the Omicron COVID Variant and the newly developed antivirals for COVID-19?  Listen to MSSNY’s latest podcast on Omicron and antivirals here.  Chair of MSSNY Infectious Diseases Committee, Dr. William Valenti offers insight on the latest COVID variant, Omicron, and provides information on the newly developed COVID antivirals.  Also be sure to check out all MSSNY’s other podcasts on topics ranging from Emergency Preparedness to Veterans Matters to Legislative Updates.  And go to https://cme.mssny.org  to explore all of MSSNY’s CME programs.


COVID-19 Exacerbating Physician Stress: MSSNY is Here to Help
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking, and feelings of loss.

MSSNY understands that with the Holiday season, comes a great deal of stress for many.

If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, encourage them to reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter!

Email: P2P@mssny.org or call 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) to request to be connected with a peer supporter.

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

If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org.


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MSSNY Calls on Governor Hochul to Sign Bill to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Mid-Year Formulary Changes: Members Urged to Take Grassroots Action
Physicians are again urged to send a letter asking Governor Hochul to sign two bills into law that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensuring greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices.  Physicians can send a letter or tweet from here.

The first piece of legislation, (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was amended from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but vetoed, to address concerns raised in Governor Cuomo’s veto message two years ago.

The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, terms, and conditions, that they place on their networks of pharmacies. MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one manner to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.

The second bill, A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin, would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both chambers two years ago, but was vetoed by then Governor Cuomo. To address concerns raised in his veto message, the legislation now prohibits the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen, for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.

Physicians can send a letter to ask Governor Hochul to sign both bills here.


MSSNY Tip of the Week: Time-Based Billing for E/M Guide
Effective January 1, 2021, the new time-based billing for E/M codes went into effect and should be used now. This will allow you to bill a higher-level CPT code in the event certain time metrics are met. To ensure you are receiving the most appropriate reimbursement for your time, please take a moment to review this document.

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


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The Telehealth Initiative
As part of the Telehealth Initiative project, MSSNY and the AMA will work together to develop relevant educational content, resources, measurement tools, and evaluation support to help practices with telehealth implementation. MSSNY will be part of a national network to establish and maintain strong relationships with physicians, practices, and health systems interested in implementing, optimizing, or sustaining telehealth. In addition to providing ongoing support, this year’s program will emphasize the importance of realizing the true value of virtual care. MSSNY has secured four signed statements of interest: C DOC, Mount Sinai, Northwell TeleICU/Telehealth, and Eger Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

MSSNY is hoping to have close to 10 practice sites in total. As a collaborating partner, team leaders will participate in a “kick-off” meeting with leaders from practice sites in New York and in other states. Each practice site will be involved in dissemination of a telehealth survey assessing practice/physician experience using telehealth. In addition to participation in the Telehealth Survey, the project team will collect baseline, mid- point, and final data points to measure the impact of telehealth in their practices using the Return on Health framework. Access to educational resources from the AMA and expert mentoring to discuss optimization and sustaining telehealth into practice, virtual events and discussions which provides a network for physicians and care teams to share experiences will be provided to all participants.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining this initiative, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator at clauder@mssny.org.


Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
With just a few weeks left in the year, physicians are again urged to contact Governor Hochul’s office to encourage her to veto multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims.

While these bills do not have the same gargantuan premium impact as other legislation sought by the trial bar that would expand lawsuits and awards against physicians, they would continue to make New York’s already dysfunctional medical liability adjudication system even more unbalanced and add to New York’s notorious outlier status with regard to medical liability payouts.  These bills include:

  • A8041/S7052 (“The Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act”) – Imposes excessive insurance disclosure requirements on defendants during litigation, which has been strongly opposed by many groups. Business groups urge Hochul to veto insurance bill (nystateofpolitics.com)
  • A2199/S473 – Expands the time period for the imposition of New York’s excessive 9% judgment interest in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not initially granted, but then overturned on appeal.
  • A8040/S7093 – Changes a long-standing rule that heretofore excluded a “hearsay” statement made by a defendant’s employee.

Classified Ads Available for:

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

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


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


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: December 15, 2021 – Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 Payments Going Out This Week

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Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 Payments Going Out This Week
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the distribution of approximately $9 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 payments to health care providers who have experienced revenue losses and expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes nearly 5,000 providers in New York State totaling over $750 million.

The average payment announced yesterday for small providers is $58,000, for medium providers is $289,000, and for large providers is $1.7 million. More than 69,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and eight territories will receive Phase 4 payments. Payments will start to be made later this week.

The PRF Phase 4 payments, in addition to the $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments to providers and suppliers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare beneficiaries, are part of the $25.5 billion the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing to health care providers to recruit and retain staff, purchase masks and other supplies, modernize facilities, or other activities needed to respond to COVID-19. The AMA has advocated for more of the PRF to be distributed, particularly those providers who serve in rural areas and who see low-income patients. In response, HHS is reimbursing smaller practices at a higher percentage of their revenue losses and expenses due to COVID-19, as well as using Medicare reimbursement rates to calculate payments for practices that care for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP patients.

It is important to keep in mind that funds received over $10,000 in the aggregate during a PRF reporting period will trigger a reporting requirement through the Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal. Additional information on PRF reporting and auditing may be found here.

For more information on the PRF Phase 4 monies, please the materials below:


Various Lawsuits Underway to Challenge Faulty HHS IDR Rules; Most Other Provisions of the No Surprises Act to Go Forward January 1
As reported last week, the AMA and the American Hospital Association (AHA) have filed a lawsuit in the DC Federal Court against several federal agencies challenging these agencies’ misguided implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA).  This follows a lawsuit filed by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) last month in a Texas Federal Court against various federal agencies challenging a narrow but critical provision of a rule issued on Sept. 30 by these agencies.

Both lawsuits allege that the federal regulators’ interpretation upend the careful compromise Congress set forth for resolving billing disputes.  Specifically, the federal regulation directs arbiters under independent dispute resolution (IDR) to presume that the health insurer’s self-determined median in-network rate is the appropriate out-of-network rate, and limiting when and how other factors come into play. The TMA and AMA lawsuits argue that the regulations are an improper deviation of the law as written by Congress which detailed a series of factors to be considered in the IDR without any one factor being the dominant consideration over the others.

With the TMA filing a motion for summary judgement last Friday, the Physicians’ Advocacy Institute (PAI) will be filing an amicus brief to support this action on behalf of itself and 10 other state medical societies including MSSNY.  It is likely that many specialty and state medical associations will file an amicus in the AMA/AHA action as well.

New York State to Issue Guidance on Implementation of NSA in New York

Physicians are once again reminded that the lawsuit on one aspect of the NSA will not prevent the law’s core patient protections from being required to be followed on January 1, 2022. MSSNY has written several newsletter articles regarding other key provisions of the NSA law that physicians should be sure they are following: MSSNY eNews: November 19, 2021 – 10 Key Provisions of No Surprises Act Implementation in NY

A New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Circular Letter will be issued shortly that seeks to provide clarification of several components of New York’s law that may be inconsistent with the NSA, such as provisions that would:

  • Ensure that that the provisions of New York’s surprise bill law will apply to all out of network providers, not just hospitals and physicians;
  • Clarify that the “visit” subject to patient protection under New York’s surprise bill law includes: equipment and devices, telemedicine services, imaging services, laboratory services, preoperative and postoperative services, and other such services as HHS may specify;
  • Clarify that New York’s surprise bill law applies to all safety net hospitals;
  • Clarify that previously exempted CPT codes 99281 – 99285, 99288, 99291 – 99292, 99217 – 99220, 99224 – 99226, and 99234 – 99236 are no longer exempted from NY’s surprise bill law;
  • Clarify that the insured’s cost-sharing will be calculated based upon the health insurer’s initial payment amount to the physician, hospital or other care provider
  • Clarify that patients cannot be asked to waive protections for both emergency and surprise out of network bills
  • Clarify that, even if a patient does not sign an assignment of benefits form, upon receipt of a claim from a provider for a surprise bill or for emergency services, an issuer must send the initial payment or notice of denial of the payment directly to the provider
  • Remind health care providers of the federal NSA requirement to post on their website and in their practice location a model form that sets forth patient protections against balance billing

There are also likely to be DFS Circular Letters regarding addressing NSA rules related to continuity of care for patients after a provider leaves a network, and consequences of provider directory misinformation, that will be issued soon as well.


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Health Department Update on COVID-19 for New York: Oral Antiviral Treatment, General Updates, and Co-Circulation with Influenza
Join the NYS and NYC Health Departments for a COVID-19 informational webinar tomorrow, Thursday, December 16, 2021, from 1-2 p.m.

To access the webinar visit YouTube Live on December 16 at 1 pm.
Audio number: 844-512-2950. Click here to view the flyer with additional details and to share with interested colleagues. There are no capacity limits, and no registration is required.


MSSNY Calls SCOTUS Ruling on Vaccination Requirement for Health Care Workers “An Important Win for Our Collective Public Health”
Fierce Healthcare (12/14, Landi) reports the Supreme Court on Monday rejected “a challenge to New York’s requirement that health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 even when they cite religious objections,” a decision applauded by the Medical Society of the State of New York. The organization called the move an “important win” for public health. MSSNY President Joseph Sellers, MD, said, “We are confident that the Supreme Court ruling signifies another step toward bringing this pandemic to an end. We once again encourage every eligible New Yorker to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.”

MSSNY’s Press Statement


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Picture of Dr. MehtaCongrats to #MSSNY President Elect @ParagMehta6 on being named one of @PoliticsNYnews Power Players in Healthcare https://t.co/siiWHPE10O pic.twitter.com/xTk90V5hnO

— Medical Society NY (@mssnytweet) December 15, 2021


Mark Your Calendars: MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day is on March 8th
Please plan to put aside Tuesday, March 8th for MSSNY’s Annual Physician Advocacy Day. To view the flyer, click here: MSSNY 2022 Lobby Day. To register, click here: Physician Advocacy Registration

The format will be similar to previous years, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).

With COVID cases on the rise across NYS, we will be advocating for policies that encourage vaccination and support fair payment for telehealth care. We will also advocate for proposals that reduce prior authorization hassles. At the same time, we will voice our opposition to policies that would inappropriately expand the scope of practice for non-physicians and mandate how physicians provide care to their patients.

Please plan to join hundreds of colleagues from around the state on March 8th!


Legislation Introduced to Extend and Expand Provide Contract with All Health Care Providers
Legislation (A.8511/Dinowitz, D-Bronx) was introduced this week that would extend contracts between health plans and health care providers that are unilaterally terminated or not renewed, for 120 days from the date of the termination or non-renewal. This will enable patients to continue to see their provider under the terms of the former contract, providing for continuity of care.

Current law requires a 60-day “cooling off” period when either a hospital or health insurer terminates or non-renews a contract with the other.  This bill would not only extend this period of time to 120 days, it would also apply to all healthcare providers who have a contract with a health insurer.  As noted in the sponsor’s memo in support, the bill would provide for coverage during the 120-day period for entities that are part of the provider’s organization included in their previous contract, not just hospitals as is currently the law.

MSSNY is analyzing this legislation. On the one hand, many physicians have brought concerns to MSSNY about being unfairly dropped from health insurer networks without a legal way to challenge this non-renewal.  On the other hand, it could require continued participation in what may be an unfair contract. The sponsor’s memo of support further notes that “When a massive health insurance company and a health care provider organization cannot come to an agreement on rates, New Yorkers who happen to have such insurance should be given ample time to plan for the change in their health care access. This is especially true in areas where one provider dominates a region’s health care market.  Such was nearly the case in the Bronx where United healthcare (UHC) and Montefiore failed to renew their contract for over seven months, placing thousands in jeopardy of losing access to their primary care doctors and health care services provided by Montefiore.


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New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) Secures $3.1 Million For New Yorkers Using Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Parity Compliance Review
Acting New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent, Adrienne A. Harris, announced yesterday that it had secured $3.1 million following a review of whether New York insurers were in compliance with state and federal cost-sharing requirements for mental health and substance use treatment.

DFS reviewed mental health and substance use disorder parity reports that insurers must submit every two years to gauge if insurers were providing the same level of mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits that they do for medical care. The review found that Aetna, Oscar, and Wellfleet sold policies that required consumers to pay a copayment or coinsurance for mental health and substance use disorder benefits that was not permitted under the law.

The three insurers have agreed to DFS’ findings and signed consent orders. The violations, monetary penalties, and consumer restitution amounts include:

  • Aetna Life Insurance Company was fined $874,000 for violation of MHPAEA and New York Insurance Law, $376,000 for erroneous data reporting, and will return $439.20 to consumers;
  • Oscar Insurance Corporation was fined $1,000,000 for violation of MHPAEA and New York Insurance Law and will return $465,800 to consumers; and
  • Wellfleet New York Insurance Company was fined $425,000 for violation of MHPAEA and New York Insurance Law and will return $7,326.70 to consumers. 

MSSNY worked together with the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) and other mental health care advocates in 2019 to help enact legislation to establish the parity compliance report requirements. 

The overall DFS monetary penalty is $2,675,000, of which $2,299,000 will go to the Behavioral Health Parity Compliance Fund to provide funding for initiatives that support parity implementation and enforcement, including DFS’ Behavioral Health Ombudsman Program. The remainder of the funds will go to the state’s General Fund. The total amount being returned to consumers is $473,565.90.

Click here to access a copy of the consent orders.  


Judge Orders NYC to Delay Implementation of Retiree Health Care Switch to Medicare Advantage Until April 1st: Opt-Out Period Extended To June 30th
Following negotiations this past summer between municipal unions, and the city of New York, an agreement was reached to transition New York City retirees from their current, traditional Medicare plan to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Beneficiaries will have the ability to opt-out of the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan and remain enrolled in their current, traditional Medicare plan. The new plan is being administered by Emblem and Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and coverage for these enrollees is now scheduled to begin on April 1, 2022 and retirees have until June 30th
to opt-out of the program all together.

As reported in NY Focus (Judge Orders City to Delay Retiree Health Care Switch Until April 1),  in a three-page order issued on Tuesday, the judge overseeing the case laid out a series of conditions that the city must comply with before implementing the new Medicare Advantage plan. He specified that retirees must be allowed to opt-out of the plan until at least June 30, 2022—three months after the plan is scheduled to go into effect. In addition, the City must take steps to ensure that retirees are fully informed about what treatments and procedures are included in the new plan, and which doctors will and will not be participating. Confusion among retirees about what services will be included in the plan has been widespread, especially after the city mailed them a guide to the plan that contained numerous errors–and then refused to send a follow up correction.

The City must also send retirees a letter correcting the errors in its initial plan by January 7, 2022 and the letter must contain information on how retirees can obtain a corrected Enrollment Guide, free of charge, and list the specific websites with the corrected Enrollment Plan. Moreover, starting January 7, 2022, until the plan becomes active on April 1st, the city must submit biweekly reports detailing its efforts to contact providers to inform them about the plan, and a schedule for how and when it will contact additional providers. The Organization of Public Service Retirees’ underlying case seeking to stop the move outright is still under consideration and will be decided when the preliminary injunction has been lifted.

Many MSSNY members have raised concerns about possible adverse impacts on patients once their new MA coverage becomes effective. To that end, several MSSNY physician leaders met virtually on October 21st with representatives from Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to discuss questions from physicians regarding the possible impact of the upcoming transition for patient care delivery.  The issue was also discussed extensively at the November 4 MSSNY Council meeting. Moreover, Kings County Medical Society Past-President, Dr. Donald Moore, testified regarding the potential new prior authorization requirements at a hearing about the issue, that was held on Thursday, October 28th by the New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor.

MSSNY will continue to work with affected physicians and their patients to monitor the materials developed for retirees and physicians regarding this transition to ensure they are accurate. Empire and Emblem have also developed educational materials for physicians and other providers including webinars. MSSNY will monitor the impact of the new plans if or when they’re implemented for reports of potential pre-authorization and claims hassles for physicians, and barriers to care for patients.

To view materials provided to MSSNY by Emblem and Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield:

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:a0c9b2b3-7ab2-4541-a03c-039ab65a2e57

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:91d24327-df43-402d-8d73-5a75b2a20783

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:9a0b7f28-5814-4c0f-9821-8f5efe8f9e55

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:c49e3c1a-7984-4c10-8fe0-d410074dd953

To access a range of other information shared by the NYC Office of Labor Relations:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/olr/health/retiree/health-retiree-responsibilities-assistance.page


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

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


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


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: December 10, 2021 – Medicare Cuts Halted

Medicare Cuts Halted

Colleagues:

Events this week underscored the importance of grassroots physician advocacy. Thanks to sustained advocacy on the part of our MSSNY physicians and our colleagues around the country, we received good news. On Tuesday evening, by a 222-212 vote, the US House of Representatives passed the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act to hold off most of the cumulative 10% Medicare cuts to physician payment that were scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022.

And late last night we received more good news when the US Senate passed the legislation to halt the Medicare physician payment cuts. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. (See the fourth article below for more detailed information on the legislation).

This is an example of what can be accomplished when we pull together and present a united front to our legislators. The physicians of New York, and around the country, spoke—and Congress listened. We are grateful to the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy urging action to prevent these cuts. And we thank the many of you who contacted your local US Representative and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand highlighting just how devastating and ill-timed this cut could have been.

United we stand, divided we fall. While we have so many more areas where we need our legislators to act to help protect our patients’ access to care, this is an example of how we can accomplish great things when we work together.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President


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Governor Announces Indoor Mask Requirement for Businesses
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places effective Monday, December 13, unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

The press release announcing the requirement noted that, since Thanksgiving, the statewide 7-day average case rate has increased by 43% and hospitalizations have increased by 29%.  The press release further noted that “While the percentage of New Yorkers fully vaccinated continues to increase—gaining 2% from Thanksgiving weekend to now—the uptick is not fast enough to completely curb the spread of the virus, particularly among communities with low vaccination coverage.”

“I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas,” Governor Hochul added.

The press release noted that businesses and venues who implement a proof of vaccination requirement can accept Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, or a CDC Vaccination Card. In accordance with CDC’s definition of fully vaccinated, full-course vaccination is defined as 14 days past an individual’s last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

The press release further noted that businesses and venues that implement a mask requirement must ensure all patrons two years and older wear a mask at all times while indoors.


MSSNY President Talks to CBS/Albany About Elective Surgery Postponements: The solution is not unreasonable, but I don’t know if it’s enough”
In an interview with CBS/Albany last evening for a piece on elective surgery postponements in Capital Region hospitals, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers said  “The solution is not unreasonable, but I don’t know if it’s enough. They seem to have learned some lessons from the prior administration when things were done in a very centrally controlled manner,” said Dr. Joseph Sellers, Medical Society of New York President. “There is more leeway for physicians to attest that a patient would suffer if something was postponed. We have ways to assess the risks and benefits of going ahead with surgeries. So, it’s not a full ban, and that’s good. I think people will get the care they need.” Link to CBS6Albany video.


 

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AMA, AHA File Lawsuit to Challenge Faulty HHS Rules Implementing Surprise Billing Law
The American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) filed a lawsuit Thursday against several federal agencies challenging these agencies’ misguided implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA).

The lawsuit challenges a narrow but critical provision of a rule issued on Sept. 30 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies. The provision being challenged ignores requirements specified in the NSA which could significantly adversely narrow care options for patients in hospitals across the country.   The rule and this flawed provision are set to take effect on January 1.

The AHA and AMA noted in an accompanying press release that “they strongly support protecting patients from unanticipated medical bills and were instrumental in passing the landmark No Surprises Act to protect patients from billing disputes between providers and commercial health insurers.”

However, the legal challenge is necessary because the federal regulators’ interpretation upends the careful compromise Congress deliberately chose for resolving billing disputes. As noted in the AMA/AHA press release “the new rule places a heavy thumb on the scale of an independent dispute resolution process, unfairly benefiting commercial health insurance companies. The skewed process will ultimately reduce access to care by discouraging meaningful contracting negotiations, reducing provider networks, and encouraging unsustainable compensation for teaching hospitals, physician practices, and other providers that significantly benefit patients and communities.”

Specifically, the federal regulation directs arbiters under independent dispute resolution (IDR) to presume that the health insurer’s self-determined median in-network rate is the appropriate out-of-network rate and limiting when and how other factors come into play. The lawsuit argues that the regulations are an improper deviation of the law as written by Congress which set forth a series of factors to be considered in the IDR without any one factor being the dominant consideration over the others.

Physicians should be aware that the lawsuit will not prevent the law’s core patient protections from moving forward on January 1, 2022. MSSNY has written several newsletter articles regarding other key provisions of the law that physicians should be sure they are following: MSSNY eNews: November 19, 2021 – 10 Key Provisions of No Surprises Act Implementation in NY –

Last month, the Texas Medical Association filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court making similar legal challenges against HHS’ interpretation of the NSA. The Physicians’ Advocacy Institute is likely to file an amicus brief to support this action on behalf of itself and 10 other state medical societies including MSSNY.

Moreover, last month, a bipartisan group of 152 lawmakers urged the Administration to fix the independent dispute resolution provisions, noting the rule’s approach “is contrary to statute and could incentivize insurance companies to set artificially low payment rates, which would narrow provider networks and jeopardize patient access to care – the exact opposite of the goal of the law.”

For additional information, please see copies of the filed complaint and motion to stay by the AMA and AHA.  Please remain alert for further updates.


Senate Passes Legislation to Prevent Medicare Cuts; President Expected to Sign
Last night, the US Senate passed legislation to halt most of the cumulative 10% Medicare physician payment cuts that had been scheduled to take effect on January 1, after the US House had passed the legislation earlier this week. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.  Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Delay the resumption of the 2% Medicare sequester for three months (January 1- March 31, 2022). The legislation then provides for a 1% sequester for the following three months (April 1-June 30, 2022), with the full sequester to be re-implemented on July 1, 2022.
  • Provide for a one-year increase in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule of 3% (0.75% less than the conversion factor boost provided for 2021).
  • Eliminate through 2022 the scheduled 4% Medicare PAY-GO cut
  • A one-year delay in the cuts to the clinical lab fee schedule.
  • A one-year delay in the Medicare radiation oncology demonstration.

“The wheels of Congress don’t always move quickly, but today they did move toward preserving the viability of physician practices and maintaining access to care,” stated AMA President Dr. Gerald Harmon. “Potential reductions in Medicare payments for physician services hung over the heads of patients and practices like a sword of Damocles. The Senate action today, following a similar House vote this week, would delay the reductions and give Congress time to work on reforms to address the flaws in the Medicare payment system.

Earlier this week, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers issued a statement thanking the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy urging action to prevent these cuts, but noted that “we are nearly out of time” and urged “immediate action to help ensure that community-based physicians will still be able to provide the health care services that are expected and deserved by our patients.”

Certainly, the time-limited nature of these actions will necessitate more AMA, MSSNY and grassroots physician advocacy in 2022 to prevent further Medicare cuts.


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MSSNY Calls on Governor Hochul to Sign Bill to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Mid-Year Formulary Changes: Members Urged to Take Grassroots Action
Physicians are again urged to send a letter asking Governor Hochul to sign two bills into law that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensuring greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices. The deadline to sign or veto both bills is the end of December.  Physicians can send a letter or tweet from here: Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (p2a.co)

The first piece of legislation, (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was amended from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but vetoed, to address concerns raised in Governor Cuomo’s veto message two years ago.

The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, terms, and conditions, that they place on their networks of pharmacies. MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one manner to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.

The second bill, A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin, would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both chambers two years ago, but was vetoed by then Governor Cuomo. To address concerns raised in his veto message, the legislation now prohibits the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen, for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.

Physicians can send a letter to ask Governor Hochul to sign both bills here: Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (p2a.co)


PHHPC Approves Three Regulations to be Adopted by NYS DOH
The New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) met on Thursday December 9. During their meeting, the Council approved the following three regulations to be adopted by the New York State Department of Health:

  1. This regulation conforms existing DOH regulations relative to abortion services with the provisions of the Reproductive Health Act (S240) enacted two years ago by the state legislature, and it permits the clinical examination prior to the procedure to be performed through telemedicine.
  2. This regulation allows the Department of Health to extend the deadline by which all hospitals designated as “stroke centers” must initiate a certification process with a certifying organization approved by the Department.
  3. This regulation updates tables and corrects topographical/technical errors in NYS law. It allows the Department of Health to maintain full primacy for delivery, oversight, and management of NY’s public drinking water supply, and it ensures consistency with EPA regulations.


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CDC Strengthens Booster Recommendations for 16- and 17-Year Olds
On December 9, the CDC strengthened its booster recommendations to indicate that everyone 16 and older receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine six months after their primary series. This follows the CDC’s November 29 recommendation for booster doses for anyone 18 years or older either 6 months after their primary vaccine series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or 2 months after their primary vaccine series of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 16 and 17.

For more information, click on the following links:

Guidance for The New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Information for Health Care Professionals about the Screening Checklist for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Individuals 12 Years of Age or Older, and the COVID-19 Immunization Screening and Consent Form.


SUNY Upstate Medical University Physician Survey on Vaccine Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic decline in vaccine uptake. As more people remain un- or under-vaccinated, communities are increasingly susceptible to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. In an effort to combat this reduction in vaccinations, SUNY Upstate Medical University is conducting a survey study among healthcare professionals across the state to assess vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Your answers can help to impact changes in the community as these data will guide under-vaccination from a provider focus. After study closure, up to 5 members from MSSNY who have completed the survey will be randomly selected to win a free copy of the Committee on Infectious Disease, American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book – an important resource on pediatric infectious diseases and vaccinations.

Please consider completing this survey on vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and practices, which should take no more than 10 minutes.  Questions about the survey? Contact SuryadeM@upstate.edu.


 

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

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


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


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: December 8, 2021 – House Passes Bill to Prevent Medicare Cuts

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House Passes Bill to Prevent Staggering Medicare Cuts Following Sustained Physician Advocacy
On Tuesday night, by a 222-212 vote, the US House of Representatives passed the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act which would temporarily hold off most of the cumulative 10% Medicare cuts to physician payment that are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022. The bill is expected to be passed by the Senate as well as part of a larger package to raise the debt ceiling.

Specifically, the bill would extend a moratorium on a 2% sequester cut through March 31, 2022 that had been scheduled to expire at year end 2021. It also would delay a 4% budget-balancing cut known as PAYGO until 2023. Finally, it would provide a one-year, 3% increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule, to offset the 3.75% conversion factor cut contained in the 2022 Medicare payment rule.

Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president of the American Medical Association, praised Congress for “taking a decisive step” and urged Congress to “support this bipartisan proposal and join together again in the new year to develop long-term solutions to address the flaws in the Medicare payment system.”

On Tuesday, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers issued a statement thanking the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy urging action to prevent these cuts, but noted that “we are nearly out of time” and urged “immediate action to help ensure that community-based physicians will still be able to provide the health care services that are expected and deserved by our patients.”

Until this is finalized, physicians can send a letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand urging action to prevent steep Medicare cuts here: Be Heard | Physicians Grassroots Network.


Update on Litigation Related to the IDR Portion of the No Surprises Act and Implementation of Other NSA Requirements
The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) will be filing an amicus brief on behalf of itself as well as MSSNY and the other 9 affiliated state medical associations to support the lawsuit filed by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) against several federal agencies challenging its erroneous implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA).

As has been reported in MSSNY e-news, the TMA lawsuit alleges that, in enacting the Interim Final Rule (IFR) on the NSA, federal agencies: (1) improperly failed to follow direction from Congress about how to implement the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process set forth in the NSA by giving undue weight to the health insurer’s self-determined qualifying payment amount as part of the IDR determination and (2) violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to appropriately solicit and incorporate comments from stakeholders.

The American Medical Association together with the American Hospital Association is also expected to file a lawsuit this week in a federal court in the District of Columbia to raise similar legal challenges to the federal agencies’ interpretation of the NSA. MSSNY has had several discussions with the PAI regarding how together they can best assist the AMA in pursuing this legal action, including filing an amicus brief.

Since the NSA’s passage last December, MSSNY working together with many other medical associations across the country have written to and met with federal regulators to encourage rules to ensure a fair implementation of the NSA, including a MSSNY letter to federal officials this week. Like many other groups, the MSSNY letter raised strong objections to federal regulations because, instead of following the statutory language included within the NSA, HHS and other federal agencies designed an IDR process for resolving out of network surprise medical bills that heavily favors health insurance companies in payment disputes by prioritizing health insurer median contract rates over other factors.

The Congressional intent articulated in the NSA was to create an IDR process to protect patients that was appropriately balanced and did not favor either the insurer or the physician in claims disputes. Specifically, the final language adopted by Congress required that numerous factors be considered, including patient acuity or complexity of services, demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates and previously contracted rates, in addition to the insurers’ median in-network rate, without specifying that one factor take precedence over another.

Physicians must also be aware that there are numerous other changes required by the NSA that will take effect January 1 that will impact New York physicians which are not the subject of these legal actions. MSSNY has written multiple newsletter articles that have sought to educate physicians regarding many of the important differences between the NSA and New York’s existing surprise bill law.


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MSSNY Comments on COVID Vaccines for Children in USA Today Network and Boosters for Adults on WROC-TV
Some New York Counties Lagging Behind Statewide Rate Of COVID-19 Vaccinations Among Children Aged 5 To 11
The Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News (USA Today Network) reported, “COVID-19 vaccinations among New Yorkers ages 5 to 11 have slowed recently and some counties are lagging far behind the statewide rate.” About 18% of children “in the 5-11 age group have received their first dose, but nearly 40 of the 62 counties statewide fell below that rate, state data on Friday showed.” The article added that “last month, parents who anxiously awaited the approval rushed to get children vaccinated in the early weeks, but demand has waned recently, said” Medical Society of the State of New York President Joseph R. Sellers, MD. Dr. Sellers explained, “There is a group of parents who don’t want themselves vaccinated and don’t want to vaccinate their children, and those are very difficult conversations. … Then, there is a group in the middle that are not sure and need some reassurance, and that’s where we as medical professionals are putting our efforts.”

Encourage Booster Shots to Combat Rising COVID-19 Infections in New York
WROC-TV Rochester, NY reported Monroe County, New York is “under a state of emergency…due to being low on hospital bed spaces and COVID-19 cases still increasing.” On Saturday, “the first group of 26 National Guard Medics” were deployed to “help nursing home staff open more bed space to get recovered elderly patients out of hospitals.” Physicians “and government officials believe the next way to curve the rise in cases” and lower hospitalizations “is getting take-home COVID-19 test kits out to pharmacies, clinics, and physician offices.” Still, physicians “agree the best weapon is getting the vaccine, especially boosters with Omicron now rising.” MSSNY President Joseph R. Sellers, MD, said, “What the booster shot does is it takes the immunity to a higher level of immunity and protection. So, anybody who has been out six months from either Moderna or Pfizer or more than two months from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine we recommend getting a booster.”


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MSSNY Tip of the Week: Guide to Value Based Contracting
Value Based Contracting (VBC) is becoming more relevant and widely used. A VBC is a specialized contract between the physician and the insurance company that focuses on multiple areas, including clinical performance and agreed upon pre-determined financial and patient targets that need to be met to achieve rewards (shared savings or bonuses).

A significant component of the VBC is quality-based performance that will yield per-member per-month (PMPM) reimbursement. There is much to know before you enter into a VBC to see if it is right for you. View guidelines from Physician Advocacy Institute to assist in making the right choice for your practice.

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


Why I’m a MSSNY Member: Lance Austein,  MD, FACP

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



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

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


32 Hospitals Directed to Limit Non-Essential Procedures Based Upon DOH Criteria
32 hospitals across the State have been ordered by the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to limit non-essential surgeries and procedures starting tomorrow, December 9, based upon their limited bed capacity within their facilities.  The hospitals were ordered based upon the criteria articulated in a DOH “Dear Administrator” Letter (DAL) issued last Friday December 3.

As noted in a MSSNY e-news article last week, as part of a meeting with MSSNY physician leaders and staff, key health staff to the Hochul Administration indicated that a key goal in implementing such a policy is that it be far more measured than previous iterations of elective surgery restrictions.   A few of the notable components of the DAL include:

  • The restrictions on elective surgeries do not apply to procedures performed at specialty facilities (such as a cancer treatment facility), non-hospital owned ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), office-based surgery practices, or free-standing diagnostic and treatment centers.
  • The limitations will apply to only those facilities that are in regions of the State considered to be high risk (as defined in the DAL) AND have less than 10% bed availability. The 32 hospitals ordered to limit their elective procedures are located in the North Country, Capital District, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Western New York regions of New York State (see list below).
  • It does not impact services provided by ASCs owned by these impacted Facilities unless the Impacted Facility has less than 5% bed availability based on the previous 7-day average
  • The following procedures are considered essential, and not subject to the restrictions.
    • Cancer, including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer
    • Neurosurgery
    • Intractable Pain
    • Highly symptomatic patients
    • Transplants
    • Trauma
    • Cardiac with symptoms
    • Limb threatening vascular procedures
    • Dialysis Vascular Access

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

MSSNY is continuing to work with various groups to identify possible gaps in the availability of urgently needed patient care arising from this restriction on elective procedures. 


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New Compliance Date Set for NY Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary Regulations (Refills and Renewals)
The NY Workers’ Compensation Board recently issued a bulletin providing an update on the implementation of its new formulary regulations (Subject Number 046-1475). The bulletin reminds WC payers to notify injured workers, their physicians, and their health care providers that refills and renewals of prescription medication must conform to the Formulary within six months of the effective date of the regulation. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this deadline was postponed.

On November 15, 2021, the Board announced that refills and renewals must comply with the Formulary before the launch of its new business information system. This system, known as OnBoard: Limited Release (OBLR), is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022. The Board will announce the rollout date of OBLR, via a WCB Notification email, at least four weeks before launch.

To ensure that physicians and injured workers have adequate notice to prepare for the new compliance date, payers must do the following on or before January 5, 2022:

  • Notify physicians and other health care providers of any injured workers they are currently treating with non-Formulary medications so they can either change medications or submit prior authorization requests to continue using the non-Formulary medications.
  • Notify injured workers (claimants) who are currently prescribed non-Formulary medications, so they can discuss medication options with their treating physician or health care provider.

These notifications must be issued by WC payers using a format prescribed by the Chair. Please see Injured Worker Formulary Notification and Provider Formulary Notification for the required format.

The bulletin further notes that health care providers and injured workers may receive WCB notification e-mails to ensure that they are notified of the exact date for compliance. Sign up for these emails using this link.


Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
With just a few weeks left in the year, physicians are again urged to contact Governor Hochul’s office to Urge Governor to VETO Regressive Liability Bills (p2a.co) that she veto multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims. 

While these bills do not have the same gargantuan premium impact as other legislation sought by the trial bar that would expand lawsuits and awards against physicians, they would continue to make New York’s already dysfunctional medical liability adjudication system even more unbalanced and add to New York’s notorious outlier status with regard to medical liability payouts.  These bills include:

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


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Medical Updates & Immunization Site Training for All Healthcare Providers led by Pfizer Vaccines US Medical Affairs
Join Pfizer for a training session to educate providers and immunization staff on the proper use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Session topics include:

  • Use of the vaccine for:
  • Children 5 through 11 Years of Age
  • Individuals 12 Years of Age and Older
  • Storage, Handling, Preparation & Administration for the multiple presentations of the vaccine
  • Recent medical updates regarding the vaccine
  • An overview of healthcare provider resources
  • Question and answer session

These sessions will be updated to reflect new information and changes that evolve. Recent updates will be identified at the start of each session.

To access current and future training sessions, please visit:

https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/medical-updates


NYS DOH Releases New Information on Cannabis Use During the Perinatal Period
The New York State Department of Health’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) website has been updated with a new publication: Data to Action: Cannabis Use During the Perinatal Period: Individual Perceptions and Clinician Advising, New York State, 2017-2018.

On March 31, 2021, the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) was passed for legalizing adult-use cannabis in New York State. The MRTA created a new Office of Cannabis Management, governed by a Cannabis Control Board to comprehensively regulate cannabis in New York State. With legal accessibility to cannabis for medical and recreational purposes increasing throughout the nation, it is important for reproductive-aged individuals in NYS and elsewhere to understand the health effects of using cannabis before becoming pregnant, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. For clinicians, understanding the prevalence of cannabis use, and perceptions of cannabis use among reproductive-aged individuals informs their practice and advances population health.

This Data to Action provides important baseline data on cannabis use among individuals in the perinatal period (before, during pregnancy and after giving birth), their perceptions about cannabis use while breastfeeding, and interactions with providers regarding cannabis use. This information will be invaluable moving forward with the implementation of the new legislation and underscores the importance and need for screening and education for this vulnerable population from health care providers. These data highlight the need for broader outreach to health care providers and public health professionals about the importance of assessing cannabis use and educating people of reproductive age about potential risks of cannabis use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

For more information on the NYS Office of Cannabis Management please visit cannabis.ny.gov. Sign up for updates here.


Ads Available for:

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

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


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


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


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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