MSSNY Calls on NYS Legislature to Ensure Due Process For Innocent Physicians  

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

 

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2020

MSSNY CALLS ON NYS LEGISLATURE TO ENSURE DUE PROCESS FOR INNOCENT PHYSICIANS
 

Statement attributable to:
Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“The proposed Budget importantly advances several positive steps to promote public health, including restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products, regulating PBMs, and facilitating the ability of physicians to be more quickly approved into plan networks.

However, we are extremely concerned about the scope of the Budget proposals that would essentially strip physicians of important due process rights when a complaint has been filed with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. We agree with the importance of acting quickly when it is imperative, but these proposals would completely undermine important and longstanding due process protections. Given that most complaints are dismissed without any sanction or action, this series of proposed changes to bypass these rights would create a substantial possibility of unfairly destroying an innocent physician’s career.

Due to our enormous liability costs and excessive regulations, New York already has the dubious reputation of being the worst state in the country to be a physician. Proposals like this will make it even more unattractive for physicians to choose New York to deliver patient care.

We welcome discussions to improve our disciplinary system to address gaps to help protect the public. However, these proposed changes are startling. We urge the Senate and Assembly to take a critical eye towards these overreaching proposals to assure patients can continue to receive the care they need.”

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Medical Society of the State of New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

MSSNY Responds to Governor’s Statement on Physician Discipline Proposal


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

 

For Immediate Release
January 10, 2020 

MSSNY RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT ON PHYSICIAN DISCIPLINE PROPOSAL 

Statement attributable to:
Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“New York’s Physicians have a great interest in working with the State Health Department to ensure that New York’s disciplinary process moves swiftly when necessary to remove those from practice that present a threat to the public.  To that end, we have worked proactively with the Administration and Legislature on laws to enhance the ability of OPMC to “summarily suspend” physicians in certain instances where it would be imprudent to wait for a final action.  And it is imperative that we work for improvements to this system as issues arise that interfere with its mission to protect the public.

At the same time, an appropriate balance is needed.  Recognizing that there are enormous professional implications when disciplinary action is taken against a physician, or even when there has been an accusation, we must also ensure that fair due process is provided when a physician is accused of professional misconduct.  Indeed, most complaints of alleged misconduct do not become actual findings of misconduct. Yet with Google and Yahoo search functions, an unproven allegation could linger forever in cyberspace, and permanently and unfairly scar a reputation.  We look forward to reviewing the text of this proposal as it becomes available and working with the Legislature and Governor to ensure we maintain the critical balance of protecting the Public while also protecting against the consequences of unfounded allegations.”

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


MSSNY 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

 

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MSSNY Responds to Announcement of New York’s Medicaid Cuts


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

 

For Immediate Release
January 2, 2020

MSSNY RESPONDS TO ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW YORK’S MEDICAID CUTS 

Statement attributable to:
Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“While we understand the need to address significant Budget deficits, physicians across New York are confounded by the announced cuts to their payments for care delivered to their patients insured by Medicaid.  This is particularly difficult to accept given that they were not the beneficiaries of increases to Medicaid payments recently granted to other parts of the health care system.  In fact, Medicaid physician payment remains a very small part of New York’s overall Medicaid Budget.  No wonder, given that New York has one of the lowest Medicaid to Medicare physician payment ratios in the country.

As we try to address system health costs, and assure patients get the right care at the right time in the right setting, we should be taking steps to expand the availability of community primary and specialty care physicians in Medicaid Managed Care and traditional Medicaid. Further reductions in inadequate compensation will not accomplish that objective.”

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


MSSNY 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

 

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Doctors Are Against Unjustified High Cost of Prescriptions


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

 

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2019 

DOCTORS ARE AGAINST UNJUSTIFIED HIGH COST OF PRESCRIPTIONS

Statement attributable to:
Art Fougner, MD

President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“We welcome Governor Cuomo’s announcement of a proposal to help to reduce the cost of some prescription medications for our patients, and look forward to reviewing further details regarding this proposal.  Patients in need of life-saving and health-maintaining medications, including insulin, must be able to receive them in a timely manner.  Furthermore, the Medical Society of the State of New York has long-standing policy supporting the investigation of sudden unjustified increases in the cost of prescription medications. We must continue to examine ways to ensure our patients are truly able to obtain the medications they need to lead a healthy life, including preventing inappropriate PBM or health insurer interference with patients receiving these needed medications.”

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

MSSNY 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

 

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It’s Time! Put Patients Over Paperwork


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

 

For Immediate Release
December 16, 2019

It’s Time! Put Patients Over Paperwork

December 16, 2019, Westbury, NY—A physician’s time should be spent delivering care to their patients—not on the phone with insurance companies.

“The excessive time spent attempting to achieve prior authorizations has been well-documented as a significant factor in the increasing problem of physician ‘burnout,’ said Art Fougner, MD, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “ We must find ways to reduce the excessive hassles that keep physicians from spending time with their patients.”

The amount of time physicians need to manage bureaucratic hassles imposed by health insurers to ensure their patients obtain needed care and medications have become intolerable.  A recent Annals Of Internal Medicine study found that a physician spent two hours on administrative tasks for every hour spent with a patient.  A just conducted study by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) found that 43% of responding physicians and their staffs spent more than 10 hours per week managing insurer prior authorization requests alone.

Remarkably, 22% of responding physicians indicated that they and their staff spent greater than 20 hours per week on these tasks!

These administrative roadblocks don’t just take time away from delivering care; they can adversely impact patients, as well.  The survey reported that 92% of physicians indicated that prior authorization requirements at least sometimes adversely impacted their patients’ health, and 48% indicated that they frequently did.

One particular time-waster is repeating prior authorization requests that were previously approved.  94% of responding physicians, and their staff, indicated that they had to repeat a prior authorization request for care or medication that was previously approved. 48% indicated that they often had to repeat previously obtained prior authorization requests.

Even where the Legislature takes action to remediate these problems and protect patients’ access to care, there is no guarantee that these problems will be fixed. For example, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo worked together to enact a law in 2016 that established criteria to allow physicians to override a health insurer’s decision to subject patients to step therapy protocols when warranted by the patient’s individual circumstances.  However, the survey reported that half the respondents to the MSSNY survey said that health plans’ override process was, at the very least, “challenging”, while 28% found the override process to be “extremely difficult”.

Remarkably, over 30% were unable to ever override a health insurer step therapy medication protocol.

“We are hopeful the insurance industry can work with their network physicians and the medical associations who represent them towards addressing these hassles,” said Dr. Fougner.  “Moreover, legislation has been advanced by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Senator Neil Breslin (Assembly Bill 3038/Senate bill S.2847) that would reduce the frustrations associated with prior authorization requests, including ensuring they are clinically appropriate and preventing the need to repeat what has already been authorized.  This legislation sets forth a number of important steps to reduce these obstacles that get in the way of patients getting the care they need.”

Let’s truly put patients over paperwork!

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

 

MSSNY 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

 

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MSSNY Urges Congress to Go Back to Drawing Board on Surprise Bill Legislation


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

 

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2019

 

MSSNY URGES CONGRESS TO GO BACK TO DRAWING BOARD ON
SURPRISE BILL LEGISLATION

 

Statement attributable to:
Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“The billion dollar health insurance industry must have been really good this year to have been given this holiday gift from Representative Pallone and Senator Alexander.

Physicians across New York and across the country agree with the goals of legislation to protect patients from surprise out of network medical bills. However, with the just announced Alexander-Pallone proposal Congress would hand market dominant health insurers a shiny new club to enable it to drop more physicians from their networks, and make it even harder for physicians to negotiate fairly with these insurers. It would also make it harder for hospitals to have needed on/call specialty care in their emergency departments for patients in need of this critical care.

The proposal fails to provide the balance that New York’s acclaimed surprise billing law achieved, which protected patients from these bills while fairly balancing the interests of insurers and physicians. New York’s law has saved consumers hundreds of millions of dollars and has not had any adverse impact on the NY health insurance premiums.

We thank the many members of the NY delegation, including Rep. Morelle and Senator Schumer, for their efforts to assure the passage of a far more balanced approach that protects patient’s access to timely needed care.

Bottom line – Congress needs to go back to the drawing board.”

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

 

MSSNY 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

 

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MSSNY Ready to Work with Governor and Legislature on Medicaid Budget Gap


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

 

For Immediate Release
December 3, 2019

MSSNY Ready to Work with Governor and Legislature on Medicaid Budget Gap

Need to Work Towards Proposals to Rein in System Costs that Also Protect Patients’ Ability to Receive Timely and Quality Care

Comprehensive Medical Liability Reform IS Healthcare Reform

December 3, 2019, Westbury, NY— Physicians across the state of New York stand ready to work with the Governor and the Legislature to address our enormous Medicaid Budget gap.  However, we must be careful to make sure steps are not taken to further impair patient access to care by creating additional incentives for physicians NOT to participate in New York’s Medicaid program.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation Report demonstrates that New York remains having one of the lowest Medicaid to Medicare physician payment ratios in the country.

“We suggest one reform from the original Medicaid Redesign Team be revisited,” said Art Fougner, MD, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.  “NY should enact comprehensive medical liability reform.  New York’s physicians and hospitals continue to incur, by far, the highest liability costs in the country, far surpassing more populous states such as California and Texas.”

In fact, a recent report by  Leverage Rx showed that in 2018, New York once again had the highest cumulative medical liability payouts of any state in the country, 85% more than the state with the second highest amount (Pennsylvania); the highest per capita liability payment; and, 22% more than the second highest state (Pennsylvania).

“Medical liability reform is an essential component of efforts to reduce unnecessary healthcare spending. Defensive practices increase healthcare costs without improving outcomes,” said Dr. Fougner.  “While estimates vary as to the extent of these costs, multiple studies demonstrate many physicians feel compelled to perform low-value additional tests, consults and procedures in order to defend against a possible future lawsuit. More than budget neutral, medical liability reform would result in real budget dollar savings. In short, liability reform is healthcare reform.”

The Medical Society of the State of New York stands ready to work with all parties to work towards responsible proposals to rein in system costs that also protect our patients’ ability to receive timely and quality care.

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

MSSNY 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

 

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MSSNY Calls on Governor Cuomo to Sign Partial Fill for Controlled Substances Bill

For Immediate Release

 


MSSNY Calls on Governor Cuomo to Sign Partial Fill for Controlled Substances Bill


November 20, 2019, Westbury, NY
— The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) today called upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill passed by the State Legislature that would help to reduce the risk of diversion of powerful opioid medications. The bill would permit physicians to prescribe a controlled substance on a partially filled basis.

“This measure would allow physicians/prescribers to prescribe up to a 30-day supply of controlled substance with a notation to the pharmacist that he/she should only dispense the agreed to amount.  The total quantity dispensed in all partial fillings cannot exceed the total quantity prescribed. We know that one way opioid abuse starts is by persons other than the patient accessing unused medications left in medicine cabinets or other parts of a patient’s home.  By enabling the staggered filling of the prescription, this measure will help to reduce the amount of pain medicines left unused. This will limit the risk of these medications being diverted,” said Art Fougner, MD, president of MSSNY.

New York State action would allow the state to mirror what is already authorized on a federal level. Dr. Fougner also credited Assemblymember John McDonald and Senator Gustavo Rivera for bringing this measure to passage in the NYS Legislature.  The bill was delivered to the Governor for his consideration yesterday. He has until November 30 to sign or veto.

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Medical Society of the State of New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

Medical Society of the State of New York Announces Additions to Albany Government Affairs Staff


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

 

For Immediate Release

Medical Society of the State of New York Announces Additions to Albany Government Affairs Staff

November 18, 2019, Westbury, NY— The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) is pleased to announce the addition of Zina Cary and Raza Ali to its Government Affairs Staff in Albany.  Ms. Cary will be the Senior Associate Director for Government Affairs and Mr. Ali is a Legislative Associate.

“Zina brings a wealth of experience to MSSNY’s advocacy team,” said Art Fougner, MD, a Queens OB-GYN and president of MSSNY.  “She has been extensively involved in numerous health care advocacy campaigns in New York and across the country to promote patient access to timely needed care.  Her many achievements include successful advocacy efforts in support of a 2016 New York law that placed stronger restrictions around health insurers’ use of step therapy prescription medication protocols.”

Prior to joining MSSNY, Ms. Cary worked for numerous patient advocacy organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the National Health Council and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.  Prior to that, she served as a Legislative Analyst for New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.  Zina received her B.S. degree from Northland College in Wisconsin.

Mr. Ali was most recently a reporter for the New York Statewatch service, reporting on the numerous Committee meetings that occur during the legislative session.  He also was a legislative intern for U.S. Representative Paul Tonko.  He received his B.A. degree from the University of Albany.

“Raza brings a great understanding of the legislative process, and has a proven ability to be knowledgeable on a wide breadth of legislative proposals simultaneously, tremendously important skills given the wide array of legislative issues of interest to the physicians of New York State” stated Dr. Fougner.

Ms. Cary and Mr. Ali join MSSNY’s Advocacy team led by longtime MSSNY lobbyists Moe Auster, MSSNY’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legislative Counsel; and Pat Clancy, MSSNY’s Senior Vice-President for Public Health.

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

MSSNY 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

 

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MSSNY President Delivers Testimony to NY State Senate on Potential Harms of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping


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

 

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2019 

MSSNY President Delivers Testimony to NY State Senate on Potential Harms of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping

November 4, 2019, Westbury, NY— MSSNY President Dr. Arthur Fougner, MD, today delivered testimony to the New York State Senate examining the safety and potential harms of electronic cigarettes and vaping, especially among school-aged youth.

In particular, he praised Governor Cuomo and the New York State Health Department for its emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state (http://www.mssnyenews.org/press-releases/mssny-supports-call-to-ban-menthol-flavored-e-cigarettes/).   He also noted MSSNY’s long-standing support for legislation, such as that sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, to formally codify these provisions into law.  This legislation will take on even greater importance if the Governor’s action is not upheld by the courts. 

Specifically he noted that “While evidence exists that adult smokers who completely substitute vaping for traditional smoking reduce their exposure to many of the toxic chemicals and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not risk-free and are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit-smoking aid. The bottom line is neither smoking nor vaping is safe, and people who do not smoke or vape should not begin to do so.”

Dr. Fougner also urged strong caution regarding proposals to legalize the recreational use of marijuana since it appears from a number of sources that the vast majority of cases of vape-related lung illness are linked to the vaping of THC. According to the NYS Department of Health we know that those individuals who have developed some of the cases of EVALI were patients who only vaped black market marijuana which had been laced with Vitamin E acetate.  Since the FDA has launched an ongoing investigation, he urged that “any proposed adult-use cannabis program, especially with a vaporizer product, be put on hold until completion of that investigation.”

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

MSSNY 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

 

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