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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Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Medical Societies Commend Governors’ Efforts to Address “Cross-Border” Issues Relating to Cannabis, But Concerns Remain About Legalization of Marijuana Use


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

Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Medical Societies Commend Governors’ Efforts to Address “Cross-Border” Issues Relating to Cannabis, But Concerns Remain About Legalization of Marijuana Use

October 17, 2019, Westbury, NY—Following is a joint statement from the presidents of the Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Medical Societies:

“We commend the regional approach that the Governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York are seeking to address ‘cross-border” issues relating to cannabis purchase and use.

However, our medical societies continue to have serious concerns with proposals to legalize the purchase of recreational or so-called “adult use” marijuana given the public health challenges that have arisen in other states that have legalized the purchase of marijuana for non-medical purposes.

These concerns have grown in recent weeks given the significant number of cases of pulmonary illness relating to the use of vaping devices, which have included many instances where cannabis was being vaped.

Important steps were taken this year in New York State to greatly reduce the threat of criminal sanction based upon possession of small amounts of marijuana, including expunging previous convictions for low-level possession offenses.  We believe that similar “decriminalization” measures should be pursued in other states, and a review taken as to whether these laws are achieving their intended goals.  Most importantly, we urge Congress and the President to work together to pass legislation to re-schedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Then, necessary research as to the health benefits and health risks of marijuana could begin.”

Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

Marc Levine, MD
President, Medical Society of New Jersey

Bollepalli Subbarao, MD
President, 
Connecticut State Medical Society

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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 STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON MEDICARE


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
October 8, 2019 

MSSNY STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON MEDICARE

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

“We appreciate the goal of the President’s Executive Order (EO) to protect and strengthen the Medicare program for the tens of millions of seniors enrolled in the program who depend upon its coverage to meet their health care needs.  We certainly support aspects of this initiative to reduce the administrative burdens associated with facilitating needed care for our patients.  However, we are very concerned with a number of the policy directions this Executive Order appears to advance.

In particular, we are concerned with the apparent goal to expand the Medicare Managed Care program, which likely could include efforts to disincentivize continued or new enrollment in the Medicare fee for service program.  This is especially problematic in light of multiple instances in recent years where Medicare managed care plans dropped huge numbers of physicians from their MA networks.   This in turn significantly reduces care options for our patients.

We are quite troubled by proposals that seek to expand already cumbersome Medicare value based payment programs.  Many smaller physician practices have reported significant challenges associated with participating and succeeding in the current Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).  The significant reporting requirements associated with the current MIPS program and other value programs are increasing “burnout” among physicians who must spend more time checking boxes on their HIT systems rather than treating patients to meet well intended but often overreaching value programs.   A recent Annals of Family Medicine study reported that, during a typical 11 hour workday, primary care physicians spent more than half their time (nearly 6 hours) on data entry and other HIT system tasks, instead of with patients.   There must be a comprehensive review of the fairness of the existing MIPS program before advancing measures that would expand it.

We are also very concerned with proposals that appear to seek to expand the scope of certain health care practitioners.  There are many different types of health care professionals, each of which provide essential care for patients.  However, patients benefit most from the combined care of a team headed by a physician whose education and training enables them to oversee the actions of the rest of the team, in order to provide the patient with optimal medical treatment.  While the EO appears to recognize the applicability of state laws that govern the limitation of the scope of practice of certain health care practitioners, we are very concerned with the perpetuation of a false narrative that promotes equivalency of non-physicians despite the lack of similar education and training.  Such scope expansions could lead to an increase in the “siloing” of care delivery rather than care received through an integrated team-based approach.

We look forward to working with medical associations across the country to work with the Administration towards preserving and strengthening the Medicare program so that our seniors continue to have timely access to the quality care they need and deserve.”

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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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NORTHEASTERN MEDICAL SOCIETIES URGE CONGRESS TO ENACT FAIR SURPRISE BILLING REFORM 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
October 1, 2019

NORTHEASTERN MEDICAL SOCIETIES URGE CONGRESS TO ENACT FAIR SURPRISE BILLING REFORM LEGISLATION

October 1, 2019, Westbury, NY— Our respective associations representing tens of thousands of physicians across the northeastern United States applaud the many members of the US Congress who are seeking to take action to protect patients from “surprise” medical bills.   However, what is needed is a balanced, comprehensive solution to this problem, not a one-sided gift to America’s health insurance companies, some of the richest corporations in the United States. That approach will create shortages in our emergency departments and an acceleration of health care consolidation.

Proposals that have begun to advance in the US House and Senate appropriately prevent patients from facing surprise bills from out of network practitioners.  However, they give unilateral control to the insurance industry to determine what should be the cost of care in these instances.  No negotiation.  No compromise.  No recognition of special circumstances surrounding the care delivery.   If Congress gives insurers this extraordinary new power, why would an insurer ever fairly negotiate with a physician to be in their patient care networks?  In fact, in California, when insurers were given this discretion, what followed was a 48% increase in patient access to care complaints including delays in obtaining care or securing physician appointments, inadequate selection of providers, and problems accessing facilities.

The comprehensive laws in New York and Connecticut addressing this issue have been widely acclaimed because of the delicate balance it struck among health insurers, physicians, and hospitals to protect patients from surprise medical bills, while also ensuring the ability of hospital emergency departments to have available needed on-call specialty physician care to provide patient care when time is of the essence.  In New York, when an insurer and physician cannot agree, the solution is decided through a low cost, simplified dispute resolution system. The arbitrator chooses the side that is more reasonable based upon a number of factors.

The New York and Connecticut laws rely upon benchmarks developed by an independent, non-profit entity that is free from insurer or physician control.  This is particularly important given the insurance industry’s own notorious history in establishing benchmarks for out of network payment.  In 2009, then New York AG Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation into United Healthcare’s ownership of the Ingenix database.  The insurance industry agreed to stop using this conflicted database and agreed to contribute towards the creation of an independent data collection entity, Fair Health, which has become the reference database used by New York.

From the statistics, it is clear that New York’s law is working as it was intended.  A just released report from the New York Department of Financial Services showed consumers have saved over $400 million since the law’s enactment.  It also reduced out of network billing by nearly 35%.  Furthermore, the relatively low number of claims decided since the law was implemented suggests that New York’s system is having the effect of pushing health insurers and physicians to resolve their differences without state intervention.

As stated by NY DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell, “New York’s law has been a true success in bringing stakeholders together to solve the problem of excessive charges for emergency services and surprise bills.”

Given the success of New York’s law, we are concerned with proposals that will clearly deviate from this carefully crafted approach to the problem.  Instead, we urge Congress to look to legislation, such as that sponsored by Congress members Ruiz and Roe (HR 3502), that would emulate New York’s successful approach. 

CONNECTICUT STATE MEDICAL SOCIETY
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF DELAWARE
MAINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF NEW JERSEY
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL SOCIETY

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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 Supports Call to Ban Menthol-Flavored E-Cigarettes

For Immediate Release

September 26, 2019

 

MSSNY Supports Call to Ban Menthol-Flavored E-Cigarettes


Statement attributable to:

Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“The physician community in New York applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking steps to add menthol-flavored vape products to the emergency ban in New York, which took effect last week. We are hopeful that the regulations will be formally expanded when Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD convenes another emergency meeting of the Public Health and Health Planning Council, possibly as early as next week.

While flavored vaping products like “Cotton Candy” and “Captain Crunch” are obviously targeted to entice teens to vape, menthol-flavored vape products are equally alluring and should not be available to our youth.

As we attempt to stop this growing public health crisis in New York, we fully support the ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The health of our children is at stake.”

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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal nonprofit 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 11590
516-488-6100 ext.  302

 

 

MSSNY Applauds Governor Cuomo for Pursuing Emergency Regulations to Ban the Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes 


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
September 16, 2019

MSSNY Applauds Governor Cuomo for Pursuing Emergency Regulations
to Ban the Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes
 

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

“The physician community in New York thanks Governor Cuomo for his efforts to issue emergency regulations this week to quickly ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. The governor’s announcement came as health officials across the country investigate a rash of pulmonary illnesses and several deaths associated with vaping.

As the Governor pointed out in his announcement yesterday, the use of e-cigarettes among high schoolers more than doubled between 2014-2018 with 27% of high school students vaping. Flavored vaping products like “Cotton Candy” and “Captain Crunch” are obviously targeted to entice teens to vape.

The health of our children is at stake. It’s time to address this head on before it affects an entire generation.”

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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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Medical Society Supports Creation of Maternal Mortality Review Board 


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
August 2, 2019

Medical Society Supports Creation of Maternal Mortality Review Board 

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

“The Medical Society of the State of New York thanks Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature for passing and signing into law the creation of a Maternal Mortality Review Board. The creation of a maternal mortality review board will assist the state in developing and creating new strategies to improve maternal health and lessen the impact of maternal mortality and morbidity.  The law embraces national best practices on maternal health and ensures accountability and sustainability of a maternal review board.  Maternal mortality is an important public health issue that must be addressed and the creation of this board is the first step.” Arthur Fougner, MD, MSSNY President.

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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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