MSSNY Applauds Senator Schumer and other U.S. Senators on New Bill to Use Government’s Purchasing Power to Increase PPE Production and Distribution

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2020  

MSSNY Applauds Senator Schumer and other U.S. Senators on New Bill to Use Government’s Purchasing Power to Increase PPE Production and Distribution  

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

“We thank Senator Schumer and the several other US Senators who have advanced legislation to increase the production and distribution of critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 masks.  Legislation such as this will help to make PPE more readily available to our community physician practices so that they can continue to provide the care needed by their patients.

“Many physician offices across the state of New York are straining to meet their patient care needs due to a lack of available and affordable PPE.   This challenging dynamic was highlighted in a USA Today-New York article earlier this week.  A recent physician survey conducted by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) noted that nearly 2/3 of the physician respondents indicated that they are at least “sometimes” finding it difficult to obtain needed PPE.  Over 40% of the physician respondents have indicated that it takes them at least 4 weeks to get their PPE from when they order it; while 53% of the physician respondents said the cost of PPE has gone up by at least 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and nearly 1/3 have said the cost has gone up by more than 50%.  Of greatest concern, 1/3 of the physician respondents indicated that the lack of available/affordable PPE has adversely impacted their ability to care for their patients.

“The survey results indicate that further government intervention is urgently needed to help make PPE more widely available to our community physician practices.  We look forward to working with Senator Schumer and our New York Congressional Delegation on measures such as that announced today to help expand this availability so that patient care is not disrupted or delayed due to these shortages.”

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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

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 Applauds NY Congressional Members Who Signed Letter Urging Legislation to Prevent 2021 Double Digit Medicare Cuts

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2020

MSSNY Applauds NY Congressional Members Who Signed Letter Urging Legislation to Prevent 2021 Double Digit Medicare Cuts
 

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

“We thank the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined their colleagues in a bi-partisan letter initiated by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) urging that legislation be passed by Congress to prevent double digit Medicare cuts for 2021 as proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that could significantly adversely impact access to care to many seniors.

“The New York Congressional members – both Democrats and Republicans – that signed the letter include Representatives Brindisi, Clarke, Delgado, Jacobs, Katko, S.P. Maloney, Meeks, Morelle, Reed, Rice, Stefanik, Suozzi, and Tonko.

“MSSNY also recently joined with eight other northeastern state medical associations in a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to prevent these cuts that could not come at a worse time as we again confront a surge in COVID-19 cases and practices have not fully recovered from record drops in patient visits.

“As Congress begins to look towards an end of year package to extend funding for the federal government, New York’s physicians working alongside physicians across the country are strongly urging Congress to prevent these cuts to help maintain continuity of care for our patients.”

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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
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 Praises Governor’s Executive Order Provision for Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 and Influenza Test Results to DOH

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2020

MSSNY Praises Governor’s Executive Order Provision for Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 and Influenza Test Results to DOH

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

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

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

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

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

State Medical Societies Concerned with State Governments’ Efforts to Legalize Recreational Marijuana 

For Immediate Release 


MEDICAL SOCIETY OF DELAWARE
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF NEW JERSEY
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
OHIO STATE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
PENNSYLVANIA STATE MEDICAL SOCIETY

State Medical Societies Concerned with State Governments’ Efforts
to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 and other Physician Organizations Call for NYS DOH and the Governor to Provide Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 Results 

For Immediate Release

 

MSSNY and other Physician Organizations Call for NYS DOH and the Governor to Provide Flexibility in Reporting COVID-19 Results

 

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

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

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

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

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

“Pediatricians across New York are deeply concerned that the recent three-hour reporting requirement for both COVID-19 and Flu test is unrealistic for community-based practices, says Warren Seigel, MD, FAAP, Chair of NYSAAP, District II.  “The recently imposed requirement will discourage offices from offering Flu and/or COVID-19 tests on site.  Sending patients to alternative venues for testing is inefficient, may contribute to the spread of disease and is a breach of medical home principles.  We urge the Department of Health to work with the house of medicine to design a more reasonable turnaround time so all practices can better serve their patients and still meet the state’s requirements for timely data on infections.”

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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
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 Responds to Governor Signing Legislation to Require OPMC Signs in Physician Offices

For Immediate Release 

October 7, 2020

MSSNY Responds to Governor Signing Legislation to
Require OPMC Signs in Physician Offices

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

“As we stated repeatedly when this bill was being considered by the Legislature, MSSNY has no objection to expanding public awareness for how patients can file complaints about a particular physician with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC).  The OPMC provides an essential patient safety oversight function that helps to protect the public by removing aberrant practitioners.

“However, we are very concerned with the distrust and unnecessary anxiety that will be created by a mandate that every physician post a readily noticeable sign in their office or other practice setting regarding how patients can report a physician to the disciplinary Board.

“We believe this law unfairly singles out physicians – as opposed to any type of health care provider or other professional – for this signage requirement.  With already ample information available through a basic internet search regarding how a patient can file a complaint to the OPMC about a particular physician, this requirement is unnecessary.

“Many physicians have expressed frustration that this signage requirement is symbolic of the confounding lack of appreciation for the countless patient lives saved and improved every day by physicians across this state.  It was only a few short months ago that physicians were regularly lauded as heroes for their efforts in responding to the pandemic.

“Legislation such as this will only serve to discourage more physicians from wanting to practice in the State of New York, threatening patient access to needed specialized care.  Indeed, New York already loses the vast majority of resident physicians it pays to train.  We urge our policymakers to focus on measures to maintain and increase physician supply rather than measures that will drive them away.”

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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

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 Supports Requirement that School Age Children Receive the Influenza Vaccine 

For Immediate Release  

MSSNY Supports Requirement that School Age Children
Receive the Influenza Vaccine 
 

American Academy of Pediatrics, NYS District II, Chapters 1, 2 & 3
 Joins MSSNY in Support of Requirement 

Westbury, New York, September 18, 2020—The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, NYS District II, Chapters 1, 2 & 3 today announced joint support of the requirement that all school-age children and teens who attend childcare, pre-kindergarten, K-12 and colleges and universities in New York State receive the flu vaccine, unless medically contraindicated.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, immunizing school-age children with the influenza vaccine is vital to public health,” said Dr. Bonnie Litvack, president of the Medical Society of New York. “Studies show that children frequently introduce influenza to households and that schools act as a conduit for infection transmission in communities.

“Vaccination of children protects the elderly populations and those individuals, including the immune-comprised, who are already at high risk of serious complications of influenza,” continued Dr. Litvack.

“During this time of COVID-19, it is imperative that all infants, children and teens who are attending childcare, school or college be immunized against flu, said Dr. Warren Seigel, Chair of NY American Academy of Pediatrics, District II, NYS. “With the increased time spent indoors as fall and winter approach, school age children and young people in college settings are even more vulnerable to both COVID-19 and flu. We have an effective and safe flu vaccine. Let’s use it!”

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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. 

About American Academy of Pediatrics, NYS District II, Chapters 1, 2 & 3
The New York Chapter of the AAP was established in 1949 as an endorsed Chapter Affiliate of the national organization.  The AAP is a national organization composed of over 55,000 pediatricians.   

 

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 Opposes HHS Authorization to Allow Pharmacists to Administer Vaccines to Children

 

For Immediate Release

MSSNY Opposes HHS Authorization to Allow Pharmacists to Administer Vaccines to Children

Westbury, NY—August 20, 2020—The Medical Society of the State of New York today joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics in its opposition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) emergency authorization to allow state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer all vaccines to children and adolescents ages 3-18 years.

“This is a completely unnecessary move on the part of the Health and Human Services and will cause further chaos in getting children properly immunized.  New York State’s pediatric offices have been opened throughout the pandemic and remain open.  They are safe places to receive the vaccination, and most importantly, parents and children already have an established relationship with the pediatrician.  Here in New York State, children are entitled to vaccines through the well-child visits and the Vaccine for Children program—few pharmacies in the state participate in this program.    Taking children out of the medical home where they are able to get immunized, get screened for developmental milestones, and get the medical care that they need, will only lead to a further fragmentation of a child’s health care,” said MSSNY President Bonnie Litvack, MD.

“We urge that the US Department of Health and Human Services immediately rescind this authorization.  We also question the legality of a federal agency declaration pre-empting state statutes that clearly establish the scope of practices of various health care practitioners, which has long been the jurisdiction of state governments. This action has enormous implications to the long-term health care of children and to use the COVID-19 pandemic as justification to make policy change is not acceptable,” said Dr. Litvack.


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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.

Press Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications/Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x302
rraia@mssny.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY Calls for Restoration of Physician Supervision for Non-Physician Health Care Practitioners 

For Immediate Release
August 7, 2020


MSSNY Calls for Restoration of Physician Supervision for Non-Physician Health Care Practitioners

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

“We are concerned for patient safety that Executive Order 202.55 continues the waiver of otherwise statutorily required physician supervision requirements for various non-physician health care practitioners, including nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“MSSNY had significant concerns with the March Executive Order that eliminated physician supervision requirements with an understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic required an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach.  However, given our ‘all in’ efforts to significantly reduce COVID-19 infections in New York, of which we should all be very proud, these Orders that eliminate essential physician supervision potentially place patients at risk.  While various non-physician practitioners are an important part of the health care team, they have far less training than the many years of specialized training that physicians are required to complete before delivering safe patient care.

“We urge that statutory supervision and/or oversight requirements be restored as soon as possible.”

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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

Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York 11590
516-488-6100 ext 302 
rraia@mssny.org

MSSNY Urges NY DFS to Require Health Insurers to Reimburse Health Care Practitioners for PPE Costs

MSSNY Urges NY DFS to Require Health Insurers to Reimburse Health Care Practitioners for PPE Costs


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

“MSSNY does not condone health plan-participating health care practitioners charging their patients for the huge jumps in the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), as state regulations limit the ability of such practitioners to bill patients for these costs.

“At the same time, given the enormous profits of the health insurance industry, MSSNY and others have been urging the NY Department of Financial Services to require health insurers to reimburse health care practitioners for these enormous jumps in PPE costs, and the significant difficulty in even obtaining it in the first place. Indeed, a recent MSSNY survey reported that nearly three quarters of the respondents expressed significant difficulty in obtaining PPE altogether, while nearly 40% of the respondents indicated that their PPE costs had gone up by more than 50%.

“Moreover, in some states such as California, their state governments have aggressively worked to provide community-based physician practices with PPE to ensure that these shortages do not adversely impact patient care.  MSSNY’s survey also showed that nearly one third of the responding physicians indicated that delays in obtaining PPE and huge price jumps forced these physicians to reduce their patient treatment capacity by at least 25%.

“This is a complex problem.  We will continue to work proactively with the Governor, DOH and DFS to help ensure physicians can receive the PPE they need so they can continue to be able to meet their patients’ care needs in a timely manner.”

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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. 

Press Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications/Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x302
rraia@mssny.org

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