COVID-19 Update May 20, 2020


Please Join NYS DOH’s Webinar Update on COVID-19 Tomorrow!
Please join the NYS Department of Health Thursday May 21st at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM for a COVID-19 update for healthcare providers.

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

For audio only, please dial in: 844-512-2950

PPE Source for MSSNY Members Only!
MSSNY is now able to provide members with access to a PPE supply chain, in a collaborative effort with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Items available range from N95 masks and face shields to hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes. New items are consistently being added and restocked.  Shipment times may vary from several days to several weeks. Some orders may be fulfilled by outside vendors with longer shipping times.

MSSNY members have been sent details on linking to the ASPS, where they can see available supplies and create an account to purchase items.  If you are not currently a MSSNY member you can renew for 2020 or apply online here.

MSSNY is proud to offer this benefit to our members and grateful to ASPS for extending this opportunity to help medical practices and patients in our state resume practice swiftly and safely.

NYSDOH Reducing Medicaid by 1.5% Effective for Service after April 2
As a practical matter, with a 1% cut having already been imposed for claims with dates of service between January 1, 2020 and April 1, 2020, physicians can expect that their payments will be 0.5% less for claims with dates of service 4/2/20 and after, when compared to claims with dates of service between 1/1/20-4/1/20.

The announcement from DOH notes the cuts are not applicable to physician administered drugs. These cuts are one way New York State is seeking to address its enormous revenue shortfall as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.   MSSNY has been working together with the federation of medicine in support of legislation before Congress that would, among many other provisions, provide additional Medicaid funding to states to prevent against further Medicaid cuts.

HEALTH ADVISORY: Ensuring Access to Health Care Services During COVID-19
It is critical to maintain access to health care services during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including routine preventive care and follow-up services. • Healthcare providers should continue to ensure infection prevention and control measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Healthcare providers should contact patients who may have missed routine preventive care or follow-up appointments during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including ensuring children, adolescents, and adults receive doses of recommended vaccines they may have otherwise missed.

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Re-Opening Your Medical Practice in the COVID-19 Era on May 26 12 Noon – 1 PM
As physicians are now considering re-opening their practices, they need to appreciate that they cannot simply “go back to normal”.  With furloughs, layoffs, severe limitations of medical services, decreased revenues and office closures, physicians need to consider strategies to maximize the success of their practices going forward.  These include financial analysis and planning, how to best protect and treat patients and employees, and what needs to be done to ensure that their practices operate efficiently, safely, and profitably.  Topics addressed will include:

What you need to consider before re-opening?

  • What financial issues must be considered to better prepare your practice to move forward?
  • How can you ensure your practice operates appropriately as it relates to patients?
  • Is there a continued role for telehealth?
  • What will the new practice culture look like going forward?
  • What reasonable accommodations and workplace safety precautions should be made for employees?
  • What are potential discrimination issues that can arise, including, for example, from a phased re-opening, or gradual return of employees from furlough?

Given that employees have had a furlough period, and there may be a backlog of work, can/should employers make changes to or limit their PTO policies for the remainder of the year?

  • How do we handle/resolve employment contract breach issues?
  • Is there liability to the practices for exposing employees or employees’ family to Coronavirus? Wrongful reopening?

Register in advance for this webinar:

Presented by:
Barry B. Cepelewicz, M.D., Esq.
Garfunkel Wild, P.C. 

Roy W. Breitenbach, Esq.
Garfunkel Wild, P.C.

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 21 Nassau County Medical Society Webinar @ 7PM

DATE: May 21, 2020
Time:   7pm

Zoom Webinar Link

Guest Speaker: Dr. David A. Hirschwerk
                          Attending-Infectious Diseases
                          Executive Vice Chair-Dept. of Medicine
                         North Shore University Hospital/LIJ Medical Center

May 28 Webinar: Leading Causes of Million-Dollar Claims in NYS!
On Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 a.m., MLMIC will host “Million Dollar Claims: A Closer Look,” a complimentary webinar examining major causes of million-dollar claims in New York State. As the State’s leading medical professional liability carrier, MLMIC is well-positioned to provide guidance to medical organizations on reducing the risk of high-exposure claims. These recommendations and strategies are informed by an analysis of factors contributing to $1,000,000 claims over a five-year period.

Presenters Joyce McCormack, a MLMIC risk management consultant and registered professional nurse, and Danielle Mikalajunas Fogel, a medical malpractice litigation expert with Fager Amsler Keller & Schoppmann, will educate participants on:

  • identifying the leading causes of loss in million-dollar claims;
  • analyzing the key factors leading to significant payments in these claims;
  • recognizing the chief medical factors identified in these files; and
  • implementing risk management strategies to lessen the risks of high-exposure professional liability claims within your organization.

Policyholders can sign up for this event via the webinar registration form.

This webinar is designed to offer risk management perspectives to physicians and other healthcare providers, risk managers, quality improvement managers, medical directors, office practice administrators/managers, office practice staff, nurse administrators, patient safety officers and healthcare counsel.

MLMIC is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians and designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Registration Now Open for Veterans Matters CME Webinar PTSD in Returning
Veterans on June 3, 2020 @ 8:30 am

The Medical Society of the State of New York, along with Cobleskill Regional Hospital are hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: PTSD in Returning Veterans on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Click here to register for the webinar

Adolph Meyer, MD will serve as faculty for this program and the educational objectives are:

  • Identify diagnostic criteria for PTSD
  • Discuss medical and psychiatric comorbidities of military related PTSD
  • Discuss evidence based treatment modalities for PTSD including medications and psychotherapy
  • Discuss strategies to help veterans overcome stigma to seek and accept treatment for military related trauma

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

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

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates each of these live activities 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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Surgeon/Colleagues Make N95 Mask Disinfection Facility for Under $15,000
VCU Health shares step-by-step instructions, quality controls, and blueprints for an innovation it created to disinfect and reuse up to 12,000 masks a day.



  • A VCU Health orthopaedic surgeon and his colleagues created this innovation.
  • The rack system enables the high throughput necessary to disinfect thousands of masks daily
  • Other health systems can replicate this initiative for about $15,000. While other methods exist to sterilize the masks, VCU Health chose UV-C light because it relies on electricity rather than supplies that might run short during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis has spawned a new era of innovation at hospitals and health systems to adapt to changing demands. Inspiration comes from many sources.

In Richmond, Virginia, an anticipated N95 mask shortage at VCU health sent orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Kates, MD, into his personal machine shop, where he has fabricated items for the operating room, his car, and even parts for a friend’s old Ford tractor. This time, working with an anesthesiologist, two residents, and two PhDs from Virginia Commonwealth University, the professor and chairman of orthopaedic surgery produced a trellis rack to hang and sterilize masks with UV-C light. The design amplifies an already proven sterilization process, enabling high throughput. The health system is now using the system to decontaminate and reuse up to 12,000 N95 masks a day.

The process is based on a concept from the University of Nebraska and adheres to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. It involves a commonly used UV-C light robot that VCU already had on hand to decontaminate hospital rooms and employs materials which the VCU team sourced from The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and a tractor supply store.

To help other health systems replicate this initiative, Richmond, Virginia–based VCU Health, which includes an academic medical center and is affiliated with Virginia Commonwealth University, offers a free 28-page downloadable instruction manual. The booklet outlines each step in the process, including quality controls with pictures and a video link providing added details. Kates estimates a similar system can be fabricated for as little as $15,000, provided a facility already has a proper UV-C light source that can be redeployed for this purpose.

Kates was called into action by a group from the university, which had produced a white paper on the topic of disinfecting N95 masks. While other methods exist to sterilize the masks, including hydrogen peroxide vapor, VCU Health chose UV-C light because it relies on electricity rather than supplies that might run short during the pandemic. In addition, exposure to the light source does not structurally degrade the mask as quickly as other methods, Kates says.

“The concept of sterilizing things with UV lights is not new; we didn’t come up with that,” says Kates. “The question was, ‘How to you actualize it and make it work?’ ” he says. “How do we have a high throughput process that can deal with a surge of patients that otherwise is overwhelming health systems across the country?”

“Making stuff out of metal is a hobby of mine, so I went to work on it that day and made a sample,” he says. “Everyone liked the appearance of it, so the next day we made seven more. Once we found a good design, we had local welders and machinists fabricate the rest of them.”


N95 Masks

Photo Courtesy of VCU Health

VCU created a mask decontamination facility in a building adjacent to the hospital and painted the treatment room with reflective white paint at the recommendation of its UV-C robot manufacturer to facilitate light measurement.

The final design includes six racks on wheels, each containing 42 masks. The racks are arranged in a hexagonal pattern around the robot.




COVID-19 Map – Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center