MSSNYeNews: Presidents Day – February 14, 2020

Arthur Fougner MSSNY Presiident

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

February 14, 2020

Vol. 23  Number 7


National Advocacy Conference in Washington DC

National Advocacy Conference in Washington DC Feb. 10-12
MSSNY members in Washington, DC advocating for legislation that puts patients before profits (left to right) Jerome Cohen, MD; MSSNY President-Elect Bonnie Litvack, MD; Purvi Parikh, MD; Jeff Morgan, Legislative Director to NY Rep. Paul Tonko; MSSNY Immediate Past President Tom Madejski, MD; MSSNY President Art Fougner, MD; Daniel Choi, MD; MSSNY Executive VP Phil Schuh; Pratisthe Kiorala, MD


This Monday, we celebrate Presidents Day. The holiday could not come at a better time. While we agonize over Congress’ inching closer toward awarding insurers the upper hand on surprise bills and, at the same time, worry about Albany’s empowering OPMC, it would be wise to reflect on the lives and examples of America’s Romulus and Remus – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

George Washington truly led by example. He took command of a group of rag-tag patriots and led them with spirit, guile and whatever he found at his disposal to victory over the world’s mightiest power. At the height of his military career, he resigned his commission. When offered the scepter of King, he became instead President. After two terms, he retired to private life and left the office to others. George Washington observed that “happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” As historian Forest McDonald observed, Washington was “the instrument by which an inconsequential people took the first steps toward becoming a great nation.”

Abraham Lincoln was not a military man yet became the Commander in Chief during the second most important conflict in our history. Lincoln did not attend Harvard or Yale, yet he became arguably the most famous lawyer in our history. Federal judge Herbert George would ask a rhetorical question:

“Would you rather have the edge in the facts of a case, the law of a case or Abraham Lincoln as your lawyer?” Lincoln advised us that a “house divided against itself cannot stand.” We would be wise to heed his counsel.

So, this weekend, take a few moments away from prior authorizations and mouse clicks to reflect on how we got here and, more importantly, where we are going. Remember that another, more recent president pointed the way to that “Shining City on a Hill.”

Remember our patients. Do not despair. We will get there.

Comments?; @sonodoc99

Arthur Fougner, MD
MSSNY President

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Capital Update

MSSNY Legislative Podcasts

Please Plan To Be in Albany for MSSNY‘s Annual “Physician Advocacy Day” March 4th
With State Budget discussions beginning to heat up the need for physician advocacy and grassroots involvement is greater than ever. With the Governor’s Budget Proposal teeing up items for potential concern such as Medicaid cuts, cuts to the Excess Medical Liability Insurance Program, and changes to the physician disciplinary process, but also supported reforms such as regulating PBMs and a flavored tobacco ban, it is imperative that physicians be in contact with their local legislators to ensure the physician community’s message is well-represented.One opportunity is to participate in MSSNY’s “Physician Advocacy Day” that will be held on Wednesday, March 4th in the Lewis Swyer Theatre in the Egg located at the Empire State Plaza, Albany NY. Click here to register!

Please join hundreds of your colleagues from all around New York State and come to MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day to speak with your legislators and key policymakers to ensure they’re making the right choices for New York’s physicians and their patients.

A brief luncheon to which members of each House are invited to speak with their constituents will follow the morning program. Please work with your County Medical Societies to schedule appointments for physicians to meet with their elected representatives.

If you have any questions/comments, please contact Raza Ali at                                                                   (ALI)

MSSNY Leaders & Staff Hold Key Meetings in DC to Discuss “Surprise Billing” & Other Pressing Issues
On February 10 – 12, MSSNY member leaders, and staff, attended the American Medical Association’s (AMA) National advocacy conference, in Washington, DC., and held meetings with New York’s Congressional delegation. Attendees included the following:

  1. Art Fougner (Current MSSNY President)
  2. Bonnie Litvack-Penn (Incoming MSSNY President)
  3. Jerome Cohen
  4. Dan Choi
  5. Jacqueline Bello
  6. Thomas Madejski (MSSNY Immediate Past-President)
  7. Willie Underwood
  8. Yetunde Olowe
  9. Purvi Parikh

The group discussed several of MSSNY’s most pressing legislative priorities, with a heavy focus on the issue of Surprise Billing, which has multiple bills moving through Congress to try and resolve this issue in a way that serves the needs of both physicians and patients. Among the lawmakers’ offices that MSSNY met with were Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Paul Tonko (D- Schenectady), Representative Brian Higgins (D- Buffalo), Representative Eliott Engel (D-Westchester/Bronx), Dr. Tom Reed (R-Southern Tier), and Representative Joe Morelle (D-Rochester).

In addition to the “Surprise Billing” issue, MSSNY members discussed the need for federal legislation to reign in the number of services that are subject to prior authorization and a study of the potential public health impact of marijuana for recreational purposes.   (CARY)


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One-Sided Surprise Bill Proposals Advance in Congress – Contact Your Representatives Today
All physicians are urged to continue to contact New York’s Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as their respective Representative to express strong concerns with the various proposals before Congress that would substantially limit insurer responsibility for coverage of out of network emergency and surprise medical bills.  A letter can be sent here: Please click here.

While MSSNY supports the goals of legislation to prevent surprise medical bills, most proposals advanced so far are steered heavily to the benefit of insurance companies, and do not have the balance of New York’s law.  This week the House Ways & Means Committee and Education & Labor Committee advanced separate proposals.  While the Ed & Labor proposal was very similar to Energy & Commerce proposal advanced last year strongly opposed by MSSNY and many other physician organizations, the W&M proposal did make a few marginal improvements including rejecting a benchmark payment and permitting the consideration of many factors.

However, the IDR mechanism identified in the legislation would also prohibit the consideration of physician charge data and require the consideration of median in-network data, which in all certainty will skew the results towards the insurance companies.  In fact, when the proposal was scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it was noted that “in facilities where surprise bills are likely, average payment rates for both in- and out-of-network care would move toward the median in-network rate.  Moreover, the proposal only provides for a minimal review of insurer networks, which is the major contributing factor to the problem of surprise bills.

Therefore, this proposal remains highly problematic, and MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner offered the following comments in response:

“New York’s dedicated physicians remain anxious to work with all parties to ensure a fair federal legislative solution to protect patients from surprise out of network bills.  However, far more balance is needed in what has been put forward so far.  The proposal released Friday by the US House Ways & Means provides a few marginal steps forward but would still hand an enormous gift to already market dominant health insurance companies by tilting the factors in its dispute resolution mechanism towards the insurance industry.  Even worse, it fails to provide meaningful steps to make sure health insurance physician networks are adequate, to help protect patients from finding themselves in the position in a hospital where they are treated by an out of network physician.

These new proposals remain far different than the comprehensive and balanced measure that was enacted in New York, which not only put in place a balanced dispute resolution system to protect patients, but also put in place new measures to better ensure that health plan networks and out of network coverage was comprehensive.  We urge Congress to revise their proposals to more closely resemble New York’s acclaimed approach, which has had zero adverse premium impact and has saved consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.” (AUSTER, CARY)

Initial Meeting of the MRT 2
This week brought the initial meeting of the second iteration of the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), charged with recommending $2.5 billion in Medicaid savings as part of an effort to enact a State Budget by April 1.  The meeting generally covered a review of the successes of the previous MRT, a statement of the general charge and activities for the MRT 2, and identifying the highest cost drivers in the Medicaid program that will be under the microscope for revisions.

There will be 3 meetings of the MRT 2, including this week’s, March 2 in NYC and a third meeting to be announced for mid-March.  There will also be a Long Term Care advisory group established.  They will be soliciting public input online as well as through 3 upcoming public forums/evening webinars. The next one will be place on Tuesday February 18th from noon – 3pm, at the Monroe County Community College, High Falls Auditorium, 321 State St., Rochester, NY

In looking at the services for 6.2 million Medicaid enrollees, among the highest cost drivers identified included:

  • LTC and Consumer Directed Personal Care Program (800% growth from 2016 to 2021)
  • Prescription Drugs (36% growth from 2011 to 2019, exceeding 25% medical CPI)
  • Transportation (up 131% from 2011 to 2019)
  • Case management including Health homes
  • Program Integrity (reducing fraud and abuse, and ensuring cost-efficient delivery of care for Medicaid recipients)
  • Distressed Hospitals (160% increase)

It was also noted that, among the 770,000 “dual eligibles” in New York, only 3% are enrolled in managed care programs.

The only area where physician care under Medicaid appeared to be directly implicated was the stated 344% increase in the Patient Centered Medical Home program from 2011 to 2019, which pays physicians a PMPM bonus to help manage the care of certain Medicaid patients.  However, DOH also noted that patients enrolled in PCMH also had significantly lower health costs overall than non-PCMH enrollees.  MSSNY has repeatedly argued to legislators that Medicaid payments to physicians are already among the lowest in the country, represent a good investment in care delivery, and therefore should be spared from future cuts.  MSSNY also continues to raise strong concerns about the lack of a community based physician on the MRT 2.

It was also noted that the public could submit recommendation to the MRT 2 for Medicaid cost-saving suggestions from here: Please click here  (AUSTER, ALI)                                                       

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Please Urge Your Legislators to Reject Unfair Disregarding of Physician Due Process
With Part L of Governor’s proposed Health/Mental Hygiene Budget bill containing extremely troubling measures to bypass important due process protections for physicians during disciplinary proceedings, all physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators contact here to urge that the Legislature reject this unfair proposal, and plan to be in Albany on March 4 for Physician Advocacy Day.

The proposal would, among many other provisions, make it far easier for the Commissioner of Health to disclose to the public that a physician is under disciplinary investigation or summarily suspend a physician with only a minimal finding of risk to the public, as opposed to the much stronger “imminent danger” standard now required for bypassing existing due process protections.  That is particularly troubling given that only a small percentage of complaints to OPMC result in a disciplinary sanction.  MSSNY has indicated that 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.  

MSSNY has joined with 16 state specialty societies in a communication to the Legislature setting forth our concerns in greater detail.  Moreover, MSSNY President Dr. Art Fougner recently appeared on the WCNY “Capitol Pressroom” radio program to discuss MSSNY’s concerns with this proposal.

Please urge your legislators to reject this proposal from the Budget. (AUSTER)

Physician Mandate Bills Begin to Pile Up in Albany
As if physicians needed one more reason to be in Albany on March 4, the State Legislature has been advancing numerous bills through its Committee process that, while well-intended, would place substantial new mandates on physician care delivery at a time when physicians are already drowning in administrative tasks that take time away from patient care delivery.  They also unfairly place the physician at risk of financial penalty or even license sanction by DOH/OPMC if the physician fails to document that they performed the mandated task.  These proposals include:

  • Mandated conspicuous posting in a physician’s office of a patient’s ability to file a complaint with the Office of Professional Conduct (A.7991-A/S.6678-A). Assembly Floor/Senate Health Committee
  • Mandated notification to epileptic patients of the risk of sudden death due to epilepsy (S.5397-A/A.7807-A). On Assembly Floor/On Senate Floor
  • Mandated co-prescribing of naloxone for patients: a) taking 50 mmg per day b) with a history of substance use disorder or c) concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepine or nonbenzodiazepine sedative hypnotics (S.5150-B/A.5603-B). Passed Senate.  In Assembly Ways & Means
  • Mandated reporting of rescue inhaler prescriptions to the statewide immunization system (S.7337). On Senate floor
  • Mandated dissemination of a pamphlet prior to performance of a pelvic exam (S.7544/A.9600). On Senate floor/In Assembly Health
  • Mandated proof of completion of CME on cultural competency, including paying for an additional fee to SED on top of the bi-ennial $600 registration fee (S.2406-A). Passed Senate/In Assembly Higher Education Committee
  • Mandated seeking of a detailed patient/family member consent for a nursing home resident prior to the receipt of a psychotropic medication, or detailed documentation of the need to provide such medication without consent (A.1033/S.5441). On Assembly Floor/Senate Health Committee.

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Rear Seat Belt Measure Passes NYS Assembly; On Senate Calendar for Vote
A measure that would require safety belts for persons 16 years and younger in are back seat passengers in a motor vehicle has passed the New York State Assembly and is pending on the Senate Calendar for a vote.   This measure, Assembly Bill 6163/ S. 4336, is sponsored by Assemblymember Walter Mosely and Senator David Carlucci and the Medical Society of the State of New York supports this measure.

The MSSNY House of Delegates unanimously adopted policy urging that seat belts be required in both front and rear seats.  One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up and 89.6% of drivers and passengers buckled up in 2018, saving 14,955 lives.   According to the 2015 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Committee, 4.3% of 22,441 fatalities — or 966 deaths — involved unrestrained people in rear seats.  Research also found that unbuckled rear-seat travelers are eight times as likely as buckled rear-seat passengers to be injured or killed in a crash.

Thirty-eight states have laws that allow police officers to ticket a driver if the driver or the front-seat passenger is not wearing a seat belt, while only 18 states have the same laws for rear-seat riders. Those laws, along with police checks, public education campaigns, and seat-belt reminder systems, have helped increase use of seat belts in all seats.

Rear seating passengers who are older are less likely than front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt, making them more likely to injure themselves and drivers or other passengers in a crash.  Adult rear-row occupants were less likely to use seat belts, with just 70 percent of those ages 20 to 54, and 86 percent of those 55 and older using restraints, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to the Institute for Highway Safety (IHS), adult rear seat passengers are at greater risk for chest injuries and traumatic brain injuries than front seat passengers.                                          (CLANCY)

Register Now for CME Courses at MSSNY House of Delegates April 23 & 24
MSSNY will be offering multiple CME courses on Thursday April 23rd and Friday April 24th at the 2020 House of Delegates in Tarrytown.  Click Please click here to register for as many or few of these offerings as you can.

Thursday April 23, 2020

1:00-2:00pm       Medical Matters: Triage in a Disaster Event

2:00-3:00pm       Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans

3:00-4:00pm       Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency

4:00-5:00pm       The Health of Sexual and Gender Minorities

Friday April 24, 2020

1:00-4:00pm       Pain Management, Palliative Care & Addiction

For more information please contact Melissa Hoffman at or call (518) 465-8085. (CLANCY, HOFFMAN)

Registration Now Open for “Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency”
MSSNY Committee on Physician Wellness and Resiliency will hold its first webinar, entitled Steps to Physician Wellness and Resiliency on February 25th from 7:30-8:30am. Jeffrey Selzer, MD will serve as faculty for this webinar.

Educational Objectives are:

  • Review the warning signs that stress, depression, anxiety or substance use may impact work or personal life
  • Identify strategies to increase personal empowerment toward making positive change, including self-assessment tools
  • Recognize self-monitoring strategies for stress related problems and know when to seek professional assistance

Register by clicking here.

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at

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

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Registration Now Open for Medical Matters: Virtual Drill: Incident Command System & Crisis Communications
MSSNY’s next Medical Matters will feature a Virtual Drill on the Incident Command System and Crisis Communications on February 19th from 6:00-8:00pm. Faculty for this program are: Arthur Cooper, MD; Pat Anders, MS, MEP; William Valenti, MD and Lorraine Giordano, MD.

With the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19) it is doubly important for physicians to learn about the incident command system and crisis communications from the NYS Department of Health’s perspective.  This program provides physicians with vital information that would be needed to combat a public health emergency.  Be sure to note the format of this webinar includes extended time and takes place in the evening.

Educational Objectives are:

  • Obtain information about local, state and national chain of command in a public health emergency and learn how to access resources
  • Understand the importance of planning for medical surge and triage of patients, as well as staff and family considerations, in the office-based practice setting during a health emergency
  • Develop an understanding that all public health emergencies can potentially have mental health implications for survivors and others connected with the event
  • Acquire skills for the management of patients in a public health emergency

Please note that there are recommended pre-course materials to be viewed prior to this virtual drill. You will be sent a link with your registration confirmation. We encourage all participants to examine these prior to the Virtual Drill.  Register by clicking here:  Please click here.

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at

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

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. (CLANCY, HOFFMAN)

Veterans Matters: PTSD in Returning Veterans Live Seminar at Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a CME live seminar entitled Veterans Matters: PTSD in Returning Veterans on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, 169 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905.

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

Reservations can be made by contacting Jean Jenkins at or (607) 798-5290.

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.


Physicians Are Fighting BCBS Plan Requiring Use of Mail-Order Pharmacies
A group of eight medical societies are pushing back against a proposal from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee that the groups fear will hurt patient access to critical drugs. (American Academy of Ophthalmology; American Academy of Dermatology; American College of Rheumatology; American Gastroenterological Association; American Urological Association; Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations; Alabama Society for Rheumatic Diseases; Tennessee Rheumatology Society)

The proposed policy change would require physicians to use mail-order pharmacies to order drugs that have to be administered in-office, instead of allowing physician offices to bulk-order the drugs and keep them in-house. It would apply to drugs such as those given to rheumatoid arthritis patients that have to be administered by physicians in their offices.

BCBS said the policy changes are designed to save money for Tennessee-based employers and the people covered by their healthcare plans. The medical groups argue that the policy, which would mean physicians can only order the drugs on an as-needed basis for each patient, would delay patient care, reduce access to much-needed drugs, inflate out-of-pocket costs and increase drug waste.

Under the proposal, physicians would have to obtain the drugs from BCBS’ preferred pharmacies and then wait for that pharmacy to ship them, which the groups argue is just a way for BCBS to get rebates from its pharmacy benefit managers.

The groups are also concerned that they won’t be able to ensure the drugs are safe and haven’t been exposed to high temperatures. Additionally, extra doses would be required to be thrown away, increasing drug waste. The new policy could also mean patients have to go to a more expensive hospital outpatient setting if their physician can’t afford to obtain the drugs from the preferred pharmacies, which could be a significant barrier to access for some patients.

“We’re not asking members to see a different doctor or receive care at a different facility,” BCBS said on its website. The company added that the changes apply to only 5,500 of its 3.5 million members.  In a letter to BCBS, Ellen Gravallesse, MD, said: “We have had an alarming number of practices reporting they have been denied the ability to use therapies currently available in their offices to administer patient care quickly.” (Becker’s Healthcare Feb. 13)

If You’re a Physician under 40, Don’t Miss Feb. 28 Meeting in Manhattan!
For all medical students, residents, fellows, and new attendings starting practice in the last 8 years in the NY Metro Area and Long Island, don’t miss the upcoming Medical Society of the State of New York Joint Section Annual Meeting on February 28th from 8:30am-12:30pm at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 5th Avenue. New York, NY. More information and registration available at: Earn CME and learn from experts on how to succeed when starting practice and how to best advocate for your patients outside of the hospital and clinic. Limited space available. 3.0 AMA PRA Category I CME Credits available.


1.     Keynote speaker: The Evolving Healthcare Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities for Young Physicians by Jesse Ehrenfeld, Current AMA Board of Trustees Chair.

2.      “How to Avoid Malpractice Lawsuits in the First 5 Years of Practice” by William Hassett, Esq. from Fager, Amsler, Keller & Schoppmann, LLP.

3.      Millennials in Private Practice: Is It Even Possible? A Panel Discussion by Millennial Independent Physicians with Sonia Bahlani; Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, FAAD; Purvi Parikh, MD; Saya Nagori, MD. Moderated by: Daniel E. Choi, MD #doctor #medicalstudent #SoMeDocs

CDC Confirms 15th Case of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Yesterday, CDC confirmed another infection with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the United States. The patient is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020.

All people who lived or traveled in Hubei Province, China, are considered at high risk of having been exposed to this virus and are subject to a temporary 14-day quarantine upon entry into the United States. This is the first person under quarantine at JBSA-Lackland who had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital nearby.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15. There will likely be additional cases in the coming days and weeks, including among other people recently returned from Wuhan. While 195 people were discharged from quarantine on Tuesday, more than 600 people who returned on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine and are being closely monitored to contain the spread of the virus.

For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC’s Novel Coronavirus 2019 website(Thursday, February 13, 2020 CDC release)

Yale New Haven Hospital Sued Over Exam Policy for Employees 70+ Years
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Yale New Haven Hospital, alleging its policy mandating eye and neuropsychological exams for employees age 70 or older who seek medical privileges violates two federal antidiscrimination laws.

Yale New Haven implemented its late career practitioner policy about four years ago. The policy requires employees 70 and older who apply for or seek to renew staff privileges to take both medical exams. Employees under the age of 70 are not required to take the exam.

In the lawsuit, filed Feb. 11, EEOC claims that the individuals required to be tested are singled out solely because of their age, instead of a suspicion that their cognitive abilities may have declined.

As a result, Yale New Haven’s policy violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the lawsuit says. “While Yale New Haven Hospital may claim its policy is well-intentioned, it violates antidiscrimination laws,” said Jeffrey Burstein, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District office. “There are many other nondiscriminatory methods already in place to ensure the competence of all of its physicians and other healthcare providers, regardless of age.”

In addition, the EEOC charges that the policy also violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it subjects employees to medical examinations that are not job-related. (Becker’s Hospital Review Feb 12)

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Lawsuit: Juul Bought Ad Space on Kids’ Websites Including Cartoon Network
E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc bought online advertisements on teen-focused websites for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Seventeen magazine after it launched its product in 2015, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office.

The allegations in the lawsuit, stemming from a more than year-long investigation, contradict repeated claims by Juul executives that the company never intentionally targeted teenagers, even as its products became enormously popular among high-school and middle-school students in recent years. (Reuters Business News 2/12)

Two States Have Each Reported 200+ Vaping-Related Illnesses
As of Feb. 4, a total of 2,758 hospitalized EVALI cases have been reported to CDC, an increase of 47 since the last CDC update Jan. 21.

Four updates:

  1. Sixty-four EVALI deaths have been confirmed in 28 states and the District of Columbia, up from 60 reported Jan. 21.
  2. The most EVALI cases have been in Texas and Illinois, with each state reporting between 200 and 249 illnesses as of Feb. 4.
  3. Vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC-containing e-cigarette or vaping products, has been strongly linked to the outbreak.
  4. The recent decline in EVALI cases is due in part to a reporting lag. More deaths are currently under investigation, according to the CDC. Beckers Hospital Review, Feb 12

The outbreak of lung injury associated with vaping has slowed but it has not stopped. CDC data released Tuesday show 2,758 hospitalized individuals (three new) and 64 deaths.

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Would You Like to Be a Judge?
If you’re coming to the House of Delegates meeting – or just live in the neighborhood – please consider participating as a poster judge at this year’s Symposium. The event will take place in Tarrytown on Friday, April 24, 2020. Judging occurs between 1:30 and 3:30 pm. Each judge evaluates approximately 8 – 10 posters and is generally done in an hour. Contact

Register Now!  Young Physicians/Resident Fellow/Medical Students Meeting

When: Saturday, February 29, 2020
Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.
Why: Guest speakers, panel program “Is Private Practice Even Possible?”, important updates on how to avoid malpractice lawsuits in early practice. Webinar available.

Click here for required preregistration and details.



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When you subscribe to the Medical Society of the State of New York Grassroots Action Center, the Division of Governmental Affairs will alert you when legislation and issues of importance to physicians and patients, either in the NYS legislature or in Congress, are at critical stages.

Accordingly, contact from constituents would be vital to influencing the path and future of that legislation or issue.

Alerts will be accompanied by recommended actions you or your designee can take to have maximum impact such as calling, tweeting and emailing a customizable letter to your legislators.

If you are concerned with health care policy formation in New York State, please subscribe today by texting MSSNY to 52886 and you will be prompted to enter your email address.  When you sign up, it is best to use your NY-based voting address or practice address (if you do not reside in NY) for your alerts.

Contact the Division of Governmental Affairs at 518-465-8085 or if you have questions or comments.  Thank you.

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Midtown Medical Office for Rent
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Great Career Opportunities for Clinical Physicians
Physicians, are you looking for a change?  Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming patient load?  Come work at a well-equipped and staffed correctional facility where you can MAKE a difference, working with a smaller number of patients for reasonable hours.

Starting salary is $143,381 – $171,631 *Additional $20,000 geographical differential for Clinton & Franklin CF, and $10,000 for Five Points, Greene and Groveland CFs. We offer full-time, part-time & hourly/per-diem positions.

We have openings in the following counties offering a choice of urban, suburban or rural living:

Clinton*                 Clinton Correctional Facility (sporting and recreational outlets)
Chemung               Elmira and Southport Corrl Facilities (Gateway to the Finger Lakes)
Columbia*             Hudson Correctional Facility (antiquing, arts & collectables)
Dutchess                Green Haven Correctional Facility (Hudson River Valley Beauty)
Franklin*                Franklin & Upstate Corrl Facilities (North Country, 1 hour to Montreal)
Greene*                 Greene Correctional Facility (rural charm yet only 2 hours to NY City)
Livingston*            Groveland Correctional Facility (State Parks, hiking, fishing)
Oneida                   Mohawk Correctional Facility (Cooperstown, breweries)
Orleans                  Albion Correctional Facility (Greater Niagara Region & Canal Town Culture)
Sullivan                  Woodbourne Correctional Facility (mountains, outlets, entertainment)
Seneca*                 Five Points Correctional Facility (heart of wine country)
St. Lawrence          Riverview Correctional Facility (hiking, boating and museums)
Ulster                     Shawangunk and Wallkill Corrl Facility (Catskill Mountains, Casinos)
Washington           Great Meadow Corrl Facility (Between Vermont & Green Mountains)
Westchester           Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (Less than 1 Hour to NYC)
Wyoming               Wyoming Correctional Facility (waterfalls, family farms, natural beauty)

NYS Corrections Personnel Ad

Inquire with the Facility Personnel Office regarding benefits and anticipated opportunities: Contact: or DOCCS Personnel Office at (518) 457-8132 for more information and to apply.