Act Now: Date of Discovery – June 5, 2015

drmaldonado PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Dr. Joseph R.Maldonado, President

Dear Colleagues:

We are nearing the end of the 2015 legislative session.  This session has seen recurring as well as new legislative efforts to change the practice of medicine in the State of New York.  This has occurred under new leadership in both the Assembly and Senate.  Last week, we saw the Assembly support a single payer effort in the State of New York.  This week, we have seen a strong push to have Date of Discovery Statute of Limitations and CME Mandate legislation voted on in the state legislature.  When examined in a vacuum, both of these issues appear to garner sympathy.  After all, who wouldn’t want their physician to have an up-to-date understanding of the pharmaceutical management of pain?  And yet, these issues cannot be considered purely in their ideological vacuum state.  Other considerations must be weighed into this discussion.

For example, what is the financial and workforce cost of enacting the Date of Discovery legislation?  What is the purpose of mandating CME on everything from I-STOP and drug enforcement administration requirements for prescribing controlled substances, pain management, appropriate prescribing, managing acute pain, palliative medicine, prevention, screening and signs of addiction, responses to abuse and addiction and end-of-life care? Any one of these subjects could be the focus of a three hour course. Simple solutions complicate already complicated issues.  Our solutions for complex problems must take into consideration a nuanced understanding of the etiology and nature of the problem.  It must consider the potential consequences of the solution.  The trial attorneys argue that the change in the statute of limitations concerning date of discovery affects a very small number of potential plaintiffs.  If so, why are the medical liability insurers concluding that this measure threatens to raise malpractice premium rates by at least 15%?  Why must we worsen the work environment for all physicians in a state that ranks lowest in WalletHub’s recent survey?  Why must we mandate all physicians to take a three -hour course every two years? Does a three-hour course even suffice for the physician who does pain management for a living?  Shouldn’t the professional specialty societies be the better judges of what is appropriate for their specialty society members?

Let’s take a moment this weekend to contact our state legislators.  Sign on to the letter we have drafted or draft your own expressing a reasoned, evidence based argument for a pragmatic approach to these problems.  Urge them not to support the current bills. Instead, urge them to study these issues more thoroughly and draft legislation that does justice for all New Yorkers

Physicians opposed to mandatory prescribing CME are urged to send a letter urging defeat of this measure.  Or physicians may call 518-455-4100 and ask for their assembly member office.

To defeat Day of Discovery, please click here.

Its companion measure, Senate Bill 4348 is also on the Senate floor and can be acted on at any time.  Physicians are urged to send the above letter or call the NYS Senate at 518-455-2800 and ask for their senator’s office.

Joseph Maldonado, M.D, MSc, MBA, DipEBHC 

MSSNY President

Please send your comments to comments@mssny.org


MLMIC


Capital_Update_Banner 

PHYSICIAN ACTION URGED TO DEFEAT DISASTROUS LIABILITY EXPANSION BILL
All physicians must contact their legislators to urge that they oppose legislation (A.285, Weinstein/S.911, Libous) that would drastically increase New York’s already exorbitantly high medical liability premiums by changing the medical liability Statute of limitations to a “Date of Discovery” rule.   The letter can be sent here.

Physicians are also urged to call their assemblymembers and senators.   Talking points are available here.

This week the bill was reported from the Assembly Codes Committee to the Assembly Rules Committee, where it could be reported to full Assembly and voted on as soon as Monday.   As many New York physicians continue to pay liability premiums that are among the very highest in the country and face reduced payments from Medicare and commercial insurers, as well as rapidly increasing overhead costs to remain in practice, no liability increases can be tolerated.  MSSNY is working with many other provider associations also impacted by this legislation, including hospitals, nursing homes, other specialty societies and the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, in an effort to defeat this disastrous legislation.                                    (DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)

NYS SENATE TO VOTE ON MONDAY FOR THE CME MANDATE BILL; BILL ON DEBATE LIST IN THE ASSEMBLY—URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED TO OPPOSE THIS LEGISLATION
On Monday afternoon, June 8, the New York State Senate is expected to vote upon Senate Bill 4348 (Hannon), which would require physicians to take three hours of continuing education on pain management, palliative care, and addiction.  Its companion measure, Assembly Bill 355, sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, is on the Assembly Debate list and can be voted on as early as Monday.  While several legislators have urged that this bill be defeated, we need more.  Physicians are urged to send a letter urging defeat of this measure.

Assembly Bill 355/Senate Bill 4348 would require three hours of course work every two years for physicians and other healthcare workers.   Under the bill’s provisions, the course work would include each of the following topics:  I-STOP and drug enforcement administration requirements for prescribing controlled substances; pain management; appropriate prescribing; managing acute pain; palliative medicine; prevention, screening, and signs of addiction; responses to abuse and addiction; and end-of-life care.                                                                      (CLANCY, DEARS) 

HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL TRANSPARENCY BILL ON SENATE FLOOR
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. 

MSSNY, working closely with several state and national specialty societies including the NYS Society of Anesthesiology and the NYS Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, is aggressively pursuing legislation (S.4651-A, Griffo/A.7129-A, Stirpe) to assure that health care professionals are appropriately identified in their one-on-one interaction with patients and in their advertisements to the public.  Importantly, this bill will require that advertisements for services to be provided by health care practitioners identify the type of professional license held by the health care professional.  In addition, this measure would require all advertisements to be free from any and all deceptive or misleading information.  Ambiguous provider nomenclature, related advertisements and marketing, and the myriad of individuals one encounters in each point of service exacerbate patient uncertainty.  Further, patient autonomy and decision-making are jeopardized by uncertainty and misunderstanding in the health care patient-provider relationship.  Importantly, this measure would also require health care practitioners to wear an identification name tag during patient encounters that includes the type of license held by the practitioner.  The bill would also require the health care practitioner outside of a general hospital to display a document in his or her office that clearly identifies the type of license that the practitioner holds.

Physicians are encouraged to contact their elected representatives in both houses of the Legislature to ask that the bill be passed this year.                                                  (DEARS, ELLMAN)

SCHOOL-BASED MENINGOCOCCAL IMMUNIZATION LEGISLATION MOVES FORWARD IN BOTH HOUSES
Assembly Bill 791C/Senate Bill 4324, sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Senator Kemp Hannon,  is moving forward in the legislative process, and physicians are urged to send a letter to their legislators urging support. Assembly Bill 791C  is in the Assembly Codes Committee, and Senate Bill 4324A is now on the Senate floor for a vote.  The Medical Society of the State of New York has been part of a coalition of organizations supporting this legislation and is urging physicians and their patients to advocate in legislation requiring school-based immunizations against the meningococcal disease.   Assembly Bill 791C/Senate Bill 4324 would require that every person entering seventh grade and 12th  grade shall have been immunized against meningococcal disease.  Physicians are encouraged to go to MSSNY’s Grassroots Action Center to send a letter to their legislators and urge support of this bill.

MSSNY has also developed a patient-support letter that patients can use to urge support of this legislation.                                                                                                              (CLANCY)

SCOPE-OF-PRACTICE BILLS STATUS AT END OF SESSION
The following are among many scope-of-practice bills that MSSNY is opposing as the Legislative Session draws to a close for 2015:

  • S.816 (Libous)/A.3329 (Morelle) – a bill that would permit certain dental surgeons to perform a wide range of medical surgical procedures involving the hard or soft tissues of the oral maxillofacial area.  This could include cosmetic surgery, such as face lifts, rhinoplasty, bletheroplasty, and other procedures, and would allow them to do these procedures in their offices, although they are not included in the office-based surgery law that govern office-based surgery for physicians.  This bill remains  in the Higher Education Committee in both the Senate and Assembly.
  • A.5805 (McDonald)/S.4857 (LaValle) – a bill that would expand the definition of “collaborative drug therapy management” to include patients being treated by PAs and NPs, not just physicians, and extend collaboration to unspecified disease states.  It allows a pharmacist to prescribe in order to adjust or manage a drug regimen, and adds a non-patient specific protocol.  The bill includes nursing homes in the definition of facility.  This bill is in the Higher Education Committee in the Senate and Assembly.
  • A.123 (Paulin)/S.4739 (Hannon) – a bill that would authorize pharmacists to, in addition to those immunizations currently allowed to be administered by pharmacists, administer immunizations to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, acute herpes zoster, and meningococcal pursuant to a patient specific or non-patient specific order, and would remove the sunset provisions currently in the law.   Pharmacists are currently allowed to administer influenza, pneumococcal, acute herpes zoster and meningococcal pursuant to a patient specific order from a physician.   This bill remains in the Higher Education Committee in both the Senate and Assembly.
  • A.719 (Pretlow)/S.4600 (Libous) –  a bill that would expand on a bill enacted in 2012, and would  allow podiatrists to provide care for up to the knee.  This would include diagnosing, treating, operating or prescribing for cutaneous conditions of the ankle up to the level of the knee, which could include skin cancers or diabetic wounds.  It does not have to be a wound that is “contiguous with”, but only has to be “related to” a condition of the foot or ankle.  It would eliminate the requirement for direct supervision of podiatrists training to do this additional work, and would allow them to basically train themselves.

This bill is in the Higher Education Committee in the Senate and Assembly.

  • A.7035 (Perry)/ S.4917 (LaValle) – a bill that would license naturopaths and create a scope of practice for them that could be interpreted in many ways, and is not clear as to their limits of practice.  It would allow them to practice as primary care providers, and call themselves naturopathic doctors.   Despite claims that the bill would not enable them to perform invasive procedures, this bill would allow them to immunize and perform cryotherapy.  This bill remains in the Higher Education Committee in the Senate and Assembly.
  • S.2063 (Libous)/A.2803 (Paulin) – a bill that would authorize optometrists to use and prescribe various oral therapeutic drugs, which have a systemic effect on the body, which they are not trained to deal with.  Most of the requested drugs are rarely, if ever, used by ophthalmologists, and are unnecessary for optometrists to use.  This bill is in the Higher Education Committee in the Senate and Assembly.
  • S.215-A (Martins)/A.4391 (O’Donnell) – a bill to permit chiropractors to form LLCs with physicians as partners.  This bill could allow chiropractors, who own a controlling interest in the LLC to tell employed physicians, or even a minority partner, how to practice and what tests to conduct.  This bill passed the Senate, and remains in the Higher Education Committee in the Assembly.   Physicians are urged to send a letter to their legislators.  (ELLMAN) 

LEGISLATION TO ENABLE PATIENTS TO END LIFE IS INTRODUCED IN NYS LEGISLATURE
There have been various bills introduced in the New York State Legislature that would enable patients to request assistance from their physician to end their life.  Senate Bill 5814, introduced by Senator John Bonacic, and Assembly Bill 5261A, introduced by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, would amend the public health law and allow a patient to self-determine the end of life and would allow a physician to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs after they have received a written request from a patient who is terminally ill.  This bill is called the “Patient Self-Determination Act.”   Earlier in the year, Senator Diane Savino introduced Senate Bill 3685, the “New York End of Life Options Act,” which would allow physicians to assist and provide aid-in-dying medication to terminally ill patients.  Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has introduced Assembly Bill 2129, which would establish the “Death with Dignity Act” and would allow patients who have a terminal disease to voluntary self-administer a lethal dose of medications that have be prescribed by a physician for that purpose.  All of these bills are in the Assembly or Senate Health Committee.  There is also court action in the Supreme Court, County of New York, that has been filed by End of Life Choices New York and several physicians against New York State based on New York State assisted-suicide statute claiming that the provisions should not be interpreted to prohibit a physician’s prescription of lethal medications to a terminally ill patient who wished to end his/her life.  The introduction of these bills stem, in part, from the case  of Brittany Maynard, who took her own life after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  She lived in Oregon, where physicians can dispense lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients. The Medical Society of the State of New York’s House of Delegates in May 2015 adopted a revised policy on assisted suicide, MSSNY Policy 95.989 Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia:

Patients, with terminal illness, uncommonly approach their physicians for assistance in dying including assisted suicide and euthanasia. Their motivations are most often concerns of loss of autonomy, concerns of loss of dignity, and physical symptoms which are refractory and distressing.  Despite shifts in favor of physician-assisted suicide as evidenced by its legality in an increasing number of states, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia have not been part of the normative practice of modern medicine. Compelling arguments have not been made for medicine to change its footing and to incorporate the active shortening of life into the norms of medical practice. Although relief of suffering has always been a fundamental duty in medical practice, relief of suffering through shortening of life has not. Moreover, the social and societal implications of such a fundamental change cannot be fully contemplated.  MSSNY supports all appropriate efforts to promote patient autonomy, promote patient dignity, and to relieve suffering associated with severe and advanced diseases. Physicians should not perform euthanasia or participate in assisted suicide.                    (CLANCY)

HEALTH SYSTEMS TRANSFORMATION REGIONAL MEETING TO BE HELD JUNE 18TH
NYSDOH Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, JD will be among the speakers at a  Health Systems Transformation Regional meeting to be held on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at the Albany School of Public Health, George Education Center Auditorium, One University Place Rensselaer, NY 12144.   This event is co-sponsored by American College of Preventive Medicine and the University of Albany.  The half-day conference will feature state officials representing New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts who will present their experiences, insights and lessons learned related to CMS’s State Innovation Model Initiative.   Representatives from organizations such as the New York Academy of Medicine, The Commonwealth Fund, Xerox, the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and Maine Health Management Coalition will present on private-sector collaborations and involvement in fostering health systems transformation.   The intended audience is physicians, public health officials, students and residents, payers, and anyone with an interest in this important topic.  Registration for the Northeast Regional Meeting is open until Wednesday, June 10th.
The $30 registration includes lunch and up to four CME credits. To register, please click here.                                                                                                                       (CLANCY)

CMS RELEASES 2013 MEDICARE PAYMENT DATA; AMA RELEASES GUIDE TO PROVIDE CONTEXT
This week CMS released new data related to Medicare payments to hospitals and physicians for services provided during calendar year 2013.  The Medicare Part B data includes information on 950,000 distinct health care providers including physicians, and allows for comparisons by physician, specialty, location, types of medical services and procedures delivered, Medicare payment, and submitted charges. The Medicare hospital utilization and payment data includes information for services provided in connection with the 100 most common Medicare inpatient stays and 30 selected outpatient procedures at over 3,000 hospitals in 2013.  To view the report, click here.

Recognizing the potential inaccurate conclusions that could be drawn based upon media reports of this data, the American Medical Association released a media guide to help provide necessary context for this data release.  To read the media guide, click here.  The media guide notes that the AMA “is committed to transparency and supports the release of data that can help improve quality of care. For that reason, the AMA believes that certain safeguards are needed to ensure accurate information is presented to the public. Given that CMS has once again released Medicare claims data without pre-verification by physicians to ensure accuracy and with little context, members of the media will be integral to ensuring that the public gets clear, accurate information.”                                                                                 (AUSTER) 

CMS RELEASES NEW ACO PARTICIPATION RULES
This week CMS adopted new rules for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), including provisions relating to the payment of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the MSSP.   To read more, click here.

According to a summary provided by federal legislative counsel to the Physicians Advocacy Institute, among the significant revisions to the existing ACO program:

  • Adding a process for an ACO to renew its 3-year participation agreement for an additional agreement period, including factors (such as historical program compliance) that CMS will use to make a determination on the ACO’s renewal;
  • Finalizing a policy that permits ACOs to participate in an additional agreement period under one-sided risk with the same sharing rate as was available to them under the first agreement period and offering an alternative performance-based risk model (creating a new “Track 3” for ACOs);
  • Streamlining the data sharing between CMS and ACOs;
  • Establishing a streamlined process to allow prior Pioneer ACOs to apply for participation in the Shared Savings Program

CMS also states that it “intends to address other modifications to program rules in future rulemaking in the near term to improve ACO willingness to take on performance-based risk,” including waiving the geographic requirement for use of telehealth services.

CMS estimates that “at least 90 percent of eligible ACOs” will renew their participation in the MSSP when given the new options outlined in the final rule.                                              (AUSTER) 

HOUSE WAYS &MEANS COMMITTEE ADVANCES IPAB REPEAL LEGISLATION
This week the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee advanced to the full House of Representatives legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (HR 1190) and repeal the medical device tax (HR 160), provisions enacted as part of the ACA.   Among the 235 co-sponsors of the IPAB repeal legislation are New York Congressional delegation members Chris Collins, Peter King, Sean Patrick Maloney, Chris Gibson, Tom Reed, Elise Stefanik, Richard Hanna and John Katko.  The IPAB is a board charged with making cuts to Medicare payments if expenditures reach a certain level, with limited ability of Congress to reverse such cuts.

MSSNY recently signed on to a patient and provider association advocacy letter in support of repeal of the IPAB.  The letter contains over 500 signatories.  The letter notes that “The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), not only poses a threat to that access but also, once activated, will shift healthcare costs to consumers in the private sector and infringe upon the decision making responsibilities and prerogatives of the Congress. We request your support to repeal IPAB.”  The AMA also released a statement in support of the legislation, noting that: “IPAB is a flawed policy and the AMA has been advocating for the repeal of it since the ACA was passed. It would put significant health care payment and policy decisions in the hands of an independent body of individuals with far too little accountability. Additionally, IPAB’s arbitrary, annual cost cutting targets would lead to short term strategies that would threaten access to care for millions of Medicare patients across the country.”                                                                     (AUSTER)

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE REQUESTS CMS DEVELOP ICD-10 CONTINGENCY PLANS
This week US House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) and 12 members of the Committee sent a letter to Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt urging that CMS take steps to instill confidence among physicians that the October 1, 2015 implementation deadline for the required use of the ICD-10 coding system “will not cause widespread disruption.”  To read the letter, click here.

Among the recommendations in the letter were:

  • Make public any contingency plan for how Medicare will process claims in the event that CMS is unable to process claims with ICD-10 codes on October 1;
  • Make public a description how ICD-10 codes will be applied to current Medicare incentive programs for reporting on quality care and other metrics;
  • Expand “end to end” testing beyond the current 2,500 providers; and
  • Educate providers on resources in the event that CMS can accept ICD-10 codes but providers are unable to submit ICD-10 codes

In a press release accompanying the letter, Chair Brady stated, “Our local health-care providers have already taken on the financial and administrative burden of transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10.  Unlike the disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov in the Affordable Care Act, this Administration owes it to our local doctors to ensure a smooth transition to ICD-10.”

MSSNY also continues to support legislation (HR. 2126, Poe) that would postpone ICD-10 implementation, and physicians can send a letter in support of this legislation here.

(AUSTER) 

AMA URGES CHANGES BEFORE IMPLEMENTING MEANINGFUL USE STAGE 3
The American Medical Association recently wrote to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt to urge that CMS hold off on implementing Meaningful Use Stage 3 given the number of challenges facing physicians with implementing existing Meaningful Use standards.  Despite the fact that a large number of physicians are now using electronic health records (EHRs), less than 10 % of eligible professionals were able to attest for Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014.  The AMA letter highlights the following concerns that must be addressed before MU Stage 3 is implemented:

  • Patient Safety: There remains no thorough evaluation of how implementing EHRs and meeting complex MU requirements impact patient safety;
  • Modifications Rule Impact: Sufficient time is needed to ascertain physicians’ ability to meet the modified versions of Stages 1-2 now that some needed changes have been made;
  • Privacy and Security: There remain huge gaps in how to protect patient data, which must be addressed before expanding the program to include additional technology and other requirements;
  • Focus on Interoperability: More time is needed to prioritize interoperability, reduce barriers to data exchange, and promote the use of innovative technologies through pilot projects;
  • Quality Measures: The technology and infrastructure are still lacking to handle the next generation of quality measures and electronic reporting; and
  • Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS): The structure and requirements of the MIPS value-based payment program included as part of the recently enacted SGR Repeal legislation have yet to be outlined to ensure physicians have the appropriate tools to improve health care.                                                                (AUSTER, DEARS) 

ADVOCACY MATTERS CME WEBINAR JUNE 9, 2015
The next “Advocacy Matters” CME webinar will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, from 12:30 to 1:30 PM.  The faculty will include David Whitlinger, CEO of NYeC, New York e-Health Collaborative (NYeC), Inez Sieben, COO, and Lisa Halperin Fleischer, NYeC CMO,, New York e-Health Collaborative (NYeC), presenting on the topic “SHIN-NY Statewide Patient Record Look-Up.”

Course objectives:

  • Provide an update and overview of the Statewide Healthcare Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) and its value to healthcare providers
  • Give Healthcare Providers Information on how they will be able to access and share patient records through the SHIN-NY
  • Provide an overview of what capabilities will be available for healthcare providers this year and what they may already be able to access. 

To register for this webinar, click here and fill out registration form.

The flyer for the program may be accessed here.                                          (DEARS, HARDIN) 

FINAL MEDICAL MATTERS CME WEBINAR TO BE HELD JUNE 9TH; PHYSICIANS URGED TO REGISTER
The Medical Society’s final “Medical Matters” webinar for the spring will be conducted on June 9, 2015 at 7:30 a.m.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee will present “Emerging Infections 2015-A look at EV-D68 and Chikungunya.”  Physicians are encouraged to register by clicking on https://mssny.webex.com.  Click on “Training Center” and then on the “Upcoming” tab to register.

The educational objectives are:

  • Recognize and describe Enterovirus D68 (EV D68)
  • Recall the importance of continued immunizations
  • Recognize symptoms of Chikungunya and describe measures for reporting

Physicians may also contact Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org or at 518-465-8085 to register.

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 Credit.    Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. It is anticipated that Medical Matters programing for fall/spring 2015-2016 will be announced shortly.                               (CLANCY)

pschuh@mssny.org ldears@mssny.org     mauster@mssny.or
pclancy@mssny.org bellman@mssny.org  

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Some Upstate NY Cities Have Some the U.S.’s Most Affordable Healthcare
Upstate New York cities have some of the most affordable health care in the country.

A report by the Niagara Quality Health Coalition found that three upstate cities rank among the cheapest places in the nation for the amount that health insurers pay hospitals, doctors and other care providers in their network.

Buffalo was the second most affordable city of 274 regions studied. Rochester ranked fourth and Syracuse was 19. The most affordable city in the United States was Honolulu. The Bronx ranked third. Albany ranked 83 rd.

The most expensive cities in the country were Santa Cruz, California followed by Huntington and Charleston in West Virginia.

Here is the report by the nonprofit coalition. The report analyzed data insurers submitted to the Institute of Medicine.

ACPM Meeting in Albany on June 18
The American College of Preventive Medicine is proud to be hosting a series of three Health Systems Transformation Regional Meetings across the United States in May and June 2015.  The northeastern regional event will be co-sponsored by ACPM and the University of Albany. A copy of the agenda is attached for your perusal.

Register here: Northeastern Regional Meeting

Where: University at Albany School of Public Health, Renselaer, New York
When:  Thursday, June 18, 2015

This half-day conference will feature state officials representing New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts who will present their experiences, insights and lessons learned related to CMS’s State Innovation Model Initiative.  Representatives from organizations such as the New York Academy of Medicine, The Commonwealth Fund, Xerox, the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and Maine Health Management Coalition will present on private sector collaborations and involvement in fostering health systems transformation.   For physicians, public health officials, students and residents, payers, and anyone with an interest in this most important of topics, this promises to be a fascinating event. Registration for the Northeast Regional Meeting is open until Friday, June 12th.  The $30 registration includes breakfast, coffee/tea, and snacks. Attendees have an opportunity to register for up to 4 CME/MOC credits. 

NYU Langone Makes Deal with 42-Physicians L.I. Practice
NYU Langone completed a deal with the Huntington Medical Group, a 42-physician Long Island practice that has been renamed NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group. The group has a total staff of 288 at two locations, in Huntington Station and Commack, and leases both those sites. The hospital did not disclose the details of the transaction. NYU Langone said in a statement that it plans to add cardiothoracic surgery, electrophysiology and cancer treatment services to the sites. The multispecialty practice already offers most specialties and primary care. The practice will be moved to NYU Langone’s billing platform and to its EPIC electronic health record system. (Crains, 6/5) 

Transitioning to ICD-10-CM
This webinar will provide Part B providers with an overview of ICD-10-CM and will assist you with planning for the mandated ICD-10-CM transition. This session will include testing opportunities and transition stages that will help you prepare your office for the upcoming implementation.

As per the CMS IOM Publication 100-09, Chapter 6, Section 30.1.1, National Government Services cannot make determinations about the proper use of codes for the provider. Questions related to ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM are handled by the American Hospital Association’s Coding Clinic. Details about this resource are available at http://www.ahacentraloffice.org.

Registration is open for the following dates:

Provider and Supplier Participation Requested for the 2015 MAC Satisfaction Indicator; Attention NGS providers and suppliers: Your feedback matters!
Your opinion is important to NGS. Please help them by participating in the 2015 MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MSI) survey. Please watch for their Email Updates with the survey link specific to providers and suppliers in the NGS jurisdiction. The survey will be available beginning June 15, 2015.

Complete the quick 10-minute survey to share your experience with the services we provide. The CFI Group is conducting this survey on behalf of the CMS. We appreciate your willingness to participate and assure you your responses will be kept completely confidential.

Roughly 150 People Being Monitored for Lassa fever After N.J. Man’s Death
At least 150 people may have had contact with a New Jersey man who died from Lassa fever after returning from Liberia. All are being monitored for symptoms, the Associated Press reports. Six of the contacts are at high risk of exposure, and 33 are at low risk. The virus, which can cause hemorrhagic fever, is not as lethal as the Ebola virus; but like Ebola, it is spread through contact with bodily fluids. CDC Lassa website: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/lassa/

New York Blue Light Symposium
June 26-27, 2015 (Fri-Sat), Marriott Marquis, New York

With the explosion of blue light-emitting LEDs in homes, illuminated screens in personal devices, and increase in time-shift working hours, humans today are exposed to more light than they have ever been before. Recent studies have demonstrated the adverse effects of blue light on human health, including susceptibility to metabolism disorders and cancer.

To highlight this issue, the International Blue Light Society was founded in 2013 with 21 charter members from five countries. The 1st International Blue Light Symposium was held in Tokyo that same year, attracting 300 attendees from all over the world.

The New York Blue Light Symposium is a venue to discuss and heighten awareness in light studies. Basic scientists, clinicians, students, and other professionals are welcome to attend. Register early to avail of discounted rates.

For more information, visit http://blue-light.biz/2isbls/ 

New York County Medical Society Honors Anthony A. Clemendor, MD
At its annual meeting on June 2, New York County Medical Society President Joshua M. Cohen, MD, MPH presented the Society’s Nicholas Romaine, MD Lifetime Achievement Award to Anthony A. Clemendor, MD.

“Dr. Clemendor has worked tirelessly on behalf of physicians and patients throughout his career,” said Dr. Cohen. “He embodies the finest attributes represented by this award and its namesake, Dr. Romaine.”

The award is named for Doctor Nicholas Romaine, who in addition to serving as the Society’s first president in 1806, was also a founder of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.  It was said of Doctor Romaine that “he was unwearied in toil and of mighty energy, dexterous in legislative bodies, and at one period of his career was vested with almost all the honors the medical profession can bestow.”   In recognition of the caliber of physician this award honors, this year the Society presents it to a physician of equally impressive stature.

A graduate of the Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Clemendor is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. He is Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College, where he served as a dean for 23 years.

As a member of both New York County Medical Society and the Medical Society of the State of New York, Dr. Clemendor has served in a number of capacities: he chaired the MSSNY Task Force to Eliminate Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Health Care, and served on the AMA Commission to End Disparities in Health Care.  He served on the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct; as treasurer of the Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation; and on the New York State Council on Graduate Medical Education. In addition, he served on the Executive Committee of the Medical Society of the State for New York as Treasurer and as Councilor representing Manhattan and the Bronx.

Dr. Clemendor is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He continues to serve as vice chair of the Society’s delegation to the Medical Society of the State of New York.