MSSNY eNews: April 7, 2021 – We Thank Assembly/ Senate Efforts to Stop Healthcare Cuts


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MSSNY Thanks Assembly and Senate Efforts to Stop Health Care Cuts
“In adopting the 2021-22 State Budget, physicians thank the New York State Assembly and Senate leadership for their efforts to restore numerous steep health care cuts that had been advanced in the Executive Budget, and the Governor for agreeing with the restoration of these cuts.

Because the COVID pandemic has caused historic drops in patient visits and revenue for physicians over the last year, there could not have been a worse time to cut Medicaid as well as other essential programs that help to preserve patient access to needed care such as the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program.

Physicians also appreciate the collective efforts of the Governor and Legislature to enhance other programs that provide needed health insurance coverage to New Yorkers, including the Essential Plan.  We look forward to working with the Senate, Assembly and Governor in additional collaborative efforts to ensure New Yorkers receive the care they need.”


State Budget Finalized
This week the Legislature was completing passage of a $212 billion Budget package that produced several “victories” for organized medicine following months of extensive advocacy by MSSNY working together with county and specialty medical societies.  These issues include:

Excess Malpractice Insurance Program Extended

The final State Budget provides full funding for an additional year for the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program, which provides 17,000 physicians with a bonus $1 million/$3 million layer of liability insurance above the primary layer purchased by a physician.  The State Budget restores the proposed $51 million cut in program funding and deleted an Executive Budget proposal strongly opposed by MSSNY to impose a 50% physician cost share requirement, which would have resulted in the imposition of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars of new costs on these 17,000 enrolled physicians.

Physician Due Process Protected

The final State Budget deleted several provisions proposed in the Executive Budget and opposed by MSSNY to substantially curtail physician due process rights when a complaint has been filed against them with the OPMC.  The adverse provisions that were deleted included permitting the Commissioner to publicly disclose information regarding a complaint filed against a physician and creating a nebulous standard for imposing a summary suspension prior to the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.

Pharmacy Scope Changes Rejected 

The final State Budget deleted several provisions opposed by MSSNY that would have expanded the scope of pharmacists, including proposals to greatly expand the physician-pharmacy Collaborative Drug Therapy program, permitted pharmacist self-ordering of lab tests, and significantly expanded the number of the immunizations that can be performed by pharmacists.

Essential Plan Enhancements

The final Budget contains provisions supported by MSSNY to eliminate the premium requirements for the over 800,000 New Yorkers enrolled in the State’s Essential Plan, as well as providing bonus pool funding for physicians and other care providers participating with these plans. 

Protect Ability to Apply for E-Prescribing Waivers 

The final State Budget deletes the Executive Budget proposal opposed by MSSNY to eliminate the ability for physicians and other prescribers to apply for a year-to-year waiver of e-prescribing requirements (availed by over 2,000 prescribers across the State of New York). 

Protect Medicaid “Prescriber Prevails” 

The final Budget deletes the Executive Budget proposal opposed by MSSNY to remove the statutory protection for the prescriber’s determination (not State Medicaid’s) to prevail for a medication prescribed to a patient covered by Medicaid. 

No-Fault De-credentialing Rejected

The final Budget deletes the Executive Budget proposal MSSNY had raised concerns with to expand the power of the Superintendent of Financial Services to prohibit certain physicians from submitting claims for No-Fault services. 

Addressing Cuts to MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health 

The final Budget restored the proposed $198,000 cut to MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health. 

Telehealth Expansion

The final State Budget includes an expansion of site locations where telehealth services can both provided and received.  Importantly, it deletes a provision opposed by MSSNY advocacy that would have established an “interstate compact” of out of state health professionals to provide health care services to New York patients.  Unfortunately, the final Budget also did not include “parity” for the payment of telehealth services.

Ensure Collaborative Practice by Nurse Practitioners with Physicians

The final Budget includes a provision to extend for an additional year – until June 30, 2022 – the existing law permitting certain nurse practitioners to practice without a written collaborative agreement with a physician provided they have proof of “collaborative arrangements” with physicians in the same specialty practiced by the NP.  MSSNY has advocated for much stronger collaboration requirements for nurse practitioners in order to protect patients, however, with the sunset of the existing law coming up in two months, legislation (A.1535/S.3056) has also been introduced and strongly opposed by MSSNY that would repeal the requirements to even maintain proof of these collaborative arrangements. (DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


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Governor Announces Committee to Help Build Monument to Essential Workers
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced “the creation of the Essential Workers Advisory Committee to provide design input and recommendations for a monument in New York City honoring the service and sacrifice of New York’s essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” The committee “will advise on design, location, and installation of the new monument,” which will honor physicians, nurses, hospital staff, EMTs, and other groups of essential workers.

MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack has been named as one of the committee’s members.


NY Residents at Least 16 Years Old are Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccines
New York residents who are at least 16 years old are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Teenagers who are 16 or 17 years old will receive the Pfizer vaccine, because it is currently the only one authorized for use in that population.

SUNY announced plans to offer vaccines to tens of thousands of college students before they head home for the summer. The state’s public university system is moving to vaccinate students who are living on campus before they leave for summer break. The program launched days after private universities, such as Cornell University in Ithaca and Rutgers University in New Jersey, announced they would require vaccines for students returning to campus in the fall, with medical and religious exemptions.

SUNY has not announced a system-wide requirement to get vaccinated. The program will launch by distributing more than 18,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to 34 campuses, with distribution to more campuses in the coming weeks. (Politico, 4/6).


A Third of COVID-19 Survivors Receive a Diagnosis for Psychiatric or Neurological Illness Within Six Months of Their Infection, Research Suggests
The study published in Lancet Psychiatry reports that a study found that “six months after being diagnosed with Covid-19, 1 in 3 patients also had experienced a psychiatric or neurological illness.” While “anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders were most common,” investigators “also found worrying, if lower, rates of serious neurological complications, especially in patients who had been severely ill with Covid-19.” The data also indicated that “compared to control groups of people who had the flu or other non-Covid respiratory infections, first-ever neuropsychiatric diagnoses were almost twice as high.”

The study, which analyzed health records of more than 236,000 patients with COVID-19, “was not able to determine the biological or psychological mechanisms involved…said” Max Taquet, who co-led the research.


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Office of Cannabis Management Website Offers Names of Cannabis Practitioners
New Yorkers can now visit a website to learn about the Office of Cannabis Management and other changes that took effect under a new law legalizing adult-use, recreational marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. Key context: The Cuomo administration launched the website for the state Office of Cannabis Management, which will oversee licensing, cultivation, production, distribution, and sales of New York’s recreational and medical marijuana markets, as well as cannabinoid hemp.

It comes just days after the governor signed the “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act,” which legalized cannabis for adult, recreational use in the state. Details: The website provides information on the new office’s regulatory structure and resources for New Yorkers seeking medical cannabis practitioners, caregivers, and medical cannabis IDs. It also offers information for businesses seeking licensure in the adult-use and cannabinoid hemp industries.


AMA Survey: Physicians Experienced Little Relief from Prior Authorization in Late 2020 as COVID-19 cases soared
CHICAGO – As new cases of COVID-19 in the United States were peaking in late 2020, most physicians reported that health plans continued to impose bureaucratic prior authorization policies that delay access to necessary care and sometimes result in serious harm to patients, according to new survey results issued today by the American Medical Association (AMA).

“As the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, some commercial health insurers temporarily relaxed prior authorization requirements to reduce administrative burdens and support rapid patient access to needed drugs, tests and treatments,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “By the end of 2020, as the U.S. health system was strained with record numbers of new COVID-19 cases per week, the AMA found that most physicians were facing strict authorization hurdles that delayed patients’ access to needed care.”

According to the AMA survey, almost 70% of 1,000 practicing physicians surveyed in Dec. 2020 reported that health insurers had either reverted to past prior authorizations policies or never relaxed these policies in the first place. More than nine in 10 physicians (94%) reported care delays while waiting for health insurers to authorize necessary care, and nearly four in five physicians (79%) said patients abandon treatment due to authorization struggles with health insurers.

“Delayed and disrupted treatment due to an archaic prior authorization process can have life-or-death consequences for patients, especially during a public health emergency,” said Dr. Bailey. “This hard-learned lesson from the current crisis must guide a reexamination of administrative burdens imposed by health insurers, often without any justification.”

Nearly one-third (30%) of physicians reported that prior authorization requirements have led to a serious adverse event for a patient in their care, according to the AMA survey. More specifically, prior authorization requirements led to the following repercussions for patients:

  • Patient hospitalization – reported by 21% of physicians
  • Life-threatening event or intervention to prevent permanent impairment or damage – reported by 18% of physicians
  • Disability or permanent bodily damage, congenital anomaly, birth defect, or death – reported by 9% of physicians

While the health insurance industry says prior authorization criteria reflect evidence-based medicine, the physician experience casts doubt on the credibility of this claim. Only 15% of physicians reported that prior authorization criteria were often or always based on evidence-based medicine.

Other critical physician concerns highlighted in the AMA survey include:

  • Nine in 10 physicians (90%) reported that prior authorizations programs have a negative impact on patient clinical outcomes.
  • A significant majority of physicians (85%) said the burdens associated with prior authorization were high or extremely high.
  • Medical practices complete an average of 40 prior authorizations per physician, per week, which consume the equivalent of two business days (16 hours) of physician and staff time.
  • To keep up with the administrative burden, two out of five physicians (40 %) employ staff members who work exclusively on tasks associated with prior authorization. (AMA, April 7).

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Education

NGS Ed Session on Start of the Return of Accelerated Advanced Medicare Payments

Register here.

Medicare Part A

Apr 08, 2021 3:00 p.m ET – 4:00 p.m ET

                                                    Webinar                                                                  

Updates for Accelerated and Advanced Payments Program

During this session, we will review the revised repayment and recoupment process and provide the latest updates on the Accelerated and Advanced Payments program.  If your facility received an accelerated or advanced payment from Medicare due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, then attending this webinar will provide the most current information from CMS.

Medicare Part B

Apr 15, 2021 10:00 a.m ET – 11:00 a.m ET

                                                    Webinar                                                                  

COVID-19 Medicare Part B Advanced Payment, Repayment and Recoupment Process

If you requested accelerated or advanced payments from Medicare due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, this learning session is for you. CMS expanded the accelerated and advance payment program for financial hardship relief during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Accelerated or advanced payments need to be repaid to the Medicare Trust Fund. During this webinar, we will review the repayment and recoupment process and address your questions.


MSSNY Medical Matters Program on Mental Health of Children and Teens During COVID
Registration now open
Medical Matters: COVID-19 & Mental Health of Children and Teens
Date: April 21, 2021 @ 7:30am 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of the entire population.  Learn more about how children and teens have been affected by registering for Medical Matters: COVID-19 & Mental Health of Children and Teens. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, April 21st at 7:30 am.  Linda Chokroverty, MD will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Identify normal stressors impacting children and teens and those that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Examine what is known so far about the mental health impact of COVID-19 on children and teens
  • Describe resources to assist children and teens during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Appraise the scope of COVID-19’s long term mental health impact on children and teens

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. (HOFFMAN)


Veterans Matters: Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients Webinar

Registration Now Open

Thursday, April 22nd @ 7:30 am

The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled Veterans Matters: Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients live webinar on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to register for the program! View the program flyer HERE.

When:       April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am
Faculty:     Lt. Colonel Lance Allen Wang (Ret.) & Sharran Chambers-Murphy, Desert Storm-era Veteran

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe the unique aspects of military culture and how they impact patients     who are veterans;
  • Explain the Dwyer Peer-to-Peer program as a resource to assist veteran patients re-acclimating from a group to an individual mentality; and
  • Review and identify resources to improve physician’s ability to fully treat veterans who are transitioning back to civilian life.

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at jsherpa@mssny.org 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 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. (SHERPA)


April 24 Meeting Young Physicians, Residents/Fellows and Medical Students
A virtual joint meeting of the Young Physicians, Residents/Fellows and the Medical Students Sections is being planned for the afternoon of Saturday, April 24.  Please mark your calendars and watch E-News and your mailboxes for more details as they become available.  If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Rohrer at krohrer@mssny.org.


Webinar for Physicians Applying to PCF Model on April 31
Physicians considering applying for the PCF model to start in 2022 are invited to register now for a webinar to be offered Tuesday, April 13, from 6:00-7:00 pm ET by the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the CMS Innovation Center. PCF is open to medical practices that provide primary care services in 26 regions across the country, with an application deadline of April 31, 2021.

The live webinar will allow participants to hear from CMS and medical society experts about the model and how participation could affect their practice revenues. Additional details, including the request for applications, a map of the 26 regions, and lists of the practices and other payors that are participating as part of the 2021 cohort are available on the CMS Primary Care First website.


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CMS Starts Recouping Accelerated, Advance Medicare Payments
The agency has begun recoupment of accelerated and advance Medicare payments from providers who borrowed the emergency funds one year ago to battle COVID-19.

CMS has started recouping Medicare payments it fronted to healthcare providers last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent MLN Matters newsletter, the agency stated that it has begun recovering the payments through the COVID-19 Accelerated and Advance Payments (CAAP) on March 30, 2021, and will continue recoupment depending on the one year anniversary of when providers received their first payment.

“Please be sure your billing staff are aware that the recovery has begun, or will begin soon but no sooner than 1 year from the date we issued the CAAP to you,” CMS said in the newsletter.

Lawmakers expanded Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments Program through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act last March. The program distributed a total of $100 billion to hospitals and other types of providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by May 2020.

CMS has the authority to provide upfront Medicare payments to providers in the event of a national emergency or natural disaster “in order to accelerate cash flow to the impacted health care providers and suppliers.” The payments are meant to support providers during the claim submission or processing disruption. 

CMS Amends Repayment Terms for Accelerated, Advance Payments

Providers who accept the payments, however, do have to repay CMS, and the agency can hold back future Medicare reimbursements to the provider until the upfront payments are recouped.

These providers were originally scheduled to start repayment of the Medicare payments made in advance during the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020. But CMS and lawmakers through the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159) extended original repayment timelines in light of the ongoing struggles stemming from the pandemic.

During the recoupment period, CMS will hold back a portion of new Medicare claims from providers—25 percent during the first 11 months of recoupment and 50 percent during the six months—until the payments advanced last year are recouped.

Providers are required to have paid back the advanced payments in full 20 months after they received the first payment. If they fail to do so, CMS will charge interest of four percent on the remaining balance.

FAH Wants More Time, Lower Rates on Advance Medicare Payments

The recoupment terms are more favorable to providers thanks to the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act and other legislation. Usually, providers have a shorter time until recoupment and CMS would hold back full future Medicare reimbursements until the loan was paid off.

The interest rate is also typically about 10 percent for all remaining balances after the recoupment period.

But healthcare providers are still concerned about repaying CMS for the upfront Medicare reimbursements as their organizations continue to face significant challenges with COVID-19. (REVCYCLE Intelligence)


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Award Nominations Open

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accepting nominations for the 2020 Albion O. Bernstein, MD Award.  This prestigious award is given to:

“…the physician, surgeon or scientist who shall have made the most widely beneficial discovery or developed the most useful method in medicine, surgery or in the prevention of disease in the twelve months prior to December 2020.”

This award was endowed by the late Morris J. Bernstein in memory of his son, a physician who died in an accident while answering a hospital call in November 1940.

The $2,000 award will be presented to the recipient during a MSSNY Council Meeting.

Nominations must be submitted on an official application form and must include the nominator’s narrative description of the significance of the candidate’s achievements as well as the candidate’s curriculum vitae, including a list of publications or other contributions.

To request an application, please contact:

Committee on Continuing Medical Education
Miriam Hardin, PhD, Manager, Continuing Medical Education
Medical Society of the State of New York
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 408
Albany, NY 12210
518-465-8085
mhardin@mssny.org 

Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188

For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581 

.Soho Rental Office
Two Offices Available for Rent in Established SoHo Primary Care Practice
Newly constructed loft space. Dedicated private waiting area available.  This space is ideal for individual psychiatry, psychology, social work, physical therapy, or acupuncture services. Potential to work with existing Primary Care Practice as a referral source. Centrally located in the heart of SoHo, close to all subways. Available 7 days/week. Contact: SpringPrimaryCare@gmail.com.

Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – maya@mallannyhomes.com or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information http://www.mallannyhomes.com/properties/detail/800-second-avenue-806/

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway


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Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to: allergydoctorbn@gmail.com

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


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Review Vacancy

Date Posted: 03/23/21 Applications Due: 04/06/21 Vacancy ID: 85272

Position Information 

Agency Health, Department of
Title Health Program Director 2 -TBD
Occupational Category  

Other Professional Careers

Salary Grade 665
Bargaining Unit M/C – Management / Confidential (Unrepresented)
Salary Range From $122092 to $154253 Annually
Employment Type Full-Time
Appointment Type Permanent
Jurisdictional Class Non-competitive Class
Travel Percentage 10%

Schedule 

Workweek

Hours Per Week

Mon-Fri

37.5

 Workday 

From 8:30 AM
To 4:30 PM
Flextime allowed? No
Mandatory overtime? No
Compressed workweek allowed?  

No

Telecommuting allowed?  

No

Location 

County Albany
Street Address CCH; Division of Family Health

Corning Tower, ESP

City Albany
State NY
Zip Code 12237

Job Specifics 

Minimum Qualifications Twelve years of professional level work experience, three of which must have included managerial, decision-making and/or oversight responsibilities for a major health-related program or in the direction of a major administrative function of a large health-related organization. A bachelor’s degree may be substituted for four years of the general professional experience. 

Twelve or more years of progressively responsible administrative experience in programs that improve perinatal health, child and/or adolescent health, early care, and learning, and/or sexual violence prevention, including four years of managerial, decision-making, and/or program direction. Seven years of this experience would also include fiscal management, policy making and oversight responsibilities, and statewide supervision of professional level staff. The preferred candidate would be familiar with representing departmental interests and serving as a spokesperson and liaison to Executive staff, and have experience working with other state and federal governmental programs. Experience with second-level professional supervision as well as strong oral and written communication skills is also desired. A master’s degree in an appropriate field may substitute an additional one year of the general professional experience, not to exceed a maximum of five years total allowable educational substitution. Please refer to full listing


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