MSSNY eNews: August 12, 2020 – DFS: You Cannot Charge Patients for PPE


Reminder: Network Health Care Providers May Not Charge Patients for PPE Costs
As noted in last Friday’s MSSNY e-news, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued Insurance Circular Letter No. 14 (2020), advising health insurers to immediately notify participating providers that they should not charge insureds fees that are beyond the insureds’ financial responsibility for covered services, such as fees for PPE, and instruct participating providers to refund any such fees to insureds.  It also noted that “Insurers and participating providers should work together to resolve any issues regarding increased costs due to COVID-19, including for PPE, and insureds should be held harmless for such charges.”

MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack Issued a Statement in Response to Require Health Insurers to Reimburse Health Care Practitioners for PPE Costs
that “MSSNY does not condone health plan-participating health care practitioners charging their patients for the huge jumps in the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), as state regulations limit the ability of such practitioners to bill patients for these costs.”

However, given the enormous profits of the health insurance industry, MSSNY has urged the DFS to require health insurers to reimburse health care practitioners for these enormous jumps in PPE costs, and the significant difficulty in even obtaining it in the first place. The statement noted a recent MSSNY survey reported that nearly three quarters of the respondents expressed significant difficulty in obtaining PPE altogether, while nearly 40% of the respondents indicated that their PPE costs had gone up by more than 50%.

MSSNY President Testifies at Legislative Hearing Looking at COVID and Hospitals
MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack presented testimony today at a joint Assembly-Senate legislative hearing examining Covid-19 and hospitals. Dr. Litvack’s testimony raised number of critical issues that impacted and continue to impact physician care from the height of the pandemic, including:

  • Physician wellness, noting MSSNY’s Peer to Peer program
  • Lack of available and affordable PPE
  • Ensuring the ability of patients to receive medically necessary elective surgery in the event of a second surge
  • Ending Executive Order scope of practice changes

Please join the NYS Department of Health Thursday, August 13th at 1-2 PM for a COVID-19 update for healthcare providers.

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

For audio only, please dial in: 844-512-2950 and Access Code: 1166339

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MSSNY: Restore Physician Supervision for Non-Physician Providers
The Medical Society of the State of New York is calling on the state to restore physician supervision for non-physician health care practitioners following a systemwide approach to reduce Covid-19 infections. Dr. Bonnie Litvack, president of the medical society, said in a statement: “These orders that eliminate essential physician supervision potentially place patients at risk.” (Crain’s, 9/10)

Medicaid/CHP: Deadline Extended to Aug. 28 for Provider Relief Fund
This listserv notice is to remind Medicaid and Child Health Plus (CHP) providers that on July 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the application deadline to August 28, 2020 for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) for Medicaid and Child Health Plus under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.  HHS has reopened its Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Application and Attestation Portal to facilitate this deadline extension.

HHS has been hosting a series of informational webinars to address questions and support providers through the application process. The next provider and provider organization webinar will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 3:00 PM Eastern. Please visit to register.

CMS instructions on how to apply for PRF funding are shown below.

To Apply:

All eligible medical, dental, and long-term services and supports (LTSS) providers may begin the application process here. Also available here are Medicaid and CHIP Provider Distribution Instructions and the Medicaid and CHIP Provider Distribution Application Form. It is recommended that you use these documents to help you complete the process through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. Visit the CMS website here for additional information.

LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics: “Turnaround Time for COVID-19 Test Results Down to 1-3 Days”
LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics both said their average turnaround times for COVID-19 diagnostic tests now stand between one and three days. LabCorp said it has completed over 10 million COVID-19 tests since March and has a capacity of 180,000 per day with plans to increase further. Its average time to deliver results for COVID-19 diagnostic tests is now one to three days, the lab company said Aug. 10.

LabCorp is prioritizing testing for residents and staff of nursing homes in hot-spot states as well as hospitalized patients. All other tests are performed in the order in which they are received. Quest said its average turnaround time is two to three days as of Aug. 10. It has performed about 11.2 million COVID-19 tests and has a capacity of 150,000 tests per day. Quest said it expects to scale up to 185,000 tests by Labor Day. (Becker’s Hospital Review, Aug. 14)

Neck Gaiters, Bandanas More Harmful than Not Wearing a Mask, Duke Study
Wearing bandanas or neck gaiters as face coverings to protect against COVID-19 may actually do more harm than not wearing a mask at all, a study published in Science Advances found.

Researchers at Durham, N.C.-based Duke University analyzed the effectiveness of 14 face coverings ranging from bandanas to N95 masks. They created a simple device involving a laser and cellphone camera to track individual particles emitted from a person’s mouth when speaking. Researchers had trial participants say the same phrase with and without wearing each mask 10 times.

N95 masks proved the most effective, allowing no droplets to escape. Handmade cotton masks were about as effective as surgical masks, both blocking a substantial amount of droplets. Bandanas and breathable neck gaiters ranked least effective, emitting a higher droplet count than control tests involving no masks.

Bandanas and neck gaiters have more porous fabric, which may break up bigger particles into smaller ones that are more likely to float in the air, hence the higher droplet count, Martin Fischer, PhD, a chemist and physicist who developed the testing device, explained in a video created by Duke and cited by The Washington Post.

Dr. Fischer said these types of coverings are a popular choice among Americans because they are convenient to wear and don’t restrict air, which is also why they’re not offering much protection. “It’s not the case that any mask is better than nothing,” he said in the video. “There are some masks that actually hurt rather than do good.”

To view the full study, click here.(Becker’s Hospital Review, Aug. 14)

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Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.

Rhinebeck Estate for SaleA world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.

A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.

The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 /

Upper East Side Office to Share
Includes waiting room, 2 exam rooms and room for medical assistants. Flexible schedule. Call Bianca at 212-327-1851.

For Sale: 715 Park Avenue
Medical office, 1,800 sq. ft. Rectangular, 11 1/2 ft ceilings, street level access. Private entrance on 70th Street, side of the building. Windows on Park Avenue and 70th Street. Excellent office space for plastic surgeon, dermatologist or dental practice. Central air conditioning, high voltage electric service, two bathrooms. *Sale could include active Cardiac / Medical Practice. Please contact Janet @ 212-288-5468.

Office Space and Quad-A Certified O.R. for Rent
Plastic surgery office and/or quad A – certified operating room available for rent. We welcome you to tour our facility, where safety and luxury are combined in the most prime location on the upper east side. We assure you will be delighted by what you discover. We take pride in our facility, where your patients’ safety and satisfaction are our number one priority.
    • Fully equipped operating room perfect for a board-certified plastic surgeon
  • Pre-op and recovery areas
  • A bright and modern waiting area
  • 3 consultation rooms, administrative room, kitchenette, and 2 bathrooms
  • Full day office rental per week / O.R. rental per case

For inquiries please call 212.737.8700, email

Office Space and Quad-A Certified O.R. for Rent