January 15, 2016 – Governor’s Speech Challenges Physicians

drmaldonado PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
 Dr. Joseph R. Maldonado
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January 15, 2015
Volume 16, Number 2

Dear Colleagues:

While on the surface the course of healthcare delivery in New York appears to be moving along unfettered, much is happening at levels that have not fully gotten doctors’ full attention.  This week, I would like to highlight several for you.  It is impossible to provide a full review of all the issues in one short column so I ask that you do your homework with others in your group, hospital medical staff or county society.

Senate Roundtable on Health Republic

Last week, Dr. Scott Hayworth (Mt. Kisco Medical Group) and I participated in a Senate roundtable on the Health Republic fiasco.  Other parties included representatives from the DOH, DFS, hospital provider side and other insurers. By far, the largest cohort was that of the insurers. It was an opportunity for the Committee on Health to hear views from stakeholders as to the causes of the debacle and how we should move forward.

Dr. Hayworth and I were clear in our presentations on three points:

1) MSSNY alerted NYS health officials a year earlier to the closing that Health Republic had serious payment problems.

2) Physicians have been harmed significantly, leaving them with financial losses that will impact their abilities to provide necessary services to other patients.

3)  Failure to make physicians whole in the solutions brought forth by the state will likely dissuade doctors from participating in any future DSRIP and SHIP initiatives for fear of another failed healthcare reform project sinking them.  We made it very clear—a guaranteed State Fund is necessary to make physicians whole and ensure future success of physician engagement in DSRIP and SHIP.

Governor’s Budget

The Governor’s Budget this year presents several challenges to physicians.  First, there is the proposal once again to expand the terms under which retail clinics can operate in New York.  Second, there is once again an effort to eliminate the second layer of excess coverage for malpractice at a time when the legislature is consideration expanding the date of discovery and statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit for malpractice.  Third, there is a push to expand the scope of healthcare providers who can participate in the Workmen’s Compensation Board program. Finally, there is NO budgetary proposal for the establishment of a guarantee fund to address the losses in the Health Republic debacle.  

Insurer Mergers and Physician Opposition

This past week, the Physician Advocacy Institute sent a 14-page letter outlining its opposition to the merger of several large insurers in the country, highlighting the problems that such controlling entities would have in the marketplace and on the practices of physicians.  I encourage you to review this work done by an organization MSSNY helped found through the United Healthcare lawsuit settlement several years ago.

E-prescribing

Finally, it is imperative that physicians who have not as yet enrolled in the state’s e-prescribing program do so ASAP. The March 27, 2017 is looming.  A caveat–it will be impossible to complete the instructions before the deadline if you wait much longer.  We encourage you to consider the member discounted DrFirst option endorsed by MSSNY.

If you believe you qualify for a waiver, apply NOW.

Have a Happy Martin Luther King’s Day!

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

Please send your comments to comments@mssny.org


MLMIC Physianns Insurance


Governor Andrew Cuomo Delivers Joint State of the State and Budget Message
Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week set forth his state of the state message proclaiming the accomplishments of his administration over the past five years of his term and unveiling143.6 billion budget for the coming 2016-17 fiscal year.

Many of Cuomo’s 2016 priorities have been released over the past week including plans for a massive, multi-year infrastructure investment for airports, roads and bridge construction as well as a strengthening of mass transit systems in the New York City area, and increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 (in NYC by 2018  and by July 2021 for businesses in the rest of State) and proposing 12 weeks of paid family leave in the budget, which would be paid for with a $1 paycheck deduction for employees.

Earlier in the week, Governor Cuomo announced a $7M grant to four organizations working to control obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The funding will allow each organization to implement strategies to encourage lifestyle change and link community programs to include clinical services. Included among the four organizations awarded funding were: Albany County Department of Health ($879,880); HealtheConnections ($2M); Hudson River Healthcare ($2M) and P2 Collaborative of WNY ($2M).

Cuomo proposed divvying up more than $2 billion in settlement relief funds to a variety of areas. He wants to spend $700 million on a plan that would stabilize the Thruway Authority’s finances, $340 million for what is being term a toll “reduction” plan, $200 million on a transportation capital plan, $640 million to provide affordable housing and combat homelessness and $225 million for economic development.

Cuomo’s proposal included an increase of $1.4 B on education aid, an increase of more than 6 percent. Overall, education aid would increase by $2.1 billion over the next two years.

Components of the Governor’s tax cut for small businesses include: a reduction of the corporate tax rate for small businesses from 6.5% to 4%; increasing the exemption from 5-15% of income for tax purposes for sole proprietors and farmers; and granting a 15% exemption for partnerships and s-corps.

The Governor proposes adoption of broad new ethics measures, including limits on outside income for the Legislature. He also proposed to limit how much money lawmakers can earn in the private sector to 15 percent of their base salary. Cuomo also proposed that lawmakers end the practice of allowing single donors to give unlimited contributions through a network of limited liability companies. Cuomo also proposed public financing of political campaigns, which Senate Republicans have insisted they will not pass.

Describing the personal issues faced by his partner Sandra Lee last year, the Governor ended his presentation by proposing a $90M program in NYS for breast cancer screening and an initiative to require all health insurers to cover breast cancer screening.

In addition, the budget contains a number of initiatives—some of which we have seen previously- which will if ultimately enacted by the Legislature impact physicians and patients across NYS including the proposals listed below:

  • Limit Access to Excess Medical Malpractice Coverage. The Governor has again proposed (as he did three years ago) to significantly limit access to the second layer of medical malpractice coverage. Specifically, the proposal would require the Superintendent to, at least once every five years beginning on July 1, 2016, rank from highest to lowest each class and territory combination used for apportionment of premiums to pay for the excess coverage.  Ranking will be a function of physician primary coverage costs and “applicable” (and unspecified) excess tier factors. The proposal requires the Superintendent to grant priority for purchasing policies in descending order beginning with high risk class and territory combination until the appropriation is exhausted. This initiative will result in a $25 million reduction to the program from $127.4M to $102.4M. Three years ago, he proposed somewhat different language but his articulated goal was to limit Excess coverage to physicians with the highest risk…which would have left nearly 40% of physicians who currently have such coverage without it.
  • Authorizes Establishment of Retail Clinics. The Governor has proposed to enable the establishment of ‘limited service’ clinics which provide a limited list of services in retail stores- provided that they adhere to regulations which would among other things require them: to be accredited; accept walk ins; adhere to advertising and signage standards; disclose ownership interests; directly employ a medical director; and strengthen primary care through integration of services with the patient’s other health care providers. The justification given for this proposal is “to increase access to economical primary care services for Medicaid recipients and reduce unnecessary emergency room and inpatient visits”. This proposal is also somewhat modified from those advanced in previous years. It now would allow diagnostic and treatment centers (owned by hospitals), community health centers and federally qualified health centers to operate a limited services clinic.  The proposal would also require an establishment to ‘demonstrate a commitment’ to operate limited service clinics in medically underserved areas; and would allow the department in determining whether to approve additional limited service clinic locations, to consider whether the operator has fulfilled its commitment to operate limited services clinics in medically underserved areas of the state.
  • Makes Significant Changes to Workers Compensation program. The Governor’s proposal would expand the list of providers who are eligible to deliver (and receive payment directly form the W/C program) to include acupuncturists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and social workers. Currently, only chiropractors, physicians, podiatrists, psychologists and physical therapists were authorized to receive reimbursement from the workers’ compensation program. Ostensibly, NPs and PAs employed by physicians provided care but the physician’s practice was reimbursed. The proposal also eliminates need for county medical society review of physicians looking to be authorized to deliver care. The initiative would also enhance the flexibility of hearing times and enables virtual hearings for workers compensation cases. See related article.
  • Health Republic. The Governor’s proposed budget does not include language to require the creation of a Guarantee Fund or identify the use of any settlement monies or other pool of monies to address the financial plight of physicians and other providers due to the recent demise of Health Republic. MSSNY is working closely with several physician practices, the Greater New York Hospital Association and HANYS to urge enactment of legislation to reimburse providers who have incurred significant losses as a result of providing care to HR insureds.
  • Statutory Proposals to advance DSRIP/VBP. The Governor’s proposed budget did not include the statutory language changes that have been advanced by various subcommittees to the VBP Workgroup, the Governor’s State of the State message did stipulate that “in 2016, DSRIP will move to the next phase of transforming the health care delivery system in New York by implementing pilot programs to replace expensive fee-for-service payments with ‘value-base’ payments that reward providers for successful patient outcomes and help achieve one of the core DSRIP goals of reducing avoidable hospital admissions by 25 percent over five years.”
  • Additional funding ($200M) to combat AIDS. Specifically, these funds will be used to expand the availability of affordable housing and housing assistance for those living with HIV and identify undiagnosed persons, link them with treatment and facilitate access to necessary medications to keep them HIV negative to prevent spreading the disease.
  • Additional funding ($6M) to combat heroin epidemic. These funds will continue to support prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities.
  • Permits certain state facilities to share patient medical records. Permits facilities, including facilities operated or licensed by the Department of Mental Hygiene, to share clinical records with managed care organizations, behavioral health organizations, health homes, and other entities authorized by the Department or Department of Health (DOH) to provide, arrange or coordinate health care services for Medicaid recipients for whom such entities are responsible.
  • Eliminates the prescriber prevails. Eliminates existing statutory prescriber prevails protections for medications for patients covered in the Medicaid program, except for atypical antipsychotic and anti-depressants. (DEARS, AUSTER, CLANCY, MCPARTLON) 

Executive Budget Seeks to Marginalize Physician Care to Injured Workers
The Governor’s proposed Budget released this week contains sweeping changes to long standing Workers’ Compensation laws to, according to the supporting memo: ensure the system provides more timely and appropriate medical and wage replacement benefits to workers; provide broader and more accessible options for medical care; make hearings more accessible through flexible scheduling and use of virtual hearings; and streamline Workers’ Compensation Board processes and administration to expedite decision making.

While these goals are obviously shared by the physician community, the proposal includes a number of seriously problematic proposals that could further discourage physician participation in the Workers’ Compensation program.  Among the proposals:

  • Removes the authority of county medical societies to recommend physicians to serve as treating providers or independent medical examiners under Workers Compensation, which is currently an important community function provide by county medical societies;
  • Enables treatment of injured workers and direct payment for care by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, without clarity as to: how non-physicians treating patients with serious health conditions will coordinate patient care delivery with physicians; whether new funds will be allocated or whether existing fees will need to be cut to cover this expanded list of care providers; and whether a non-physician can perform an IME of an injured worker to review the care provided by a physician to an injured worker;
  • Removes the requirement for a referral by a physician for an injured worker as a pre-condition to receive psychological care;
  • Expand the circumstances when a physician or other health care provider can have their authorization removed and empowers the Board to impose a $5,000 fine on a physician or any other Board-authorized health care provider for violating a Workers Compensation rule; and
  • Prohibits an injured worker not subject to a collective bargaining agreement from seeking medical treatment from outside a Workers Compensation PPO before 120 days after his or her first visit to a preferred provider organization provider.

Of further concern, the proposal does not address any of the many excessive administrative hassles identified by physicians that have caused many physicians to choose to not participate in the Workers Compensation program.   While there have been some modestly positive actions taken by the WCB in recent years to encourage physician participation in the WC program through removal of arbitration fees and development of an electronic portal for facilitating authorizations from carrier, the Budget proposals if enacted could further chase physicians away from the program.   MSSNY has reached out to labor organizations to coordinate its advocacy in opposition to these adverse proposals. (AUSTER)


MSSNY Lobby Day Scheduled For March 8th– Physicians Urged To Attend And To Wear Your White Coats
SAVE THE DATE- MSSNY’s Physician’s Lobby Day will be held on March 8th in the Louis Swyer Theater in the Egg located on the Empire State Plaza in Albany New York.  A full slate of legislators and key staff to the Departments of Health and Financial Services has been invited to dialogue with Lobby Day participants including:

  • Donna Frescatore, Executive Director of the NYS Health Benefit Exchange
  • Troy Oechsner, Acting Executive Deputy Superintendent Of Insurance , Department of Financial Services
  • Jason HElgerson, Medicaid Director, Department of Health
  • Legislative Panel: Senate Health Chair Kemp Hannon; Assembly Health Chair Richard Gottfried; Senate Insurance Committee Chair and Assembly Insurance Chair Kevin Cahill.
  • Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

A brief luncheon to which members of each House are invited to dine and speak with their constituents will follow the morning program. County Medical Societies will be scheduling appointments for physicians to meet with their elected representatives.
(DEARS)


Date of Discovery Liability Expansion Bill Back on Assembly Calendar; Physicians Must Contact Their Legislators to Oppose Now!
With the Legislature back in Session, all physicians must again contact their legislators to urge that they oppose legislation (A.285, Weinstein) that could 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.

With the bill having passed the Assembly in 2015, but not the Senate, it resumes a place on the Assembly Calendar, where it could be voted on by the full Assembly at any time.   The bill was brought up for initial consideration on Monday 1/11, but was “laid aside” by the Assembly Republican Conference  at MSSNY’s rquest.  While the bill currently does not have a Senate sponsor, it is likely to be introduced shortly.

MLMIC’s estimate based upon similar legislation is that this single bill could increase physician liability premiums by an untenable 15%!   New York physicians continue to pay liability premiums that are among the very highest in the country.  They also face rapidly increasing overhead costs to remain in practice such as the huge costs associated with implementing expensive and cumbersome electronic medical record systems.  At the same time, they face reduced payments from Medicare and commercial insurers, and many practices face losses of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of dollars due to the collapse of Health Republic.  Therefore, YOU NEED TO LET YOUR LEGISLATORS KNOW THAT NO LIABILITY INCREASES CAN BE TOLERATED!

MSSNY is working with many other groups 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.   (AUSTER, DEARS)


Contact Your Legislators to Support a Health Republic Guarantee Fund
With the failure of the Executive Budget to include a Guarantee or other fund to cover the likely   hundreds of millions in payments due to Health Republic contracted providers, all physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators and demand that the State Legislature take action to create such Guarantee or other fund.

Last week, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Maldonado strongly urged key State Senators to work to enact a fund to assure that Health Republic claims are completely paid, and that this legislation be enacted in the opening weeks of the 2016 Legislative Session.   Dr. Maldonado’s statements were made as part of a Senate Health & Insurance Committees Roundtable discussion examining the demise of Health Republic, discussing solutions to minimize its adverse consequences, and working to prevent similar events in the future.  The meeting was chaired by Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon and Insurance Committee Chair James Seward.

To read Dr. Maldonado’s full written statement to the State Senate click here.

Dr. Maldonado’s comments received extensive media coverage, including in Buffalo Business First, Crain’s Health Pulse, and in an Associated Press article that was printed in papers across the country. 

Please remind your legislators that, with physicians facing so many other challenges in seeking to keep their doors open to deliver patient care, including high liability costs, expensive electronic medical record equipment, employee costs and declining payments from insurers, failure to assure payment for these claims would have serious negative consequences for your community.
(AUSTER, DEARS)


Legislation Before Assembly to Accord Due Process Rights When Physicians Are Non-Renewed By A Health Insurer
Legislation (A.1212, Lavine/S.4751, Hannon) is back before the full Assembly that would assure physicians are accorded a fair peer review appeals mechanism before their participation contract with a health insurance company can be non-renewed.  The legislation is in response to situations such as the disrespectful way by which Emblem treated 750 of its network physicians who were unceremoniously dropped from the network in October based upon specious allegation of failure to transition to value-based payments, severing patient treatments relationships for countless patients.  MSSNY has raised this issue with Department of Financial Services, Department of Health, and Attorney General, as well as the entire New York State Legislature. (See MSSNY letter to DFS here.

The legislation passed the Assembly overwhelmingly in 2015, but not the Senate.  Physicians can send a letter in support of this legislation here.  A customizable template is provided.
(AUSTER, DEARS)


Cuomo Calls for Ethics Reform
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo introduced two freestanding Article VII Ethics reform bills in his budget proposal designed to address the public perception of Albany’s political culture quagmire.

The first bill, a smorgasbord of ethics reform, tackles: (1) closing the LLC Loophole by removing an LLC’s designation as an individual, requiring LLCs making political expenditures to register with the State of Board  of Elections, and to disclose direct and indirect LLC ownership thereby proportionally attributing such political expenditures toward individual campaign contribution limits; (2) capping outside earned income of legislators to no more than 15% of member base compensation, with exceptions for investments and capital gains accrued prior to taking office, and tying members’ ability to vote in the legislature on compliance with civil penalties up to $50,000; (3) reforming campaign finance with heightened disclosure requirements for intermediaries, and proposing a system for the public financing of campaigns; (4) reforming the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) by statutorily making both houses of the legislature subject to FOIL requirements; (5) expanding the Joint Commission of Public Ethics (JCOPE) civil penalty jurisdiction and mandating JCOPE hold one meeting location for every meeting open to the public; and (6) requiring political consultants to register as lobbyists.

The second bill, a constitutional amendment subject to voter approval, would strip a public official of his or her pension or retirement benefits/privileges if they are convicted of a crime related to public office. The constitutional amendment would be retroactive in the sense that benefits/privileges are subject to forfeiture regardless of when such rights accrued or vested.

The ambitious and seemingly all-inclusive ethics reform bills are highly contentious in both houses, and are unlikely pass without significant changes.
(DEARS, MCPARTLON)

MSSNY and OASAS to Conduct CME Webinars on Opioid Use; Registration Now Open
The Medical Society of the State of New York and New York State Office for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services are pleased to present a free,  four part webinar series on opioid prescribing.  Entitled, “Revisiting the Role of Opioid Analgesics for Simple and Complex Patients with Chronic Pain”, the series will begin on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

Registration is now open.

A copy of the flyer can be found here.

Opioid abuse is a national epidemic that physicians and other prescribers have the power to help prevent.  This series will provide information on managing pain, understanding the potential for patient addiction, and determining best practices for safe, responsible opioid prescribing. 

Tuesday January 26, 2016,  12:30 p.m.

Faculty: Charles Morgan, MD, FASAM, FAAFP, DABAM and Patricia Bruckenthal PhD, APRN-BC, ANP, FAAN

Educational Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast the dual epidemics of chronic pain and opioid abuse and the implications on public health
  • Understand requirements of New York State laws/regulations with regard to prescribing of controlled substances.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 7:30 a.m.

Faculty:  Charles E. Argoff, MD

Educational Objective:

  • Discuss evidence based best practice recommendations for opioid therapy for chronic pain, patient risk assessment and documentation. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 7:30 a.m.

Faculty:  Jeffrey Selzer, MD

Educational Objective:

  • Describe potential for patient addiction, screening, diagnosis and subsequent treatment or referral.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016, 7:30 a.m.

Faculty: Charles E. Argoff, MD and Charles Morgan, MD, FASAM, FAAFP, DABAM

Educational Objectives:

  • Recommend tools to assist in the management of patients for whom opioids are indicated and prescribed.
  • Discuss strategies to reduce risk of treating pain in patients with substance use disorders

Physicians and other prescribers can take one or all of the webinars; each webinar has been accredited for one hour of continuing medical education credits.  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.

For further information or assistance in registering for the program, please contact Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org or Terri Holmes at tholmes@mssny.org.
(CLANCY, DEARS)


MSSNY E-Prescribing Webinar Now Available on MSSNY CME Site
MSSNY e-prescribing webinar, entitled, “NYS Requirement for E-prescribing ALL Substances” is now available at MSSNY Continuing Medical Education site at http://cme.mssny.org/  Faculty for this program is Sandra Knapp, Manager, Official Prescription Program, NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.    The requirement to e-prescribe all substances will become effective on March 27, 2016.   The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA/PRA Category 1 credit™. New registrants to the site will have to register and create a username and password, which should be retained and be used for continued access to the site. Once registered and logged into the site, physicians will be taken to an instruction page.   Click on the menu on “My training page” to view and take the e-prescribing course.  There are over 50 free courses that are also available.  Further information on all these programs may be obtained by contacting Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org.                                         (CLANCY)


E-Prescribing Waiver Applications Now Available from BNE
With March 27, 2016 as the date that all prescriptions must be electronically submitted, the New York Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement has announced the availability of the Electronic Prescribing Waivers (EPW) application on the Health Commerce System (HCS).

A prescriber must have a HCS account in order to file an electronic prescribing waiver.  Using the HCS account is the quickest way to file the EPW application.

This application allows an institution, medical group practice or an individual practitioner to submit a request for a waiver from the requirement to electronically prescribe. Below are links to instructions for completing the online application on the Health Commerce System, based on the type of requestor:

Institution

Medical Group Practice

Individual Practitioner

If physicians do not have an HCS account, a paper version is NOW available upon request. Please contact the BNE at 1-866-811-7957, option 1.  The paper form is available for applications for institutions, group practices and individual practices and will be sent to requestors.

If physicians experience difficulties with their HCS account,  please call:  1-866-529-1890.  If a prescriber experiences any issues with the on-line Electronic Prescribing Waiver, they should call 1-866-811-7957.                                                                 (CLANCY, DEARS) 


MSSNY Announces 2016 Medical Matters Schedule
The Medical Society of the State of New York will begin its 2016 Medical Matters webinars on January 20, 2016 with a program entitled Immunizations During A Disaster, with Dr. William Valenti as faculty.  All programs will begin at 7:30 a.m.   Registration is now open to physicians and other public health officials:

Go to training session and upcoming sessions tab

Educational objectives for the January 20 program are:

  • Review recommendations for immunizations during disasters
  • Review recommendations for immunizations for responders
  • Describe best practices to avoid vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) during disasters
  • Describe the importance of herd immunity

Additional programs are: Public Health Preparedness 101 on February 17, 2016 and Radiological Emergencies on March 16, 2016.   Further information on these programs can be found here.

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.

Further information or assistance in registering for any of these programs,  may be obtained by contact Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.
(CLANCY, HOFFMAN) 


NYS DOH AIDS Institute Announces HCV Provider Directory
The AIDS Institute Viral Hepatitis Section is excited to announce the launch of the NYS HCV Provider Directory.  The purpose of the directory is to provide the public and other providers with a listing of HCV care and treatment providers within the State. The directory is an expansion of the existing HIV Provider Directory re-launched last year by the AIDS Institute.

Participation in this directory is voluntary. The information is compiled through provider self-identification, and includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and doctors of osteopathic medicine with the experience in HCV care and treatment and who meet the NYSDOH definition of an experienced HCV provider.

For more information relating to any of the above articles, please contact the appropriate contributing staff member at the following email addresses:          

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


CVS Pharmacies in NY Can Sell Naloxone without Prescriptions
Yesterday, the New York State DOH announced an agreement with CVS/pharmacy to help prevent opioid overdose deaths in New York State. This agreement, which became effective January 2, authorizes 479 CVS/pharmacy locations across the State to provide naloxone to their customers without a prescription. Pharmacists are currently receiving training and ordering naloxone for their stores. Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a medication that reverses opioid overdose.
Although traditionally administered by emergency medical (EMS) or hospital personnel, naloxone can be administered by laypeople with minimal training. CVS pharmacists are now able to provide this training in addition to dispensing the naloxone to their customers. All individuals who are given naloxone should still go to the hospital with EMS personnel. Naloxone is effective in blocking the effects of an opioid for 30 to 90 minutes. When the naloxone has worn off, someone may slip back into a life-threatening overdose. For more information, click here.


REMINDER:  All Prescriptions Must Be Sent Electronically Beginning March 27th
With the e-prescribing mandate quickly approaching on March 27th, we at MSSNY yare concerned about the lack of preparedness expressed by New York doctors.  Our recent survey showed that more than 40% of responding physicians are not yet prepared to meet the e-prescribing mandate.

We DO NOT expect an extension of the deadline, and urge you to ACT NOW to ensure you are compliant with the law.

As a MSSNY member benefit, you qualify for a substantial discount on DrFirst’s industry-leading Rcopia® with EPCS GoldSM.  The cost is $500 for a one-year license (a $299 discount) and includes e-prescribing for both legend drugs and controlled substances, as well as the DEA-required identity proofing and two-factor authentication soft token.

If you buy now, you’ll be ready when the deadline arrives, and DrFirst will extend your software license from now until March 27, 2016 at no additional charge. To purchase online, visit www.drfirst.com/MSSNY and use coupon code MSSNY, or call the MSSNY E-prescribing Hotline at 866-980-0553.

To learn more, register for DrFirst’s educational e-prescribing webinar to help you learn more about I-STOP and the patient safety and workflow benefits of using e-prescribing.  Sign-up today using the registration links below:

1/19 @ 12:00 pm – http://www.drfirst.com/mssny/mssny-lp/#webinar


MSSNY Multi-Section Meeting February 27 for YPS, Residents and Students
MSSNY’s Young Physicians, Resident and Fellow, and Medical Students Sections will hold a joint meeting on Saturday, February 27, 2016. While the business portions will be held separately, all three sections will get together to partake in a leadership presentation* by Richard Popovic, a highly experienced consultant in the fields of physician leadership, strategy, management and patient safety.

Don’t miss this essential leadership presentation and opportunity to discuss relevant issues with your colleagues and help shape MSSNY policy. Section Governing Council elections will be held. Business meetings will take place at MSSNY offices, 865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, and the leadership presentation at the Hilton Garden Inn (across the street). Web conferencing will be available. The Hilton is offering a corporate room rate of $164.00 for those who may wish to stay overnight (contact sbennett@mssny.org for corporate number).

YPS and RFS can register at sbennett@mssny.org. Students can register at mreyes@mssny.org.

  • YPS business 8:00 am
  • MSS business 9:00 am and after lunch as necessary
  • Presentation 10:30 am
  • Lunch noon
  • RFS business 1:00 pm

*This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of MSSNY and the Medical Educational & Scientific Foundation of New York, Inc. (MESF). MSSNY 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 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Creditsä. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


CDC To Provide $2M to Combat Chronic Diseases in Western NY
Buffalo Business First reports that the nonprofit organization, the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, “will receive $2 million over three years from CDC to fight chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke in the eight-county region. The article points out that “P2 is among four organizations across New York that will receive $7 million in all.” Recipients for the grants were “selected based on high rates of chronic disease and/or more than 40 percent minority population in the counties they serve.” The funds “will support strategies in community and care settings that promote health, support and reinforce healthful behaviors, encourage lifestyle change program participation and link community programs to clinical services.” 


Eight Marijuana Dispensaries Open throughout State
On January 7, Columbia Care opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in New York City on East 14th Street in Manhattan; other dispensaries that opened in the state were in White Plains, Syracuse, Williamsville, Albany, Kingston, Amherst, and Liverpool.


Average Age of First-Time Moms in US at All-Time High
On January 14, a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the average age of first-time mothers is at an all-time high in the United States http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db232.htm The report put the average age at 26 years, 4 months for first-time moms in 2014. Lead author T.J. Mathews from the CDC attributed the change to the drop in teen moms. Overall, the average age of first-time moms “has been rising in every racial and ethnic group, and in every state,” but the highest average ages for first-time moms are still in the Northeast.

American Academy of Pain Medicine Meeting in February in Palm Springs
The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) 32nd Annual Meeting will be held February 18-21, 2016, in Palm Springs, CA. The theme of this year’s event is Ensuring Access to Pain Care: Engaging Pain Medicine and Primary Care Teams. Of particular connection to their work on the AMA task force, the Academy is offering a preconference session titled Opioid and Non-Opioid Medications Management: Filling in the Gaps, Prescribing for the Whole Patient. Learn more by visiting www.painmed.org/annualmeeting.


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Office Rental 30 Central Park South
Two fully equipped exam rooms, two certified operating rooms, bathrooms and consultation room.  Shared secretarial and waiting rooms.  Elegantly decorated, central a/c, hardwood floors. Next to Park Lane and Plaza hotels. $1250 for four days a month. Available full or part-time. 212.371.0468drdese@gmail.com.


Office Near UN for Rent
Modern, 3000 sq. ft. medical office to rent near the United Nations. Located at 340 East 49th Street, this ground level office is handicapped accessible. Private reception area; secretarial area available; 6 exam rooms. Ideal for ophthalmologist/optometrist. Could suit other specialties. Available for full or part time. $1300 per month for one day per week. Please contact Dr. Weissman at uneyes@verizon.net or call 914-772-5581



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