March 3, 2017- DC Welcomes MSSNY

Dr. Reid - MSSNY President
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Dr. Malcolm Reid
March 3, 2017
Volume 17
Number 9

Commissioner’s Grand Rounds

MLMIC Insurance

Dear Colleagues:

New York Physician Leaders Head To Nation’s Capital  

Several MSSNY physician leaders travelled to Washington DC to join their colleagues from across the country to meet with their Representatives and Senators fighting for needed improvements in health care delivery, and in opposition to proposals that would jeopardize health care access and coverage for their patients.  The Hill visits were in conjunction with the AMA’s Annual National Advocacy Conference.

Specifically, these physicians urged the enactment of legislation to ease some of the burdens associated with the new Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and for carefully considered reforms to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that improve, rather than reduce, coverage options for our patients.  While physicians expressed strong concerns regarding the high deductible plans and narrow networks that have accelerated since the adoption of the ACA, they also noted the new opportunity for affordable health insurance options that have been provided to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers that could be lost if ACA reforms are not carefully crafted.

The physicians represent every part of New York State and work in small practices, large practices, hospital medical staffs, and academia.  They included: MSSNY President-elect Dr. Charles Rothberg; Past-MSSNY President Dr. Robert Hughes; Past MSSNY President Dr. Robert Goldberg; Speaker of the MSSNY House of Delegates Dr. Kira Geraci; Past-Speaker of the MSSNY House of Delegates Dr. Jerome Cohen; Erie County Medical Society President-Elect Dr. Willie Underwood; Kings County President-Elect Dr. Hilary Fairbrother; Dr. Jack Mcintyre; Dr. Steve Lee, and MSSNY staff.

Meetings were held with key members of New York’s Congressional delegation who will play a large role in developing and analyzing proposals that restructure the ACA, including US Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Yvette Clarke, Chris Collins, Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Brian Higgins, Tom Reed, Paul Tonko and Lee Zeldin.  MSSNY physician representatives, in conjunction with other state medical societies, met with other key top policymakers including Representative Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Ways & Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX).

These physicians are to be commended for the extensive time they took away from their practices to advocate on behalf of their colleagues and their patients.

National Advocacy Conference attendees MSSNY Senior VP Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Moe Auster; MSSNY EVP Phil Schuh; Past-Speaker of the MSSNY House of Delegates Dr. Jerome Cohen; Past MSSNY President Dr. Robert Goldberg; Past MSSNY President Dr. Robert Hughes; Rep Chris Collins (R-NY 27th District); Dr. Jack McIntyre; Dr. Steve Lee; and Speaker of the MSSNY House of Delegates Dr. Kira Geraci.

SAVE THE DATE!  Physician Advocacy Day in Albany March 8!

Please send your comments to comments@mssny.org




Last Call! MSSNY Lobby Day (MARCH 8) is Quickly Approaching! Register Now!
MSSNY’s “Physician Advocacy Day” will be held this Wednesday, March 8th in the Lewis Swyer Theatre in the Egg, located at the Empire State Plaza, Albany NY.

If you have not already, please Register Here.  Please join your colleagues from across the state to urge needed reform to our health care system, and for our profession and our patients.

Take advantage of this opportunity to express your support and voice your concerns to a full slate of legislators and key policymakers including:

  • Assembly Majority Leader, Joe Morelle
  • Senate Majority Leader, John Flanagan
  • Senate Health Chair, Kemp Hannon; Assembly Health Chair, Richard Gottfried: Senate Insurance Chair, James Seward; Assembly Insurance Chair, Kevin Cahill; and
  • Troy Oechsner, Deputy Superintendent for eaHealthHealth, Department of Financial Services

Come meet with your legislators to urge that they:

  • REJECT burdensome new impediments to obtaining Excess Medical liability insurance coverage contained in the Governor’s proposed State Budget;
  • REJECT inappropriate scope of practice expansions such as the proposal contained in the proposed State Budget that would permit pharmacists to enter into medication management protocols with nurse practitioners;
  • REJECT changes to increase burdensome physician prior authorization requirements contained in the proposed State Budget;
  • SUPPORT legislation to reduce prior authorization hassles including legislation to permit physicians to collectively negotiate contract terms with health insurers;
  • SUPPORT legislation to reduce the extraordinary cost of medical liability insurance in New York and reject legislation that would drive up costs; and
  • REJECT legislation that would impose costly and time consuming mandates on physician delivery of patient care.

A brief luncheon to which members of each house are invited to speak with their constituents will follow the morning program. County medical societies will also be scheduling appointments for physicians to meet with their elected representatives.

If you have any questions/comments, please contact Carrie Harring at charring@mssny.org or call 518-465-8050.
(DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)

Budget Update
After a brief recess where legislators heard feedback from constituents in their districts, the legislature returned to Albany on Tuesday.  The Senate and Assembly released their joint revenue forecast this week.  Both houses project that there will be more revenue than Governor Cuomo’s budget has estimated.  The Senate estimated $354 million in additional revenue beyond Cuomo’s 2017-18 budget.  The Assembly forecast estimates having an additional $1 billion more than what Governor Cuomo expects.  This is an important first step in budget negotiations.  Each house is then expected to release its one-house budget proposal in the next few weeks and the final budget agreement is due by April 1.  Budget negotiations will now begin to heat up and we must continue to apply pressure on the legislature to ensure that our voices are heard.

As these negotiations ensue, please take action as noted below:

  • We appreciate that funding for the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program is proposed to be continued at previous years’ funding levels.  However, physicians would be required to receive a “tax clearance” as a pre-condition, potentially a cumbersome requirement that could unnecessarily endanger coverage for some physicians.  Send a letter to your legislators here.
  • Pharmacists would be permitted to enter into “comprehensive medication management protocols” with physicians or nurse practitioners to manage, adjust and change the medications of patients with a chronic disease or who have not met clinical goals of therapy. While similar “collaborative drug therapy” programs exist within the hospital environment, only physicians are currently permitted to enter into such protocols.  Send a letter to your legislators here.
  • “Prescriber prevails” protections that currently exist in Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care would be eliminated, except for atypical antipsychotic and anti-depressant medications, forcing physicians to go through even more burdensome prior authorization requirements.  To send a letter to your legislators, click here.
  • The State Budget fails to include a specific allocation to address the likely shortcoming in payments due physicians arising from the financial collapse of liquidated insurer Health Republic.  To send a letter to your legislators urging funding in the Budget to address this shortfall, click here.
  • The Budget would establish a 25 member “Healthcare Regulation Modernization Team” to look at developing numerous health care delivery change proposals including “modernizing” Certificate of Need laws, and changing scopes of practice for non-physicians. Of significant concern, the language would permit state agencies to implement demonstration programs without the need for legislative approval.Over a dozen specialty societies have joined MSSNY in a letter to the entire Legislature to urge that this proposal be removed from the budget, or remove the provision that enables these demonstration programs.
  • Giving overbroad discretion to state officials to drop physicians and other prescribers from the Medicaid program based upon the “inappropriate prescribing of opioids”.
    (BELMONT)

US House Committees to Begin Consideration of ACA Repeal Legislation Next Week
The US House of Representatives has outlined a three-week time frame for developing and passing legislation to repeal and replace large portions of the Affordable Care Act, according to numerous media reports.   Next week, the House Ways& Means and Energy & Commerce Committees will begin “marking up” legislation.  The following week, the House Budget Committee would move to combine the bills into a “reconciliation” package eligible for expedited Senate debate, with votes on the House floor expected the week after that.

While many concepts have been highlighted such as expanded use of health savings accounts, providing states more flexibility to spend Medicaid funds, expanded use of tax credits to purchase health insurance coverage and permitting sales of health insurance coverage across state lines,  no legislative text has been publicly released as of yet.

As such, there is little ability to assess at this time how such proposals will impact upon the millions of New Yorkers who have obtained coverage through the several new coverage expansion mechanisms established through the ACA, as well as the impact on the New York State Budget.  There are also questions regarding whether the significant health policy divisions within the House and Senate Republican conferences can be reconciled in such a way that a majority vote can be achieved in both houses.  With details on this enormously important issue still fluid, please remain alert for further updates.
(AUSTER)

Starting next Thursday, March 9,  MSSNY is Offering a 3 Hour CME Program on Pain Management.  NYS Requires Every Prescriber to take this 3 Hour Course By July 1, 2017
The Medical Society of the State of New York announces a series of three one-hour CME webinars on pain management, palliative care and addiction.  New York State statute requires all prescribers holding a DEA license to complete three hours of coursework no later than July 1st, 2017.   These webinars are being offered FREE OF CHARGE to MSSNY members with a discount code.  The discount code has been provided to MSSNY members.  Non-MSSNY members will be charged $150 for the series.

The Medical Society of the State of New York has worked with the New York State Office for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services in the development of this program.   Following the webinars, the course will be offered on-line on the MSSNY CME site.   The program will be offered to MSSNY members free of charge and there is a non-member fee of $150 for the on-line series.

The three webinars cover all issues required in the New York State statute and participation is only by computer, or with the Webex app.

Webinars will be held on:

Thursday, March 9, 2017—7:30-8:30am

Understanding the Current Legal Landscape in New York State for Prescribing Controlled Substances

Faculty: Patricia Bruckenthal, PhD, APRN-BS, FAAN & Trishia Allen, Esq.

Educational Objectives:

Understand New York State and Federal Requirements for Prescribing Controlled Substances

Discuss Guidelines for Chronic Pain

Register for this webinar here 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017—7:30-8:30am

Rational Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain Conditions

Faculty: Charles Argoff, MD & Patricia Bruckenthal, PhD, APRN-BS, FAAN

Educational Objectives:

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

Describe palliative medical care and end-of-life care

Register for this webinar here 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017—7:30-8:30am

Patients with Opioid Use Disorders: Identification, Treatment, and Management of Co-occurring Pain

Faculty: Jeffrey Selzer, MD, Charles Morgan, MD & Frank Dowling, MD

Educational Objectives:

Describe the Potential for Addiction, Patient Screening, Diagnosis and Subsequent Treatment or Referral.

Recommend Tools to Assist in the Identification of High-Risk Patients for Whom Opioids are Indicated and Prescribed.

Describe Strategies for Treating Pain in Patients with Substance Use Disorders.

Register for this webinar 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.

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org
(CLANCY)

AMA Expresses “Alarm” Regarding Possible Revival of Anthem-Cigna Merger with New Administration
The American Medical Association (AMA) wrote to Acting US Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder this week to express its “alarm” regarding recent statements by Anthem, made in a Delaware Court, asserting that the company expects to close its merger transaction with CIGNA through “resolution with a new DOJ”.

MSSNY has shared the AMA letter with New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to urge that the New York AG continue to oppose the merger.  Connecticut AG George Jepsen issued a statement Wednesday indicating that his office would continue to oppose the merger.

As has been previously reported, on February 8, 2017, Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a ruling blocking the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger from moving forward. The merger had been challenged by several patient advocacy and physician advocacy organizations including the AMA and MSSNY, as well as the Department of Justice and 11 state attorney generals because of the very significant market impact the mergers would have had in various regions across the country, and in New York. Last fall, MSSNY President Dr. Malcolm Reid and AMA representatives testified at a New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) hearing to express strong concerns with the proposed merger.

The AMA letter this week expresses great concern with the possibility that, despite the recent strong ruling, the merger could be revived because of a new Administration.  In particular, the letter referenced a statement by an Anthem attorney that “the company believes that its prospects for a timely closing are enhanced by a supportive Vice President Mike Pence.”  The letter goes on to state that it is “implausible that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), eleven states, and the District of Columbia—that have diligently and successfully prosecuted this antitrust merger case—could now be swayed to allow this merger to close pursuant to politically-driven settlement negotiations as Anthem has suggested. To do so would cause irreparable harm to the integrity of the federal courts to adjudicate anticompetitive behavior in a fair and impartial manner, leaving consumers at risk.  We strongly believe that political influence should play no role in the enforcement of the antitrust laws and urge you to vigorously defend Judge Jackson’s ruling”.

Please remain alert for further updates on this issue.  To read the letter, click here.
(AUSTER)


Your membership yields results and will continue to do so. When your 2017 invoice arrives, please renew. KEEP MSSNY STRONG!


Governor Cuomo Announces Action To Expand Cutting-Edge Breast Cancer Screening Options For Women
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that health insurers are required under New York Insurance Law to provide medically necessary coverage for 3-D mammograms (tomosynthesis) without co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles.   To read the press release, click here.  The Medical Society supported this initiative.

“We are undertaking the most aggressive action in the nation to expand access to breast cancer screenings, because early detection is the best possible treatment,” Governor Cuomo said“By expanding access to cutting-edge, life-saving breast cancer screening options, like 3D mammograms, we are taking our efforts to protect our mothers, sisters and daughters another step further. We will continue working to further remove barriers to breast cancer detection and treatment to create a stronger, healthier New York for all.”

The press release notes that that the action was part of continuing series of actions by the Governor to support women’s health and reproductive rights, including increasing access to breast cancer screenings and health insurance coverage that went into effect January 1, 2017; ensuring that all medically necessary abortion services are covered by health insurance policies without cost sharing; and ensuring that all women are covered by health insurance policies for contraceptives in amounts up to twelve month’s supply at a time without cost-sharing.
(AUSTER, CLANCY)

DFS Fines Oxford Health $1 Million For New York Insurance Law Violations
New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo announced this week that Oxford Health Plan has been fined $1 million by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for improper payments to an unlicensed producer and for failing to respond to consumer grievances within required timeframes in violation of New York State Insurance Law. 

The press release noted that the violations were discovered through a “market conduct” examination by DFS looking at claims between 2009 and 2013.  Among the violations found were that Oxford failed to timely acknowledge insureds’ grievances and failed to send initial adverse determination notices as well as adverse appeal determination letters to insureds as mandated by New York Insurance Law.  Specifically, the press release noted that, in almost 1/3 of the cases sampled, Oxford failed to acknowledge consumer grievances within the required 15-day time frame; it also did not resolve grievance cases regarding referrals or benefit coverage within 30 days; and, in 44% of additional cases sampled, the company failed to issue initial adverse determination letters or adverse determination letters following an appeal within the 30 days mandated by law.  You can read the consent order here.                    (AUSTER) 

FDA Notice to Physicians
The FDA issued a notice to health professionals on the risks of buying drugs from unlicensed sources.  It reminded physicians that purchasing drugs from unlicensed sources (foreign or domestic) puts patients at risk of consuming drugs that may be unapproved, counterfeit, contaminated, or ineffective.  It also noted that medical practices should be aware that importing medications from foreign sources other than those authorized by the FDA is in violation of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The FDA stated, “While the U.S. health care supply chain is one of the most secure and sophisticated in the world, there is a growing network of rogue wholesale drug distributors selling potentially unsafe drugs in the U.S. market.”   Since 2012, FDA has notified nearly 3,500 physicians that their drug purchasing practices may be illegal. DOJ has successfully prosecuted more than 95 corporations and individuals, including physicians, for criminal charges related to selling unapproved drug products, or receiving and administering unapproved drug products to patients. These criminal convictions have resulted in jail time and fines of millions of dollars.  The full notice may be viewed here.

In order to protect patients from unsafe or ineffective drugs, FDA advises health care providers to know the source for prescription drugs.  Additional information may be found on the FDA’s website.(BELMONT)    

NYS Department of Health Issues Blanket Waivers for Certain E-prescribing Requirements
The NYS Department of Health Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker, MD, JD issued a blanket waiver for certain electronic prescribing requirement.   The waiver replaces and supersedes the Commissioner March 26, 2017 waiver letter.  This letter has been sent to all practitioners and pharmacists in NYS.  The new waiver letter can be found here.

The following exceptional circumstances from the requirement of electronic prescribing include:

  1. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance, containing two (2) or more products, which is compounded by a pharmacist;
  2. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance to be compounded for the direct administration to a patient by parenteral, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous or intraspinal infusion;
  3. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance that contains long or complicated directions;
  4. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance that requires a prescription to contain certain elements required by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that are not able to be accomplished with electronic prescribing;
  5. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance under approved protocols for expedited partner therapy, collaborative drug management or comprehensive medication management, or in response to a public health emergency that would allow a non-patient specific prescription;
  6. any practitioner prescribing an opioid antagonist that would allow a non-patient specific prescription;
  7. any practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance under a research protocol;
  8. a pharmacist dispensing controlled and non-controlled substance compounded prescriptions, prescriptions containing long or complicated directions, and prescriptions containing certain elements required by the FDA or any other governmental agency that are not able to be accomplished with electronic prescribing;
  9. a pharmacist dispensing prescriptions issued under a research protocol, or under approved protocols for expedited partner therapy, or for collaborative drug management or comprehensive medication management; and
  10. a pharmacist dispensing non-patient specific prescriptions, including opioid antagonists, or prescriptions issued in response to a declared public health emergency.

The letter also noted that waivers would be continued for the following situations in nursing homes and residential facilities:

  1. a practitioner prescribing a controlled or non-controlled substance either through an Official New York State Prescription form or an oral prescription communicated to a pharmacist serving as a vendor of pharmaceutical services, by an agent who is a health care practitioner, for patients in nursing homes and residential health care facilities as defined by PHL § 2801; and
  1. a pharmacist serving as a vendor of pharmaceutical services dispensing a controlled or non-controlled substance through an Official New York State Prescription form or an oral prescription communicated by an agent who is a

health care practitioner, for patients in nursing homes and residential health care facilities as defined by PHL § 2801.

The waiver is effective from March 26, 2017 until March 25, 2018.   For further information, please go to the DOH website here.           
(CLANCY)

Register Now for Upcoming Medical Matters 2017 CME Webinar Series
The Medical Society of the State of New York encourages you to register for its next Medical Matters webinar on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. with Exercise Response to Novel Influenza Strains.  Faculty for this program is Pat Anders, MS, MEP, Manager, Health Emergency Preparedness Exercises, New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Emergency Preparedness.  Registration is now open for this webinar here just click on “Upcoming”.

The educational objectives are:  1) Understand preparedness and response actions of public health and healthcare to a novel pandemic influenza, simulated in full-scale exercise.  2)  Describe two delineated strategies in which public health and office-based physicians would interact in a pandemic influenza.

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

Medical Matters is a series of CME webinars sponsored by MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response.

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

MSSNY 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.
(Clancy, Hoffman)


Commissioner’s Grand Rounds to be held on March 21, 2017 on “Baby Boomer Health”
NYS Department of Health Commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD will host “Baby Boomer Health” on Tuesday, March 21 2017 at 7:30-9 a.m. at SUNY Upstate, Medical Alumni Auditorium, Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Avenue, Syracuse NY, 13210.   The intent of the program is to inform physicians and other providers of often undiagnosed conditions in baby boomers.

The presenter will be:  David Bernstein, MD, FAASLD, FACG, AGAF, FACP, Chief of Hepatology and Director, Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases, Northwell Health, Professor of Medicine, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine; Bob Morrow, MD Associate Clinical Professor-Department of Family and Social Medicine, Associate Director of Interventional CME-Center for CME Albert Einstein College of Medicine’ Sophia McIntyre, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAFP, CPE, Chief of Clinical Quality and Physician Leadership Development, Hudson River HealthCare, Inc..   The grand rounds program is free and advance registration is required for the live session and webinar.  A copy of the flyer and the link to register can be found here.

There will be CME credits awarded.  The Medical Society of the State of New York has partnered with the DOH to provide this program.                                                                                                                        (CLANCY)

CME Needs Assessment
The Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program of MSSNY strives to provide educational activities relevant to the practice of all recognized medical disciplines and include forums for public health, socio-economic, ethical, and legal issues related to the provision of quality healthcare.  In order to fulfill that goal, MSSNY’S office of CME is conducting a CME needs-assessment survey.  Physicians are encouraged to complete the survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSSNYCME1

Questions about the survey or the MSSNY CME program may be directed to Miriam Hardin (mhardin@mssny.org or (518) 465-8085).                                                                                                                     (HARDIN) 

Register Now for Upcoming Veterans Matters CME Webinars
The Medical Society of the State of New York encourages you to register for its upcoming Veterans Matters webinars. These programs include CME presentations on PTSD and TBI in Returning Veterans.  Faculty for these programs is John McIntyre, MD. Registration for all of these programs is open.  Just click on either of the presentation dates below. 

Veterans’ Matters: PTSD and TBI

Friday, March 10 at 8 am

Tuesday, April 4 at 8 am

Faculty Presenter: John McIntyre, MD

The educational Objectives for the PTSD program are:

1) Describe the symptoms of PTSD and TBI.

2) Describe the treatment modalities of PTSD and TBI.

3) Describe military culture & how to overcome unique barriers to treatment intrinsic to military culture

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Greg Elperin at gelperin@mssny.org.

Veterans Matters is a CME series made possible through a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health.

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

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 mauster@mssny.org         pclancy@mssny.org   jbelmont@mssny.org

enews large

AMA/Over 100 Societies Send Letter to CMS to Defer Mandatory EHR until 2019
On February 27, the AMA sent a letter to CMS and Office of the National Coodinator for Health Information (ONC), requesting a deferment from implementing certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) until such technology is widely available and no sooner that January 2019. The letter cites that the CEHRT should remain voluntary because:

  • Mandating 2015 Edition CEHRT by 2018 jeopardizes success in the QPP and MY
  • A rush to certify products will result in broad hardship exemptions
  • Hasty deployment of CEHRT is counterproductive and threatens patient safety
  • 2015 Edition CEHRT should incorporate improvements to HER certification

The letter was delivered yesterday.  Over 100 state, national and specialty societies signed the letter, including MSSNY.

Albany Considers Compensation to Live Organ Donors For Expenses
Crain’s New York Business (2/23) reports the Living Donor Support Act “could make New York the first state in the country to directly compensate living organ donors…for lost wages, child care and other expenses.” The bill “has broad support from lawmakers” and has already unanimously passed the Senate Health Committee. Many state lawmakers and health care groups are rallying behind the cause because of some dire statistics.

New York ranks 50th in the United States for organ donation registration, according to LiveOn NY, the metropolitan region’s federally designated organ-procurement organization. While most organs are donated after a person’s death, increasing living donations is one way to address the acute shortage, advocates say.|

The proposed legislation would cost the state about $3 million per year, and donors would receive on average about $4,400 each, according to Waitlist Zero.

·        About 10,000 New Yorkers are awaiting an organ transplant, and about every 18 hours, a New Yorker dies waiting for a heart, lung, kidney or pancreas.
·        New York State is ranked last in the nation for the share of people registered as organ donors—just 28% versus a national average of about 50%, according to the latest data from LiveOnNY.
·        More than 8,000 await kidneys; over 1,300 need livers; and more than 300 need hearts.
·        Others also need pancreas (more than 100), lungs (over 50) and intestine (around 10).

·        Every 2½ hours, a person’s name is added to the New York State organ transplant waiting list.

Some Doctors Worried about Prosecution if They Prescribe Opioids
The Buffalo News http://buffalonews.com/2017/02/27/physicians-raise-alarm-criminalizing-efforts-treat-patients-pain/ carried a story about doctors who do prescribe painkillers are very worried about prosecution. Patients with chronic conditions complain that they cannot find a physician to help them. Six physicians in Erie and Niagara counties have been criminally prosecuted for illegally prescribing opioids in recent years. “We certainly have no problem with physicians being prosecuted if they have committed a true crime, said MSSNY Vice President Dr. Thomas Madejski.  “But to criminalize physicians in the practice of medicine is really a step in the wrong direction.”


 SAVE THE DATE
Physician Lobby Day in Albany
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
YOU NEED TO TAKE A DAY AWAY FROM YOUR PRACTICE
Call Your County Medical Society for Details



SUNY Albany Researchers Develop Cheaper, More Efficient Test for Ebola
The Albany Times Union http://bit.ly/2mf4KVn (2/28) reports Mehmet Yigit, a SUNY Albany assistant chemistry professor, has developed a method of detecting the Ebola virus by sampling patient urine or saliva. His “cheaper and more efficient” methods “could prove crucial for combating Ebola” as well as for detecting the Zika virus. The article points out that samples of the Zika virus “are largely inaccessible for researchers not funded by the National Institutes of Health.”

WHO Lists 12 Bacteria that Pose Greatest Threat to Human Health
The World Health Organization has listed 12 families of bacteria that “pose the greatest threat to human health” because of resistance to antibiotics. The group hopes the list will guide research into and development of new treatments.

These three carbapenem-resistant bacteria earned highest priority (critical) based on their threat to patients in hospitals, those in nursing homes, and those reliant on ventilators and blood catheters:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producingEnterobacteriaceae

The second priority tier (high) includes:

  • Enterococcus faeciumresistant to vancomycin
  • Staphylococcus aureusresistant to methicillin and vancomycin
  • Helicobacter pyloriresistant to clarithromycin
  • Campylobacterspecies resistant to fluoroquinolone
  • Salmonellaeresistant to fluoroquinolone
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeaeresistant to cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone

The third priority group (medium) includes:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniaenot susceptible to penicillin
  • Haemophilus influenzaeresistant to ampicillin
  • Shigellaspecies resistant to fluoroquinolone

WHO news release

JAMA Pediatrics: Parents Notice Errors/Reactions Not Documented in Records
JAMA Pediatrics published a study that found parents of hospitalized children noticed “medical errors and bad reactions to treatment that aren’t documented in their children’s hospital records.” The study found overall error rates were “nearly 16 percent higher with family reporting than without, “while overall rates of adverse events were nearly 10 percent higher with family reporting.” The report states “family-reported error rates were five-fold higher than hospital incident rates, and adverse event rates reported by families were nearly three-fold higher.”

Study: Colon and Colorectal Cancers Increases in Millennials and Gen X Adults
Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/3053481/Colorectal indicates “colon and rectal cancers have increased dramatically and steadily in millennials and Generation X adults in the United States over the past four decades.” Investigators found that “rates of rectal cancer are increasing by about 3 percent a year in 20- and 30-somethings, and by 2 percent a year among the 40- to 54-year-old age group.” Meanwhile, “colon cancer rates are rising by smaller amounts in those age groups.”

Rebecca Siegel, who led the study, “suggested one explanation might be a complex interaction involving the same factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic — changes in diet, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight and low fiber consumption.”


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Very large and classy office to share. Located in the ground floor of a 25′ x 100′ carriage house opposite the 66th Street Armory with large consult room, 2+ treatment/exam rooms, large waiting room, business office, storage. See video of office — you won’t believe it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uli8Cck_eRA   $5000/month incl utilities. no brokers. Call Doctor Fischman at (212) 472–3300.Jeffrey R. Fischman, M.D.  110 E 66th Street.

Physician Opportunities

Ophthalmologist Part Time
Ophthalmologist needed to work at multiple nursing homes in all 5 boros except Staten Island. Part time or full-time position available.  Generous salary and incentives.Ttech provided. Opportunity to perform surgery, but not required. Please email cv to privacyssw@gmail.com



A Private Multidisciplinary Medical Group is seeking an Internal Medicine/Family Medicine Physician in Manhattan
A well-established Manhattan based private multidisciplinary medical group is seeking to hire an Internal Medicine/Family Medicine Physician. This is a great opportunity to start your own practice in a modern office in midtown Manhattan. Attractive base salary plus comprehensive benefits package offered (Malpractice, 3 weeks paid vacation, 1 week CME, CME allowance, paid health insurance, etc).If you are a solo practitioner in private practice looking to join a private group practice, we will work with you to make the transition seamless. Please email your CV to tsrgexpress@gmail.com. No recruiters please.

A Private Multidisciplinary Medical Group is seeking a Podiatrist in Manhattan
A well-established Manhattan based private multidisciplinary medical group is seeking to hire a Podiatrist. This is a great opportunity to start your own practice in a modern office in midtown Manhattan. Attractive base salary plus comprehensive benefits package offered (Malpractice, 3 weeks paid vacation, 1 week CME, CME allowance, paid health insurance, etc).If you are a solo practitioner in private practice looking to join a private group practice, we will work with you to make the transition seamless. Please email your CV to tsrgexpress@gmail.com. No recruiters please.

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