eNews: August 28, 2020 – MSSNY 2020 Virtual House of Delegates: We’re on Our Way

Dear Colleagues:

Two weeks from Sunday, the Medical Society of the State of New York will hold its first-ever virtual House of Delegates.  While we wish that we could be gathering to meet in person for our annual lively discussions, a new era is upon us and we, like the rest of the world, are adapting and conducting business in a virtual format. Instead of zooming to the meeting in cars, trains and planes, we will Zoom in on our computers.

Physician resilience is one of our biggest strengths and an important asset to our organization.  We are getting the work of medicine in New York accomplished and doing it in new and innovative ways. We will adopt new policies and move our agenda forward with robust legislative, sociomedical, economic, and public health initiatives.

The 2020 Reference Committee reports have been posted to the MSSNY website and can be found here.

While we will not have live debate, our speakers have developed a process for electronic debate. Comments on resolutions can be emailed to HODComments@mssny.org or you can view and comment on the report in Drop Box through the ref com link on the MSSNY website.   Comments are STRONGLY encouraged. Your opinions matter and hearing them will allow our organization to create and adopt the best overall policies. Comments on any resolutions sent to Council will be forwarded to and considered by the MSSNY committee assigned to review that resolution and ultimately by MSSNY Council prior to consideration of adoption.

Thanks to the outstanding leadership of our speaker and vice speaker, the extended service of our dedicated reference committee members, and our hard-working staff, our 2020 MSSNY House of Delegates will come together on Sunday, September 13th.  To paraphrase the great Dr. Seuss: “We’re off to Great Places! The 13th is our day! Our mountain is waiting, and we are on our way!”

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President

Interested in Administering COVID-19 Vaccine When Available? Take NYS DOH Survey
If you are a physician located in New York State, outside of New York City, and are interested in administering COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available and/or in receiving supplemental publicly-funded seasonal influenza vaccines for adults, click here to take this NYS DOH survey.

Completing this survey does not enroll you to receive vaccine with the New York State Vaccine Program, but it does give DOH information about practices who are interested in receiving vaccine, capacity to reach priority populations, and contact information to help them communicate with you throughout the process.

The DOH is gathering practice information in advance to help expedite the process and is planning to enroll practices who serve adults with no health insurance to improve influenza vaccination rates this season.  At the same time, they are anticipating availability of vaccine(s) against COVID-19 at no cost for all.

This survey collects the information for one provider at a time.  If you wish to submit information for multiple organizations, you can submit multiple surveys or request a form for capturing all your sites.  The form can be requested by emailing Covid19Vaccine@health.ny.gov.

This is a quick survey to capture your likely interest and ability to vaccinate eligible adults in the upcoming influenza season and your entire population in the anticipated Covid-19 vaccine response.  If your practice is already part of the Vaccines for Children, Vaccines for Adults or Hepatitis B Birth Dose programs, the DOH would still appreciate you completing the survey to give them an indication of priority groups that you serve and whether you plan to vaccinate populations other than those listed on your current provider agreement.

Click here to start the survey. Any questions you have regarding this survey may be sent to Covid19Vaccine@health.ny.gov.

Please Urge Governor Cuomo to Veto Mandatory OPMC Signage Legislation
All physicians are urged to contact Governor Cuomo to request that he veto legislation (S.6678-A/A.7991-A) requiring every physician’s office to post a sign regarding how a patient can file a misconduct complaint with the OPMC.  Let the Governor know that this proposal would create unnecessary distrust in the physician-patient relationship and unfairly singles out physicians. This legislation is also unnecessary because this information is already easily available through a simple internet search.  With nearly 10,000 complaints already made each year to OPMC (resulting in only a few hundred actual disciplinary actions), it is clear there is already strong public awareness of this oversight body. Send a letter and tweet to the Governor opposing this baffling legislation.

MSSNY’s Weekly Podcast

MSSNY President Participates in Forum to Discuss Improving Patient Care
MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack participated in a conference sponsored by the Home Care Association of New York State, along with the Presidents of the NY Health Plan Association, Healthcare Association of New York State, Leading Age, to discuss efforts among various healthcare stakeholders to collaborate both before and during the pandemic to improve patient care. Dr. Litvack took part in the August 26 forum entitled Implications for Post-Acute Care in a Post-COVID Environment.

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Pain Management, Palliative Care and Addiction Coursework Due October 1st : Available at MSSNY CME website
The Medical Society of the State of New York’s updated 2020 Pain Management, Palliative Care and Addiction modules are now available on-line at: https://cme.mssny.org.  The three-hour program must be completed by all physicians and providers who hold a DEA license by October 1, 2020.  The requirement was delayed from July to October due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The three one hour modules are being offered free of charge to all MSSNY members.  Physicians who are new users to the MSSNY CME site will be required to register as a new user.

These online programs cover all eight topics required in the New York State statute:

  • New York State and federal requirements for prescribing controlled substances
  • Pain management
  • Appropriate prescribing
  • Managing acute pain
  • Palliative medicine
  • Prevention, screening and signs of addiction
  • Responses to abuse and addiction
  • End of life care

MSSNY developed the program with the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).  MSSNY is listed as an accrediting organization by the NYS DOH Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. These courses are entitled:

  • PM, PC & A 2020: Understanding the Current Legal Landscape in New York State
  • PM, PC & A 2020: When to Consider Opioid Therapy for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain and in Palliative Care
  • PM, PC & A 2020: Patients with Opioid Use Disorders

Additional information or technical support may be obtained by contacting cme@mssny.org

Attestation Process for Mandatory Prescribers

Prescribers must attest to the completion of the pain management, palliative care and addiction course work or training by July 1, 2017, and again every three years thereafter. The prescriber should only attest after completion of at least three hours of course work or training covering all eight topics.  The process is described in the Frequently Asked Questions:


Further information may be obtained by contacting BNE at 1-866-811-7957 or narcotic@health.ny.gov

Or at https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/narcotic/mandatory_prescriber_education/

CDC Director Changes Coronavirus Testing Guidance
The CDC appears to have backtracked on Covid-19 testing guidance. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement that “all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients” should consider getting tested. Earlier this week, the CDC’s recommendation that asymptomatic people not be tested faced criticism from physicians and others. Dr. Redfield also said, “Testing is meant to drive actions and achieve specific public health objectives. Everyone who needs a Covid-19 test, can get a test. Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test; the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action.”  Read more in STAT.

AMA Urges FDA to Ensure Transparency in COVID-19 Vaccine Development to Promote Vaccine Confidence Among Physicians, Public
With COVID-19 vaccine development moving at a rapid pace, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work more closely with the physician community to develop a plan for further education and transparency surrounding COVID-19 vaccine candidates. In a letter sent to the FDA, the AMA notes that it is critical that physicians are continuously informed of the FDA’s plans for review and provided with the utmost level of transparency regarding the process for authorization or licensure, standards for review, and safety and efficacy data as soon as possible.

“The AMA and our physician members are strongly committed to ending this global pandemic and to fighting medical misinformation,” the AMA said in its letter. “However, physicians need to feel confident in the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine candidates. To help physicians promote vaccine confidence among their patients and the general public, we must start now to provide information, education, and transparency around the FDA’s process for authorization or licensure, as well as the standards by which FDA will review vaccine candidates and the clinical endpoints which the FDA hopes to achieve.”

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CMS Alerts Physicians to Issue with eCQM Scoring
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is alerting physicians to an issue that impacts electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) scoring during the 2020 performance year. eCQMs are used in several programs, including the Quality Payment Program and MIPS. The issue relates to the timing values for three quality measures. This issue has the potential to impact measure scoring when certain time values are not present in the input data. The erroneous calculation may result in an increase or decrease of cases that fall in the measure population.

Impacted Measures

  • CMS128v8 Anti-depressant Medication Management
  • CMS146v8 Appropriate Testing for Children with Pharyngitis
  • CMS56v8 Functional Status Assessment for Total Hip Replacement

CMS has published updated measure packages to correct the issues for all three impacted eCQMs. The updates are available on the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center. Physician practices that are reporting on the measure(s) should contact their EHR vendors to see if EHR system updates are warranted. Additional details and measure specific information can be reviewed in the ONC eCQM Known Issues Tracker.

Veterans Matters: The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:      September 15, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty:    Malene Ingram, MD and Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves

Educational Objectives:

  • Review how the increased role of women in the military has impacted their mental health
  • Describe mental health concerns unique to women veterans and how to identify them
  • Identify the barriers that women veterans face in getting the specific care they need

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.

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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 / entdoc53@aol.com or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 / jmb@jmbfineart.com.

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 polina@specialtyaestheticsurgery.com

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