MSSNY eNews – Final Days to Support or Kill !

Thomas J. Madejski, MD MSSNY President

Thomas J. Madejski, MD
MSSNY President

June 15, 2018
Number 22


Dear Colleagues:

There has been much discussion in the media that, with the close divide in the New York State Senate, nothing much is happening in Albany. Nothing could be further from the truth. This week, the Legislature completed passage of a couple of issues of importance to New York physicians, including prohibiting those under 18 from using tanning facilities and extending for another 5 years the services of MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health.

As we head into the final days of the Legislative Session, there are a significant number of health care issues “below the radar” still under active consideration before the Legislature leaves Albany for the year.  Legislators and staffs will be working through the weekend and round the clock to negotiate final deals.  Among these issues under discussion:

  • Legislation supported by MSSNY and other patient advocacy groups that would prohibit health insurers from making mid-year formulary changes;
  • Legislation supported by MSSNY and other patient advocacy groups to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco;
  • Legislation supported by MSSNY and the NYS Psychiatric Association to have insurer compliance with mental health and substance abuse parity laws to be publicly disclosed in the DFS Consumer Guide to Health Insurance;
  • Legislation opposed by MSSNY and other patient advocacy groups that would mandate physicians to report certain patients to DMV;
  • Legislation opposed by MSSNY that would expand the types of providers who are permitted to treat injured workers under Workers Compensation, and reduce the involvement of county medical societies in credentialing physicians for WC participation;
  • Legislation that would expand the applicability of New York’s “surprise” bill law to hospitals;
  • Legislation that would create a Maternal Mortality Review Board

Please see below for more information on many of these issues, including in some cases requests to send letters to legislators on these items.  Please remain alert for calls to action, as the end of the Legislative Session can bring surprises that warrant immediate physician grassroots activity.

And, if you are not a member of our Physician Action Liaison (PAL) program, you can join by e-mailing

Greetings from AMA Meeting in Chicago

I’m writing while sitting at Gate A4B at Midway airport. I’m returning from Chicago and the AMA HOD where I represented MSSNY along with our great MSSNY delegation to the AMA members.

Our delegates take up to a week of their personal time to advocate MSSNY policy and confer with colleagues from throughout the country on issues affecting your practice.  We listened, learned, and discussed over 500 items that affect the practice of medicine, public health and other areas that affect the lives of our patients and families.  You can find a summary of the highlights here.

A few years back, I was elected to the AMA Council on Medical Service (CMS).  We focus on socio-medical economic issues that impact our practices and our patients.  I’m proud of the work we do on the Council and recommend you review all the reports, especially CMS on long term support services. I think we did important work on trying to create a sustainable funding stream for long term care, especially important as our population skews older.  I’m looking forward to meeting with the NY Society of Interventional Pain Physicians today to update them on current legislation in the NY Assembly and Senate.

Kira Geraci-Ciardullo


Congratulations to Dr. Kira Geraci-Ciardullo who was reelected to Council on Science & Public Health at the 2018 AMA House of Delegates.

Please send your thoughts to

Thomas J. Madejski, MD 
MSSNY President

MLMIC Insurance


Capital Update

Please Urge Your Legislators to Support Legislation to Prohibit Mid-Year Formulary Changes
With just 3 scheduled Session days left, all physicians are urged to contact their legislators to urge their support for legislation (A.2317-C, People-Stokes/S.5022-C, Serino) that would (in most cases) prohibit a health insurer from making a change to their prescription drug formulary or moving a prescription drug to a higher tier during a policy year.  The legislation has passed the Assembly unanimously, and is before the Senate Insurance Committee.  To send a letter in support, Click Here.

Earlier in the year MSSNY participated in a press conference in support of the legislation, together with the sponsors of the bill, as well as many of its supporters, including the Global Healthy Living Foundation, Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, NAACP, AARP, New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the National Association on Mental Illness-NY, the NY Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the NYS Osteopathic Medical Society, and the American College of Rheumatology.

MSSNY President Dr. Thomas Madejski stated the following for the press release:Continuation of a medication regimen prescribed by a patient’s treating physician is critical to assuring a patient’s recovery from illness, maintaining their health, or preventing worsening of their condition. Unexpected changes to a medication formulary could result in significantly higher out-of-pocket costs for patients. This could seriously interfere with their continued ability to obtain these needed medications.  Insurance company formulary changes are not made with the intimate knowledge of the patient’s personal physician.  Additionally, this legislation would help to protect consumers from unforeseen higher cost-sharing requirements.”              (AUSTER)

Tanning Bill Prohibition for Children Under 18 Passes NYS Legislature
A bill that would prohibit the use of tanning booths for children under 18 passed the New York State Senate this week.  The measure, A. 7218-A, Jaffe and S.8858-A,Boyle is sponsored by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe and Senator Phil Boyle.  The bill had previously passed the Assembly and will now be sent to Governor Cuomo for his signature.   The Medical Society of the State of New York and several public health organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, were unanimous in their support of this measure and worked together to obtain passage of this important public health measure.   Currently, the law allows children between the ages of 17-18 years of age to use tanning booths with parental permission.  According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the United States. About 95,400 invasive skin cancers will be diagnosed in the US, and more than 87,000 of these will be of melanoma, the most serious form.

Epidemiologic data suggest that most skin cancers can be prevented if children, adolescents, and adults are protected from UV radiation; however, melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.  Moreover not only is indoor tanning associated with melanoma, but new evidence demonstrates that over-use of indoor tanning beds is associated with a 69% increased risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common form of skin cancer. Risk of developing BCC was higher in those who begin indoor tanning at earlier ages (less than 16 years old).  (CLANCY)

MSSNY Committee for Physicians’ Health Bill Completes Passage in Legislature
The New York State Assembly this week passed legislation (A.10221-A, Gottfried) supported by MSSNY that would extend until July 1, 2023 the continued operations of the MSSNY Committee for Physicians’ Health (CPH) program.  The identical Senate bill (S.8093-A, Hannon) passed the Senate last week.  While authorization for several key components of the program expired on March 31, 2018, the bill contains provisions to assure that the law is retroactive to March 31.  

The CPH is a program designed to confront and assist physicians thought to be suffering from alcoholism, substance abuse or mental illness.   Since the inception of this program, CPH has assisted thousands of physicians in returning healthy to medical practice.  The work of the CPH program is an important public service both to our health care system as well as the general public. As a result, the State Budget annually includes an appropriation of $990,000 for the program, which is generated from a $30 assessment on all physicians’ biennial registration fees.

The bill must now be sent to the Governor for his signature.  However, since the bill was advanced by the NYS Department of Health, it is likely to obtain his approval.  MSSNY thanks Senator Hannon and Assemblyman Gottfried for advancing this important legislation.

Bill To Call on DFS to Evaluate Insurers & Health Plans Compliance with Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Parity Laws
With only 3 scheduled legislative session days left, physicians are urged to contact their legislators to urge passage of S.1156-C/A.3694-C, which directs the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services to collect certain key data points and elements from insurers and health plans in order to scrutinize and analyze if they are in compliance with the federal and state mental health and substance use (MH/SUD) disorder parity laws.  To send a letter in support, please Click Here.

The information collected would be analyzed and used for the preparation of a parity compliance report in the annual “Consumer Guide to Health Insurers” issued by Department of Financial Services.   Although MH/SUD parity laws have been on the books for over a decade on the federal and state level, recent Attorney General settlements note that there continue to be patterns of disparity between coverage criteria imposed on MH/SUD care and treatment as compared to other covered services.   This further demonstrates the need for an industry wide approach and annual evaluation of compliance. MSSNY along with NYSPA firmly believe this legislation is the next step for New York to take to assure compliance and full implementation of the federal and state MH/SUD parity laws, thereby enhancing access to care for MH/SUD care and treatment.           (CLANCY)

NYS Assembly Passes Single Payor Legislation
This week, the New York State Assembly passed by a 94-46 vote legislation that would create a single payor health care system in New York State.  To view how each Assemblymember voted on this bill, click here.  The bill, which has passed the Assembly each year since 2015, is almost certainly not going to pass the Senate this year.  The view the 2 ½ hour Assembly debate on this legislation, click here (starting at about the 1:00 mark).  (AUSTER)

Various Workers Compensation Reform Initiatives Under Discussion
Workers Compensation reform initiatives – both legislative and regulatory – continue to be in active discussion in the Legislative Session’s final days.

As part of an initiative to better ensure access to care for injured workers, the New York State Workers Compensation Board has released a proposed regulation to provide an “overall” 5% increase in the Workers Compensation medical fee schedule effective October 1, 2018.  The statement accompanying the release of the proposed rule noted that “areas with shortages of medical providers authorized to treat injured workers may see further increases.”

To review how such increase is proposed to be implemented, click here.   As comments are due to the WCB by August 5, MSSNY is reviewing the entire proposal, and has sought feedback from the members of its Workers Compensation and No-Fault committee.  MSSNY has also sought input from societies representing affected medical specialties such as Orthopedics, Anesthesiology and Osteopathy.  The proposed regulation also notes that the cost of ordering a hard copy of the fee schedule will be $100, and an electronic copy will cost $400.

Another positive development is a regulatory proposal of the WCB to increase the WC testimony fee for physicians from $400 to $450.

Distinct from these regulatory proposals, the WCB has also advanced legislation (S.8812-A/A.8387-C) in the Assembly and Senate that would expand the list of eligible providers allowed to treat injured workers.  The bill expands eligibility to include acupuncturists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, physician’s assistants, podiatrists, psychologists and social workers.  MSSNY has expressed concern that the proposal would enable a nurse practitioner to assess an injured worker’s level of disability and determine causation of a patient’s injury without the involvement of a physician.

MSSNY has also expressed concern over another component of the legislation that would modify the process of how county medical societies recommend physicians to serve as treating providers or independent medical examiners under Workers Compensation.  While the provision has been improved over earlier versions, MSSNY remains very concerned that the phrasing of the proposal could enable the WCB to bypass the county medical society in approving physicians to be authorized to treat or provide IMEs under Workers’ Compensation.

MSSNY has also urged that any legislation in this area must also address the problem of Workers Compensation carriers inappropriately claiming contractual discounts to pay below the stated WC fee schedule. 

Please remain alert for further updates on these issues including the need for potential grassroots action.   (AUSTER, BELMONT)

Physicians Urged to Contact their Senators on Legislation that Imposes New Mandates on Physicians
Physicians are urged to contact their legislators to oppose S. 2113-A, Felder/A.352-A, Perry, which would require physicians and hospitals in New York City to inquire and document the name of the school attended by school-aged patients and to include this information in their admission registration forms.  New York Public Health Law Section 2101

already requires physicians to report immediately to the local health officer regarding the presence of any communicable disease. The health officer is then charged with the responsibility to investigate cases of communicable disease, to ascertain sources of infection, to seek out contacts, and to take other steps to reduce the spread of the disease.  Increasing mandates take more and more time away from the ability to deliver the timely care patients expect to receive.

The bill is on the “Debate List” of the floor of the Assembly and on the floor of the Senate.  Earlier this week the bill was to be taken up on the Senate floor.  However, considerable grassroots activism, as well as significant lobbying in Albany with other advocates, prompted several Senators to raise concerns with the bill and cause the bill to be “laid aside.”  However, the bill can still be taken up at any time throughout the next week.  (BELMONT) 

Assemblyman Abbate Introduces Legislation to Address Experts in Medical Liability Actions
Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn) introduced legislation this week designed to provide some balance to the adjudication of medical liability lawsuits.  The legislation would a) require the plaintiff’s attorney to submit an “Affidavit of Merit” from a physician outlining the applicable standard of care with a description of the breach of this standard as to each defendant in lieu of the current statute that only requires a conclusory attorney affirmation; and b) establish the same rules for disclosure of expert witnesses in malpractice lawsuits that is applicable in every other jurisdiction besides New York – the ability to depose an adversary’s expert and thereby limit surprise at trial.  Identical legislation (S.7728, Hannon) had previously been introduced in the New York State Senate.  The identification of expert witnesses and reform of New York’s weak “Certificate of Merit” for medical liability actions requirement have long been policy goals of MSSNY.   (AUSTER, BELMONT)

DOH Offers New Resource on HIV Testing, Reporting and Confidentiality Update
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) AIDS Institute has issued a letter and a new resource titled HIV Testing, Reporting and Confidentiality in New York State 2017-18 Update: Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions.    A copy of the letter can be found HEREKey provisions related to HIV testing and confidentiality were enacted in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and comprehensive updated HIV/AIDS Testing, Reporting and Confidentiality of HIV-Related Information regulations were finalized and published in the New York State Register on May 17, 2017.

The FAQ incorporates all developments since 2010 and represents the current regulatory landscape.  The FAQ has a new user-friendly design allowing easy navigation to specific topics and links to important resources.  Some of the important topics covered include:

  • Removal of the requirement for written or oral consent;
  • Information to be provided to the patient prior to an HIV test, including informing every individual of their right to decline an HIV test;
  • Requirements to link newly diagnosed patients to HIV care;
  • HIV testing documentation requirements;
  • Expansion of minor consent for HIV treatment and prevention services;
  • Sharing of patient-specific information to promote linkage/retention in care.

The FAQ can be found HERELinks to register for two webinars to be offered on these topics and can be found in the letter.  All health and human services providers involved in HIV prevention, testing, medical care and linkage/retention services should carefully review this document to ensure implementation of these updates.  A host of resources on HIV testing, can be found on the DOH website at:   If you have any questions, please contact our shared mailbox at                  (CLANCY)

Physicians Urged to Contact Legislature Requesting Action on Raising the Tobacco Purchase Age
Legislation to increase the purchase age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 is pending in the Assembly Codes and Senate Finance Committees.  Physician action is needed on this measure to ensure that the bill is acted on before the end of the 2018 Legislative Session.  Assembly Bill 273/ Senate Bill 3978, sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and Senator Diane Savino, would allow New York State to increase the purchase age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age—there are currently 22 municipalities and counties that have increased the purchase age.  The Medical Society of the State of New York is working with other public health associations to enact this legislation into law.  Of the 50,000 + youth who become regular smokers, half of them will eventually die from smoking-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, emphysema, asthma and hypertension, among others.

Health care costs and lost productivity for the under aged smokers of today will cost the state over $11 billion.  Moreover, the earlier people begin to smoke, the higher their risk for developing lung cancer and other major health problems.  Preventing tobacco use among young people is a critical step in reducing growing health care costs and ensuring the health of future generations.  Physicians are encouraged to send a letter to their legislators urging action HERE.             (CLANCY)

Measure To Allow Use of Marijuana To Treat Pain Moves Forward in Legislature
Senate Bill 8987/ A. 11011-A, sponsored by Senator George Amedore and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, would allow physicians to certify patients for the use of marijuana for medical purposes if they have “pain that degrades health and functional capability where the use of medical marijuana is an alternative to opiod use.”  The measure is in the Rules Committee in both houses and appears poised for passage.  The bill goes further than current regulations which permits medical marijuana for “chronic pain.”

The Medical Society of the State of New York is opposed to this measure as there are no established guidelines for treatment of acute pain.  In addition, there is insufficient evidence to support the recommendation of marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain medications for chronic pain.  Furthermore, there is insufficient evidence to support marijuana as an alternative to other treatments for acute pain, including in patients with opioid use disorder.   MSSNY also believes that placing a patient on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder may be a more appropriate option for treating pain when an alternative opioid pain medication may not be appropriate for those patients that suffer from opioid use disorder.

Of greatest concern is the changing federal landscape and risk of prosecution.  The Medical Society notes that the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the Obama Administration guidelines that had for all practical purposes allowed states to authorize the use of marijuana under state law without fear of federal prosecution.  This action by AG Sessions may allow federal prosecutors to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws.   It remains unclear how this action will impact states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes.   An aggressive position taken by the AG could result in federal prosecution of any participants in medical marijuana programs such as patients, those who work at dispensaries, or physicians who certify patients to obtain medical marijuana.                        (CLANCY) 

Legislation to Create Maternal Mortality Review Board Under Serious Discussion in Session’s Final Days
Working together with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist – District 2, MSSNY continues to support legislation (A.10346-A, Joyner/S.8907, Hannon) which would establish a State maternal mortality review board (MMRB).  The MMRB would be comprised of a multidisciplinary team of medical experts tasked with reviewing data on maternal deaths, identifying the root causes of these events, and disseminating evidence-based best practices to prevent them in the future. The board’s primary focus will be on quality improvement rather than punishment, reviewing outcomes of care, conducting peer reviews, and collaborating on process improvements.

Importantly, the bill provides necessary confidentiality protections to the board’s proceedings to allow for open and honest dialogue and review.  However, some are continuing to advocate to minimize these broad confidentiality protections, which MSSNY and ACOG fears would seriously undermine the quality improvement goals of the MMRB.  The bill is also supported by the Healthcare Association of New York State and the Greater New York Hospital Association.   (AUSTER, CLANCY)

Bending the Diabetes Curve CME Course Available Online
The Medical Society of the State of New York is proud to announce that the Bending the Diabetes Curve webinar is now available to view online! MSSNY has partnered with the American Medical Association to bring its Prevent Diabetes STAT initiative to New York.  MSSNY has created a free CME program to educate New York State physicians on prediabetes prevention and the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention program.

Webinar: Bending the Diabetes Curve
Faculty: Geoffrey Moore, MD & Sarah Nosal, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe the trends in Type 2 diabetes and implications for clinical practice
  • Review evidence that supports referring patients with prediabetes to lifestyle change program
  • Outline the considerations for implementing a diabetes prevention initiative in a physician practice
  • Describe NYS specific incidents of prediabetes and diabetes in adult population
  • Understand the reimbursements mechanisms for DPP

To view this course, click here.

MSSNY is dedicated to educating the physician population on prediabetes and will be providing educational webinars and podcasts in the coming weeks. Physicians are encouraged to visit our Diabetes webpage to learn more about MSSNY’s collaboration with the AMA and the Prevent Diabetes STAT toolkit.

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 of these live activities 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 Carrie Harring at  (HARRING)

Medical Society of the State of New York Announces June Medical Matters CME Webinar Schedule (Registration Still Open)
The Medical Society of the State of New York encourages you to register for its free Medical Matters Continuing Medical Education (CME) webinar on June 20th at 12:30pm. Participation in this webinar will earn physicians one CME credit free of charge.

June 20th at 12:30pmMedical Matters: Children’s Mental Health After Disaster

Register for this webinar here.

Faculty: Linda Chokroverty, MD
Educational Objectives:

  • Enhance physician’s understanding of the impact of disaster on children’s and family mental health
  • Improve physician skills to address potential psychiatric problems in children and families following a disaster

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 of these live activities 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 Melissa Hoffman at                                                              (HOFFMAN)

Medical Society of the State of New York Announces Veterans Matters Programs are Available on CME Website
Did you know that in a recent report, the New York State Health Foundation discovered that nearly HALF of veterans prefer to receive their care OUTSIDE of the VA system, and less than 3% of physicians outside of the VA are fully prepared to help veterans?

The Medical Society has created a free CME program series entitled Veterans Matters to assist New York State physicians in recognizing the unique health problems faced by veterans and the best way to provide care to veterans.  These programs are all available at 

Veterans Matters: PTSD & TBI in Veterans

Faculty: Emerald Lin, MD
Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms of PTSD & TBI.
  • Examine evidence-based treatment modalities for PTSD & TBI.
  • Explore military culture and methods to overcome unique barriers to treatment intrinsic to military culture. 

Veterans Matters: Substance Use Disorders in Veterans

Faculty: Frank Dowling, MD
Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans.
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options.
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them. 

Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans

Faculty: Jack McIntyre, MD
Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans.
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention and treatment options.
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment and methods to overcome them.

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 of these live activities 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 Melissa Hoffman at                                                                (HOFFMAN)

Medical Society of the State of New York Encourages You to Check out CME Website
The Medical Society of the State of New York has recently added several new emergency preparedness and Medical Matters CME programs to our CME website: .  You can earn FREE CME credits on a myriad of topics related to Bioterrorism and Disaster/Terrorism response.  Emergency preparedness topics include our 4-part Physician’s Electronic Emergency Preparedness Toolkit, Anthrax, Smallpox as well as Ebola and numerous others.

Additionally, all of our Medical Matters programs from the past several years have been archived at  Topics range from Zika Virus, Influenza and Plague to Nuclear Radiation, Disaster Triage and Mental Health as well as a variety of other timely and relevant subjects.  For assistance, or more information, please contact Melissa Hoffman at or call (518) 465-8085. (HOFFMAN)

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


Rare Tick-Related Powassan Virus Reported in Columbia County
A rare case of Powassan virus has been confirmed in Columbia County, county health officials report. The person who was diagnosed with the virus — a rare, but serious disease that is transmitted to humans by ticks — is “recovering well,” according to Dr. Ananthakrishnan Ramani, chief of infectious diseases and microbiology at Columbia Memorial Health and medical director for the county health department.

It’s the first such case confirmed this year in New York, and it may be the last one, according to state health officials.

Bryon Backenson, deputy director of the state Health Department Bureau of Communicable Disease Control said, “We’ve only had 29 cases ever in the state since the early 2000s when it first really became known.” There were six confirmed cases in the state last year, including three in Saratoga County. A 74-year-old man from Gansevoort died after contracting the virus last year. Nationwide, about 100 cases have been reported — largely in the Northeast and Great Lakes region, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Unlike Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, a tick can transmit Powassan virus while being attached to a person for as little as 15 minutes, the state Health Department reports. The disease does not, however, spread from person to person. It can also cause life-threatening encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. Long-term neurological problems may occur.

There is no specific treatment, according to the CDC, but people with severe virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.(Times Union, June 13)

AMA Endorsed Gun Control Measures at Annual Meeting
The AMA officially endorsed a variety of gun control measures on Tuesday. Here are some examples, from the AP

  • A minimum age requirement of 21 to own or buy guns and ammo
  • Licensing and safety course requirements for gun owners
  • Registration requirements for all firearms
  • Closing loopholes that allow people with a legal history of domestic abuse to buy or own guns
  • Measures that allow courts, upon a relative’s request, to remove guns from homes in which a person is imminently violent or suicidal
  • Better training of doctors on screening suicide risk

Support for the policy platform was overwhelming — with a vote of 446 to 99. In the past, the AMA has backed other gun control approaches. As the AP reported, “it has supported past efforts to ban assault weapons; declared gun violence a public health crisis; backed background checks, waiting periodsand better funding for mental health services; and pressed for more research on gun violence prevention.”

Free Garfunkel Wild Webinar: “Right to Try” Act: What You Need to Know
When: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM 

On May 30, 2018, a new Federal “right to try” act became effective which gives patients with life-threatening conditions the right to use experimental medications without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. This new Federal law impacts Hospitals, Physicians, Drug Manufacturers and Patients. Join MSSNY Counsel, Garfunkel Wild, as they explore the consequences and questions of this new law. The speakers are healthcare experts Vice Chairman Andrew Blustein and Partner Lara Jean Ancona and Associate Stacey P. Klein.

Click Here To Register

Registration is limited. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Nurse Practitioner License Suspended For Bringing 3000 Patients’ Info to New Job
A nurse practitioner who three years ago took a list of patients when she left employment at the University of Rochester Medical Center and brought the names to her new employer has been suspended from practice for one year, according to the New York State Education Department Office of the Professions. Martha Smith-Lightfoot also received 12 months stayed suspension and two years probation to begin when she returns to practice. 

The incident violated patient privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and resulted in URMC being fined $15,000 by the office of then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. URMC did not face any federal sanctions. On or about April 15, 2015, Smith-Lightfoot gave spreadsheets with personally identifiable information of about 3,000 patients to another health provider without the patients’ permission, according to a consent order agreed to by Smith-Lightfoot and the state nursing board Office for Professional Discipline.

Smith-Lightfoot signed the consent order last November and the Board of Regents accepted it in February. URMC learned about the breach in April 2015 from patients who received letters from Smith-Lightfoot’s new employer, Greater Rochester Neurology. Democrat Chronicle 


PAI’s QPP Tip of the Month – Check Your Eligibility!
Your practice must earn at least 15 points collectively across all four Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) categories in 2018 to avoid a -5 percent payment adjustment to your Medicare Part B fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2020. CMS has introduced new bonus points opportunities for 2018 MIPS participation to help you get closer to meeting, and even exceeding, the 15-point threshold. Evaluate whether the following categories apply to you/your practice (more than one may be applicable):

  • Small Practice – additional five points automatically earned if you are a small practice (15 or fewer clinicians) for your overall MIPS score if you submit data on at least one performance category. This means that you only need to earn an additional 10 points across the four categories to avoid a negative adjustment.
  • Complex Patients – earn up to five bonus points if your practice provides care to more complex patients, which CMS will calculate using a combination of the HCC risk scores and number of dual eligibles served by a practice.
  • Quality – additional bonus points can be earned by reporting additional high-priority measures; reporting measures electronically; and through improvement scoring.
  • Promoting Interoperability – up to 25 bonus points can be earned for reporting to additional public health agencies or clinical data registries, reporting certain improvement activities using certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT), and using 2015 CEHRT exclusively.

To learn more about category-level bonus points and scoring across all MIPS categories, please find PAI’s comprehensive resources here.

QPP Look-Up Tool Now Includes 2018 MIPS Eligibility and Predictive Qualifying APM Participant Data
This week, CMS updated its Quality Payment Program Look-Up Tool to allow clinicians to view 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligibility and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Qualifying APM Participant (QP) data—in one place. As you’ll see, the tool previously called the MIPS Participation Status Tool has been renamed the Quality Payment Program Participation Status Tool to reflect the improvements we’ve made.

Just enter your National Provider Identifier (NPI) in the tool to find out:

  • Whether you need to participate in MIPS in 2018
  • Your Predictive QP status

Note: The Predictive QP status is based on calculations from claims with dates of service between 1/1/17 and 8/31/17. To learn more about how CMS determined Predictive QP status, please view the Predictive QP Methodology Fact Sheet.

Clinicians Can Also Check 2018 MIPS Clinician Eligibility at the Group Level and APM Predictive QP Status at the APM Entity level:

To check your group’s 2018 QPP eligibility:

  • Log into the CMS Quality Payment Program website with your EIDM credentials
  • Browse to the Taxpayer Identification Number affiliated with your group
  • Access the details screen to view the eligibility status of every clinician based on their NPI

We are also pleased to announce that you can now download the list of all NPIs associated with your TIN. The downloaded file also includes eligibility information for each NPI. This enhancement was made in direct response to stakeholder requests for this helpful function.



For Sale-Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
Started in 1998 and located in the NYC metro area, this multi-location business is a well-established, highly reputable, mental health clinic providing outpatient psychotherapy and counseling services.
Revenues 2017 $1.2 mil.
Profits: 2017 $326k
Asking Price: $970k
Terms are available. The clinic’s market consists of Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens Counties. The 25 clinician practice specializes in group, women’s and psycho-educational therapy as well as parenting groups, court mandated services, domestic violence victims groups, anger management and supervised visitation programs. There are 250+ weekly patients and the business accepts most insurances. Buyer must be a NYS licensed physician, NYS licensed mental health consultant, NYS licensed social worker, psychologist or PhD. The owner is retiring.Direct All Inquiries to:
Steve Epstein, V.P.
Gottesman Company
O: 201-750-9605
C: 201-704-8051

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Rare Find — Great Office Share
Wonderful office share in terrific location at great price. Choice of smaller windowed consultation room with adjoining exam room or big windowed consultation room with one or two exam rooms. Beautiful bright rooms, lovely reception area and front. First-rate building on 58th Street between Park and Lexington.  Rent by day (about $180) or by month ($5500). Front desk and office management available, along with many other amenities, including internet, ultrasound, EMG Kitchen, optional C Arm. Willing to make changes for a new tenant. Call 646-642-0700.

For Rent – Medical Office 715 W 170 Street New York
Ground floor just completed built out 4 exam rooms with sinks and wall cabinets
Waiting and reception areas, windows throughout.
Street and private entrances, two bathrooms and storage/lab/staff room.
One block to bus and two blocks to Presbyterian Medical Center and subway.
$1900-$7900/ month for one to 4 exam rooms. or 917.8618273


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Chief of Medical Services
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Possession of a license and current registration to practice medicine in New York State, plus six years of experience in the practice of medicine, two years of which must be in an administrative or supervisory capacity. Appointee must be eligible for and maintain eligibility for full and unconditional participation in Medicaid and Medicare programs. Appropriate certification by an American Medical Specialty Board and one year of post certification experience in that specialty can be substituted for four years of general experience.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Board certification in Geriatric Medicine and/or Certification as a Medical Director (AMDA), and experience in a long-term care facility.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Serve as Medical Director of a 242-bed skilled nursing facility for veterans and their dependents. Provide medical leadership and oversight ensuring the delivery of quality health care services while also ensuring compliance with clinical, statutory and regulatory standards.Send resume to:  NYS Veterans Home, Attn: Human Resources, 4207 State Highway 220, Oxford, NY 13830

The New York State Veterans Home at Oxford is a 242-bed skilled nursing facility operated by the NYS Department of Health located in Chenango County. It is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.