MSSNY eNews: October 16, 2020 – What You Need to Know: OPMC Signage Requirement and COVID/Flu Testing Mandates



What You Need to Know: OPMC Signage Requirement and COVID/Flu Testing Mandates

Your MSSNY has been aggressively lobbying against what seems like an unending stream of new onerous regulations, unfunded mandates and misguided legislation. We have been meeting regularly with the DOH and the Governor’s office, raising objections and informing them of the many obstructions to compliance and the unintended negative consequences. Here’s what you need to know:

New OPMC Signage Requirement:
Last week, despite strong opposition from a united house of medicine, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation that requires every physician’s “practice setting” to post a conspicuous sign informing patients of the OPMC’s website for reporting suspected misconduct. These signs must be visible in areas accessed by patients and those who accompany patients to visits, such as “waiting rooms, check-in/out areas and treatment areas.”

The law did not mandate verbiage for the sign. However, our MSSNY general counsel has reviewed the law and offered a template as an option to meet the provisions. Please feel free to use the below language and/or customize it as you see fit.

“We are committed to ensuring that our patients receive appropriate medical care. You can get information regarding your rights and how to report professional misconduct at:”

Please be aware that failure to place this sign in your practice setting will NOT subject you to financial penalties. However, failure to post this sign could subject you to discipline by the OPMC if it is shown that there was a “willful or grossly negligent” failure to comply.

Click here to read the statement MSSNY released objecting to this new requirement.

Executive Order 202.61: COVID and Flu Testing Mandates:
On September 21 Commissioner Zucker sent a notice to all healthcare providers informing us that positive and negative COVID-19 and flu tests results must be reported to DOH within 3 hours of the receipt of results, along with contact information, employment and/or school information for each patient with penalties for non-compliance of up to $2000/day (penalties set forth in statute for violations of New York’s Public Health Laws).

Your MSSNY team has had multiple meetings and communications with DOH and the Governor’s office to express that we share the goal of getting information to the State DOH quickly to begin contact tracing and other containment efforts, but urged greater flexibility for reporting these results, particularly for reporting the negative tests. We explained that complying with these mandates is a daunting, if not impossible, task for many practices and may discourage practices from ordering tests and offering testing at a time when COVID-19 rates are rising in our state and more testing, not less is needed.

MSSNY has initiated a physician survey regarding the challenges of complying with these requirements. Thank you for the many of you who have completed the results, and thank you to the urgent care, family medicine, pediatric, and internal medicine societies for partnering with us to promote the survey.

If you have not already taken the MSSNY survey, please take just a few minutes to complete it here. We will be using the results of this survey to inform ongoing discussions with the DOH and the Governor’s office on practical modifications to this executive order.

In addition, we have created a link where you can send a letter to the Governor and the Commissioner of Health conveying your concerns.

Thank you to all of you for the many letters/emails/tweets and posts you have sent to our government officials, for responding to our surveys, and for participating in our policy discussions and meetings. Together we can make a difference and effect positive change.

Bonnie Litvack, MD
MSSNY President

This Week’s MSSNY Update Podcast:

Latest Public Health and Research Information on COVID-19
COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

  • Get the latest public health information from CDC.
  • Get the latest research information from NIH.

Do You Provide COVID-19 or Flu Testing? Please Take Our Survey
To assist the State in its contact tracing efforts, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently sent a notice to all laboratories and all health care practitioners (including physicians) who provide in-office testing for COVID-19 and influenza to report test results, both positive and negative, within 3 hours of receiving these results. The notice further notes that practitioners or labs who do not comply with this requirement could face serious financial penalties.

Upon raising concerns to the DOH that some physicians will be unable to complete this requirement, the DOH has asked MSSNY to provide additional data regarding physicians’ ability to comply. If you haven’t already done so, please take just a few minutes to respond to this MSSNY survey.

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New Nationwide Poll by Kaiser Family Foundation and ESPN’s The Undefeated Reveals Distrust of the Health Care System Among Black Americans
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and ESPN’s The Undefeated conducted a joint nationwide survey that explores the views and experiences of African Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the disproportionate impact of the virus on Black communities, 49 percent of African Americans say they will shun taking a vaccine even if scientists deem it safe and it is available for free to anyone who wants it.

From August 20 through September 14, the study polled 1,769 adults, including 777 African Americans. While half of African Americans said they would probably or definitely decline a coronavirus vaccine, two-thirds of white people said they would definitely or probably get vaccinated, as did 60 percent of Hispanic adults, by comparison.

In addition to exploring the effects of the coronavirus, The KFF/The Undefeated poll is one of the most expansive studies in recent years on Black people’s attitudes and experiences with health care, and the findings reveal how the experiences of Black and white communities differ. A complete analytical report based on the full survey is available here.

Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update CME Webinar
Flu season is upon us! Register now to learn more about dealing with flu season during a pandemic.  Influenza 2020-2021: Vaccine Update will be presented on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here

Educational objectives are:

  • Describe key indicators to look for when diagnosing patients presenting with flu-like symptoms
  • Analyze clinical and laboratory diagnostic features and treatment specific to each flu season
  • Identify recommended immunizations and antiviral medications for treatment and how best to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Evaluate seasonal influenza vaccine development and recommendations concurrent with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at

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.

Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York and Nassau County Medical Society are hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: TBI in Returning Veterans on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am.
Click here to view the flyer and register for the program.

When: November 3, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty: David Podwall, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify signs and symptoms indicative of the spectrum from concussion/mild TBI to severe TBI
  • Examine evidence-based treatment modalities and when to refer to a specialist
  • Identify red flags that indicate alternate or more severe pathology
  • Outline an appropriate management plan for a patient presenting with concussion/TBI including a return to “normal life” protocol

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at 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.

Coronavirus May Survive for 28 Days on Glass, Banknotes, Study Suggests
A new study, “The Effect of Temperature on Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on Common Surfaces,” published in Virology Journal, finds that COVID-19 may remain infectious for weeks on banknotes, glass and other common surfaces.

The research by Australia’s top biosecurity laboratory highlights risks from paper currency, touchscreen devices and grab handles and rails. Researchers showed SARS-CoV-2 is “extremely robust,” surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces like glass on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes at room temperature, or 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), which compares with 17 days survival for the flu virus.



Survey: Average Annual Cost of Family Health Plan Increased to $21,342 In 2020
Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 4% to average $21,342 this year, according to the 2020 benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey. On average, workers this year are contributing $5,588 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers paying the rest. The peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs has published an article with key findings from the 2020 survey.

The survey was conducted from January to July as the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis unfolded and may not capture its full impact on costs and coverage. The annual change in premiums is similar to the year-to-year rise in workers’ earnings (3.4%) and inflation (2.1%), though over time what employers and workers pay toward premiums continues to rise more quickly than wages and inflation. Since 2010, average family premiums have increased 55%, at least twice as fast as wages (27%) and inflation (19%).

This year 83% of covered workers have a deductible in their plan, similar to last year and up from 70% a decade ago. The average single deductible stands at $1,644 for workers who have one, similar to last year’s $1,655 average but up sharply from the $917 average of a decade ago. These two trends result in a 111% increase in the burden of deductibles across all covered workers.

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White House Says Administration Will Proceed With Implementation Of Hospital Price Transparency Rule
Modern Healthcare (10/9, Cohrs, Subscription Publication) reports the administration intends to proceed with the “implementation of its hospital price transparency rule on Jan. 1,” a White House official said. Hospitals want the “administration to delay the January 2021 implementation of hospital price transparency requirements, but the White House does not appear to be backing down.” According to a White House official, “the administration already delayed implementation when HHS published the final rule and pushed the deadline to Jan. 1.”



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 Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 /

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at

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Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email

OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722 Email: Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th St. Suite 4 New York NY 10021 REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN