MSSNY Enews: June 30, 2021 – Hospitals and Corporations Own Nearly Half of U.S. Physician Practices

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Hospitals and Corporations Own Nearly Half of U.S. Physician Practices
COVID-19 Accelerated Ownership Trend, New Analysis Finds

Nearly 70% of U.S. physicians are now employed by hospital systems and corporate entities like private equity firms and health insurers according to new data by Avalere for the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) examining the period between January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2021.

The research found that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a long-term national trend of hospitals and corporate entities acquiring physician practices and employing physicians. During the two-year period, these entities acquired 20,900 additional physician practices. Forty-eight thousand additional physicians left independent practice for employment by hospital systems or other corporate entities.

“COVID-19 exacerbated financial vulnerabilities of physician practices and forced them to make difficult decisions,” said Kelly Kenney, chief executive officer of PAI. “The practice acquisition trend has potentially serious implications for competition and health care costs, which have been shown to increase with this type of marketplace consolidation.”

Every U.S. region experienced these national trends of steady growth in employment and acquisitions, with an uptick in the last half of 2020. The cumulative findings by Avalere researchers during the two-year period revealed:

• Hospitals, health systems, and corporate entities now own nearly half of the nation’s medical practices.

• The sharpest increase in physician practice acquisitions and employment was among corporate entities such as private equity firms and health insurers (32%).

• Across regions, hospital ownership of practices grew between 6 percent and 11 percent and corporate ownership grew between 44 percent and 59 percent.

PAI believes that physicians should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing their patients’ medical care. “Regardless of the practice setting, physicians must retain autonomy to make clinical decisions, free from interference by corporate entities motivated primarily by profits,” said Kenney.

PAI will continue to work with Congress and state policymakers to champion policies that enable physician-led organizations and independent physician practices to compete with larger corporate entities to deliver health care services to patients.

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As State Ends Emergency Declaration, What Does that Mean for Telehealth Coverage?
When Governor Cuomo announced last week an end to the state’s “emergency” declaration and an end to the many Executive Orders waiving portions of New York laws and regulations, it prompted several questions from physicians and their staff as to what coverage will continue to exist for telehealth services for their patients.

The following is a brief update on the range of issues regarding access to telehealth services that MSSNY will continue to address over the summer and fall, as well as during the 2022 legislative session.

Coverage Parity Continues Existing state law requires New York regulated health insurance companies to provide coverage for Telehealth services for care that is covered on an in-person basis. NY state law also requires Telehealth coverage by Medicaid. These policies do not address payment levels for physicians and are not affected by suspension of the public health emergency, so “coverage parity” for Telehealth services will continue. These policies do not apply to ERISA regulated plans.

Waiving of Cost-Sharing Ends DFS recently ended its emergency regulation that required insurers to waive cost-sharing requirements on patients for services delivered via Telehealth. MSSNY raised concerns with regulators, but it may be harder to justify given the very significant drop in COVID cases over the last two months.

Audio-Only Coverage The latest emergency regulation from DFS continues coverage for Telehealth services delivered via audio-only until July 5, but it is unclear if DFS will renew, making clarifying legislation potentially necessary. Please note that last year a statute was enacted that requires Medicaid to cover audio-only Telehealth. The New York State Department of Health recently issued a guidance document for how Medicaid will continue to cover telehealth services, including through audio-only COVID-19-Telephonic-and-Telehealth-06-25-21.pdf (hca-nys.org).

Telehealth thru FaceTime? At this time, it is unclear whether DFS guidance from last March (Coronavirus (COVID-19) information: Information for Insurers and Providers on Coverage for Telehealth Services | Department of Financial Services (ny.gov) regarding the approved use of simplified modalities for delivering Telehealth services will be continued. MSSNY is seeking clarification.

However, the DOH notice referenced above does suggest that approved use of simplified technologies will continue as they note that: “during the COVID-19 federally declared public health emergency, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications. OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the emergency”.

Continued Push for Payment Parity Some health insurers made the decision to increase telehealth payments to match in-person payments. However, many insurers did not follow the same path. MSSNY will continue to work with other patient and physician groups in support of legislation such as A.6256/S.5055 that would require health insurers to ensure payment for Telehealth services are equal to similar services provided in-person.

We understand that the pandemic significantly transformed the use of telehealth services, creating new options for patients to receive care and their physicians to deliver care. To that end, MSSNY will continue to advocate for measures that remove barriers to patients receiving Telehealth services from their physicians, including ensuring fair payments for these services.


Do You Have Long-Haul COVID Patients in Your Practice? USA Today Reporter Looking for NY Patients to Interview for National Story
A reporter with USA Today is looking to set up interviews with long-haul COVID patients in New York. The story will focus on patients who have had financial struggles, including but not limited to challenges returning to work, filing disability claims, or health insurance coverage struggles. The national story will appear in USA Today and outlets across the country.

If you have patient(s) willing to share their stories, please send contact information to Roseann Raia at MSSNY.


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Physicians Still Top Choice for Patients According to National Tracking Poll
Conducted between April 29-May 2, 2021, the Morning Consult’s National Tracking Poll sampled 2,200 adults on healthcare usage and trust. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. In general, the study found that adults were more likely to say they would select a physician’s office over a retail health clinic or an urgent care center for a variety of healthcare services, though there were significant differences by the age of the respondent.

  • 59% of adults said they trust their primary care doctor a lot, while 24% said they trust the healthcare industry, and only 15% said they place a lot of trust in retail health clinics.
  • 70% of adults would select a physician’s office for wellness checkups, and 67% for blood work, while 62% would select a physician’s office for diagnosing and treating common illnesses and 56% for vaccinations.
  • 84% of adults said cost of services is somewhat or very important when it comes to retail health clinics.
  • There was a significant difference by age of almost 30% between adults under 35 and those 65 or older when it came to their preference for getting a wellness visit, treating a common illness, and getting blood work done at a physician’s office. Almost half of adults under 35 said they would go to a physician’s office for this care, while more than 4 in 5 adults 65 or older would go to a physician’s office.

–Morning Consult National Tracking Poll | April – May 2021 Click here to view the full report.


American Conference on Physician Health Sponsored by AMA, Mayo Clinic, and Stanford University
The 2021 American Conference on Physician Health (ACPH) joint scientific conference promotes scientific research and discourse on health system infrastructure, and the actionable steps organizations like yours can take to improve physician well-being.

Sponsored jointly by the Mayo Clinic, Stanford University and the American Medical Association, this year’s conference theme is, “Achieving the quadruple aim: Resilient systems in times of crisis.” Participate in topical and relevant sessions with presenters and attendees from around the globe, while gaining valuable knowledge and information about best practices and tools to improve professional satisfaction in your medical practice.

Conference registration and hotel reservations 

  • Registration rates: Available through Thursday, Sept. 23.
  • To register for the conference and view agenda, visit the ACPH 2021 homepage.
  • Hotel room rates: Special pricing for ACPH attendees available until Sept. 13 ($299 USD/night).
  • Check out the ACPH conference website for all your planning needs—including the agenda, speaker bios, travel information, registration inclusions and more!

2021 American Conference on Physician Health
Thursday, Oct. 7 through Saturday, Oct. 9
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
Scottsdale, Ariz.


Deadline Approaching to Comment on the ABMS Draft Standards for Continuing Certification
The deadline to comment on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments” is approaching. Opened on Tuesday, April 20, the 80-day period to obtain input and feedback from all stakeholders who possess, use, or rely upon board certification will close on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Feedback received during the open Call for Comments will guide and inform the development of the final Draft Standards for Continuing Certification (“Draft Standards”), which will be considered by the ABMS Board of Directors in October 2021.

The new Draft Standards reflect foundational changes to the manner in which ABMS and its Member Boards deliver on their mission, bringing value to both the profession and the public at large. They were developed after a year of deliberation with key stakeholders in response to the recommendations of the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission as well as of the wider stakeholder community.

Structured to support and provide diplomates with the tools they need to stay current in medical knowledge; the Draft Standards prepare them to address emerging medical and public health issues; and help them identify and address opportunities for practice improvement within the systems in which they work, in a way that enhances relevance and reduces burden. The Draft Standards also address the needs of patients, families, and communities by assuring that board certified diplomates maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver the quality specialty care upon which they rely.

To review and comment on the Draft Standards, visit the Draft Standards for Continuing Certification section on the ABMS Website by 11:59 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Please feel free to share the “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments” with your colleagues and others who may have an interest in them and encourage them to share their feedback to ensure that all stakeholder perspectives are considered in the finalization of the standards that will guide the specialty care practice of the future. 


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Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For then MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Medical Claims LogoSmall Group and Independent Practitioners – Advancing Private Practices
The Best billing company GUARANTEED! Increase your annual revenue by 20-30%. Proven results and backed by 25 years of experience. Chooses MA MEDICLAIMS you will Save time on those RVUs/the 8-minute rule and have more time for your patient’s health. Get your free Practice analysis at www.ma-mediclaimsllc.com.Contact leslie.swartz@ma1mediclaimsllc.com or call 877-927-1996.

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


Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email leslie.swartz@ma1mediclaimsllc.com


 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 25, 2021 – MSSNY’s Strong Voice at the AMA Special Meeting

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MSSNY’s Strong Voice at the AMA Special Meeting

Colleagues:

Last week, MSSNY’s American Medical Association (AMA) delegates—under the formidable leadership of our Delegation Chair, Dr. Charles Rothberg—participated in the AMA’s five-day House of Delegates Special Meeting. As one of the four largest state delegations to the AMA, MSSNY plays an important role in the proceedings of the House. In fact, although the HOD was greatly limited due to time constraints—MSSNY still had two resolutions considered at the special meeting.

The first MSSNY resolution, Discrimination Against Physicians in Treatment with Medication for Opioid Use Disorders (MOUD)—which was adopted—affirms “that no physician or medical student should be presumed impaired” solely because of a decision, in collaboration with their treating physician, to receive medication for opioid use disorder.” The author of the resolution, MSSNY delegate Dr. Frank Dowling, explained during the virtual reference committee meeting on Sunday that half of the rehabilitation facilities in the country do not allow medication for opioid use disorder or else “frown against” it. Likewise, physician assistance programs too often refer participants to programs where such medications aren’t available, he said.

The second MSSNY resolution, Addressing Inflammatory and Untruthful Online Ratings, was referred for study.  The AMA will take action to urge online review organizations to create internal mechanisms ensuring due process to physicians before the publication of negative reviews.

In addition to MSSNY’s two resolutions, we had good news on the election front. MSSNY’s Dr. Pratistha Koirala was elected to the AMA Board of Trustees (BOT). Dr. Koirala joins two other MSSNY members, Dr. Thomas Madejski and Dr. Willie Underwood, on the BOT. In addition, Dr. Robert Goldberg was re-elected to the AMA Council on Medical Education.

Other important adopted resolutions include seeking greater efforts to diversify the physician workforce; help Resident physicians with financial burdens; protecting public assistance that helps sustain health; and stemming the rising tide of youth suicide. For a summary of all the important work that was accomplished at the meeting, read the AMA’s Highlights from the June 2021 AMA Special Meeting.

I am proud to serve as Vice-Chair of MSSNY’s AMA delegation and proud of the hard work and dedication of our delegates. When the House of Medicine works together, we achieve great things for our patients and our beloved profession.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


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End of NYS Emergency Declaration Also Means Reinstatement of Physician Supervision and Collaboration Requirements
Governor Cuomo’s announcement this week that he has ended the state of emergency also brings to an end numerous Executive Orders suspending various laws and regulations, including those laws that otherwise require physician supervision and or collaboration requirements for various non-physician health care practitioners. To that end, the New York State Education Department issued the following announcement about the end of these Executive Orders as applicable to various Title 8 professionals:

Please be advised that the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency declared by the Governor, pursuant to Executive Order 202 issued on March 7, 2020, and each successor Executive Order to Executive Order 202 have expired as of June 25, 2021. While the several exceptions and authorizations relevant to the Title VIII statutes and regulations contained within these Executive Orders have now expired, the Department understands the concern regarding the short notice of the expiration of the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency and will take that into consideration in the event of any potential inquiries involving activity that had previously been authorized by Executive Order 202 and its successor Executive Orders at this time. However, Title VIII professionals should exercise due diligence and good faith efforts to return to compliance with all Title VIII statutory and regulatory requirements without delay. The Department is working closely with other New York State agencies and the Governor’s Office to clarify issues relating to the expiration of the Disaster Emergency and the reinstatement of laws and regulations that have been previously modified or suspended during the COVID 19 Disaster Emergency. Please continue to monitor the Department’s website for updated guidance


Physician Participation Needed in Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Focus Groups
The NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement is seeking input from users of the Prescription Monitoring Program and has reached out to MSSNY to seek physicians willing to participate in focus groups, which will be held in July. Please see message below and provide Pat Clancy, MSSNY Sr. Vice President of Public Health and Education (pclancy@mssny.org) with your name, email, and dates and time that you are available. MSSNY will provide that information to BNE by June 30, 2021.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) is working on a project to improve the utility of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry and is seeking input from PMP users. The proposed enhancements to the Registry consist of an updated format for the patient search landing page (Confidential Drug Utilization Report) and a dashboard that will display a summary of key visual indicators to highlight patient risk factors. The proposed indicators include the number of pharmacies and practitioners visited by the patient in the last 30 days, the presence of overlapping benzodiazepine and opioid prescriptions, and the presence of prescribed stimulants.

To develop enhancements that best serve PMP users, BNE is eager to incorporate stakeholder input into the project planning and development process through two types of engagement opportunities: virtual focus group and web-based survey. BNE has benefited from collaborations with New York State-based associations to aid in identifying participants for focus groups, surveys, and other stakeholder engagement efforts. BNE once again is looking to the associations to assist in this recruitment process.

Virtual Focus Group Participation
Focus groups will be comprised of five (5) participants for each session and will be held in July 2021. BNE is seeking assistance from interested professional associations including the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), to identify 35-40 association members each who would be interested in participating in one of the focus groups. We are requesting that a contact list of interested association members be emailed to BNE at the earliest convenience, however, no later than June 29th,2021. BNE would manage the focus group registration process if MSSNY can provide a contact list of its interested members.
The expected participant commitment includes:

• Participation in a one-hour virtual focus group session conducted on a weeknight during evening hours from July 6 -16 and July 26-27, 2021.
• The focus group will be conducted as a recorded webinar, with the expectation that the participant will sign in 5-10 minutes before start of the program.
• Participants will be asked to engage in open and guided discussion.
• Participants will be provided a description of the focus group findings after BNE completion of analysis.
• Participation in a short evaluation survey to provide feedback on resulting enhancements, six (6) months after their implementation.

Web-Based Survey
In addition to the focus group, BNE is also designing a web-based survey to gather input on a morphine milligram equivalents (MME) calculator that has already been developed and can be accessed via the navigation bar within the PMP Registry. The survey offers an opportunity for feedback from PMP users in a format that will only take 10 minutes. MSSNY’s assistance would benefit the effort by disseminating the survey link broadly to its members. The survey will be available in early July and BNE will provide the link and email language to describe the effort. BNE will also manage all logistics related to survey responses. Participants will be provided a final description of survey findings after BNE completion of analysis.


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MSSNY Comments on Expiration of Telehealth Waivers in Crain’s
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state’s disaster emergency designation will expire today—and with it, waivers expanding access to telehealth services could go away too. However, some industry advocates say they can see a way to ensure their continued access.

Since the declaration in March 2020, Cuomo has signed executive orders lifting restrictions on telehealth services, including those related to cost-sharing, the kind of services that can be conducted and who can provide them and where.

Although the cost-sharing waiver ended June 4, insurance coverage for audio-only telehealth services had been extended through July 6. Beyond that, it’s not clear whether such services will continue to be covered, said Moe Auster, vice president of legislative affairs for the Medical Society of the State of New York.

Other restrictions lifted via executive order, such as provider types and location requirements, had been included in the 2022 budget, which passed in April.

Many patients need the broad coverage, advocates say.

“Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was clear that many parts of the state lacked adequate access to basic health care services,” said Sen. Gustavo Rivera, chair of his chamber’s health committee. He represents a district that includes the Bronx. Telehealth had been an effective and safe tool to ensure that many New Yorkers, especially seniors, immunocompromised individuals, and residents with chronic conditions, could access basic health care services, he said.

Although the Legislature’s regular session ended June 10, the state Department of Financial Services has the power to require health insurers to continue covering audio-only telehealth services, Auster said. However, advocates will continue to work with state lawmakers during next year’s session, he added.

“We want to make sure the laws are updated to ensure this continues and grows,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, chair of his chamber’s health committee. His district includes parts of Manhattan.

“We plan to continue conversations which amplify access to care for our most vulnerable populations,” Rivera said. “We’ve seen the potential of telehealth and must adapt our systems to expand virtual care across the state.”

Should insurance coverage of audio-only access go away, it could deter providers from using that platform, Auster said.

“Physicians have invested in trying to deliver telehealth well,” he said, “but if there’s no adequate payment, we will likely see the stop in investment.”

To protect access to telehealth services, Gottfried and Rivera also introduced payment parity bills in their respective chambers, although they did not pass in this year’s session. The bills sought to ensure that health providers are paid the same rate by insurers for services provided over telehealth as in-person visits.

“If reimbursement parity for Medicaid is not maintained, providers will be impacted,” Gottfried said. “And on the commercial side, there continues to be concern that providers will discontinue offering services via telehealth if they are not adequately reimbursed.” —Shuan Sim, Crain’s Health Pulse, 6/24/21


Please Urge Governor to Sign into Law Two Bills to Assist Patients to Receive Needed Medications
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Cuomo to urge that he sign into law two bills that are critical to helping patients to be able to receive the medications they need as well as to ensure greater oversight over pharmacy benefit formulary development practices.   A letter or tweet can be sent from here: Urge Gov. Cuomo to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (p2a.co)

The first bill (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was significantly revised from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but vetoed, to address concerns raised in your veto message.  The bill would require that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. The bill would also provide for the disclosure of all possible revenue streams and terms and conditions that they place on their networks of pharmacies.MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one manner to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.

The second bill (A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111) Breslin, would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both chambers two years ago, but was vetoed. To address concerns raised in your veto message in 2019, the legislation would prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change for those patients who were on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffer from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen, for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.


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MSSNY & Patient Advocates Continue Discussions with Department of Financial Services (DFS) About Step Therapy Reforms
MSSNY joined patient advocates for a follow up call with staff at DFS this week to continue discussions about whether New York health plans are complying with the step therapy reform law that passed the legislature in 2016 and the possibility for further legislative reforms. Among the key items for discussion is ensuring greater transparency regarding the number of step therapy override determinations that have been made by various insurers, including having these figures be specifically enumerated within public documents from DFS that detail the numbers of internal and external appeals.

Step Therapy, also known as “fail first”, is a policy used by insurers to “control costs”, that requires patients to try and fail on one or more drugs prescribed by their physicians, before an insurer will provide coverage for the originally prescribed treatment. Step therapy protocols can also lead to serious health consequences and increased costs for patients. MSSNY was a key player in the coalition that worked to pass the law in 2016 that sets forth specific criteria that enable a physician to override a health plan step therapy protocol.

The group is planning on future discussions with DFS staff and MSSNY will provide updates as they happen.


Department of Financial Services (DFS) Decision to Eliminate Cost-Sharing Waiver for Patients’ Telehealth Care Likely Permanent
With the announcement this week that the Governor was ending the declared state of emergency, it made it significantly more likely that the DFS’ recent decision to end an emergency regulation requiring insurers to waive out-of-pocket expenses for patients receiving care via Telehealth would not be reversed.

Early on in the pandemic, with the support of MSSNY and many other patient advocacy organizations, DFS and the state Department of Health (DOH), adopted critically important policies to better enable patients to obtain health care services via telemedicine, including waiving cost-sharing requirements for services delivered via telemedicine, expressly permitting coverage for health care services via audio-only, and allowing delivery of telemedicine services through basic smartphone video technologies. Medicare also followed this path, waiving the federal statute that limits Medicare coverage for Telehealth to rural areas and significantly increased the payments for video and audio-only Telehealth services. The current emergency regulation expressly stating that health insurers must cover “audio-only” telehealth services has been extended until July 6, and MSSNY will be urging that it be continued after that date.

Even as a significant portion of the population is immunized against COVID19, public health experts anticipate that Covid-19 will remain a public health threat for the foreseeable future, making continued expanded patient access to Telehealth services important. MSSNY will continue to advocate for measures that remove barriers to patients receiving Telehealth services from their physicians, including fair payments for these services. We will also continue to work with Assemblywoman Woerner (D- Saratoga, and Senator Rivera (D-Bronx), and a range of patient and provider organizations partners, in support of their bill (A.6256/S.5505) to require insurer payments for services provided using Telehealth are on par with in-office visits.

Read the new policy here.


Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Cuomo to urge him to VETO Regressive Liability Bills. There are multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills passed at the end of the Legislative Session that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims.

While these bills do not have the same gargantuan premium impact as other legislation sought by the trial bar that would expand lawsuits and awards against physicians, they would continue to make New York’s already dysfunctional medical liability adjudication system even more unbalanced and add to New York’s notorious outlier status with regard to medical liability payouts.  These bills include:

  • A2199/S473 – Expanding the time period for the imposition of New York’s excessive 9% judgment interest in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not initially granted, but then overturned on appeal.
  • A8040/S7093 – Changing a long-standing rule that heretofore excluded a “hearsay”.
  • A8041/S7052 – Imposing excessive insurance disclosure requirements on defendants during litigation.


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Guidance for New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program
All individuals 12 years of age and older that reside in the United States are eligible to be vaccinated. Performance, throughput, effort, and effective administration of vaccines by providers continue to be key factors in making future vaccine allocations, along with equity, access, and regional positivity rates.

All vaccine providers in New York State, including those located in the City of New York and those participating in federal programs, must follow New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) guidance and directives, including the requirement to accurately and completely report doses administered to the appropriate immunization information system (NYSIIS or CIR) within 24 hours of vaccine administration per Executive Order 202.82 as extended by 202.89, and must maintain up-to-date inventory in such system.

Accurate and timely reporting to NYSIIS/CIR is critical, as this information can be used to allow individuals to display proof of vaccination, such as the Excelsior Pass.

Read Guidance for NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Program in its entirety.


NYSIIS/CIR Reporting Requirements for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program
NYSIIS or CIR access is required to submit requests for vaccine, manage COVID vaccine inventory, and report doses administered. As a condition of receiving federally funded vaccine, all providers must report:

Within 24 hours of administering a dose of COVID-19 Vaccine and adjuvant (if applicable), Organization must record in the vaccine recipient’s record and report required information to the relevant state, local, or territorial public health authority. 

Organization must submit Vaccine-Administration Data through either (1) the immunization information system (IIS) of the state and local or territorial jurisdiction or (2) another system designated by CDC according to CDC documentation and data requirements.

For providers administering vaccine in New York State, submitting data to NYSIIS and CIR satisfies the federal reporting mandate. Providers should continue to submit this data to the NYSIIS and CIR within 24 hours of vaccination. Please continue to ensure you are entering all patient demographic and vaccine information completely and without errors.


Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For then MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Medical Claims LogoSmall Group and Independent Practitioners – Advancing Private Practices
The Best billing company GUARANTEED! Increase your annual revenue by 20-30%. Proven results and backed by 25 years of experience. Chooses MA MEDICLAIMS you will Save time on those RVUs/the 8-minute rule and have more time for your patient’s health. Get your free Practice analysis at www.ma-mediclaimsllc.com or call 877-927-1996.


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


Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 23, 2021 – CMS Recouping Medicare Advance Payments from Last Year


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CMS Recouping Medicare Advance Payments from Last Year
Physicians should be aware that CMS has begun recouping “advanced and accelerated” Medicare payments it provided to physicians, hospitals, and other providers last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For more information on how this will occur, please review this document.

Through May 8, 2020, the Medicare program distributed $92 billion of these advanced and accelerated payments to Part A providers and $8 billion to Part B providers, including $6.5 billion to New York Part A providers and $458 million to New York Part B providers.
Click here for a State by State and Provider Type breakdown for Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments.

During the recoupment period, CMS is holding back a portion of new Medicare payments – 25% during the first 11 months after the beginning of recoupment and 50% during months 12-17 after the beginning of recoupment — until the payments advanced last year are fully repaid.  Providers are required to have paid back the advanced payments in full 20 months after they received the first payment. If they fail to do so, CMS will charge interest of 4% percent on the remaining balance.

These Medicare repayments were re-scheduled to begin in August 2020, but following advocacy by the AMA and state medical societies across the country, CMS and Congress extended original repayment timelines and significantly reduced required interest payments in light of the ongoing struggles stemming from the pandemic.


MSSNY President-Elect Dr. Parag Mehta Represents MSSNY at Governor Cuomo’s Press Conference to Unveil Renderings for Essential Workers Monument and Announce Child Care Scholarships for Essential Workers
MSSNY President-Elect Dr. Parag Mehta represented MSSNY today as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled renderings for the Essential Workers Monument. The Commission of labor leaders representing all essential workers have chosen a location in Battery Park City to install the monument. The Circle of Heroes design will represent the essential workers who served their communities throughout the pandemic, sacrificing so much in order to keep their fellow New Yorkers safe and supported. Construction of the Essential Workers Monument is due to be completed by Labor Day, September 6. Additionally, in tribute to our essential workers, Essential Worker Park will be established in Battery Park City.

In April, Governor Cuomo announced the formation of the Essential Workers Monument Advisory Committee, which includes MSSNY Immediate Past President Bonnie Litvack, MD:

  • Mario Cilento, President, New York State AFL-CIO
  • Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council and President of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
  • Vincent Alvarez, President, New York City Central Labor Council
  • Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
  • Oren Barzilay, President, Uniformed EMT’s, Paramedics & Fire Inspectors – FDNY
  • Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ SEIU
  • Sam Fresina, President, NYS Professional Firefighters Association
  • Henry Garrido, Executive Director, DC 37
  • Thomas Gesualdi, President, Teamster’s Joint Council 16
  • George Gresham, President, 1199 SEIU
  • Pat Kane, RN, Executive Director, New York State Nurses Association
  • Bonnie Litvack, MD, President, Medical Society of the State of New York
  • Rich Maroko, President, Hotel Trades Council
  • Harry Nespoli, President, Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association
  • Andrew Pallotta, President, New York State United Teachers
  • Michael Powers, President, New York State Correctional Officers Police Benevolent Association
  • Major General Raymond F. Shields, Jr., Adjutant General of New York
  • James Shillito, Utility Workers of America Local 1-2
  • Wayne Spence, President, New York State Public Employees Federation
  • Mary Sullivan, President, CSEA Local 1000
  • Dennis Trainor, Vice President CWA District 1
  • Tony Utano, President, TWU Local 100
  • Richard Wells, President, Police Conference of New York State

In addition, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State will provide $25 million in childcare scholarships to all essential workers starting June 23, 2021. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others. This is the first in a series of new investments to support working families and the childcare industry through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan Act.

Child care costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level (or $79,500 for a family of four) and will be paid up to market rate for each region statewide for children aged six weeks through 12 years. Families currently receiving child care scholarships under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act are strongly encouraged to also apply for this new funding opportunity. It is important to note that the CARES childcare scholarships will end on June 28; those currently receiving CARES scholarships will need to reapply.

To streamline the application and funding process, parents will apply for funding through a single online application, and providers will be paid directly on behalf of the parent. The online application can be submitted starting June 23, 2021, until funds are depleted. Applications will be processed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and to apply for the funding, please click here.


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MSSNY President Dr. Sellers Comments in Crain’s on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold ACA
Leaders in the state’s health industry applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s Thursday decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, saying it could make it tougher for future lawsuits to challenge the law and frees up the state to pursue providing coverage to those yet uninsured.

“Since passage of the ACA, New York has done more over the last decade than almost any other state to expand health care coverage, bolster services for its most vulnerable residents and improve the quality of care,” said Eric Linzer, president and CEO of the New York Health Plan Association, which represents 28 members in the state. “Today’s decision will ensure that the coverage millions of New Yorkers depend on remains protected.”

New York leaders played a role in the court’s decision, noted Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association. GNYHA had joined with other hospital associations in filing an amicus brief in defense of the law, led by Attorney General Letitia James and other states’ attorneys general, Raske said.

“We strongly support the ACA, which has made health care accessible to so many Americans, and we are grateful that it has once again survived legal challenge,” he added.

The ACA has withstood two previous legal challenges.

“We hope this case once and for all stops these lawsuits, which unnecessarily endanger health insurance coverage for millions of patients across New York and across the country,” said Dr. Joseph Sellers, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

This victory might not necessarily spell the end of challenges from Republicans, but it will make it harder for future attempts, said Diana Silver, associate professor of public health policy and management at the NYU School of Global Public Health.

“This eliminated another way for opponents to get in,” Silver said. Proponents have been on edge since the Supreme Court announced it would take up the case, and the odds appeared stacked in favor of the opponents, she added.

However, this decision does free up time and energy for states, including New York, to focus on extending coverage to those who are not yet insured, Silver said. With more than 95% of residents with insurance, the focus now should be on achieving the goal of universal health care, Linzer said.

Although the ACA did not expand the state’s Medicaid benefits much, as they were already broad, it did ensure comprehensive coverage—eliminating preexisting-condition exclusions and payment limits as well as establishing preventive care—for New Yorkers, Silver said. The law being kept in place protects those types of care.

The court’s decision will also ensure the state’s accountable-care organizations—health provider groups that work to improve health outcomes while reducing costs—can continue to flourish, Silver said.

“The ACA had enabled a shift of funding for ACOs to care not just about providing services, but also about outcomes,” she said.

There were about 477 accountable-care organizations nationally as of January, of which about 30 were in New York.

“Those entities would not have been able to function had ACA been struck down,” she said. — Shuan Sim, Crain’s Health Pulse, 6/18/21


CMS Increases Medicare Payments for COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Infusions and At-Home Covid-19 Vaccinations
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced it has increased the Medicare payment rate for administering monoclonal antibodies to treat beneficiaries with COVID-19, under the Medicare Part B COVID-19 vaccine benefit. CMS notes that beneficiaries pay nothing out of pocket, regardless of where the service is furnished – including in a physician’s office, healthcare facility or at home.

The national average payment rate will increase from $310 to $450 for most health care settings. CMS will also establish a higher national payment rate of $750 when monoclonal antibodies are administered in the beneficiary’s home, including the beneficiary’s permanent residence or temporary lodging (e.g., hotel/motel, cruise ship, hostel, or homeless shelter).

CMS is updating the set of toolkits for physicians, states and insurers to help the health care system swiftly administer monoclonal antibody treatment with these new Medicare payment rates here.

In addition, CMS is updating coding resources for physicians here.

CMS also recently announced that, as of June 8, in addition to the current payment amount, Medicare will pay an additional amount of $35 per dose for administering the Covid-19 vaccine in the home for certain Medicare patients that have difficulties leaving their homes.

Medicare will pay the $35 amount in addition to the standard administration amount (approximately $40 per dose), for a total payment of approximately $75 for a single-dose vaccine or $150 for both doses of a 2-dose vaccine. Medicare will also geographically adjust the additional amount and administration rate based on where the vaccine is administered.  For more information, click here.


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NYS DOH Call to Action: Catch Up Children and Teens in Need of Vaccines, Including COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many preventive services, including childhood and adolescent vaccination. According to data reported to the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), more than 400,000 fewer vaccine doses were administered to children and teens in New York State (NYS) outside of New York City in 2020 compared with 2019. Achieving and maintaining high immunization coverage rates is critical to prevent school and community outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, mumps, and pertussis.

As travel increases and more in-person schooling resumes, the risk of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in NYS increases. It is critical that students attending schools, child caring centers, nursery schools, or pre-kindergarten programs in-person or via a hybrid model be up to date on all vaccines required for school entrance and attendance in NYS unless they have a medical exemption to required vaccines and that campers and camp staff be up to date on all vaccines recommended for their age according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices schedules.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that international travelers be up to date on routine vaccines prior to travel, regardless of school or job requirements.

Read the full NYS Department of Health document.


Excelsior Pass Fact Sheet for Vaccine Providers
Users who have trouble retrieving their Passes may ask physicians for help as their vaccine provider. This fact sheet is intended to help vaccination providers such as yourself resolve issues quickly.

Fast Facts

  • Excelsior Pass is a free, voluntary, and verifiable way to retrieve proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results and users’ data is kept confidential and secure.
  • Anyone who receives the COVID-19 Vaccination in the State of New York is eligible for an Excelsior Pass.
  • You can help New York residents who were vaccinated outside of New York State (that provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, e.g., CDC card) access their Pass by entering their information into the secure New York State or New York City immunization databases as historical doses. Visit “Important Reminder for All Health Care Providers” to learn how.
  • Individuals may retrieve their Vaccination Pass 15 days after the final dose of the vaccine was administered (e.g., 15 days after the one-dose of Johnson and Johnson/Jansen vaccination series or 15 days after the second of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna series).
  • Individuals that receive a positive COVID-19 test result within the previous 10 days will not be able to retrieve a Pass, even if they are fully vaccinated.
  • Each Excelsior COVID-19 Vaccination Pass is valid for 365 days. The 365 days relates only to the length of time the Pass is valid, not the length of immunity from the vaccination.
  • Individuals whose COVID-19 Vaccination Excelsior Pass expires after 180 days or has already expired can update their pass by visiting www.epass.ny.gov/home or downloading the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet App, and follow the step-by-step instructions there.
  • Excelsior Pass can be accessed through the Excelsior Pass website Portal or the Excelsior Pass Wallet App and can be presented on a phone or tablet screen, or printed on paper by those who may not have smartphones or other devices.
  • Vaccine providers must enter each individual’s COVID-19 vaccine information accurately into the provider system and the New York State or New York City immunization databases.
  • Users must match their information exactly to retrieve their Pass.

Click here for Fact Sheet with more information.


Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program
The State-funded Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program will grant 80 awards In 2021 (pending the appropriation of State funds during the 2021 session of the New York State Legislature) to physicians who agree to practice primary care medicine in an area of New York State designated by the Board of Regents as having a shortage of physicians.

The award amount is based on undergraduate and medical school student loan amount and loan interest expense. Award recipients will receive two annual payments of up to $10,000 each year for two years. Recipients who have incurred more than $20,000 in eligible expenses may apply for an additional two-year award.

The amount of the award received will be based upon the amount of undergraduate and medical school loans and loan interest expense incurred by the physician. Offer for 2021 awards will begin to be made to eligible individual in July 2021. Applicants who are unsuccessful in this competition may compete in subsequent years, provided they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. The Regent Loan Forgiveness Program is now accepting applications for 2021.  More information may be found here and here.


Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Medical Claims LogoSmall Group and Independent Practitioners – Advancing Private Practices
The Best billing company GUARANTEED! Increase your annual revenue by 20-30%. Proven results and backed by 25 years of experience. Chooses MA MEDICLAIMS you will Save time on those RVUs/the 8-minute rule and have more time for your patient’s health. Get your free Practice analysis at www.ma-mediclaimsllc.com or call 877-927-1996.


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


Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581

Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 18, 2021 – Physicians’ Offices Preferred COVID Vaccine Sites for Unvaccinated Americans

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Physicians’ Offices Preferred COVID Vaccine Sites for Unvaccinated Americans

Colleagues:

We celebrated an important milestone earlier this week when New York State reached 70 percent adult COVID-19 vaccination rate. As the news hit, I was reminded of the important work accomplished by MSSNY and my predecessor, MSSNY’s Immediate Past President Dr. Bonnie L. Litvack—who serves as a member of the Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force.

But the fight is not over. We must get as close to 100 percent vaccination as we can. And it’s now more important than ever for us—our patients’ trusted physicians—to instill confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

Just this week in my office, I was reminded of the important role physicians play in continuing to get New Yorkers vaccinated. I had three patients with three distinct barriers preventing access to the healthcare system—one with limited health literacy, one with impaired mobility, and one with substance abuse issues. In our office—a healthcare setting they trust—we were able to counsel each patient and get them all vaccinated.

In fact, results of a new national poll of more than 12,000 people conducted jointly by the African American Research Collaborative and the Commonwealth Fund show that more than half of unvaccinated Americans would prefer to get a COVID-19 vaccination at their physicians’ office.  The preference to be vaccinated in a medical office was three to five times higher among unvaccinated Americans than were other options like retail pharmacies, community health centers, public health clinics, and large public vaccination sites.

As new variants of COVID-19 continue to emerge, we need to be prepared and ready to prevent a resurgence. Let’s get as close to 100 percent vaccination as we can by instilling vaccine confidence in our patients.

We, as our patients’ trusted physicians, are uniquely qualified to accomplish this goal.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


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MSSNY Press Statement in Support of US Supreme Court Decision to Uphold the ACA in California v. Texas
Statement from Joseph Sellers, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

We appreciate that the US Supreme Court has—once again—upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act.  We hope this case once and for all stops these lawsuits which unnecessarily endanger health insurance coverage for millions of patients across New York and across the country.

“While MSSNY continues to pursue reforms to the law that would help to better ensure patients can obtain comprehensive first-dollar health insurance coverage, the ACA has importantly set the stage for millions across New York State to obtain health insurance coverage that they previously they were unable to afford.

“MSSNY looks forward to working with patient and physician groups across New York State and across the country to expand comprehensive health insurance coverage options for our patients.”


Longtime MSSNY Member Dr. Erick Eiting Receives AMA Excellence in LGBTQ Health Award
The AMA Foundation presented the Excellence in LGBTQ Health Award to Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM at the 16th Annual Excellence in Medicine Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 13.

The award honors a physician who has demonstrated outstanding work, innovation and leadership in LGBTQ policy, advocacy, patient care, academics, workforce diversity, or health care administration.

Dr. Eiting has been a tireless advocate for the care of underserved and vulnerable populations, particularly in the LGBTQ+ community in New York City where he serves as the vice chair of operations for emergency medicine at Mount Sinai. He has also served as the vice chair for the AMA Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues and helped establish the LGBTQ Honor Fund at the AMA Foundation.

An active member of MSSNY, Dr. Eiting currently serves as co-chair of the Committee on Health Equity and has served on several other committees, including as a member of the Task Force on Medical Student Tuition and Debt and the Committee on Medical Education.



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MSSNY Joins Legislative Champion on Telehealth in Letter Questioning Department of Financial Services (DFS) Decision to Eliminate Cost-Sharing Waiver for Patients
MSSNY and several specialty societies have joined a joint letter to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) initiated by Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D- Saratoga Springs), raising concerns with DFS ending its policy adopted in March 2020 exempting patients from out-of-pocket expenses including co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles for in-network Telehealth services. It should be noted that the latest DFS extension of emergency coverage is valid through July 4, 2021 and continues to ensure that commercial health insurers must cover audio-only Telehealth services. Assemblywoman Woerner is also the lead sponsor of legislation (A.6256/S.5505) strongly supported by MSSNY to require insurer payments for services provided using Telehealth are on par with in-office visits.

Early on in the pandemic, with the support of MSSNY and many other patient advocacy organizations, DFS and the state Department of Health (DOH), adopted critically important policies to better enable patients to obtain health care services via telemedicine, including waiving cost-sharing requirements for services delivered via telemedicine, expressly permitting coverage for health care services via audio-only, and allowing delivery of telemedicine services through basic smartphone video technologies. Medicare also followed this path, waiving the federal statute that limits Medicare coverage for Telehealth to rural areas and significantly increased the payments for video and audio-only Telehealth services.

Even as a significant portion of the population begins to be immunized against COVID19, public health experts anticipate that Covid-19 will remain a public health threat for the foreseeable future, making continued expanded patient access to Telehealth services all the more important. Therefore, MSSNY has raised concerns to DFS that it may still be premature to re-instate otherwise applicable patient cost-sharing requirements when many immuno-compromised patients still may be more comfortable receiving ongoing care where appropriate via telehealth. Moreover, MSSNY will continue to advocate for measures that remove barriers to patients receiving Telehealth services from their physicians, including fair payments for these services.

Read the new policy here.


Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
As reported in MSSNY e-news last week, the State Legislature ended its regular 2021 Legislative Session without passing legislation (S.74-A/A.6770) strongly opposed by MSSNY and many other groups that could have prompted untenable increases in New York’s already excessive medical liability costs by greatly expanding the types of damages awardable in “Wrongful Death” actions. One recent actuarial estimate indicated that passage of legislation such as this could have required a liability premium increase of nearly 50%, which could have meant tens of thousands of dollars in new liability insurance costs for many physicians particularly in downstate New York. We thank the many physicians who took the time to send a letter or tweet reminding legislators of the devastating impact this legislation could have on patient access to care in their communities.

However, in the Session’s final days, the State Legislature did pass multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims. These bills include:

  • A2199/S473 – Expanding the time period for the imposition of New York’s excessive 9% judgment interest in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not initially granted, but then overturned on appeal.
  • A8040/S7093 – Changing a long-standing rule that heretofore excluded a “hearsay” statement made by a defendant’s employee.
  • A8041/S7052 – Imposing excessive insurance disclosure requirements on defendants during litigation.

As MSSNY works together with other aligned organizations to urge the Governor to veto these bills, physicians are urged to send a letter or tweet to the Governor from here Urge Governor Cuomo to VETO Regressive Liability Bills also asking him to veto these bills.


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Please Urge Governor to Sign into Law Two Bills to Assist Patients to Receive Needed Medications
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Cuomo to urge that he sign into law 2 bills that are critical to helping patients to be able to receive the medications they need as well as to ensure greater oversight over pharmacy benefit formulary development practices. A letter or tweet can be sent here: Urge Gov. Cuomo to SIGN two RX bills-Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes.

The first bill (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was significantly revised from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but vetoed, to address concerns raised in your veto message. The bill would require that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. The bill would also provide for the disclosure of all possible revenue streams and terms and conditions that they place on their networks of pharmacies. MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one manner to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.

The second bill, A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin, would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both chambers two years ago, but was vetoed. To address concerns raised in your veto message in 2019, the legislation would prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change for those patients who were on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffer from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen, for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.


Several New York Congressional Members Urge Federal Surprise Bill Law Implementation to Ensured Balanced Consideration of Factors
Eleven members of New York’s Congressional delegation signed on to a letter to the Secretaries of several federal agencies urging an implementation of the No Surprises Act (NSA) that ensures “a balanced process to settle payment disputes between health plans and providers.” It was designed to push back against aggressive efforts by the insurance and business industries that want to distort the federal Independent Dispute resolution (IDR) process to resolve surprise out of network medical bills to essentially have a presumption in favor of insurer payments.

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) is developing regulations over the next several months implementing the NSA with the law operative beginning January 1, 2022.

The letter was initiated by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), and whose bi-partisan list of 93 signers including Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Bronx and Manhattan), Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Long Island), Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Erie and Niagara counties), Rep. John Katko (R-Central New York), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Hudson Valley) Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), Rep. Joe Morelle (D-Monroe County), Jerrold Nadler (D-Kings and Manhattan), Rep. Tom Reed (R-Western New York) and Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-Kings, Manhattan and Queens).

The Suozzi-Wenstrup letter notes that “the No Surprises Act instructs the certified IDR entity to consider each of these listed factors, as well as any allowable information brought by either party or requested by the certified IDR entity. To match Congressional intent, your implementation of the law should ensure an IDR process that captures the unique circumstances of each billing dispute and does not cause any single piece of information to be the default one considered.”

The letter further notes that the IDR process established in the No Surprises Act prevents artificially low payment rates that would incentivize insurance companies to keep providers out of their networks. Providers and payors are able to bring relevant information with the exception of billed charges and public payor information for consideration, and the certified IDR entity shall consider:

  • Median in-network rates
  • Provider training and quality of outcomes
  • Market share of parties
  • Patient acuity or complexity of services
  • Teaching status, case mix, and scope of services of the facility
  • Demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates
  • Prior contract history between the two parties over the previous four years.

Both MSSNY and the AMA have submitted letters to CCIIO also urging that no one of these factors be given a priority over the other factors.


 

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Issues Important New Information for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Recipients
HHS held a call on Tuesday, June 16th with health provider associations across the country to provide education for recipients of COVID-related emergency funding regarding information about new deadlines, auditing, and reporting requirements. Recipients include those who received funding from the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), among others. More than $186 billion dollars were distributed through these programs, throughout the COVID crisis, and provided relief to healthcare providers, hospitals, businesses and a range of others.

All information is available through the HHS and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) websites and includes key details like an extension for the period to complete reporting from 30 to 90 days, allowable expenditures, who is required to report, and a host of other important details. All changes supersede previous information.

To learn more, please use the following links:

Provider Reporting Portal
https://prfreporting.hrsa.gov/s/

Deadlines for Recipients
https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/reporting-auditing/index.html

Examples of Allowable Expenditures
https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/allowable-expenses-one-pager.pdf


COVID-19 Vaccines: Expiration and Beyond Use Dates (BUDs)
Determining when a vaccine expires is a critical step in proper storage, handling, and reporting. The expiration date should always be checked prior to preparing or administering vaccine. Expired vaccine should NEVER be used. As additional stability data become available, the expiration dates for some products may change. Follow the instructions below to determine the expiration date of COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: This vaccine product has an expiration date located on the vaccine vial.
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: The expiration date is NOT printed on the vaccine vial or carton. To obtain the expiration date of the lot number received, providers can scan the QR code located on the vial or carton or access the manufacturer’s website directly, enter the lot number and the expiration date will be displayed.
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine: The expiration date is NOT printed on the vaccine vial or carton. To determine the expiration date:
    • Scan the QR code located on the outer carton, or
    • Call 1-800-565-4008, or
    • Go to jnj/, enter the lot number and the expiration date will be displayed.

For Moderna and Janssen/J&J COVID-19 vaccines it is important to write the expiration date on the carton or vials since it is not printed.  Orders of Moderna and Janssen/J&J received in NYSIIS will contain a placeholder date of 12/31/2069.  The actual expiration date must be updated in NYSIIS and CIR as well, as part of inventory management.  Vaccines should always follow a first in, first out process in which vials that have the earliest expiration date are used first.  CDC’s https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/expiration-tracker.pdf can help providers keep track of the expiration date by lot number. Vaccine inventory should be managed using a “first in first out” tracking process to limit the potential for wastage.

Beyond Use Dates (BUDs)

All vaccines have expiration dates, and some routinely recommended vaccines have a beyond use date (BUD), which is calculated based on the date the vial is first punctured and the storage information in the package insert.  Whenever a vial of COVID-19 vaccine is moved to storage conditions that affect BUD or a multidose vial is punctured, label the vial(s) with the beyond use date/time.  The BUD must never exceed the labeled expiration date.  Once the vaccine has reached its expiration or beyond use date/time, unused doses must be disposed of as medical waste and reported in NYSIIS as wastage or in CIR as wastage.  A summary of COVID-19 vaccine beyond use dates and resources are listed below.



Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For then MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Medical Claims LogoSmall Group and Independent Practitioners – Advancing Private Practices
The Best billing company GUARANTEED! Increase your annual revenue by 20-30%. Proven results and backed by 25 years of experience. Chooses MA MEDICLAIMS you will Save time on those RVUs/the 8-minute rule and have more time for your patient’s health. Get your free Practice analysis at www.ma-mediclaimsllc.com or call 877-927-1996.


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


Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581

Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 16, 2021 – MSSNY Press Statement: New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization

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MSSNY Press Statement: New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization
Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force Member and NYS Medical Society Immediate Past President Bonnie L. Litvack, MD, Reflects on Reaching Important Milestone and Calls for Continued Vaccination Efforts

Statement from Bonnie Litvack, MD
Immediate Past President, Medical Society of the State of New York
Member, Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force 

“As of today, 70 percent of the adult population in New York have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we hit this important milestone, I am reminded of the resilience, the resolve, and the forbearance of my fellow New Yorkers. We were once at the epicenter of the pandemic and now—in true New York fashion—we have pulled together, stayed strong, and achieved 70 percent immunity.

“When Governor Cuomo established the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force in September 2020 to advise and set up operations for the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program, it was my hope—and that of the entire Task Force—that we would one day achieve this important milestone.

“But the fight is not over. My hope going forward is that as cases continue to decrease, more New Yorkers will see what can happen when we work together to get vaccinated.

“As variants increase, it is more important than ever for every eligible citizen to roll up their sleeves—and get the COVID-19 vaccination.”

Statement from Joseph Sellers, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“I am extraordinarily proud of my colleague, Dr. Bonnie Litvack, for the important work she has done as a member of the Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force,” said MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers. “I know that her hard work will continue as we aim to get 100 percent of New Yorkers fully vaccinated.”

Press Coverage:
Politico New York (6/15, Young) reports, “The Medical Society of the State of New York touted the vaccination milestone as a reminder of New York’s resiliency.” In a statement, MSSNY immediate past president Bonnie L. Litvack, MD, who is a member of Cuomo’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force, said: “We were once at the epicenter of the pandemic and now – in true New York fashion – we have pulled together, stayed strong, and achieved 70 percent immunity.”

Democrat & Chronicle/USA TODAY Network’s Atlantic Group (6/15, Spector)
New York lifts most COVID restrictions as vaccination rate hits 70%
“Bonnie Litvack, past president of the state Medical Society who served on Cuomo’s vaccine task force, said New Yorkers’ resolve should continue.

“The fight is not over,” she said in a statement.

“My hope going forward is that as cases continue to decrease, more New Yorkers will see what can happen when we work together to get vaccinated. As variants increase, it is more important than ever for every eligible citizen to roll up their sleeves—and get the COVID-19 vaccination.”


AMA Survey Shows Over 96% of Doctors Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The American Medical Association (AMA)’s recent survey (PDF) among practicing physicians finds that more than 96 percent of surveyed U.S. physicians have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with no significant difference in vaccination rates across regions. Of the physicians who are not yet vaccinated, an additional 45 percent do plan to get vaccinated.

The national AMA survey is the first to specifically collect data on practicing physicians’ COVID-19 vaccination rates. The survey was conducted June 3–8 and showed an increase of more than 20 percent for physicians who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 compared to a May 2021 Medscape poll.



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Medicare Increases Payments for at Home COVID-19 Vaccination
With an estimated 1.6 million persons 65 and older who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 because of difficulty leaving home, the Biden Administration announced that, in addition to the current payment amount, Medicare will pay an additional amount of $35 per dose for administering the vaccine in the home for certain Medicare patients that have difficulties leaving their homes. The change was made effective June 8.  Medicare will pay the $35 amount in addition to the standard administration amount (approximately $40 per dose), for a total payment of approximately $75 for a single-dose vaccine or $150 for both doses of a 2-dose vaccine. Medicare will also geographically adjust the additional amount and administration rate based on where the vaccine is administered.  For more information: Vaccination administration in the home.


Shelf Life Extended for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
On June 10, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorized an extension of the shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen single-shot COVID-19 vaccine (J&J vaccine) from 3 months to 4.5 months (an additional 6 weeks). The decision is based on data from ongoing stability assessment studies, which have demonstrated that the vaccine is stable at 4.5 months when refrigerated at temperatures of 36 – 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 – 8 degrees Celsius).

Vaccine providers that have J&J vaccine in storage should visit https://vaxcheck.jnj/ and enter the lot number to confirm the latest expiration dates of vaccine, including those currently available for administration throughout the U.S. This extension applies to refrigerated vials of J&J COVID-19 vaccine that have been held in accordance with the manufacturer’s storage conditions.

Mark the vials and carton with the new date displayed and also update the date in the NYSIIS or CIR inventory module.  If you have vaccine in storage that expired prior to June 10, 2021, those vials should be disposed of as medical waste and reported as wastage in NYSIIS/CIR (see NYSIIS wastage reporting guidance here and NYCIR here.

COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized under an EUA do not have fixed expiration dates, and their expiration dates may be extended as the FDA receives and reviews additional stability data.  Please be sure to check the manufacturer’s website to obtain the most up-to-date expiration dates for COVID-19 vaccines you have on hand.


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Join CareClix on June 23 @ Noon for an Overview of Virtual Care Management Program
MSSNY Members receive a discounted rate for implementing CareClix, a virtual telehealth platform that enables you to put your patients first.

Join CareClix for a brief overview of the platform followed by a Q&A session with CareClix’s CEO to answer any questions.

Details:

Date: June 23rd, 2021
Time: 12 pm EST

Where: https://mssny.zoom.us/s/96348830789?pwd=bUxVTjQxMGR0S3RTQm55YlQvQnpRUT09

Presenter: Dr. John Korangy, MD, MPH, CEO of CareClix

CareClix’s all-in-one platform lets you deliver an exceptional patient experience that’s convenient for your patients and efficient for you. Allow patients – new and old – to chat straight from your website or mobile app. Increase appointment bookings and capture patient demand 24/7.

Key features that will be demonstrated in the webinar:

  • Messaging
  • Scheduling
  • Appointments
  • Provider Dashboard
  • Virtual Waiting Room
  • 3rd Party Invite
  • Account Settings
  • Setting Up Clinic
  • Setting up Fee and Specialties

Time and Financial Costs for Physician Practices to Participate in the Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
The MIPS track of the Medicare Quality Payment Program influences payment for more than 1 million physicians annually. There is growing concern that MIPS increases administrative burden, and little is known about what it costs physician practices to participate. Research published by the Physicians Foundation examines this issue using interviews from December 2019 to June 2020 with leaders of 30 physician practices across the U.S.

  • An average of $12,811 was spent per-physician to participate in MIPS in 2019; small and medium primary care practices had mean per-physician costs of $18,466 and $13,631, respectively.
  • Physicians and administrators spent more than 200 hours per physician on MIPS-related activities.
  • Physician time accounted for the greatest proportion of overall MIPS-related costs with a mean cost of $6,909.
  • Average MIPS-related costs were substantial, totaling $1,111 per physician.

JAMA Network | May 2021 Click here to view the full report.


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Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


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


Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581

Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

MSSNY Supports US Supreme Court Decision to Uphold the ACA in California v. Texas

For Immediate Release
June 17, 2021 

MSSNY Supports US Supreme Court Decision to
Uphold the ACA in California v. Texas


Statement from Joseph Sellers, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

We appreciate that the US Supreme Court has—once again—upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act.  We hope this case once and for all stops these lawsuits which unnecessarily endanger health insurance coverage for millions of patients across New York and across the country.

“While MSSNY continues to pursue reforms to the law that would help to better ensure patients can obtain comprehensive first-dollar health insurance coverage, the ACA has importantly set the stage for millions across New York State to obtain health insurance coverage that they previously they were unable to afford.

“MSSNY looks forward to working with patient and physician groups across New York State and across the country to expand comprehensive health insurance coverage options for our patients.”

# # #

Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.


Media Contact:
Roseann Raia | Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x302 | rraia@mssny.org

 

New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2021 

 

New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization

Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force Member and NYS Medical Society Immediate Past President Reflects on Reaching Important Milestone and Calls for Continued Vaccination Efforts

 

Statement from Bonnie Litvack, MD
Immediate Past President, Medical Society of the State of New York
Member, Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force 

“As of today, 70 percent of the adult population in New York have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we hit this important milestone, I am reminded of the resilience, the resolve, and the forbearance of my fellow New Yorkers. We were once at the epicenter of the pandemic and now—in true New York fashion—we have pulled together, stayed strong, and achieved 70 percent immunity.

“When Governor Cuomo established the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force in September 2020 to advise and set up operations for the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program, it was my hope—and that of the entire Task Force—that we would one day achieve this important milestone.

“But the fight is not over. My hope going forward is that as cases continue to decrease, more New Yorkers will see what can happen when we work together to get vaccinated.

“As variants increase, it is more important than ever for every eligible citizen to roll up their sleeves—and get the COVID-19 vaccination.”   

 

Statement from Joseph Sellers, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“I am extraordinarily proud of my colleague, Dr. Bonnie Litvack, for the important work she has done as a member of the Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force,’ said MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers. “I know that her hard work will continue as we aim to get 100 percent of New Yorkers fully vaccinated.”

# # #

Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.


Media Contact:
Roseann Raia | Communications / Marketing

Medical Society of the State of New York

865 Merrick Avenue

Westbury, NY 11590

516.488.6100 x302 | rraia@mssny.org

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 11, 2021 – MSSNY Victories in Albany Fight for Physicians and Patients

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MSSNY Victories in Albany Fight for Physicians and Patients

As the Legislature concluded the 2021 session overnight into early this morning, MSSNY has been actively fighting for physicians to continue to be able to deliver the quality and timely care our patients expect. Among many issues, MSSNY worked to:

  • Pass a Bill to Prevent Mid-Year Prescription Plan Formulary Changes, protecting patients from unexpected and prohibitive increases in out-of-pocket costs when insurers move medications to a higher cost tier.
  • Pass a Bill to Regulate PBMs, providing far greater oversight over a largely unregulated industry that has a significant role in developing health insurer formularies, and the challenging rules physicians must follow to ensure patients receive the medications they need.
  • Stop Huge New Med Mal Liability Costs through a bill pushed by the trial lawyers’ lobby that would have grossly expanded damages awardable in a wrongful death action, increasing medical liability costs for physicians by almost 50%.
  • Preserve the Right of Physicians to Bill Independently. MSSNY supported the intent of the Patient Medical Debt Reduction Act to ensure that patients receive clear, concise, and timely bills.  However, we objected to parts of the bill that would have barred a physician from billing a patient separate from the hospital without guarantees that hospitals will pay physicians fully and timely.  Without such guarantees, physicians would have had a significant additional challenge remaining in practice, thereby harming patient access to specialized care in hospitals.
  • Stop a Series of Scope of Practice Expansions.  Working together with the affected specialty societies, MSSNY successfully opposed bills that would have jeopardized patients through inappropriate expansion of the scope of practice for several professions, including allowing pharmacists to perform lab tests, podiatrists to treat up to the knee, nurse anesthetists to practice independently, and physician assistants to serve as primary care providers under Medicaid managed care.  Another defeated bill would have removed required collaboration of nurse practitioners with physicians.

For those bills that passed which we supported, we now need to work with allies to convince the Governor to sign.  Conversely, there are other nuisance bills that MSSNY objected to that we will be urging the Governor to veto.  Please stay tuned for how you can be helpful.

These successes follow a series of victories in this year’s State Budget process – where MSSNY worked to stop bad proposals to allow Department of Health publication of any allegations against physicians without due process and to cut funding for medical malpractice excess coverage, the Committee for Physician Health, and Medicaid.

We will continue to work with other patient care advocates to fight for physicians on these and other issues such as telehealth payment parity, breaking down prior authorization barriers by insurers, and due process for physicians when an insurer non-renews a network participation contract.

Our success in Albany is the direct result of a team effort by MSSNY staff, leaders, and physician members.  Patients—and the entire population of the state—are better off because of this advocacy.

Troy J. Oechsner
MSSNY Executive Vice President


Capital Update

MSSNY Weekly Podcast:

Things You Need to Know About the End of Legislative Session



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Legislative Session Wraps Up
The New York State Legislature wrapped its regular scheduled 2021 Legislative Session overnight Thursday into Friday, with the New York State Assembly gaveling out at 4:22 AM.  It produced many successful outcomes as noted below.

MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send a letter or a tweet to their legislators on these issues, as well as the tremendous partnership with the county medical societies and specialty societies to help achieve our successful results.  We will continue to need advocacy over the next many months to urge the Governor to sign various bills that were passed that we support and to urge him to veto bills that passed which we oppose.   (DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


Legislature Passes Bill to Provide Greater Transparency & Accountability for PBMs
Legislation (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762) was passed by the Senate and Assembly that would if signed into law provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs).  The bill was amended from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but vetoed, to address concerns raised in the Governor’s veto message. The bill would require PBMs to be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS.

It also requires disclosure of all possible revenue streams and terms and conditions that they place on their networks of pharmacies.  MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one manner to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements interfering with patients obtaining needed medications.  Please remain alert for further information regarding how you can urge the Governor to sign this bill into law. (CARY)


Legislature Passes Bill to Restrict Mid-Year Formulary Changes and Protect Patients
The Senate and Assembly passed legislation (A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin), which would if signed into law by the Governor would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both chambers two years ago, but was vetoed by the Governor, to address concerns raised in the veto message.

In particular, the legislation now prohibits the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen for that condition. Other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.

Please remain alert for further information regarding how you can urge the Governor to sign this bill into law.  (CARY)


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Legislature Passes Bill to Require Greater Transparency in Claim Approvals/Denials
Legislation (A.1677, Gottfried/S.2008, Jackson) passed the Assembly and Senate that would require health insurers to, within the time frames set forth under the Prompt Payment law, conspicuously state whether a claim or a bill has been partially approved or entirely denied.

Specifically, it would require that a partial approval of claim or payment to state at the top of such written notice with at least 14-point  type bold: “NOTICE OF PARTIAL APPROVAL OF MEDICAL COVERAGE”. A denial of claim or payment would need to state at the top of such written notice with at least 14-point type bold: “NOTICE OF DENIAL OF  MEDICAL  COVERAGE”.  (AUSTER)


Legislation to Require Consolidated Hospital/Physician Billing Does Not Pass
The Session ended without the State Legislature taking action on legislation (A.3470/S.2521) under serious consideration which would have among other components required hospital-based physicians to jointly submit consolidated bills with their hospitals. MSSNY together with several other specialty societies had raised significant concerns to the Senate and Assembly that this joint billing requirement would have put non-employed physicians at the mercy of the hospitals where they practice since the legislation does not specify how payments to hospitals from this “single bill” would then be distributed to these physicians.  MSSNY thanks the many physicians who sent a letter or a tweet raising concerns with this proposal.

In the last week of Session, the Senate passed a significantly revised version of this bill (S.2521-B) that would have required notice to patients prior to hospitals, health systems and health care providers charging patients for so-called “facility fees” (distinct from professional fees), including whether the patient’s health coverage will cover the facility fee.

MSSNY does not object to the concept of this legislation to require greater transparency of these fees, but together with several specialty societies wrote to the Legislature to raise concerns with a specific provision that would have required a health care provider to notify the patient of a facility fee that could be charged by the health system with whom the physician is employed or affiliated.  MSSNY had recommended that this required notice be instead placed on the entity that is charging the facility fee, not the physician.  The Assembly did not pass this legislation prior to adjournment, so this discussion will carry over into next Session.  (AUSTER)


Legislature Does Not Pass Massive Liability Expansion Bill; Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills Pass, Requiring Vetoes
Despite an aggressive push by the trial lawyer lobby, the Legislature ended its regular 2021 Legislative Session without passing legislation (S.74-A/A.6770) strongly opposed by MSSNY and many other groups that could have prompted untenable increases in New York’s already excessive medical liability costs by greatly expanding the types of damages awardable in “Wrongful Death” actions.

One recent actuarial estimate indicated that passage of legislation such as this could have required a liability premium increase of nearly 50%, which could have meant tens of thousands of dollars in new costs for many physicians who are already paying tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in their insurance costs.   We thank the many physicians who took the time to send a letter or tweet reminding legislators of the devastating impact this legislation could have on patient access to care in their communities.

However, in the Session’s final days, the State Legislature did pass multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims.  These bills include:

  • A2199/S473 – in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not granted, but then overturned on appeal, requiring interest to run from the date the original decision was rendered;
  • A8040/S7093 – revising the common law exclusion of a hearsay statement of a party’s agent or witness, provided that such statement was on a matter within the scope of that employment relationship;
  • A8041/S7052 – Imposing on defendants a requirement to provide plaintiffs with complete disclosure of all relevant insurance information within 60 days after the filing of answer during litigation.

MSSNY will be working together with specialty societies, MLMIC and hospital associations to request vetoes by the Governor on each of these bills.   (AUSTER)


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Numerous Scope of Practice Expansion Bills Under Consideration Do Not Pass
The Legislative Session adjourned for the summer without passing legislation (S.3056-A/A.1535-A), strongly opposed by MSSNY that could lead to uncoordinated, siloed care by eliminating any statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative arrangements with a physician practicing in the same specialty. The legislation would also have eliminated the requirement for a newly practicing nurse practitioner to maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician.

MSSNY joined with a dozen other specialty societies in a letter to Senators raising strong objections to this bill, and in support of protecting physician-led team care.  The bill had advanced to the Senate floor.

During the State Budget adopted in early April 1, there was a provision enacted that extended for another year – until June 30, 2022 – the existing law that permits nurse practitioners with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice without a written collaborative agreement provided they maintain evidence of “collaborative relationships” with a physician in the same specialty practiced by the NP.    

In addition, numerous other pieces of legislation opposed by MSSNY and affected specialty societies did not pass, including:

  • A1837/S1591 – would have permitted physician assistants to perform fluoroscopy.
  • A2294/S2019 – would have expanded ability of podiatrists to perform wound care unrelated to foot care.
  • A3033/S2529 – would have permitted pharmacists to perform various lab tests without referral from a physician.
  • A4358/S1319 – would have greatly increased the scope of practice for chiropractors.
  • A6035 – would have created licensure for the profession of naturopathic medicine.
  • A7268/S5435 – would have created independent practice for nurse anesthetists.  (AUSTER)

Legislature Passes Modified Scope Expansion Bill for Optometrists
The Assembly and Senate passed legislation (S1519/A1921), opposed by MSSNY and the NYS Ophthalmological Society (NYSOS) that will grant optometrists prescriptive privileges for a limited range of oral medications for patients. While the final version of the bill is narrower than the prior version, it is still broader than the version negotiated in good faith with the NYS Optometric Association more than three years ago, insofar as it:

  • Requires additional training for optometrists to prescribe these oral medications but reduces the agreed-upon number of additional hours required.
  • Requires that optometrists take a certification course and final examination to prescribe these oral medications but does not require them to retake the course if they have failed the final examination three times.
  • Eliminates a proposed requirement that optometrists furnish evidence that they have completed required continuing education courses when they submit an application for license renewal; and
  • Eliminates an important oversight element that had required that, for the first 5 years following the implementation of the law, prescribing optometrists must provide information to the State Education Department concerning their prescribing activities, and such information must be reviewed by a committee comprised of an ophthalmologist, optometrist, pharmacist, and an expert in the public health field and cross-checked against existing records to ensure compliance with applicable requirements. (AUSTER)

Bill to Mandate Documentation of Consideration of Opioid Alternatives Does Not Pass Assembly; Co-Prescribing Requirement Passes Both Houses
The New York State Assembly adjourned without passing A.273, legislation opposed by MSSNY that would have placed a mandate in the law for physicians and other prescribers before prescribing an opioid medication to a patient for neuromuscular pain to consider, to discuss with the patient and refer or prescribe alternative services such as chiropractic, massage therapy or behavioral therapy.  The legislation had passed the State Senate last week.

MSSNY raised concerns that this legislation is repetitive of existing state law requiring physicians and other prescribers to use the CDC Guideline for Chronic Pain when assessing patients for opioid use, which direct prescribers to discuss benefits and risks and the availability of non-opioid therapies with the patient.   MSSNY also raised concerns that, by listing off so many possible alternatives in the legislation, it could potentially create significant new documentation requirements to demonstrate that a physician has considered each of the enumerated suggested alternatives in the legislation to prove compliance with the legislation.  By creating these additional unnecessary administrative burdens, it would further disincentivize physicians from prescribing needed pain control patients to those who truly need them.

At the same time, the Legislature did pass S.2966-A/A.336-A, which requires physicians and other prescribers, for the first opioid prescription of each year to a patient receiving 90 MME or more, to also co-prescribe an opioid antagonist with the prescription.   Importantly, however, the bill was amended prior to passage to increase the threshold from 50 MME to 90 MME, to be applicable to a far smaller cohort of patients who are more at risk for overdose.

MSSNY has raised concerns that even this more limited proposed co-prescribing requirement could cause some patients taking these medications to address their chronic pain to inappropriately feel stigmatized as a “drug addict”.  Moreover, many physicians are already co-prescribing an opioid antagonist to certain patients based upon the physician’s clinical judgment of the risks the patient may face.  Furthermore, with New York’s mandatory e-prescribing law, the co-prescription will automatically go to the pharmacy and essentially remove the choice of the patient to have the co-prescription filled, as would be the case if such prescriptions were still on paper.  Certainly, such a mandate could result in significant new cost-sharing responsibilities for patients and may result in a windfall for those manufacturers of the drug. (CLANCY, AUSTER)


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Bill to Prevent Harmful & Unfair Copay Accumulator Policies Fails to Pass Assembly in Final Hours of Session
Despite a persistent advocacy campaign by a number of patient and physician advocacy groups including MSSNY, the Assembly did not pass legislation (A.1741, Gottfried) that would have ensured that third party financial assistance programs can count towards patient deductible and other health insurer-imposed cost-sharing requirements. The same-as bill (S.5299, Rivera) passed the Senate earlier in the session.

In spite of New York State’s strong record in providing affordable access to health insurance, many New Yorkers still struggle to pay for their prescription drugs and for those battling chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and others, the burden is often overwhelming. To help with high out-of-pocket costs, there are a range of copay assistance, discount, and coupon programs, that help patients pay for their medications. However, patients must also contend with what insurers refer to as “cost utilization tools”, which are used by health plans to curb spending on the more expensive drugs.

These include prior authorization, step therapy and a more recent one known as “Copay Accumulators”, which prevents patients from using a copay card, or coupon, to cover their out-of-pocket expenses. Copay Accumulators are particularly unfair to patients as any payment from a copay coupon or card goes directly to the health plan, but the amount of the support provided by the coupon/card does not count towards the patient’s maximum out of pocket limit. This unreasonable practice can be especially challenging for patients that have health insurance plans with high deductibles or high copayment requirements.

MSSNY will continue to work with patient advocacy organizations who championed this effort such as the American Cancer Society, New York State Bleeding Disorders Coalition and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, to push for passage of this bill as well as other needed health insurance reforms should the Legislature return to Albany later this year and/or during the 2022 legislative session. (CARY)


MSSNY’s Physician Wellness and Resiliency Committee: Peer to Peer Program
If you or someone you know is struggling with everyday life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to be connected with a peer supporter to help! 

Email: P2P@mssny.org and request that you be connected with a peer supporter. 

Phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter 

The Medical Society of the State of New York now offers to physicians, residents and medical students a completely confidential and anonymous opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. MSSNY’s Physician Wellness and Resiliency Committee launched a Peer 2 Peer (P2P) program to assist their colleagues who are need of help in dealing with work and family stressors. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the emotional issues related to this event, may also be troubling for our colleagues.

MSSNY has established a confidential helpline phone number (1-844-P2P-PEER) and an email address (p2p@mssny.org) so that physicians may be connected with a peer 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In addition to offering a trained, empathetic ear, peer supporters may provide information on specific resources that can offer further support, provide positive coping skills, or connect physicians to professionals for more focused assistance when needed. MSSNY has nearly 50 trained peer supporters across NYS who are just an email or phone call away!  (LAUDER)


MSSNY Medical Matters Program on Long COVID
Registration now open
Medical Matters: The Lingering Pandemic: Long COVID Symptoms & Treatments
Date: June 16, 2021 @ 7:30am 

A growing number of COVID survivors are experiencing a multitude of ongoing effects for months after initial recovery.  Learn more about Long COVID and how to recognize and treat it by registering for Medical Matters: The Lingering Pandemic: Long COVID Symptoms & Treatments.  This webinar will take place on Wednesday, June 16th at 7:30 am.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Recognize the symptoms associated with long COVID
  • Identify referral options to treat long COVID
  • Examine CDC guidelines for caring for patients with long COVID symptoms

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. (HOFFMAN)


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MSSNY Member Dr. Monica Sweeney to Receive the Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award on Sunday, June 13
The AMA Foundation will present the Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award for the Selfless Elimination of Human Suffering to M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, FACP at the 16th Annual Excellence in Medicine Awards Ceremony. The awards will be presented via Zoom on Sunday, June 13 at 6 p.m. ET. Click here to view the ceremony.

The award recognizes the work of a U.S. physician who has demonstrated altruism, compassion, integrity, leadership, and personal sacrifice while providing quality health care to a destitute, distressed, or marginalized population in an impoverished community.

“I am humbled and honored by this award,” said Dr. Sweeney. “Medicine is a calling for me, especially to serve the underserved.   My life has been enriched by my profession.”

In her notification to Dr. Sweeney of her Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award, Dr. Jacqueline A. Bello, the AMAF President, stated:

“This annual awards program honor physicians who represent the highest values of altruism, compassion and dedication to patient care. The caliber of our nominees was awe-inspiring, and your selection from such an impressive group speaks volumes in recognizing your dedication to the profession of medicine. As an Excellence in Medicine Awards recipient, you will be honored during an awards ceremony hosted by the AMA Foundation in 2021 (date TBD). In addition, this award comes with an AMA Foundation grant of $2,500 to the organization of Dr. Sweeney’s choosing.”

Dr. Sweeney has been an active member of MSSNY since 1989. She currently serves on MSSNY’s Committee to Eliminate Health Disparities, Infectious Diseases Committee, Task Force on End-of-Life Care, and Women Physicians Committee. She previously served as a delegate to MSSNY’s House of Delegates and on the Preventative Medicine and Family Health Committee and the Rural Subcommittee.


Join CareClix on June 23 @ Noon for Overview of Virtual Care Management Program
MSSNY Members receive a discounted rate for implementing CareClix, a virtual telehealth platform that enables you to put your patients first.

Join CareClix for a brief overview of the platform followed by a Q&A session with CareClix’s CEO to answer any questions.

Details:
Date: June 23rd, 2021
Time: 12 pm EST
Where:  https://mssny.zoom.us/s/96348830789?pwd=bUxVTjQxMGR0S3RTQm55YlQvQnpRUT09#success

Presenter: Dr. John Korangy, MD, MPH, CEO of CareClix

CareClix’s all-in-one platform lets you deliver an exceptional patient experience that’s convenient for your patients and efficient for you. Allow patients – new and old – to chat straight from your website or mobile app. Increase appointment bookings and capture patient demand 24/7.

Key features that will be demonstrated in the webinar:

  • Messaging
  • Scheduling
  • Appointments
  • Provider Dashboard
  • Virtual Waiting Room
  • 3rd Party Invite
  • Account Settings
  • Setting Up Clinic
  • Setting up Fee and Specialties

AMA Joins Opposition to ‘Physician Associate’ Rebrand
Physician assistants’ recent move to change their title to “physician associate” will create confusion for patients about who is providing their care, American Medical Association President Susan R. Bailey, MD, said in a June 2 statement to Becker’s.

On May 24, the American Academy of Physician Assistants voted to adopt “physician associate” as the official title for the PA profession. The change comes about three years after the academy hired a healthcare marketing research and branding firm to determine the best title and marketing strategy for the profession.

“AAPA’s effort to change the title of physician assistants to rebrand their profession will undoubtedly confuse patients and is clearly an attempt to advance their pursuit toward independent practice,” Dr. Bailey said. “Given the existing difficulty many patients experience in identifying who is or is not a physician, it is important to provide patients with more transparency and clarity in who is providing their care, not more confusion.”

The AMA believes this effort is “incompatible with state laws” regarding truth in advertising and is prepared to work with other medical societies to block efforts to implement the title change in state or federal policy, Dr. Bailey said in the statement.

The medical association’s stance echoes that of the American Osteopathic Association, which released a statement opposing the proposed title change on May 28.

Becker’s Hospital Review


Soaring Private Equity Investment in the Healthcare Sector: Consolidation Accelerated, Competition Undermined, and Patients at Risk
American Antitrust Institute and Petris Center at University of California, Berkeley | May 2021

This detailed analysis looks at the explosion in private equity investments in healthcare, finding it a threat to both the structure and the goals of the healthcare system. The authors indicate that the lack of transparency surrounding private equity investment is deeply concerning and that private equity business practices have caused significant harm to individual healthcare companies, to patients, and to markets. There are strong reasons to suspect that additional transparency and further study will reveal deeper and more serious problems. The surge in private equity investment in healthcare also threatens to undermine the already fragile competition in healthcare markets.

  • Private equity investment in the healthcare sector ballooned over the past decade, growing from $41.5 billion in 2010 to $119.9 billion in 2019, totaling approximately $750 billion in investments, primarily in the outpatient care and home health markets. Private equity investments are largely unreported and unregulated, making it difficult to fully capture the scope of these investments.
  • The economic incentives inherent to private equity investments drive policies aimed at maximizing profits by cutting costs and engaging in anticompetitive billing and business practices over the short-term. These companies also benefit from consolidation in the industry regardless of whether the integration achieves efficiencies, eroding competition and innovation.
  • The authors call for increased regulatory scrutiny over private equity investments in healthcare to mitigate certain practices that undermine the health of the overall system. In particular, the authors call on the Department of Justice to rescind recent guidance allowing private equity firms to be preferred buyers in divestitures.
  • Click here to view the full report.

Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


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


Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581

Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 9, 2021 – Health Organizations Ask Assembly: Help Patients Struggling with Medication Costs

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MSSNY Joins Forces with Other Health Organizations to Ask NY Assembly to Help Patients Struggling with Medication Costs
The following press release was issued yesterday by MSSNY and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, NAACP, NYS Bleeding Disorders Coalition, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society:

ALBANY, NY – June 8, 2021 – Health organizations have joined forces to ask the New York Assembly to pass legislation that will help patients be able to pay for the health care they need.

The bill, commonly referred to as the Copay Accumulator bill (S5299 Rivera/A1741 Gottfried), will help patients struggling to pay for their medication. While the legislation passed the Senate earlier this year, the bill has not received a vote in the Assembly.

Some patients rely on financial assistance programs, such as a copay coupon or card, to reduce the cost of their medication.  But insurers are using a new tactic – called a copay accumulator adjustment, to undermine these financial assistance programs. Copay accumulator adjustments prevent patients from using a copay card or coupon to cover their out-of-pocket expenses.  Under this practice, when a patient uses a copay coupon or card, the health plan receives the payment from the card or coupon, yet the amount of the support provided by the coupon/card does NOT count toward the patient’s maximum out of pocket limit.  This legislation would ensure such payments benefit the patient rather than the insurer’s bottom line.

“We need to put patients first.  Copay accumulators are unfair for patients,” said American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Senior New York Government Relations Director, Julie Hart.  “It’s especially challenging for patients with high deductibles or high copayments. Ten states have now passed laws to stop insurers from using copay accumulators.  It’s time for New York to do the same and stop this misleading tactic.”

“Many of our patients rely upon needed medications to help recover from illness or to manage a life-threatening medical condition” stated Joseph Sellers, MD, President of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “With some patients facing significant out of pocket cost-sharing requirements such as high deductibles, health insurer-imposed copay Accumulators have a significant adverse effect upon patients living with chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and Multiple Sclerosis, just to name a few. MSSNY strongly supports legislation that would prohibit these co-pay accumulator policies and ensure that third party financial support will help patients to meet the cost of their medications.” 

“The New York State Assembly has a choice to make.  Putting patients before profits should be an easy choice.” said Lorraine Braithwaite-Harte, Health Chair, NAACP, New York State Conference.  “Copay accumulators are just another tactic to shift costs to patients.  It’s time for New York to stop this tactic and pass this bill to help keep medications affordable.”

“People with bleeding disorders already struggle to stay healthy. They shouldn’t have to struggle to pay for their medications as well when there’s help available. Accumulators will hurt people and this bill will protect people,” added Bob Graham, Director of Policy for the New York State Bleeding Disorders Coalition.

“MS is an expensive disease to live with and treat, impacting the healthcare system, health plans and of course, families affected by MS. A person with MS spends three times as much out-of-pocket than the average person in employer plans. Until we find real solutions to the challenges in our healthcare system that prevent people from affordably accessing the care and treatments they need, we cannot rip away the band-aids people have come to rely on—like copay assistance programs,” said Jennifer Muthig-Director, Advocacy & Policy National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Department of Financial Services (DFS) Eliminates Cost-Sharing Waiver in Extending Emergency Regulation on Telehealth
DFS recently issued its latest extension of the emergency regulation related to Telehealth coverage for another 30 days, through July 4, 2021. However, with greatly reduced Covid cases, the latest DFS regulation was not a straight extension of current policy as it removes the waiver exempting patients from incurring out-of-pocket expenses including co-pays, coinsurances, and deductibles for in-network Telehealth services. Importantly, however, the regulation does ensure that commercial health insurers must continue to cover for audio-only Telehealth services.

Early on in the pandemic, with the support of MSSNY and many other patient advocacy organizations, DFS and the state Department of Health (DOH), adopted critically important policies to better enable patients to obtain health care services via telemedicine, including waiving cost-sharing requirements for services delivered via telemedicine, expressly permitting coverage for health care services via audio-only, and allowing delivery of telemedicine services through basic smartphone video technologies. Medicare also followed this path, waiving the federal statute that limits Medicare coverage for Telehealth to rural areas and significantly increased the payments for video and audio-only Telehealth services.

Even as a significant portion of the population begins to be immunized against COVID19, public health experts anticipate that it will remain a public health threat for the foreseeable future, making continued access to Telehealth services critical and passage of this important legislation all the more important. Therefore, MSSNY has raised concerns to DFS that it may still be premature to re-instate otherwise applicable patient cost-sharing requirements. Moreover, MSSNY will continue to advocate for measures that remove barriers to patients receiving Telehealth services from their physicians, including fair payments for these services.

Click here to read the new policy.


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Join CareClix on June 23 @ Noon for Overview of Virtual Care Management Program
MSSNY Members receive a discounted rate for implementing CareClix, a virtual telehealth platform that enables you to put your patients first.

Join CareClix for a brief overview of the platform followed by a Q&A session with CareClix’s CEO to answer any questions.

Details:

Date: June 23rd, 2021
Time: 12 pm EST
Where: mssny.zoom.us/j/96348830789?pwd=bUxVTjQxMGR0S3RTQm55YlQvQnpRUT09
Presenter: Dr. John Korangy, MD, MPH, CEO of CareClix

CareClix’s all-in-one platform lets you deliver an exceptional patient experience that’s convenient for your patients and efficient for you. Allow patients – new and old – to chat straight from your website or mobile app. Increase appointment bookings and capture patient demand 24/7.

Key features that will be demonstrated in the webinar:

  • Messaging
  • Scheduling
  • Appointments
  • Provider Dashboard
  • Virtual Waiting Room
  • 3rdParty Invite
  • Account Settings
  • Setting Up Clinic
  • Setting up Fee and Specialties

Dr. Sellers’ Interview with Empire State Weekly on Vaccine Confidence
MSSNY president Dr. Sellers discussed the important role of physicians in instilling vaccine confidence in patients, encouraged parents to vaccinate younger children as they are able, and drove home the point by saying he would make sure his grandchildren get vaccinated when their age group is offered access. Link to full interview.


Summer is Almost Here! Sign Your Children Up for MSSNY’s Virtual Volunteer Homework Assistance
Now is a great time to get your young children ready for the next school year. MSSNY’s Virtual Volunteer Homework Assistance program can keep your kids up to date with their coursework, as well as provide a friendly mentor.

MSSNY’s Women Physicians Committee has homework assistants who can virtually help your school age children maintain their skills over the summer. This is a MSSNY members only program, and our homework assistants are MSSNY members’ children who have volunteered (i.e. not professionals tutors and not vetted). MSSNY is not responsible for scholastic outcomes.

Contact sbennett@mssny.org and tell us in which subject(s) your child is in need of support. We will match your child with a helper, and you can then make the arrangements that work best for all.                                                    


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White House Virtual Town Hall: Primary Care Providers, Health Systems, and the Next Phase of the Vaccination Rollout
The Biden Administration has worked closely with U.S. provider associations, health systems, and state and local health departments to expand the role of primary care providers as COVID-19 vaccinators and as vaccine ambassadors.

The White House Virtual Town Hall event on Friday, June 11 is an opportunity for the Administration to thank primary care providers and health systems for their service to their patients, state, and country throughout the COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout. It will focus on the importance of primary care providers and health systems in further expanding efforts to administer vaccination programs and educate their patients on the vaccine, as well as the tools the federal government is providing to support them. It will also touch on how state and local health departments can help enable vaccinations at primary care provider offices.

The event will feature five conversations with primary care providers, health system leaders, and state health officials on innovative approaches they are taking to patient outreach and implementing vaccination program at primary care provider offices. Each conversation will be chaired by a different public health leader from the Biden Administration: Dr. Fauci, Dr. Walensky, Dr. Murthy, Dr. Nunez-Smith, and Dr. Choucair.

Date: Friday, June 11
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Please click the following link during the event to attend:
https://youtu.be/t6gIClSru8E

A recording will also be available at this link after the event.


Deadline Approaching to Comment on the ABMS Draft Standards for Continuing Certification
The deadline to comment on the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments” is approaching. Opened on Tuesday, April 20, the 80-day period to obtain input and feedback from all stakeholders who possess, use, or rely upon board certification will close on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Feedback received during the open Call for Comments will guide and inform the development of the final Draft Standards for Continuing Certification (“Draft Standards”), which will be considered by the ABMS Board of Directors in October 2021.

The new Draft Standards reflect foundational changes to the manner in which ABMS and its Member Boards deliver on their mission, bringing value to both the profession and the public at large. They were developed after a year of deliberation with key stakeholders in response to the recommendations of the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission as well as of the wider stakeholder community.

Structured to support and provide diplomates with the tools they need to stay current in medical knowledge; the Draft Standards prepare them to address emerging medical and public health issues; and help them identify and address opportunities for practice improvement within the systems in which they work, in a way that enhances relevance and reduces burden. The Draft Standards also address the needs of patients, families, and communities by assuring that board certified diplomates maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver the quality specialty care upon which they rely.

To review and comment on the Draft Standards, visit the Draft Standards for Continuing Certification section on the ABMS Website by 11:59 p.m. CT on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Please feel free to share the “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments” with your colleagues and others who may have an interest in them and encourage them to share their feedback to ensure that all stakeholder perspectives are considered in the finalization of the standards that will guide the specialty care practice of the future. 


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Our Profession Needs Our Protection
Physicians commit their lives to healing and helping patients. Preserving the profession of medicine now and into the future is a critical ongoing effort. Assuring patients’ access to needed care and protecting physicians require vigilance and thoughtful strategic action. MSSNYPAC support has helped to secure many victories amidst an unending onslaught of well-funded interest groups attempting to increase their power at the expense of physicians and to the detriment of patient care. The ability to continue to advance and defend physician perspectives and to advocate for our patients requires all NY’s physicians and allies to invest in MSSNYPAC.

Please join MSSNYPAC today. Your contribution works to reduce and eliminate prior authorization hassles and administrative burdens; push back against health insurers and managed care company abuses; reduce frivolous lawsuits, liability costs and continuous attempts to expand liability; and preserve physician-led, team-based healthcare while protecting patients from inappropriate scope expansion. Working together, through MSSNYPAC, we can strengthen the physicians’ voice at the discussion table when healthcare policy is being formed. Join online www.mssnypac.org/contribute or by phone/text 914-933-7722.


Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Hospital Visitation and Non-Hospital Employed Patient Support
In response to the reduced prevalence of COVID-19 in New York State, hospitals must have visitation policies for patients that allow and encourage visitors and patient support persons to spend appropriate amounts of time with patients. This updated guidance supersedes all previous guidance documents on hospital visitation during COVID-19.


Join NYS Department of Health Thursday, June 10th at 1 – 2 PM for COVID-19 Update
NYS DOH will cover the following topics in this webinar: Vaccine, Data, and Excelsior Pass for Healthcare Providers.
To accommodate the large number of participants, the webinar will stream via YouTube Live (and available for viewing immediately thereafter) on the NYSDOH COVID website for providers.
Audio number and code: 844-512-2950 Access code 3946289#


 

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Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


 

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


Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581

Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: June 4, 2021 – Our Collective Voice Can Make a Crucial Difference

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Our Collective Voice Can Make a Crucial Difference

Colleagues:

As the end of the legislative session in Albany approaches next week, it’s more important than ever for physicians to be ready to take action through MSSNY’s Grassroots Advocacy Center. Our collective voice—the physicians of New York state—can make the crucial difference in influencing legislation that will impact physicians and our patients every day.

As we all know, anything can happen at the end of session. There are dozens of bills that MSSNY is closely following at the moment—some we support, but many more would make it much harder for physicians to deliver care to their patients. Bills that we thought were long dead could come back to life at any moment. Take liability issues, for example, which tend to appear at the end of session.

S.74-A/A.6770 would greatly expand the possible damages awardable in wrongful death actions, which, in turn, would increase already outrageously high liability insurance premiums. The bill has moved through various Committees in the Assembly and Senate. A recent actuarial estimate indicates that passage of this legislation could require a liability premium increase of nearly 50%, translating to tens of thousands of dollars in new costs for many physician practices. You can send a letter and/or tweet in opposition here.

This is just one of numerous bills where MSSNY is advocating for physicians and patients. Let’s all stand united and speak with one voice this week. Look for email alerts, tweets, and texts from MSSNY—and check our Grassroots Advocacy Center often.

MSSNY will keep you informed on the status of important legislative movement as we head into this critical final week.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President


Capital Update

MSSNY Weekly Podcast:
Legislative Concerns for NY Physicians as Session Comes to an End


 

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MSSNY & Patient Advocates Team Up to Pass Legislation S5299 (Rivera)/A1741 (Gottfried) to Prevent Harmful & Unfair Copay Accumulator Policies
As the Legislature enters the final week of the 2021 Legislative Session, physicians are urged to contact their Assemblymembers (End the Use of Copay Accumulators by Health Insurers) to request that they support legislation (A.1741, Gottfried) before the full Assembly that would ensure that third party financial assistance programs can count towards patient deductible and other health insurer-imposed cost-sharing requirements.  The same-as bill (S.5299, Rivera) has passed the Senate.

Despite New York State’s strong record in providing affordable access to health insurance, many New Yorkers still struggle to pay for their prescription drugs and for those battling chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and others, the burden is often overwhelming. To help with high out-of-pocket costs, there are a range of copay assistance, discount, and coupon programs, that help patients pay for their medications. However, patients must also contend with what insurers refer to as “cost utilization tools”, which are used by health plans to curb spending on the more expensive drugs. These include prior authorization, step therapy and a more recent one known as “Copay Accumulators”, which prevents patients from using a copay card, or coupon, to cover their out-of-pocket expenses.

Copay Accumulators are particularly unfair to patients as any payment from a copay coupon or card goes directly to the health plan, but the amount of the support provided by the coupon/card does not count towards the patient’s maximum out of pocket limit. This unreasonable practice can be especially challenging for patients that have health insurance plans with high deductibles or high copayment requirements.

To end this policy, MSSNY together with several other patient advocacy organizations such as the American Cancer Society, New York State Bleeding Disorders Coalition and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is pushing for passage of S5299 (Rivera)/A1741 (Gottfried). Please contact your state Assemblymember and urge them to support immediate passage of this important bill.             (CARY)


Legislature Passes Multiple Health Insurer Reform Measures
The Senate and Assembly have passed multiple measures in the last few weeks to address concerns of patient and their health care providers in their dealings with health insurance plans.

Legislation (A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin) has passed the Assembly and Senate which would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year.   The legislation has been revised from the version that passed both Houses 2 years ago, but vetoed by the Governor, to address concerns that had been raised in the veto message. In particular, the legislation now would prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen for that condition.  Other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.

Legislation (A.1677, Gottfried/S.2008, Jackson) has also passed the Assembly and Senate that would require health insurers to, within the time frames set forth under the Prompt Payment law, conspicuously state in large point type whether a claim or a bill has been partially approved or entirely denied.    (AUSTER)


Please Urge Your Legislators to Reject Legislation That Would Drive Huge New Increases in Medical Liability Insurance
As we enter the final week of the 2021 Legislative Session. physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators to request them to reject extraordinarily ill-timed legislation that could prompt untenable increases in New York’s already excessive medical liability costs by greatly expanding the types of damages awardable in wrongful death actions   A letter and/or tweet can be sent from here: Reject Expansion of Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Actions.

This week the Assembly legislation (A.6770) advanced from the Codes Committee to the Rules Committee and the Senate legislation (S.74-A) has advanced from the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate Finance Committee.  It could be reported to the floor and voted on at any time, so your contacts are essential!

Please remind your legislators of the severe adverse impact to patient care availability in their communities this legislation would cause, given that New York physicians and hospitals already face the highest medical liability costs in the country, by far. One recent actuarial estimate indicated that passage of legislation such as this could require a liability premium increase of nearly 50%, which translates to tens of thousands of dollars in new costs for many physicians who are already paying tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in their insurance costs, which could make it impossible for many physicians to stay in practice.

Under ordinary circumstances, these kinds of increases would be unsustainable and could have hugely negative consequences on patient access to care at community hospitals and physician offices.  However, with so many physician practices only beginning to recover from the huge drop in patient visits and revenue during the height of the pandemic, legislation to impose such premium increases would be unconscionable.

Please urge your legislators to reject this short-sighted proposal as well as highlighting the need for comprehensive medical liability reform instead: Reject Expansion of Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Actions   (AUSTER)                                                              
             


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Legislation to Require Consolidated Hospital/Physician Billing Significantly Revised
Legislation (A.3470-B/S.2521-B) which would have among many other components required hospitals and hospital-based physicians to submit consolidated bills has been significantly revised to delete this very concerning provision.  This is a significant development, as MSSNY together with several other specialty societies had raised significant concerns to the Senate and Assembly that this joint billing requirement would have put non-employed physicians at the mercy of the hospitals where they practice since the legislation does not specify how payments to hospitals from this “single bill” would then be distributed to these physicians.  MSSNY thanks the sponsors of this legislation for recognizing the concerns of the many physicians who took the time to send a letter or tweet regarding this far-reaching proposal. 

In its place the legislation would now require notice to patients prior to hospitals, health systems and health care providers charging patients for so-called “facility fees”, including whether the patient’s health coverage will cover the facility fee (the bill specifically articulates that a “facility fee” is distinct from a “professional fee” a physician would ordinarily charge).

However, of concern with this new proposed language is a provision that would require a health care provider who enters into “a business relationship with a hospital or health system that will result in the provider’s patients being subject to facility fees”, to notify its patients of the change and that facility fees will now be applicable to services received from the health care provider. MSSNY has urged the sponsors that this required notice should be placed on the hospital or health system charging the facility fee, not the physician providing the service, as the facility fee is for the benefit of the health system.  (AUSTER)


Opioid Measures Moving in the NYS Legislature
The New York State Senate passed several bills this week with the goal of addressing or reducing opioid abuse.  Some of these measures are supported by MSSNY, but MSSNY has raised strong concerns with others.

  • 649/A.2030, which requires the Medicaid program to cover whichever medication assisted therapy (MAT) medication is most beneficial to the patient without prior authorization, has passed the NY Senate and Assembly. Similar requirements exist for commercial health insurance plans. The Medical Society of the State of New York supported this measure.
  • 2966-A/A.336-A, which requires co-prescribing of naloxone in certain instances has passed the NY Senate and Assembly. This bill requires physicians and providers, for the first opioid prescription of each year to a patient receiving 90 MME or more, to also co-prescribe an opioid antagonist with the prescription.   Importantly, the bill was amended prior to passage to increase the threshold from 50 MME to 90 MME, to be applicable to a far smaller cohort of patients who are more at risk for overdose.    However, MSSNY has raised concerns that this even more limited proposed co-prescribing requirement could cause some patients taking these medications to address their chronic pain to inappropriately feel stigmatized as a “drug addict”.  Moreover, many physicians are already co-prescribing an opioid antagonist to certain patients based upon the physician’s clinical judgment of the risks the patient may face.  Furthermore, with New York’s mandatory e-prescribing law, the co-prescription will automatically go to the pharmacy and essentially remove the choice of the patient to have the co-prescription filled, as would be the case if such prescriptions were still on paper.  Certainly, such a mandate could result in significant new cost-sharing responsibilities for patients and may result in a windfall for those manufacturers of the drug.
  • 4640/A.273, has passed the NY Senate and is before the full Assembly. This measure requires that physicians and other prescribers before prescribing an opioid medication to a patient for neuromuscular pain to consider, discuss with the patient and refer or prescribe alternative services such as chiropractic, massage therapy or behavioral therapy. It would not apply in situations where the patient is in hospice, is being treated for cancer, recovering from surgery, or a medical emergency. MSSNY has raised concerns that this legislation is repetitive of existing state law that requires physicians and other prescribers to use the CDC Guideline for Chronic Pain when assessing patients for opioid use.  These guidelines already direct prescribers to discuss benefits and risks and the availability of non-opioid therapies with the patient.   MSSNY has raised concerns that, by listing of so many possible alternatives in the legislation, it could potentially create significant new documentation requirements to demonstrate that a physician has considered each of the enumerated suggested alternatives in the legislation to prove compliance with the legislation.  By creating these additional unnecessary administrative burdens, it would further disincentivize physicians from prescribing needed pain control patients to those who truly need them.   (CLANCY)               

Please Urge Your Legislators to Protect Physician-Led Team Care
Legislation (S.3056-A) remains before the full Senate strongly opposed by MSSNY that could jeopardize patient safety and lead to uncoordinated, siloed care by eliminating any statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative arrangements with a physician practicing in the same specialty. The legislation would also eliminate the requirement for a newly practicing nurse practitioner to maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician.  MSSNY has joined with a dozen other specialty societies in a letter to Senators raising strong objections to this bill.

Physicians can send a letter urging legislators to oppose this legislation from here: Protect Physician-Led Team Care for Patients.  Please let your legislators know that NPs are an essential component of our healthcare delivery system but maintaining ongoing team-based care in collaboration with a physician is essential for ensuring patients receive the highest quality care. Instead of removing these requirements, MSSNY has argued that the standards for physician-NP collaboration should be strengthened to help better recognize and treat potentially complex cases.

Same-as legislation (A.1535-A) is in the Higher Education Committee.  During the recently concluded State Budget, there was a provision enacted that extended for another year – until June 30, 2022 – the existing law that permits nurse practitioners with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice without a written collaborative agreement provided they maintain evidence of “collaborative relationships” with a physician in the same specialty practiced by the NP.          (AUSTER)   


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Legislation to Allow Pharmacists to Provide All ACIP-Approved Immunizations Passes NYS Legislature
Legislation (S.4807A, Stavisky/ A. 6476A, Hyndman) that would allow pharmacists to administer immunizations that have been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has passed the New York State Legislature.  While we appreciate the increasing role that pharmacists can play in broadening patients’ ability to receive necessary protective vaccines, MSSNY has raised concerns that not only would it greatly expand the number of vaccines that pharmacists would be allowed to administer to adults it would also remove the discretion of the State Legislature in the future to add or subtract vaccinations to the list of those that can be administered by a pharmacist.

It should be noted that the legislation was amended prior to passage to require the Commissioners of Health and Education to approve additional immunizations that may be recommended by the ACIP in the future to ensure they may be safely administered by a pharmacist.  MSSNY also raised concerns regarding pharmacists’ lack of reporting of these immunizations to the patient’s physicians or to the NYSIIS database.           (CLANCY) 


AMA Responds to AAPA’s Proposed Name Change of Physician Assistants
In response to the announcement by the AAPA that they voted to change the professional title from “Physician Assistants” to “Physician Associates”, American Medical Association (AMA) President Dr. Sue Bailey issued the following statement raising concerns about the possibility of public confusion:

“AAPA’s recent move to change the title ‘physician assistant’ to ‘physician associate’ will only serve to further confuse patients about who is providing their care, especially since AAPA sought a different title change in recent years, preferring to only use the term ‘PA’. Given the existing difficulty many patients experience in identifying who is or is not a physician, it is important to provide patients with more transparency and clarity in who is providing their care, not more confusion. Yet, AAPA’s effort to change the title of physician assistants to rebrand their profession will undoubtedly confuse patients and is clearly an attempt to advance their pursuit toward independent practice. We believe this latest effort is incompatible with state laws and are prepared to work with interested state and specialty medical societies to address any efforts to implement this title change in state or federal policy. 

“We remain strongly committed to supporting physician-led health care teams that use the unique knowledge and valuable contributions of all health care professionals to enhance patient outcomes. It is also what patients want, which is why clarity in health care titles is so important. That is why the AMA has advocated in support of truth in advertising laws and stands in strong opposition to AAPA’s title change.”

It should be noted that this announcement by AAPA does not affect existing state laws. For example, in New York State, the professional title of “physician assistant” is defined under Article 131-B of the Education Law, requiring an act of the Legislature to change it.    (AUSTER)


MSSNY Announces New Podcast Episodes on COVID Pandemic
MSSNY has recently published five new podcasts related to the COVID pandemic.

Newly added: COVID-19 & the Mental Health of Children and Teens is the latest podcast related to the COVID pandemic.  This podcast offers insight on the mental health effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and teens via a discussion with child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Linda Chokroverty. Click here to listen.

Additional COVID-related podcasts include:

COVID-19 & Mental Health of Physicians provides listeners with insight from Dr. Craig Katz, vice-chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the physician community.  Click here to listen.

Mental Health of Patients & COVID-19 offers a discussion with Dr. Craig Katz on the mental health impact the COVID pandemic has had on patients.  Click here to listen.

How to Talk to Patients About Vaccine Hesitancy includes a discussion on the history of vaccine hesitancy and offers sage advice from Dr. William Valenti to listeners on talking to vaccine hesitant patients.  Listen to this podcast by clicking here.

A Discussion on COVID Vaccine for Patients is MSSNY President, Dr. Bonnie Litvack, President-elect, Dr. Joseph Sellers and Dr. William Valenti, Chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Infectious Diseases discussing vaccines currently available for COVID-19. This podcast answers many questions patients may have about the vaccines.  Tell your patients to click here to listen.

Click here to select from all 100+ of MSSNY’s podcasts.  (HOFFMAN)


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MSSNY Medical Matters Program on Long COVID
Registration now open
Medical Matters: The Lingering Pandemic: Long COVID Symptoms & Treatments
Date: June 16, 2021 @ 7:30 am 

A growing number of COVID survivors are experiencing a multitude of ongoing effects for months after initial recovery.  Learn more about Long COVID and how to recognize and treat it by registering for Medical Matters: The Lingering Pandemic: Long COVID Symptoms & Treatments.  This webinar will take place on Wednesday, June 16th at 7:30am.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, will serve as faculty for this program.  Click here to register for this webinar.

Educational objectives

  • Recognize the symptoms associated with long COVID
  • Identify referral options to treat long COVID
  • Examine CDC guidelines for caring for patients with long COVID symptoms

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.             (HOFFMAN)


eNews

Dr. Sellers’ Interview on Vaccine Confidence to Air Statewide this Weekend
MSSNY President Dr Sellers’ interview with Empire State Weekly will air this weekend on television stations around the state, including NYC, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Elmira, Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown, Utica and Plattsburgh. Dr. Sellers discussed the important role of physicians in instilling vaccine confidence in patients, encouraged parents to vaccinate younger children as they are able, and drove home the point by saying he would make sure his grandchildren get vaccinated when their age group is offered access.

Empire State Weekly will air on the following stations around the state this weekend:

WYSR SYRACUSE – Saturday @ 6:00 AM
WIVB BUFFALO Sunday @5:30 AM
WROC ROCHESTER Sunday @6:30 AM
WETM ELMIRA Sunday @7:00 AM
WPIX NEW YORK CITY Sunday @7:30 AM
WIVT BINGHAMTON Sunday @10:30 AM
WWTI WATERTOWN Sunday @10:30 AM
WPNY UTICA Sunday @10:30 AM
WTEN ALBANY Sunday @11:00 AM
WFFF PLATTSBURGH Sunday @11:00 PM


June 3rd Council Meeting Notes
The MSSNY Council met on Thursday, June 3 and approved the resolutions listed below. Additionally, Council approved changing the name of the MSSNY Health Care Disparities Committee to the Committee on Health Equity.

70.930-Automated Pharmacy Refills without Patient Authorization

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) will support legislation and/or regulation that would limit automated medication refills by requiring that the patient request the medication prior to transmittal of the request to the prescribing providers electronic system. MSSNY will advocate pharmacists be required to review the appropriateness and validity of medication refill requests prior to transmitting the refill request to the prescribing providers electronic system.

MSSNY will support legislation to reduce unnecessary and redundant pharmacy refill requests and provide payment to the physician for pharmacy generated refill requests that occur outside the time of a patient encounter. (HOD 2020-107 and 2020-114, referred to Council, adopted 6/3/21) 

155.990-Role of Private Equity in Medicine and Acquisition of Medical Practices

MSSNY will continue to work with the American Medical Association (AMA) to help educate physicians regarding the risks and considerations associated with practice affiliation with corporate or private equity investment, consistent with materials developed by the AMA to educate physicians for that purpose.

MSSNY will continue to strongly advocate for protections against corporate interference in physician decision-making which affects the care and treatment of patients and will advocate to protect continuity of care for patients which includes access to care by their physicians in the event of contract transitions, bankruptcy, or other adverse events that may arise from practice affiliation with corporate or private equity investment. (HOD 2020-100 and 2020-105, referred to Council, adopted 6/3/21) 

160.962-Continued Grandfather Status for Taking Board Exams

The duly licensed physician should be the only requirement for practice of medicine and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) should keep the promise of their “grandfather” clause.  MSSNY’s position is that there should be more than one pathway to participation in insurance companies, hospital privileges and other organizations (eg, ambulatory surgery centers) and encourages the ABMS to work with other societies to find what pathways ensure physician competency and pursuit of lifelong learning.  (HOD 2019-214; reaffirmed HOD 2020-67 by Council 6/3/21)

235.981-Continuing Certification as a Condition of Employment or Reimbursement

The Medical Society of the State of New York will continue to work with the American Medical Association, state medical associations, and specialty societies to advocate for ensurance that requirements for maintaining board certification are not excessive in scope and are rationally related to ensuring ongoing physician competency in that specialty. (HOD 2020-67, referred to Council, substitute adopted 6/3/21) 

235.986-Maintenance of Certification as Restraint of Trade

The Medical Society of the State of New York will seek legislation to prohibit board certification requirements for hospital medical staff privileges, insurer contracts and state licensure.  (HOD 2016-214; reaffirmed HOD 2020-67 by Council 6/3/21)

260.887-COVID Crisis in India

MSSNY in conjunction with our AMA will urge the US government to provide all possible assistance including surplus vaccines and vaccines that have not had Emergency Use Authorization to the citizens of India and other countries in similar situations in a humanitarian crisis.

MSSNY in conjunction with our AMA will advocate for all possible assistance in the COVID-19 crisis through the World Medical Association (WMA) and World Health Organization (WHO) for government and the citizens of India and other countries in similar situations.

MSSNY in conjunction with our AMA recognizes the extraordinary efforts of many dedicated physicians and ethnic organizations assisting in the COVID-19 humanitarian crisis. (Adopted Council 6/3/21) 

285.986-Racism and Intersectionality in Medicine

MSSNY affirms that racism is a public health crisis.

MSSNY will evaluate its mission statement to be clear that it supports equity in all aspects of its work.

MSSNY will systematically evaluate its policies and procedures to be clear that it supports equity in all aspects of its work, in both existing and in future policies and procedures, and that record of this process be visible to all members.

MSSNY encourages all county societies to affirm that racism is a public health crisis.

MSSNY will work with all county medical societies to ensure that their mission statements are inclusive of the needs of underrepresented minority patients and physicians.

MSSNY encourages all county societies to systematically evaluate their policies and procedures to be clear that they support equity in all aspects of their work, in both existing and in future policies and procedures, and that records of this process be visible to all members.

MSSNY will work collaboratively with all county medical societies to develop a strategic plan to improve recruitment, retention, support, and mentoring of members who are Black and Latinx, people of color (POC), indigenous people, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), people with disabilities and/or sexual and gender minorities.

MSSNY will work with medical schools in New York to ensure that underrepresented minority students are successfully recruited and supported to reinforce the pipeline of physicians and physician leaders to be representative of the population we serve.

MSSNY will seek that all medical schools in New York will utilize appropriate culturally relevant curricula that does not propagate race-based medicine, understanding that race is a social construct and not a biological one.

MSSNY, through its Committee on Health Equity will seek to:

  • Increase awareness of how discrimination based on factors such as racism, classism, cisgenderism, heterosexism, ableism, patriarchy, and xenophobia contributes to both societal and health inequities and to ensure that all New Yorkers receive the best care possible and can achieve the best health possible;
  • Work with the AMA, specialty societies, Albany leadership, community groups, and other stakeholders to eliminate inequities, particularly those inequities that adversely impact the health and well-being and access to and quality of care for persons who are from historically disadvantaged populations;
  • Prevent and manage diseases that are prevalent in historically disinvested populations burdened with the worse disease outcomes, including diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, through educational programming for physicians and other stakeholders;
  • Reverse the troubling increases in race/ethnic-based health inequities such as maternal mortality; and
  • Promote expanded funding for programs that attract a more diversified physician workforce, increasing the number of minority faculty including Black, Latinx, Native American, female, LGBTQ faculty, and faculty with disabilities teaching in medical schools and expanding medical school pipeline programs in rural and urban areas to address the shortage of physicians in medically underserved areas of New York

MSSNY will request that all New York medical specialty organizations, medical schools, non-physician healthcare organizations and hospitals adopt similar resolutions.

MSSNY stands firmly against harassment and violence against any group based on their identity, such as the recent attacks on the Asian community. (Adopted, Council 6/3/21) 

312.966-Ensuring Affordability and Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

MSSNY supports the public purchase and cost-free distribution of COVID-19 booster vaccine doses.  (Adopted Council 6/3/21)


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JAMA and JAMA Network Journals Establish Priorities to Promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
The editors of JAMA and the JAMA Network journals have issued an editorial that outlines ongoing and new editorial priorities and key approaches for the JAMA family of journals to strive for and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. The editors reaffirmed their commitment to improving equity and have developed 14 editorial priorities to serve as a foundation to support a comprehensive, meaningful, and sustainable strategy to achieve these goals.

According to the editors, “There is no greater calling for JAMA and the JAMA Network journals, and for all medical publications, than advancing the science and art of medicine and the betterment of public health. Today, and for the future, these goals will be accomplished by championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of clinical care, biomedical research, health policy and society.”


Join CareClix on June 23 @ Noon for Overview of Virtual Care Management Program
MSSNY Members receive a discounted rate for implementing CareClix, a virtual telehealth platform that enables you to put your patients first.

Join CareClix for a brief overview of the platform followed by a Q&A session with CareClix’s CEO to answer any questions.

Details:

Date: June 23rd, 2021
Time: 12 pm EST
Where: mssny.zoom.us/j/96348830789?pwd=bUxVTjQxMGR0S3RTQm55YlQvQnpRUT09
Presenter: Dr. John Korangy, MD, MPH, CEO of CareClix

CareClix’s all-in-one platform lets you deliver an exceptional patient experience that’s convenient for your patients and efficient for you. Allow patients – new and old – to chat straight from your website or mobile app. Increase appointment bookings and capture patient demand 24/7.

Key features that will be demonstrated in the webinar:

    • Messaging
    • Scheduling
    • Appointments
    • Provider Dashboard
    • Virtual Waiting Room
    • 3rd Party Invite
    • Account Settings
    • Setting Up Clinic
    • Setting up Fee and Specialties

NYS Legislators Seek Campaign Support from MSSNYPAC
Your local Senator and Assemblymember seek financial support from MSSNYPAC throughout the year. Our ability to respond affirmatively to their requests with campaign contributions and physician attendance at their events affords physicians and policymakers the opportunity to develop strong rapport.  These strengthened relationships are critical when healthcare policy is being formed. For physicians to be at the discussion table, we must invest in a strong, well-funded MSSNYPAC.  We ask all physicians and our allies to make a contribution to MSSNYPAC online www.mssnypac.org/contribute or by phone/text 914-933-7722.


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Classifieds

Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302 

For the MSSNY 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.



Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. privacyssw@gmail.com. 914-772-5581

Albany Medical OfficeProfessional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email perrotmi@yahoo.com


 

 


Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email drklein@att.net


 

 

 

 

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