MSSNY eNews: September 17, 2021 – We Honor Our Physicians Lost to Suicide Epidemic

Pro-Patient/Pro-Physician Health Care Policy Requires Politically Active Physicians

Colleagues:

As we prepare to set MSSNY policy at our virtual House of Delegates this weekend, it is imperative that we put our support behind the legislators who will help us to move our pro-patient and pro-physician agenda forward in Albany. MSSNYPAC is critically important to advocacy efforts—it amplifies your voice and increases your impact on the formation of healthcare policy.  Your support helps to shape and determine which policy initiatives MSSNY will pursue legislatively and helps MSSNY to move its policy intentions from the formation stage all the way through to statute or regulation.

I hope that you will work with us and be counted among the growing list of politically active physicians and allies investing in MSSNYPAC. The importance of the relationship between our profession—the care we provide to our patients—and the lawmakers who govern New York State cannot be overstated.

My request is simple. Invest in your profession by joining MSSNYPAC with a contribution of $100, $250 or $500 right now.  If you are already a member, consider increasing your pledge of support.  Please take a moment to join, renew, or increase your MSSNYPAC membership at www.mssnypac.org/contribute.

As I like to say, “we either have a seat at the table or we are on the menu.” Let’s make the choice to have a seat at the table.

On a More Somber Note 

There is no easy way to transition to my next topic. Today, on National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, I want to remember and honor the physicians from all around the country who have lost their lives to this terrible epidemic.  And to remind all of us of the importance of talking—and acting—so struggles don’t become mental health emergencies. Reach out to a colleague you suspect is struggling and remind them of MSSNY’s groundbreaking P2P program, which offers physicians, residents, and medical students a completely confidential and anonymous opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. Email P2P@mssny.org or call 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter.

We are each other’s best support system.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


Today is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day
Today, Friday, September 17, 2021, is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. The Physicians Foundation, Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation and #FirstRespondersFirst have come together to equip physicians, their loved ones, their colleagues, health organizations and others to help prevent physician suicide through Vital Signs: The Campaign to Prevent Physician Suicide.

MSSNY has joined the effort as a supporting organization, which signifies a commitment to continuously raising awareness of the physician suicide epidemic and galvanizing physicians, their colleagues and their loved ones to create a culture of wellbeing that prioritizes reducing burnout, safeguarding job satisfaction, and seeking mental health services as a sign of strength.

MSSNY’s Groundbreaking P2P Program

MSSNY now offers 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 colleagues in 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. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with everyday life stressors, reach out to MSSNY’s P2P program.   

Email P2P@mssny.org or call 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter. 


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MSSNY President Dr. Sellers’ Op-Ed in the Albany Times Union:
Ensure New Yorkers’ Access to Vital Telehealth Services
The following commentary by MSSNY president Dr. Joseph Sellers and NYPA president Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein ran in the Albany Times Union on Friday, September 17: 

The COVID-19 public health emergency triggered — by necessity — a significant shift in how patients receive health care. It is crucial for the health of New Yorkers that policymakers ensure that our patients continue to have access to telehealth care.

Telehealth availability became profoundly important for sustaining patient health — particularly in chronically ill patients — as the raging pandemic posed significant health risks in leaving homes. The surge in telehealth was particularly stark for care provided by mental health providers who were able to offer a range of services, including psychiatric evaluations, therapy, patient education and medication management, all via telehealth.

Recent data from Athena Health showed startling nationwide trends. Despite the fact that telehealth has been available for many years, it was the March 2020 lockdown that prompted a large expansion. Mental health and primary care were the most utilized services, with the number of patients receiving virtual mental health treatment increasing 130-fold during the pandemic.

The report also noted that a year ago, about 65 percent of Americans felt hesitant about the quality of telehealth, and 56 percent did not believe it provided the same level of care as in-person appointments. A year later, almost 88 percent want to continue using telehealth for non-urgent consultations.

The genie is out of the bottle. We must ensure continued patient access to a robust telehealth infrastructure. This requires policies to require fair insurer payment for telehealth services, given that physician payment for audio and video services has often not kept pace with rates paid for in-office visits. That gap is often wide. This threatens the gains we have made and harms efforts to build a robust network of practitioners willing to develop the infrastructure to participate.

Paying physicians at a substantially lower rate for telehealth services also disproportionately affects patient access in traditionally underserved communities — including low-income families and those with transportation or child care challenges — who often benefit most from the flexibility of telehealth.

As a result of vaccine hesitancy, the delta variant, and new, emerging variants, physicians and public health officials expect COVID-19 to remain a public health threat for the foreseeable future. It is therefore imperative that policies that promote the continued use of telehealth medical services become permanent.

Legislation to achieve that has been advanced by Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake. The measure would ensure equal payments for telehealth services when compared with in-person care. Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan), chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, is also a sponsor of the bill.

It is imperative that the Legislature and Gov. Kathy Hochul take immediate action to ensure that telehealth services are paid fairly to protect this important source of care for our patients.

Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein is president of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Joseph R. Sellers is president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.


PLEASE NOTE: As the New York State legislature gears up for the 2022 legislative session, MSSNY urges members to reach out to their legislator and ask them to ensure New Yorkers’ access to vital Telehealth services


MSSNY Praises WC Telehealth Coverage Regulation while Also Raising Concerns with Certain Aspects
MSSNY has written to the New York State Workers Compensation Board (NYSWCB) to praise its proposal to continue WC coverage for telehealth services provided to injured workers but also to raise concerns with aspects of the proposal. In particular, MSSNY thanked the NYSWCB for not only continuing telehealth coverage for care to injured workers after the end of the declared state of emergency, but also continuing audio-only coverage of telehealth services.

However, MSSNY also raised concerns, shared by the psychiatric and orthopedic societies, with a component of the NYSWCB proposal requiring that an initial encounter and every third encounter be an in-person assessment regardless of the clinical circumstances. MSSNY also raised concerns with a provision that would require the initial medical provider to be required to also provide treatment and care at any subsequent telehealth encounter, which does not reflect the fact that care is often delivered in teams of physicians and other care providers. MSSNY also raised concerns with a component of the proposal that would prohibit supervision of surgical assistants by remote intra-operative monitoring. Finally, MSSNY urged that the regulation require parity in payment between in-person care and care delivered via telehealth, which MSSNY has been pushing for across all insurance coverage lines.


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MSSNY’s Virtual HOD is Tomorrow, September 18: Watch the Proceedings Live on YouTube
The HOD proceedings will be live streamed tomorrow morning at 8 am. Click on this link to watch the live proceedings at any point during the day tomorrow.

Click here to access the list of 2021 HOD Resolutions.

MSSNY thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of the 2021 House of Delegates: MLMIC Insurance Company; Charles J. Sellers & Company Insurance; New York eHealth Collaborative; Garfunkel Wild, P.C. Attorneys at Law; and NYSSPA.


Tip of the Week: Know Your Rights When Credentialing with Commercial Insurers
It’s important to know your rights as a physician when it comes to credentialing with commercial insurances. Did you know there are actual laws when it comes to this subject matter? Below is quick reference to one of the many Providers Rights & Responsibilities on the DFS website. Click the link below to see all of them.

Credentialing of Providers. HMOs and insurers offering a managed care plan are required to complete a review of a healthcare professional’s application to participate in their network within 60 days.

Health Care Provider Rights and Responsibilities | Department of Financial Services 

If you have questions about this or any other insurance concern, contact MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice, Heather Lopez at 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org.


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Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Hochul’s office to urge Urge Governor to VETO Regressive Liability Bills (p2a.co) that she veto 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” statement made by a defendant’s employee.
  • A8041/S7052 – Imposing excessive insurance disclosure requirements on defendants during litigation. Please see this attached Crains op-ed urging Governor Hochul to veto this bill because of the overwhelming burden it would impose Hochul must veto burdensome insurance disclosure bill | Crain’s New York Business (crainsnewyork.com)

Please Urge Governor to Sign into Law 2 Bills to Assist Patients to Receive Needed Medications
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Hochul to request that she sign into law legislation passed at the end of the Legislative Session 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 Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (p2a.co)

  • A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). 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.
  • A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin will significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. A substantially similar passed the Assembly and Senate in 2019, but was vetoed. To address concerns raised in the 2019 veto message, the new 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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Physician Input Needed for NYSDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Campaign
NYS is actively planning for the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Campaign (pending FDA and CDC approvals). The NYSDOH is looking forward to extensive participation from the NYS provider community given Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supply constraints no longer exist. This includes providers who did not participate in the initial COVID-19 vaccination program as well as those who did administer COVID-19 vaccine. To ensure NYS has the capacity they expect from the existing enrolled provider community, they are asking providers OUTSIDE OF NYC to please confirm your participation in the booster campaign.

If you are one of the following provider groups – you may disregard this survey:

  • Providers who practice in NYC only
  • Long term care facilities (nursing homes/SNFs, ACF, assisted living, senior home, adult home, OPWDD)
  • Hospitals (including Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitals)
  • Correctional facilities (adult and juvenile)
  • Retail Chain Pharmacies

All other providers – including those who do not expect to participate in the booster campaign – please respond to the survey ASAP. It is past due, but we have kept the survey open to collect more responses.  It is a short survey:

  • 4 questions re: your organization (your organization is prepopulated – please check if you are on the list and complete the survey if you are!)
  • 2 questions re: past administration of COVID-19 vaccine
  • 4 questions re: intent and capacity to administer boosters
  • 2 questions re: seasonal influenza vaccine administration
  • 2 questions re: efficiencies/barriers

Here is the link to the online survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/booster21.

If you are NOT CURRENTLY ENROLLED in the NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Program but are interested in administering vaccine – please go here for information regarding participating in the program.


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MSSNY eNews: September 15, 2021


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Federal Judge Temporarily Restrains Enforcement of Healthcare Worker Vaccination Mandate as it Pertains to Religious Exemptions
A Central New York federal judge this week issued a ruling that will, at least temporarily, permit health care workers to evade the State’s vaccination requirement if they put forward a religious exemption.  The court’s decision will be revisited on September 28, one day after the requirement is set to go into effect.

MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers issued a statement expressing dismay with the federal court’s ruling, noting that “No major religious denomination opposes vaccinations, and the Supreme Court has for over 100 years upheld vaccination requirements as a means to protect the public health.”

As was previously reported last week, the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) approved an emergency regulation requiring health care workers in all Article 28 regulated settings – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, dialysis facilities, etc. – to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

This includes physicians and other care providers who may not be employed directly but who provide care at these health care settings (such as a physician with privileges at a hospital or who sees patients at a nursing home).  There is an exemption for health care workers for documented medical contraindications, but after objection from various groups including MSSNY, the proposed “religious exemption” to this vaccination requirement was dropped from the regulation.

President Biden also announced that he would impose a vaccination worker mandate on hospitals, dialysis, home health, and ambulatory surgical centers also require vaccinations that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments.  According to the AMA, it is not applicable to private physician offices.

The DOH regulation provides that an acceptable medical exemption to the required vaccine is where a “licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner certifies that immunization with COVID-19 vaccine is detrimental to the health of member of a covered entity’s personnel, based upon a pre-existing health condition”.

It further provides “the requirements of this section relating to COVID-19 immunization shall be inapplicable only until such immunization is found no longer to be detrimental to such personnel member’s health.”  Furthermore, it instructs these covered health care entities that “the nature and duration of the medical exemption must…be in accordance with generally accepted medical standards, (see, for example, the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and any reasonable accommodation may be granted and must likewise be documented in such record.”

The ACIP has developed information regarding clinical considerations for practitioners here: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines.  The only listed contraindications are:

  • Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to component of the COVID-19 vaccine; and
  • Immediate (within 4 hours of exposure) allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the vaccine

Moreover, as with other mandatory vaccinations, physicians or other care providers risk disciplinary sanction for certifying a medical exemption without an adequate medical justification for doing so.


MSSNY Opposes Northern District Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements
The following statement was sent to the press on September 14:

Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“We are greatly dismayed by today’s decision by the Northern District of NY to permit, at least temporarily, religious exemptions to the state’s health care worker vaccination requirements.  We believe this step will result in a flurry of attempts to circumvent the well-reasoned vaccination requirement that was an important step towards reversing the recent surge attributable to the more easily spread Delta variant.

“These vaccination requirements are essential to protecting public health, particularly the immunocompromised, the elderly, and those too young to receive the vaccination.  No major religious denomination opposes vaccinations, and the Supreme Court has for over 100 years upheld vaccination requirements to protect the public health.  We are hopeful that this decision will be reversed two weeks from now when it comes up for consideration again.”.


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Media Coverage of MSSNY Statement on Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements

MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers was quoted in the following media outlets:

NBC NY 9/15/21
We Have to Continue the Mandates:’ Hochul Vows to Fight Blocked NY Vaccine Rule 

CBS NY – 09/14/21
Judge Blocks New York State Medical Worker Vaccine Mandate 

AP – 09/15/21
Judge blocks medical worker vaccine mandate in NY state 

AP story also ran in:
WDBD FOX 40 Jackson
New York Times Post
Compsmag
Alert Forbes
PostX News
NewsNation USA
Fox News
The Leader Herald
PressFrom – Germany
New York Amsterdam News
Digital Press Network
WAVE-TV
Think Business Today
Niagara Gazette
NewsNation USA
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online
Niagara Gazette
Granthshala News
The Witness Daily
RomeSentinel.com
The World Insiders
Travel Leisure Mag
Deck Biz
Buzzing Globe
Eastern Tribunal
In The Headline – [Newswire]
DNYUZ
Brown County Democrat
Bay News 9
The Titusville Herald
The Washington Times
The Daily Feeder 

USA Today Network/Evening Tribune – 09/15/21
NY’s medical worker COVID vaccine mandate entangled in lawsuits, protests. What’s next

USA Today Network story also ran in:
MPN Now
The Wellsville Daily Reporter
Times Telegram
The Observer-Dispatch
The Leader 

Buffalo News – 09/15/21
Judge issues temporary halt to state’s Covid vaccine mandate on all health care workers

Buffalo News story also ran in:
The Marietta Daily Journal
The Cherokee Ledger News
AuburnPub.com
Curated Tncontentexchange
The Evening Tribune 

Newsday – 09/15/21
Judge: Temporary religious exemption for health workers refusing vaccine

WBFO NPR – 09/15/21
NY may have to allow religious exemptions to the COVID vaccine for healthcare workers, judge says

NPR story also ran in:
WMHT – 09/15/21


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Passage of American Rescue Plan (ARP) & Enhancements to New York’s Essential Plan Lead to Surge in Enrollment for NY State of Health
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released information today Health Insurance Coverage Update showing that the state’s official health plan Marketplace, NY State of Health, benefited from the implementation of both the American Rescue Plan Act and 2021 enhancements to New York’s Essential Plan. Among the benefits were increased affordability and accessibility to Marketplace coverage.

Specifically, the report shows that as of the end of August, more than 6.3 million individuals—or one in three New Yorkers—are enrolled in health coverage through the Marketplace. Enrollment has steadily increased across all marketplace programs since April 2021 when New York began implementing these changes.

The American Rescue Plan became law on March 11, 2021 and increased the amount of financial help available to consumers, and extends tax credits to higher income New Yorkers for the first time, significantly lowering the monthly premium cost of health Insurance available through the NY State of Health. Since April 2021, more than 40,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in health coverage with this new financial assistance.

The report also discusses other areas where New Yorkers are also benefitting from several state actions, during the last legislative session, that enhance Essential Plan coverage and ease access to public coverage. The FY 2021 Enacted Budget included several enhancements that make Essential Plan coverage more affordable and expand covered benefits. NY State of Health now offers all eligible New Yorkers Essential Plan coverage with no monthly premium, no annual deductible, as well as dental and vision coverage for all enrollees at no extra cost. The Essential Plan has always included comprehensive benefits, free preventive care, and low copayments.

To learn more, please see the full NY State of Health’s Health Insurance Coverage Update, which provides examples of the impact of federal and state health policy changes on individuals across New York State. The September 2021 Health Insurance Coverage Update is available at https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/enrollmentdata.

To learn more about the American Rescue Plan, please visit: https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/americanrescueplan. To learn more about the Essential Plan, please go to: https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/essentialplan.


Physician Input Needed for NYSDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Campaign
NYS is actively planning for the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Campaign (pending FDA and CDC approvals). The NYSDOH is looking forward to extensive participation from the NYS provider community given Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supply constraints no longer exist. This includes providers who did not participate in the initial COVID-19 vaccination program as well as those who did administer COVID-19 vaccine. To ensure NYS has the capacity they expect from the existing enrolled provider community, they are asking providers OUTSIDE OF NYC to please confirm your participation in the booster campaign.

If you are one of the following provider groups – you may disregard this survey:

  • Providers who practice in NYC only
  • Long term care facilities (nursing homes/SNFs, ACF, assisted living, senior              home, adult home, OPWDD)
  • Hospitals (including Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitals)
  • Correctional facilities (adult and juvenile)
  • Retail Chain Pharmacies

All other providers – including those who do not expect to participate in the booster campaign – please respond to the survey ASAP. It is past due, but we have kept the survey open to collect more responses.  It is a short survey:

  • 4 questions re: your organization (your organization is prepopulated – please check if you are on the list and complete the survey if you are!)
  • 2 questions re: past administration of COVID-19 vaccine
  • 4 questions re: intent and capacity to administer boosters
  • 2 questions re: seasonal influenza vaccine administration
  • 2 questions re: efficiencies/barriers

Here is the link to the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/booster21.

If you are NOT CURRENTLY ENROLLED in the NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Program but are interested in administering vaccine – please go here for information regarding participating in the program.


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PhRMA Updates its Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) recently updated their voluntary Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals (“PhRMA Code”) with changes that will take effect on January 1, 2022.  Click here for more information: Statement on Revisions to the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals 

PhRMA noted that its revisions are as follows:

  • Purpose: The PhRMA Code has long recognized that company-sponsored speaker programs provide important substantive educational information about the benefits, risks and appropriate uses of company medicines and related disease states. Building on this fundamental principle, the PhRMA Code now reiterates that the purpose of a speaker program should be to present substantive educational information designed to help address a bona fide educational need among attendees, taking into account recent substantive changes in relevant information (e.g., new medical or scientific information or a new FDA-approved indication for the product) or the importance of the availability of such educational programming. Invitations to speaker programs should be limited to those who have a bona fide educational need for the information presented at the program.
  • Incidental meals and modest venues: The PhRMA Code has long emphasized that meals offered as an incidental business courtesy to attendees of company-sponsored speaker programs should be modest as judged by local standards. The updated PhRMA Code reiterates this point and states that pharmaceutical companies should not pay for or provide alcohol in connection with speaker programs. The updated PhRMA Code also clarifies that high-end restaurants and other such venues are not appropriate locations for speaker programs.
  • Attendance: The updated PhRMA Code clarifies various principles related to attendance at speaker programs. The PhRMA Code now states that repeat attendance at a speaker program on the same or substantially the same topic where a meal is provided to the attendee is generally not appropriate, unless the attendee has a bona fide educational need to receive the information presented. Furthermore, the PhRMA Code clarifies that attendance by speakers as participants at programs after speaking on the same or substantially the same topic is generally not appropriate. Finally, the PhRMA Code has long stated that spouses or other guests should not attend company-sponsored informational presentations unless these individuals are health care professionals for whom the informational presentation is appropriate. The PhRMA Code clarifies that attendance by friends, significant others, family members and other guests of a speaker or invited attendee is not appropriate, unless these individuals have an independent, bona fide educational need to receive the information presented.

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Donate to MSSNYPAC Today to Have Donation Count Toward Your County’s Award
This weekend MSSNY will convene its annual House of Delegates.  While there are many important works to be accomplished, the principal business of the HOD will be to decide the organizations healthcare policy pursuits for the coming legislative session.  Every delegate is urged to participate in political action efforts to help translate these policy initiatives into enacted statues and regulations.  Our goal for this event is to raise $100K in commitments from among all the participants. Awards will be finalized and presented for the following categories:

  • DISTINCTION: Counties have increased PAC membership by at least [10%] since prior year. Outstanding Membership Improvement 
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Counties have achieved [10%] of Member to Potential.  Outstanding Membership Recruitment 
  • DISTINGUISHED MERIT: Counties have contributed more than [$10,000] to MSSNYPAC since 9/13/20. Outstanding Revenue Achievement 
  • HOD MERIT: 100% of Delegates from the county contributed to MSSNYPAC. Outstanding Peer Recruitment 

Make your donation today at www.mssnypac.org/contribute to have your donation count toward your county’s award!


MSSNY’s General Counsel Garfunkel Wild to Present Overview of Legal Services Available to Member Physicians on Friday, September 17
Garfunkel Wild’s Barry B. Cepelewicz, M.D., Esq. will present an overview of the firm’s legal services during a break in MSSNY’s CME events this Friday, September 17 at 12:30 pm.

With over 80 attorneys, Garfunkel Wild serves MSSNY members’ needs from medical school to retirement. MSSNY members, if eligible, receive a discount on regular billing rates. The firm helps MSSNY members negotiate, draft, and review all types of agreements, from employment contracts, wills, and real estate agreements to shareholder and operating agreements, managed care/third-party payor participation agreements, billing, and other vendor agreements.  Moreover, the firm’s attorneys can work with our physicians to develop, implement, and supervise corporate compliance programs, to prepare for and defend against both routine and more complex audits, investigations, and reimbursement appeals, and to protect our licenses before professional licensing boards.

Please click the link below to join the webinar at 12:30 pm on Friday, September 17:
https://mssny.zoom.us/j/86585072335?pwd=VDl4T2hBZFlUTVJHUjUzb2dwWTlvUT09

Passcode: 248611


Keep Up the Pressure! Urge Congress to Push Back Against Steep Medicare Cuts for 2022
Physicians are again urged to contact their local Representatives of Congress to request that they join a letter (“Dear Colleague” letter) initiated by Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) demanding action by Congress to prevent a nearly 10% cumulative cut to Medicare physician payment in January 2022.  Please ask your Representative to sign-on NOW!

The deadline for the letter is October 7.  We thank the following New York delegation members for signing on so far.  Delgado (D-Hudson Valley); Garbarino (R-Long Island); Katko (R-Syracuse); and Morelle (D-Rochester).

In what amounts to a “perfect storm” of payment cuts going into effect on January 1, 2022, physician practices face the following stack of Medicare financial hits:

  • Expiration of the current reprieve from the repeatedly extended 2% sequester stemming from the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress took action earlier this year to prevent the 2% cut but that authorization expires 1/1/22.
  • Imposition of a 4% Statutory “PAYGO “sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will mark the first time that Congress has failed to waive Statutory PAYGO.
  • Expiration of the Congressionally enacted 3.75% temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) conversion factor to avoid payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments tied to PFS policy changes.

This would result in a combined 10 % payment cut on January 1! And all of this comes at a time when physicians are still confronting the pandemic, and practices recover from the enormous emotional and financial impact of the public health emergency. It’s time to give New York’s and our country’s physicians the peace of mind they deserve as they continue to fight on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic without having to worry if their practices will survive these potentially catastrophic cuts.

MSSNY has been working together with the AMA and other state and specialty medical associations to prevent these cuts from going forward.  Please contact your Representative today and urge them to show their support by signing on to Reps. Bera and Bucshon’s “Dear Colleague” letter.


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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.


FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida
Contact: PlanAhead2023@gmail.com


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council – September 23, 2021

MSSNY COUNCIL AGENDA
Thursday, September 23, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

                                                                       

A. Call to Order and Roll Call

B. APPROVAL of the June 3, 2021, Council Minutes 

C. New Business 

1. President’s Report
a) MSSNY AD HOC Scope of Practice Committee,
                   To be presented by Mr. Morris Auster

Resolution 112-2020 Allow Anesthesiology Assistants to be Licensed in NYS
                (For Council Approval)

b. Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster and Terrorism Response
Committee on Infectious Diseases
   Proposed MSSNY COVID-19 Resolution
To be presented by Joshua Cohen, MD, Janine Fogarty, MD & William Valenti, MD
  (For Council Approval)
 
  1. Board of Trustees Report Dr. Arthur Fougner will present the report
        (For Council Approval)
        Report will be posted prior to the Council meeting 
  1. Secretary’s ReportDr. Frank Dowling will present the report
        (For Council Approval)
  1. MLMIC UpdateDr. John Lombardo will present a verbal report 
  1. AMA Delegation ReportDr. Charles Rothberg will present the report
  1. MSSNYPAC ReportDr. Thomas Lee will present the report
  1. County Federation ReportDr. Aaron Kumar will present the report

D. Reports of Officers

  1. Office of the President – Joseph R. Sellers, MD
  2. Office of the President-Elect – Parag H. Mehta, MD
  3. Office of the Vice-President – Paul A. Pipia, MD
  4. Office of the Immediate Past President – Bonnie L. Litvack, MD
  5. Office of the Treasurer Mark J. Adams, MD,
    Financial Statement for the period 1/1/2021 – 8/31/21
    (For Council Approval)   
  6. Office of the Speaker – William R. Latreille, Jr., MD

E. Reports of Councilors (Informational)

  1. Kings & Richmond Report – Adolph B. Meyer, MD
  2. Manhattan & Bronx Report – David M. Jakubowicz, MD
    (No written report submitted)
  3. Nassau County Report – David Podwall, MD
  4. Queens County Report – Saulius J. Skeivys, MD
  5. Suffolk County Report – Daniel E. Choi, MD
  6. Third District Branch Report – Brian P. Murray, MD
  7. Fourth District Branch Report – Gregory L. Pinto, MD
  8. Fifth District Branch Report – Barry Rabin, MD
    (No written report submitted)
  9. Sixth District Branch Report – Celeste A. Johns, MD
  10. Seventh District Branch Report – Janine L. Fogarty, MD
  11. Eighth District Branch Report – Mark R. Jajkowski. MD
  12. Ninth District Branch Report – Thomas T. Lee, MD
  13. Medical Student Section Report – Leanna Knight
  14. Organized Medical Staff Section Report – Stephen F. Coccaro, MD
    (No written report submitted)
  15. Resident & Fellow Section Report – Luis Seija, MD
    (No written report submitted)
  16. Young Physician Section Report – Jocelyn Young, DO

F. Commissioners (Informational Items)
           1. Commissioner of Communications, Maria A. Basile, MD, MBA
               Report from the Division of Communications

  1. Commissioner of Continuing Medical Education, Mark J. Adams, MD
        Report from the Division of CME
  1. Commissioner of Governmental Relations, Gregory L. Pinto, MD
        (No written report submitted)
  1. Commissioner of Membership, David M. Jakubowicz, MD
        (No written report submitted)
  1. Commissioner of Science & Public Health, Joshua M. Cohen, MD
        Bioethics & Committee on Health Equity Joint Minutes, June 4, 2021
  1. Commissioner of Physician Payment and Practice, Brian P. Murray, MD
        (No written report submitted)

G. Report of the Executive Vice President, Troy J. Oechsner

  1. Membership Dues Revenue Schedule
  2. Group Institutional Dues Report

H. Report of the General Counsel, Garfunkel Wild, Barry Cepelewicz, MD, Esq
    (No written report submitted)

I.   Report of the Alliance, Helena Mirza, Alliance President
     Alliance Report

J.  Other Information/Announcements
(No written reports submitted)

K. Adjournment

       

 

MSSNY Opposes Northern District Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements

For Immediate Release
September 14, 2021 

 

MSSNY Opposes Northern District Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements  

 

Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“We are greatly dismayed by today’s decision by the Northern District of NY to permit, at least temporarily, religious exemptions to the state’s health care worker vaccination requirements.  We believe this step will result in a flurry of attempts to circumvent the well-reasoned vaccination requirement that was an important step towards reversing the recent surge attributable to the more easily spread Delta variant.

“These vaccination requirements are essential to protecting public health, particularly the immunocompromised, the elderly, and those too young to receive the vaccination.  No major religious denomination opposes vaccinations, and the Supreme Court has for over 100 years upheld vaccination requirements as a means to protect the public health.  We are hopeful that this decision will be reversed two weeks from now when it comes up for consideration again.”

# # #

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: September 10, 2021 – MSSNY Calls on Administration to Simplify COVID-19 Vaccination Process for Physicians

Join us for MSSNY’s Virtual HOD next Saturday, September 18

Colleagues:

I am looking forward to vigorous debate with my physician colleagues from every corner of our state at MSSNY’s 2021 House of Delegates virtual meeting on September 18—just a week away!

While only credentialed Delegates can participate in the actual discussions, I hope you’ll join us on YouTube to watch the proceedings live as we engage in what promises to be robust debate on issues ranging from increasing the physician workforce in New York State to eliminating health disparities in New York City, and from hospital closures in vulnerable neighborhoods to requiring physician participation in the planning and development of Accredited Continuing Education for Physicians. See the article below in eNews or click here for a full listing of the 2021 HOD resolutions.  

Visit the www.mssny.org home page and click on the YouTube link at any time during the proceedings on Saturday September 18 from 8 am-6 pm.

And remember to register for our virtual CME events that will take place on Friday, September 17:

Managing Mental Health: Beyond the Behavioral Health Unit

In My Defense: The Perspective of a Physician in a Malpractice Suit

2021 Healthcare Law Review

Steps to Physician Wellness & Resiliency

Medical Matters: Questions & Answers About the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Color of Health: The Devastating Toll of Racism on Black Lives

Veterans Matters: Substance Use Disorders in Veterans

And, finally, I want to again thank our HOD Speaker Dr. Bill Latreille, Vice Speaker Dr. Maria Basile, and our MSSNY staff for their hard work in putting together the HOD and transitioning to a virtual meeting.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


MSSNY Calls on Biden Administration to Simplify COVID-19 Vaccination Process for Physicians
The following statement was sent to the press on September 10:

Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“MSSNY fully supports and encourages the significant efforts laid out by President Biden to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. As the spread of the Delta variant increases and the number of related hospitalizations and deaths rise, we need aggressive measures to stop the spread.

“We are especially encouraged by President Biden’s acknowledgement of the important role physicians play in the effort to convince their unvaccinated patients to get the shot. At the same time, we urge the Administration to engage in efforts to help make it easier for physicians to give the shots in their offices, including facilitating the availability of smaller dose vials, encouraging state governments to reduce excessive reporting requirements, and other steps that will further enable community-based physicians to vaccinate their patients during their visits.”


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State of Politics Covers MSSNY Statement on Administration’s COVID-19 Plan
Today, NY State of Politics featured an article on MSSNY’s statement regarding President Biden’s COVID-19 plan:

A New York doctors organization on Friday applauded the expanded efforts to increase the vaccination rate by President Joe Biden’s administration.

But at the same time, the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) also called on the federal government to make it easier for individual physicians to administer COVID-19 vaccinations in their offices.

The effort to expand vaccinations around the country and in New York comes after a summertime spike in COVID-19 cases and a rise in hospitalizations, the vast majority of which were among unvaccinated people. In New York, serious COVID-19 cases that require hospitalizations account for only 0.04% of the vaccinated population, Gov. Kathy Hochul said this week.

“MSSNY fully supports and encourages the significant efforts laid out by President Biden to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. As the spread of the Delta variant increases and the number of related hospitalizations and deaths rise, we need aggressive measures to stop the spread,” said the group’s president, Joseph Sellers.

Biden’s administration is requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated and is calling on companies with more than 100 workers to require vaccinations as well. Still, Sellers said more can be done to encourage vaccinations, including provisions that would enable doctors in private practice to administer the vaccine.

“We are especially encouraged by President Biden’s acknowledgement of the important role physicians play in the effort to convince their unvaccinated patients to get the shot,” Sellers said. “At the same time, we urge the Administration to engage in efforts to help make it easier for physicians to give the shots in their offices, including facilitating the availability of smaller dose vials, encouraging state governments to reduce excessive reporting requirements, and other steps that will further enable community-based physicians to vaccinate their patients during their visits.”


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United Agrees to Give Physicians ERISA Rights in Connection with Repayment Demands
The AMA sent a note to state medical societies across the country regarding a recent class action settlement that gives all out-of-network (“ONET”) physicians important – and often overlooked – rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) in connection with repayment demands.[1]

After paying claims submitted by ONET physicians, United sometimes determined that it overpaid a claim and sent the physician a repayment demand (“Repayment Demand”). Plaintiffs alleged that United failed to provide notice and appeal rights required by ERISA in connection with Repayment Demands. The class did not seek the payment of any money but sought to require United to provide ERISA notice and appeal rights to ONET physicians (and allied health care professionals) in connection with past and future Repayment Demands.

The class, made up of about 50,000 ONET physicians, includes those that: (1) received a Repayment Demand any time after January 24, 2005; and (2) where one such Repayment Demand was not fully resolved by payment, offset, or otherwise, as of June 2, 2021.

How does the settlement benefit Federation of Medicine members?

  • For Repayment Demands issued in the 12 months prior to June 2, 2021, United is required to: (a) provide a spreadsheet to each class member containing information about each of those demands; and (b) automatically treat such class member as their patients’ Authorized Representative under ERISA for purposes of those demands.
  • For New Repayment Demands issued by United’s UNET claim processing system, United is required to treat an ONET provider as an Authorized Representative under ERISA so long as the provider gives United: (a) an executed Authorized Representative Designation form (United’s website contains such a form) or (b) an executed Assignment of Benefits form that purports to “assign,” “convey,” or “transfer” to a provider any “right,” “claim,” “cause of action,” or “chose in action” with respect to the plan beneficiary’s or plan participants’ plan or insurance policy (regardless of whether that form is an effective assignment of benefits).
  • If an ONET provider submits either of these forms to United in connection with a New Repayment Demand issued by the UNET system, United must give that provider ERISA rights as an Authorized Representative.

Why is this important to Federation of Medicine members?

ERISA provides insured patients with a powerful set of legal rights to protect them from errors and other misconduct by those that administer their healthcare plan (in this case, United). What is often overlooked is that a physician can also take advantage of many of these rights if the physician is designated as their patient’s Authorized Representative under ERISA. An Authorized Representative is a person entitled to act on behalf of a plan participant for purposes of ERISA.

This settlement makes it much easier for a physician who receives a Repayment Demand to be deemed by United to be an Authorized Representative, which means that the physician can “step into the shoes” of the patient and exercise the patient’s legal rights under ERISA. This includes the right to obtain detailed information about the written plan terms that purportedly support the Repayment Demand and United’s rationale, as well as the right to pursue an appeal to further understand and challenge that determination. These rights are designed to put the burden on United to show why, under the written terms of the patient’s plan, a Repayment Demand is reasonable. Although United allows ONET providers to file “Claim Reconsideration Requests” or “Appeals,” those procedures are not subject to ERISA’s requirements. As a result, even physicians who take these steps often lack the information necessary to determine if a Repayment Demand is reasonable. With this settlement, physicians have a much clearer path to obtaining the substantive information that ERISA promises, which will make their appeals more informed and effective.

In other words, if one of your members wants to know what to do if United sends them a New Repayment Demand, and the member’s patient executed an Authorized Representative Designation or an assignment, the member has the option of responding in effect – “I dispute your claim. If you intend to pursue this further, I insist that you give me all of my patient’s rights ERISA and prove it in an ERISA hearing.”

Have questions or looking for more information?

For more information or questions related to the above, please contact Diana Huang (diana.huang@ama-assn.org).

[1] Integrated Orthopedics v. UnitedHealth Group, No. 11-425 (D.N.J)

The information provided above does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information and content provided above is for general purposes only.


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HHS Announces Additional Funding for Lost Revenue Arising from Pandemic
Today, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $25.5 billion in new COVID-19 provider funding. The funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients, and an additional $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated, “The funding will be distributed with an eye towards equity, to ensure providers who serve our most vulnerable communities will receive the support they need.” HHS stated that “consistent with the requirements included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, PRF Phase 4 payments will be based on providers’ lost revenues and expenditures between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.”

HHS has released payment calculation methodology for Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 that can be found here. HHS also announced today a final 60-day grace period to help providers come into compliance with their PRF Reporting requirements if they fail to meet the deadline on September 30, 2021, for the first PRF Reporting Time Period.

Additional information from HHS can be found here.


Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Hochul’s office to urge her to veto multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills passed at the end of the Legislative Session. If signed, these bills 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” statement made by a defendant’s employee.
  • A8041/S7052 – Imposing excessive insurance disclosure requirements on defendants during litigation.

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2021 House of Delegates Resolutions
Following is a complete list of the 2021 House of Delegates Resolutions:

House Committee on Bylaws

House Committee on Bylaws Report – 2021 HOD
2021-1 Create MSSNY IMG – Ethnic Medical Associations Section

Government Affairs – A

50  Physician-driven Medical Assistant Specialty Training in the Office Setting
51  Uniform Standard of Care in Liability Cases
52  Hospital Closures in Vulnerable Neighborhoods in NYS
53  Patient Protection from  Insurance Company Contract Disputes
54  Site of Service Availability
55  Enforcement of Administrative Simplification Requirements
56  We’re Mad as Hell and We’re Not Going to Take it Any More
57  Prioritizing People First – Upholding our Oath & Code of Conduct by Endorsing the Improved and Enhanced Medicare for All Act
58  Prioritizing People First -Upholding our Oath & Code of Conduct by Endorsing the NY Health Act

Governmental Affairs Sunset Report

Government Affairs – B

100  Telehealth
101  Fifteen Month Lab Standing Orders
102  Increasing the Physician Workforce in New York State
103  Optimizing the Online SNAP to Advance Health Equity
104  COVID-Related Mental Health Coverage
105  Reciprocal Telehealth Agreements
106  Medicare Advantage Plan Mandate

Public Health & Education

150  Electric Scooters
151  Requiring Physician Participation in the Planning and Development of Accredited Continuing Education for Physicians
152  Fifteen Month Prescribing
153  Require Methadone Dispensers to report to I STOP – PMP
154  Nursing Home Medical Directors Registry
155  Physician Burnout
156  Eliminating Health Disparities in New York City
157  Support Physicians Providing Gender Affirming Care for Youth

Public Health and Education Sunset Report 

Reports of Officers-Admin Matters

200  September 11 as a National Holiday
201  UN International Radionuclide Therapy Day Recognition
202  IMG Membership
203  Physician-Scientist Committee
204  Promotional Period for Membership (“18 months for 12 months”)
205  MSSNY Membership Dues Multiyear Discount Program and Other Innovative Membership Levels

Report of Officers and Administrative Matters Sunset Report

Socio-Medical Economics

250  Insurance Coverage for Cooling – Cold Cap – Therapy
251  Prohibition of Insurer Processing Fee on Claims
252  Third-Party Insurer Abuse of Modifier 25 Policy
253  Compensation for Appealing Denials to Insurance Companies
254  CPT Denials- Service- Preauthorization Denials
255   Prior Authorization – CPT Codes for Fair Compensation
256  Improving Workman Compensation MTG Compliance by Insurers

Socio-Medical Economics Sunset Report 

Click here for a combined PDF of All Resolutions


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Interested in Learning How to Become a Political Strategist? Register for AMPAC Campaign School
Recognized as one of the top training programs in the country, AMPAC Campaign School will mold you into a winning political strategist and help you elect friends of medicine. The Campaign School is renowned for its use of a simulated campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, complete with demographics, voting statistics and candidate biographies and much more. 

To provide the same high-quality content of the in-person program, the Virtual Campaign School will be conducted over the course of two consecutive weekends: December 4-5 and 11-12, 2021.

Both weekends are part of the full program and must be attended by participants. This includes a two-hour virtual welcome reception tentatively scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, December 1 and each Saturday and Sunday session will run from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm ET.

To help participants prepare for the virtual program in December, AMPAC has developed a set of online tools, to be completed before the main program begins. These include the Campaign School simulation and workbooks which you will receive shortly after you register. This “pre-school” work will require 8-10 hours of online study over the course of the two months leading up to the program.

Virtual attendees may include physicians, spouses of physicians, residents, medical students and state medical society staff interested in becoming more involved in politics. Past participants ranged from those attracted to grassroots efforts to those considering becoming a candidate for public office. No matter where you are in the process, you will develop a new understanding of how campaigns are run. As a graduate of the AMPAC program, candidates will rely on you to give them advice on strategy, message and campaign plans. 

Note: Registration fee is $350 for AMA Member/$1000 for non-AMA members. This fee is waived for AMA residents and students; however, space is limited and the AMPAC Board will review and select four participants from the pool of qualified resident and student applicants.

Registration for the Virtual Campaign School is now open. Space is limited and deadline to register is October 13, 2021.

For questions or more information please contact: politicaleducation@ama-assn.org.


Calling All Physician New York Yankees Fans!
Join your fellow healthcare professionals and the New York Yankees for a fun-filled night at Yankee Stadium for the October 1st game as the Yankees take on the Tampa Bay Rays. The first 1,000 healthcare professionals who purchase through this link will receive a special New York Yankees scrub top. Scrub sizes are not guaranteed and are first come, first served.

Offer expires: September 30, 2021

Scrub Pickup:

Once inside the Stadium and prior to the start of the 4th inning, please head over to the scrub redemption table located on the Field Level (100 level) next to Gate 2. 

Offer valid for select, non-premium seating areas. Offer is for a limited time only, subject to availability, has no cash value, is not valid on previously purchased tickets, and is not good in conjunction with any other promotional offer. 

Please note that all sales are final and there are no refunds or cancellations. 

When purchasing tickets or ticket plans on yankees.com and associated websites, you are limited to a specified number of tickets or ticket plans for each event (also known as a “ticket limit”). The Yankees reserve the right to cancel any or all orders and tickets/ticket plans without notice to you if you exceed the posted limits. This includes orders associated with the same name, e-mail address, billing address, credit card number or other information.


Sellers Banner AdClassified 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.


FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida
Contact: PlanAhead2023@gmail.com


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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 Calls on Biden Administration to Simplify COVID-19 Vaccination Process for Physicians

For Immediate Release 
September 10, 2021  

MSSNY Calls on Biden Administration to Simplify COVID-19 Vaccination
Process for Physicians
 

Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 
  

“MSSNY fully supports and encourages the significant efforts laid out by President Biden to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. As the spread of the Delta variant increases and the number of related hospitalizations and deaths rise, we need aggressive measures to stop the spread.

“We are especially encouraged by President Biden’s acknowledgment of the important role physicians play in the effort to convince their unvaccinated patients to get the shot. At the same time, we urge the Administration to engage in efforts to help make it easier for physicians to give the shots in their offices, including facilitating the availability of smaller dose vials, encouraging state governments to reduce excessive reporting requirements, and other steps that will further enable community-based physicians to vaccinate their patients during their visits.”

# # #

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: September 8, 2021 – MSSNY Urges No Surprises Act Methodology that is Not Biased Towards Insurance Companies


.
MSSNY Submits Comments Urging Methodology for No Surprises Act that is Not Biased Towards Insurance Companies
MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers this week submitted comments on behalf of New York’s physicians to the US Department of Health & Human Services regarding regulations to implement portions of the federal No Surprises Act enacted by Congress last December, and in effect January 1, 2022.  This effort has been joined by many other medical associations, including the American Medical Association and state and specialty societies across the country, urging similar rules for implementation.

The letter notes that MSSNY strongly supports the goal of the regulation to protect consumers, including specific provisions to help reduce cost-sharing obligations for patients, and provisions to ensure enforcement of the “prudent layperson” standard and other protections impacting upon the delivery of emergency care. However, MSSNY also raised concerns about the proposal to calculate the Qualifying Payment Amount (QPA) to be considered in any Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR). If implemented as proposed, it will be unfairly held artificially low (and be biased towards insurers) since it treats payments to individual physicians equally with payment to large physician practices.  MSSNY also urged that there be a far more robust information disclosure requirement imposed on insurers regarding how the QPA was calculated, as well as a detailed process for auditing health insurers to ensure they are being honest in developing this information.

Furthermore, MSSNY raised concerns that the faulty methodology for QPA calculation poses a risk of negative impact on access to care.  Many hospitals and other providers rely on out-of-network specialists to cover care, including emergency and urgent care and complicated procedures.  This is particularly true for rural and urban areas with unmet needs.  The letter notes that if the QPA is fundamentally unfair to physicians we may see coverage and access to care issues, particularly in hospital emergency departments as it may not be feasible for some out-of-network physicians to continue to take calls for patients. This was a critical public health aim that New York’s similar law sought to address when it was passed by the State Legislature in 2014.

Given these profound concerns, MSSNY argued that the QPA should not be the priority factor in determining  payment under an IDR, and that all factors should be weighted equally.


Check with Your Legal Counsel Whether You Are Required to Follow Federal or State Infection Disease Employee Protection Standards
Physician offices should consult with their legal counsel to determine if they are required to comply with the recent federal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) rules for protecting employees from airborne COVID-19 transmission or instead required to comply with newly enacted state requirements for all employers who are not subject to federal rules.

In July, MSSNY’s General Counsel law firm, Garfunkel Wild, prepared an alert OSHA Issues Emergency Rules For Healthcare Employers And Updated Guidance For All Employers | Garfunkel Wild, that provided a summary of the requirements for the OSHA ETS.  The alert notes that exempted from compliance with the OSHA ETS are “employers performing healthcare services on an outpatient basis in a non-hospital setting, if non-employees are screened prior to entry and people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter.”

However, employers that are exempt from the OSHA ETS must establish an airborne infectious disease plan required by New York State for all employers under the “HERO” Act. This week Governor Hochul announced that the Commissioner of Health had designated COVID-19 as a highly infectious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health, which requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in the event of an airborne infectious disease, helping to prevent workplace infections The New York State Department of Labor (NY DOL) has developed model forms for all New York employers to adopt NY HERO Act.

The question is whether physician offices are required to follow the federal OSHA ETS or the NY HERO Act standards.  MSSNY has received clarification from the NY DOL that “the standard published by the Department provides that it does not apply to ‘Any employee within the coverage of a temporary or permanent standard adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration setting forth applicable standards regarding COVID-19 and/or airborne infectious agents and diseases.’  As such, employers within the coverage of the current OSHA ETS (which is currently limited to healthcare) are not currently required to take action or adopt a plan pursuant to the NY HERO Act.”

Therefore, whether a physician’s office is required to follow the federal OSHA ETS or the NY DOL standard may vary from office to office.  For example, a primary care practice that treats patients with suspected COVID-19 would likely be required to comply with the federal OSHA standard, but an orthopedic practice that instructs all patients with suspected COVID-19 to not enter the office may not be required to follow the federal standard but instead would be required to comply with New York’s HERO Act standards.

To repeat, physicians should consult with their legal counsel for how best to ensure their offices comply with these state or federal requirements, since they will need to comply with one or the other.


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Key Public Health Committee Approves Health Care Worker Vaccination Mandate
As reported last week, the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) has approved an emergency regulation requiring health care workers in all Article 28 regulated settings – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, dialysis facilities, etc. – to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  This includes physicians and other care providers who may not be employed directly but who provide care at these health care settings (such as a physician with privileges at a hospital or who sees patients at a nursing home).  There is an exemption for health care workers for documented medical contraindications, but after objection from various groups including MSSNY, the proposed “religious exemption” to this vaccination requirement was dropped from the regulation.

Based upon the recommendation of MSSNY’s Emergency Preparedness and Infectious Disease Committees, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers recently issued a statement supporting mandatory vaccination of health care workers as one important step to increase our vaccination rate and reduce the spread of COVID-19: MSSNY Applauds NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers

The regulation will require health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes to have a first dose by September 27, and for other Article 28 regulated settings, by October 7.  The regulation will be effective for 90 days.

According to the regulation, an acceptable medical exemption to the required vaccine is where a
“licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner certifies that immunization with COVID-19 vaccine is detrimental to the health of member of a covered entity’s personnel, based upon a pre-existing health condition”.  It further provides “the requirements of this section relating to COVID-19 immunization shall be inapplicable only until such immunization is found no longer to be detrimental to such personnel member’s health.”  Furthermore, it instructs these covered health care entities that “the nature and duration of the medical exemption must be stated in the personnel employment medical record, or other appropriate record, and must be in accordance with generally accepted medical standards, (see, for example, the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and any reasonable accommodation may be granted and must likewise be documented in such record”.

The ACIP has developed information regarding clinical considerations for practitioners here: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines.  The only listed contraindications are:

  • Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose or to component of the COVID-19 vaccine; and
  • Immediate (within 4 hours of exposure) allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the vaccine

Moreover, as with other mandatory vaccinations, physicians or other care providers risk disciplinary sanction for certifying a medical exemption without an adequate medical justification for doing so.


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Please Urge Governor to Sign into Law 2 Bills to Assist Patients to Receive Needed Medications
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Hochul to request that she sign into law legislation passed at the end of the Legislative Session 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. Hochul 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. A substantially similar passed the Assembly and Senate in 2019 but was vetoed. To address concerns raised in the 2019 veto message, the new 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.

Both of these bills would help to minimize hassles for patients in obtaining needed medications and reduce hassles for physicians in prescribing medications.  Please contact Governor Hochul today.


Urge Your Members of Congress to Push Back Against Steep Medicare Cuts for 2022
Physicians are again urged to contact their local Representatives of Congress to urge them to join a letter demanding action to prevent a nearly 10% cumulative cut to Medicare physician payment in January 2022.  Ask your representative to sign-on NOW! Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) recently circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to send US House leadership highlighting the financial uncertainty within the Medicare payment system and the dangers facing the physician community if Congress fails to enact legislation to address these problems.

In what amounts to a “perfect storm” of payment cuts going into effect on January 1, 2022, physician practices face the following stack of Medicare financial hits:

  • Expiration of the current reprieve from the repeatedly extended 2% sequester stemming from the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress took action earlier this year to prevent the 2% cut but that authorization expires 1/1/22.
  • Imposition of a 4% Statutory “PAYGO “sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will mark the first time that Congress has failed to waive Statutory PAYGO.
  • Expiration of the Congressionally enacted 3.75% temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) conversion factor to avoid payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments tied to PFS policy changes.
  • A statutory freeze in annual Medicare PFS updates under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that is scheduled to last until 2026, when updates resume at a rate of 0.25% a year indefinitely, a figure well below the rate of medical or consumer price index inflation.

This would result in a combined 9.75 % payment cut on January 1! And all of this comes at a time when physicians are still confronting the pandemic, and practices recover from the enormous emotional and financial impact of the public health emergency. It’s time to give New York’s and our country’s physicians the peace of mind they deserve as they continue to fight on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic without having to worry if their practices will survive these potentially catastrophic cuts.

MSSNY has been working together with the AMA and other state and specialty medical associations to prevent these cuts from going forward. A strong collection of bipartisan cosigners to the Bera-Buchson letter will help demonstrate to House and Senate leadership that this confluence of payment cuts needs to be prevented via legislation ASAP.  Please contact your Representative today and urge them to show their support by signing on to Reps. Bera and Bucshon’s “Dear Colleague” letter.


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MSSNY Member Obituaries

ATWELL, Marshall Erding; Rochester NY.  Died January 12, 2021, age 84.  Monroe County Medical Society

BLUM, Craig E.; Orchard Park NY.  Died August 04, 2021, age 71.  Erie County Medical Society

BRANDT, Max; New York NY.  Died March 16, 2021, age 90.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

DEHAVEN, Kenneth E.; Rochester NY.  Died June 20, 2021, age 82.  Monroe County Medical Society

EMMENS, Robert Walter; Rochester NY.  Died August 02, 2019, age 78.  Monroe County Medical Society

GANDELL, David Lee; Rochester NY.  Died March 04, 2021, age 68.  Monroe County Medical Society

GINSBURG, Selig M.; New York NY.  Died August 01, 2021, age 96.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

GOLDSTEIN, Robert S.; New Rochelle NY.  Died August 16, 2021, age 84.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

GUERINOT, Gerard Thomas; Rochester NY.  Died January 02, 2021, age 89.  Monroe County Medical Society

HARRIS, Jerome R.; Laguna Woods CA.  Died July 08, 2021, age 100.  Medical Society County of Queens Inc.

KIM, Doo Joe; Cornwall NY.  Died April 17, 2021, age 86.  Medical Society County of Orange

LONG, C. Parker; Green Valley AZ.  Died October 06, 2020, age 96.  Medical Society County of Ontario Inc.

MCVEIGH, Robert C.; Pittsford NY.  Died June 02, 2021, age 90.  Monroe County Medical Society

MELTZER, Jay Ivan; New York NY.  Died July 03, 2021, age 92.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

MILCH, Robert Alan; Buffalo NY.  Died June 04, 2021, age 78.  Erie County Medical Society

NAPLES, R. Joseph; Pittsford NY.  Died April 15, 2021, age 97.  Monroe County Medical Society

NOONAN, James M.; Ballston Spa NY.  Died November 19, 2019, age 68.  Saratoga County Medical Society Inc.

OLIVER, Herman; Great Neck NY.  Died April 14, 2021, age 91.  Nassau County Medical Society Inc.

PERRONE, Francis S.; New York NY.  Died August 14, 2021, age 94.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

PULVINO, A. Thomas; Newark NY.  Died April 15, 2021, age 85.  Wayne County Medical Society

QUINTERO-CHICA, Jairo J.; Hyde Park NY.  Died August 03, 2021, age 90.  Dutchess County Medical Society

RUDOLPH, Lionel A.; Fayetteville NY.  Died August 06, 2021, age 98.  Onondaga County Medical Society Inc.

SCHAEFER, Norman Edward; Chatham NJ.  Died November 20, 2020, age 96.  Richmond County Medical Society Inc.

SCHECHTER, David Charles; New York NY.  Died June 20, 2021, age 90.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

SHRAGOWITZ, Jacob; Monsey NY.  Died April 13, 2020, age 97.  Medical Society County of Westchester

SZE, Kenneth Chiache; New York NY.  Died July 22, 2021, age 103.  New York County Medical Society Inc.

TREVISANI, Gino Angelo; Waterville NY.  Died July 28, 2021, age 89.  Medical Society County of Oneida Inc.

WOOLF, George; Middletown NY.  Died March 29, 2020, age 95.  Medical Society County of Orange


 

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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.


FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida
Contact: PlanAhead2023@gmail.com


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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: September 1, 2021 – Number of Adults Who Oppose COVID-19 Vaccine at New Low, Poll Finds


.
Number of Adults Who Oppose COVID-19 Vaccine at New Low, Poll Finds
The number of Americans strongly opposed to getting a COVID-19 vaccine is at the lowest level seen since the vaccines were released, according to latest findings from the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Each week since March 2020, Axios/Ipsos has polled a nationally representative group of U.S. adults about the pandemic. The latest iteration included 1,071 adults polled from Aug. 27-30.

Covid statisics chart

1. Only 20 percent of Americans said they are not likely to get the vaccine, representing the lowest figure since the survey’s creation. This figure peaked at 63 percent last September.

2. The percentage of adults who said they are not at all likely to get vaccinated also fell to 14 percent.

3. In the last week, the number of parents who say they’ll likely get their kids vaccinated has also increased. About 68 percent said they would or already have vaccinated their children.

4. Thirty-one percent said they were not likely to get their kids vaccinated, down from 43 percent who said the same between Aug. 13-16.

To view the full survey, click here.
–Bean, Becker’s Hospital Review



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Urge Your Members of Congress to Push Back Against Steep Medicare Cuts for 2022
Physicians are urged to contact their Representatives in Congress to urge them to join a letter demanding action to prevent a nearly 10% cumulative cut to Medicare physician payment in January 2022.  Ask your representative to sign-on NOW! Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) recently circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to send to US House leadership highlighting the financial uncertainty within the Medicare payment system and the dangers facing the physician community if Congress fails to enact legislation to address these problems.

In what amounts to a “perfect storm” of payment cuts going into effect on January 1, 2022, physician practices face the following stack of Medicare financial hits:

  • Expiration of the current reprieve from the repeatedly extended 2% sequester stemming from the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress took action earlier this year to prevent the 2% cut but that authorization expires 1/1/22.
  • Imposition of a 4% Statutory “PAYGO” sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will mark the first time that Congress has failed to waive Statutory PAYGO.
  • Expiration of the Congressionally enacted 3.75% temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) conversion factor to avoid payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments tied to PFS policy changes.
  • A statutory freeze in annual Medicare PFS updates under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that is scheduled to last until 2026, when updates resume at a rate of 0.25% a year indefinitely, a figure well below the rate of medical or consumer price index inflation.

This would result in a combined 9.75 % payment cut on January 1! And all of this comes at a time when physician practices are still recovering from the emotional and financial impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency. It’s time to give New York’s and our country’s physicians the peace of mind they deserve as they continue to fight on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic without having to worry if their practices will survive these potentially catastrophic cuts.

MSSNY has been working together with the AMA and other state and specialty medical associations to prevent these cuts from going forward. A strong collection of bipartisan cosigners to the Bera-Buchson letter will help demonstrate to House and Senate leadership that this confluence of payment cuts needs to be prevented via legislation ASAP.  Please contact your Representative today and urge them to show their support by signing on to Reps. Bera and Bucshon’s “Dear Colleague” letter.


Info for Physicians on Health Care Worker Vaccination Mandate
The New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) approved an emergency regulation to be adopted by the NYS Department of Health requiring health care workers in all Article 28 regulated settings – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, dialysis facilities, etc. – to be vaccinated against Covid.  This includes physicians and other care providers who may not be employed directly but who provide care at these health care settings (such as a physician with privileges at a hospital or who sees patients at a nursing home).  There is an exemption for health care workers for documented medical contraindications, but after objection from various groups including MSSNY, the proposed “religious exemption” to this vaccination requirement was dropped from the regulation.

Based upon the recommendation of MSSNY’s Emergency Preparedness and Infectious Disease Committees, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers recently issued a statement supporting mandatory vaccination of health care workers as one important step to increase our vaccination rate and reduce the spread of Covid: MSSNY Applauds NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers 

The regulation will require health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes to have a first dose by September 27, and for other Article 28 regulated settings, by October 7.  The regulation will be effective for 90 days.

According to the regulation, an acceptable medical exemption to the required vaccine is where a “licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner certifies that immunization with COVID-19 vaccine is detrimental to the health of member of a covered entity’s personnel, based upon a pre-existing health condition”.  It further provides “the requirements of this section relating to COVID-19 immunization shall be inapplicable only until such immunization is found no longer to be detrimental to such personnel member’s health.”  Furthermore, it instructs these covered health care entities that “the nature and duration of the medical exemption must be stated in the personnel employment medical record, or other appropriate record, and must be in accordance with generally accepted medical standards, (see, for example, the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and any reasonable accommodation may be granted and must likewise be documented in such record”.

Moreover, as with other mandatory vaccinations, physicians or other care providers risk disciplinary sanction for certifying a medical exemption without an adequate medical justification for doing so.


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Tip of the Week: Does Your Office Do Pre-Visit-Planning?
Does your office staff conduct pre-visit planning before your patients come in for their appointment?  It’s a great opportunity for staff to compile a list of various ancillary tests/screenings that have been completed or will need to be completed soon. Having the pre-visit planning done prior to the patient arriving at the office will save time because everything is listed in one single document. Organizations often have different EHR systems, which can cause items to get lost in the mix and add administration time to your schedule. Pre-visit planning allows clinical staff to collect this information—allowing you to focus on the patient rather than administration tasks.

Additional advantages to pre-visit planning:

  • Assists in patient engagement
  • Improves practice efficiency
  • Saves money

Click here for an example of a pre-visit planning sheet. Contact Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice at 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org with any questions or concerns. Happy planning!


CDC Health Alert for Physicians Re Anti-Parasitic Drug Ivermectin for COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health alert warning physicians and the public about the rise in prescriptions for the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin for use in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. The CDC also cautioned about the risk of severe illness caused by ivermectin, which was seen in increased calls to poison centers.

Current NIH Treatment Guidelines state that there is insufficient evidence to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 outside of clinical trials.   This recommendation is consistent with the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Guidelines on the Treatment and Management of Patients with COVID-19, which suggests against the use of ivermectin in hospitalized patients and ambulatory persons with COVID-19, outside of the context of a clinical trial. Additionally, there is no evidence to suggest that ivermectin can prevent you from becoming infected with COVID-19.

After receiving multiple reports of people who have been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for animals, the FDA recently reminded the public that:

  • FDA has not approved or issued an Emergency Use Authorization for ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans. Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical formulations for head lice and skin conditions. Ivermectin is not an anti-viral.
  • Taking large doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious harm.
  • If you have a prescription for ivermectin for an FDA-approved use, get it from a legitimate source and take it exactly as prescribed.
  • Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans.

For additional information see the FDA Information Page and the FDA Ivermectin FAQ.


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MSSNY Seeks Physicians and Practices to Participate in New Telehealth Initiative
The Medical Society of the State of New York is pleased to announce a new telehealth initiative in cooperation with the Physicians’ Foundation and the American Medical Association. MSSNY is seeking 5-10 physician and/or institutional based practices involved in various stages of telehealth.  This telehealth initiative is a year-long project and will allow practices to optimize and measure telehealth in all settings.

Telehealth is now a viable platform for physicians to provide clinical services such as for management of patients with chronic conditions. MSSNY is interested in helping physicians, especially those in small practices, implement telehealth to augment services currently offered to patients.

In 2020, the Physicians Foundation launched a collaboration with the American Medical Association called The Telehealth Initiative (TTI). TTI was designed to bolster implementation support at the state- level by equipping state medical associations with telehealth programming that could build on existing offerings.

As part of the project, MSSNY and the AMA will work together to develop relevant educational content, resources, measurement tools, and evaluation support to help practices with telehealth implementation.  MSSNY, as part of this program, will be part of a national network and support needed to establish and maintain strong relationships with physicians, practices, and health systems interested in implementing, optimizing, or sustaining telehealth. In addition to providing ongoing support, this year’s program will emphasize the importance of realizing the true value of virtual care.

MSSNY is seeking interested physicians and practices interested in participating in the program and will commit to collaborating with the MSSNY, the Physicians Foundation, and the AMA, to optimize telehealth and measure the value of telehealth in their settings. The collaborative will provide training through virtual events as well as opportunities to network and learn from peers.

For those interested in being part of this initiative, please contact Cayla Lauder, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org or Pat Clancy, Sr. VP/Managing Director of Public Health and Education, at pclancy@mssny.org


NGS Virtual Conference: Medicare Preventive Services
The National Government Services Provider Outreach and Education (POE) Team is hosting a special virtual conference on 9/14, 9/15, and 9/16 focusing on Medicare Part B Preventive Services. Each session will begin with a presentation, followed by a Q&A.  There are no associated charges for this virtual conference and you may register for as many sessions as you’d like.

The three-day conference will wrap up with the Jurisdiction K/Jurisdiction 6 (JK/J6) Part B Ask-the-Contractor Teleconference (ACT) with focus on Medicare Preventive Services. During this ACT call, you will have the opportunity to ask any outstanding questions you have about the topic and get answers from the POE Team Consultants.

To register, click here and select the link(s) to view and register for sessions. Please note: All times listed are eastern time.

Note: Since a Medicare Administrative Contractor is presenting this information, each session will also be eligible to receive one Medicare University Credit (MUC) and one continuing education unit (CEU) with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) per hour of education, if you are a certified professional coder. Please remember, if you will be reporting CEUs to the AAPC, you will need to keep your email registration confirmation as proof of session for any future AAPC audit. If you do not have a registration confirmation in your name, you will not be able to report CEUs with the AAPC. Please note: MUCs/CEUs are not available for the Ask-the-Contractor Teleconference.

 

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DOH COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Physicians
The FDA granted full licensure for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on August 23, which applies to the use of this vaccine in the 16+ population.  The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for adolescents 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain (moderately or severely) immunocompromised individuals.  This vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee).  DOH encourages you to reach out to your patients who have not yet been vaccinated to let them know about this development and encourage them to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

​The FDA also approved an amendment to the EUA for Pfizer-BioNTech extending the expiration dates of COVID-19 Vaccine from six to nine months. The extended expiration date is effective immediately for all currently available batches that have not yet expired and have been maintained in ultra-cold storage. Note: The expiration date extension does NOT apply to vials dated July 2021 and earlier.

Vaccination providers that have Pfizer vaccine in storage must:

  1. Mark the appropriate carton and vials with the new expiration date and
  2. Update the expiration date in the NYSIIS or CIR inventory module.

The extension of vaccine expiration applies to any vaccine that has been stored in a manner consistent with the storage guidelines that have been in place to this point. Specifically:

  • Vaccine moved from ultra-cold storage to standard frozen storage and back once to ultra-cold storage
  • Vaccine in a standard freezer for a total of up to 14 days
  • Vaccine in a refrigerator for a total of up to 31 days, including vaccine that was previously in a standard freezer for 14 days

All of the above conditions are consistent with the existing storage guidance.  Vaccine stored under these conditions can be used until the correct beyond-use datebased on the vaccine storage conditions, or the updated expiration date, whichever occurs first.  Vaccine cannot be used after the new expiration date, even if the storage-determined beyond-use date would be after the updated expiration date.

Cartons and vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with an expiry date of August 2021 through February 2022 printed on the label may remain in use for 3 months beyond the printed date as long as authorized storage conditions between -90°C to -60°C (-130°F to -76°F) have been maintained.  Note: the ultra-cold temperature range has been broadened to include -90° C (-130°F).  Frozen vials stored at -25°C to -15°C and refrigerated vials (2°C to 8°C) are NOT eligible for a 3-month use extension.

Updated expiry dates for vaccine maintained in ultra-cold storage are shown below.

Printed Expiry Date Updated Expiry Date
August 2021 November 2021
September 2021 December 2021
October 2021 January 2022
November 2021 February 2022
December 2021 March 2022
January 2022 April 2022
February 2022 May 2022

No changes have been made to the vaccine itself to enable extension of expiry dating. This change is based on stability data generated on batches manufactured over approximately the past nine months of COVID-19 vaccine development, from the batches that supplied early clinical trials through the commercial scale batches currently in production.

Currently available vaccine will not have an updated NDC.  Please refer to the current EUA Fact Sheet for information.

Additional information on Pfizer storage and handling may be found at:
Administration Overview for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC


 

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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.


FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida
Contact: PlanAhead2023@gmail.com


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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: August 27, 2021 – Health Care Worker Vaccination Mandate Approved by Key Public Health Committee

Insurance Hassles? We Can Help

Colleagues:

As physicians, we know all too well how hassles with insurance companies can get in the way of our first and foremost responsibility and primary concern—taking care of our patients. Each of us attended medical school to learn how to be a physician, not to spend hours of wasted time dealing with denied claims, prior authorizations, and other insurance issues.

MSSNY’s new Director of Physician Payment and Practice, Heather Lopez, is here to help.  In the few weeks since she came on board, Heather has already worked to advocate for physicians and patients in disputes with commercial and public payors regarding claim payment and rules limiting the physician-patient relationship and access to quality, affordable care. She works with MSSNY leadership and staff to identify larger problems and trends in claim payment or limits on physician practice that impact patient care.

Under Heather’s direction, the department of Physician Payment and Practice maintains an effective liaison with third party health insurers, administrators, managed care entities and pertinent federal and state agencies on behalf of MSSNY members. She is an expert in Medicare, Medicaid, Workers Compensation, Auto No-Fault, traditional indemnity, and managed care plans and provides education, guidance, and general assistance to MSSNY members with health insurance related issues.

Additionally, Heather analyzes physician complaints and advocates for solutions with insurers and regulators, as well as with both federal and state public payors and identifies trends or common sets of problems faced by physicians and patients that may be subject to solutions through legislative or regulatory action.

Heather comes to MSSNY with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the health care arena. And she’s here to help you—our MSSNY members. Please contact Heather directly at 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org with a specific issue—or just to chat about the ways she can help you going forward.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


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Health Care Worker Vaccination Mandate Approved by Key Public Health Committee
The New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) approved an emergency regulation to be adopted by the NYS Department of Health requiring health care workers in all Article 28 regulated settings – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, dialysis facilities, etc. – to be vaccinated against Covid.  This includes physicians and other care providers who may not be employed directly but who provide care at these health care settings (such as a physician with privileges at a hospital or who sees patients at a nursing home). There is an exemption for health care workers for documented medical contraindications, but after objection from various groups including MSSNY, the proposed “religious exemption” to this vaccination requirement was dropped from the regulation.

Based upon the recommendation of MSSNY’s Emergency Preparedness and Infectious Disease Committees, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers recently issued a statement supporting mandatory vaccination of health care workers as one important step to increase our vaccination rate and reduce the spread of Covid: MSSNY Applauds NYS COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers.

The regulation will require health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes to have a first dose by September 27, and for other Article 28 regulated settings, by October 7.  The regulation will be effective for 90 days.

According to the regulation, an acceptable medical exemption to the required vaccine is where a “licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner certifies that immunization with COVID-19 vaccine is detrimental to the health of member of a covered entity’s personnel, based upon a pre-existing health condition”.  It further provides “the requirements of this section relating to COVID-19 immunization shall be inapplicable only until such immunization is found no longer to be detrimental to such personnel member’s health.”  Furthermore, it instructs these covered health care entities that “the nature and duration of the medical exemption must be stated in the personnel employment medical record, or other appropriate record, and must be in accordance with generally accepted medical standards, (see, for example, the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and any reasonable accommodation may be granted and must likewise be documented in such record”.  regulation will be effective for 90 days.


MSSNY President Discusses COVID Vaccine Confidence and COVID Cases Among Children
Cheddar TV News (8/25) interviewed MSSNY President Joseph R. Sellers, MD, who discussed the rise in COVID-19 cases among children and how schools and parents can handle the coronavirus. Dr. Sellers recommended, “Reach out to your doctor. Talk to them about the safety for your child, about immunization for your child. If parents are hesitant, let’s overcome that hesitancy with some information. Let’s follow the science.” Watch the interview here.
Dr. Sellers at a news interview


Students Who Have a Bad Experience in Medical School More Likely to Regret Career, Study Finds
Students who said they were mistreated during their first two years of medical school were more likely to report exhaustion and career regret by the time they graduated, according to findings published Aug. 9 in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers used data from the 2014-2016 Association of American Medical Colleges Medical School Year 2 Questionnaire, and another questionnaire completed by the same students during their last year of medical school. Data from 14,126 medical students across 140 U.S. medical schools were included in the analysis.

Overall, nearly 23 percent of respondents reported mistreatment in the first two years of medical school. This group was more likely to report higher levels of exhaustion and disengagement, compared to students who didn’t report a negative experience. Of the group that reported mistreatment, 18.8 percent reported career regret by the time of graduation.

At the same time, students who reported positive learning experiences, such as better interactions with faculty, were more likely to report higher empathy, lower exhaustion scores and lower engagement scores by the time they graduated. Better student-to-student interactions were also tied to a lower chance of reporting career regret during the last year of medical school, the findings showed.

“The findings of this cohort study suggest that medical students who experienced mistreatment and perceived the learning environment less favorably were more likely to develop higher levels of exhaustion and disengagement, lower levels of empathy, and career regret compared with medical students with more positive experiences,” researchers said. “Strategies to improve well-being, empathy, and experience should include approaches to eliminate mistreatment and improve the learning experience.”

–Carbajal, Becker’s Hospital Review


Take a Listen to MSSNY’s Podcast: Virtual CME Offerings at HOD; The COVID-19 Delta Variant; and an Update on MSSNY Lobbying Efforts


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Urge Governor to Sign into Law 2 Bills to Assist Patients to Receive Needed Medications
With Governor Hochul taking office this week, this is a good time to contact her office to urge that she sign into law legislation passed at the end of the Legislative Session 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. Hochul 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. A substantially similar passed the Assembly and Senate in 2019, but was vetoed. To address concerns raised in the 2019 veto message, the new 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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Better Medicare Alliance Releases Report on Social Determinants of Health
Better Medicare Alliance recently released a report highlighting innovative approaches to addressing social determinants of health for Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries. Conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago on behalf of Better Medicare Alliance’s Center for Innovation in Medicare Advantage, the report found there was a dramatic increase in plan activity to address social needs within MA particularly in the areas of social isolation, transportation, housing, and food.

NORC’s research also showed that barriers to further SDOH innovations remain which include technology limitations, misaligned incentives, and the disconnect between health care systems and social services.

The report proposes potential solutions to spur greater investment in SDOH, including:Medicare Chart


Last Chance to Nominate a Colleague for MSSNY’s Bernstein Award
The Medical Society of the State of New York is accepting nominations for the 2020 Albion O. Bernstein, MD Award.  The deadline for applications has been extended to September 7, 2021. This prestigious award is given to:

“…the physician, surgeon or scientist who shall have made the most widely beneficial discovery or developed the most useful method in medicine, surgery or in the prevention of disease in the twelve months prior to December 2020.”

This award was endowed by the late Morris J. Bernstein in memory of his son, a physician who died in an accident while answering a hospital call in November 1940.

The $2,000 award will be presented to the recipient during a MSSNY Council Meeting.

Nominations must be submitted on an official application form and must include the nominator’s narrative description of the significance of the candidate’s achievements as well as the candidate’s curriculum vitae, including a list of publications or other contributions.

To request an application, please contact:

Committee on Continuing Medical Education
Miriam Hardin, PhD, Manager, Continuing Medical Education
Medical Society of the State of New York
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 408
Albany, NY 12210
518-465-8085
mhardin@mssny.org


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New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A Webinars
NGSMedicare will release a redesigned provider content website that will contain all content that is now available but with an easier and more intuitive look and feel. As they transition to the new site, they are conducting webinars for providers to attend in order to gain an overview of the new provider content website and ask questions about NGSMedicare.com.

Sign up for one of the following webinars to learn about the new provider content website. All times listed are eastern time. The NGSMedicare Crosswalk Reference compares the existing website with the new website.

Date Registration Time
8/30/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 1:00-2:00 p.m.
8/31/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 2:00-3:00 p.m.
9/1/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 1:00-2:00 p.m.
9/2/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 2:00-3:00 p.m.
9/3/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 1:00-2:00 p.m.
9/7/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 2:00-3:00 p.m.
9/8/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 1:30-2:30 p.m.
9/9/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 2:00-3:00 p.m.
9/14/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 3:00-4:00 p.m.
9/15/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 3:00-4:00 p.m.
9/16/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 4:00-5:00 p.m.
9/21/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 9:30-10:30 a.m.
9/22/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 2:30-3:30 p.m.
9/23/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 2:00-3:00 p.m.
9/27/2021 New NGSMedicare.com Walkthrough and Open Q&A 10:30-11:30 a.m.

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10 States with Highest COVID-19 Case Increases in Last 2 Weeks
New daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have risen 29 percent over the last two weeks, with 47 states and the District of Columbia seeing cases trend upward, according to data tracked by The New York Times.

Case averages were decreasing only in Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas.

Below are 10 states with the highest 14-day case increase. Data is taken from state and local health agencies and was last updated Aug 24.

South Dakota
14-day change: 352 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 27

West Virginia
14-day change: 160 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 52

North Dakota
14-day change: 128 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 28

Vermont
14-day change: 105 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 25

Rhode Island
14-day change: 98 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 28

Tennessee
14-day change: 86 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 87

Indiana
14-day change: 82 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 47

Oregon
14-day change: 78 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 50

Delaware
14-day change: 77 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 33

Ohio
14-day change: 77 percent increase
Cases per 100,000 people: 27

–Masson, Becker’s Hospital Review


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.


FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida
Contact: PlanAhead2023@gmail.com


Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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: August 25, 2021 – MSSNY Press Statement on FDA Full Use Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine


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MSSNY Press Statement on FDA Full Use Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Statement attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President
Medical Society of the State of New York

“The Medical Society of the State of New York welcomes and supports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s full use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and we continue to be grateful for the science that has made this vaccine a reality. We again encourage patients with questions about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine to speak with their trusted physician.

“The importance of getting every eligible American vaccinated against this deadly virus cannot be overstated. Our hope is that the country takes another important step forward in changing the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine and that those Americans who did not have confidence in the emergency authorization of the vaccine will now roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated unless their physician documents a contraindication.

“We hope that the full approval of the vaccine will make it easier for schools and workplaces to require vaccination against the coronavirus. As American children head back into the classroom, it is more important than ever to immunize those who are eligible. Since young children are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine themselves, we must do everything we can to keep them—and their vulnerable family members—safe and healthy.

“MSSNY and its physicians are committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers are immunized against this deadly virus.  Throughout the years, vaccines have saved lives and we are confident that the COVID-19 vaccines will help us end this pandemic.”


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Dr. Sellers in Albany Times Union Re Full FDA Approval for Pfizer Vaccine
The Albany (NY) Times Union (8/23, Bump) reports that following the FDA’s full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, “local health officials said they expect to see increased demand at upcoming vaccination clinics as a result of the decision, and some have even ordered additional shipments of the Pfizer vaccine to accommodate an uptick.” The move also “is expected to trigger a slew of new vaccine mandates at schools, hospitals, and businesses nationwide.”

Medical Society of the State of New York President Joseph R. Sellers, MD, “issued a statement Monday saying he hopes the decision makes it easier for schools and workplaces to require vaccination against coronavirus – especially with a new school year approaching.”


Practice Tip from MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice: The Importance of the “Daily Huddle”
Do you ever have days when you and your staff are not “choreographed” well and no one is on the same page? A quick huddle can fix that. A huddle at the beginning of the shift allows for you and your team to connect on what the day looks like. It also opens the opportunity to prepare for scenarios that may take longer than expected or may be sensitive.

Good communication is key.

One of the biggest mistakes in communication is to assume that it has happened. When you or your office manager run a quick huddle before you start the day, you can be confident that communication has indeed occurred. What should be included on your huddle sheet? Click this link to view an example and download it to your laptop or desktop.

The huddle should take no longer than 5 minutes. It is strictly to get everyone on the team on the same page and tackle the day in unison. An office that huddles in the morning runs much more smoothly than one that does not. Give it a try! If you have any questions, contact Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice: 518.465.8085 X332 | hlopez@mssny.org. Heather will share steps on how to effectively start huddling.


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Physician-Focused Webinar on Information Blocking Requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is hosting a series of webinars to discuss the information blocking requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act. This initial webinar is a physician-focused presentation covering key aspects of their regulations focused on information blocking and is an opportunity to ask questions and get answers from ONC’s experts.

Join ONC on September 14, 2021 from 1-2 pm EST for the first in a series of clinician-focused webinars on the information blocking regulation. ONC experts will explain how ONC supports secure, appropriate sharing of electronic health information and how information sharing leads to more affordable and equitable care and improved care quality.

Hear answers to questions such as:

  • What is information blocking and why should I care?
  • Why is information sharing so important?
  • What information needs to be shared and with whom?
  • What are the allowable exceptions and when do they apply?

Register for the Webinar →

Note: If you’re unable to join the live presentation, you can still register to receive a link to access a recording of the webcast.


Participate in the 2021 CAQH Index
The CAQH Index Report is an annual publication, which is the industry source for tracking and benchmarking health plan and provider adoption of fully electronic administrative transactions. It also estimates the industry cost savings opportunity, an amount that declines as adoption and efficiency grows. For more information visit the Resources Page.

For more than 20 years, CAQH has delivered technology-enabled solutions, operating rules and research to help health plans, providers, government entities and vendors connect, exchange information and operate more efficiently.

To participate in the 2021 survey, please click here. All data will be kept confidential and only aggregated deidentified data will be reported. Please submit your responses by August 30th.

A printable Medical PDF version of the survey is also available. Note: If you complete the survey via PDF, please email your completed survey to us – you do not need to enter the data online.

For more information about the CAQH Index, please visit www.caqhindex.org. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us at (202) 517-0377, or email IndexHelp@norc.org.

Data collection ends in two weeks. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to receive a $150 incentive and a customized benchmark report comparing your organization to national estimates.


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Registration Now Open: CME at HOD Live Webinars
MLMIC and MSSNY announce seven live continuing medical education (CME) webinars on Friday, September 17, 2021, from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm.  The 2021 MSSNY House of Delegates will be held entirely via Zoom.  CME events will take place virtually through Zoom webinars.  Register now by clicking on the links below, and please note that your Zoom links will be emailed to you prior to each webinar you register for.

Click Here to Register for MLMIC Continuing Medical Education Programs from 9:00 am-12:00 pm

9:00-10:00 am Beyond the Behavioral Health Unit: Managing Mental Health

Faculty:           Mark Ambrose, DNP, MBA, RN, Donnaline Richman, BSN, MN, Esq

Educational Objectives:

  • Assess the mental health needs of patients in clinical areas outside of behavioral health units.
  • Recognize associated liability risks and the factors that impact claims of medical malpractice.
  • Evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on patients and healthcare professionals.
  • Develop risk management strategies to promote staff and patient safety.

10:00-11:00 am In My Defense: The Perspective of a Physician in a Malpractice Suit

Faculty:           John W. Lombardo, MD, FACS

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe how a medical malpractice lawsuit begins, and the feelings that a defendant physician can experience.
  • Explain the purpose of the deposition and the best way to handle a plaintiff attorney’s questions.
  • Review the trial process and the emotional impact that it can have on the defendant physician.
  • Outline strategies that can help support the defendant physician during the litigation process.

11:00 am-12:00 pm 2021 Healthcare Law Review

Faculty:           Nancy E. May-Skinner, Esq.

Educational Objectives:

  • Discuss legislative and case law developments in 2020-2021.
  • Discuss the current laws and regulations associated with COVID-19.
  • Recognize the significant liability concerns for physicians practicing during the pandemic.
  • Describe the current status of telehealth laws and regulations.

Accreditation Statement

MLMIC Insurance Company (MLMIC) is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

MLMIC designates each live activity for a maximum of 1.0 𝘼𝙈𝘼 𝙋𝙍𝘼 𝘾𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙜𝙤𝙧𝙮 1 C𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙩™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Disclosure Statement

MLMIC relies upon faculty participants in its CME programs to provide educational information that is objective and free of bias. In this spirit and in accordance with the guidelines of MSSNY and the ACCME, all speakers and planners for continuing medical education activities must disclose any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests whose products, devices or services may be discussed in the content of a CME activity, that might be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest.

The planners and faculty participants do not have any financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research, or services may be discussed in these materials.

Click Here to Register for MSSNY Continuing Medical Education programs from 1:00-5:30 pm

1:00-2:00 pm MSSNY Presents: Steps to Physician Wellness & Resiliency

Faculty:           Frank Dowling, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Review the warning signs that stress, depression, anxiety or substance use may impact work or personal life
  • Identify strategies to increase personal empowerment toward making positive change, including self-assessment tools
  • Recognize self-monitoring strategies for stress-related problems and know when to seek professional assistance

2:10-3:10 pm MSSNY Presents: Medical Matters*: Questions & Answers About the COVID-19 Pandemic

Faculty:           William Valenti, MD & Bonnie Litvack, MD (moderator)

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify frequently asked questions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Discuss what has been learned about SARS CoV2 since the inception of the pandemic in 2019
  • Examine the dynamic circumstances that continue to encompass COVID-19 including lingering symptoms after initial recovery

3:20-4:20 pm MSSNY Presents: Overloaded: The Heavy Toll of Racism & Poverty on Mental and Physical Health

Faculty:           Wade Norwood, CEO Common Ground Health

Educational Objectives:

  • Examine the role of racism and poverty on physical and mental health outcomes
  • Recognize prevalent inequities in the social determinants of health
  • Review socioeconomic burdens that negatively impact physical and mental health
  • Identify organizations and behaviors that are available to remediate systemic biases

4:30-5:30 pm MSSNY Presents: Veterans Matters**: Substance Use Disorders in Veterans

Faculty:          Thomas Madejski, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Identify Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) in Veterans
  • Discuss evidence-based psychosocial strategies to treat Veterans with SUDs
  • Discuss Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Veterans with alcohol or opioid use disorders
  • Identify barriers to diagnosis and treatment of SUDs in Veterans and methods to overcome them

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

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates each live activity for a maximum of 1.0 𝘼𝙈𝘼 𝙋𝙍𝘼 𝘾𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙜𝙤𝙧𝙮 1 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙨™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure Statement
The Medical Society of the State of New York relies upon faculty participants in its CME programs to provide educational information that is objective and free of bias.  In this spirit and in accordance with the guidelines of MSSNY and the ACCME, all speakers and planners for continuing medical education activities must disclose any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests whose products, devices or services may be discussed in the content of a CME activity, that might be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest.

The planners and faculty participants do not have any financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research or services may be discussed in these materials.

* This program is supported in whole by a DHHS grant entitled New York State Hospital Preparedness Program

**This program is supported in whole by a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health.


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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.



FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida
Contact: PlanAhead2023@gmail.com

Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.


Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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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