MSSNY eNews: January 14, 2022 – Ready to Influence and Inspire? Become a MSSNY Social Media Ambassador

Ready to Influence and Inspire? Become a MSSNY Social Media Ambassador

Colleagues:

As we all know, the use of social media has become a daily activity for most of our society. To harness this important tool, MSSNY is launching a Social Media Ambassador program. We hope to use our ambassadors to help MSSNY deliver information to the physician community by using their own social media platforms to distribute and promote MSSNY’s content. Social Media Ambassadors’ primary responsibilities are to help spread the word about MSSNY’s work, including important public health information, the benefits of membership, lobbying efforts, respective calls to action and MSSNY news.

I hope you will consider signing up to be a MSSNY Social Media Ambassador by submitting this form.

Social Media also impacts our physician practices by enabling us to share important medical information with current and prospective patients. It provides new opportunities for building and maintaining physician-patient relationships. However, concerns associated with its use include advertising risks, breaches of patient confidentiality, inappropriate use and distraction in the workplace, and negative online posts and reviews by patients. Join MLMIC for a webinar entitled “Managing your Healthcare Team’s Social Media Presence” at 8 am on January 19th. 

Social media is a powerful tool that—when used properly—can benefit our practices, our patients, and our MSSNY.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP
MSSNY President


MSSNY Podcast- January 14: What Will Next Week’s Executive Budget Include?
Listen to MSSNY’s January 14th podcast with Senior Vice-President & Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster as he looks ahead to next week’s Executive Budget. 


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Join us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 8th
With Governor Hochul releasing her proposed State Budget next week, it is more important than ever that leaders in Albany listen to the concerns of physicians. To make their voices heard, physicians should plan to attend MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 8th. Register Now!

The format will follow previous year’s formats, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).

As part of her State of the State message last week, Governor Hochul articulated support for a number of measures advocated by MSSNY such as support for telehealth payment parity, significant increases in loan repayment programs for physicians, and increased eligibility for subsidized health insurance coverage for patients. However, she also indicated support for measures where physicians have raised strong concerns, such as eliminating statutory collaborative agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician.

There are countless other items that will be under discussion this legislative session as well, including proposals to reduce health insurer prior authorization hassles, proposals to address various public health threats, and further proposals to change scope of practice of various non-physician practitioners. We urge all physicians to join their colleagues in advocacy to their legislators to protect accessto quality care for their patients.


Governor to Release Proposed State Budget Next Week
Governor Hochul will be releasing her proposed Budget for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year next week. It is expected to incorporate many of the legislative priorities outlined in her State of the State Address and briefing book last week. The most positive items related to health care included:

  • Requiring health insurers to reimburse Telehealth Services at the same levels as traditional Services. Physicians can send a letter of support here: Urge Legislators to Support Payment Parity in Telehealth (p2a.co)
  • Increasing funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for physicians who work in underserved areas for 3 years.
  • Expanding the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program which recruits and trains a diverse healthcare workforce that represents underserved communities
  • Expanding from 200% FPL to 250% FPL eligibility for New York’s Essential Plan coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Eliminating premiums for CHIP coverage for children in families between 160-222% FPL
  • Expanding Medicaid coverage for post-partum care for one year after birth

Some of the concerning items included:

  • Eliminating remaining statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician. Physicians can send a letter of opposition here: Protect Physician-Led Team-Based Care for Patients (p2a.co)
  • Joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to permit out of state physicians to be licensed in New York and New York physicians to be licensed in other states expeditiously

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NYS PHHPC Mandates Booster Shots for All Healthcare Workers
This week, the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) passed an emergency regulation that will require health care workers to obtain a booster COVID-19 vaccine.  Governor Kathy Hochul indicated at a January 7th press conference that health care workers are expected to receive the booster within two weeks of being eligible, absent a valid medical exemption.

In a related matter, the US Supreme Court upheld the Biden administration’s order requiring vaccination for healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds. However, the US Supreme Court did reject an OSHA mandate that would have required vaccination or weekly testing for non-healthcare business employees.


MSSNY Facilitates COVID-19 Workgroup with State and City Health Officials
MSSNY is facilitating a monthly virtual meeting with state and city Department of Health officials for the purposes of obtaining information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and other pandemic questions. Participants include many physicians, county medical society executives, specialty society executives, state health department officials, NYC health officials, local departments of health commissioners, and the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO).

Topics discussed at the Zoom meeting held this week included vaccine distribution, the level of COVID-19 spread throughout the state, monoclonal antibody treatment distribution, and antiviral therapies. Additionally, there was discussion of COVID-19 home test kits and making them available to physicians’ practices. Currently, the state distributes home test kits to the local department of health, and nothing prohibits the locality from redistributing them to a physician’s office. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized both molecular and antigen OTC COVID-19 tests. A list of molecular tests can be found here.  A list of OTC antigen tests can be found here


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40 Upstate Hospitals Now on List of Hospitals Where Non-Urgent Surgeries Limited
Earlier this week, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced that it had updated the list of hospitals notified to stop non-essential non-urgent elective surgeries to include 40 hospitals, mostly in Central New York, the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley. This is because they had met the state’s threshold for being in a “high-capacity region” and had limited bed capacity due to Covid hospitalizations. On November 26, Governor Hochul signed an Executive Order that said non-essential surgeries could be limited in some cases, and the DOH issued   related Guidance to hospitals on December 3 setting forth the criteria.

Impacted facilities include:

Mohawk Valley Region: Faxton-St Luke’s Healthcare St Luke’s Division, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, St. Mary’s Healthcare, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, Cobleskill Regional Hospital, Little Falls Hospital, Nathan Littauer Hospital, Rome Memorial Hospital, Inc, St Elizabeth Medical Center, and St. Mary’s Healthcare – Amsterdam Memorial Campus

Finger Lakes Region: F.F. Thompson Hospital, Geneva General Hospital, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, Rochester General Hospital, The Unity Hospital of Rochester, United Memorial Medical Center North Street Campus, Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, Highland Hospital, Medina Memorial Hospital, Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital of Yates County Inc, Strong Memorial Hospital, and Wyoming County Community Hospital

Central New York Region: Crouse Hospital, Oneida Health Hospital, Oswego Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, University Hospital SUNY Health Science Center, UPSTATE University Hospital at Community General, Auburn Community Hospital, Community Memorial Hospital Inc, and Guthrie Cortland Medical Center

Impacted Hospitals in Other Regions: Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., Mount St Mary’s Hospital and Health Center, Erie County Medical Center, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, and Olean General Hospital

The DOH criteria used to determine “high risk regions” includes low current regional bed capacity with 90% or more beds occupied based on the previous 7-day average; or 85-90% occupancy rate based on the previous 7-day average AND a new COVID-19 hospital admission rate for the region (previous 7-day average per 100,000 population) greater than 4%.

Patient procedures that are considered essential and not subject to the restriction include: cancer care (including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer), neurosurgery, intractable pain, highly symptomatic patients, transplants, trauma, cardiac with symptoms, limb threatening vascular procedures, dialysis vascular access, and patients that are “at a clinically high risk of harm if their procedures are not completed”.


MSSNY Continues to Press for Payment Parity for Telehealth Services
In the 2022 legislative session, MSSNY will continue its work with several organizations including the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Division II, to pass legislation (A.6256-Woerner/S.5505-Rivera) to ensure that payments to physicians for Telehealth services, including video and audio-only visits, is equal to those received for in-office appointments.

The Senate version of the bill, S.5505, is on the agenda for the next meeting of the Senate Health Committee, which is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 19th. Physicians can send a letter in support here: Urge Legislators to Support Payment Parity in Telehealth (p2a.co). The Assembly legislation, A.6256, is in the Assembly Insurance Committee. 


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Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well-documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking, and feelings of loss. Without an intervention, it is possible that a high number of physicians over the next few years may develop chronic stress reactions, anger, clinical depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality.

Watch here, to see Frank Dowling, MD, and Charles Rothberg, MD give an interview on MSSNY’s P2P program.

If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter!

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

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

If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org.


Registration Now Open – January 19, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical & Veterans Matters CME Webinar
Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans
As Omicron numbers continue to increase exponentially, National Guard troops are being deployed to help throughout the country. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on veteran populations. Learn more about military involvement in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the veteran population by registering for Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at 7:30 A.M. Frank Dowling, MD, MSSNY Secretary and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Register now.

Educational objectives are:

  • Identify the wide ranging medical and mental health impact of COVID on veterans
  • Discuss post-traumatic growth of veterans who have experienced COVID related post-traumatic stress
  • Recognize the role of physicians in assessing the impact of the pandemic in veteran patients
  • Outline the role played by the Department of Defense in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

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

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


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Registration Now Open – February 16, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical Matters CME Webinar
The Impact of the COVID-19Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities
The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on health inequities that lead to inequitable health outcomes amongst racial and ethnic minorities. Learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial and ethnic minorities by registering for “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities” on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 7:30 A.M. Yvette Calderon, MD, MS will serve as faculty for this program. Register now.

Educational objectives are:

  • Outline some social determinants of health that put racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19
  • Identify the ways in which racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Describe strategies to improve COVID-related health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

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

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


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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 2022 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workers’ Compensation

PAYER RELATIONS
Workers’ Compensation

MSSNY’s Division of Socio-Medical Economics intercedes with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, the WC carriers, and self-insured plans on behalf of our member physicians and their patients.

MSSNY’s Committee on Workers’ Compensation & No-Fault Insurance continually strives to address the concerns of quality care for patients who sustain injuries as the result of work and/or auto related accidents. Through the Committee, MSSNY affirms its commitment to work with the WCB and its staff with respect to all aspects of care and treatment to the injured workers of NYS.

New Information regarding Workers’ Compensation Deposition Fees for Depos given on or after October 2018:

Update: December 2021
These can now be sent via email. The email itself will act as the cover letter and the rest of the process remains the same as above. The email address to send these to is: wcbclaimsfiling@wcb.ny.gov

When a depo is ordered, the standard direction provides “A medical witness is entitled to a witness fee pursuant to Part 301 of Title 12 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.  Within ten days of the completion of a witness’s deposition, the party responsible for such witness’s fee, if any, pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Law and regulations, shall remit payment of the fee to the witness.  The fee is to be awarded in like manner as a witness fee, awarded for attendance at a hearing, irrespective of the location where the deposition takes place (including telephone and video testimony).  If the witness believes that the fee in excess of that set in Part 301 is warranted, such witness must submit a request to the Board within ten days of the deposition.  The Board will review such request and issue a subsequent decision concerning whether an additional fee is warranted.”

This standard language has been used by the WCB for many years.  When a claimant’s physician testifies, the fee must be paid within ten days.  If the doctor is not timely paid, the doctor should send a letter to the carrier, saying “I was deposed on X date, directing that I be paid within 10 days of my testimony. I have not been paid to date.  Please pay me within 10 days of this letter.”

If the carrier still does not pay within the demanded time frame, the doctor should send a letter to the Board, laying out the dates, saying “ I still have not been paid ”, and attach the letter that was sent to the carrier.  The WC Board can issue an Administrative Determination directing payment of the standard fee under Regulation 301 (the Administrative Determination cannot provide for any requested extra fee— as the standard language above says, that has to be ordered by the WCLJ in the decision regarding the disputed issue for which testimony was taken).

If this process is followed, the WCB can then identify recalcitrant carriers, and penalize them.  It is expected that this process could very quickly put an end to this practice, and more importantly, will get doctors paid timely.

For you ease in complying with the process, MSSNY has created to following templates for your use:

Template for WC DEPO REQUEST to the WC Carrier
Template for non payment WC DEPO fee to WCB

MSSNY eNews: January 19, 2022 – How Will the Governor’s Proposed Budget Impact Physicians?


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How Will the Governor’s Proposed Budget Impact Physicians?
MSSNY’s Division of Government Affairs staff is continuing to pore through the thousands of pages of Budget documents contained in Governor Hochul’s proposed $216.3 Billion State Budget submitted to the State Legislature yesterday. Below is a very brief “thumbnail” of items that – at first read – are of importance to physicians.

The positive items include:

  • Require health insurers to pay telehealth services at rates equal to comparable in-person services
  • Restoration of last year’s 1.5% cut and a 1% across the board increase for Medicaid payments
  • Funds MSSNY Committee for Physicians Health (CPH) at the historical level of $990,000
  • Require that all health insurers follow credentialing application deadlines applicable currently to only some insurers
  • Gives DFS power to enforce violations of some federal health insurance protections and provide some protections against excessive medical record requests
  • Lowering judgment interest rate from 9% to a market rate
  • Increases from $9 million to $15 million funding for the Doctors Across NY program
  • Increase Essential Plan eligibility from 200-250% FPL.  Additional 92,000 eligible
  • Eliminates CHIP insurance payments for patients in families making less than 233% FPL
  • Support for additional Harm Reduction Services ($9 million recurring) and
  • Naloxone distribution ($8 million in FY 2023 and $10 million thereafter)
    $400 million new investment in opioid abuse/substance abuse services
    Provide Medicaid post-partum coverage for up to 1 year
  • Expands who a physician can designate to take a Covid test of a patient

Items that will require further review:

  • Conforms New York surprise bill law provisions to be consistent with federal law protections including eliminating requirement of obtaining assignment to go to IDR (similar to DFS Circular letters 10, 11 and 12).  It protects consideration of UCR in NY IDR but permits consideration of insurer QPA.
  • Adds NY to the 30 states who have joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
  • Transfers to DOH oversight of all Education Law regulated health care providers
  • $1.2 billion in bonuses for health care workers at Article 28 facilities who make less than $100,000 and employees of non-Article 28s who see at least 20% Medicaid patients
  • Expansion to Medicaid eligibility so that low-income New Yorkers aged 65 and up, as well as those with disabilities, are able to maintain Medicaid eligibility after they become eligible for Medicare.

Concerning items include:

  • Eliminates remaining statutory informal collaborative requirements for those NPs practicing in primary care with more than 3,600 hours practice but maintains collaborative requirements for specialty care NPs and written collaborative agreement requirement for NPs with less than 3,600 hours of practice.
  • Permits pharmacists to perform limited services lab test authorized by FDA
  • Eliminating “prescriber prevails” protections in Medicaid and Medicaid managed care.
  • Provides $102 million for Excess Malpractice Insurance Program (same as last year) but requires physicians to purchase it themselves and then be reimbursed by the carrier in 2 yearly installments.  (We’ve been in touch with MLMIC to set the stage for our joint advocacy to the Legislature to oppose this new wrinkle to Excess coverage). Again, this is a preliminary summary.  It may be revised as we look more closely at these provisions as well as others in the thousands of pages that encompass the State Budget.

Check back with eNews for potential updates.


MSSNY Press Statement Regarding the Governor’s Proposed Budget
MSSNY sent the following statement to the press today, January 19:

MSSNY Supports Several Health Care Initiatives in Governor Hochul’s Proposed Budget; Voices Concern over New Costs for Insurance Coverage to Offset NY’s High Medical Liability Costs 

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

“Governor Hochul’s proposed Budget recommends a number of far-reaching initiatives to help support both our health care system and our health care workers who are weary from multiple years of responding to the COVID crisis we have collectively faced.   Importantly, the Governor invests in the future of patient medical care delivery by providing significant increases to the Doctors Across New York loan repayment program and invests in care accessibility by ensuring fair payment for patient care delivered via telehealth.  The Budget also makes significant investments to ensure more patients have comprehensive health insurance coverage to obtain the quality medical care they need.

“The Governor’s proposal to significantly reduce interest rates on court judgments would help to bring down New York’s exorbitant medical liability insurance costs.  However, given the enormous challenges we have faced over the last two years, physicians are very concerned with another proposal that would thrust potentially significant new costs on countless physicians in the State who are enrolled in a long-standing program to provide supplemental insurance coverage to help offset New York’s notoriously high medical liability costs.

“We are continuing our review of the many facets of this Budget submission that would impact patient access to primary and specialty physician care. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure the final Budget due April 1 will continue to ensure patient access to the physician of their choice.”


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New PMG Members Welcome!
MSSNY’s Post-Medical Graduate (PMG) membership category was especially designed for International Medical School Graduates (IMGs) preparing to enter a residency in New York State.

One of the requirements for PMG membership has been certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). But we recognize that due to Covid exigencies, the new pathways set up to obtain ECFMG certification may be a barrier for recent international graduates who wish to join MSSNY.

Noting the importance of diversity and inclusivity, we have therefore re-evaluated and revised the requirements for IMGs applying for PMG membership. Effective in years 2022, 2023 and 2024, ECFMG certification will not be a requirement for membership in this category. It will be replaced by an applicant’s attestation to having passed Step 1 and Step 2CK of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or an equivalent pathway to licensure if there is a future change in ECFMG requirements.

Let any of your interested colleagues know! Applications for the PMG category are available by contacting memberresources@mssny.org.


MSSNY Immediate Past President Talks to USA Today Network About Omicron Surge
The Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News (USA Today Network) reports, “New York’s recent explosion of COVID-19 cases shattered dreams of a return to the carefree pre-pandemic world, awakening many New Yorkers to the prospect of living with the coronavirus indefinitely.” The article adds, “From another COVID-marred holiday season and chaotic remote-school reboots to overwhelmed emergency rooms, the stark reality of getting infected with coronavirus struck home for at least 1.8 million New Yorkers since Dec. 1.” The “Omicron odyssey” for Dr. Bonnie Litvack, Immediate Past President of the Medical Society of the State of New York, “included the crush of colleagues at her Mount Kisco medical offices missing work after contracting COVID-19,” and the variant also “breached the homes of Litvack’s brother and sister-in-law.” Dr. Litvack said, “It’s just the sheer number of cases. … Omicron has really affected everybody’s life in and out of the office.”

Yahoo! News (1/18) carries the Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News story.


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MSSNY Members, Do You Have a Question?
If you have a question about dues, CME programs, a billing issue, legislation you’re concerned with, or any other concern you may have, contact Memberresources@mssny.org and a Member Services Representative will respond or refer you to a staff member familiar with your issue.


New Electronic Process for Workers Comp Deposition Fee Collection Process
Historically the Workers Comp deposition fee collection process was to send all information to the WCB via hard copy by mail. This process can now be done electronically through email. This will save time and money. Instructions are available here.

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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Place Your Order for Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of 4 free at-home tests from USPS.com. Here’s what you need to know about your order:

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • One order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

FYI, free COVID tests are now available from the government and will ship at the end of the month. Use this link to order your kits:

https://special.usps.com/testkits


MSSNY’s In-Person House of Delegates Set for May 21
As MSSNY prepares for the in-person House of Delegates on May 21 in Tarrytown, we alert you to several important deadlines.

The first deadline is for credentialed delegates, which must be submitted by Thursday, January 27.  Send credentialing to Michael Reyes.

The next deadline is for submission of resolutions to be considered, discussed, and voted on. Submit your resolutions by 5 PM on Friday, February 25. Send your resolutions to Laurie Mayer.

Resolutions should be properly formatted, well thought out and constructed, and any research to document the author’s resolved clause should be included. This is a substantial help to reference committee staff.  Authors should include policy citations from MSSNY’s position statements. Please remember that resolutions that repeat existing policy will likely wind up on the reaffirmation calendar!

The House of Delegates will begin promptly at 8 AM on Saturday, May 21 and will continue until late afternoon. The completed reference committee reports and the recommendations made within them will be the focus of the day. While we will make every effort to complete discussion of our ref com reports on Saturday, discussion may continue Sunday


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Updated Information from CDC on COVID-19 Vaccine for Individuals who Received Primary Vaccination Not Approved/Authorized in the US
The CDC recently updated the Emergency Use Instructions (EUI) and clinical guidance for persons who received primary vaccination with vaccines not approved/authorized in the U.S. The updated EUI and clinical guidance state that individuals who received an incomplete series of a vaccine listed for emergency use by the WHO but not authorized nor approved by the FDA no longer need to restart the primary COVID-19 vaccine series in the U.S. Instead, these individuals may now receive a single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after receipt of their most recent dose, after which they will be considered fully vaccinated.

Attached are updated documents:


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 2022 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.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.

 

 

MSSNY eNews January 7, 2022 – Federal No Surprises Act Is in Effect: Are You Ready?

Good News from Albany

Colleagues: 

While many New Yorkers were busy celebrating the holidays over the last few weeks, many things were happening in the health care arena that will impact both physicians and our patients.

Governor Hochul signed a few important bills in the waning days of 2021, including legislation that will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of PBMs, require PBMs to be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, terms, and conditions, that they place on their networks of pharmacies. Another significant bill signed by the Governor limits the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year.

And the Surprise Bills Act (NSA) took effect on January 1, 2022. Every physician—whether in-network or out-of-network—will have to comply with the NSA by providing a form to patients outlining their rights. The AMA has developed a toolkit to assist physicians in implementation of various aspects of the NSA, which prohibits out-of-network health care providers and facilities from balance billing commercially insured patients in certain circumstances.

During Wednesday’s State of the State Address, Governor Hochul highlighted several important and positive initiatives related to health care, including incentives to train and keep physicians and other critically needed health care providers in New York State, expanded availability of affordable health insurance coverage for our patients, and expanding the delivery of care and fair payment for telehealth.  However, the Governor also raised some potentially concerning proposals to change scope of practice for some non-physicians.

As we head into this new legislative session with ever-changing priorities and challenges before us, I urge my colleagues to set aside Tuesday, March 8 to participate in MSSNY’s virtual Physician Advocacy Day. Register here.

I have every confidence that when we as a profession take the time to be actively engaged in policy discussions that impact the care to our patients, the results—far more often than not—are successful.

I wish every MSSNY member a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP
MSSNY President


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Join us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 8th
In her State of the State address this week, Governor Hochul put forth a legislative agenda that would have profound impact on all New York physicians. To make their voices heard, physicians should plan to attend MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 8th. To register, click here:  Physician Advocacy Registration

The format will follow previous years formats, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).

As noted below, Governor Hochul’s State of the State message this week highlighted a number of measures supported by MSSNY such as support for telehealth payment parity, significant increases in loan repayment programs for physicians, and increased eligibility for subsidized health insurance coverage for patients.  However, it also notes her support for measures where physicians have raised strong concerns, such as eliminating statutory collaborative agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician.

There are countless other items that will be under discussion this legislative session as well, including proposals to reduce health insurer prior authorization hassles, further proposals to change the scope of practice of non-physician practitioners, and proposals to address various public health threats.  We urge all physicians to join their colleagues in advocacy to their legislators to protect access to quality care for their patients. (BARTLETT)


Governor Identifies Legislative Priorities in State of State Message:
This week, Governor Kathy Hochul presented her legislative priorities for the year in her first State of the State Address.  As outlined in her briefing book, among the most notable positive items relating to health care include:

  • Require health insurers to reimburse Telehealth Services at the same levels as traditional Services
  • Increase funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for physicians who work in underserved areas for 3 years.
  • Expand the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program which recruits and trains a diverse healthcare workforce that represents the diversity of patients in underserved communities
  • Expand from 200% FPL to 250% FPL eligibility for New York’s Essential Plan coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Eliminate premiums for CHIP coverage for children in families between 160-222% FPL
  • Expand Medicaid coverage for post-partum care for one year after birth

Some concerning items included:

  • Eliminating remaining statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician
  • Joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to permit out of state physicians to be licensed in New York and New York physicians to be licensed in other states expeditiously 

Many of these items will be included within the Executive Budget that will be presented by Governor Hochul on or about January 18th.
(DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS)


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MSSNY Supports COVID-19 Immunizations for Healthcare Workers and Children
The Medical Society of the State of New York this week released a statement in response to an anti-vaccine rally held at the State Capital on the first day of the NYS Legislative Session.   MSSNY continues to strongly support the requirement for COVID-19 immunization of all healthcare workers. MSSNY also supports requiring immunization of school age children.   A copy of the statement can be found here.

Children’s Health Defense New York, led by anti-vaccine founder Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has organized and funded a group called The People’s Coalition for New York.  Children’s Health Defense New York provided funding for buses for the groups involved in the rally.   The group is

opposed to various legislative measures that would improve public health.  MSSNY will continue to aggressively promote the importance of being vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19 and to counter the group’s messaging that threatens our public health. (CLANCY)                                                                                                    


Go to MSSNY Webpage for More Information on No Surprises Act Implementation
The implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA) on January 1, 2022 means that physicians must familiarize themselves with the many aspects of this law that will impact the care they provide to patients both when they are out of network and in-network.

For more information on these new requirements, physicians can go to the following page on the MSSNY website: Preparing for the No Surprises Act – (mssnyenews.org) where they can find:

Physicians are also reminded that MSSNY’s General Counsel, the Garfunkel Wild law firm, has developed a webinar on February 1 at noon to discuss what health care providers need to know.

GW Complimentary Webinar – February 1, 2022 – Federal No Surprises Act – One month in. What have we learned? What questions remain? | Garfunkel Wild. (AUSTER)               


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Governor Hochul Signs Bills to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Ability to Make Mid-year Formulary Changes
Governor Hochul signed two bills into law in late December that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensure greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices.  MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send letters to Governor Hochul in support of these bills over the last several months.

  • The first bill (1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices ofPharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS.    MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one way to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.  The law takes effect on or about March 31, 2022.
  • The second bill, (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. To address concerns raised in a veto message from 2019, the new law will prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur. Based upon a chapter amendment negotiated by Governor Hochul with the State Legislature, the provisions will take effect for policies beginning 
    January 1, 2023. (CARY, AUSTER)

Please Urge Your Legislators to Protect Physician-Led Team Care
With a new Legislative Session beginning this week, physicians are again reminded to contact their Senators and Assemblymembers to oppose legislation (S.3056-A/A.1535-A) that could lead to uncoordinated, siloed care by eliminating any statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative arrangements with a physician practicing in the same specialty.  A letter can be sent from here: Protect Physician-Led Team-Based Care for Patients (p2a.co).  The legislation would also eliminate the requirement for a newly practicing nurse practitioner to maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician.

The legislation had advanced to the Senate floor last Session, and Governor Hochul announced her support for this concept as part of her State of the State briefing book this week.  As part of last year’s State Budget, there was a provision enacted that extended until June 30, 2022 the existing law that permits nurse practitioners with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice without a written collaborative agreement provided they maintain evidence of “collaborative relationships” with a physician in the same specialty practiced by the NP.

In an Assembly public hearing this past November, and in communication with the Governor’s office, MSSNY raised concerns that the crisis standard of care that led to the waiving of these very important patient protections during the height of the pandemic should not become the general

standard of care.  These communications highlighted a recent MSSNY survey in which 75% of the physician respondents to this survey indicated that advanced care practitioners working independently during the pandemic under the Governor’s Executive Orders (waiving physician

supervision requirements) had committed an error while treating a patient and 90% indicated that the error could have been prevented had there been physician oversight.                   (AUSTER)


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NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) Makes Audio-Only Telehealth Coverage Policy Permanent
After ongoing, temporary emergency regulations from DFS, the department has made permanent the policy that requires private commercial insurance plans to cover Telehealth services delivered via audio-only. An insurer may still engage in reasonable fraud, waste, and abuse detection efforts, including to prevent payments for services that do not warrant separate reimbursement.

The new policy was adopted to mitigate health and safety risks during the ongoing pandemic and because Telehealth has proven to be an effective tool in providing quality care for patients around the state. To view the permanent regulation: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/12/rfin_adopt_reg62_amend62_text.pdf

Additionally, it is important to note that a statute was enacted in 2020 that requires Medicaid to cover audio-only Telehealth services.  (CARY)


The Telehealth Initiative
Through the Telehealth Initiative, MSSNY and the AMA will work together to develop relevant educational content, resources, measurement tools, and evaluation support to help practices with telehealth implementation. Through the program, MSSNY will be part of a national network and will offer support to 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 has secured four signed statements of interest: C DOC, Mount Sinai, Northwell TeleICU/Telehealth, and Eger Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. MSSNY is hoping to have close to 10 practice sites all together. As a collaborating partner, team leaders will participate in a “kick-off” meeting with leaders from practice sites in New York and in other states. Each practice site will be involved in dissemination of a telehealth survey assessing practice/physician experience using telehealth.

In addition to participation in the Telehealth Survey, the project team will collect baseline, mid- point, and final data points to measure the impact of telehealth in their practices using the Return on Health framework. Access to educational resources from the AMA, expert mentoring to discuss optimization and sustaining telehealth into practice, and virtual events/discussions which provides a network for physicians and care teams to share experiences will be provided to all participants.

Are you interested in learning more about joining the Telehealth Initiative? Join us for a Town Hall call on Tuesday, January 11th at 5:30pm ET to hear more about the program, how to get involved, and what to expect.  Leaders from across the participating associations and organizations will also be available for questions! We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here to join the meeting

If you or someone you know is interested in joining this initiative, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator at clauder@mssny.org.                              (LAUDER)


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Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking, and feelings of loss.

If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter! Email: P2P@mssny.org and request that you be connected with a peer supporter or by Phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337).  Without an intervention, it is possible that a high number of physicians over the next few years may develop chronic stress reactions, anger, clinical depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality.

If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Program Coordinator, at clauder@mssny.org.     (LAUDER)


Registration Now Open – January 19, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical & Veterans Matters CME Webinar
Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans
The Department of Defense has contributed widely to COVID response throughout the pandemic, and COVID has had significant impacts on veteran populations. Learn more about military involvement in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the veteran population by registering for Military Involvement in COVID Response & the Impact of COVID-19 on Veterans on Wednesday January 19, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.  Frank Dowling, MD, MSSNY Secretary and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.  

Educational objectives are:

  • Identify the wide ranging medical and mental health impact of COVID on veterans
  • Discuss post-traumatic growth of veterans who have experienced COVID related post-traumatic stress
  • Recognize the role of physicians in assessing the impact of the pandemic in veteran patients
  • Outline the role played by the Department of Defense in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at mhoffman@mssny.org.

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

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


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MSSNY Podcasts Had a Great Year
If you haven’t had the chance to catch up with MSSNY’s podcast offerings, be sure to check them out.  Besides frequently published MSSNY Legislative Updates, there are podcasts on the COVID pandemic, Emergency Preparedness, and myriad other topics of relevance to New Yorkers.  Click here to explore the library of MSSNY podcasts.                                                                    (HOFFMAN)

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Federal No Surprises Act Is in Effect: Are You Ready?
On January 1, 2022, a new and complex set of rules enacted by the federal government regarding “surprise bills” went into effect. The statute is broad and sweeping and will have significant effects on any health care provider who renders services to out-of-network or uninsured patients. While many jurisdictions, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida already have rules addressing surprise bills, the Federal law varies from the state laws in many ways, including having a far wider application.

The penalties for violating the Federal No Surprises Act law can be substantial. If you are uncertain about an aspect of the new law—whether you are covered, what aspects of your practice are covered, and how to comply—the GW Federal Surprise Bill Working Group can provide unmatched expert guidance.

Garfunkel Wild, P.C., a law firm dedicated to the health care industry, is pleased to announce the creation of a Federal Surprise Bill Working Group that has developed a particular level of expertise in addressing client questions about the new Federal No Surprises Act law.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact us at info@garfunkelwild.com.

Additional assistance is available from the AMA, which has developed a toolkit to assist physicians in implementation of various aspects of the NSA.


MSSNY Podcast: Wrap-Up of the State of the State and No Surprises Act Updates
Listen to MSSNY’s January 7 podcast on the No Surprises Act and a wrap-up of the Governor’s State of the State Address.


January 5 Press Statement: MSSNY Looks Forward to Further Discussion with Governor and State Legislature on Health Care Initiatives Outlined in State of the State Address
Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“Governor’s Hochul’s State of the State Message and briefing book highlights several important initiatives designed to provide some stability to New York’s extraordinary but beleaguered health care system weary of two years of fighting to save the lives of New Yorkers through the COVID-19 pandemic.  These include incentives to train and keep physicians and other critically needed health care providers in New York State, expanded availability of affordable health insurance coverage for our patients, and expanding the delivery of care via telehealth.

“We look forward to further discussion with the Governor and the State Legislature on these and the myriad of other health care proposals the Governor has advanced.  Physicians across the State of New York are anxious to ensure that patients can continue to access the quality care they need in a timely manner, and from the physician of their choice.”


Updated CDC COVID Recommendations
On January 4, 2022, the CDC updated the recommendation for receipt of a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine following receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. CDC now recommends receipt of a booster dose at least five months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. This previously recommended interval was at least six months.

On January 3 and 4, 2022, the FDA amended the EUA and CDC updated recommendations such that moderately to severely immunocompromised 5-11 year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children ages 5-11.

On January 5, 2022, the CDC endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP) recommended expansion of booster dose eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 to individuals ages 12 to 15. CDC now recommends that all adolescents ages 12 to 17 should receive a booster dose five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNtech vaccination series.

Following are updated guidance documents, consent forms, and screening checklists:


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.


Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community.  This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck!  We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board.  Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space.  Please inquire at invest@kalypsys.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council January 13, 2022

MSSNY COUNCIL AGENDA
Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.

A.  Call to Order and Roll Call

B.  APPROVAL of the Minutes of November 4, 2021

C.  New Business

 1. President’s Report
 Committee on Membership – Dr. David Jakubowicz, Commissioner
 (For Council Approval)
  b. Budget & Finance Committee – Dr. Andrew Kleinman, Chair
(For Review & Approval of the 2022 MSSNY Budget)

 2. Board of Trustees Report – Dr. Arthur Fougner will present the
   report
  3. Secretary’s Report – Dr. Frank Dowling will present the report

  4. MLMIC Update – Dr. John Lombardo will present a verbal report
.
  5. AMA Delegation Report – Dr. Charles Rothberg will present a verbal report
.
  6. MSSNYPAC Report – Dr. Thomas Lee will present the report

 7. County Federation Report  – Dr. Aaron Kumar will present the report

D.  Reports of Officers

  1. Office of the President – Joseph R. Sellers, MD
    Diversity Equity and Inclusion Powerpoint
  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 01/01/21-11/30/21
    (For Council Information)  
    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
  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
          (no written report submitted)
  8.   Fifth District Branch Report – Barry Rabin, MD
  9.   Sixth District Branch Report – Celeste A. Johns, MD
           (no written report submitted)
  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
           (no written report submitted)
  14. Organized Medical Staff Section Report – Stephen F. Coccaro, MD
           (no written report submitted)
  15. Resident & Fellow Section Report – Luis E. Seija, MD
           (no written report submitted)
  16. Young Physician Section Report –  Jocelyn C. 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

3. Commissioner of Governmental Relations, Gregory L. Pinto, MD
               a. Report from the Division of Governmental Affairs
     b. MSSNY Ad Hoc Scope of Practice Minutes

  1. Commissioner of Membership, David M. Jakubowicz, MD
        (no written report submitted)
    .
  2. Commissioner of Science & Public Health, Joshua M. Cohen, MD
        Public Health & Education Report
    .
  3. Commissioner of Physician Payment & 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.  Alliance, Helena Mirza, Alliance President
     (no written report submitted)

J.  Other Information/Announcement
    (no written report submitted)

K.  Adjournment

 

 

MSSNY Looks Forward to Further Discussion with Governor and State Legislature on Health Care Initiatives Outlined in State of the State Address

Media Alert Banner

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2022 

MSSNY Looks Forward to Further Discussion with Governor and State Legislatureon Health Care Initiatives Outlined in State of the State Address 

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

“Governor’s Hochul’s State of the State Message and briefing book highlights several important initiatives designed to provide some stability to New York’s extraordinary but beleaguered health care system weary of two years of fighting to save the lives of New Yorkers through the COVID-19 pandemic.  These include incentives to train and keep physicians and other critically needed health care providers in New York State, expanded availability of affordable health insurance coverage for our patients, and expanding the delivery of care via telehealth.

“We look forward to further discussion with the Governor and the State Legislature on these and the myriad of other health care proposals the Governor has advanced.  Physicians across the State of New York are anxious to ensure that patients can continue to access the quality care they need in a timely manner, and from the physician of their choice.”

# # #

About MSSNYFounded 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 / MarketingMedical Society of the State of New York865 Merrick AvenueWestbury, NY 11590516.488.6100 x302 | rraia@mssny.org

As Opponents of COVID Vaccine Mandate Rally in Albany Today, MSSNY Amplifies its Support of Vaccines

Media Alert Banner

For Immediate Release  

As Opponents of COVID Vaccine Mandate Rally in Albany Today,MSSNY Amplifies its Support of Vaccines

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

“MSSNY continues to be grateful for the science that has made the COVID-19 vaccines a reality. The importance of getting every eligible New Yorker vaccinated and boosted against this virus cannot be overstated. The vaccine not only slows the spread of the disease, but also improves outcomes and reduces the stress on our health care system.

“In addition, we unreservedly support the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers. The SCOTUS ruling in December upholding the vaccination requirement for health care workers—which denied a request to block New York’s vaccination mandate for health care workers—was an important win for our collective public health.

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing at a high level, we encourage parents to vaccinate their school-aged children and those with questions or concerns to discuss the vaccine with their trusted physician.

“MSSNY once again encourages every eligible New Yorker to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.”

# # #

About MSSNYFounded 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.

MSSNY eNews: January 5, 2022


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Governor Identifies Legislative Priorities in State of State Message:
Supports Increased Telehealth Payments, Expanded Insurance Coverage, and Loan Support for Physicians, but also Concerning Scope Changes
This afternoon, Governor Kathy Hochul presented her legislative priorities for the year in her first State of the State Address.  As outlined in her briefing book 2022StateoftheStateBook.pdf (ny.gov), among the most notable items relating to health care:

  • Require health insurers to reimburse Telehealth Services at the same levels as traditional Services
  • Increase Funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for doctors who work in underserved areas for three years.
  • Expand the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program which recruits and trains a diverse healthcare workforce that represents the diversity of the patients in underserved communities
  • Expand from 200% FPL to 250% FPL eligibility for New York’s Essential Plan coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Eliminate the $9 premium for CHIP coverage for children in families between 160 and 222% FPL
  • Expand Medicaid coverage for post-partum care for one year after birth
  • Expanding naloxone and buprenorphine access by mandating pharmacies to maintain a stock of these medications
  • Create a new Pharmacy Benefits Bureau to begin licensing PBMs and hire a new compliance team to investigate PBM business practices and review complaints of misconduct. Additionally, this team will expand DFS’s ongoing efforts to investigate significant spikes in prescription drug prices and to require drug manufacturers — or whoever is responsible for the price increase — to show a reasonable justification for sudden increases.
  • Advance regulations to ensure that New Yorkers are not charged surprise out-of-network costs when a healthcare provider is incorrectly listed as in-network in the insurer’s provider directory, an insurer provides incorrect information about a provider’s network participation status in response to a request from a consumer, or the insurer fails to respond to a consumer’s request for such information. 
  • Eliminating remaining statutory written practice agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician
  • Joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact to permit out of state physicians to be licensed in New York and New York physicians to be licensed in other states more easily
  • Updating the definition of “emergency medical services” to include community paramedicine, which permits EMTs to provide some non-emergency health care services  

Many of these items will be included within the Executive Budget that is presented by Governor Hochul on or about January 18th.


Tools to Assist with Compliance with the No Surprises Act
The AMA has developed a toolkit to assist physicians in implementation of various aspects of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA) that took effect on January 1, 2022.  The NSA prohibits out-of-network health care providers and facilities from balance billing commercially insured patients, in certain circumstances. The NSA and its implementing regulations set a method for determining the patient cost-sharing for these out-of-network situations, and when state law does not establish a payment methodology, the NSA establishes an independent dispute resolution (IDR) system to determine provider payment. The toolkit assists with situations involving: non-emergency services at in-network facilities, emergency services and post-stabilization care at hospitals or free-standing emergency departments; and Good Faith estimates (GFE) required to be provided to self-pay patients and uninsured patients.

Throughout the fall, MSSNY has been in continuous discussions with the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) regarding how the federal law will co-exist with the comprehensive New York surprise billing law that was enacted in 2014. To the end, the DFS has issued a series of “circular letters” that seek to clarify how various aspects of the NSA will be reconciled with potentially incongruous New York State laws.

Physicians should familiarize themselves with these DFS implementation guides:

Physicians are further reminded that beginning January 1, 2022, the NSA requires that each health care provider and facility must make publicly available, post on their public websites, and provide to insureds, a one-page notice in clear and understandable language containing information on:  the requirements and prohibitions of such provider or facility relating to prohibitions on balance billing for emergency services and surprise bills; any other applicable state law requirements on such provider or facility prohibiting out-of-network balancing billing; and information on contacting appropriate state and federal agencies in case an individual believes that such provider or facility has violated any state or federal prohibitions on balance billing for emergency services and surprise bills.  The New York DFS has developed a state-developed model notice that adheres to the requirements of the federal law.


A Veto, a Signing and a Compromise – Governor Hochul Takes Action on Several Trial Lawyer Bills
MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send letters to Governor Hochul to raise objections to three problematic pro-trial lawyer bills opposed by MSSNY and many other groups but passed by the State Legislature that could further hamper all defendants generally in litigation in New York State.     Governor Hochul vetoed one of the bills, signed one of the bills and reached an agreement with the Legislature on the third bill to significantly limit its impact.

  • Importantly, one bill (S.2199/A.473) was vetoed by Governor Hochul which would have expanded 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.  Her veto message raised concerns regarding the “significant negative impact on defendants in litigation” including health care providers and state and local governments, “all of which are already under a great amount of strain due to COVID-19.”
  • The second bill (S.7052/A.8041 “The Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act”) was signed into law, which imposes a much more detailed list of requirements for any defendant to provide with respect to the insurance that may be responsible to pay for any award in a personal injury action.  However, Governor Hochul engaged in negotiations with the Legislature for “chapter amendments” that will significantly reduce the burden this law would otherwise impose on defendants in these actions.  The chapter amendments include eliminating the requirement that the insurance application be provided in discovery, eliminating the requirement to provide information on any lawsuits that may erode the applicable insurance policy’s limits, and eliminating the bill’s required disclosure of the amount of any payment of attorney fees that erode or reduce the insurance limits.
  • The third bill (S.7093/A.8040) was signed into law which modifies the current NY law governing the “hearsay” exception for a statement made by an employee to now permit the introduction into evidence of any statement by the employee within the course of their employment and during that employment relationship.

MSSNY will continue to coordinate with MLMIC and other allied groups to ensure physicians are further informed about the implications of these new laws.


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As Opponents of COVID Vaccine Mandate Rally in Albany Today, MSSNY Amplifies its Support of Vaccines
MSSNY sent the following statement to the press today, 1/5:

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

“MSSNY continues to be grateful for the science that has made the COVID-19 vaccines a reality. The importance of getting every eligible New Yorker vaccinated and boosted against this virus cannot be overstated. The vaccine not only slows the spread of the disease, but also improves outcomes and reduces the stress on our health care system.

“In addition, we unreservedly support the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers. The SCOTUS ruling in December upholding the vaccination requirement for health care workers—which denied a request to block New York’s vaccination mandate for health care workers—was an important win for our collective public health.

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing at a high level, we encourage parents to vaccinate their school-aged children and those with questions or concerns to discuss the vaccine with their trusted physician.

“MSSNY once again encourages every eligible New Yorker to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.”


Governor Hochul Signs Bills to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Ability to Make Mid-Year Formulary Changes
Governor Hochul signed two bills into law in late December that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensure greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices.  MSSNY thanks the many physicians who took the time to send letters to Governor Hochul in support of these bills over the last several months.

The first piece of legislation, (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), signed at the 11th hour on New Year’s Eve, will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was amended from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but was vetoed by Governor Cuomo, to address concerns raised in the Governor’s veto message two years ago. Governor Hochul signed the legislation with an agreement that there will be several chapter amendments to the law by the Legislature in the coming legislative session.

The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, terms, and conditions, that they place on their networks of pharmacies. One of the chapter amendments will ensure that the DFS is the entity that will be responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced.  MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one way to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications. The law takes effect on or about March 31, 2022.

The second bill, (A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin), is going to significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both the Assembly & Senate two years ago, but was vetoed by then Governor Cuomo. To address concerns raised in his veto message, the new law will prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffers from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.  Based upon a chapter amendment negotiated by Governor Hochul with the State Legislature, the provisions will take effect for policies beginning January 1, 2023.

We will provide further updates on the implementation of these important new laws as well as the negotiated chapter amendments.


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NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) Makes Audio-Only Telehealth Coverage Policy Permanent
After ongoing, temporary emergency regulations from DFS, the department has made permanent policy that requires private commercial insurance plans to cover Telehealth services delivered via audio-only. An insurer may still engage in reasonable fraud, waste and abuse detection efforts, including to prevent payments for services that do not warrant separate reimbursement.

The new policy was adopted to mitigate health and safety risks during the ongoing pandemic and because Telehealth has proven to be an effective tool in providing quality care for patients around the state. View the permanent regulation.

Additionally, it is important to note that a statute was enacted in 2020 that requires Medicaid to cover audio-only Telehealth services. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) also issued guidance for how Medicaid will continue to cover Telehealth services, including audio-only.


New York Attorney General Letitia James Warns Companies to Stop Misrepresenting Turnaround Times for COVID-19 Test Results
On January 3, 2022, NY AG Letitia James sent warning letters to EZ Test NY and Keep Health Safe, two companies providing COVID-19 testing in New York City. According to the AG’s press release, this is because the two companies have been making false promises regarding turnaround times for COVID-19 test results. The press release notes that, despite claiming to deliver results within 24 hours (EZ Test NY) or 48-72 hours (Keep Health Safe), both companies have made customers wait as long as 11 days for test results. AG James has instructed both companies to stop their false advertising by updating their websites and signage, and by notifying patients of realistic timelines in which they will receive results. AG James is also asking consumers to report labs or testing facilities that are making false promises about turnaround times for COVID-19 test results by filing a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau or by calling the office at 1-800-771-7755.

Read the full press release.


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Legislation Signed into Law to Remove Prior Auth Requirements for MAT
Governor Hochul has signed legislation (A.2030/S.649-A) into law that will eliminate prior authorizations for all Medication Assisted Treatment (“MAT”) for patients enrolled in Medicaid or Medicaid Managed Care plans that are prescribed “in accordance with national professional guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorder.” Similar legislation to eliminate prior authorization requirements for MAT prescribed to patients enrolled in state-regulated commercial insurance plans became law in 2019.

MSSNY together with several other patient advocacy groups supported this important legislation, which will take effect on or about March 22, 2022.


Legislation Signed into Law to Require Co-Prescribing Naloxone for Certain Patients Taking Opioid Medications
Governor Hochul has signed legislation (A.336-A/S.2966-A) into law that will require physicians and other health care practitioners to co-prescribe an opioid antagonist for the first opioid prescription of the year to a patient where the patient 1) has a history of substance abuse disorder; 2) has concurrent use of a benzodiazepine or non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics or 3) is taking at least 90 MME per day in prescribed opioids.  The requirement does not apply to patients in a hospital, nursing home, mental health facility, or hospice.

While MSSNY is a strong proponent for ensuring patients have access to opioid antagonists with a minimum of hassles, it raised concerns with the potential overbroad nature of this requirement as it was being considered by the State Legislature.  Importantly, the sponsors of the legislation amended the bill by significantly narrowing the applicable patient cohort to whom the co-prescribing requirement applies, which had set at 50 MME daily under the original version of this legislation.

The law will take effect on or about June 27, 2022.


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MSSNY Member Obituaries
ABDELAZIM, Mohamad I.; Binghamton NY.  Died December 15, 2021, age 83.  Broome County Medical Society
COUCH, George G.; Watertown NY.  Died October 01, 2020, age 92.  Jefferson County Medical Society
FAUST, Robert Roy; Arlington MA.  Died June 23, 2020, age 84.  Medical Society County of Albany
FEIGELSON, Eugene B.; Brooklyn NY.  Died August 30, 2020, age 89.  Medical Society County of Kings
HOROWITZ, Lawrence; Lawrence NY.  Died January 16, 2021, age 89.  New York County Medical Society
HUH, Chung Ho; Westbury NY.  Died February 19, 2020, age 90.  Medical Society County of Kings
KLINGON, Gerald Harvey; New York NY.  Died October 31, 2021, age 101.  New York County Medical Society
MARMOR, Bruce M.; Las Vegas NV.  Died December 26, 2021, age 82.  Onondaga County Medical Society
MOSHER, Paul W.; Voorheesville NY.  Died September 14, 2021, age 84.  Medical Society County of Albany
RAKOFF, Saul Julian; White Plains NY.  Died May 11, 2020, age 87.  Bronx County Medical Society
RIZZO, Charles Anthony; New Rochelle NY.  Died December 21, 2018, age 90.  Bronx County Medical Society
ROSENBERG, Benjamin A.; Brooklyn NY.  Died December 12, 2021, age 96.  Medical Society County of Kings
SADLER, Arthur H.; Tarrytown NY.  Died May 09, 2020, age 89.  Bronx County Medical Society


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


For the MSSNY 2022 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


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Telemedicine Updates

Telehealth Services 

How to Set Up Free Telemedicine for Your Patients (Video)

Preparing for the No Surprises Act

Preparing for the No Surprises Act

On Dec. 27, 2020, the No Surprises Act (NSA) was signed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.  These provisions were intended to address unexpected gaps in insurance coverage that result in “surprise medical bills” when patients unknowingly obtain medical services from physicians and other providers outside their health insurance network.

Because the No Surprises Act, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022, imposes limits and confers some rights on physicians caring for patients in these situations, it is important for physicians to understand how the law will affect them.

Read the AMA’s summary of the NSA (PDF).

Implementation of the No Surprises Act

Please see the Implementation of the No Surprises Act Overview for additional information on the Interim final rule.

You can access the AMA Took Kit here.

Additional Links Below

Reconciling New York and federal law differences: Insurance Circular Letter No. 10 (2021): The No Surprises Act, Independent Dispute Resolution Process, and Disclosure of Protections from Balance Billing | Department of Financial Services (ny.gov)

NSA and continuity of care Insurance Circular Letter No. 11 (2021): | Department of Financial Services (ny.gov)

IDR for Provider Directory Misinformation – Insurance Circular Letter No. 12 (2021): Provider Directory and Health Insurance Identification Card Requirements under the No Surprises Act and State Law | Department of Financial Services (ny.gov)

NY-specific Required Physician Disclosure Form – Model Provider Disc_Balance_Bill_Protections_20211217.docx (live.com)

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