MSSNY eNews: October 22, 2021

Impact of COVID-19 on Overdose Crisis

Colleagues:

One of the many tragic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the progress that was reversed in combatting addictions. Death from opioid poisoning continues to be a national problem that we must confront. New York State was making progress in combatting the opioid epidemic—but overdose-related deaths in 2020 increased over the previous year.

On behalf of MSSNY, I testified on Wednesday before the NYS Senate Joint Task Force on Opioids, Addiction, and Overdose. As I told the members of the task force, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that people are drinking more alcohol and using more drugs.  This is compounded by the fact that patients are not seeing their physicians on a regular basis—especially for the preventive screenings that are so necessary to good health.

I explained to the task force that I have spent the past 32 years practicing adult internal medicine and pediatrics with the Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown and shared how we are responding to the opiate overdose crisis at the local level, including an innovative—and successful—program aimed at making evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders available to people living in rural central New York by offering medication assisted treatments in primary care settings.

Bassett’s other initiatives include adopting standards for analgesic prescribing for specific procedures; getting medications properly disposed of with a network wide medication take back program; building into our EMR co-prescribing Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray with opiate prescriptions; distributing Narcan rescue kits to patients and families and sponsoring community, first responder, and public-school based training programs for recognizing and responding to overdoses; and a program to make test strips that allow folks to test their drugs for contamination with fentanyl.

As a member of the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, MSSNY is focused on helping to end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic. MSSNY actively works to increase physician awareness and leadership to combat the opioid and pain crisis and continues to support legislative efforts to enhance insurance coverage for treatment.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President

Dr. Sellers at Meeting

MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers testifies before the NYS Senate Joint Task Force on Opioids, Addiction, and Overdose. Click here and fast forward to 5:05:17 to view Dr. Sellers’ testimony.


Not Yet Enrolled in the NYSDOH COVID-19 Vaccination Program? Have Questions About the Process?
Not yet enrolled in the NYSDOH COVID-19 Vaccination Program?  Have questions about the process?  Please attend the New York State Department of Health’s COVID19 Vaccination Program Enrollment Webinar.  The Biden Administration will soon begin immunization of children 5-11 years of age and needs the assistance of pediatricians and family physicians to provide this immunization to children.   There is also the need for more physician practices to provide the booster to those adults who are eligible.   MSSNY is encouraging physicians to become enrolled in this program.  Both physicians and staff can participate in this webinar.

The COVID19 Vaccination Program Enrollment Webinar will be held for health care provider locations outside NYC on Wednesday, 10/27/2021, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.  Register for the webinar.

Attendees will hear a high-level overview of the enrollment process (for provider locations outside NYC) AND will have an opportunity to ask questions about the enrollment process. In advance of the webinar, please review the enrollment letter (and the linked resources within) here.


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MSSNY Legislative Podcast:
The Importance of Being Involved in Legislative & Political Activity


MSSNY Rolls Out Plan to Educate Physicians About NYC Retirees’ Transition from Traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage Plan
Following negotiations this past summer between municipal unions, and the city of New York, an agreement was reached to transition New York City retirees from their current, traditional Medicare plan to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Beneficiaries will have the ability to opt-out of the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan and remain enrolled in their current, traditional Medicare plan. The new plan is being administered by Emblem and Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and coverage for these enrollees is scheduled to begin January 1, 2022.

Many MSSNY members have raised concerns about the potential harm to patients once their new MA coverage becomes effective and a resolution was passed during the 2021 House of Delegates (HOD) asking the AMA to consider taking action at the federal level. Moreover, there is also pending litigation against this coverage change from other health insurers and retiree groups. However, there is a need to let physicians know what to expect should this coverage be implemented, so MSSNY has launched an outreach and educational effort, to provide as much detail as possible over the next two months. MSSNY will also monitor the new plans, should they be implemented in January, for potential harmful outcomes for patients, such as possible new prior authorization requirements.

To view the initial materials provided by Emblem and Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield:
City of New York Offers NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Medicare Advantage Option
City of New York offers Medicare Advantage option in 2022

To access a range of other information shared by the NYC Office of Labor Relations:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/olr/health/retiree/health-retiree-responsibilities-assistance.page



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MSSNY IN THE NEWS
Click on the links below to view some of MSSNY’s recent media hits:

WNBC-TV – 10/19/21
White House Says COVID Vaccine For Children Coming in Weeks
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed) 

Newsday – 09/29/21
Gov. Kathy Hochul names Mary Bassett as state health commissioner
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted) 

Crain’s New York – 09/30/21
Bassett gets warm reception as next health commissioner
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Albany Times Union – 10/12/21
Judge issues injunction against New York’s vaccine mandate
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Medpage Today – 10/14/21
More Physicians are Now Employees Rather Than Owners
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

Cheddar News – 9/20/21
Dr. Joseph Sellers Answers Your Burning Covid-19 Questions
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers interviewed)

Spectrum News 1 – 09/30/21
Public health community backs Hochul’s health commissioner appointment
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted) 

WVNY-TV – 09/20/21
Who is the incoming New York DOH Health Commissioner?
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
Also ran on WTEN
WIVT-TV
WIBV

Buffalo Business First – 10/11/21
Walmart, CVS and Walgreens bring competition to world of primary care
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)

The Daily Gazette – 10/13/21
Editorial: Public Health Should Override Religious Views
(MSSNY mentioned)

AMA Advocacy Update– 10/13/21
High court should uphold commonsense N.Y. concealed-carry law
(MSSNY Mentioned)


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Psychosocial and Epidemiological Aspects of Vaccine Hesitancy CME Webinar on November 17: Registration Now Open
Vaccine hesitancy impacts the entire population. Learn more about both the psychosocial and epidemiological impact of vaccine hesitancy by registering for Psychosocial and Epidemiological Aspects of Vaccine Hesitancy on Wednesday November 17, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee and Craig Katz, MD, vice-chair of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.  Click here to view the program flyer.

Educational objectives are:

  • Recognize the psychological role of vaccine-positive messaging
  • Outline the epidemiological impact of sub-optimal vaccination rates
  • Identify social and psychological explanations of vaccine hesitancy.
  • Illustrate the steps necessary to overcome vaccine hesitancy

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. 


Concierge Care May Exacerbate Physician Shortages, Experts Say
While concierge medicine has been scrutinized since its inception two decades ago, experts are saying it may be exacerbating physician shortages, according to an Oct. 19 report from Scientific American.

“That reduction in the number of patients — often from nearly 2,000 to 500 to 600 — means that many patients are left without primary care physicians at a time of increasing shortages in primary care clinicians,” said Russell Phillips, MD, director of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Primary Care. “Additionally, concierge medicine creates a two-tier system of care, where patients who can’t afford the cost of concierge care are excluded.”

Concierge physicians still bill private insurance or Medicare for certain services, so patients pay two fees: one for their concierge membership and one for insurance.

While membership fees range, Scientific American cited a Harvard Medical School report that found average monthly fees are $200 with potential maximums of $30,000.

Some experts say the impact of concierge medicine on healthcare depends on perspective, especially in light of the pandemic.

“Pre-pandemic, I would have said, ‘We don’t have enough physicians choosing to practice primary care,'” Erin Sullivan, PhD, research and curriculum director at Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, told Scientific American. “And if those physicians who do choose primary care elect to practice in models such as concierge and DPC, then you could see how that would exacerbate a shortage. On the other hand, if these models prove [to be] more attractive or sustainable ways for physicians to practice primary care, then can we increase the number of physicians electing to practice primary care? And can we learn from these models to build something better and accessible for all patients?”

–Gleeson, Becker’s Hospital Review, 10/19/21


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CDC Endorses Advisory Panel’s Recommendation For J&J, Moderna, And Mix-And-Match COVID-19 Boosters
The Washington Post (10/21, A1, Sun, Shepherd) reports, “Tens of millions of Americans can sign up to get Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters beginning Friday after” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky “endorsed recommendations from expert advisers that the shots are safe and effective at bolstering protection against the coronavirus.” The approval means “eligible Americans at risk of severe disease can choose any of the three boosters now authorized in the United States regardless of their original shot.” Walensky’s action – following Wednesday’s emergency use authorization by the FDA – “largely fulfills the administration’s August promise to make boosters of all three vaccines available to Americans, albeit a month later than promised and for a smaller group.”

The New York Times (10/21, Mandavilli) reports a CDC advisory panel “on Thursday endorsed booster shots of the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for tens of millions of Americans.” The article adds that the recommendation comes as the “pandemic is now retreating in most parts of the country, but about 75,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every day, and about 1,500 die from it.”

The Hill (10/21, Weixel) says the “green light will also allow Americans to choose the brand of booster they receive. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mixed dosing for booster shots.”


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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available.Please contact maiseymed@aim.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNYeNews: October 15, 2021 – Finding the Joy in Medicine

 

Colleagues:

Last week, MSSNY member Dr. Caroline Gomez-Di Cesare, MD, PhD accepted the AMA 2021 Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition award—which recognizes health systems that actively demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of health care team members by combating work-related stress and burnout—on behalf of Bassett Healthcare Network, where she serves as Network Director of Well-Being.

I am immensely proud of both Dr. Gomez-Di Cesare and of our Senior Vice President of Public Health Pat Clancy. Pat spearheaded MSSNY’s Practice Transformation Initiative (PTI)—which was the basis for this recognition—in collaboration with the AMA and the Physicians Foundation to improve patient care by enhancing professional well-being and reducing physician burnout.  MSSNY’s role was to identify 4-7 practices interested in improving both their practice operations and professional satisfaction through this comprehensive and impactful initiative.

MSSNY is also developing a Telehealth Initiative with educational content, resources, measurement tools, and evaluation support to help practices with telehealth implementation. [Please see the article below in eNews for more information on both the Practice Transformation Initiative and the Telehealth Initiative.]

Both programs are prime examples of the value MSSNY membership brings to our physicians—regardless of their practice environment.  The PTI presented a unique opportunity for our larger practices and institutional members and the Telehealth Initiative offers excellent assistance to physicians in solo and small group practices.

Of course, these are additions to many other invaluable programs—including our Peer-to-Peer (P2P) program and our Physician Payment and Support program—both of which provide support to our physicians every day to help lower stress and again find the joy in medicine.

As I often say, “MSSNY membership doesn’t cost, it pays.”

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


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MSSNY Joins More Than 65 Healthcare Stakeholder Organizations to Urge Governor Hochul to Sign Bill to Prevent Dangerous Changes to Patients’ Medications
Physicians are urged to send a letter to Governor Hochul to urge that she sign into law legislation  (S.4111 Breslin, D- Albany/A.4668 Peoples-Stokes, D- Buffalo),  which limits the ability of health insurers to change their prescription frug formularies during the middle of a policy year.  A letter can be sent from here: Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (p2a.co)

This week MSSNY joined with 65 other physician and patient advocacy organizations in a joint letter https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:a3ce6b3b-74cb-4155-ba1a-38e500b6bf0d to Governor Hochul urging her to sign this legislation.

Enactment of this law will help prevent situations where mid-year formulary changes essentially force stable patients to switch from their physician-prescribed medications, to potentially less effective alternatives for non-medical reasons, a move that often leads to complications for those managing debilitating chronic illness.  For many New Yorkers, particularly those with chronic and complex illnesses, medical stability is hard won and patients are often dependent on the medications originally prescribed by their physician to maintain normal lives.  Patient stability is jeopardized when they’re forced to abandon therapies unrelated to the patient’s well-being.

Moreover, data shows that changes in medication unrelated to health outcomes are generally ineffective in achieving any meaningful cost savings and, instead, disrupts the continuity of care, reduces medical adherence, and unnecessarily puts the patient’s health at risk.  In fact, patients whose treatment is switched frequently, often experience adverse side effects, allergic reactions, and increases in health costs for additional testing, unexpected appointments with physicians, ER visits, and hospitalizations, stemming from complications as a result of switching medications to an inferior drug.

To avoid patient instability, and increased costs, MSSNY is strongly urging Governor Hochul to sign S.4111/A.4668 as soon as possible. To view the sign-on letter: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:a3ce6b3b-74cb-4155-ba1a-38e500b6bf0d



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NYS DOH Commissioner’s Grand Rounds: The Use of Multidisciplinary Approaches to Long COVID Care
On October 25th, the New York State Department of Health will host a session of the Commissioner’s Medical Grand Rounds Series: The Use of Multidisciplinary Approaches to Long COVID Care. This virtual session will take place on Monday, October 25th, from 1:00 – 3:00pm, and will be streamed via live webcast.

The Use of Multidisciplinary Approaches to Long COVID Care will bring together experts to provide insight into holistic and patient-centered approaches to long COVID management. This Grand Rounds session will help providers understand what is known about the physiological mechanisms by which long COVID affects patients and the epidemiological determinants of long COVID. This session will also prepare participants to identify multidisciplinary approaches to the management of significant physical and neurological symptoms and recognize the importance of rehabilitation as part of the treatment plan for those suffering from long COVID.

The link to register can be found here. The session will also be archived on the NYSDOH Website. The event is free-of-charge and open to all interested providers.


Physician Advocacy Urged to Pushback Against HHS’ Insurer-Biased Interpretation of No Surprises Act
Physicians are again urged to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand as well as their respective Representative in Congress to ask that they request that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revise its recently announced regulations to implement provisions of the “No Surprises Act”, establishing a federal independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for out of network surprise bills.   A letter or tweet can be sent using this link: Urge Congress to Urge HHS to Revise Independent Dispute Resolution Regulations (p2a.co)

MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers recently issued a statement Surprise Billing Legislation Interim Final Rule: MSSNY Calls for Prioritizing Patient Care Over Insurance Profits – (mssnyenews.org) in which he said “In implementing the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process for resolving patient surprise medical bills – a process that New York physicians has strongly supported for many years – HHS has clearly sought to put its thumb on the scale in favor of multi-billion-dollar insurance companies.”

The rule has also been criticized by numerous national medical organizations, including the AMA, the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and numerous specialty societies. The Congressional intent articulated in the No Surprises Act was to create an IDR process to protect patients that was appropriately balanced and did not favor either the insurer or the physician in claims disputes. Specifically, the final language adopted by Congress required the arbiter to consider numerous factors, including patient acuity or complexity of services, demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates and previously contracted rates, in addition to the insurers’ median in-network rate, without specifying that one factor take precedence over another.

However, instead of following the statutory language, HHS and other federal agencies designed an IDR process that heavily favors health insurance companies in payment disputes. The language in the rule directs the IDR arbiter to give priority to the insurer-calculated median in-network amount, called the qualifying payment amount (QPA), over the other considerations noted above.  It also imposes a number of requirements on the arbiter if they decide to make a decision that deviates from the insurer-determined QPA.  This effectively ties the hands of the arbiter.

With the law scheduled to take effect January 1, 2022, MSSNY intends to work with the AMA and other allied groups to advocate for needed changes to the regulation to ensure that the IDR process is implemented in a way that better achieves balance in the IDR process, to protect care availability in hospital emergency departments.  Again, a letter can be sent from here: Urge Congress to Urge HHS to Revise Independent Dispute Resolution Regulations (p2a.co)


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MSSNY Tip of the Week: The Scoop on Transitional Care CPT Codes
If you or your clinical staff is in constant contact and follow up (30 days post) with patients who have been discharged from an in-patient hospital stay, you may be able to bill for it. Following are two CPT codes for transitional care:

99495– Transitional Care Management Services with the following required elements: Communication (direct contact, telephone, electronic) with the patient and/or caregiver within 2 business days of discharge Medical decision making of at least moderate complexity during the service period Face-to-face visit, within 14 calendar days of discharge

99496-Transitional Care Management Services with the following required elements: Communication (direct contact, telephone, electronic) with the patient and/or caregiver within 2 business days of discharge Medical decision making of high complexity during the service period Face-to-face visit, within 7 calendar days of discharge

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Heather Lopez- Director of Physician Payment & Practice, 518-465-8085 X332 or hlopez@mssny.org.


AMA, MSSNY and Others Call on CMS to Stop Unfair Charging for Electronic Funds Transfer
MSSNY has joined with over 90 state and specialty medical societies in a letter HHS (ama-assn.org) initiated by the American Medical Association (AMA) to CMS urging that CMS enforce federal laws and regulations that ensure health insurers make available an option for electronic fund transfer (EFT) payments without cost.

The letter raises the concern that “an increasing number of our physician members report that they are forced to incur mandatory, percentage-based fees for the receipt of electronic payments from health plans for payments made via the EFT transaction standard”.  It further notes that “CMS currently possesses sufficient statutory and regulatory authority to act and protect physicians’ right to receive EFT payments without percentage-based fees” and that “when health plans or their contracted payment vendors force practices to enroll in EFT programs that impose percentage-based fees, they are clearly adversely affecting the physician and adoption of the EFT transaction standard—an obvious statutory and regulatory violation”

In response to complaints from several physicians about health insurer vendors charging excessive fees for EFT, MSSNY recently passed a resolution at its House of Delegates calling for the strong enforcement of existing laws to prohibit health insurers or their vendors from charging physicians for making an EFT, or the enactment of laws that ensure that such charges are prohibited.  MSSNY Governmental Affairs staff also had a meeting with staff to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer this week to urge that his office request that CMS enforce the existing laws to prohibit charging for EFT.

The AMA/medical societies letter further demands that CMS “swiftly issue guidance stating that all health plans and their contracted vendors must offer at least one EFT standard transaction that does not require purchase of extra services for an additional fee” as well as urging that CMS “appropriately enforce compliance with this guidance, to ensure that health plans and their vendors are offering physicians the option of receiving EFT without additional services/fees and that this choice is clearly communicated in all EFT enrollment materials”.

Lack of fair EFT is one more administrative roadblock imposed by deep-pocketed health insurers to prevent physicians from being paid fairly for health care services delivered to their patients. Please remain alert for further updates on this important issue.


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Suffolk County Legislature Teams Up with Suffolk County Medical Society and Suffolk Academy of Medicine to Develop Website for Medical Providers
On Tuesday, October 5th, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously passed Introductory Resolution 1552-2021, sponsored by Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, which directs the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the Department of Information Technology to develop a website to provide critical information to medical providers in Suffolk County. The two departments will collaborate with the medical community, including the Suffolk County Medical Society and the Suffolk Academy of Medicine, to tailor the website to the needs of the medical providers that will utilize the page for locating urgent emergency information, resources and resident health related updates.

“After discussions with the Suffolk County Medical Society, the need for a website such as this was apparent,” said Legislator Anker, Chairwoman of the Suffolk County Addiction Prevention and Support Advisory Panel. “What we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is so important to have systems in place to inform our medical community about emergency information and guidance. This website will serve to better inform Suffolk County’s medical providers of important information including notifications of water contamination, disease outbreaks, vaccination guidance, and resources that are available. I look forward to continuing to partner with our county’s Health Department, IT Department and the Suffolk County Medical Society to provide critical information to our medical providers.”

“The physicians of Suffolk County have stressed the importance of clear and timely communication from and between the Department of Health, practicing physicians, and the patients and families we serve,” said Suffolk County Medical Society (SCMS) President and Medical Society of the State of New York Vice Speaker Maria Basile, MD, MBA. “This resolution and the website it calls for is an example of the enhanced communication we have promised our members. It demonstrates the SCMS and Suffolk Academy of Medicine’s commitment to working collaboratively with our colleagues in the Health Department and the Suffolk County Legislature. SCMS is the trusted voice of the medical community and we look forward to continuing our work with Commissioner Pigott and his staff to assure that our communications are clear, evidence-based, timely, relevant, and meaningful.”

The website will be launched within 180 days of the passage of Introductory Resolution 1552-2021. The Department of Health Services will review and update the information on the website on a quarterly basis, with increased frequency during states of emergency related to the public health of the residents of Suffolk County as declared by the Governor of New York State or the Suffolk County Executive. For more information please contact Legislator Sarah Anker’s office at (631)-854-1600. To view the resolution, visit: https://apps2.suffolkcountyny.gov/legislature/ressearch/Search_Results.aspx.


NY Congressional Delegation Urges Action Before End of 2021 to Prevent Devastating Cuts to Medicare Payments to Physicians
With physicians facing a nearly 10% cut in payments from Medicare starting January 1, 2022, 15 members of the New York Congressional Delegation added their name to a letter by Representative Ami Bera, MD (D- CA) and Representative Larry Bucshon (R- Indiana), to House leaders Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) and Kevin McCarthy (R- CA), urging them to act before the end of the year to prevent devastating cuts to physicians’ Medicare payments. Nearly 250 Congressional members in total have joined the letter, along with almost 140 national provide organizations, and more than 50 state and local Medical Societies.

The current Medicare payment system does not adequately incentivize high-quality care and payments to physicians has failed to keep up with inflation. Broad systemic reforms to the Medicare payment system are needed to address the growing financial uncertainty and to speed the transition to value-based care. The letter urged Congress to create stability by addressing the immediate payment cuts facing health care professionals as it begins the complex process of identifying and considering potential long-term reforms, pointing out that cuts will strain the health care system and jeopardize patient access to medically necessary services.

Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) with the goal of moving away from a fee-for-service payment model to a system that ensures providers are paid for the work they do to keep patients healthy, not just treat them when they’re sick, but most practices lack access to qualified, patient-centered alternative payment models under MACRA. Additionally, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) has failed to keep up with inflation and larger increases to some providers must be offset by cuts to other providers, even if there’s no evidence of overpayment, due to a budget neutrality provision in statute, that further contributes to the financial pressure on health care professionals. Health care professionals are also facing imminent payment cuts stemming from the Medicare sequester and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act.

The letter also recognized action taken in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 to mitigate the impact of payment cuts initiated by the CY 2021 PFS. The Consolidated Appropriations Act contained a 3.75 percent payment adjustment for all PFS services in CY 2021 as part of congressional relief provided for the impending payment cuts. This payment adjustment afforded some short-term stability for health care professionals struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this critical piece of congressional relief is expiring at the end of the calendar year and adds to other impending cuts.

We thank the following NY Delegation Members who Signed on to Bera-Buschon Letter

  1. Representative Yvette Clarke (D- Brooklyn)
  2. Representative Antonio Delgado (D- Hudson Valley)
  3. Representative Andrew Garbarino (R- Long Island)
  4. Representative Brian Higgins (D- Buffalo)
  5. Representative Chris Jacobs (R- Western New York)
  6. Representative Mondaire Jones (D- White Plains)
  7. Representative John Katko (R- Central New York)
  8. Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R- Staten Island)
  9. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D- Manhattan)
  10. Representative Grace Meng (D- Queens)
  11. Representative Joe Morelle (D- Rochester)
  12. Representative Kathleen Rice (D- Long Island)
  13. Representative Tom Suozzi (D- Long Island)
  14. Representative Paul Tonko (D- Capital District)
  15. Representative Nydia Velazquez (D- Brooklyn & Manhattan/Lower East Side)


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Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022:
October 20, 2021 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar
Vaccine components, recommendations for dealing with flu during a pandemic and contrasts with previous flu seasons are all new this season.  You can learn more by registering for Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022 on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 7:30 a.m.

William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.

Click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the dramatic decrease in influenza cases in 2020-2021
  • Identify strategies to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Analyze measures to ensure continued abatement of influenza during and after the COVID pandemic
  • Discuss timing of influenza vaccines with COVID-19 vaccination

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. 

 


Update on MSSNY’s Practice Transformation Initiative and Telehealth Initiative Programs
Practice Transformation Initiative: The AMA hosted the American Conference on Physician Health this past October 7-9th, 2021. This was a joint scientific conference in which the goal was to promote scientific research and discourse on health system infrastructure and actionable steps organizations can take to improve physician well-being. Attendees were able to participate in topical and relevant sessions with presenters and learn about best practices and tools to improve professional satisfaction in your medical practice.

All six of MSSNY’s participating practice sites (Northwell Health, Bassett Healthcare, Ellis Medicine, St. Peter’s Capital District, St. Peter’s Saratoga Family Health, and NY Presbyterian) have administered and closed their mini-z assessment surveys amidst the COVID-19 surges and have implemented various interventions tailored to their specific results. Each practice site was invited to attend various educational webinars in which the AMA hosted professional personal for various topics such as pre-visit planning/labs. As we enter the fall, the practice sites will be deploying their post- mini-z assessment surveys which will aim to measure overall change of workplace satisfaction after each practice implemented these interventions. Given the DELTA variant, some of the practice sites will be opting to postpone their post- mini-z survey until the end of fall/beginning of winter. The practice sites have been invited by the AMA to submit an abstract with their findings to the ICPH in Orlando in 2022, and a few of our sites have expressed great interest in doing so.

The Telehealth Initiative: 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 has secured three signed statements of interest: C DOC, Mount Sinai, Northwell TeleICU/Telehealth. We expect to have at least two more statement of interests signed by mid-October, but we are hoping to have closer 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 and expert mentoring to discuss optimization and sustaining telehealth into practice, virtual events and discussions which provides a network for physicians and care teams to share experiences will be provided to all participants.

For more information on MSSNY’s Practice Transformation Initiative or Telehealth Initiative, contact Cayla Lauder at 518.465.8085 or clauder@mssny.org.


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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. Please contact maiseymed@aim.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.

 

MSSNY eNews: October 20, 2021 – Medicare Advantage Prior Authorization Reform Legislation Introduced in US Senate


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Medicare Advantage Prior Authorization Reform Legislation Introduced in US Senate
Today, U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), and John Thune (R-SD) introduced legislation (S.3018 – the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act,) that would improve timely access to quality care for seniors under the Medicare Advantage program. As noted in the sponsor’s press release, the bill would modernize the way Medicare Advantage plans and health care providers use prior authorization (PA).  Specifically, the legislation would:

  • establish an electronic PA process that would streamline approvals and denials;
  • establish national standards for clinical documents that would reduce administrative burdens health care providers and Medicare Advantage plans;
  • create a process for real-time decisions for certain items and services that are routinely approved;
  • increase transparency that would improve communication channels and utilization between Medicare Advantage plans, health care providers, and patients;
  • ensure appropriate care by encouraging Medicare Advantage plans to adopt policies that adhere to evidence-based guidelines; and
  • require beneficiary protections that would ensure the electronic PA serves seniors first.

The House companion bill (HR 3173) sponsored by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) – was reintroduced in May.

AMA President Dr. Gerald E. Harmon stated “Physicians know the best treatment for our patients but they’re often not the ones making the final decision due to artificial barriers constructed by insurance companies. The time delays and administrative burdens associated with prior authorization continue to undermine our patients’ health. Nearly a third of physician respondents to a 2020 AMA survey reported that prior authorization led to a serious adverse event — such as hospitalization, medical intervention to prevent permanent impairment, or even disability or death — for a patient in their care. The AMA thanks Senators Marshall, Sinema, and Thune for putting patients first by introducing the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, which would simplify and streamline the prior authorization processes in Medicare Advantage.”


MSSNY President Interview with WNBC-TV: COVID Vaccines/Children
With the FDA expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 next week, New York Governor Hochul is telling parents to make appointments for their children as soon as possible. WNBC-TV reporter Andrew Siff interviewed MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers about administering the COVID vaccine to children. Click here to view WNBC-TV story: NY State Urges Parents Make Vaccine Appointments for Young Children Now.


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How are Physicians Engaging, Learning, and Networking via Social Media?
As mass communication becomes increasingly digitized and interactive, social media platforms continue to be transformed into important hubs for the dissemination of news and information related to the field of medicine. Healthcare providers now rely on popular platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok to learn about, and share opinions on, the latest healthcare topics.

Check out MedData Group’s latest infographic to learn how health care providers are currently using social media platforms to engage with professional and educational content, as well as connect with their colleagues and patients on innovations and advancements in new pharmaceutical products, medical devices/technology, and OTC treatments.

MSSNY regularly posts important news, key legislative and regulatory information, and crucial public health updates for physicians on our social media channels. Click the following icons to follow MSSNY on social media: Twitter Icon Instrgram Icon Facebook Icon LinkedIn Icon


NYC’s Board of Health Passes Resolution Naming Racism as a Public Health Crisis
The AP (10/19) reports that on Monday, New York City’s Board of Health “passed a resolution that names racism as a public health crisis, joining the growing list of state and local governments around the country that have done so in recent years.” The new resolution “calls on the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to take steps including reviewing the city’s health code to look for structural racism and find ways to make changes as necessary.” Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said, “To build a healthier New York City, we must confront racism as a public health crisis.”


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The Workers’ Compensation Board Webinar: Updates on Improvement Initiatives
Over the past several years, the Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) has been working to make the workers’ compensation system better – better for injured workers, better for businesses, and better for health care providers.

The Board has undertaken several initiatives to improve health care and enhance the experience of treating providers. By making positive changes for providers, the Board hopes to encourage more providers to participate in the workers’ compensation system. More treating providers means New York’s injured workers have more options, and better access to high quality health care.

Join Dr. James Tacci, the Board’s Medical Director, on November 10, 2021 as he shares the latest updates on several improvement initiatives underway, including:

A Q & A will follow the presentation. Registration is not required. To join, please select the “Join Webinar” link below.

What Health Care Providers Need to Know
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Join webinar
Add to your calendar!
For more information, email WCBMedicalDirectorsOffice@wcb.ny.gov or visit the What Providers Need to Know section on the Board’s website.


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New CDC Tool Shows Breakthrough Cases for Pfizer, Moderna, J&J
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a useful new tool that breaks down rates of cases and death by COVID-19 based on vaccination status. The interactive tool shows the overall rates, as well as rates by age group, and rates based on the type of COVID-19 vaccine received (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna, or unvaccinated).

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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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. Please contact maiseymed@aim.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: October 13, 2021

 

New Reports of Scam Targeting Physicians
Last February, MSSNY published an article about a scam that targets physicians with deceptive phone calls, falsely claiming that the physician is under investigation by the NYS Education Department or the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC).  At the time, the New York State Education Department issued a warning to licensed professionals in New York State about the scam.

MSSNY has new reports from physicians that the scam is ongoing, with callers sometimes also falsely claiming that the physician is under investigation by a federal agency like the Drug Enforcement Agency and includes attempts to coerce the physician to wire the caller a bond fee or other payment.

The New York State Education Department will never telephone or fax any individual to request a bond fee or payments related to an ongoing investigation of professional misconduct.  If you receive such a phone call, please hang up immediately and report it to the proper law enforcement authorities.


MSSNY Opposes U.S. Northern District Decision to Continue to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements
On Tuesday, 10/12 MSSNY issued the following statement to the press:

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

“We are disappointed by today’s decision by the U.S. Northern District to continue to allow a religious exemption from the well thought-through healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccination requirement implemented by the Hochul Administration.

“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. Moreover, it has proven very effective at significantly raising the vaccination rate of healthcare workers.

“We continue to support this vaccination requirement for health care workers to protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers.”


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Press Coverage on MSSNY Statement Opposing U.S. Northern District Decision
The Albany (NY) Times Union (10/12, Lyons) reports Medical Society of the State of New York President Joseph R. Sellers “said the organization continues to support mandatory vaccinations for health care workers.” Sellers said, “These vaccination requirements are essential to protecting public health, particularly the immunocompromised, the elderly, and those too young to receive the vaccination.”

An editorial in The Gazette entitled “Public health should override religious views” notes “The Medical Society of the State of New York came out with a statement Tuesday strongly opposing the ruling, calling the vaccination requirements ‘essential to protecting public health, particularly the immunocompromised, the elderly, and those too young to receive the vaccination.’ The organization also noted the legal precedents and the lack of major opposition to vaccines by major religions.”


AMA Vaccination Campaign Features MSSNY Member Willie Underwood lll, MD, MSc

Photo of 2 AMA doctors

MSSNY Member and AMA Board Trustee Willie Underwood lll, MD, MSc is featured in the campaign.

The Ad Council, the American Medical Association (AMA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the CDC Foundation have joined together to encourage more people to get vaccinated against seasonal flu.

During a severe season, flu has resulted in as many as 41 million illnesses and 710,000 hospitalizations among Americans. The new effort extends the No Time for Flu campaign and introduces #FluFOMO to inspire more people to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.

The campaign ads direct audiences to GetMyFluShot.org for more information, including where to get a flu vaccine in their area.


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Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022:
October 20, 2021 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar
Vaccine components, recommendations for dealing with flu during a pandemic and contrasts with previous flu seasons are all new this season.  You can learn more by registering for Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022 on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 7:30 a.m.

William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.

Click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the dramatic decrease in influenza cases in 2020-2021
  • Identify strategies to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Analyze measures to ensure continued abatement of influenza during and after the COVID pandemic
  • Discuss timing of influenza vaccines with COVID-19 vaccination

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 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. Please contact maiseymed@aim.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: October 8, 2021 – “No Surprises Act” Puts Insurance Co Profits Over Patient Care

“No Surprises Act” Puts Insurance Co Profits Over Patient Care

Colleagues:

As physicians, our first and foremost concern is the health and well-being of our patients. But when insurance company profits take precedence over patient care, it makes that mission—our life’s work—more difficult.  And that’s exactly what is happening with the recently announced US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations to implement the “No Surprises Act.”

The Congressional intent in the “No Surprises Act” was to create a federal independent resolution (IDR) process to protect patients that was appropriately balanced and did not favor either the insurer or the physician in claims disputes. The final language adopted by Congress required the arbiter to consider numerous factors, including patient acuity or complexity of services, demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates and previously contracted rates, and the insurers’ median in-network rate—without specifying that one factor take precedence over another.

Instead of following the statutory language, HHS and other federal agencies designed an IDR process that heavily favors health insurance companies in payment disputes. The language in the rule directs the IDR arbiter to give priority to the insurer-calculated median in-network amount—called the qualifying payment amount (QPA)—over the other considerations noted above.  It also imposes a number of requirements on the arbiter if they decide to make a decision that deviates from the insurer-determined QPA.  This effectively ties the hands of the arbiter.

As I said in a press statement when the regulations were announced last week, “In implementing the IDR process for resolving patient surprise medical bills – a process that New York physicians have strongly supported for many years – HHS has clearly sought to put its thumb on the scale in favor of multi-billion-dollar insurance companies.”

Indeed, we have had a well-functioning and balanced IDR process in New York for several years for claims under state-regulated plans. What passed Congress last year was supposed to emulate New York’s approach.  But HHS has unfortunately taken a completely wrong turn.  Therefore, MSSNY will work with the AMA and other allied groups to advocate for needed changes to the regulation to ensure that the IDR process is implemented in a way that better achieves balance in the IDR process.

But we need you—the physicians who care for patients every day—to make it clear to HHS that the health of Americans is more important than insurance company profits. Let’s all speak up and make our voices heard—for the sake of our patients. I encourage you to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and your Congressional Representative to urge them to request that HHS revise their regulations and establish a federal IDR for out of network surprise bills.

HHS needs to take their thumb off the scale in favor of insurance companies—and instead prioritize the health of all Americans.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


NY Congressional Delegation Urges Action Before End of 2021 to Prevent Devastating Cuts to Medicare Payments to Physicians
With physicians facing a nearly 10% cut in payments from Medicare starting January 1, 2022, 13 members of the New York Congressional Delegation added their name to a letter by Representative Ami Bera, MD (D- CA) and Representative Larry Bucshon (R- Indiana), to House leaders Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) and Kevin McCarthy (R- CA), urging them to act before the end of the year to prevent devastating cuts to physicians’ Medicare payments. Nearly 200 Congressional members in total have joined the letter.

The current Medicare payment system does not adequately incentivize high-quality care and payments to physicians has failed to keep up with inflation. Broad systemic reforms to the Medicare payment system are needed to address the growing financial uncertainty and to speed the transition to value-based care. The letter urged Congress to create stability by addressing the immediate payment cuts facing health care professionals as it begins the complex process of identifying and considering potential long-term reforms, pointing out that cuts will strain the health care system and jeopardize patient access to medically necessary services.

Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) with the goal of moving away from a fee-for-service payment model to a system that ensures providers are paid for the work they do to keep patients healthy, not just treat them when they’re sick, but most practices lack access to qualified, patient-centered alternative payment models under MACRA. Additionally, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) has failed to keep up with inflation and larger increases to some providers must be offset by cuts to other providers, even if there’s no evidence of overpayment, due to a budget neutrality provision in statute, that further contributes to the financial pressure on health care professionals. Health care professionals are also facing imminent payment cuts stemming from the Medicare sequester and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act.

The letter also recognized action taken in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 to mitigate the impact of payment cuts initiated by the CY 2021 PFS. The Consolidated Appropriations Act contained a 3.75 percent payment adjustment for all PFS services in CY 2021 as part of congressional relief provided for the impending payment cuts. This payment adjustment afforded some short-term stability for health care professionals struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this critical piece of congressional relief is expiring at the end of the calendar year and adds to other impending cuts.

We thank the following NY Delegation members who signed on to the Bera-Buschon letter:
1. Representative Yvette Clarke (D- Brooklyn)
2. Representative Antonio Delgado (D- Hudson Valley)
3. Representative Andrew Garbarino (R- Long Island)
4. Representative Brian Higgins (D- Buffalo)
5. Representative Chris Jacobs (R- Western New York)
6. Representative John Katko (R- Central New York)
7. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D- Manhattan)
8. Representative Grace Meng (D- Queens)
9. Representative Joe Morelle (D- Rochester)
10. Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R- Staten Island)
11. Representative Kathleen Rice (D- Long Island)
12. Representative Tom Suozzi (D- Long Island)
13. Representative Paul Tonko (D- Capital District)



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MSSNY Podcast: Surprise Bill Rules, Medicare Cuts & Scope Waivers


Need Assistance with Insurance Issues? Make Sure Your MSSNY Membership is Current!
MSSNY regularly receives requests from physicians to intervene on their behalf with insurance company or state enforcement agencies.  Remarkably, some physicians reach out for assistance without having paid their membership dues.  Please understand this is a member only benefit. We help countless physicians every day to resolve issues. Make sure your MSSNY membership is up to date so that when you need assistance with an insurance company or state enforcement agency matter, we can help you!  Join MSSNY today!


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MSSNY Continues to Raise Concerns to State Government Officials with Unnecessary Scope Law Waivers
MSSNY physician leaders have met and continue to communicate with top officials to Governor Kathy Hochul this week to praise her efforts to require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid, but at the same time raise concerns with aspects of her September 28 Executive Order  No. 4: Declaring a Statewide Disaster Emergency Due to Healthcare Staffing Shortages in the State of New York (ny.gov) which appear to go beyond addressing the immediate staffing crisis at hand in hospitals arising from enforcement of the September 27 vaccination mandate.

In a meeting last week, MSSNY physician leaders praised Governor Hochul for sticking to the requirement that had been adopted by the Department of Health in August.  In particular, MSSNY noted that the enforcement of the requirement was an essential step resulting in the significant increase in the health care worker vaccination rate across New York State.

To respond to the overall reduced supply of some healthcare workers and to ensure the proper functioning of hospitals and other health care facilities, Governor Hochul’s Executive Order waived for 30 days various licensure and scope of practice requirements under the public health law, insurance and education law such as permitting out of state health care workers including physicians, RNs, LPNs, NPs, PAs, midwives, clinical nurse specialists, licensed master social workers, and licensed clinical social workers to practice in New York to replace those healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated or received an exemption.

Some of the aspects of the Executive Order are items for which MSSNY is supportive, including measures that would permit physician visits in nursing homes to be done using telemedicine, and suspending requirements for preauthorization review by health insurers for scheduled surgeries in hospital facilities, hospital admissions, hospital outpatient services, home health care services following a hospital admission.

However, very concerning are provisions in the Executive Order that waive existing laws which require supervision of CRNAs by anesthesiologists, require supervision of health care service delivered by physician assistants by physicians, and require collaborative arrangements between nurse practitioners and physicians.  MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers, MSSNY President-elect Dr. Parag Mehta and MSSNY Past-President Dr. Bonnie Litvack noted that these measures are not necessary to respond to the shortage of healthcare workers because very few physicians working in hospitals and healthcare facilities have not been vaccinated, and that the waiving of these laws places patients at unnecessary risk.

Both the MSSNY physician leaders and Governor Hochul’s staff expressed hope that the Executive Order provisions would only be temporary – it is due to expire October 27 – because most of the remaining healthcare workers without proper exemptions would get vaccinated.

Please remain alert for further updates on this issue.



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New Report Shows Rapid Uptick in Physicians’ Use of Telehealth 
A new report based on the AMA’s Physician Practice Benchmark Survey describes the rapid uptick in physicians’ use of telehealth between Sept. 2018 and Sept. 2020. Over that period, the share of physicians in practices that used videoconferencing to provide patient visits increased from 14.3% to 70.3%. The report also shows that telehealth was used to treat a diverse set of patients with a variety of needs. In 2020, 58.0% of physicians said their practices used telehealth to diagnose or treat patients, 59.2% to manage patients with chronic disease and 50.4% to provide care to patients with acute disease.


Registration Now Open
October 20, 2021 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar
Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022
The 2020-2021 flu season was negligible owing to a variety of reasons.  Now that restrictions are lifting, the 2021-2022 flu season will once again be a matter of concern.  Learn more by registering for Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022 on Wednesday October 20, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here. Click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the dramatic decrease in influenza cases in 2020-2021
  • Identify strategies to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Analyze measures to ensure continued abatement of influenza during and after the COVID pandemic
  • Discuss timing of influenza vaccines with COVID-19 vaccination

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.


Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets
The AMA recently released its 2021 Update to Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets (PDF). This study reports the two largest health insurers’ market shares and market concentration (HHI) levels in each of the 384 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For the first time, the report also presents national-level market shares for the 10 largest health insurers in the U.S. The study finds that the average HHI increased by 171 points to 3494 between 2014 and 2020, while the share of markets that are highly concentrated rose from 71% to 73%. 57% of markets experienced an increase in the market concentration level (HHI). Among those markets, the average increase was 531 points. 54% of markets that were already highly concentrated in 2014 became even more concentrated by 2020.

The study also finds that a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate had the largest market share in 81% (311) of MSAs. Finally, UnitedHealth Group was the largest commercial health insurer at the national level, while Centene was the largest insurer in the exchanges. Learn more.


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Frequency of Anxiety, Depression Symptoms Among U.S. Adults Amplified During Winter COVID-19 Surge, Research Suggests
CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds that nationwide, average anxiety severity scores increased 13% from August to December 2020 and then decreased 26.8% from December 2020 to June 2021. Similar increases and decreases occurred in depression severity scores. The Hill (10/5, Coleman) reports, “The frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms among American adults amplified during the winter COVID-19 surge, according to a” CDC “study showing the pandemic’s impacts on the country’s mental health.”

The study, “spanning from August 2020 to June 2021, found anxiety and depression frequency peaked between December 2020 and January 2021, as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed to new heights during the holiday season.” Despite a drop of 26.8% by June 2021, researchers also found that “the frequency of anxiety and depression still remained ‘substantially’ higher than compared to before the pandemic.”


Obituaries
CASSELL, Eric Jonathan; New York NY.  Died September 24, 2021, age 93.  New York County Medical Society Inc.
DI BENEDETTO, Guido J.; Staten Island NY.  Died February 21, 2020, age 86.  Richmond County Medical Society Inc.
KESSLER, Richard A.; East Amherst NY.  Died July 18, 2021, age 71.  Erie County Medical Society”
ORPHANOS, Richard P.; New York NY.  Died August 14, 2021, age 90.  New York County Medical Society Inc.
ROBERTS, Thomas Nelson; New York NY.  Died August 15, 2021, age 96.  New York County Medical Society Inc.
SCHWARTZ, Stuart Jay; West Palm Beach FL.  Died September 14, 2021, age 85.  Medical Society County of Oneida Inc.
VERCILLO, Arthur Angelo; Liverpool NY.  Died August 19, 2021, age 97.  Onondaga County Medical Society Inc.


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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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. Please contact maiseymed@aim.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: October 6, 2021


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Calling Exceptional Women Physicians!
MSSNY’s Medical, Educational and Scientific Foundation (MESF) is holding leadership seminars for women on three Saturday mornings in October that cover various topics, including women physicians and their legislative impact featuring NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy; how CEOs and medical administrators deal with women physicians; and wellness and women physicians.

Jon Chilingerian, PhD is the facilitator for the virtual series, which will be split into three segments on October 16, 23 & 30 beginning at 8 a.m. Case studies and other resource materials will be sent to registrants. The program is open to all women physicians, including residents, and medical students.  Following is more specific information on each of the three segments:

Saturday, October 16 (8 am-11:30 am): “Albany, Women Physicians and Their Legislative Impact.”  This session will include presentations by Patricia Clancy, MSSNY’s Senior Vice President/ Managing Director of Public Health and Education; Bonnie Litvack MD, MSSNY Past President, Chair of MESF; and NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.

Saturday, October 23 (8 am-11:30 a.m): “How Do CEOs and Medical Administrators Deal with Women Physicians?”   This segment focuses on a presentation by Jon Chilingerian PhD on effective clinical leadership for women physicians. Dr. Jody Gittel’s presentation will cover what women physicians need to know to effectively operate in a male-dominated health care world. M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, FACP and Palma Shaw, MD, FACS, RPVI will share their experiences in a male-dominated health care world.

Saturday, October 30 at (8 am-11:30 am): “Wellness and Women Physicians.”  This segment focuses on the challenges women physicians face as they advance in their medical education or medical practice—while faced with family and other life stressors. Stress and burnout, which impacts women with greater frequency and severity, will be discussed in this segment.  It will include a presentation by Jo Shapiro MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital who will focus on peer-to-peer relations.  Carol Bernstein MD from Einstein School of Medicine will talk about gender differences in burnout.  In addition, Frank Dowling, MD will review his experience with MSSNY’s peer-to-peer (P2P) program and the importance of women reaching out to a peer to discuss those life stressors. 

Female physicians, residents or medical students are encouraged to register for this event by sending an email to Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org or by calling her at 518-465-8085.  Please provide your name and contact information to her by October 8, 2021. 

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 this live activity for a maximum of 9.0 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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Physician Advocacy Urged to Pushback Against HHS’ Insurer-Biased Interpretation of No Surprises Act
Physicians are urged to contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand as well as their respective Representative in Congress to ask that they request that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revise its recently announced regulations to implement provisions of the “No Surprises Act”, establishing a federal independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for out of network surprise bills.   A letter or tweet can be sent using this link: Urge Congress to Urge HHS to Revise Independent Dispute Resolution Regulations 

Physician and hospital groups across the country have uniformly criticized the HHS regulations as a gross deviation from the law passed by Congress last December.  The Congressional intent articulated in the No Surprises Act was to create an IDR process to protect patients that was appropriately balanced and did not favor either the insurer or the physician in claims disputes. Specifically, the final language adopted by Congress required the arbiter to consider numerous factors, including patient acuity or complexity of services, demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates and previously contracted rates, in addition to the insurers’ median in-network rate, without specifying that one factor take precedence over another.

However, instead of following the statutory language, HHS and other federal agencies designed an IDR process that heavily favors health insurance companies in payment disputes. The language in the rule directs the IDR arbiter to give priority to the insurer-calculated median in-network amount, called the qualifying payment amount (QPA), over the other considerations noted above.  It also imposes a number of requirements on the arbiter if they decide to make a decision that deviates from the insurer-determined QPA.  This effectively ties the hands of the arbiter.

In a statement released to the press last week, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers said that “In implementing the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process for resolving patient surprise medical bills – a process that New York physicians has strongly supported for many years – HHS has clearly sought to put its thumb on the scale in favor of multi-billion-dollar insurance companies.”

AMA President Dr. Gerald Harmon noted “The interim final regulation issued late yesterday to implement the No Surprises Act ignores congressional intent and flies in the face of the Biden Administration’s stated concerns about consolidation in the health care marketplace. It disregards the insurance industry’s role in creating the problem of surprise billing at the expense of independent physician practices whose ability to negotiate provider network contracts continues to erode.”

With the law scheduled to take effect January 1, 2022, MSSNY intends to work with the AMA and other allied groups to advocate for needed changes to the regulation to ensure that the IDR process is implemented in a way that better achieves balance in the IDR process, to protect care availability in hospital emergency departments.  Again, a letter can be sent from here: Urge Congress to Urge HHS to Revise Independent Dispute Resolution Regulations 



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NYS Department of Financial Services Issues Report and Recommendations to Reduce Health Care Costs & Simplify New York’s Complex Healthcare System: 
MSSNY Part of Broad-Based Group of Stakeholders Appointed to Take Deep Dive into the Issues
After a year-long project working with a broad-based group of stakeholders known as the Health Care Administrative Simplification Workgroup which included MSSNY, the New York Medical Group Management Association (NYMGMA), the New York Health Plan Association, the Greater New York Hospital Association, the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), Medicaid Matters, and a host of others, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) delivered a report to the New York State Legislature with 25 recommendations to reduce health care costs and complexities for the benefit of patients, providers, and health insurers. The Workgroup was created by statute in 2020 to study, evaluate and make recommendations about how to address these important issues.

Administrative costs are estimated to be as much as 30% of total health care costs. The Workgroup recommended solutions to address administrative inefficiencies and reduce costs for the benefit of all health care stakeholders, including most importantly patients. The recommendations contained a number of targeted steps recommended by MSSNY. While they do not alleviate the need for comprehensive legislation to address unnecessary and excessive administrative burdens imposed by health insurers, if implemented as intended it could help to somewhat reduce these hassles.

Among the recommendations included in the report:

  • Simplify Prior Authorization Health plans should clearly identify services that require prior authorization and annually review these services to identify where prior authorization and repeat prior authorizations can be removed. Reducing these requirements helps patients gain quicker access to necessary care.
  • Simplify Credentialing To expedite credentialing decisions, Health plans should use uniform credentialing applications including standardizing additional information requested and implement online portals or telephone hotlines for providers to obtain meaningful information on the status of their applications.
  • Encourage Electronic Claims Submission Providers should submit claims electronically, where possible, instead of by paper or facsimile, and health plans should accept claims that are submitted electronically, as well as accept medical record documentation through their portals.
  • Make Clinical Review Criteria More Transparent Health plans should post their clinical review criteria on their websites and make them available within five days of a request. This easy access to clinical review criteria allows patients to be better informed about when care is covered for specific health conditions. Health plans should adopt evidence-based and peer reviewed clinical guidelines with the most current data informing best practices for patient care and make the guidelines available to providers.
  • Standardize Financial Assistance & Other Forms Hospitals should be required to use a uniform, standard financial assistance form, with standard eligibility criteria, for patients to apply for financial assistance with hospital bills. The form should be easily accessible and publicly available on each hospital’s website, DOH’s website, and translated into languages other than English. These efforts will make it easier to apply for financial assistance with hospital bills. Health plans should also use a standard form for policyholders to designate an authorized representative and the form should be accepted by all health plans, making it easier for patients to obtain assistance in dealing with their health plan.
  • Encourage Access to Electronic Medical Records Health plans and providers should continue to discuss a path forward for providing access to electronic medical records and options to streamline the exchange of medical records.

To read the full report, click here.

MSSNY will continue to work with DFS and DOH, as well as the other stakeholders to this workgroup, to ensure that these recommended steps are being implemented by health insurers and update membership on new developments and changes.


New Application Cycle for $25.5 Billion in COVID-19 Provider Funding
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has announced a new application cycle for $25.5 billion in COVID-19 provider funding (Phase 4). The application for the funds is open now, and will close on October 26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants will be able to apply for both Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments during the application process. In order to streamline the application process and minimize administrative burdens, providers will apply for both programs in a single application.

PRF Phase 4 is open to a broad range of providers with changes in operating revenues and expenses. ARP Rural is specifically available to providers who serve rural patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). See a detailed list of eligible provider types here.

HHS recently hosted a briefing session to provide information about these upcoming funding opportunities – view the video here. HRSA will also host webinar sessions featuring guidance on how to navigate the application portal.

Real time technical assistance is available by calling the Provider Support Line at (866) 569-3522, for TTY dial 711. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday.


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NYACP Encourages Medical Students to Participate in Annual Meeting on October 8 and Offers Free ACP Membership to Medical Students
The NYACP Annual Scientific Meeting on Friday, October 8 from 8 am – 4 pm will be online once again as COVID-19 and its variants continue to be a threat to members and colleagues. This year’s agenda will highlight challenges members faced over the past year, along with exciting cutting edge breakout sessions. Click here for more information about the October 8 NYACP Annual Scientific Meeting

  • All medical students are welcome to apply for free ACP Membership–join here!
  • Medical Students are welcome to attend the NYACP Annual Scientific Meeting and can register for free here.

Medicine and Inclusivity: Instilling Pride in LGBTQ+ Patients and Colleagues Webinar Sponsored by Nassau County Medical Society
Title: Medicine and Inclusivity: Instilling Pride in LGBTQ+ Patients and Colleagues
Speaker:
David Rosenthal, DO, PhD, Medical Director, Northwell Health, Physician Partners, LGBTQ Transgender Program

This is an educational opportunity to learn about the ongoing issues that the LGBTQ+ community faces and strive toward positive change to create safe, supporting spaces for LGBTQ+ patients, med school students, and doctors. In the spirit of community outreach, the goal is to teach those in attendance more about the importance of kindness, acceptance, and respect as they navigate their medical careers and leave well-informed on the support and resources that they can share with those they know who might be struggling.

Date: October 26, 2021
Time:  6-7 PM
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_y7daTJyIQ4WieGNDZ-ZgQw


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MSSNY Member Dr. Barry B. Perlman Takes Readers on a 50-Year Personal and Historical Tour of Psychiatry in New Memoir
In Rearview: A Psychiatrist Reflects on Practice and Advocacy in a Time of Healthcare System Change, Dr. Barry B. Perlman offers an overview of his career in medicine. From his first inklings of interest in mental health issues tied to his grandmother’s bouts of severe depression and his mother’s volunteer work with persons discharged from psychiatric hospitals, through closing his practice and retirement, Perlman recounts the entire arc of his psychiatric and medical career in a series of thoughtful, conversational, personal reminiscences. He also covers topics central to the practice of psychiatry, such as suicide, violence, poverty, and electroconvulsive therapy.

Dr. Perlman served as president of the New York State Psychiatric Association, was appointed Chair of the NYS Mental Health Services Council by Governor George Pataki, and served as a member of the State Hospital Review and Planning Council. Based on his participation, he describes the process and tensions involved in shaping public policy.

Readers will be taken on a tour of the multidimensional life of an activist psychiatrist whose professional life encompassed provision of direct clinical care, running a psychiatric department under challenging circumstances, and trying to improve the lives of New Yorkers living with serious mental illness.


NYSDOH Approves Cultural Competence Training Offered by HHS
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has approved cultural competence training offered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health education program, Think Cultural Health. With the implementation of this training, MMCP participating providers will be positioned to provide more effective and culturally competent care delivery to enrollees and decrease health disparities. The memo can be found here.



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Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program III Funds Available
On September 30, 2021, the New York State Department of Health announced the availability of funds under the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program III, established pursuant to Section 2825-f of the Public Health Law.

A total of up to $208,294,869 is available through this Request for Applications (RFA #18406) to health care providers to facilitate health care transformation activities (including merger, consolidation, acquisition or other activities) intended to (a) create financially sustainable systems of care; (b) preserve or expand essential health care services; (c) modernize obsolete facility physical plants and infrastructure; (d) foster participation in alternative payment arrangements; (e) for residential health care facilities, increase the quality of resident care or experience; or (f) improve health information technology infrastructure, including telehealth, to strengthen the health care continuum.

Eligible Applicants include general hospitals, designated Regional Perinatal Centers, residential care facilities, adult care facilities, assisted living programs and children’s residential treatment facilities, as well as community-based health care providers. A minimum of $529,611 of the total amount must be awarded to community-based health care providers, which are defined as diagnostic and treatment centers, mental health and alcohol and substance abuse treatment clinics, Article 16 clinics, home care providers, hospices, and primary care providers. In addition, a minimum of $23,138,160 must be awarded to residential health care facilities, and up to $5,000,000 of the total awarded funds may be made available to Regional Perinatal Centers to establish telehealth applications.

The Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program III RFA can be accessed through the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/funding/, or through the Grants Gateway website at http://grantsreform.ny.gov. Applications must be submitted in Grants Gateway by 4:00 PM EST on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

Questions regarding the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program III (RFA #18406) can be e-mailed by Thursday, October 28, 2021 to Statewide3@health.ny.gov.

An informational Applicant Webinar will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 3:00 PM.  To register for the meeting, go here..


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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. Please contact maiseymed@aim.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSSNY eNews: October 1, 2021 – Calling Women Physicians!

Calling Women Physicians!

Colleagues:

Are you a female physician? Do you have an outstanding female physician colleague? I am pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for women physicians and medical students.

MSSNY’s Medical, Educational and Scientific Foundation (MESF) is holding leadership seminars for women on three Saturday mornings in October that cover various topics, including women physicians and their legislative impact featuring NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy; how CEOs and medical administrators deal with women physicians; and wellness and women physicians. These are all important topics indeed. Please avail yourself of this wonderful opportunity—or encourage your female colleagues to do so. 

Jon Chilingerian, PhD is the facilitator for the virtual series, which will be split into three segments on October 16, 23 & 30 beginning at 8 a.m. Case studies and other resource materials will be sent to registrants. The program is open to all women physicians, including residents, and medical students.  Following is more specific information on each of the three segments:

Saturday October 16 (8 am-11:30 am): “Albany, Women Physicians and Their Legislative Impact.”  This session will include presentations by Patricia Clancy, MSSNY’s Senior Vice President/ Managing Director of Public Health and Education; Bonnie Litvack MD, MSSNY Past President, Chair of MESF; and NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.

Saturday, October 23 (8 am-11:30 a.m): “How Do CEOs and Medical Administrators Deal with Women Physicians?”   This segment focuses on a presentation by Jon Chilingerian PhD on effective clinical leadership for women physicians. Dr. Jody Gittel’s presentation will cover what women physicians need to know to effectively operate in a male-dominated health care world. M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, FACP and Palma Shaw, MD, FACS, RPVI will share their experiences in a male-dominated health care world.

Saturday, October 30 at (8 am-11:30 am): “Wellness and Women Physicians.”  This segment focuses on the challenges women physicians face as they advance in their medical education or medical practice—while faced with family and other life stressors. Stress and burnout, which impacts women with greater frequency and severity, will be discussed in this segment.  It will include a presentation by Jo Shapiro MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital who will focus on peer-to-peer relations.  Carol Bernstein MD from Einstein School of Medicine will talk about gender differences in burnout.  In addition, Frank Dowling, MD will review his experience with MSSNY’s peer-to-peer (P2P) program and the importance of women reaching out to a peer to discuss those life stressors. 

Female physicians, residents or medical students are encouraged to register for this event by sending an email to Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org or by calling her at 518-465-8085.  Please provide your name and contact information to her by October 4, 2021. 

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 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. 

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


MSSNY President Praises New York State Health Commissioner Choice
Newsday (NY) (9/29, Gormley) reported, “Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday appointed Mary T. Bassett, the former New York City health commissioner, to be the new state health commissioner.” Bassett “is director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and professor of public health.” The choice was lauded by health experts, including the Medical Society of the State of New York. MSSNY president Dr. Joseph Sellers said, “We are confident that Dr. Bassett is the right person at the right time to see New York State through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic – and that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of public health will guide New Yorkers through future public health challenges. During her years as commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Bassett worked to tackle racial, ethnic, and economic health inequities.”

Crain’sWTEN-TV Albany, NY and NY1-TV New York also reported.


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HHS Seeks to “Put Its Thumb on the Scale Benefitting Insurers” in No Surprises Act Regulation
This week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies issued interim final rules to implement certain provisions of the “No Surprises Act”, establishing a federal independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for out of network surprise bills.

While MSSNY is continuing to work with the AMA and the federation of medicine in the review of this far-reaching regulation, upon initial review it appears to contain some extremely troubling language that will if implemented tip the scales of the IDR process towards the interest of multi-billion dollar insurance companies, rather than creating a process that truly balances the interests of health providers and insurers. Specifically, the CMS fact sheet notes:

“When making a payment determination, certified independent dispute resolution entities must begin with the presumption that the QPA is the appropriate OON amount. If a party submits additional information that is allowed under the statute, then the certified independent dispute resolution entity must consider this information if it is credible. For the independent dispute resolution entity to deviate from the offer closest to the QPA, any information submitted must clearly demonstrate that the value of the item or service is materially different from the QPA. Without this additional information, the certified independent dispute resolution entity must select the offer closest to the QPA.”

Several health care groups have raised very serious concerns that this regulation is a complete misreading of Congressional intent of the legislation.

  • The Federation of American Hospitals issued a statement calling the regulation a “a total miscue”, further noting that the regulation “misreads Congressional intent, and essentially puts a thumb on the scale benefiting insurers against providers and will over time reduce patient access.”
  • The American College of Radiology stated “This rule violates the intent, if not the actual letter, of the No Surprises Act and shatters a rare bipartisan, industry-wide agreement for equitable provider-insurer dispute resolution,” Doctors slam surprise billing rule that details dispute resolution process | Healthcare Dive
  • In a New York Times article, American College of Emergency Physicians Senior Vice President Laura Wooster stated “We are pretty disappointed because this is entirely against Congressional intent.” New Rule on Surprise Billing Aims to Take Patients Out of the ‘Food Fight’ – The New York Times (nytimes.com).

With the law is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2022, MSSNY intends to work with the AMA and other allied groups to advocate for needed changes to the regulation to ensure that the IDR process is implemented in a way that better achieves balance in the IDR process, to protect care availability in hospital emergency departments.


AMA Statement: Surprise Billing Regulation is a Surprise Gift to the Insurance Industry
The American Medical Association (AMA) today called the Biden Administration’s interim final rule on surprise billing an undeserved gift to the insurance industry that will reduce health care options for patients.

“The interim final regulation issued late yesterday to implement the No Surprises Act ignores congressional intent and flies in the face of the Biden Administration’s stated concerns about consolidation in the health care marketplace. It disregards the insurance industry’s role in creating the problem of surprise billing at the expense of independent physician practices whose ability to negotiate provider network contracts continues to erode,” said AMA President Gerald A. Harmon, M.D.

“Congress appreciated the negative consequences of national price setting for health care services and spent considerable time and effort developing a robust independent dispute resolution process to maintain market balance and preserve access to care, which the Administration apparently ignored,” Harmon added. “It also is apparent that the Administration failed to appreciate the importance of creating an accessible and impartial dispute resolution processes as a backstop against even greater insurer abuses.”

This decision comes just days after the AMA published the newest annual edition of Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets with findings demonstrating the rise of highly concentrated markets for health insurance.  This year’s study revealed that a startling 73 percent of the nation’s insurer markets can be classified as “highly concentrated,” according to the federal government’s own guidelines.  The result is higher premiums and narrower provider networks, which are a root cause of the surprise medical billing problem.

The AMA urges the Biden administration to delay implementation and allow full evaluation of policies in the interim final regulation that have negative long-term implications for patients and the health care system.


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MSSNY Meets with Governor Hochul Officials to Coordinate Vaccine Advocacy But to Raise Concerns with Unnecessary Scope Law Waivers
MSSNY physician leaders met with top officials to Governor Kathy Hochul this week to praise her efforts to require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid, but at the same time raise concerns with aspects of her September 28 Executive Order No. 4: Declaring a Statewide Disaster Emergency Due to Healthcare Staffing Shortages in the State of New York (ny.gov) which appear to go beyond addressing the immediate staffing crisis at hand in hospitals arising from enforcement of the September 27 vaccination mandate.

MSSNY physician leaders praised Governor Hochul for sticking to the requirement that had been adopted by the Department of Health in August. In particular, MSSNY noted that the enforcement of the requirement was an essential step resulting in the significant increase in the health care worker vaccination rate across New York State, which in one week rose from 84% to 92%.

To respond to the overall reduced supply of some healthcare workers and to ensure the proper functioning of hospitals and other health care facilities, Governor Hochul’s Executive Order waived for 30 days various licensure and scope of practice requirements under the public health law, insurance and education law such as permitting out of state health care workers including physicians, RNs, LPNs, NPs, PAs, midwives, clinical nurse specialists, licensed master social workers, and licensed clinical social workers to practice in New York to replace those healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated or received an exemption.

Some of the aspects of the Executive Order are items for which MSSNY is supportive, including measures that would permit physician visits in nursing homes to be done using telemedicine, and suspending requirements for preauthorization review by health insurers for scheduled surgeries in hospital facilities, hospital admissions, hospital outpatient services, home health care services following a hospital admission.

However, very concerning are provisions in the Executive Order that waive existing laws which require supervision of CRNAs by anesthesiologists, require supervision of health care service delivered by physician assistants by physicians, and require collaborative arrangements between nurse practitioners and physicians. MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers, MSSNY President-elect Dr. Parag Mehta and MSSNY Past-President Dr. Bonnie Litvack noted that these measures are not necessary to respond to the shortage of healthcare workers because very few physicians working in hospitals and healthcare facilities have not been vaccinated, and that the waiving of these laws places patients at unnecessary risk.

Both the MSSNY physician leaders and Governor Hochul’s staff expressed hope that the Executive Order provisions would only be temporary because most of the remaining healthcare workers without proper exemptions would get vaccinated.

Please remain alert for further updates on this issue.


Congressional Letter to Prevent Steep Medicare Cuts Garners Over 120 Signatures
MSSNY thanks the following New York Congressional delegation members for signing on to a bi-partisan 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. So far, it has been signed by over 120 members of Congress including Representatives Delgado (D-Hudson Valley); Garbarino (R-Long Island); Higgins (D-Buffalo); Jacobs (R-Western New York); Katko (R-Syracuse); Maloney (D-Manhattan); Morelle (D-Rochester); Suozzi (D-Long Island) and Tonko (D-Capital District).

Physicians are again urged to contact their respect member of Congress to also join the letter. (“Dear Colleague” letter) Please ask your Representative to sign-on NOW! The deadline for the letter is October 7.

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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Need Assistance with Insurance Issues? Make Sure Your MSSNY Membership is Current!
MSSNY regularly receives requests from physicians to intervene on their behalf with insurance company or state enforcement agencies.  Remarkably, some physicians reach out for assistance without having paid their membership dues.  Please understand this is a member only benefit. We help countless physicians every day to resolve issues. Make sure your MSSNY membership is up to date so that when you need assistance with an insurance company or state enforcement agency matter, we can help you!  Join MSSNY today!


President’s Circle Members Join Governor Hochul At An Upcoming Physician-Hosted Event
Physicians who join, renew or upgrade to the MSSNYPAC President’s Circle by Friday, 10/7 will receive a complimentary ticket to a physician-hosted virtual event with Governor Kathy Hochul. Current members of the President’s Circle are also welcome to attend.  Additional details pertaining to this event can be found by visiting www.mssnypac.org/events. Donate online at www.mssnypac.org/contribute or for personal assistance, contact Jennifer Wilks at mssnypac@mssnypac.org or 914-933-7722. Thank you.


Please Urge Governor Hochul to Sign into Law 2 Bills to Assist Patients to Reduce Health Insurer Interference in Patient Medication Options
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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2021 New York Statewide Adult Immunization Coalition Virtual Meeting
Registration for the 2021 New York State Adult Immunization Coalition Meeting is now open.  Due to ongoing efforts related to COVID-19, this year’s meeting will take place virtually on October 26-27, 2021 via Airmeet.  This meeting will provide an opportunity for vaccine providers to engage with state and national experts on a variety of adult immunization topics, including ACIP recommendations for adult vaccines, standards for adult immunization practice, COVID-19 vaccination, HPV vaccination, Families Fighting Flu, New York State adult immunization coverage, and more.  This event is free and available to ALL adult immunization providers in New York State.

The program is hosted by the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO), the Western NY Adult Immunization Coalition, the Central NY Adult Immunization Coalition, the Adult Immunization Coalitions of Northeastern NY, the Mid-Hudson Adult Immunization Coalition, the Rockland-Westchester Adult Immunization Coalition, and the Nassau-Suffolk Adult Immunization Coalition, and is being co-provided by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Immunization.

Information on continuing education credits will be coming soon.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Updated Guidance for Physicians from the New York State Department of Health
Following are three COVID-19 vaccine guidance related documents from the New York State Department of Health:
Guidance for COVID Vaccine Providers

Immunization Screening and Consent Form

COVID-19 Vaccine Screening Checklist for Health Care Professionals


Registration Now Open
October 20, 2021 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar
Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022
The 2020-2021 flu season was negligible owing to a variety of reasons.  Now that restrictions are lifting, the 2021-2022 flu season will once again be a matter of concern.  Learn more by registering for Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022 on Wednesday October 20, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here Click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the dramatic decrease in influenza cases in 2020-2021
  • Identify strategies to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Analyze measures to ensure continued abatement of influenza during and after the COVID pandemic
  • Discuss timing of influenza vaccines with COVID-19 vaccination

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 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. 
Please contact maiseymed@aim.com


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 29, 20210 MSSNY Applauds Appointment of Dr. Mary Bassett as NYS DOH Commissioner


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MSSNY Applauds Gov. Hochul’s Appointment of Mary Bassett, MD, MPH as NYS Department of Health Commissioner
The following statement was sent to the press on September 29:

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

“MSSNY is thrilled to welcome Dr. Mary Bassett as New York State’s new Health Commissioner, and we look forward to working closely with her to address the health needs of all New Yorkers. We are confident that Dr. Bassett is the right person at the right time to see New York State through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic—and that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of public health will guide New Yorkers through future public health challenges.  During her years as commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Bassett worked to tackle racial, ethnic, and economic health inequities.  We look forward to working with her to address those needs throughout the State in our shared fight for quality, accessible, and affordable health care for all New Yorkers.”


Governor Hochul Announces Series of Steps to Respond to Vaccine Mandate-Induced Healthcare Worker Shortage
To respond to the significant healthcare worker shortage arising from the vast numbers of healthcare workers who failed to meet September 27 deadline for receiving an initial Covid vaccination, Governor Hochul issued an Executive Order No. 4: Declaring a Statewide Disaster Emergency Due to Healthcare Staffing Shortages in the State of New York which waives for 30 days various insurance, licensure, and scope of practice requirements under the public health law, insurance, and education law including:

  • Permitting out of state health care workers including physicians, RNs, LPNs, NPs, PAs, midwives, clinical nurse specialists, licensed master social workers, and licensed clinical social workers to practice in New York;
  • Permitting licensed but not registered health care professionals to practice in New York;
  • Permitting advanced practice nurses with a doctorate or masters degree specializing in the administration of anesthesia in a general hospital or free-standing ambulatory surgery center without the supervision of a qualified physicians in these health care settings;
  • Permitting physician assistants and nurse practitioners to practice without otherwise required supervision and collaboration requirements.
  • Permitting physician visits in nursing homes to be done using telemedicine;
  • Suspending requirements for preauthorization review for scheduled surgeries in hospital facilities, hospital admissions, hospital outpatient services, home health care services following a hospital admission, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services following a hospital admission;
  • Permitting graduates of foreign medical schools without medical licenses but one year of graduate medical education to provide care in hospitals
  • Waiving re-registration fees, creating an expedited re-registration process, and eliminating barriers to re-enter the workforce for retirees;
  • Permits nurse-initiated protocols to included electrocardiogram for signs and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome, blood glucose for altered mental state, Labs and intravenous lines for potential sepsis and pre-procedure pregnancy testing to expedited evaluation and diagnosis

MSSNY continues to engage in extensive public efforts to encourage healthcare workers to become vaccinated, so as to end as soon as reasonably possible the drastic steps imposed by Governor Hochul to address these shortages.


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AMA, MSSNY Strongly Support Governor Hochul’s Efforts to Require Health Care Workers to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The following joint statement was sent to the press on Wednesday, September 28:
Link to MSSNY Joint Statement
Link to AMA Joint Statement
Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
Gerald E. Harmon, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) and Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) strongly support Governor Hochul’s efforts to require health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The path to ending the pandemic must be based on science, and vaccination is an indispensable part of the solution. AMA, MSSNY, and the physicians we represent understand that there are many who are confused and uncertain. We remind everyone with questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine to turn to their trusted physicians to guide them. We will continue to work with Governor Hochul and her Administration to help promote vaccination for all as a key to ending this pandemic.”


MSSNY Tip of the Week: The Scoop on CPT 99483
Have you ever had a patient display signs of cognitive impairment? No matter your specialty, CPT code 99483—Cognitive Assessment and Care Plan Services—can be performed along with a visit and submitted to the insurance company for reimbursement. For more information click here to read more from CMS.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, contact Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Patient Payment and Practice at 518.465.8085 X332 or hlopez@mssny.org.


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New AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force Urges Action to Help Patients
The Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Medical Association today released new recommendations as part of the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force to help end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic.

The recommendations are focused on actions physicians can take as well as those policymakers and public health officials must take. This includes broad efforts to remove barriers and improve access to evidence-based care for patients with pain, a substance use disorder (SUD) or mental illness, as well as increase access to multiple harm reduction strategies. The new Task Force also will work to more directly address the changing drug overdose epidemic, focus on removing racial, gender, sexual orientation, and other health-related inequities.

“The nation’s physicians must continue to lead by example to help our patients with pain, SUDs and mental illness,” said Task Force Chair Bobby Mukkamala, MD. “But removing barriers requires more stakeholders to join us. This new Task Force is making clear the opportunity we have to reduce mortality and improve outcomes, but we also will be clear with policymakers that failure to adopt our recommendations will prolong the epidemic and our patients’ suffering.”

Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Support patients with pain, mental illness or a substance use disorder (SUD) by building an evidence-based, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and health care workforce rather than continuing a crisis-driven approach that has led to multiple unintended negative consequences, including one-size-fits-all strategies, continued stigma and widespread gaps in data, evidence-based treatment, and prevention efforts.
  • Support coverage for, access to, and payment of comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, multi-modal evidence-based treatment for patients with pain, a substance use disorder or mental illness. Additionally, coverage, access and payment should directly address racial, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic and economic inequities as well as social determinants of health. This includes removing barriers to evidence-based treatment for SUDs, co-occurring mental illness and pain.
  • Broaden public health and harm reduction strategies to save lives from overdose, limit the spread of infectious disease, eliminate stigma and reduce harms for people who use drugs and other substances.
  • Improve stakeholder and multi-sector collaboration in an effort to ensure that the patients, policymakers, employers, and communities benefit from evidence-based decisions.

“These recommendations are vital for our patients who are in pain, have a mental illness diagnosis, or have a substance use disorder to receive compassionate care that is evidence-based treatment and addresses the barriers that patients face in getting the care that they need. MSSNY, as a member of the AMA’s Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, is pleased to support these recommendations as we believe that they will help improve health outcomes for our patients,” said Joseph Sellers, MD, MSSNY President.

Read the full Task Force recommendations


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Calling all Medical School Students! Join MSSNY’s Medical Student Section Meeting on October 2
The MSSNY Medical Student Section meeting is this Saturday October 2 at 9 am. The meeting will once again be held virtually via Zoom. Please invite your fellow students and encourage them to attend to learn more about MSSNY and the Medical Student Section. The event will include guest speakers MSSNY President Joseph Sellers, M.D. and MSSNY Secretary and member of the AMA Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues Frank Dowling, M.D.

Elections will be held for student delegates to the MSSNY House of Delegates.
Click here for more information about this role.

Click here for Medical Student Section Meeting event flyer.

Register for Medical Student Section Meeting here.


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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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. 
Please contact maiseymed@aim.com


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 24, 2021 – MSSNY Passes Resolution on Mandatory Vaccines and Masking

MSSNY Passes Resolution on Mandatory Vaccines and Masking

Colleagues:

I am often amazed and energized by the wisdom, the thoughtfulness, and the focused attention to both the science and the art of medicine on the part of my MSSNY colleagues whenever we meet. All those qualities were on full display both last weekend at our virtual House of Delegates meeting and again at yesterday’s Council meeting.

Yesterday’s Council meeting, for example, included a robust discussion about COVID vaccinations.  As the COVID pandemic continues to pose a major threat to the health of the public, MSSNY Council passed a resolution that calls for MSSNY to advocate for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination among all healthcare workers and support staff who regularly interface with the public. In addition, MSSNY will advocate for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination among all school-aged children, once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirm the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in the pediatric population.

And, finally, MSSNY will advocate for mandatory facial masking among all healthcare workers and support staff who regularly interface with the public, as well as all students, teachers, and administrative and support personnel in all primary, secondary, and postsecondary educational facilities in New York State for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and based upon the recommendations of the CDC and/or the New York State Department of Health.

And, as always, we must continue to get the message out that when there are questions or feelings of uncertainty, patients should turn to us—their trusted physicians—to guide them.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.


Highlights of the 2021 House of Delegates
The House of Delegates meeting held last Saturday was very successful. Despite the necessity to be held virtually, the discussion and debate was vigorous and productive.

The results of the election of New York Delegates to the AMA, which were announced late on Saturday, are posted to the MSSNY HOD pages. Congratulations to all those elected for the term January 2022 through December 2023!

Actions of the House, which detail the actions for each resolution considered by the House, have been posted to the MSSNY website.

Following are some highlights:

Support Physicians Providing Gender Affirming Care for Youth
MSSNY supports physicians in New York who provide gender-affirming care to people including transgender and non-binary youth and opposes the criminalization of providing gender-affirming care for youth.

We’re Mad as Hell and We Aren’t Going to Take it Anymore
MSSNY will aggressively work with county and special medical societies across the State to collect examples of health insurers inappropriately denying payment for care, inappropriately delaying patient access to needed treatment and abusive audit practices for redress by the New York State Department of Financial Services and New York State Department of Health. MSSNY will educate physicians regarding strategies to assist in collecting examples for review by state oversight agencies, such as use of relevant ICD-10 codes that identify in the electronic medical record when patients have difficulty accessing care due to inappropriate denials.

Enforcement of Administrative Simplification Requirements – CMS
MSSNY takes the position that the AMA must advocate (1) that there is parity in the enforcement of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Administrative Simplification requirements; (2) that the CMS imposes penalties on health plan violations of HIPAA with the same rigor it imposes penalties on healthcare providers for violations of MIPS and other requirements and that the AMA must advocate that the CMS investigates all valid allegations of HIPAA Administrative simplification requirements thoroughly and offer transparently in its processes and decisions as required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). MSSNY also takes the position that the AMA must advocate that the CMS resolves all complaints related to the non-compliant payment methods including opt-out virtual credit cards and illegal EFT fees and MSSNY strongly disapproves of the failure by the CMS Office of Burden Reduction to effectively enforce the HIPAA administrative simplification requirements as required by the law and its failure to impose financial penalties for non-compliance by health plans.

15 Month Prescribing
MSSNY will advocate for changes to New York State insurance and Medicaid laws that would allow physicians, at their discretion and based on patient compliance, to prescribe non-controlled substances for 15 months.

Require Methadone Dispenser to Report to I STOP – PMP
MSSNY will seek legislative or other regulatory interventions to require the reporting of methadone into the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) and will support requiring the interconnectivity between the state PMP and methadone clinics. 

September 11th as a MSSNY Day of Observance
In order to acknowledge our special relationship to what happened on September 11, 2001 to New Yorkers, to our nation, to New York physicians and to our first responders, and to honor and remember those who died and those whose health and well-being have been affected by this terrible incident, MSSNY will recognize and support September 11th as an annual MSSNY day of observance. MSSNY will urge the AMA to recognize September 11th as an annual day of observance. 

Site of Service Availability
MSSNY will continue to advocate to reduce health insurer pre-authorization burdens, including eliminating pre-authorization requirements and restrictions based on site of service. 

Medicare Advantage Plan Mandates
MSSNY will urge the AMA to advocate for federal legislation to ensure that no person should be mandated to change from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. 

Insurance Coverage for Scalp Cooling (Cold Cap) Therapy
MSSNY will seek by legislation and/or regulation, universal insurance coverage for Scalp Cooling (Cold Cap) Therapy and will work with consumer groups to challenge insurers on Scalp Cooling (Cold Cap) Therapy medical necessity denials and encourage appeals to independent third-party reviewers and send a similar resolution to the AMA.

CPT Denials/Service/Preauthorization Denials and Prior Authorization – CPT Codes for Fair Compensation
MSSNY will advocate that the AMA will include fair compensation based on CPT codes for appeal of wrongfully denied services in any Model Legislation and as a basis for all advocacy, including those for Prior Authorization reforms and that CPT codes must fully reflect the aggregated time and effort expended by physician practices. MSSNY will urge the AMA to establish a CPT code by the AMA CPT® Editorial Panel to account for administrative work involved in prior authorizations that reflects the actual time expended by physician practices to advocate on behalf of patients and to comply with insurer requirements and urge the AMA to establish a CPT Code by the AMA CPT® Editorial Panel to account for administrative work that reflects the actual time expended by physician practices and their billing vendors involved in successfully appealing wrongful pre-and post-service denials.

Payment for Physicians’ Work: Appealing Insurance Company Denials for Payment
MSSNY will, by legislation or regulation, seek payment for physicians’ time and effort involved in preparing appeals for reversal of denials of payment for medical care, procedures, and medications by insurers and other third-party payers on behalf of their patients.


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MSSNY Statement Regarding Resignation of Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD
Following is MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers’ statement regarding Dr. Zucker’s resignation:

“MSSNY is grateful to Dr. Zucker for his many years of service as he worked to protect the residents of New York State, especially as he helped to lead the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic—one of the most challenging public health threats of our lifetimes.   We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Department of Health staff to promote vaccination in response to the ongoing pandemic, and in addressing additional public health threats.”

Crain’s New York Business (9/24) reports that in a statement, Medical Society of the State of New York President Dr. Joseph Sellers said, “We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Department of Health staff to promote vaccination in response to the ongoing pandemic and in addressing additional public health threats.”


CDC Director Overrules Advisory Panel to Broaden Recommended Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots for Frontline Workers
The New York Times (9/23, Mandavilli, Mueller) reports that on Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky “overruled a recommendation by an agency advisory panel that had refused to endorse booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for frontline workers.” The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had “recommended the boosters for a wide range of Americans, including tens of millions of older adults and younger people at high risk for the disease. But they excluded health care workers, teachers and others whose jobs put them at risk.”


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Dr. Sellers Answers Viewers Questions About COVID-19 Vaccine
On Cheddar News, MSSNY president Joseph Sellers, MD answered viewer questions surrounding Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement that the data from the trial of their vaccine in children ages five to 11 showed the vaccine is safe and generates a “robust” response, along with other general questions.


NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) Proposes Permanent Regulations for Audio-Only Telehealth Coverage
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released proposed regulations on Wednesday, September 22nd to make permanent existing temporary regulations that require health insurers to cover audio-only Telehealth services for care to patients. DFS had previously promulgated a 90-day emergency regulation to require coverage for audio-only Telehealth services, but that temporary regulation expires in October.

The proposed regulation would also permit an insurer to “engage in reasonable fraud, waste and abuse detection efforts, including to prevent payments for services that do not warrant separate reimbursement”.

Please note that last year a statute was enacted that requires Medicaid to cover audio-only Telehealth. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued a guidance document, this summer, for how Medicaid will continue to cover Telehealth services, including audio-only services.

There is a 60-day comment period that, ends on November 21st, and MSSNY is reviewing the proposal and will issue comments, if needed. To view the proposed permanent regulations, please go to: Proposed 62nd Amendment to Insurance Regulation 62 (11 NYCRR 52) 


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MSSNY’s Medical, Educational and Scientific Foundation (MESF) Seeks Nomination for Women’s Leadership Conference
MSSNY’s Medical, Education and Science Foundation (MESF), is seeking women physicians to attend the MESF Leadership Seminars for Women. Self-nominations are welcomed.  This program will be a virtual format and will be split into three segments with Jon Chilingerian, PhD acting as facilitator for the series.  The three segments are slated for October 16, 23 & 30 beginning at 8 a.m.  Additional information will be provided to those that are nominated with a link to materials.

This program is open to all women physicians, including residents and medical students.  The program is as follows:

Saturday, October 16 (8 am-11:30 am): “Albany, Women Physicians and Their Legislative Impact.”  This session will include presentations by Patricia Clancy, MSSNY’s Senior Vice President/ Managing Director of Public Health and Education; Bonnie Litvack MD, MSSNY Past President, Chair of MESF; and The Honorable Deborah Glick of the NYS Assembly.

Saturday, October 23 (8 am-11:30 am): “How Do CEO’s and Medical Administrators Deal with Women Physicians?”   This segment will focus on a presentation by Jon Chilingerian PhD on effective clinical leadership for women physicians while Dr. Gittel’s presentation will key to what women physicians need to know to effectively operate in a male dominated health care world.  In addition, this segment will include a presentation by Linda Clark MD, Chair of MSSNY’s Health Equity Committee who will focus on diversity in the medical field and issues facing physicians of color.

Saturday, October 30 at (8 am-11:30 am): “Wellness and Women Physicians.”  This segment will focus on the challenges women physicians face they advance in their medical education or medical practice—while faced with family and other life stressors. Stress and burnout, which impacts women with greater frequency and severity, will be discussed in this segment.  This segment will include a presentation by Jo Shapiro MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital who will focus on peer-to-peer relations.  Carol Bernstein MD from Einstein School of Medicine will talk about gender differences in burnout.  In addition, Frank Dowling, MD will review his experience with MSSNY’s peer-to-peer (P2P) program and the importance of women reaching out to a peer to discuss those life stressors. 

Please consider nominating a female physician, resident, or medical student who you believe would benefit from attending this exciting, educational MESF leadership seminar. Self-nominations are acceptable.   Nominations can be sent to: Pat Clancy at pclancy@mssny.org or by calling her at 518-465-8085.  Please provide your nomination and contact information for them to me by October 4, 2021. 

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 this live activity for a maximum of 9.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Happy Women in Medicine Month to MSSNY’s Women Physicians!

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Calling all Medical School Students! Join MSSNY’s Medical Student Section Meeting on October 2
Save the Date! The MSSNY Medical Student Section meeting has been scheduled for Saturday October 2nd at 9 am. The meeting will once again be held virtually via Zoom. Please invite your fellow students and encourage them to attend to learn more about MSSNY and the Medical Student Section. The event will include guest speakers MSSNY President Joseph Sellers, M.D. and MSSNY Secretary and member of the AMA Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues Frank Dowling, M.D.

Register here:
https://mssny.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvf-yupjIoG9PH1S6wrB6CP_ycGHsuu81S

Elections will be held for student delegates to the MSSNY House of Delegates. Click here for more information about this role.


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Guidance on How to Request a Supply of COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Therapeutics
The NYS DOH released updated details on how New York State (NYS) providers can submit requests for a supply of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics. At this time, only providers who have an active account from AmerisourceBergen can submit a request. Click here to read the detailed announcement.

The NYS DOH has launched an online form to intake requests for supplies of monoclonal (Ab) therapeutics from New York State providers. The mAb products affected are bamlanivimab/etesevimab, etesevimab (to pair with bamlanivimab already on hand), and casirivimab/imdevimab (REGEN-COV). Information on how to request mAb products, including how to complete the online form, can be found in the attached guidance. For questions, please email: COVID19therapeutics@health.ny.gov.


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Top Ten Reasons to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The NYS Department of Health has produced a flyer in both English and Spanish that highlights ten reasons to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to download the flyer to post in your office.


Reasons to get vaccinated chart Page 1Reasons to get vaccinated chart Page 2


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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. 
Please contact maiseymed@aim.com


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 22, 2021 – Healthcare Worker Vaccination Mandate: Federal Judge Extends Delayed Enforcement as it Pertains to Religious Exemptions


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Federal Judge Extends Delayed Enforcement of Healthcare Worker Vaccination Mandate as it Pertains to Religious Exemptions
A Central New York federal judge has extended until October 12 a temporary restraining order (TRO) that will, at least temporarily, permit health care workers to evade the State’s vaccination requirement if they claim a religious exemption.

In response to the initial TRO issued last week, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers issued a statement expressing dismay with the federal court’s ruling (MSSNY Opposes Northern District Decision to Permit Religious Exemptions to State’s Healthcare Worker Vaccination Requirements), 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.” Dr. Sellers’ statement was included in dozens of articles regarding this court decision.

In August, 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, with the first shot to be received by September 27. 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).

The only exemption in the regulation for health care workers is for documented medical contraindications, though the court ruling means that a religious exemption can also be claimed until a decision is made by the court on October 12.

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”.

This week, the DOH released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding what health care entities and health care professionals need to know regarding the health care worker vaccination mandate, including acceptable vaccination contraindications.

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.


Hurricane Ida Added to MIPS Exemption for New York and New Jersey Physicians
In response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designation of Hurricane Ida as a major disaster, CMS has determined that the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) policy will apply to Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians in FEMA-designated disaster areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, and Missouri.

MIPS eligible clinicians in these areas will be automatically identified and receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2023 MIPS payment year. During the data submission period for the 2021 performance period (January 3, 2022, to March 31, 2022), all 4 performance categories for these clinicians will be weighted at 0%, resulting in a score equal to the performance threshold.

However, if MIPS eligible clinicians in these areas choose to submit data on 2 or more performance categories, they’ll be scored on those categories and receive a 2023 MIPS payment adjustment based on their 2021 MIPS final score.

The automatic EUC policy won’t apply to MIPS eligible clinicians participating in MIPS as a group, virtual group, or Alternative Payment Model (APM) Entity.

For More Information
Please reference the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Overview section on the MIPS > About Exception Applications page and review the fact sheet.


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Sharp Decreases in Opioid Prescribing, Increases in Drug-Related Overdose and Death According to New AMA Report
The AMA issued a report yesterday showing a 44.4 percent decrease in opioid prescribing nationwide in the past decade. At the same time, the country is facing a worsening drug-related overdose and death epidemic.

To address this continuing epidemic, the AMA is urging policymakers to join physicians to reduce mortality and improve patient outcomes by removing barriers to evidence-based care. The report shows that overdose and deaths are spiking even as physicians have greatly increased the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), which are electronic databases that track controlled substance prescriptions and help identify patients who may be receiving multiple prescriptions from multiple prescribers. The report shows that physicians and others used state PDMPs more than 910 million times in 2020. In 2019, physicians and others used state PDMPs about 750 million times.

Yet, the nation continues to see increases in overdose mainly due to illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine, and cocaine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In addition, state public health, media and other reports compiled by the AMA show that the drug-related overdose and death have worsened across the nation. Research and data from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Indian Health Service underscore the continued challenges and inequities for Black, Latinx, and American Indian/Native Alaskan populations.

Opioid prescriptions have decreased by 44.4 percent between 2011-2020, including a 6.9 percent decrease from 2019-2020. Along with the sharp decreases in opioid prescriptions, new AMA data also shows that physicians and other health care professionals used the state PDMP more than 910 million times in 2020. The report also highlights that more than 104,000 physicians and other health care professionals have an “X-waiver” to allow them to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. This is an increase of 70,000 providers since 2017, yet 80 to 90 percent of people with a substance use disorder receive no treatment.


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MSSNY President Dr. Sellers Tells Newsday: “We Believe There’s an Obligation by Health Care Workers to Do Everything We Can to Protect the Patients Who Are in Our Care”
Newsday (NY) (9/19, Olson) reports, “New York hospitals and nursing homes are worried that a state COVID-19 vaccine mandate set to take effect Sept. 27 for their employees could cause staffing shortages, leading to an adverse impact on patient care.” Some officials worry “firing employees who refuse to get the shot could exacerbate existing shortages of nurses and other employees” but “supporters of the mandate said it is necessary to reduce the risk that hospital and nursing home employees infect patients with the coronavirus.” Medical Society of the State of New York president Dr. Joseph Sellers said, “We believe there’s an obligation by health care workers to do everything we can to protect the patients who are in our care. The vaccines for COVID are a very effective way for us to decrease the risk of our patients acquiring COVID infections from us as health care workers. It’s also to keep our health care workers healthy so they’re there to provide care to patients.” Nursing home leaders, however, “urged the state to be more flexible about the mandate deadline by, for example, extending it for a month for some nursing homes, with unvaccinated employees required to pay for COVID-19 tests twice a week” which would also “allow more time to recruit and train new employees.”


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MSSNY Tip of the Week: Which Agency Regulates Which Type of Health Plan?
Physicians and their billers facing claims payment or other problems that cannot be resolved with the health plan may need to turn to the government regulator for assistance.   But how do you know which regulator is the appropriate agency that oversees the type of claim with which you are having a problem?  There are so many different regulators that it can be difficult to keep track.

MSSNY has compiled this quick reference guide to help you decipher the difference and provide you key contact information. If you have any questions, contact MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice Heather K. Lopez at hlopez@mssny.org.


Additional $25.5 Billion Provider Relief Funding Made Available
As previously reported, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), recently announced it is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This 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.

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. According to the HHS press release, PRF Phase 4 will reimburse smaller providers—who tend to operate on thin margins and often serve vulnerable or isolated communities—for their lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses at a higher rate compared to larger providers. PRF Phase 4 will also include bonus payments for providers who serve Medicaid, CHIP, and/or Medicare patients, who tend to be lower income and have greater and more complex medical needs. HRSA will price these bonus payments at the generally higher Medicare rates to ensure equity for those serving low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and seniors.

For more information, click here: HHS Announces the Availability of $25.5 Billion in COVID-19 Provider Funding


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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.


Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. 
Please contact maiseymed@aim.com

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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