MSSNY Urges Biden Administration to Declare a Public Health Emergency

For Immediate Release 
August 1, 2022 

 

MSSNY Urges Biden Administration to Declare a Public Health Emergency

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“The Medical Society of the State of New York agrees with the action taken by Governor Kathy Hochul in declaring a State Disaster Emergency and for NYS Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett for declaring an Immediate Threat to Public Health in response to rapid spread of Monkeypox across New York.

“MSSNY thanks both for their efforts to improve testing, secure more vaccine for New Yorkers, and reduce restrictions on treatment for people infected with Monkeypox. While these declarations allow us to mobilize more resources, we believe more needs to be done to control this outbreak.

“MSSNY is calling on President Biden and Secretary Becerra to declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency. This would increase our access to more vaccines and further reduce the barriers to treatment. Tecovirimat shows great promise in the treatment in Monkeypox infection, and the Emergency Investigatory New Drug (EIND) restrictions have limited the ability to treat patients with this medication. A Public Health Emergency designation would allow the FDA to evaluate this treatment for Emergency Use Authorization, like what was used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines when they became first available. This would greatly reduce barriers to treatment.

“Monkeypox is disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ+ community, and a Public Health Emergency is needed at this point to prevent further health disparities in this vulnerable community. MSSNY is committed to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.  We need swift action to meet the needs of our patients across New York and all over the United States.”

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

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

 

Medical Society Statement Supporting Legislative Efforts to Protect New Yorkers from Gun Violence

For Immediate Release 
July 1, 2022 

 

Medical Society Statement Supporting Legislative Efforts to Protect New Yorkers from Gun Violence

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“The Medical Society of the State of New York applauds the Governor and the New York State Legislature in its most recent efforts to make New York residents safer from gun violence. The state legislative efforts stemmed from last week’s confounding decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn New York’s 110-year old law that placed reasonable restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in public.

“State and local governments should have the ability to regulate public health matters within their jurisdiction.  Gun violence in this state and nation are at unacceptable proportions. New York’s physicians support efforts to protect the public from harm by promoting safe firearms storage, and stronger background checks.  The Medical Society also supports comprehensive firearm safety education in all settings as a component of firearm licensing.  In addition, the Medical Society favors expansion and implementation of technologies to improve gun safety.  Protection of physicians and other healthcare workers from gun violence is crucial.

“Today, New York State took another step in ensuring that all of its citizens are protected from the ravages of gun violence.”

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

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

 

MSSNY and New York State Ophthalmological Society Applaud Aetna Decision to Suspend Preauthorization for Cataract Surgery

 

For Immediate Release 
July 1, 2022

 

MSSNY and New York State Ophthalmological Society Applaud Aetna Decision to Suspend Preauthorization for Cataract Surgery

 

July 1, 2022, Westbury, NY—The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) and the New York State Ophthalmological Society (NYSOS) applaud the announcement from Aetna that it will rescind its preauthorization requirement for cataract surgery. The new policy went into on Friday, July 1, 2022.

“Aetna’s decision to forego preauthorization for cataract surgeries will give patients greater access to a life-changing procedure”, said Dr. Parag Mehta, President of MSSNY. MSSNY urges other insurers to follow their lead.”

“Cataract removal is the most common and one of the safest surgeries in the US, impacting almost 3 million patients annually. Aetna’s year-long preauthorization mandate placed undue administrative burdens on eye physician practices, increased the associated risk for falls, accidents and further vision loss, and resulted in an unnecessary delay of surgery for tens of thousands of patients”, according to NYSOS President Peter Menger, MD. “We are gratified that this mandate has been lifted so that ophthalmologists can spend less time completing burdensome paperwork and more time performing sight-restoring surgery”, added Dr. Menger.

Excessive preauthorization hassles continue to be a major impediment to patient care. In early February, the American Medical Association (AMA) released an updated survey which showed that more than 9 in 10 physicians (93%) reported care delays while waiting for health insurers to authorize necessary care, and 82% said patients abandon treatment due to authorization struggles with health insurers. Moreover, more than half (51%) of physicians reported that preauthorization had interfered with a patient’s job responsibilities, and more than one-third (34%) of physicians reported that preauthorization led to a serious adverse event such as hospitalization, disability, or even death, for a patient in their care.

We urge all New York health insurers to reduce and/or eliminate unnecessary and time-consuming preauthorization processes to help ensure patients have timely access to the care recommended by their physician. MSSNY, NYSOS and virtually all physician organizations in this state have strongly supported multiple pieces of legislation to reduce excessive health insurer hassles, including legislation (S.8299, Breslin/A.9908, McDonald) that will exempt health care providers from preauthorization requirements if their authorization requests are regularly approved, and legislation (A.7129, Gottfried/S.6435, Breslin) that would eliminate the need for repeat preauthorization requirements once it has been approved for a patient.

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

Physicians Condemn Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe as Misguided and Dangerous

 

For Immediate Release 
June 24, 2022

 

Physicians Condemn Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe as Misguided and Dangerous
Healthcare Decisions Should be Between Physician and Patient

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“Today’s misguided decision by the Supreme Court removing US Constitutional protection for a patient’s right to abortion will profoundly harm medical care for all individuals.  The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) supports the right of all patients to a safe and legal abortion and direct access to obstetric and gynecologic services.  MSSNY maintains that reproductive choice, as any medical decision, is one of an informed consent between the patient and treating physician.

“Today’s decision creates a new, unacceptable reality that allows physicians and other health care providers to be punished for providing needed care to their patients.  Abortion is a medical procedure and should not be criminalized. We must make sure our patients have access to the healthcare they need.

“The MSSNY applauds Governor Hochul and the New York Legislature for passing a set of laws this session that help further protect a patient’s right to access needed reproductive health care.  MSSNY calls on other states to enact similar protections.”

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

NY State Medical Society Applauds FDA Decision to Order Juul E-Cigarettes Off the Market

 

For Immediate Release 
June 23, 2022

 

NY State Medical Society Applauds FDA Decision to Order Juul E-Cigarettes Off the Market

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) applauds today’s decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to order e-cigarette producer Juul—one of the leading manufacturers of e-cigarettes—to take its products off the market.  This move followed the FDA’s two-year review process of Juul tobacco and menthol-flavored vaping products.  MSSNY adopted policy in 2019 calling for the FDA to ensure that vaping products were only available by prescription, specifically for smokers who are trying to quit smoking.

“Today’s decision is another step in protecting our nation’s youth from using e-cigarettes. It will play a significant role in preventing tobacco companies from using e-cigarette products to addict yet another generation of children to nicotine. As physicians, we know the importance of developing healthy habits in childhood. Today’s decision is an important step in helping our children achieve wellness throughout their lives.

“The FDA had already banned sales of fruity and sweet flavors on concerns the products were being marketed to minors and it had already tightened its oversight of e-cigarette companies.”

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

NY State Medical Society Frustrated by Today’s SCOTUS Decision Striking Down New York Gun Law

 

For Immediate Release 
June 23, 2022

 

NY State Medical Society Frustrated by Today’s SCOTUS Decision
Striking Down New York Gun Law

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“Today’s opinion by the US Supreme Court is a profoundly unfortunate decision that will impede the significant strides made by Albany and Washington to prevent continued senseless gun tragedies.  As physicians, we treat the victims of gun violence every day, including the mental trauma of the survivors. Our endless condolences to victims’ families feel empty. The violence must stop.

“Last year, the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) joined with the American Medical Association and other physician advocacy organizations to defend New York’s long-standing law that sought to balance gun owners’ second amendment rights with protection of the public from the harm of rampant gun violence.

“Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie are appropriately calling for re-writing New York’s law as soon as possible to ensure it continues to protect New Yorkers against preventable injury and death. New York’s physicians look forward to working with them on this effort.”

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

Press Releases 2022

Press Releases 2022

 

August 1
MSSNY Urges Biden Administration to Declare a Public Health Emergency

July 1
MSSNY and New York State Ophthalmological Society Applaud Aetna Decision To Suspend Preauthorization for Cataract Surgery

June 24
Physicians Condemn Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe as Misguided and Dangerous

June 23
NY State Medical Society Frustrated by Today’s SCOTUS Decision Striking Down New York Gun Law

June 23
NY State Medical Society Applauds FDA Decision to Order Juul E-Cigarettes Off the Market

June 6
Legislative Session Mixed Bag for Future of Healthcare in New York

May 25
Medical Society Offers Condolences to Texas Victims’ Families, Supports Waiting Period and Background Checks for Firearms Purchases

May 13
Medical Society Reaffirms Longstanding Policy that Supports Legalized Abortion

May 3
Medical Society Congratulates Rep Delgado on his Selection by Governor Hochul to be Next Lieutenant Governor

March 15
Statement from New York Physician & Hospital Organizations Calling on Legislature to Include Teleheahth Payment Parity in Final Enacted Budget for FY 2022-23

March 14
NYSPA / MSSNY / NASW-NYS Urge Governor & Legislature to Include Funding for Critical Program Educating Community Primary Care & Mental Health Practitioners & Specialistws to Care for Veterans

February 25
Medical Society Supports Court Decision to Strike Down Unfair Federal Regulations on Surprise Billing Dispute Process

February 24
MSSNY Applauds Passage of Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act

February 15
MSSNY Supports New Bill to Stem Prior Authorizations

January 21  
MSSNY Applauds Senate Confirmation of Mary Bassett, MD, MPH as NYS Department of Health Commissioner

January 5
MSSNY Looks Forward to Further Discussion with Governor and State Legislature on Health Care Initiatives Outlined in State of the State Address

January 5 As Opponents of COVID Vaccine Mandate Rally in Albany Today, MSSNY Amplifies its Support of Vaccines

 

Legislative Session Mixed Bag for Future of Healthcare in New York

 

For Immediate Release 
June 6, 2022 

 

Legislative Session Mixed Bag for Future of Healthcare in New York

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“This year’s legislative session was a mixed bag for the future of health care in New York.

“Importantly, the Medical Society applauds the Legislature for passing crucial measures that will, if signed into law by Governor Hochul, help reduce excessive hassles our patients experience in seeking to obtain needed health care treatment and prescription medications. These include bills that: eliminate health insurer-imposed “fail first” requirements for medications to treat patient mental health conditions; ensure patients can realize the full benefit of discount programs to meet their out of pocket maximum insurance requirements; reduce to 45 the age when health insurers must cover recommended essential colorectal cancer screening tests; and ensure that health insurers may not deny needed patient care unless the treatment is reviewed by a physician trained in the same or similar specialty as the physician providing patient care.

“The Legislature also took important steps to protect physicians and other health care providers from legal repercussions that could occur in New York if they were to provide essential reproductive health care services to patients in other states that could become illegal there but are safe and legal in New York.  And we are hopeful that measures being signed into law today by Governor Hochul will help to prevent future gun violence tragedies in our State.

“However, we are concerned by the huge adverse consequences to our health care system by legislation that passed both Houses that would greatly expand damages in ‘wrongful death’ actions.  While it is certainly appropriate to evaluate and determine the most responsible way to address gaps in New York’s liability laws, the enormous increase in liability costs that this legislation would necessitate is completely untenable without steps to control our existing runaway liability costs, particularly at a time when New York’s physicians and hospitals are struggling to recover from the pandemic. Because New York’s physicians and hospitals already have by far and away the highest liability costs in the country, New York was again named one of the worst states in the country to be a doctor: Best & Worst States for Doctors (wallethub.com).

“Furthermore, we are concerned that the new ‘wrongful death’ legislation would, over the next several years, force there to be a significant increase for New York’s already underfunded Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program, which currently requires a State Budget investment of over $100 million each fiscal year to retain physicians in practice in New York.  Unless this legislation is vetoed, we may face a significant number of medical students and residents leaving the state after they complete their training in New York and established physicians fleeing New York for more welcoming states to doctors, or into early retirement, at the expense of the patients who rely upon them.

“Comprehensive reform remains essential, not one-sided measures.”

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

Medical Society Offers Condolences to Texas Victims’ Families, Supports Waiting Period and Background Checks for Firearms Purchases  

For Immediate Release 
May 25, 2022 

 

Medical Society Offers Condolences to Texas Victims’ Families,
Supports Waiting Period and Background Checks for Firearms Purchases

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“Less than two weeks after the heartbreaking mass shooting in our own community of Buffalo, we are again distraught by yet another mass shooting. MSSNY offers our deep condolences to the victims’ families. The horrific event in Texas yesterday—this time causing the unimaginable deaths of 19 innocent children and two teachers—reminds us of the urgent need for a waiting period and background checks for firearms purchases.

“MSSNY supports legislation that requires a waiting period and background checks prior to the purchase of all firearms, including the person-to-person transfer, internet sales, and interstate transactions of all firearms. In addition, MSSNY supports a ‘red flag’ concept in New York State.

“As a father, I say enough is enough.  These measures must be enacted as soon as possible to help prevent further tragedies from occurring.”

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

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

 

Frank Dowling, MD Elected Assistant Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York

For Immediate Release 
May 23, 2022 

Frank Dowling, MD Elected Assistant Treasurer
of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

 

Westbury, NY—May 23, 2022— Frank Dowling, MD (They/Them/Theirs) was elected Assistant Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) on May 21st.

A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Dowling received both their medical degree and their residency training from SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine.  Since 2004, they have served as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Prior to that appointment, they were Clinical Assistant Professor from 1993-2004.

Board certified in both Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Dr. Dowling has an outpatient private practice in Garden City and Islandia that focuses on treating victims of trauma and disaster, emergency responders and healthcare professionals and their families. They also treat patients with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. In addition to their private practice, Dr. Dowling serves as Medical Advisor to the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA), an independent, confidential, non-departmental voluntary assistance program for the NYPD.

An active member of MSSNY, Dr. Dowling has served as Commissioner for Science and Public Health, co-chair of the Addiction and Psychiatric Medicine Committee, chair of the Task Force on Alcohol and Health and vice chair of the Committee on Bioterror and Emergency Preparedness. In addition, they serve on the Advisory Committee and as faculty for the Veteran’s Mental Health Training Initiative, a collaborative effort by MSSNY, NYSPA and NASW-NY to train NY practitioners to assist warriors and veterans with post-traumatic stress and TBI.  

When the ISTOP law was under consideration in Albany, Dr. Dowling—working with MSSNY staff—was instrumental in helping a MSSNY led coalition obtain the right for a designee to assist a physician with mandated PMP lookups.  They currently serve on the AMA’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee and Pain Management and Substance Use Task Force and on MSSNY’s Committee on Physician Wellness and Resilience. With MSSNY physician leadership and staff, they are a driving force behind the development of MSSNY’s P2P (peer to peer) support program, where volunteer peer support physicians are trained to assist their siblings in medicine with work and personal stress  They previously worked with the MSSNY/OASAS Planning Committee that developed a 3-hour CME program on pain management and opioid abuse, which is available free to MSSNY members to meet the New York State mandated CME requirement.

As a member of the New York Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA), Dr. Dowling has collaborated with others to update AMA policies in several public health areas, including psychiatric and substance use disorders, access to care issues, preservation pf medically necessary care for patients with chronic pain, LGBTQ health issues and societal and healthcare inequities.

Dr. Dowling received the American Psychiatric Association’s Bruno Limo Award in 2003 for “outstanding contributions to the care and understanding of victims of disaster” for their work with emergency services personnel after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. In addition, Dr. Dowling received a Long Island Healthcare Heroes Award from Long Island Business News for their work in support of veterans and others with chronic psychiatric illnesses. In 2015, they were awarded MSSNY’s Charles D. Sherman Award for their support of medical students.  They are a co-author of Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment, a textbook intended to prepare psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to respond to disasters and mass casualty events.

Dr. Dowling lives in Oakdale, NY with their spouse Theresa, children Frank, Finn and Charlie Robin.

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

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302
rraia@mssny.org

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