MSSNY eNews: February 11, 2022
MSSNY Testimony Regarding the Governor’s Proposed Budget
On Tuesday, I testified on behalf of MSSNY before the NYS Assembly Committee on Ways & Means and the NYS Senate Finance Committee regarding the Governor’s proposed budget. In addition, MSSNY submitted 15 pages of written testimony.
I pointed out that after two grueling years of responding to the pandemic, the physicians of New York welcome various initiatives in the Budget to support the health care infrastructure and health care workforce, including expanding the Doctors Across New York loan repayment program to help our younger physicians; enactment of telehealth payment parity to ensure that our patients with various circumstances that limit their ability to get to a physician’s office have an option to maintain regular contact with their physician; and positive initiatives to help our patients who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid to be able to enroll in comprehensive state health insurance programs.
However, as I emphasized to the committees there are several items of concern to physicians, including the proposal to require the 17,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program to pay upfront for the coverage and then hope to be reimbursed by the State, which could impose as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars on physicians still recovering from lost income during the pandemic while also facing the highest liability premiums in the country. We are also concerned with various Budget proposals that would further create silos in healthcare delivery and away from the physician-led team model.
Finally, I noted MSSNY’s interest in a proposal in the Education and Labor Budget to place limitations on restrictive covenants. This is important but we do not believe the proposal goes far enough in addressing some of the very restrictive covenants that health systems require of their employed physicians which in some cases can negatively impact patient continuity of care if the physician wants to leave employment.
MSSNY is here not only to represent the interests of New York physicians, but also the patients who rely on our care.
MSSNY Podcast: Dr. Sellers’ Testimony at Budget Hearing; Physician Advocacy Day & Actions You Can Take
Listen to MSSNY’s February 11 podcast with Senior Vice-President & Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster as he breaks down Dr. Sellers’ testimony at this week’s Budget Hearing and looks ahead to MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day.
MSSNY President Urges Support for Fair Telehealth Payment and Coverage Initiatives; Opposition to New Costs for Excess Liability Insurance and Proposals that Divert from Physician-Led Team Care
MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers delivered testimony this week at a joint Assembly Ways & Means/Senate Finance Committee hearing examining the Healthcare aspects of the 2022-23 proposed State Budget.
His testimony highlighted the significant number of positive aspects of the proposed Budget, such as expanding opportunities for timely patient access to needed care, expanding loan repayment for physicians, expanding health insurance coverage initiatives, reducing delays in physician applications for health plan network participation, and including telehealth payment parity.
His testimony also highlighted several items of concern, such as forcing physicians to pay upfront for expensive Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance coverage, elimination of “prescriber prevails” protections in Medicaid, and inappropriate scope expansions that would harm physician-led team care.
As the Legislature continues to examine the State Budget, we urge physicians to contact their legislators about budget initiatives such as:
- Requiring that health insurers pay for telehealth services at a level similar to in-person health care services
- Opposing making the 17,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Medical Liability Insurance Program pay thousands of dollars up front to obtain coverage, then hope to be reimbursed by the state on two installments.
- Protecting physician-led team care and opposing elimination of collaboration requirements for nurse practitioners
- Additional state funding for the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative, a collaboration of MSSNY, the NYS Psychiatric Association, and the NY chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
You can view Dr. Sellers’ Budget testimony, at the 3:33 mark.
New Bill (A.8299) Introduced by Senator Breslin to Create “Gold Card” Program to Stem Prior Authorizations
Senate Insurance Committee Chair Neil Breslin (D- Albany) has introduced a bill supported by MSSNY to establish a “Gold Card” program, in which insurers will exempt physicians and other care providers from otherwise applicable Prior Authorization (PA) requirements if they receive at least 90% approval for PAs for that specific health care treatment. The legislation is similar to a law enacted last year in Texas, which was the first state in the country to establish a broad-based “Gold Card” program.
The legislation is another part of MSSNY’s advocacy efforts to confront excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patient care delivery. This week the American Medical Association released an updated survey which shows 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 prior authorization had interfered with a patient’s job responsibilities, and more than one-third (34%) of physicians reported that prior authorization led to a serious adverse event, such as hospitalization, disability, or even death, for a patient in their care.
MSSNY will continue to work with Senator Breslin and other legislators to advance this bill this session in addition to other bills (such as A.7129/S.6435) that limit excessive and unnecessary prior authorizations. Physicians are urged to share with MSSNY their stories regarding excessive and/or unnecessary prior authorization hassles to aid in our advocacy.
Join Us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 8th
The $216 Billion dollar budget proposed by Governor Hochul last month will have a profound impact on all New York physicians. At times like these, it’s more important than ever that leaders in Albany listen to the concerns of physicians. To make their voices heard, physicians should plan to attend MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 8th. Register Now!
The format will follow last year’s format, where assembled physicians and allies will hear from legislative leaders in the morning (via Zoom), and then have virtual visits with their respective legislators in the afternoon (coordinated by their county medical societies).
In her budget, Governor Hochul articulated support for a number of measures advocated by MSSNY such as: support for telehealth payment parity, significant increases in loan repayment
programs for physicians, and increased eligibility for subsidized health insurance coverage for patients. However, she also indicated support for measures where physicians have raised strong concerns, such as eliminating statutory collaborative agreement requirements for nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician and potentially significant new costs for Excess Medical Liability Insurance coverage.
There are countless other items that will be under discussion this legislative session as well, including further proposals to change scope of practice of various non-physician practitioners, proposals to reduce health insurer prior authorization hassles, and proposals to address various public health threats. We urge all physicians to join their colleagues in advocacy to their legislators to protect access to quality care for their patients.
Governor Lifts Mask Requirements for Business
This week, Governor Kathy Hochul lifted the statewide mask or vaccine requirement for indoor business, but the requirement remains in effect for health care settings, nursing homes, and schools. The Governor cited positivity rates and hospitalizations as being down, while vaccination and boosters are on the rise. The governor outlined a five-point toolkit to ensure that New Yorkers are kept safe, including steps to protecting the most vulnerable, increasing the vaccine and booster dose rate, and strengthening the health system. Counties, cities, and businesses can still choose to require masks; New York City has opted to keep in place the mask requirement.
MSSNY Seeks NYS Funding for the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative
For several years, the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative (VMHTI) was funded through a legislative add-on to provide skills, development, and education to those working in the mental health field with service members and their families. This initiative is a partnership between the Medical Society of the State of New York, The New York State Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers-New York State.
These associations work to deliver free training to service providers across New York. They also work with counties implementing the NYS Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support programs, which provide holistic care for returning veterans. Through this initiative, MSSNY has been able to provide seminars, webinars, and other online programming to MSSNY’s county medical societies and hospitals. MSSNY is asking physicians to send a letter on the VMHTI through its Grassroots Action Center (GAC) to ensure that this funding is included in the state budget.
Webinar on “The Impact of the COVID Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities”
Registration Now Open – February 16, 2022 @ 7:30am
Throughout the COVID pandemic, studies have shown that racial and ethnic minorities have experienced higher rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death. Learn more about the health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic by registering for The Impact of the COVID Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 7:30 a.m. Yvette Calderon, MD, MS will serve as faculty for this program. Register now.
Educational objectives are:
- Outline some social determinants of health that put racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19
- Identify the ways in which racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Describe strategies to improve COVID-related health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities
Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at email@example.com.
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.
Join the Monroe County Medical Society in Upcoming Wellness Symposium
Register to join the physician community for a symposium on Well-Being and Burnout Prevention on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM. This symposium is co-sponsored by the Monroe County Medical Society, the Rochester Academy of Medicine, and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
This virtual symposium will bring together academics, educators, and practitioners from a variety of fields for a collaborative, multidisciplinary exploration of the ways to support the well-being of clinicians, faculty, and learners. In addition, MSSNY secretary Frank Dowling, MD, will be giving a presentation on the Peer to Peer (P2P) Program and Physician Wellness.
Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
The Medical Society of the State of New York now offers to physicians, residents, and medical students a completely confidential and anonymous opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. MSSNY’s Physician Wellness and Resiliency Committee launched a Peer 2 Peer (P2P) program to assist their colleagues who are need of help in dealing with work and family stressors.
MSSNY has established a confidential helpline (1-844-P2P-PEER) and an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that physicians may be connected with a peer 24/7. In addition to offering a trained, empathetic ear, peer supporters may provide information on specific resources that can offer further support, provide positive coping skills, or connect physicians to professionals for more focused assistance when needed. MSSNY has nearly 50 trained peer supporters across NYS who are just a phone call away!
If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter!
Email: P2P@mssny.org and request that you be connected with a peer supporter
Phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter
If you wish to become a trained peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Public Health Associate, at email@example.com.
MSSNY Joins the AMA and Physicians Foundation in 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 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 four signed statements of interest: C DOC, Mount Sinai, Northwell TeleICU/Telehealth, and Eger Rehabilitation Center.
As a collaborating partner, team leaders will participate in a “kick-off” meeting with leaders from practice sites in New York and other states. Each practice site will be involved in the dissemination of a telehealth survey assessing physician/practice experience using telehealth. In addition to participation in the Telehealth Survey, the project team will collect baseline, mid-point, and final data points to measure the impact of telehealth in their practices using the Return on Health framework. Access to educational resources from the AMA, expert mentoring to discuss optimization/sustaining telehealth into practice, virtual events, and discussions which provide a network for physicians and care teams to share experiences will be provided to all participants. MSSNY will be working with Hudson Headwaters Health Network, a leader in the telehealth realm in NYS, to create a CME program around their success using telehealth. This program seeks to discuss evidence-based strategies to implement and optimize telehealth programs, recognize resources to ensure physician practice sustainability and payment, and identify solutions that are available to alleviate systemic challenges to telehealth implementation.
If you are interested in joining this initiative, reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Public Health Associate at firstname.lastname@example.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
Opportunity: Medical Director- Long Term Care (RiverSpring Living)
The Medical Director is responsible for the quality assurance program for RiverSpring, formerly known as ElderServe Health (a division of Hebrew Home), in the NYC area. This individual will be the most senior level physician in the organization and report directly to the EVP and President of the business. They will work with an interdisciplinary team of administrative and clinical staff who are highly experienced in the care of the frail elderly and disabled individuals to develop care plans and guidelines and assess quality. S/he will chair the Quality Assurance Committee, appoint its members, and set the agenda. In addition, this position provides an exciting opportunity for a forward-thinking physician to build a PACE program and ensure members receive the highest quality care. Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Geriatrics preferred. Please inquire at Lisa.email@example.com.
Rendr- Transforming Healthcare – Leadership Opportunity: Associate Chief Medical Office, SVP of Population Health, Bilingual English and Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) preferred Job Position: Associate Chief Medical Office, SVP of Population Health in this role, you will lead and provide a wide range of support through population health, quality measures, practice transformation, Rendr360 department, House Calls, and other projects. Please send resumes firstname.lastname@example.org. We are offering leadership opportunities to Physicians who are interested in providing high-quality clinical care to our patients in the diverse communities that we serve. As a rapidly growing network, we provide a supportive environment for our physicians to practice medicine under the guidance of dedicated medical leadership. www.rendrcare.com.
Rendr- Transforming Healthcare – Primary Care Opportunity: Internal or Family Medicine Physician, Bilingual English and Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese)
Job Position: Internal Family Medicine Physician please send resumes to: email@example.com. We are offering employment opportunities to Internal or Family Medicine Physicians who are interested in providing high-quality clinical care to our patients in the diverse communities that we serve. As a rapidly growing network, we provide a supportive environment for our physicians to practice medicine under the guidance of dedicated medical leadership. www.rendrcare.com.
Job Position: Clinical Operations Medical Director in this role, you will provide clinical oversight and help lead our team of providers to assure high standards of care for our patients. The ideal candidate will be dedicated to improving the health of the communities we serve and will be a practicing physician as well as an established medical leader with proven experience improving clinical operations and building strong teams. Please send resumes firstname.lastname@example.org. We are offering leadership opportunities to Physicians who are interested in providing high-quality clinical care to our patients in the diverse communities that we serve. As a rapidly growing network, we provide a supportive environment for our physicians to practice medicine under the guidance of dedicated medical leadership. www.rendrcare.com.
Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys (www.heykaly.com) is a healthcare tech startup that integrates patient appointment booking, telemedicine, and practice growth, with additional leveraged, validated, and lucrative revenue sources available downstream. We are a 100% physician-owned and operated company seeking $2.5MM in seed investment via SAFE agreement from the physician community. This is a rare and unique opportunity to invest on the ground floor in a ready-to-launch tech startup in an industry that is ripe for disruption. If you are frustrated with the $35-$110 per booking fee of our competitors, please contact us immediately to review our investor deck! We are also looking for board-certified physicians to add to our growing medical advisory board. Great opportunity to break into the healthcare tech space. Please inquire at email@example.com!
NYS Department of Health is looking for a licensed, board-eligible /board certified physician to serve as the Medical Director for the Medicaid State Disability Review Unit (SDRU). Interested candidates: Submit resume and cover letter preferably in PDF format, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax to (518) 473-3395 with Reference Code SC/PHP2HS/15223 included in the subject line. View Full Listing