MSSNY eNews: January 28, 2022 – No Surprises Act: New Resource from DFS
MSSNY Welcomes New York Cancer & Blood Specialists as Our Newest Organizational Member
I am thrilled to welcome New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS), which is based in Suffolk County, as MSSNY’s newest organizational member. My employer, Bassett Healthcare Network, was the first MSSNY organizational member back in 2000. In 2021, MSSNY had 24 organizational members and NYCBS brings the total to 25.
As MSSNY’s Vice Speaker and Suffolk County Medical Society President Dr. Maria Basile said this week when the announcement was made, “This group membership represents the commitment of the physicians and leadership of NYCBS to the advocacy for and protection of physician-led quality patient care, strengthening and empowerment of the practice of medicine, and advancement of our profession through the development of leaders of great vision and compassion.”
NYCBS Chair of Legislative Affairs and Patient Advocacy Dr. David Eagle said “NYCBS is thrilled to be a member of MSSNY. We look forward to engaging with legislators on state-level health care issues that will enhance the delivery of quality medical care. MSSNY’s leadership and its Division of Governmental Affairs monitor hundreds of state and federal legislative and regulatory proposals affecting health and healthcare each year, submit written positions and testimony at hearings, and conduct regular meetings with legislators, regulators, and staff.”
Please join me in welcoming Dr Eagle and his colleagues at NYCBS. If your organization is interested in a MSSNY group membership, please contact Brenda Van Nest, MSSNY Director of Membership Development at email@example.com.
MSSNY Podcast: Physician Advocacy Day is March 8—Why You Need to Be There
Listen to MSSNY’s January 28th podcast with Senior Vice-President & Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster as he looks ahead to Physician Advocacy Day on March 8—and why it’s so important for physicians to attend MSSNY’s virtual event.
COVID Home Test Kits Available with Exclusive Discount for MSSNY Members Only
MSSNY is pleased to announce a new member benefit to help navigate the ongoing challenges of securing COVID-19 home tests. We have partnered with Mi Salud Medical Supplies to offer our members COVID-19 home test kits at a 20 percent discount.
The three tests—Flowflex, iHealth, and Access Bio CareStart—are available now for bulk ordering. All three home tests have received FDA Emergency Use-Authorization.
MSSNY members should contact MemberResources@mssnyorg to receive your 20 percent discount or send us an e-mail if you would like to become a MSSNY member to take advantage of this exclusive offer.
Join Us for MSSNY’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 8th
The $216 Billion dollar budget proposed by Governor Hochul last week 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 imposing 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. Register Now!
Governor’s Executive Budget Brings Important Investments in Health Care But Some Items of Concern As Well
Governor Hochul’s proposed Budget for FY 2022-23 includes significant investments in New York’s health care system and its health care workers, who are weary from multiple years of responding to the COVID crisis. MSSNY looks forward to working with the Governor and Legislature as they negotiate the details for the final budget. The following highlights MSSNY’s position on a range of these State Budget proposals.
- Requiring health insurers to pay physicians for Telehealth Services at the same levels as in-person services. Send a letter in support here: Support Inclusion of Payment Parity for Telehealth Services (p2a.co)
- Increasing from $9M to $15M funding for the Doctors Across New York Program to provide loan forgiveness up to $120,000 for physicians who work in underserved areas for 3 years
- Expanding the SUNY Pre-Medical Opportunity Program and the Diversity in Medicine Program
- Restoring the FY 2020-21 1.5% Medicaid cut & a 1% increase across the board increase
- Expanding eligibility of New Yorkers for health insurance with minimal or no cost-sharing requirements
- Requiring all New York-regulated health insurers to follow the 60-day deadline for reviewing physician credentialing applications, and steps to limit excessive medical record requests by health insurers
- Reducing the statutory interest rate on judgments from 9% to a market rate.
- Forcing 17,000 physicians with Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage to purchase the coverage themselves, and then hope to be reimbursed by the State in 2 yearly installment payments. This could thrust tens of thousands of dollars in new costs on physician practices still trying to recover from the pandemic. Please send a letter in opposition here: Keep Excess Medical Liability Insurance Intact (p2a.co)
- Eliminating the statutory requirement for primary care nurse practitioners to practice in collaboration with a physician. Protect Physician-Led Team-Based Care for Patients (p2a.co)
- Allowing pharmacists to perform limited services lab tests authorized by FDA without coordination with the patient’s physician
- Eliminating “prescriber prevails” protections in Medicaid and Medicaid managed care
Items of Concern/Under Review
- Conforming New York’s “Surprise Billing” law with new federal law protections (many of these provisions were synthesized into New York law through previous DFS Circular letters). This would eliminate the requirement that a physician obtain an Assignment of Benefits from a patient to proceed to an Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR). However, it would also expressly permit an IDR entity’s consideration of insurer median payments even though not required by the federal law
- Adding New York to the list of states who have joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
- Transferring to DOH oversight of all Education Law regulated health care providers
- Permitting EMTs to perform some non-emergency healthcare services (“community paramedicine”)
- Placing limitations on the use of Restrictive Covenants by employers. While this is generally positive, the proposal may not go far enough in preventing excessive post-employment limitations often placed on employed physicians that could harm continuity of care for patients
Please remain alert for further updates as MSSNY staff continues to pore through the thousands of pages of Budget bills.
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 county medical societies and hospitals. Please send a letter on the VMHTI through its Grassroots Action Center (GAC) https://p2a.co/55LVw82 to ensure that this funding is included in the state budget.
New DFS Resource for Complying with the No Surprises Act
The federal No Surprises Act, which took effect on January 1, 2022, has resulted in a significant new number of protections for patients from billing that is not for co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles. MSSNY has developed a resource page to assist physicians in complying with the many aspects of this far-reaching law Preparing for the No Surprises Act – (mssnyenews.org). In addition, physicians should be aware of a new page on the New York Department of Financial Services website that seeks to provide simplified summaries of the new patient protections and health care provider and insurer responsibilities under the No Surprises Act and New York’s own surprise bill law.
As previously reported, MSSNY’s General Counsel the Garfunkel Wild law firm will be providing a free webinar on Tuesday, February 1 from 12 PM -1 PM examining the implementation of the No Surprises Act during the Act’s first 30 days, including providing answers where questions have been resolved and addressing continuing areas of uncertainty. Click Here to Register.
NYSDOH Commissioner Writes Letter to Physicians Regarding Immunizations of Children for COVID-19
New York State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett urges pediatric and family physicians to encourage parents and pediatric patients to be immunized against COVID-19. In a letter to the pediatric physician community, she indicated that, “Research consistently shows that a provider’s recommendation to vaccinate is the single most influential factor in parents’ and guardians’ decisions to vaccinate their children. As a trusted source of information for your patients and their medical decision-makers, you can provide reassurance about the safety, efficacy, and importance of COVID-19 vaccination for all children 5 to 11-years-old and beyond. While over 500,000 children in this younger age group have received a COVID-19 vaccine, coverage remains far too low.”
The letter is posted on the MSSNY website and contains information on how to enroll as a COVID-19 provider, how to administer and advocate for the vaccine, and how to counsel parents and patients. The New York State Department of Health has also launched an advertising campaign called Vax for Kids.
MSSNY Supports Various Efforts to Pass Payment Parity for Telehealth Services in FY2022 Legislative Session
With the 2022 state legislative session underway, MSSNY will continue its work to expand Telehealth insurance coverage for patients and to secure payment parity for care delivered by physicians using Telehealth. To help advance this policy, MSSNY is supporting parallel efforts, starting with Governor Hochul’s inclusion of telehealth payment parity in her proposed budget for FY2022-23. We will also continue our efforts to pass A.6256/S.5505, which will provide fair payments to physicians for services provided virtually, mirroring the Governor’s proposed changes. Send a letter in support.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, steps have been taken to enhance patient access to Telehealth services, but none have addressed the gross disparity in payment for care delivered virtually, compared to in-office visits. Establishing fair payments to providers will help ensure that patients have access to timely and necessary healthcare.
“Healing the Healer: Making Advocacy Personal”
Physicians can view an AMA recorded webinar here, “Healing the healer: Making advocacy personal” which took place on January 13 with faculty Corey Feist, JD, MBA, co-Founder of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to reduce burnout of health care professionals and safeguard their well-being and job satisfaction. They envision a world where seeking mental health services is universally viewed as a sign of strength for health care professionals.
Even before COVID, an increasing number of physicians were already in crisis due to ever-expanding and sometimes unsustainable demands of medical practice. The pandemic made these pressures even more intense. Many medical students, residents, and practicing physicians need assistance, from low-intensity counseling or coaching, or medical care to help with a mental illness or substance use disorder. Too often, however, concerns about confidentiality, stigma of seeking help, or a belief to just “tough it out” discourages physicians from seeking help that could benefit them and their patients. This session discussed the effects that the pandemic and other stressors have had on physicians, and what steps organized medicine and other stakeholders can take now to help physicians get the support and care they need.
Please take the opportunity to view the webinar here, and please share with your colleagues.
Registration Now Open – February 16, 2022 @ 7:30am
Medical Matters CME Webinar
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities
The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on health inequities that lead to inequitable health outcomes amongst racial and ethnic minorities. Learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial and ethnic minorities by registering for “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Racial and Ethnic Minorities” on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 7:30 A.M. Yvette Calderon, MD, MS will serve as faculty for this program. Register now.
Educational objectives are:
- Outline some social determinants of health that put racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19
- Identify the ways in which racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Describe strategies to improve COVID-related health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities
Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.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.
Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
Stress and burnout among physicians have been well documented for years. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the public health problem of physician burnout in New York state. Throughout the pandemic, physicians and other health professionals have faced concerns about safety, overworking, and feelings of loss. Without an intervention, it is possible that a high number of physicians over the next few years may develop chronic stress reactions, anger, clinical depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality.
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 phone number (1-844-P2P-PEER) and an email address (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For help, information or to place your ad, call Roseann Raia at 516-488-6100 ext. 302
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!
Public Health Physician 2 (Health Systems) 15223 – Albany, NY.
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