MSSNY eNews: March 11, 2022

Physician Voices Heard in Albany this Week


We had another successful MSSNY Physician Advocacy Day this week. On Wednesday, more than 300 MSSNY members joined us for a virtual day of advocacy. It was a productive and inspiring day for all who participated as we discussed health care policy issues important to physicians and our patients.

The morning began with presentations by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes and Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay.  A robust panel discussion featured Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair, Senate Health Committee; Senator Neil Breslin, Chair, Senate Insurance Committee; Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Chair, Assembly Health Committee; and Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, Chair, Assembly Insurance Committee. Following the presentations and panel discussion, physicians visited with their local legislators, which were arranged by County and Specialty Society staff.

If you were not able to attend this year, we will include a link to the program in eNews soon. And make a point to attend next year’s Physician Advocacy Day to make your voice heard.

As we head toward the final Budget, I encourage each of you to continue our grassroots efforts. MSSNY’s Grassroots Action Center is your link to the latest legislative issues and suggested action to take on behalf of physicians.

We are all in this together and need to stand up for our patients—and the practice of medicine in New York.

MSSNY’s Department of Physician and Practice Assists 56 Members in February
In February alone, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice conducted 56 new consults—which is in addition to the 36 previously resolved issues—concerning issues ranging from CPT and coding questions to denials from insurance companies, and from contract questions to DFS formal complaints.  Heather Lopez is here to help members with these and many other practice issues. Contact Heather at 518.465.8085 X332 |

Attention MSSNY Members
If you haven’t paid your 2022 dues, they are now past due. Please be advised that if 2022 dues are not paid by this month, you will lose all your MSSNY benefits effective April 1st.

To avoid losing your benefits, you may bring your dues up to date at

Workers’ Comp Board Rollout of OnBoard: Limited Release
The Workers’ Compensation Board announced that the rollout has begun for OnBoard: Limited Release, the first phase of the Board’s new and improved business information system. The new system will take paper forms and implement them electronically, which will save time and money. Primary initial users include health care providers, payers and medical suppliers. More OnBoard information is available here.

If you have questions about this or any other insurance concern, contact MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice, Heather Lopez, at 518.465.8085 X332 |

Physician Advocacy Day a Great Success; Keep Up the Advocacy as Budget Negotiations to Begin in Earnest
MSSNY thanks the hundreds of physicians, county medical society representatives, and specialty society representatives who took the time to participate in MSSNY’s Virtual Physician Advocacy Day earlier this week, both the morning educational program and advocacy meetings with their local legislators.

Here is a list (Advocacy Day Issues ( of the top issues MSSNY highlighted for physicians for the Advocacy Day.  They include support for various investments in New York’s health care delivery system (such as expanded health insurance coverage options for patients and increased payments for telehealth services, Medicaid, and student loan relief), as well as opposition to  certain  changes to New York’s out of network dispute resolution process and inappropriate scope expansions.

This weekend, the NYS Senate and Assembly will be finalizing their respective one-House Budget proposals and will vote early next week, setting the stage for 3-way negotiations with Governor Hochul towards enacting a Budget by April 1st. Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators on each of these issues, including:

  • Support for a proposal to ensure payment parity for healthcare services delivered via telehealth Support Payment Parity;
  • Support Physician-Led Team Care and oppose measures that would create further silos in healthcare by permitting pharmacists to perform numerous lab tests without physician coordination and eliminating current statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative relationship with physicians Protect Physician-Led Care;
  • Support funding for the Veterans’ Mental Health Initiative, an educational partnership between MSSNY, the NYS Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers Support funding for veterans mental health;
  • While not directly a Budget issue, support legislation to exempt physicians from burdensome prior authorization requirements if they are regularly approved by health insurers (S.8299) Prior Authorizations (

We will follow up next week with a summary of the key items in each of the Senate and Assembly one-House Budget proposals.

Assembly Passes Legislation to Limit Who is Qualified to Review Treatment for a Health Insurance Plan
The New York State Assembly passed legislation this week (A.879, Gottfried) that would require health insurance companies, prior to denying payment or pre-authorization for a health service, to ensure that the recommended treatment is reviewed by a physician in the same specialty as the physician providing or requesting the treatment. It would also require the reviewing physician to be licensed in New York State. Identical legislation (S.8113, Cleare) is in the Senate Health Committee. MSSNY has long supported this legislation as a way to protect the clinical judgment of a physician as to the appropriate treatment for their patients.

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US Department of Health and Humans Service Begins “Test to Treat” Program
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began a new nationwide “Test to Treat” Initiative. While many physician advocacy organizations including MSSNY and the American Medical Association (AMA) agree with the goals of the program to expand the availability of Covid-19 anti-viral treatment, we have expressed strong concerns with the lack of involvement of community-based physicians in this program to help coordinate what could be comprehensive care needs for patients.

Through this program, people who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to visit hundreds of local pharmacy-based clinics and federally qualified community health centers (FHQCs) to receive antiviral pills. Residents of long-term care facilities will be assessed by a qualified health care provider who can prescribe antiviral pills on the spot.  Effective March 7, 2022, HHS will begin distributing oral antiviral pills directly to participating Test to Treat pharmacy-based clinics. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will also launch a program for long-term care pharmacies to directly order these antivirals to facilitate increased access for long-term care residents who are at increased risk for developing severe COVID-19.

The AMA released a statement about this program expressing alarm at the misguided bypassing of community-based physicians: “The AMA is pleased the administration is ramping up supply of antivirals so in the near future they will be broadly available. But, in the meantime, establishing pharmacy-based clinics as one stop shopping for COVID-19 testing and treatments is extremely risky. Pharmacy-based clinics typically treat simple illnesses such as strep throat. Yet, COVID-19 is a complex disease and there are many issues to consider when prescribing COVID-19 antiviral medications. Leaving prescribing decisions this complex in the hands of people without knowledge of a patient’s medical history is dangerous in practice and precedent. We urge patients who test positive for COVID-19 to contact their physician to discuss treatment options. COVID-19 is not strep throat—it is a complicated disease that has killed nearly 1 million people in the United States.”

Please remain alert for further updates on this program.

Please Continue to Contact Your Legislators to Urge Support for Payment Parity for Telehealth Services in FY2022-23 Budget
With three weeks left for Governor Hochul and the state legislature to determine the final details of the FY2022-23 budget , MSSNY continues to urge lawmakers to include payment parity for care delivered via Telehealth. You can join us in this effort by sending a letter of support here.

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. For example, according to a survey by the NY chapter of the Medical Group Managers Association (MGMA), only 23% of all health plans across New York State pay patient Telehealth services equal to what they pay community-based physicians for comparable in-office patient care. Investment in Telehealth services is essential to ensuring that patients can get the care they need, particularly those with limited mobility and comorbidities.

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MSSNY Seeks NYS Funding for the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative
MSSNY staff and leadership continue to advocate for funding the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative (VMHTI) within the NYS budget. Since 2008, this program had been funded through a legislative add-on to provide skills, development, and education for primary care physicians and other mental health providers to treat veterans within their practice. 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.

Assembly Passes Colorectal Cancer Screening Cost Sharing Removal Act
On Wednesday, March 9th, the Assembly passed the Colorectal Cancer Screening Cost Sharing Removal Act (A.2085-A – Dinowitz), which would require insurance plans to cover colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45 and eliminate all patient cost-sharing for follow up colonoscopies.

Last session, the bill passed the Assembly but not the Senate. MSSNY is working with a range of patient advocacy organizations to advocate on this issue to urge the Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead and pass S.906-A (Sanders- D, Queens).

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Webinar “Building a Sustainable Telehealth Practice: Lessons from the Cloud– March 18, 2022 @ 7:30am
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians and practices’ use of telehealth increased dramatically. While many were not prepared for the shift in medicine, HHHN (Hudson Headwaters Health Network) has optimized the use of telehealth for many years. Learn more about the implementation and optimization of telehealth by registering for “Building a Sustainable Telehealth Practice: Lessons from the Cloud” on Friday March 18th, 2022, at 7:30 a.m.

Register now.

Kevin Gallagher, M.D, and Sean Philpott-Jones, Ph.D., MSBe, will serve as faculty for this program. The faculty are from HHHN and have been selected to present because of their intensive involvement in implementing telehealth in their practice. HHHN has been a leader in the telehealth realm for many years and serves as a great example for other practices to follow.

Educational objectives are:

  1. Understand the legal and regulatory requirements to establish a sustainable telehealth practice
  2. Describe evidence-based strategies to implement and optimize telehealth programs
  3. Develop and implement solutions to address common, systemic challenges to telehealth implementation.

This program is funded by the AMA and Physician’s Foundation and is part of The Telehealth Initiative (TTI).

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Cayla Lauder, MPH, at

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.

Medical Matters CME Webinar: Antivirals, Antibodies & Testing March 16, 2022 @ 7:30am
Antivirals and antibodies are highly effective at abating severe illness though they are not a replacement for vaccines. Antibodies can also be tested to investigate immunity levels, and testing has evolved significantly throughout the pandemic.  Learn more about EUA approved antivirals, developments in monoclonal antibodies, and testing options by registering for Antivirals, Antibodies & Testing on Wednesday March 16, 2022, at 7:30 a.m. William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Diseases committee will serve as faculty for this program.

Register now!

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine antiviral treatments for COVID-19
  • Investigate best practices for monoclonal antibodies in treating COVID-19
  • Summarize COVID-19 testing options

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at

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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MSSNY P2P Program: How to be a Peer
MSSNY would like to cordially invite new volunteer peer supporters to participate in MSSNY’s Peer to Peer (P2P) training, “How to be a Peer” presented by Dr. Jo Shapiro. This training will be next Saturday, March 19th, 2022, from 8-10a.m.

As you know, MSSNY’s Physician Wellness and Resiliency Committee launched its Peer 2 Peer (P2P) program to assist colleagues who are need of help in dealing with work and family stressors. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the emotional issues related to this event may also be troubling for our colleagues. A peer is an individual who has shared experiences, listens without judgement, can validate feelings, and provide support, empathy, and perspective. This is someone who provides support to systems and practices and encourages the use of positive coping skills.

MSSNY hopes that by participating in this training that it will provide you with knowledge and skills that will enhance your experience in being a peer supporter.

If you have any questions or would like to join the training and become a peer supporter, please reach out to Cayla Lauder, MPH, Public Health Associate, at

If someone you know is struggling with life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to connect them to a peer supporter! Peer supporters are available 24/7.

Email: 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.

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Classified Ads Available for:

Physicians’ search services • allied medical placements • locum tenens • practice valuation • practice brokerage • practice consulting • real estate

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

For the MSSNY 2022 Ad RateSheet, please click here.

Medical Office Suite for Rent  (Downtown, New York City) – Ready to Move In!
On Canal Street, NYC : near Mulberry and Mott Street. Busy area near Subways. In a professional 7day/week concierge building . Office Suite 1002+ sq ft, beautiful & bright w/ five office consult-exam rooms, Spacious waiting and receptionist area, utility room & private restroom.  MUST SEE!  Please Call for showing at: 917-378-2699 or email: Ask for Sammie.

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

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 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 medicineunder the guidance of dedicated medical leadership.

Rendr- Transforming Healthcare – Primary Care Opportunity: Internal or Family Medicine PhysicianBilingual English and Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese)
Job PositionInternal Family Medicine Physician please send resumes to: 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.

Rendr- Transforming Healthcare – Leadership Opportunity:Clinical Operations Medical Director, Bilingual English and Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) preferred
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 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.

Healthcare Tech Investment Opportunity
Kalypsys ( 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!

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, or by fax to (518) 473-3395 with Reference Code SC/PHP2HS/15223 included in the subject line. View Full Listing