MSSNY eNews: March 30, 2022
Happy National Doctors Day!
Happy National Doctors Day to our physicians—and physicians-in-training! We salute our members who work tirelessly each day to improve the health of all New Yorkers.
On February 21, 1991, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed National Doctors Day to honor the Nation’s physicians for their dedication and leadership. Following is an excerpt from President Bush’s proclamation:
“More than the application of science and technology, medicine is a special calling, and those who have chosen this vocation in order to serve their fellowman understand the tremendous responsibility it entails….The day-to-day work of healing conducted by physicians throughout the United States has been shaped, in large part, by great pioneers in medical research…. However, in addition to the doctors whose names we easily recognize, there are countless others who carry on the quiet work of healing each day in communities throughout the United States—indeed, throughout the world. Common to the experience of each of them, from the specialist in research to the general practitioner, are hard work, stress, and sacrifice. All those Americans who serve as licensed physicians have engaged in years of study and training, often at great financial cost. Most endure long and unpredictable hours, and many must cope with the conflicting demands of work and family life. In honor of America’s physicians, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 366 (Public Law 101^73), has designated March 30, 1991, as “National Doctors Day” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.”
Read the National Doctors Day proclamation in its entirety.
FDA Authorizes Second Booster Dose of Two COVID-19 Vaccines for Older and Immunocompromised Individuals
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals. The FDA previously authorized a single booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals following completion of a three-dose primary vaccination series. This action will now make a second booster dose of these vaccines available to other populations at higher risk for severe disease, hospitalization and death. Emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19 and is not associated with new safety concerns.
The agency amended the emergency use authorizations as follows:
- A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
- A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. These are people who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
- A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 4 months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older with the same certain kinds of immunocompromise.
New York 6th Safest State During COVID-19
With approximately 66% of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but the omicron variant continuing to spread, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the Safest States During COVID-19.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics. The data set includes the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.
New York’s Safety During Coronavirus (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 1st – Vaccination Rate
- 9th – Positive Testing Rate
- 18th – Hospitalization Rate
- 6th – Death Rate
Physicians Spend Nearly 2 hours a Day on EHR Tasks Outside Work
U.S. physicians who use EHRs spend an average of 1.84 hours a day completing documentation outside work hours, according to a research published March 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The researchers analyzed responses to the 2019 National Electronic Health Records survey to learn more about the documentation burden being borne by physicians. Their findings represent 301,603 physicians across the U.S.
Here are five more notable findings from the research:
- Nearly 33 percent of physicians spend two hours or more completing documentation outside work hours daily.
- Forty-one percent of physicians agreed the time they spend completing documentation is appropriate, whereas 58 percent disagreed.
- Fifty-seven percent of physicians said time spent documenting reduces the time they can spend with their patients, while 43 percent said it does not reduce their time with patients.
- Eighty-five percent of physicians agreed that documentation done solely for billing increases their total documentation time, whereas 15 percent disagreed.
- The researchers estimate physicians spent a total of 125 million hours completing documentation outside work hours in 2019.
–Adams, Becker’s Hospital Review
MSSNY Advocates for Telehealth Payment Parity in WTEN-TV Interview
WTEN-TV Albany, NY (3/29, DeLine) reports, “Health care advocates are calling for money to be set aside for telehealth in the New York State Budget,” asking that physicians “get paid equally for telehealth and in-office visits.” Medical Society of the State of New York Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Senior Vice President Morris Auster, JD, “said he’s worried that if doctors don’t get paid fairly for telehealth visits, they won’t be able to provide the service.” Auster added, “It should be identical payment because the infrastructure associated with the physician associated with the service is the same.” With budget negotiations still underway, Gov. Kathy Hochul “has proposed $150 Million for IT infrastructure and telehealth capabilities for eligible providers.”
Debunking Regulatory Myths: Can Physicians Bill for Both Preventive and E/M Services in the Same Visit?
The American Medical Association’s regulatory myths series provides physicians and their care teams with resources to reduce guesswork and administrative burdens so they can focus on streamlining clinical workflow processes, improving patient outcomes, and increasing physician satisfaction. The latest myth in the series focuses on whether physicians can bill for both preventive and E/M services in the same visit. Physicians are not prohibited from coding and billing for both preventive and problem-focused E/M services when they are performed during the same appointment, and this resource provides helpful information on when and how to appropriately handle this common situation.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSSNY in the News
Crain’s Health Pulse -03/30/22
Little consensus on budget proposals to cut red tape for health care professions
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
WTEN News 10 Albany (ABC) – 03/29/22
Advocates call for telehealth funding in state budget
(MSSNY SVP Legislative Affairs Moe Auster quoted)
WRBG CBS News 6 Albany -03/15/22
Medical professionals rally around telehealth payment reform
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
Politico – 02/24/22
New York Playbook PM: Healthcare
(MSSNY mentioned: Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act Statement)
Times Union – 02/21/22
N.Y. doctors say proposed law would prevent care delays, cut red tape
Monroe Sun – 02/17/22
Could Greenwich doctor have remedy for 4th Congressional District’s ills?
(Dr. Michael T. Goldstein New York County Medical Society chairman of the Board of Trustees profiled)
Capital Tonight – 02/07/22
Advocates: NYS Legislature must bring back funding to veterans mental health initiative
Rochester First (WROC) – 02/01/22
What Rochester doctors are saying about new sub-variants of omicron
(MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers quoted)
OnBoard: Limited Release Training for Health Care Providers
To prepare for the second phase of OnBoard: Limited Release coming on April 4, 2022, visit the OnBoard for Health Care Providers page for the full listing of step-by-step training materials and resources available for the health care provider audience.
For complete details about OnBoard: Limited Release, see Subject Number 046-1496, OnBoard: Limited Release Implementation Update for Health Care Providers
For general questions about the OnBoard project, email OnBoard@wcb.ny.gov
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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.