MSSNY eNews: May 14, 2021 – Instrumental in Recouping Health Republic Losses for Physicians
Last week’s welcome news about the Health Republic settlement is yet another example of MSSNY working tirelessly on behalf of our physicians. The $220.8 million settlement amount will allow the Liquidator to pay all policyholder level claims in full.
In 2015, when Health Republic Insurance collapsed, MSSNY worked with the state’s hospital associations and various specialty societies to express deep concerns to the NYS Assembly and Senate leadership about the financial consequences to physician practices and patients across New York State. We strongly urged the State Legislature and Governor’s office to work together to ensure continuity of coverage for our patients, as well as to ensure that physicians and other care providers were made whole for the needed medical care that they provided to Health Republic insureds.
Demonstrating the depth of the impact of Health Republic’s financial collapse, a MSSNY survey of physician practices conducted at the time showed 42% had outstanding claims to Health Republic, of which:
- 11% were owed $100,000 or more
- 20% were owed $25,000 or more
- 49% were owed $5,000 or more
The situation with Health Republic should serve as a lesson to all New Yorkers about the urgent need for the creation of a Health Guarantee Fund in New York State. We need a safety net for our patients enrolled in insurance plans—and the physicians who provide the care—against similar health insurer liquidations that could occur in the future. MSSNY will continue to urge the Governor and the New York State Legislature to enact legislation to establish such a fund.
We will continue to work with DFS to provide necessary information to impacted physicians regarding the time and manner by which such outstanding payments will be distributed to satisfy Health Republic’s financial obligations. In the interim, you should continue to check here for more information.
MSSNY is here for you. We have a proud history of fighting for physicians across many fronts and achieving numerous victories that pay for your membership dues many times over. Let’s all work together to strengthen our beloved profession as we work to keep our patients healthy.
Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY Continues to Advocate for Needed Health Insurer Reform Legislation to Ensure Patients Receive Needed Treatment and Medications
With only a few weeks left in the Legislative Session, MSSNY continues to work together with several patient and physician advocacy groups in support of legislation to address health insurer practices that adversely impact the ability of patients to receive the care and medications they need.
This week the Senate passed S.5299 (Rivera), would enable third party financial assistance programs to count towards patients meeting their deductible costs. The same-as legislation A.1741 (Gottfried) was recently advanced by the Assembly Insurance Committee and is before the full Assembly.
Moreover, this week the Assembly Ways & Means Committee advanced to the full Assembly legislation (A.4668, People-Stokes) that would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to make adjustments to their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The legislation has been revised from the version that passed both Houses 2 years ago, but vetoed by the Governor, to address concerns that had been raised in the veto message. The same-as legislation (S.4111, Breslin) recently passed the Senate.
Other bills being advanced by MSSNY include:
- 4177/S.2528 – would provide needed due process protections for physicians whose network participation contract is unilaterally non-renewed by an insurance company. On Assembly and Senate floor.
- 7129/S.6435-A – would enact a number of reforms to address prior authorization hassles including limiting the ability of a health insurer to require a physician and patient to repeat a previously obtained prior authorization. In Assembly Insurance and Senate Health Committees (see related article)
- 951/S.1575 – would enable independently practicing physicians the ability to jointly negotiate network participation terms with market dominant health insurance companies. In Assembly and Senate Health Committees
Please Urge Your Legislators to Oppose Legislation that Rejects Physician-Led Team Care
Legislation (S.3056-A) was advanced from the Senate Higher Education Committee to the Senate floor strongly opposed by MSSNY that could jeopardize patient safety and lead to uncoordinated, siloed care by eliminating any statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative arrangements with a physician practicing in the same specialty.
The legislation would also eliminate the requirement for a newly practicing nurse practitioner to maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician. Senator John Liu (D-Queens) voted against the legislation, and Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Toby Stavisky (D-Queens) voted without recommendation.
Physicians can send a letter urging legislators to oppose this legislation from here: Protect Physician-Led Team Care for Patients (p2a.co). Please let your legislators know that NPs are absolutely essential component of our healthcare system to ensure patients receive the care they need, but maintaining ongoing team-based care in collaboration with a physician is essential for ensuring patients receive the highest quality care. Instead of removing these requirements, the standards for physician-NP collaboration should be strengthened to help better recognize and treat potentially complex cases.
MSSNY joined with several other specialty societies in a letter to Senators raising strong objections to this bill. Physicians complete 4 years of medical school plus 3-7 years of residency, including 10,000-16,000 hours of clinical training, exponentially more than the education and training received by nurse practitioners. But it is more than just the vast difference in hours of education and training – it is also the difference in rigor and standardization between medical school/residency and nurse practitioner programs. It is therefore not surprising that a recent survey of 500 New Yorkers concluded that 75% want a physician to be involved in their diagnosis and treatment decisions.
Same-as legislation (A.1535-A) is in the Higher Education Committee. During the recently concluded State Budget, there was a provision enacted that extended for another year – until June 30, 2022 – the existing law that permits nurse practitioners with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice without a written collaborative agreement provided they maintain evidence of “collaborative relationships” with a physician in the same specialty practiced by the NP. (AUSTER)
Please Urge Your Legislators to Reject Legislation That Would Drive Huge New Increases in Medical Liability Insurance
Legislation (S.74-A) is before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week that would create untenable increases in New York’s already excessive medical liability costs by greatly expanding the types of damages awardable in wrongful death actions. You can send a letter to your legislator from here urging them to oppose this disastrous legislation. Reject Expansion of Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Actions.
One recent actuarial estimate indicated that passage of legislation such as this could require a liability premium increase of nearly 50%, which translates to tens of thousands of dollars in new costs for many physicians who are already paying tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in their insurance costs, which could make it impossible for many physicians to stay in practice.
Under ordinary circumstances, these kinds of increases would be unsustainable and could have hugely negative consequences on patient access to care at community hospitals and physician offices. However, with so many physician practices only beginning to recover from the huge drop in patient visits and revenue during the height of the pandemic, legislation to impose such premium increases would be unconscionable.
Same-as legislation (A.6770) is currently in Assembly Judiciary Committee, but has advanced from this Committee to the Assembly floor in past legislative sessions. Please urge your legislators to reject this short-sighted proposal and that comprehensive medical liability reform is needed instead: Reject Expansion of Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Actions. (AUSTER)
Senate Health Committee to Consider Bill to Reduce Barriers for Patients by Streamlining Prior Authorization Process
MSSNY has joined with 15 other patient and physician advocacy organizations in a memo in support of S.6435-A (Breslin)/A.7129 (Gottfried), which is on the Senate Health Committee agenda for consideration this coming Tuesday, May 18th.
The bill would help to streamline the prior authorization process and reduce barriers experienced by patients, and their physicians, that delay access to treatment. Additionally, this legislation will protect patients’ access to needed prescription medications and tests to facilitate accurate diagnosis. You can send a letter in support here: Prior Authorizations are harming our ability to provide proper, timely care.
Prior authorizations frequently impose overwhelming burdens that can cause unnecessary delays in needed care for patients. Delay in authorization of prescriptions, tests or procedures can cause needless anxiety for patients already stressed by uncertainty regarding their condition. A recent Annals of Internal Medicine study concluded that for every hour a physician spends on delivering care to a patient, two more are spent on administrative tasks. Moreover, a just-released American Medical Association (AMA) survey reported that 94% of responding physicians said that the prior authorization process delayed patient access to necessary care and 90% of the respondents indicated that prior authorization led to somewhat, or significant, negative outcomes.
Patients with chronic conditions have complex medical needs, and their health depends on following strict treatment regimens. Timely access to treatment and medications is critical to maintaining these regimens. Prior Authorization requirements may increase their risk of lapsing treatment or exacerbating progression of their disease as a result of these delays and can have a negative effect on their lives and health outcomes. Additionally, all patients need to know they’ll receive treatment in a timely manner and that their care and treatment will continue to be covered by their insurance plan.
The following organizations joined MSSNY in supporting the bill:
American Cancer Society (ACS)
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) District II
National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society
New York Chapter American College of Surgeons, Inc.
New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP)
New York State American Academy of Pediatrics (NYS AAP – Chapters 1, 2 & 3)
New York State Bleeding Disorders Coalition (NYSBDC)
New York Chapter American College of Physicians
NYS Ophthalmological Society
NYS Society of Anesthesiologists
NYS Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Inc.
NYS Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
New York State Radiological Society (NYSRS)
NYS Society of Plastic Surgeons, Inc.
NYS Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) (CARY, AUSTER)
Revised NYS COVID 19 Guidance Expands Immunization to 12-15 Years of Age; Reporting to Vaccine Tracker No Longer Required
The New York State Department of Health has issued guidance that allows physicians and other providers, enrolled in the NYS and NYC COVID-19 vaccination programs, to provide immunizations to individuals aged 12-15 years of age, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance also includes the following:
- Vaccine Tracker: Effective immediately, reporting to the NYS COVID-Vaccine Tracker is no longer required.
- Universal Doses: Effective May 11, New York State moved to a “Universal Dose” administration process for all multi-dose COVID-19 vaccine types. All doses are now considered universal doses, which means that doses can be used as either a first dose or a second dose, regardless of if they were originally shipped to providers as a first dose or a second dose.
- Responsible Wastage: While enrolled providers must continue to follow best practices to use every dose possible, it should not be at the expense of missing an opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person when they are ready to get vaccinated.
A copy of the guidance can be found here: Click Here (CLANCY)
DOH Eliminates Pre-Surgery COVID-19 Testing for Individuals Who are Vaccinated
The New York State Department of Health has issued new guidance for elective procedures. Under the guidance, pre-elective procedure COVID -19 testing is not required for patients who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 during the previous three months. There is no need to test asymptomatic recently recovered patients to prove they are now negative. However, pre-elective procedure testing remains encouraged by NYSDOH for all asymptomatic patients scheduled for elective surgery/procedures. A copy of the guidance is here. (CLANCY)
MSSNY Announces New Podcast Episodes on COVID Pandemic
MSSNY has recently published four new podcasts related to the COVID pandemic.
Newly added: COVID-19 & Mental Health of Physicians provides listeners with insight from Dr. Craig Katz, vice-chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the physician community. Click here to listen.
Additional COVID-related podcasts include:
Mental Health of Patients & COVID-19 offers a discussion with Dr. Craig Katz on the mental health impact the COVID pandemic has had on patients. Click here to listen.
How to Talk to Patients About Vaccine Hesitancy includes a discussion on the history of vaccine hesitancy and offers sage advice from Dr. William Valenti to listeners on talking to vaccine hesitant patients. Listen to this podcast by clicking here.
A Discussion on COVID Vaccine for Patients is MSSNY President, Dr. Bonnie Litvack, President-elect, Dr. Joseph Sellers and Dr. William Valenti, Chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Infectious Diseases discussing vaccines currently available for COVID-19. This podcast answers many questions patients may have about the vaccines. Tell your patients to go to Click Here to listen.
Click here to select from all 100+ of MSSNY’s podcasts. (HOFFMAN)
MSSNY Medical Matters Program on Triage in a Disaster Event
Registration now open
Medical Matters: Triage in a Disaster Event
Date: May 26, 2021 @ 7:30am
Myriad disaster events take place all around us daily. Learn more about how to perform a number of categories of triage (including biological triage) when you find yourself in proximity to a disaster by registering for Medical Matters: Triage in a Disaster Event. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 26th at 7:30 am. Arthur Cooper, MD and Zackary Hickman, MD will serve as faculty for this program. Click here to register for this webinar.
- Describe the importance of immediate bleeding suppression during a disaster event
- Describe the SALT methodology for triage and where to access SALT training
- Recognize the importance of both mass casualty and bio-event triage
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. (HOFFMAN)
Deep Discounts for MSSNY Members on CareClix Virtual Health Platform
As a MSSNY member, you receive a significant discount on CareClix services. CareClix is offering all MSSNY members a flat fee of just $50 a month for the license fee—with NO startup costs!
The CareClix user-friendly HIPPA compliant platform enables you to conduct routine virtual visits with your patients in any location. CareClix gives you the ability to:
- Add Value to Your Practice
- Maximize Billing
- Eligibility Checks
- Promote Patient Satisfaction
- Reduce Cancellations and No-Shows
- Integrated EHR
For clinical practices lacking the capacity to manage their own CCM programs, CareClix also provides a white-labeled, turn-key CCM service. This enables even the smallest community hospitals to provide CCM services for their seniors. Caring for the patients most-at-need requires vigilance and improved access.
CareClix believes that implementing and managing a CCM program requires much more than just a traditional telemedicine platform with videoconferencing. Our platform includes a comprehensive Chronic Care Management module. This includes out-of-the-box integration for 200+ devices, covering all major key vital signs used In CCM. Our platform easily integrates with our partners’ EMR systems, and we have a team that includes practicing physicians and experienced implementation experts.
- To learn more about CareClix: com/for-providers/
- To implement telemedicine for your practice visit: com/provider-signup/
- Have questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Board of Medical Specialties Seeks Comments on Draft Standards for Continuing Certification
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has opened an 80-day “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments” to obtain input and feedback from all stakeholders who possess, use, or rely upon the board certification credential as an indicator of a diplomate’s professionalism and proficiency in specialty knowledge and skills. The “Call for Comments” will be open from Tuesday, April 20, 2021 through Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Feedback received will guide and inform the development of the final Draft Standards for Continuing Certification (“Draft Standards”), which will be considered by the ABMS Board of Directors in October 2021.
ABMS establishes the standards its 24 Member Boards use to develop and implement educational and assessment programs used in the certification of diplomate specialists. The new Draft Standards reflect foundational changes to the manner in which ABMS and its Member Boards deliver on their mission, bringing value to both the profession and the public at large. They were developed after a year of deliberation with key stakeholders in response to the recommendations of the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission as well as of the wider stakeholder community.
The Draft Standards are structured to support and provide diplomates with the tools they need to stay current in medical knowledge; prepare them to address emerging medical and public health issues; and help them identify and address opportunities for practice improvement within the systems in which they work, all in a manner that enhances relevance and reduces burden. The Draft Standards also address the needs of patients, families, and communities by assuring that board certified diplomates maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver the quality specialty care upon which they rely.
To review and comment on the Draft Standards, please visit the Draft Standards for Continuing Certification section on the ABMS Website and submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. CST on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Please feel free to share the “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments” with your colleagues and others who may have an interest in them and encourage them to share their feedback to ensure that all stakeholder perspectives are considered in the finalization of the standards that will guide the specialty care practice of the future.
MSSNY Past President Dr. Madejski Discusses Vaccine Hesitancy in Buffalo News
In an article in the Buffalo News about patient reactions to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, MSSNY Past President Dr. Thomas Madejski says that he explains to vaccine hesitant patients that he respects their right to decline the vaccination but then works on the science. “Eight out of 10 times I’m able to work through [hesitancy],” he tells the paper. “I explain my personal experience with the vaccine, which was nothing with the first dose and some mild symptoms for 24 hours with a fever and myalgia with the second dose. I tell them it’s been better studied than the previous couple vaccinations that were approved because more than 100 million people have been vaccinated. There’s a much better risk-benefit ratio to being vaccinated than getting COVID.”
Physicians Turn to Social Media for Professional Advancement, Survey Finds
While both female and male physicians report using social media to build their professional networks, there are differences in how it benefits each gender, according to survey findings published May 13 in JAMA Network Open.
A sample of 577 respondents were included in the study. Of those, 321 identified as women and 256 identified as men. The survey was administered between February and March.
- Men (69 percent) and women (67 percent) were equally likely to report using social media to build their professional networks.
- Similarly, 70 percent of men and 68 percent of women respondents agreed that social media led to increased collaboration within their specialties. Findings indicating that social media increased collaboration across specialties and institutions were also similar.
- Forty-eight percent of male physicians said social media helped expand their research portfolio, compared to 36 percent of women.
- Men (39 percent) were more likely to report that social media use resulted in a speaking engagement than women (30 percent.)
- Seventy-three percent of women said they used social media to build a support network, compared to 55 percent of men.
“The findings of this survey suggest that social media use by women physicians may not improve gender equity,” researchers said. “It may be the case that the same biases that lead to fewer opportunities for professional advancement for women persist in the online physician community.”
MSSNY’s Recent Webinar, Social Media in Medicine: a Beginners Guide for Physicians Available on MSSNY Website
MSSNY President-Elect Parag H. Mehta, MD and MSSNY YPS Immediate Past Chair Daniel E. Choi, MD present Social Media in Medicine: A Beginners Guide for Physicians. View the webinar on the MSSNY Website.
- Introduction to popular social media physician communities: #MedTwitter,
Instagram, YouTube, TikTok
- How to establish a social media presence and grow your audience.
- Common terminology e.g., Twitter handle, hashtag
- Scheduling posts
- How social media can be harnessed for effective patient education, practice growth, and advocacy.
- Best ways to connect with patients and colleagues on social media.
- Pitfalls of social media as a physician
- What not to do on social media
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 • fax 516-488-2188
Beautifully Renovated Modern Medical Office Sublet in Great Neck
-Separate reception area -Consultation room -1-3 exam rooms -Free Valet Parking -Designated physician parking spot. Contact Dr. Nir Somekh (516) 662-1232.
Professional Office Space For Sale – Albany, NY
319 S. Manning Blvd, Suite 308A. Albany NY. Located on the St. Peter’s Hospital Campus. 2000 SF. Bright, 3rd floor location. Office is in move in condition. Waiting room, front reception area for 3 staff, 2 consult rooms, 4 exam rooms, 1 large procedure room, eat in break room, storage room, walk in storage closet. 369K. Contents negotiable. Please contact 518-222-4956 / email email@example.com
Office Rental 30 Central Park South
Two fully equipped exam, two certified operating, bathrooms and consultation room. Shared secretarial and waiting rooms. Elegantly decorated, central a/c, hardwood floors. Next to Park Lane and Plaza hotels. $1250 for four days a month. Available full or part-time. 212.371.0468 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ophthalmic Office to Sublet – NYC
340 E. 49TH St. (Ground Floor -Handicap Accessible) 1-3 Lanes Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun Full use of: VF / OCT /Pachymeter/ Autorefractor /Autolensometer / Argon / YAG Lasers
Please contact Scott Weissman MD. email@example.com. 914-772-5581
Newly constructed loft space. Dedicated private waiting area available. This space is ideal for individual psychiatry, psychology, social work, physical therapy, or acupuncture services. Potential to work with existing Primary Care Practice as a referral source. Centrally located in the heart of SoHo, close to all subways. Available 7 days/week.
Medical Office and Medical Practice (Upper East Side)
79th St near Lexington / Park. 750 sq Ft beautiful, street entrance, medical office for sale with a 25 + yr internal medical practice for sale. Office is in move in condition. Physician retiring. Waiting room. Secretarial area for 3. 1 Consult room. 2 exam Rooms 2 Toilets. Please contact: 917-770-8700 / email firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Posted: 03/23/21 Applications Due: 04/06/21 Vacancy ID: 85272
|Agency||Health, Department of|
|Title||Health Program Director 2 -TBD|
|Occupational Category||Other Professional Careers|
|Bargaining Unit||M/C – Management / Confidential (Unrepresented)|
|Salary Range||From $122092 to $154253 Annually|
|Jurisdictional Class||Non-competitive Class|
Hours Per Week
|Compressed workweek allowed?||No|
|Street Address||CCH; Division of Family Health
Corning Tower, ESP
|Minimum Qualifications||Twelve years of professional level work experience, three of which must have included managerial, decision-making and/or oversight responsibilities for a major health-related program or in the direction of a major administrative function of a large health-related organization. A bachelor’s degree may be substituted for four years of the general professional experience.
Twelve or more years of progressively responsible administrative experience in programs that improve perinatal health, child and/or adolescent health, early care, and learning, and/or sexual violence prevention, including four years of managerial, decision-making, and/or program direction. Seven years of this experience would also include fiscal management, policy making and oversight responsibilities, and statewide supervision of professional level staff. The preferred candidate would be familiar with representing departmental interests and serving as a spokesperson and liaison to Executive staff, and have experience working with other state and federal governmental programs. Experience with second-level professional supervision as well as strong oral and written communication skills is also desired. A master’s degree in an appropriate field may substitute an additional one year of the general professional experience, not to exceed a maximum of five years total allowable educational Please refer to full listing
Date Posted: 04/09/21 Applications Due: 05/10/21 Vacancy ID: 85840
|Agency||Health, Department of|
|Title||Director Public Health – 601|
|Occupational Category||Administrative or General Management|
|Bargaining Unit||M/C – Management / Confidential (Unrepresented)|
|Salary Range||From $149004 to $149004 Annually|
|Jurisdictional Class||Exempt Class|
Hours Per Week
|Compressed workweek allowed?||No|
|Street Address||Office of Public Health
ESP, Corning Tower OR Metropolitan Area Regional Office (MARO) Church Street
|City||Albany OR New York|
|Minimum Qualifications||A Bachelor’s degree and eleven years* of professional level government or non-profit experience, five of which must have included managerial, decision-making and/or oversight responsibilities for a major public health-related program or in the direction of a major administative function of a large health-related organizaton. Substitution – JD or Master’s degree may substitute for one year of the general experience, a PhD may substitute for two years of the general experience.
Track record of strong analytical and organizational skills; excellent written and verbal communication; ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced and confidential environment under tight deadlines is essential; experience in a managerial role, interacting with state and federal government officials is preferred;