MSSNY eNews: May 6, 2022
Message from MSSNY President Dr Joseph Sellers:
Word to the Wise When Considering Malpractice Insurance Options
As renewal season approaches, please allow me to provide a few words of advice regarding our trusted and exclusive partner at MLMIC. Formed under the auspices of the Medical Society of the State of New York in 1975 when all commercial carriers left the State because of declining profits, MLMIC, now a Berkshire Hathaway Company, has remained incomparably committed to New York.
Here are some things that I suggest you consider when choosing your malpractice coverage:
- What is the company’s familiarity with the state of New York?
- What is the company’s New York track record in defending their clients against claims?
- Does the company have decades of commitment to New York for your peace of mind knowing that the company won’t fold up and leave the state like so many companies have through the years?
There is a reason that MSSNY continues to proudly to exclusively endorse MLMIC Insurance Company. To this day, MLMIC has successfully defended more New York physicians than any other New York insurer. For over 45 years, MLMIC has been a strong, tireless advocate for New York physicians and has effectively lobbied for legislative reform to address those issues that continue to plague healthcare professionals in the state of New York. Also, MLMIC has made the most consistent and significant contributions of any malpractice insurer to MSSNY’s Physician’s Wellness Program and the Committee for Physicians Health which provide confidential assistance for medical professionals suffering from substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders while protecting public safety.
Now, MLMIC is also a Berkshire Hathaway company with an A+ financial rating by A.M. Best, giving me peace of mind knowing that MLMIC will remain in the state of New York supporting our healthcare heroes – as they have for more than 45 years. We strongly encourage you to contact MLMIC (800-ASK-MLMIC or LHertz@mlmic.com) and gain the details regarding their Preferred Savings Programs and other MLMIC discounts which can save qualifying physicians up to 30% in Medical Professional Liability.
Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
Provider Relief Fund Late Reporting for Period 2 Due by May 13
Physicians who received more than $10,000 in provider relief funds and did not submit their Period 2 report must act immediately by submitting a late Reporting Period 2 report request by Friday, May 13, 2022 at 11:59 pm ET. Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Period 2 spanned from July 1, 2020, thru December 31, 2020, and included physicians who see patients with Medicaid and CHIP coverage. Attached is an overview of the information needed to request to report late. If a provider did not submit a Period 2 report and does not hear from HRSA, click here to learn more about the late reporting request form or call (866) 569-3522.
When completing the late reporting request, a provider must choose an extenuating circumstance(s) that prevented compliance with the original reporting deadline. HRSA has released the following as allowable extenuating circumstances:
- Severe illness or death – a severe medical condition or death of a provider or key staff member responsible for reporting hindered the organization’s ability to complete the report during the Reporting Period.
- Impacted by natural disaster – a natural disaster occurred during or in close proximity of the end of the Reporting Period damaging the organization’s records or information technology.
- Lack of receipt of reporting communications – an incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA prevented the organization from receiving instructions prior to the Reporting Period deadline.
- Failure to click “submit” – the organization registered and prepared a report in the PRF Reporting Portal but failed to take the final step to click “submit” prior to deadline.
- Internal miscommunication or error – Internal miscommunication or error regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report on behalf of the organization and/or the registered point of contact in the PRF Reporting Portal.
- Incomplete Targeted Distribution payments – the organization’s parent entity completed all General Distribution payments, but a Targeted Distribution(s) was not reported on by the subsidiary.
While attesting to an extenuating circumstance is required, no supporting document or proof is required. More information and a step-by-step guide from the AMA are available here.
If HRSA approves the extenuated circumstances form, the provider will receive a notification to proceed with completing the Reporting Period 2 report shortly thereafter. The AMA will continue to advocate for greater flexibility and more information to ensure physician practices have an adequate opportunity to come into compliance.
Altfest Launches YouTube Channel “Wealth Matters for Physicians” to Promote Physician Financial Wellness
Altfest Personal Wealth Management, selected 14 times as one of Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors, is pleased to announce the launch of its financial wellness YouTube channel dedicated to educating and empowering physicians to optimize their financial lives.
Wealth Matters for Physicians features timely and actionable investment and personal financial planning videos. The topics, chosen by their relevancy and interest to physicians, will cover the full spectrum of investment and personal financial planning subjects – including market outlooks and which investment areas are currently appealing, leading tax reduction strategies, business succession and retirement planning, estate planning, student debt management, and many more.
Podcast: Areas of Focus for Remainder of Legislative Season
Listen to MSSNY’s May 6th podcast as Senior Vice-President & Chief Legislative Counsel Moe Auster discusses areas of focus for the remainder of legislative session.
MSSNY Partners with Specialty Societies and Groups in Support of Prior Authorization Reform and Other Key Issues
Physicians are urged to continue to contact their legislators to express their support for multiple legislative initiatives to address prior authorization hassles. You can send a letter here: Prior Authorizations hassles must be fixed! (p2a.co).
On May 3rd, MSSNY participated in an advocacy day with the New York State Radiological Society (NYSRS). Key issues included the “Gold Card” bill (S.8299, Breslin/A.9908-A, McDonald) to exempt physicians from health insurer prior authorization requirements if the physician receives at least 90% approval by that insurer for pre-authorizations for a particular health care treatment, and legislation (A7129-A Gottfried/S6435-B Breslin) to prohibit repeat prior authorization requirements and require that health review criteria be peer reviewed and evidence-based.
On May 4 and May 5, MSSNY joined the New York Cancer & Blood Specialists for several advocacy meetings with key legislators in support of the two prior authorization bills above. For all of these meetings, physician leaders and MSSNY staff emphasized the extraordinary number of treatments now subject to prior authorizations, and the hassles associated with obtaining these authorizations, that are interfering with patients obtaining the care they need.
MSSNY President Joins Patient and Other Physicians Organizations at News Conference to Push for Passage of Copay Accumulator Legislation
This week, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers joined several legislators, as well as patient and physician organizations, for a news conference in the State Capitol to urge passage of Copay Accumulator legislation (A.1741, Gottfried/S.5299, Rivera) as soon as possible. The Senate Insurance Committee voted to advance the bill to the full Senate at its last meeting on Monday, April 25. The identical Assembly bill is on the Assembly floor.
This important bill would prohibit health insurers from preventing patients from using a copay card or coupon to count towards their out-of-pocket deductibles. Many patients, particularly those on long-term therapies, rely on financial assistance programs, such as a copay coupons or cards, to reduce the cost of their medication. However, insurers are employing this new tactic to undermine these financial assistance programs by preventing their application towards meeting the enormous deductibles patients face. MSSNY strongly supports policy to ensure that third party financial support will help patients to meet the cost of their medications.
Please visit MSSNY’s Grassroots Action Center (GAC) to take action and let your legislators know that you support passage of this important legislation!
Urge Your Legislators to Reject Legislation That Would Drive Huge New Increases in Medical Liability Insurance
Physicians are urged to contact their legislators to request that they reject legislation (S.74-A/A.6770) strongly opposed by MSSNY, hospital associations, and numerous other groups. This legislation 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. A letter and/or tweet can be sent from here: Don’t Chase Physicians out of NY! (p2a.co). This week, the Assembly Codes Committee advanced this legislation to the full Assembly, and next week the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering the legislation.
One recent actuarial estimate indicated that passage of legislation such as this could require a liability premium increase of over 40%, which translates to tens of thousands of dollars in new costs for physicians who already pay thousands of dollars per year in their insurance costs. This could make it impossible for many physicians to stay in practice in New York. 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 pandemic, legislation to impose such premium increases would be unconscionable.
While some advocates have claimed that New York’s existing wrongful death law is an outlier compared to other states’ laws, what they do not mention is that most of these other states also have comprehensive provisions to contain excessive medical liability insurance costs, including limits on damages. New York has no such law, which is why our medical liability insurance and payout costs far exceed every other state in the country, making New York regularly ranked as one of the worst states in the country to be a physician. Best & Worst States for Doctors (wallethub.com)
Please let your legislators know that comprehensive legislation is needed to bring down New York’s excessively high medical liability premiums, which far exceed every other state in the country, instead of stand-alone bills that would drive up these costs.
MSSNY Participates in Lobby Day on Immunizations
The Medical Society of the State of New York participated in virtual meetings with lawmakers from across the state as a member of the Let’s Get Immunized NY (LGINY) campaign. These meetings reinforced the importance of immunizations and urged legislators not to roll back New York State’s strong vaccine policy and access. MSSNY and LGINY also called for passage of S75A, Hoylman/A279A, Gottfried which would establish a more robust vaccination registry for New York adults aged 19 and older across the state. Individuals will have the ability to opt out of the registry if they so choose. Physicians are encouraged to read MSSNY’s memo on S. 75A/A279a and to communicate support of this measure.
Numerous Physician Mandate Bills Under Consideration in the Final Weeks of Session
As we head into the final 4 weeks of the legislative session, there are numerous bills under active consideration in the Senate and Assembly that would impose requirements on physicians (and other providers) delivering care to their patients, as well as countless other mandates on medical practice in New York. MSSNY has been working together with affected specialty societies to highlights its concerns that, while each of these proposals may have good intentions, in totality they are creating significant new documentation requirements that place the physician’s licensure in jeopardy if there is an instance where they fail to document that they completed a task. This could have a significant impact on decisions made by physicians, including whether or not to practice in New York. Some of these bills include:
- 67/A.3298 – Would require physicians treating a patient for epilepsy to provide information regarding the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
- 213/A.1615 – Requires physicians to obtain the school attended by their pediatric patients.
- 2103-B/A.5841-B – Requires physicians to obtain a detailed patient/family member consent for a nursing home resident prior to the receipt of a psychotropic medication, or detailed documentation of the need to provide such medication without consent.
- 2521-C/A.3470-C – Requires employed health care providers to disclose if their employer health system is charging a facility fee.
- 2736/A.217 – Requires physicians and other maternal care providers to provide information to pregnant patients regarding the risks of a caesarean section to patients scheduled to have a C-section.
- 4640/A.273 – Requires physicians and other care providers to document that they considered and discussed numerous alternatives to opioid treatment prior to writing an opioid prescription for a patient.
- 6287-B/A.7560-A – Requires OB-GYNs to provide information to their pregnant patients regarding the risks of cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- 7865/A.5976-A – Requires physicians and other maternal care providers providing pre- and post-natal care or pediatric care to invite the mother to fill out a questionnaire to detect maternal depression.
- 8455/A.9380 – Requires physicians and other maternal care providers to provide information to patients about the potential consequences of an episiotomy.
Virtual CME at MSSNY 2022 House of Delegates-Registration Now Open
MSSNY is offering four CME webinars during the 2022 House of Delegates on Friday May 20th from 7:30am-12:00pm. View the flyer for these programs here.
Medical Matters: What’s Your Diagnosis? Infectious Diseases
Faculty: William Valenti, MD
- Identify the modes of transmission of infectious agents
- Discuss presumptive treatment of infectious diseases in advance of diagnostic testing results
- Describe two scenarios and review questions and answers
(This program is supported in whole by a DHHS grant entitled New York State Hospital Preparedness Program)
Women in Medicine 2022: Up the Down Staircase
Faculty: Carol Ann Bernstein, MD
- Identify significant stressors contributing to burnout as they specifically impact women physicians in the era of COVID-19.
- Increase knowledge of potential strategies that can be used to support women physicians, especially when working in dynamically changing and stressful clinical environments.
- Identify potential systemic solutions as well as practical techniques that promote growth and resilience in women physicians.
9:50 – 10:50am
The Health of Sexual and Gender Minorities
Faculty: Carl Streed, MD, MPH, FACP
- Identify disparities in health care access among SGM persons
- Identify disparities in health care outcomes among SGM persons
- Examine minority stress as a contributor to health disparities
- Identify opportunities to meet the health care needs of SGM persons
Veterans Matters: COVID-19 and its Impact on Veterans
Faculty: Frank Dowling, MD
- Identify the wide ranging medical and mental health impact of COVID-19 on veterans
- Discuss growing number of veterans who have experienced COVID-19 related post-traumatic stress
- Recognize the role of physicians in assessing the impact of the pandemic in veteran patients
(This program is supported in whole by a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health.)
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 each 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.
Physician Suicide: Reconceptualizing “Do No Harm”
Upstate University Hospital will host a virtual Healthcare Transformation Grand Rounds presentation entitled “Physician Suicide: Reconceptualizing “Do No Harm” on Wednesday, May 11, from noon – 1:30 pm. All professions and specialties are invited to attend.
The presentation will include a showing of the film “Do No Harm” followed by a panel discussion featuring:
- Jarrod Bagatell, MD – Director, Employee/Student Health
- Leslie Kohman, MD, FACS – Chief Wellness Officer
- Seethalakshmi Ramanathan, MD, MPA – Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Kaushal Nanavati, MD – Assistant Dean for Wellness
- Thomas Schwartz, MD – Chair, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
In the United States, the rate of death by suicide among physicians is higher than the general population. It is estimated that 300-400 physicians die by suicide every year. Despite the high prevalence of suicide, mental illness and suicide among physicians and healthcare workers remain under-recognized.
At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:
- Recognize the prevalence of suicide risk among current and future physicians
- Describe risk factors for suicidal crises among physicians
- Discuss mitigation strategies and local resources that are available for physicians experiencing mental health problems.
CME credits are being offered. Advance registration is required.
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