MSSNY eNews: October 1, 2021 – Calling Women Physicians!

Calling Women Physicians!


Are you a female physician? Do you have an outstanding female physician colleague? I am pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for women physicians and medical students.

MSSNY’s Medical, Educational and Scientific Foundation (MESF) is holding leadership seminars for women on three Saturday mornings in October that cover various topics, including women physicians and their legislative impact featuring NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy; how CEOs and medical administrators deal with women physicians; and wellness and women physicians. These are all important topics indeed. Please avail yourself of this wonderful opportunity—or encourage your female colleagues to do so. 

Jon Chilingerian, PhD is the facilitator for the virtual series, which will be split into three segments on October 16, 23 & 30 beginning at 8 a.m. Case studies and other resource materials will be sent to registrants. The program is open to all women physicians, including residents, and medical students.  Following is more specific information on each of the three segments:

Saturday October 16 (8 am-11:30 am): “Albany, Women Physicians and Their Legislative Impact.”  This session will include presentations by Patricia Clancy, MSSNY’s Senior Vice President/ Managing Director of Public Health and Education; Bonnie Litvack MD, MSSNY Past President, Chair of MESF; and NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.

Saturday, October 23 (8 am-11:30 a.m): “How Do CEOs and Medical Administrators Deal with Women Physicians?”   This segment focuses on a presentation by Jon Chilingerian PhD on effective clinical leadership for women physicians. Dr. Jody Gittel’s presentation will cover what women physicians need to know to effectively operate in a male-dominated health care world. M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, FACP and Palma Shaw, MD, FACS, RPVI will share their experiences in a male-dominated health care world.

Saturday, October 30 at (8 am-11:30 am): “Wellness and Women Physicians.”  This segment focuses on the challenges women physicians face as they advance in their medical education or medical practice—while faced with family and other life stressors. Stress and burnout, which impacts women with greater frequency and severity, will be discussed in this segment.  It will include a presentation by Jo Shapiro MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital who will focus on peer-to-peer relations.  Carol Bernstein MD from Einstein School of Medicine will talk about gender differences in burnout.  In addition, Frank Dowling, MD will review his experience with MSSNY’s peer-to-peer (P2P) program and the importance of women reaching out to a peer to discuss those life stressors. 

Female physicians, residents or medical students are encouraged to register for this event by sending an email to Pat Clancy at or by calling her at 518-465-8085.  Please provide your name and contact information to her by October 4, 2021. 

Accreditation Statement
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. 

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President.

MSSNY President Praises New York State Health Commissioner Choice
Newsday (NY) (9/29, Gormley) reported, “Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday appointed Mary T. Bassett, the former New York City health commissioner, to be the new state health commissioner.” Bassett “is director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and professor of public health.” The choice was lauded by health experts, including the Medical Society of the State of New York. MSSNY president Dr. Joseph Sellers said, “We are confident that Dr. Bassett is the right person at the right time to see New York State through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic – and that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of public health will guide New Yorkers through future public health challenges. During her years as commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Bassett worked to tackle racial, ethnic, and economic health inequities.”

Crain’sWTEN-TV Albany, NY and NY1-TV New York also reported.


HHS Seeks to “Put Its Thumb on the Scale Benefitting Insurers” in No Surprises Act Regulation
This week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies issued interim final rules to implement certain provisions of the “No Surprises Act”, establishing a federal independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for out of network surprise bills.

While MSSNY is continuing to work with the AMA and the federation of medicine in the review of this far-reaching regulation, upon initial review it appears to contain some extremely troubling language that will if implemented tip the scales of the IDR process towards the interest of multi-billion dollar insurance companies, rather than creating a process that truly balances the interests of health providers and insurers. Specifically, the CMS fact sheet notes:

“When making a payment determination, certified independent dispute resolution entities must begin with the presumption that the QPA is the appropriate OON amount. If a party submits additional information that is allowed under the statute, then the certified independent dispute resolution entity must consider this information if it is credible. For the independent dispute resolution entity to deviate from the offer closest to the QPA, any information submitted must clearly demonstrate that the value of the item or service is materially different from the QPA. Without this additional information, the certified independent dispute resolution entity must select the offer closest to the QPA.”

Several health care groups have raised very serious concerns that this regulation is a complete misreading of Congressional intent of the legislation.

  • The Federation of American Hospitals issued a statement calling the regulation a “a total miscue”, further noting that the regulation “misreads Congressional intent, and essentially puts a thumb on the scale benefiting insurers against providers and will over time reduce patient access.”
  • The American College of Radiology stated “This rule violates the intent, if not the actual letter, of the No Surprises Act and shatters a rare bipartisan, industry-wide agreement for equitable provider-insurer dispute resolution,” Doctors slam surprise billing rule that details dispute resolution process | Healthcare Dive
  • In a New York Times article, American College of Emergency Physicians Senior Vice President Laura Wooster stated “We are pretty disappointed because this is entirely against Congressional intent.” New Rule on Surprise Billing Aims to Take Patients Out of the ‘Food Fight’ – The New York Times (

With the law is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2022, MSSNY intends to work with the AMA and other allied groups to advocate for needed changes to the regulation to ensure that the IDR process is implemented in a way that better achieves balance in the IDR process, to protect care availability in hospital emergency departments.

AMA Statement: Surprise Billing Regulation is a Surprise Gift to the Insurance Industry
The American Medical Association (AMA) today called the Biden Administration’s interim final rule on surprise billing an undeserved gift to the insurance industry that will reduce health care options for patients.

“The interim final regulation issued late yesterday to implement the No Surprises Act ignores congressional intent and flies in the face of the Biden Administration’s stated concerns about consolidation in the health care marketplace. It disregards the insurance industry’s role in creating the problem of surprise billing at the expense of independent physician practices whose ability to negotiate provider network contracts continues to erode,” said AMA President Gerald A. Harmon, M.D.

“Congress appreciated the negative consequences of national price setting for health care services and spent considerable time and effort developing a robust independent dispute resolution process to maintain market balance and preserve access to care, which the Administration apparently ignored,” Harmon added. “It also is apparent that the Administration failed to appreciate the importance of creating an accessible and impartial dispute resolution processes as a backstop against even greater insurer abuses.”

This decision comes just days after the AMA published the newest annual edition of Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets with findings demonstrating the rise of highly concentrated markets for health insurance.  This year’s study revealed that a startling 73 percent of the nation’s insurer markets can be classified as “highly concentrated,” according to the federal government’s own guidelines.  The result is higher premiums and narrower provider networks, which are a root cause of the surprise medical billing problem.

The AMA urges the Biden administration to delay implementation and allow full evaluation of policies in the interim final regulation that have negative long-term implications for patients and the health care system.

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MSSNY Meets with Governor Hochul Officials to Coordinate Vaccine Advocacy But to Raise Concerns with Unnecessary Scope Law Waivers
MSSNY physician leaders met with top officials to Governor Kathy Hochul this week to praise her efforts to require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid, but at the same time raise concerns with aspects of her September 28 Executive Order No. 4: Declaring a Statewide Disaster Emergency Due to Healthcare Staffing Shortages in the State of New York ( which appear to go beyond addressing the immediate staffing crisis at hand in hospitals arising from enforcement of the September 27 vaccination mandate.

MSSNY physician leaders praised Governor Hochul for sticking to the requirement that had been adopted by the Department of Health in August. In particular, MSSNY noted that the enforcement of the requirement was an essential step resulting in the significant increase in the health care worker vaccination rate across New York State, which in one week rose from 84% to 92%.

To respond to the overall reduced supply of some healthcare workers and to ensure the proper functioning of hospitals and other health care facilities, Governor Hochul’s Executive Order waived for 30 days various licensure and scope of practice requirements under the public health law, insurance and education law such as permitting out of state health care workers including physicians, RNs, LPNs, NPs, PAs, midwives, clinical nurse specialists, licensed master social workers, and licensed clinical social workers to practice in New York to replace those healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated or received an exemption.

Some of the aspects of the Executive Order are items for which MSSNY is supportive, including measures that would permit physician visits in nursing homes to be done using telemedicine, and suspending requirements for preauthorization review by health insurers for scheduled surgeries in hospital facilities, hospital admissions, hospital outpatient services, home health care services following a hospital admission.

However, very concerning are provisions in the Executive Order that waive existing laws which require supervision of CRNAs by anesthesiologists, require supervision of health care service delivered by physician assistants by physicians, and require collaborative arrangements between nurse practitioners and physicians. MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers, MSSNY President-elect Dr. Parag Mehta and MSSNY Past-President Dr. Bonnie Litvack noted that these measures are not necessary to respond to the shortage of healthcare workers because very few physicians working in hospitals and healthcare facilities have not been vaccinated, and that the waiving of these laws places patients at unnecessary risk.

Both the MSSNY physician leaders and Governor Hochul’s staff expressed hope that the Executive Order provisions would only be temporary because most of the remaining healthcare workers without proper exemptions would get vaccinated.

Please remain alert for further updates on this issue.

Congressional Letter to Prevent Steep Medicare Cuts Garners Over 120 Signatures
MSSNY thanks the following New York Congressional delegation members for signing on to a bi-partisan letter initiated by Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) demanding action by Congress to prevent a nearly 10% cumulative cut to Medicare physician payment in January 2022. So far, it has been signed by over 120 members of Congress including Representatives Delgado (D-Hudson Valley); Garbarino (R-Long Island); Higgins (D-Buffalo); Jacobs (R-Western New York); Katko (R-Syracuse); Maloney (D-Manhattan); Morelle (D-Rochester); Suozzi (D-Long Island) and Tonko (D-Capital District).

Physicians are again urged to contact their respect member of Congress to also join the letter. (“Dear Colleague” letter) Please ask your Representative to sign-on NOW! The deadline for the letter is October 7.

In what amounts to a “perfect storm” of payment cuts going into effect on January 1, 2022, physician practices face the following stack of Medicare financial hits:

  • Expiration of the current reprieve from the repeatedly extended 2% sequester stemming from the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress took action earlier this year to prevent the 2% cut but that authorization expires 1/1/22.
  • Imposition of a 4% Statutory “PAYGO “sequester resulting from passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Should lawmakers fail to act, it will mark the first time that Congress has failed to waive Statutory PAYGO.
  • Expiration of the Congressionally enacted 3.75% temporary increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) conversion factor to avoid payment cuts associated with budget neutrality adjustments tied to PFS policy changes.

This would result in a combined 10 % payment cut on January 1! And all of this comes at a time when physicians are still confronting the pandemic, and practices recover from the enormous emotional and financial impact of the public health emergency. It’s time to give New York’s and our country’s physicians the peace of mind they deserve as they continue to fight on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic without having to worry if their practices will survive these potentially catastrophic cuts.

MSSNY has been working together with the AMA and other state and specialty medical associations to prevent these cuts from going forward. Please contact your Representative today and urge them to show their support by signing on to Reps. Bera and Bucshon’s “Dear Colleague” letter.

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Need Assistance with Insurance Issues? Make Sure Your MSSNY Membership is Current!
MSSNY regularly receives requests from physicians to intervene on their behalf with insurance company or state enforcement agencies.  Remarkably, some physicians reach out for assistance without having paid their membership dues.  Please understand this is a member only benefit. We help countless physicians every day to resolve issues. Make sure your MSSNY membership is up to date so that when you need assistance with an insurance company or state enforcement agency matter, we can help you!  Join MSSNY today!

President’s Circle Members Join Governor Hochul At An Upcoming Physician-Hosted Event
Physicians who join, renew or upgrade to the MSSNYPAC President’s Circle by Friday, 10/7 will receive a complimentary ticket to a physician-hosted virtual event with Governor Kathy Hochul. Current members of the President’s Circle are also welcome to attend.  Additional details pertaining to this event can be found by visiting Donate online at or for personal assistance, contact Jennifer Wilks at or 914-933-7722. Thank you.

Please Urge Governor Hochul to Sign into Law 2 Bills to Assist Patients to Reduce Health Insurer Interference in Patient Medication Options
Physicians are urged to contact Governor Hochul to request that she sign into law legislation passed at the end of the Legislative Session critical to helping patients to be able to receive the medications they need as well as to ensure greater oversight over pharmacy benefit formulary development practices. A letter or tweet can be sent from here: Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (

  • A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill would require that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. The bill would also provide for the disclosure of all possible revenue streams and terms and conditions that they place on their networks of pharmacies. MSSNY has supported greater oversight and regulation of PBMs as one manner to address restrictive formularies and excessive prior authorization requirements that interfere with patients obtaining needed medications.
  • A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin will significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. A substantially similar passed the Assembly and Senate in 2019, but was vetoed. To address concerns raised in the 2019 veto message, the new legislation would prohibit the applicability of a mid-year formulary change for those patients who were on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffer from a condition for which the medication is part of a treatment regimen, for that condition. However, other mid-year formulary changes could still occur.

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2021 New York Statewide Adult Immunization Coalition Virtual Meeting
Registration for the 2021 New York State Adult Immunization Coalition Meeting is now open.  Due to ongoing efforts related to COVID-19, this year’s meeting will take place virtually on October 26-27, 2021 via Airmeet.  This meeting will provide an opportunity for vaccine providers to engage with state and national experts on a variety of adult immunization topics, including ACIP recommendations for adult vaccines, standards for adult immunization practice, COVID-19 vaccination, HPV vaccination, Families Fighting Flu, New York State adult immunization coverage, and more.  This event is free and available to ALL adult immunization providers in New York State.

The program is hosted by the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO), the Western NY Adult Immunization Coalition, the Central NY Adult Immunization Coalition, the Adult Immunization Coalitions of Northeastern NY, the Mid-Hudson Adult Immunization Coalition, the Rockland-Westchester Adult Immunization Coalition, and the Nassau-Suffolk Adult Immunization Coalition, and is being co-provided by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Immunization.

Information on continuing education credits will be coming soon.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Updated Guidance for Physicians from the New York State Department of Health
Following are three COVID-19 vaccine guidance related documents from the New York State Department of Health:
Guidance for COVID Vaccine Providers

Immunization Screening and Consent Form

COVID-19 Vaccine Screening Checklist for Health Care Professionals

Registration Now Open
October 20, 2021 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar
Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022
The 2020-2021 flu season was negligible owing to a variety of reasons.  Now that restrictions are lifting, the 2021-2022 flu season will once again be a matter of concern.  Learn more by registering for Influenza: In the Time of Pandemic 2021-2022 on Wednesday October 20, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.  William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY Infectious Disease Committee and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here Click here to view the flyer for this program.

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the dramatic decrease in influenza cases in 2020-2021
  • Identify strategies to effectively encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Analyze measures to ensure continued abatement of influenza during and after the COVID pandemic
  • Discuss timing of influenza vaccines with COVID-19 vaccination

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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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 2021 Ad Rate Sheet, please click here.

Looking to Fill a Pediatrician Position?
A Board Certified, NY licensed Pediatrician is immediately available
for a FT/PT or per-diem position.  CV and references are available. 
Please contact

FOR SALE: Established Concierge Internal Medicine Practice. Southern Florida

Office Space for Lease – Great Neck, NY
Large, fully equipped space available for lease up to 7 days per week. Includes onsite parking and is close to mass transit. Call 516-972-2986 for info.

Rheumatology Practice Opportunity – Great Neck, NY
Opportunity available at an established rheumatology practice in Great Neck, NY. Looking for a dedicated physician to join, share or merge practices. Fully equipped office with onsite parking and proximity to mass transit. Contact 516-972-2986 for more info.

AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II
Health Research, Inc. (HRI) has a job opening within the AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director for a Public Health Physician II. Please distribute this announcement widely through your networks. Interested individuals can apply for this position through the HRI website.

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