MSSNY eNews: September 29, 20210 MSSNY Applauds Appointment of Dr. Mary Bassett as NYS DOH Commissioner

MSSNY Applauds Gov. Hochul’s Appointment of Mary Bassett, MD, MPH as NYS Department of Health Commissioner
The following statement was sent to the press on September 29:

Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“MSSNY is thrilled to welcome Dr. Mary Bassett as New York State’s new Health Commissioner, and we look forward to working closely with her to address the health needs of all New Yorkers. 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.  We look forward to working with her to address those needs throughout the State in our shared fight for quality, accessible, and affordable health care for all New Yorkers.”

Governor Hochul Announces Series of Steps to Respond to Vaccine Mandate-Induced Healthcare Worker Shortage
To respond to the significant healthcare worker shortage arising from the vast numbers of healthcare workers who failed to meet September 27 deadline for receiving an initial Covid vaccination, Governor Hochul issued an Executive Order No. 4: Declaring a Statewide Disaster Emergency Due to Healthcare Staffing Shortages in the State of New York which waives for 30 days various insurance, licensure, and scope of practice requirements under the public health law, insurance, and education law including:

  • 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;
  • Permitting licensed but not registered health care professionals to practice in New York;
  • Permitting advanced practice nurses with a doctorate or masters degree specializing in the administration of anesthesia in a general hospital or free-standing ambulatory surgery center without the supervision of a qualified physicians in these health care settings;
  • Permitting physician assistants and nurse practitioners to practice without otherwise required supervision and collaboration requirements.
  • Permitting physician visits in nursing homes to be done using telemedicine;
  • Suspending requirements for preauthorization review for scheduled surgeries in hospital facilities, hospital admissions, hospital outpatient services, home health care services following a hospital admission, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services following a hospital admission;
  • Permitting graduates of foreign medical schools without medical licenses but one year of graduate medical education to provide care in hospitals
  • Waiving re-registration fees, creating an expedited re-registration process, and eliminating barriers to re-enter the workforce for retirees;
  • Permits nurse-initiated protocols to included electrocardiogram for signs and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome, blood glucose for altered mental state, Labs and intravenous lines for potential sepsis and pre-procedure pregnancy testing to expedited evaluation and diagnosis

MSSNY continues to engage in extensive public efforts to encourage healthcare workers to become vaccinated, so as to end as soon as reasonably possible the drastic steps imposed by Governor Hochul to address these shortages.


AMA, MSSNY Strongly Support Governor Hochul’s Efforts to Require Health Care Workers to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The following joint statement was sent to the press on Wednesday, September 28:
Link to MSSNY Joint Statement
Link to AMA Joint Statement
Statement Attributable to:
Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
Gerald E. Harmon, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) and Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) strongly support Governor Hochul’s efforts to require health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The path to ending the pandemic must be based on science, and vaccination is an indispensable part of the solution. AMA, MSSNY, and the physicians we represent understand that there are many who are confused and uncertain. We remind everyone with questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine to turn to their trusted physicians to guide them. We will continue to work with Governor Hochul and her Administration to help promote vaccination for all as a key to ending this pandemic.”

MSSNY Tip of the Week: The Scoop on CPT 99483
Have you ever had a patient display signs of cognitive impairment? No matter your specialty, CPT code 99483—Cognitive Assessment and Care Plan Services—can be performed along with a visit and submitted to the insurance company for reimbursement. For more information click here to read more from CMS.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, contact Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Patient Payment and Practice at 518.465.8085 X332 or

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New AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force Urges Action to Help Patients
The Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Medical Association today released new recommendations as part of the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force to help end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic.

The recommendations are focused on actions physicians can take as well as those policymakers and public health officials must take. This includes broad efforts to remove barriers and improve access to evidence-based care for patients with pain, a substance use disorder (SUD) or mental illness, as well as increase access to multiple harm reduction strategies. The new Task Force also will work to more directly address the changing drug overdose epidemic, focus on removing racial, gender, sexual orientation, and other health-related inequities.

“The nation’s physicians must continue to lead by example to help our patients with pain, SUDs and mental illness,” said Task Force Chair Bobby Mukkamala, MD. “But removing barriers requires more stakeholders to join us. This new Task Force is making clear the opportunity we have to reduce mortality and improve outcomes, but we also will be clear with policymakers that failure to adopt our recommendations will prolong the epidemic and our patients’ suffering.”

Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Support patients with pain, mental illness or a substance use disorder (SUD) by building an evidence-based, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and health care workforce rather than continuing a crisis-driven approach that has led to multiple unintended negative consequences, including one-size-fits-all strategies, continued stigma and widespread gaps in data, evidence-based treatment, and prevention efforts.
  • Support coverage for, access to, and payment of comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, multi-modal evidence-based treatment for patients with pain, a substance use disorder or mental illness. Additionally, coverage, access and payment should directly address racial, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic and economic inequities as well as social determinants of health. This includes removing barriers to evidence-based treatment for SUDs, co-occurring mental illness and pain.
  • Broaden public health and harm reduction strategies to save lives from overdose, limit the spread of infectious disease, eliminate stigma and reduce harms for people who use drugs and other substances.
  • Improve stakeholder and multi-sector collaboration in an effort to ensure that the patients, policymakers, employers, and communities benefit from evidence-based decisions.

“These recommendations are vital for our patients who are in pain, have a mental illness diagnosis, or have a substance use disorder to receive compassionate care that is evidence-based treatment and addresses the barriers that patients face in getting the care that they need. MSSNY, as a member of the AMA’s Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, is pleased to support these recommendations as we believe that they will help improve health outcomes for our patients,” said Joseph Sellers, MD, MSSNY President.

Read the full Task Force recommendations

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Calling all Medical School Students! Join MSSNY’s Medical Student Section Meeting on October 2
The MSSNY Medical Student Section meeting is this Saturday October 2 at 9 am. The meeting will once again be held virtually via Zoom. Please invite your fellow students and encourage them to attend to learn more about MSSNY and the Medical Student Section. The event will include guest speakers MSSNY President Joseph Sellers, M.D. and MSSNY Secretary and member of the AMA Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues Frank Dowling, M.D.

Elections will be held for student delegates to the MSSNY House of Delegates.
Click here for more information about this role.

Click here for Medical Student Section Meeting event flyer.

Register for Medical Student Section Meeting here.

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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.

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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.

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