MSSNY eNews: December 10, 2021 – Medicare Cuts Halted

Medicare Cuts Halted


Events this week underscored the importance of grassroots physician advocacy. Thanks to sustained advocacy on the part of our MSSNY physicians and our colleagues around the country, we received good news. On Tuesday evening, by a 222-212 vote, the US House of Representatives passed the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act to hold off most of the cumulative 10% Medicare cuts to physician payment that were scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022.

And late last night we received more good news when the US Senate passed the legislation to halt the Medicare physician payment cuts. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. (See the fourth article below for more detailed information on the legislation).

This is an example of what can be accomplished when we pull together and present a united front to our legislators. The physicians of New York, and around the country, spoke—and Congress listened. We are grateful to the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy urging action to prevent these cuts. And we thank the many of you who contacted your local US Representative and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand highlighting just how devastating and ill-timed this cut could have been.

United we stand, divided we fall. While we have so many more areas where we need our legislators to act to help protect our patients’ access to care, this is an example of how we can accomplish great things when we work together.

Joseph Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP
MSSNY President


Governor Announces Indoor Mask Requirement for Businesses
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places effective Monday, December 13, unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

The press release announcing the requirement noted that, since Thanksgiving, the statewide 7-day average case rate has increased by 43% and hospitalizations have increased by 29%.  The press release further noted that “While the percentage of New Yorkers fully vaccinated continues to increase—gaining 2% from Thanksgiving weekend to now—the uptick is not fast enough to completely curb the spread of the virus, particularly among communities with low vaccination coverage.”

“I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas,” Governor Hochul added.

The press release noted that businesses and venues who implement a proof of vaccination requirement can accept Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, or a CDC Vaccination Card. In accordance with CDC’s definition of fully vaccinated, full-course vaccination is defined as 14 days past an individual’s last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

The press release further noted that businesses and venues that implement a mask requirement must ensure all patrons two years and older wear a mask at all times while indoors.

MSSNY President Talks to CBS/Albany About Elective Surgery Postponements: The solution is not unreasonable, but I don’t know if it’s enough”
In an interview with CBS/Albany last evening for a piece on elective surgery postponements in Capital Region hospitals, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers said  “The solution is not unreasonable, but I don’t know if it’s enough. They seem to have learned some lessons from the prior administration when things were done in a very centrally controlled manner,” said Dr. Joseph Sellers, Medical Society of New York President. “There is more leeway for physicians to attest that a patient would suffer if something was postponed. We have ways to assess the risks and benefits of going ahead with surgeries. So, it’s not a full ban, and that’s good. I think people will get the care they need.” Link to CBS6Albany video.


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AMA, AHA File Lawsuit to Challenge Faulty HHS Rules Implementing Surprise Billing Law
The American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) filed a lawsuit Thursday against several federal agencies challenging these agencies’ misguided implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA).

The lawsuit challenges a narrow but critical provision of a rule issued on Sept. 30 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies. The provision being challenged ignores requirements specified in the NSA which could significantly adversely narrow care options for patients in hospitals across the country.   The rule and this flawed provision are set to take effect on January 1.

The AHA and AMA noted in an accompanying press release that “they strongly support protecting patients from unanticipated medical bills and were instrumental in passing the landmark No Surprises Act to protect patients from billing disputes between providers and commercial health insurers.”

However, the legal challenge is necessary because the federal regulators’ interpretation upends the careful compromise Congress deliberately chose for resolving billing disputes. As noted in the AMA/AHA press release “the new rule places a heavy thumb on the scale of an independent dispute resolution process, unfairly benefiting commercial health insurance companies. The skewed process will ultimately reduce access to care by discouraging meaningful contracting negotiations, reducing provider networks, and encouraging unsustainable compensation for teaching hospitals, physician practices, and other providers that significantly benefit patients and communities.”

Specifically, the federal regulation directs arbiters under independent dispute resolution (IDR) to presume that the health insurer’s self-determined median in-network rate is the appropriate out-of-network rate and limiting when and how other factors come into play. The lawsuit argues that the regulations are an improper deviation of the law as written by Congress which set forth a series of factors to be considered in the IDR without any one factor being the dominant consideration over the others.

Physicians should be aware that the lawsuit will not prevent the law’s core patient protections from moving forward on January 1, 2022. MSSNY has written several newsletter articles regarding other key provisions of the law that physicians should be sure they are following: MSSNY eNews: November 19, 2021 – 10 Key Provisions of No Surprises Act Implementation in NY –

Last month, the Texas Medical Association filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court making similar legal challenges against HHS’ interpretation of the NSA. The Physicians’ Advocacy Institute is likely to file an amicus brief to support this action on behalf of itself and 10 other state medical societies including MSSNY.

Moreover, last month, a bipartisan group of 152 lawmakers urged the Administration to fix the independent dispute resolution provisions, noting the rule’s approach “is contrary to statute and could incentivize insurance companies to set artificially low payment rates, which would narrow provider networks and jeopardize patient access to care – the exact opposite of the goal of the law.”

For additional information, please see copies of the filed complaint and motion to stay by the AMA and AHA.  Please remain alert for further updates.

Senate Passes Legislation to Prevent Medicare Cuts; President Expected to Sign
Last night, the US Senate passed legislation to halt most of the cumulative 10% Medicare physician payment cuts that had been scheduled to take effect on January 1, after the US House had passed the legislation earlier this week. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.  Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Delay the resumption of the 2% Medicare sequester for three months (January 1- March 31, 2022). The legislation then provides for a 1% sequester for the following three months (April 1-June 30, 2022), with the full sequester to be re-implemented on July 1, 2022.
  • Provide for a one-year increase in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule of 3% (0.75% less than the conversion factor boost provided for 2021).
  • Eliminate through 2022 the scheduled 4% Medicare PAY-GO cut
  • A one-year delay in the cuts to the clinical lab fee schedule.
  • A one-year delay in the Medicare radiation oncology demonstration.

“The wheels of Congress don’t always move quickly, but today they did move toward preserving the viability of physician practices and maintaining access to care,” stated AMA President Dr. Gerald Harmon. “Potential reductions in Medicare payments for physician services hung over the heads of patients and practices like a sword of Damocles. The Senate action today, following a similar House vote this week, would delay the reductions and give Congress time to work on reforms to address the flaws in the Medicare payment system.

Earlier this week, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers issued a statement thanking the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy urging action to prevent these cuts, but noted that “we are nearly out of time” and urged “immediate action to help ensure that community-based physicians will still be able to provide the health care services that are expected and deserved by our patients.”

Certainly, the time-limited nature of these actions will necessitate more AMA, MSSNY and grassroots physician advocacy in 2022 to prevent further Medicare cuts.

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MSSNY Calls on Governor Hochul to Sign Bill to Increase PBM Transparency & Limit Insurers’ Mid-Year Formulary Changes: Members Urged to Take Grassroots Action
Physicians are again urged to send a letter asking Governor Hochul to sign two bills into law that are critical to helping patients access the medications they need and to ensuring greater oversight of pharmacy benefit formulary development practices. The deadline to sign or veto both bills is the end of December.  Physicians can send a letter or tweet from here: Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (

The first piece of legislation, (A.1396, Gottfried/S.3762, Breslin), will provide greater accountability and transparency of the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The bill was amended from the version that passed the Legislature in 2019, but vetoed, to address concerns raised in Governor Cuomo’s veto message two years ago.

The bill requires that PBMs be licensed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and adhere to standards established by DFS. It also calls for disclosure of all possible revenue streams, 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.

The second bill, A.4668, People-Stokes/S.4111, Breslin, would significantly limit the ability of health insurers to move medications to higher cost-sharing tiers for their prescription drug formularies during a policy year. The bill was revised from the version that passed both chambers two years ago, but was vetoed by then Governor Cuomo. To address concerns raised in his veto message, the legislation now prohibits the applicability of a mid-year formulary change to a patient who was on the medication at the beginning of the policy year, or suffers 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.

Physicians can send a letter to ask Governor Hochul to sign both bills here: Urge Governor to SIGN two RX bills – Regulating PBMs and Restricting Mid-Year Formulary Changes (

PHHPC Approves Three Regulations to be Adopted by NYS DOH
The New York Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) met on Thursday December 9. During their meeting, the Council approved the following three regulations to be adopted by the New York State Department of Health:

  1. This regulation conforms existing DOH regulations relative to abortion services with the provisions of the Reproductive Health Act (S240) enacted two years ago by the state legislature, and it permits the clinical examination prior to the procedure to be performed through telemedicine.
  2. This regulation allows the Department of Health to extend the deadline by which all hospitals designated as “stroke centers” must initiate a certification process with a certifying organization approved by the Department.
  3. This regulation updates tables and corrects topographical/technical errors in NYS law. It allows the Department of Health to maintain full primacy for delivery, oversight, and management of NY’s public drinking water supply, and it ensures consistency with EPA regulations.

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CDC Strengthens Booster Recommendations for 16- and 17-Year Olds
On December 9, the CDC strengthened its booster recommendations to indicate that everyone 16 and older receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine six months after their primary series. This follows the CDC’s November 29 recommendation for booster doses for anyone 18 years or older either 6 months after their primary vaccine series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or 2 months after their primary vaccine series of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 16 and 17.

For more information, click on the following links:

Guidance for The New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Information for Health Care Professionals about the Screening Checklist for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Individuals 12 Years of Age or Older, and the COVID-19 Immunization Screening and Consent Form.

SUNY Upstate Medical University Physician Survey on Vaccine Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic decline in vaccine uptake. As more people remain un- or under-vaccinated, communities are increasingly susceptible to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. In an effort to combat this reduction in vaccinations, SUNY Upstate Medical University is conducting a survey study among healthcare professionals across the state to assess vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Your answers can help to impact changes in the community as these data will guide under-vaccination from a provider focus. After study closure, up to 5 members from MSSNY who have completed the survey will be randomly selected to win a free copy of the Committee on Infectious Disease, American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book – an important resource on pediatric infectious diseases and vaccinations.

Please consider completing this survey on vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and practices, which should take no more than 10 minutes.  Questions about the survey? Contact


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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.

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.













MSSNY eNews: December 8, 2021 – House Passes Bill to Prevent Medicare Cuts


House Passes Bill to Prevent Staggering Medicare Cuts Following Sustained Physician Advocacy
On Tuesday night, by a 222-212 vote, the US House of Representatives passed the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act which would temporarily hold off most of the cumulative 10% Medicare cuts to physician payment that are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022. The bill is expected to be passed by the Senate as well as part of a larger package to raise the debt ceiling.

Specifically, the bill would extend a moratorium on a 2% sequester cut through March 31, 2022 that had been scheduled to expire at year end 2021. It also would delay a 4% budget-balancing cut known as PAYGO until 2023. Finally, it would provide a one-year, 3% increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule, to offset the 3.75% conversion factor cut contained in the 2022 Medicare payment rule.

Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president of the American Medical Association, praised Congress for “taking a decisive step” and urged Congress to “support this bipartisan proposal and join together again in the new year to develop long-term solutions to address the flaws in the Medicare payment system.”

On Tuesday, MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers issued a statement thanking the many members of the New York Congressional delegation who recently joined a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy urging action to prevent these cuts, but noted that “we are nearly out of time” and urged “immediate action to help ensure that community-based physicians will still be able to provide the health care services that are expected and deserved by our patients.”

Until this is finalized, physicians can send a letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand urging action to prevent steep Medicare cuts here: Be Heard | Physicians Grassroots Network.

Update on Litigation Related to the IDR Portion of the No Surprises Act and Implementation of Other NSA Requirements
The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) will be filing an amicus brief on behalf of itself as well as MSSNY and the other 9 affiliated state medical associations to support the lawsuit filed by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) against several federal agencies challenging its erroneous implementation of the federal No Surprises Act (NSA).

As has been reported in MSSNY e-news, the TMA lawsuit alleges that, in enacting the Interim Final Rule (IFR) on the NSA, federal agencies: (1) improperly failed to follow direction from Congress about how to implement the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process set forth in the NSA by giving undue weight to the health insurer’s self-determined qualifying payment amount as part of the IDR determination and (2) violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to appropriately solicit and incorporate comments from stakeholders.

The American Medical Association together with the American Hospital Association is also expected to file a lawsuit this week in a federal court in the District of Columbia to raise similar legal challenges to the federal agencies’ interpretation of the NSA. MSSNY has had several discussions with the PAI regarding how together they can best assist the AMA in pursuing this legal action, including filing an amicus brief.

Since the NSA’s passage last December, MSSNY working together with many other medical associations across the country have written to and met with federal regulators to encourage rules to ensure a fair implementation of the NSA, including a MSSNY letter to federal officials this week. Like many other groups, the MSSNY letter raised strong objections to federal regulations because, instead of following the statutory language included within the NSA, HHS and other federal agencies designed an IDR process for resolving out of network surprise medical bills that heavily favors health insurance companies in payment disputes by prioritizing health insurer median contract rates over other factors.

The Congressional intent articulated in the NSA was to create an IDR process to protect patients that was appropriately balanced and did not favor either the insurer or the physician in claims disputes. Specifically, the final language adopted by Congress required that numerous factors be considered, including patient acuity or complexity of services, demonstrations of previous good faith efforts to negotiate in-network rates and previously contracted rates, in addition to the insurers’ median in-network rate, without specifying that one factor take precedence over another.

Physicians must also be aware that there are numerous other changes required by the NSA that will take effect January 1 that will impact New York physicians which are not the subject of these legal actions. MSSNY has written multiple newsletter articles that have sought to educate physicians regarding many of the important differences between the NSA and New York’s existing surprise bill law.


MSSNY Comments on COVID Vaccines for Children in USA Today Network and Boosters for Adults on WROC-TV
Some New York Counties Lagging Behind Statewide Rate Of COVID-19 Vaccinations Among Children Aged 5 To 11
The Lower Hudson Valley (NY) Journal News (USA Today Network) reported, “COVID-19 vaccinations among New Yorkers ages 5 to 11 have slowed recently and some counties are lagging far behind the statewide rate.” About 18% of children “in the 5-11 age group have received their first dose, but nearly 40 of the 62 counties statewide fell below that rate, state data on Friday showed.” The article added that “last month, parents who anxiously awaited the approval rushed to get children vaccinated in the early weeks, but demand has waned recently, said” Medical Society of the State of New York President Joseph R. Sellers, MD. Dr. Sellers explained, “There is a group of parents who don’t want themselves vaccinated and don’t want to vaccinate their children, and those are very difficult conversations. … Then, there is a group in the middle that are not sure and need some reassurance, and that’s where we as medical professionals are putting our efforts.”

Encourage Booster Shots to Combat Rising COVID-19 Infections in New York
WROC-TV Rochester, NY reported Monroe County, New York is “under a state of emergency…due to being low on hospital bed spaces and COVID-19 cases still increasing.” On Saturday, “the first group of 26 National Guard Medics” were deployed to “help nursing home staff open more bed space to get recovered elderly patients out of hospitals.” Physicians “and government officials believe the next way to curve the rise in cases” and lower hospitalizations “is getting take-home COVID-19 test kits out to pharmacies, clinics, and physician offices.” Still, physicians “agree the best weapon is getting the vaccine, especially boosters with Omicron now rising.” MSSNY President Joseph R. Sellers, MD, said, “What the booster shot does is it takes the immunity to a higher level of immunity and protection. So, anybody who has been out six months from either Moderna or Pfizer or more than two months from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine we recommend getting a booster.”

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MSSNY Tip of the Week: Guide to Value Based Contracting
Value Based Contracting (VBC) is becoming more relevant and widely used. A VBC is a specialized contract between the physician and the insurance company that focuses on multiple areas, including clinical performance and agreed upon pre-determined financial and patient targets that need to be met to achieve rewards (shared savings or bonuses).

A significant component of the VBC is quality-based performance that will yield per-member per-month (PMPM) reimbursement. There is much to know before you enter into a VBC to see if it is right for you. View guidelines from Physician Advocacy Institute to assist in making the right choice for your practice.

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 | 

Why I’m a MSSNY Member: Lance Austein,  MD, FACP

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Tomorrow! MSSNY Micro Masterclass Webinar:  Submitting Formal Insurer Complaints to the Appropriate Agency
Do you have unresolved claims payment issues with an insurer? Not sure how to pursue a resolution? Settle in with your lunch and join Heather Lopez, Director of MSSNY’s Payment and Practice Division, at 12:15 pm on December 9 for a 15-minute masterclass on filing and following up on insurer complaints. Heather will share information on how to determine the proper agency for the complaint as well as providing contact information for each of the agencies. Please register to join us for the webinar.

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Attention MSSNY Resident and Fellow Members
You were recently sent a survey asking for your input as to how MSSNY CAN HELP YOU…WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

Please check your e-mail and submit your responses.  You are a significant part of MSSNY, and your input is important to us! You can also click here to access the survey.

32 Hospitals Directed to Limit Non-Essential Procedures Based Upon DOH Criteria
32 hospitals across the State have been ordered by the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to limit non-essential surgeries and procedures starting tomorrow, December 9, based upon their limited bed capacity within their facilities.  The hospitals were ordered based upon the criteria articulated in a DOH “Dear Administrator” Letter (DAL) issued last Friday December 3.

As noted in a MSSNY e-news article last week, as part of a meeting with MSSNY physician leaders and staff, key health staff to the Hochul Administration indicated that a key goal in implementing such a policy is that it be far more measured than previous iterations of elective surgery restrictions.   A few of the notable components of the DAL include:

  • The restrictions on elective surgeries do not apply to procedures performed at specialty facilities (such as a cancer treatment facility), non-hospital owned ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), office-based surgery practices, or free-standing diagnostic and treatment centers.
  • The limitations will apply to only those facilities that are in regions of the State considered to be high risk (as defined in the DAL) AND have less than 10% bed availability. The 32 hospitals ordered to limit their elective procedures are located in the North Country, Capital District, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Western New York regions of New York State (see list below).
  • It does not impact services provided by ASCs owned by these impacted Facilities unless the Impacted Facility has less than 5% bed availability based on the previous 7-day average
  • The following procedures are considered essential, and not subject to the restrictions.
    • Cancer, including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer
    • Neurosurgery
    • Intractable Pain
    • Highly symptomatic patients
    • Transplants
    • Trauma
    • Cardiac with symptoms
    • Limb threatening vascular procedures
    • Dialysis Vascular Access

Moreover, there is an important “catch all” provision to provide flexibility to physicians and their patients to enable procedures not listed above at these restricted facilities where “Patients are at a clinically high risk of harm if their procedures are not completed”

MSSNY is continuing to work with various groups to identify possible gaps in the availability of urgently needed patient care arising from this restriction on elective procedures. 

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New Compliance Date Set for NY Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary Regulations (Refills and Renewals)
The NY Workers’ Compensation Board recently issued a bulletin providing an update on the implementation of its new formulary regulations (Subject Number 046-1475). The bulletin reminds WC payers to notify injured workers, their physicians, and their health care providers that refills and renewals of prescription medication must conform to the Formulary within six months of the effective date of the regulation. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this deadline was postponed.

On November 15, 2021, the Board announced that refills and renewals must comply with the Formulary before the launch of its new business information system. This system, known as OnBoard: Limited Release (OBLR), is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022. The Board will announce the rollout date of OBLR, via a WCB Notification email, at least four weeks before launch.

To ensure that physicians and injured workers have adequate notice to prepare for the new compliance date, payers must do the following on or before January 5, 2022:

  • Notify physicians and other health care providers of any injured workers they are currently treating with non-Formulary medications so they can either change medications or submit prior authorization requests to continue using the non-Formulary medications.
  • Notify injured workers (claimants) who are currently prescribed non-Formulary medications, so they can discuss medication options with their treating physician or health care provider.

These notifications must be issued by WC payers using a format prescribed by the Chair. Please see Injured Worker Formulary Notification and Provider Formulary Notification for the required format.

The bulletin further notes that health care providers and injured workers may receive WCB notification e-mails to ensure that they are notified of the exact date for compliance. Sign up for these emails using this link.

Please Urge Governor to Veto Multiple Pro-Trial Lawyer Tactical Bills
With just a few weeks left in the year, physicians are again urged to contact Governor Hochul’s office to Urge Governor to VETO Regressive Liability Bills ( that she veto multiple problematic pro-trial lawyer bills that if signed could have the effect of significantly disadvantaging defendants generally in litigation in New York State, including physicians and hospitals defending against malpractice claims. 

While these bills do not have the same gargantuan premium impact as other legislation sought by the trial bar that would expand lawsuits and awards against physicians, they would continue to make New York’s already dysfunctional medical liability adjudication system even more unbalanced and add to New York’s notorious outlier status with regard to medical liability payouts.  These bills include:

  • A2199/S473 – Expands the time period for the imposition of New York’s excessive 9% judgment interest in cases where a plaintiff’s request for summary judgment was not initially granted, but then overturned on appeal. 
  • A8040/S7093 – Changes a long-standing rule that heretofore excluded a “hearsay” statement made by a defendant’s employee.

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Medical Updates & Immunization Site Training for All Healthcare Providers led by Pfizer Vaccines US Medical Affairs
Join Pfizer for a training session to educate providers and immunization staff on the proper use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Session topics include:

  • Use of the vaccine for:
  • Children 5 through 11 Years of Age
  • Individuals 12 Years of Age and Older
  • Storage, Handling, Preparation & Administration for the multiple presentations of the vaccine
  • Recent medical updates regarding the vaccine
  • An overview of healthcare provider resources
  • Question and answer session

These sessions will be updated to reflect new information and changes that evolve. Recent updates will be identified at the start of each session.

To access current and future training sessions, please visit:

NYS DOH Releases New Information on Cannabis Use During the Perinatal Period
The New York State Department of Health’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) website has been updated with a new publication: Data to Action: Cannabis Use During the Perinatal Period: Individual Perceptions and Clinician Advising, New York State, 2017-2018.

On March 31, 2021, the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) was passed for legalizing adult-use cannabis in New York State. The MRTA created a new Office of Cannabis Management, governed by a Cannabis Control Board to comprehensively regulate cannabis in New York State. With legal accessibility to cannabis for medical and recreational purposes increasing throughout the nation, it is important for reproductive-aged individuals in NYS and elsewhere to understand the health effects of using cannabis before becoming pregnant, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. For clinicians, understanding the prevalence of cannabis use, and perceptions of cannabis use among reproductive-aged individuals informs their practice and advances population health.

This Data to Action provides important baseline data on cannabis use among individuals in the perinatal period (before, during pregnancy and after giving birth), their perceptions about cannabis use while breastfeeding, and interactions with providers regarding cannabis use. This information will be invaluable moving forward with the implementation of the new legislation and underscores the importance and need for screening and education for this vulnerable population from health care providers. These data highlight the need for broader outreach to health care providers and public health professionals about the importance of assessing cannabis use and educating people of reproductive age about potential risks of cannabis use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

For more information on the NYS Office of Cannabis Management please visit Sign up for updates here.

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.

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.