MSSNY eNews: March 31, 2021 – Gov. Legalizes Recreational Marijuana


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Gov. Cuomo Signs Bill to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana in New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana into law today. The bill passed by the Senate and Assembly yesterday will create a regulatory system to oversee the cannabis industry, allow limited home growth cannabis as well as expunging an untold number of criminal records.  Here is the link to the statement by Governor Cuomo regarding the signing of this legislation into law: Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis 

Many groups including MSSNY, the NYSPTA, NYS Association of County Public Health officials and various law enforcement associations had raised concerns about the need for additional research into legalized marijuana and the effects on physical and mental health. NY lawmakers legalize recreational marijuana. What to know. 

Legal sales of adult use marijuana will be permitted sometime in 2022, though prior to 2022 cities, towns and villages can pass a resolution to prohibit dispensaries and social consumption locations within their municipality.

Note: We will provide a more comprehensive summary in this week’s Capital Update.

Now, New Yorkers Age 30 and Older Can Get Vaccine
New York State will expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility for those age 30 years and older starting on Tuesday, Governor Cuomo announced on Monday. Vaccine eligibility will be universal by April 6, and then will then increase to those age 16 and older the following week, Cuomo said. It became one of the last U.S. states to take that step.

“Today we take a monumental step in the fight to beat COVID,” the governor said in a statement. “As we continue to expand eligibility, New York will double down on making the vaccine accessible for every community to ensure equity, particularly for communities of color who are too often left behind.”

Gov. Cuomo Today: NYS Progress During COVID-19; State Vaccination Program

  • COVID hospitalizations rose to 4,715. Of the 151,437 tests reported yesterday, 6,488, or 4.23 percent, were positive. The 7-day average positivity rate was 3.43 percent. There were 903 patients in ICU yesterday, up 13 from the previous day. Of them, 523 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 61 New Yorkers to the virus.
  • As of 11am this morning, 29.9 percent of New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose. Over the past 24 hours, 172,128 total doses have been administered. To date, New York administered 9,229,098 total doses with 17.3 percent of New Yorkers completing their vaccine series. See data by region and county on the State’s Vaccine Tracker: gov/vaccinetracker.
  • Collegiate sports can bring fans back to the stands under strict state guidelines beginning April 2. Intercollegiate sports at large-scale venues that hold more than 1,500 attendees indoors or 2,500 attendees outdoors can host up to 10 percent indoor or 20 percent outdoor capacity. All attendees must present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or completed COVID-19 immunization prior to entry. Colleges and universities hosting spectators for sporting events at large-scale venues must notify and coordinate with their respective state or local health department, aligning with the state guidance for professional sports competitions with spectators.

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Become a New York State Citizen Public Health Leader
To continue the fight against COVID and prepare for the next public health emergency, the State launched a free, online Citizen Public Health Training course for New Yorkers, in partnership with Cornell University and supported by the State University of New York. This program will prepare and equip New Yorkers to become Citizen Public Health Leaders and build an informed network of community health leaders across the state. Enroll today.

Pfizer: Vaccine 100% Effective in Preventing COVID-19 in Adolescents
Pfizer said March 31 its COVID-19 vaccine was well tolerated and 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in a phase 3 clinical trial involving 2,260 adolescents ages 12 to 15. Eighteen COVID-19 cases were observed in the 1,129 trial participants who received a placebo, while none were observed in the 1,131 participants who were vaccinated.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the drug maker plans to submit the new data to the FDA in the coming weeks as a proposed amendment to the vaccine’s emergency use authorization, with hopes that the age group can start getting vaccinated before the next school year begins.

Congressional Action to Extend 2% Sequester Reduction Suspension
In anticipation of possible Congressional action to extend the 2% sequester reduction suspension, we instructed the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2021, for a short period without affecting providers’ cash flow.

This will minimize the volume of claims the MACs must reprocess if Congress extends the suspension; the MACs will automatically reprocess any claims paid with the reduction applied if necessary.

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CARECLIX Telehealth: MSSNY Member Benefit
Chronic condition management and tele-behavioral health will remain staples of telemedicine practice. Six of every ten Americans has at least one chronic condition or disease, and one in five is diagnosed with a mental disorder every year. In addition to these two fundamentals, providers who serve their patients through CareClix are already part of a new hybrid healthcare delivery model.

This new model combines the best of telemedicine and facility-based care, moving as much chronic condition and disease management as possible to home-based health. It also expands telemedicine’s patient reach to more conditions and delivery options.

Just of few of the growth opportunities for telemedicine are:

  • Managing heart conditions like chronic pulmonary diseases, congestive heart failure, and strokes.
  • Partnering with providers transitioning to hospital-at-home care for some patients with acute conditions.
  • Providing virtual urgent care with triaging capability and emergency department transfer as needed.
  • Specialized medicine applications in oncology, pediatrics, radiology, pathology, and dermatology.
  • Increased integration of deep learning artificial intelligence with patient electronic health records and other data to predictively identify patients more at risk for complications requiring hospital readmission.
  • Improved at-home medical equipment to better monitor blood glucose levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, as well as applications that can make better use of the highly capable cameras many patients have built into their smartphones.
  • build or improve their telemedicine services ensure they will remain competitive in value-based and increasingly home-based healthcare delivery today and in the future.

Introduction to CareClix Video

To learn more about the CareClix RPM program:
To implement telemedicine for your practice visit:
Have questions? Contact us at 

Optum Pay Improves Payment Program, But Practices Must Act Soon to Avoid Fees
In response to strong concerns from the AMA, many state medical associations and national specialty medical societies, and individual physician practices, Optum Pay modified its electronic payment program to provide downloadable remittance information and up to 13 months of payment data for UnitedHealthcare (UHC) claims at no cost through its basic service option. Previously, Optum Pay had required enrollment in its premium program, which assessed a 0.5% per payment fee, to continue access to this critical information for effective revenue cycle management.

Unfortunately, practices remain limited to only two users in the Optum system through the basic, free option; Optum Pay is evaluating this issue, and the AMA will continue to advocate that practices be allowed unlimited users at no cost.

Practices may have been enrolled in a free trial of the Optum Pay premium program. To avoid incurring a 0.5% per payment fee for UHC claims, practices should cancel their Optum Pay premium enrollment by March 31, 2021. For more information on these Optum Pay changes and for instructions on how to cancel premium enrollment, visit the UHC provider website.


Please Join the NYS Department of Health
Thursday, April 1st at 1 – 2 PM
for a COVID-19 Update for Healthcare providers

To accommodate the large number of participants, find our webinar streaming via YouTube Live (and available for viewing immediately thereafter) on the NYSDOH COVID website for providers:

Audio number and code: 844-512-2950 Access code 5972742#

Registration Now Open!
Veterans Matters: Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients Webinar
Thursday, April 22nd @ 7:30 am

The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled Veterans Matters: Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know about Veterans as Patients live webinar on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:30 am. 

Click HERE to register for the program! View the program flyer HERE.

When:             April 22, 2021, at 7:30 am
Faculty:           Lt. Colonel Lance Allen Wang (Ret.) & Sharran Chambers-Murphy, Desert Storm-era Veteran

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe the unique aspects of military culture and how they impact patients who are veterans
  • Explain the Dwyer Peer-to-Peer program as a resource to assist veteran patients re-acclimating from a group to an individual mentality
  • Review and identify resources to improve physician’s ability to fully treat veterans who are transitioning back to civilian life.

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at or call (518) 465-8085.

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.


The Medical Society of the State of New York is accepting nominations for the 2020 Albion O. Bernstein, MD Award.  This prestigious award is given to:

“…the physician, surgeon or scientist who shall have made the most widely beneficial discovery or developed the most useful method in medicine, surgery or in the prevention of disease in the twelve months prior to December 2020.”

This award was endowed by the late Morris J. Bernstein in memory of his son, a physician who died in an accident while answering a hospital call in November 1940.

The $2,000 award will be presented to the recipient during a MSSNY Council Meeting.

Nominations must be submitted on an official application form and must include the nominator’s narrative description of the significance of the candidate’s achievements as well as the candidate’s curriculum vitae, including a list of publications or other contributions.

To request an application, please contact:

Committee on Continuing Medical Education
Miriam Hardin, PhD, Manager, Continuing Medical Education
Medical Society of the State of New York
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 408
Albany, NY 12210


Dr. Lorna Breen MD
Health Care Provider Protection Act (S. 610/H.R. 1667)

March 25, 2021
The Honorable Tim Kaine The Honorable Todd Young
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
231 Russell Senate Office Building 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Susan Wild The Honorable David McKinley
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives
1027 Longworth House Office Building 2239 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Senators Kaine and Young and Representatives Wild and McKinley:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we would like to thank you for introducing the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act” (S. 610/H.R. 1667). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will help reduce and prevent mental and behavioral health conditions, suicide, and burnout, as well as increase access to evidence-based treatment for physicians, medical students, and other health care professionals, especially those who continue to be overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stigma surrounding mental illness is a well-known barrier to seeking care among the general population, but it can have an even stronger impact among health care professionals. For most physicians and other clinicians, seeking treatment for mental health sparks legitimate fear of resultant loss of licensure, loss of income, or other meaningful career setbacks as a result of ongoing stigma. Such fears have deterred them from accessing necessary mental health care, leaving many to suffer in silence, or worse. In fact, physicians have a significantly higher risk of dying by suicide than the general public.

Ensuring clinicians can freely seek mental health treatment and services without fear of professional setback means their mental health care needs can be resolved, rather than hidden away and suffered through. Furthermore, optimal clinician mental health is essential to ensuring that patients have a strong and capable health care workforce to provide the care they need and deserve.

To ensure patient access to medically necessary care can be maintained, it is vital that we work to preserve and protect the health of our medical workforce. Your legislation will help establish grants for training health profession students, residents, or health care professionals to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, substance use disorders, and other mental health conditions; identify and disseminate best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals; establish a national education and awareness campaign to encourage health care workers to seek support and treatment; establish grants for employee education, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment; and commission a federal study into health care professional mental health and burnout, as well as barriers to seeking appropriate care.

Thank you again for your leadership on this important issue and for introducing this legislation. We look forward to working with you to ensure the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act” is signed into law.


American College of Emergency Physicians
American Academy of Dermatology Association
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Neurology
American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association of Clinical Urologists
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American College of Cardiology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Radiology
American College of Rheumatology
American College of Surgeons
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Gastroenterological Association
American Medical Association
American Medical Group Association
American Nurses Association
American Osteopathic Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Association for Clinical Oncology
Association of American Medical Colleges
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation
Emergency Nurses Association
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association of Spine Specialists
Physicians Advocacy Institute
Renal Physicians Association
Society for Vascular Surgery
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Renal Physicians Association
Society for Vascular Surgery
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons


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 Christina Southard 516-488-6100 x355 • fax 516-488-2188

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

For Rent Medical Office 800 2nd Ave, 806
FOR RENT 800 2nd Avenue, 806 – Fully built out Medical office ready for use – reception area; 2 office/ consultation rooms; 4 examination rooms with plumbing; 1 sterilization room or pantry; 1 file/ nurse room, Total 8 rooms. All examination rooms are set up with plumbing and cabinetry.  24/7 doorman/ Elevators. Central location, Grand Central Station, buses Subways. Rent: $65 per Rentable Sq Ft; Sq Ft: 1,482 Rentable; Gross Lease. Showings or video contact Maya – Broker – or mobile 646-258-4460 listing information

800 2nd Ave Lobby800 2nd Ave Hallway

Allergy Practice For Sale, Forest Hills, NY
Founded in 1988, this well-established Single Practitioner Allergy Practice has over 3500 active patients, with very positive patient reviews. The office is only one of a few in the area, but patients are seen from throughout the NYC Metropolitan Area, as well as Long Island. Potential for growth. Centrally located next to major public transportation.  Retirement planned. Lease is assignable. Well-trained, extremely personable staff of three, including a Registered Nurse. Payer mix85% private, 10% Medicare 5% other. Email any questions to:

Two (2) Prime Commercial Spaces
Two (2) affordable office spaces available for immediate occupancy.  Located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn,  surrounded by multiple co-ops and private homes.  Space can be viewed at your convenience. Price negotiable. Call: Avi 212-736-3680 ext. 15


NYS Jobs LogoReview Vacancy

Date Posted: 03/23/21 Applications Due: 04/06/21 Vacancy ID: 85272

Position Information 

Agency Health, Department of
Title Health Program Director 2 -TBD
Occupational Category  

Other Professional Careers

Salary Grade 665
Bargaining Unit M/C – Management / Confidential (Unrepresented)
Salary Range From $122092 to $154253 Annually
Employment Type Full-Time
Appointment Type Permanent
Jurisdictional Class Non-competitive Class
Travel Percentage 10%



Hours Per Week




From 8:30 AM
To 4:30 PM
Flextime allowed? No
Mandatory overtime? No
Compressed workweek allowed?  


Telecommuting allowed?  



County Albany
Street Address CCH; Division of Family Health

Corning Tower, ESP

City Albany
State NY
Zip Code 12237

Job Specifics 

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 substitution. Please refer to full listing

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