NEWS CAPSULES

 

 2024

 

May 17, 2024

May 10, 2024

May 3, 2024

April 25, 2024 

April 19, 2024

April 12, 2024

April 5, 2024

March 22, 2024

March 15, 2024

March 8, 2024

March 1, 2024 

February 23, 2024

February 16, 2024

February 9, 2024

February 2, 2024

January 26, 2024

January 19, 2024

January 12, 2024

January 5, 2024

 

 

2023 

 

December 8, 2023

December 1, 2023 

November 17, 2023

November 10, 2023

November 3, 2023

October 27, 2023

October 20, 2023

October 13, 2023

October 6, 2023

September 29, 2023

September 22, 2023

September 15, 2023

September 8, 2023

September 1, 2023

August 25, 2023

August 18, 2023

August 11, 2023

August 4, 2023

July 28, 2023

July 21, 2023

July 14, 2023

July 7, 2023

June 30, 2023

June 23, 2023

June 16, 2023

June 9, 2023

June 2, 2023

May 26, 2023

May 19, 2023

May 12, 2023

May 5, 2023

April 21, 2023

April 14, 2023

April 7, 2023

March 31, 2023

March 24, 2023

March 17, 2023

March 10, 2023

March 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

January 27, 2023

January 6, 2023

January 20, 2023

 

May 17, 2024

Announcing NYCMS Officers, Directors & Delegates:

The New York County Medical Society is proud to announce the following slate selected by the Society’s Committee on Nominations. If no other nominations are received, the slate will be elected at the Annual Meeting on June 17, 2024.

Officers

  • Mark Milstein, MD, President–Elect
  • Richard Schutzer, MD, Vice President
  • Aaron Kithcart, MD,  Secretary
  • Ksenija Belsley, MD, Assistant Secretary
  • Stuart Gitlow, MD, Treasurer
  • Maria LoTempio, MD,  Assistant Treasurer
  • Thomas Sterry, MD,  Trustee

          

     Board Members At Large

  • Jill Baron, MD
  • Clifford Bassett, MD
  • Michael Borecky, MD
  • Connie DiMari, MD
  • Loren Wissner Greene, MD
  • Henry Magliato, MD
  • Purvi Parikh, MD
  • Anita Ravi, MD
  • Ami Shah, MD
  • Richard Silvera, MD

    Delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)

  • Joshua M. Cohen, MD
  • Erick Eiting, MD
  • Stuart Gitlow, MD
  • Michael Goldstein, MD, JD
  • Loren Wissner Greene, MD
  • Keith LaScalea, MD
  • Mark Milstein, MD
  • Gabrielle Shapiro, MD

                      Alternate Delegates to MSSNY

  • Clifford Bassett, MD
  • Ksenija Belsley, MD
  • Aaron Kithcart, MD
  • Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
  • Henry Magliato, MD
  • Anita Ravi, MD
  • Eugene E. Weise, MD

For more information, please contact Nick Novak at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Save the Date

CME: Climate Change & Health

Brought to you by the New York County Medical Society

Tuesday, June 18, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Explore actionable steps for office-based physicians, from incorporating exposure history into medical records to counseling patients on environmental health risks and collaborating with Occupational Medicine experts and public health authorities.

Featuring esteemed speakers:

  • Dr. Kathleen Fagan, Occupational Medicine Specialist, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dr. Manijeh Berenji, Clinical Assistant Professor, UC Irvine School of Medicine
  • Dr. Ismael Nabeel, Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, NYC

Registration details are coming soon

 

May 10, 2024

 

NY County Medical Society Advocacy Update: Urgent Legislative Priorities

The NY County Medical Society emphasizes urgent action on scope of practice issues amidst the final weeks of legislative sessions. Legislators are once again proposing bills (A.8378/S.9038) that threaten physician oversight of physician assistants (PAs), risking patient care quality. Click here to urge legislators to oppose this legislation, emphasizing the importance of physician-led, team-based healthcare.

Proposed legislation (S.66-A/A.1262-A) grants psychologists’ prescriptive authority which poses a grave threat to patient safety. Click here to urge legislators to oppose this bill, highlighting the risks of allowing practitioners without medical education or experience to prescribe psychotropic medications.

The wrongful death bill, which has been vetoed twice thanks to the relentless advocacy of NYCMS and MSSNY will be reintroduced again this session. Click Here to urge your legislator to ensure any updates to New York's wrongful death law are balanced with measures to reduce excessive medical liability costs.

Prior authorizations continue to burden physicians and delay patient care. NY County Medical Society supports legislation (A.7268/S.3400) to reform the prior authorization processes. Click here to urge legislators to alleviate this burden and ensure appropriate care decisions.

The "Gold Card" issue (S.2680-A/A.859-A) pertains to insurers' implementation of "Gold Card" systems, intended to provide automatic preauthorization approvals if, for a specific procedure, the physician has racked up approvals 90% of the time. However, insurers have been circumventing these systems by subsequently denying payments, citing medical necessity issues. Following extensive discussions, bill language has been crafted by a coalition including MSSNY, NYCMS and NYS Society of Plastic Surgeons to address these insurer maneuvers.

For more information, please contact Susan Tucker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NGS Medicare Part B 2024 Spring/Summer Virtual Conference

Throughout the month of June, NGS will offer a series of free Tuesday Tutorials. Each Tuesday, NGS will host a daylong series of educational sessions covering a wide range of topics:

Week 1: Evaluation and Management Issues – Tuesday June, 4 2024

Topics: Evaluation and management issues, featuring informative sessions and Q&A opportunities.

Week 2: Appeals, Top Claim Errors, and MoreTuesday June 11 2024

Topics: Learn about appeals processes, common claim errors, and other important topics relevant to Medicare Part B billing.

Week 3: Medicare Secondary Payer Topics- Tuesday, June 18 2024

Topics: Medicare Secondary Payer topics and gain valuable insights into navigating this complex area of Medicare billing.

Week 4: Proper Claim Submission and Avoiding Unprocessable Claims, Tuesday, June 25 2024

Topics: Explore proper claim submission procedures and learn how to avoid unprocessable claims, ensuring efficient billing processes.

Stay tuned for information regarding special sessions addressing areas such as modifiers and "incident to" billing, providing clarity and guidance.

To register for the NGS Medicare Part B 2024 Spring/Summer Virtual Conference, please click here.

 

Doctors Company / NYCMS Webinar on May 15th – Reuse slide from last week.

Save the Date

NYCMS CME: Climate Change & Health

Tuesday, June 18, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Explore actionable steps for office-based physicians, from incorporating exposure history into medical records to counseling patients on environmental health risks and collaborating with Occupational Medicine experts and public health authorities.

Featuring esteemed speakers:

  • Dr. Kathleen Fagan, Occupational Medicine Specialist, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dr. Manijeh Berenji, Clinical Assistant Professor, UC Irvine School of Medicine
  • Dr. Ismael Nabeel, Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, NYC

Stay tuned for registration details.

MSSNY’s Second Tuesdays Open Agenda Call

Get answers to your Medicare questions.

Heather Lopez, Director of Physician Payment & Practice at MSSNY is an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement. She will be facilitating a meeting with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services) NYCMS members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers.

Date: Tuesday, May 14th

Time: 12:00PM

MSSNY Medical Matters CME

 

The Psychological Impact of Climate Change

Wednesday, May 15, at 7:30AM

As the visible effects of climate change become increasingly prevalent, it's crucial to consider the potential psychological implications.

Educational Objectives:

  • Review environmental and societal consequences of climate change and general concepts of disaster prevention.
  • Describe the mental health impact of climate change, ways to prevent or mitigate this impact, and particularly vulnerable populations.
  • Discuss behavioral interventions to help prepare for ongoing climate change.

Faculty:

  • Dr. Craig Katz, Vice-Chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response
  • Dr. Halley Kaye-Kauderer, Member of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response
  • Discuss behavioral interventions to help prepare for ongoing climate change.

For more information or assistance with registration, please contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


May 3, 2024

Final Weeks of Session Bring Numerous Scope Expansion Bills: 

MSSNY and the NYCMS are actively advocating to oppose the litany of “stand-alone” bills under consideration that would inappropriately expand the scope of services that can be provided by various non-physicians without adequate physician involvement. Make your voice heard! For how to send messages, email Susan Tucker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

•  S.66-A/A.1262-A which would grant prescribing rights to psychologists similar to psychiatrists. 

• A.8378/S.9038 which would allow Physician Assistants (PAs) to practice independently without physician oversight after 8,000 hours of practice. 

• A.2217/S.2254 which would significantly expand the scope of practice of a podiatrist to treat conditions of the ankle and leg. 

S.2126 would permit PAs to perform fluoroscopy without adequate physician supervision. 

•  A.6958-A/S.769-A which would allow Nurse Anesthetists to administer anesthesia with reduced physician oversight. 

A2300/S3361 – removes all time/visit limitations on patient access to physical therapy services without referral from a physician 

To learn how you can help, please contact Susan Tucker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 Breaking News: FTC Enacts New Rule to Limit Non-Compete Agreements 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made a landmark decision to prohibit "non-compete" clauses in a wide range of employment contracts. This rule has sparked significant discussion, particularly within the healthcare sector. One pressing question is whether this rule applies to non-profit hospitals. According to recent clarification, it does. (MSSNY had initial concerns regarding its impact on smaller medical practices versus larger non-profit health systems.)

 

Further scrutiny reveals that certain exceptions will exist, particularly for hospital-employed physicians. Only those with overarching policymaking authority will be exempt from this prohibition. Notably, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has challenged the FTC's authority in implementing these regulations. Concurrently, MSSNY is actively pursuing state-level legislation to address this issue. For more insights, refer to the FTC's fact sheet:

 Join the Advocacy Efforts: Amidst the ongoing state legislative session, NYCMS continues its unwavering commitment to advocating for physicians' interests across various fronts. Physicians interested in joining this effort are invited to join the NYCMS Government Affairs Committee. Reach out to Susan Tucker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get involved. 

Empower Change with MSSNY: Physicians in New York State hold a unique opportunity to shape healthcare policies by participating in MSSNY committees. Your insights and experiences are invaluable in steering medical policy discussions and advocating for patient-centered care. Joining a MSSNY committee enables you to drive meaningful change, ensuring that healthcare policies align with the evolving needs of patients and healthcare providers alike. Click here to join. 

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CME: Improve Documentation to Improve Defense: Strategies for Better Medical Records

 

Join The New York County Medical Society and The Doctors Company on Wednesday, May 15, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

 

Explore risk mitigation strategies and ensure sufficient documentation to enhance your defense against liability issues. Learn from Bill Vaslas, Esq., a partner at Vaslas Lepowsky Hauss & Danke with over 30 years of experience in medical malpractice defense litigation. Gain insights into addressing documentation challenges such as delayed entries, addenda, structured verbiage, and incomplete informed consent documentation.

 

Learning Objectives:

  • Reflect on medical liability claims data related to documentation inefficiencies.
  • Understand the importance of accurate and comprehensive medical record documentation.
  • Receive guidance from legal counsel on documentation concerns and avoidance strategies.
  • Implement risk mitigation strategies to address documentation gaps and enhance defense against claims. 

 

Register HERE

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MSSNY’s Second Tuesdays Open Agenda Call 

Get answers to your Medicare questions. 

Heather Lopez, Director of Physician Payment & Practice at MSSNY is an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement. She will be facilitating a meeting with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services) Members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. 

Date: Tuesday, May 14th 

Time: 12:00PM 

Click here to join Heather for Free on May 14th

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Wednesday, May 15, at 7:30 a.m.:  “The Psychological Impact of Climate Change,” a MSSNY Medical Matters CME webinar - Register now!  Climate change’s visible effects are seemingly everywhere of late; what about the possible psychological effects? Faculty:  Craig Katz, MD, vice-chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, and Halley Kaye-Kauderer, MD, member of that committee.  Educational objectives:  Review the environmental and societal consequences of climate change and general concepts of disaster prevention; describe the mental health impact of climate change, ways to prevent or mitigate this change, and particularly vulnerable populations; and, discuss behavioral interventions to help prepare for ongoing climate change.  For more information or help with registration, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

April 25, 2024

 

The New York County Medical Society (NYCMS) is pleased to announce significant achievements from the recently passed New York State Budget. 

One crucial victory is the inclusion of support for telehealth parity, ensuring that payment for telehealth services remains on par with comparable in-person services for the next two years. This provision solidifies equitable compensation for telehealth, a critical aspect of modern healthcare delivery.

 

Equally important are the items omitted from the budget, which MSSNY, NYCMS and the other Societies successfully advocated against. The budget does not remove authorization and funding for the Medical Society of the State of New York's (MSSNY) Committee for Physicians' Health, safeguarding vital resources for physician well-being.

 

We prevented the imposition of a 50% cost share on the 16,000 physicians with Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance coverage and protected physicians' ability to appeal Medicaid Managed Care underpayments through the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process.

 

We also successfully opposed measures that would have allowed Physician Assistants to practice without physician supervision or collaboration, expanded prior authorization requirements for Medicaid prescriptions, and increased damages awardable in wrongful death actions, which would have placed a substantial burden on physicians.

 

Furthermore, the State Budget includes several favorable provisions for physicians. Notably, continuous Medicaid/CHIP insurance coverage for children under 6 is ensured, MSSNY receives an additional $100,000 for physician education programming through the Veterans Mental Health Initiative, and funding for the Doctors Across New York medical student loan repayment program continues to be expanded. 

Looking ahead, NYCMS is monitoring new patient payment requirements, including a separate consent for billing and updated rules on the use of medical credit cards. 

As the state legislative session progresses, NYCMS remains actively engaged in advocating for physicians on numerous fronts. Physicians interested in participating in these efforts are encouraged to join the NYCMS Government Affairs Committee by contacting Susan Tucker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

“Second Tuesdays” is coming (Tuesday, May 14, at 12:00 noon):  Join MSSNY’s monthly open-agenda call with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services).  You’ll be able to connect with the experts and get your questions answered!  Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice and an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement, holds this helpful meeting.  Members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. When the date/time arrives, you can go right in - just click on Connect with the CMS and NGS.  

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CME:  “Improve Documentation to Improve Defense: Strategies For Better Medical Records”:   Join NYCMS and The Doctors Company on Wednesday, May 15, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Explore risk mitigation strategies and ensure sufficient documentation to enhance your defense against liability issues. Learn from Bill Vaslas, Esq., a partner at Vaslas Lepowsky Hauss & Danke with over 30 years of experience in medical malpractice defense litigation. Gain insights into addressing documentation challenges such as delayed entries, addenda, structured verbiage, and incomplete informed consent documentation. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Reflect on medical liability claims data related to documentation inefficiencies.
  • Understand the importance of accurate and comprehensive medical record documentation.
  • Receive guidance from legal counsel on documentation concerns and avoidance strategies.
  • Implement risk mitigation strategies to address documentation gaps and enhance defense against claims.

 ______________________________________________________________                   

NYCMS Announces Nicholas Novak as New Executive Director:

 

Dear Members and Colleagues:  

I am honored and excited to introduce myself as the new Executive Director of the New York County Medical Society. 

This esteemed society has a rich history of advancing healthcare excellence, and I am committed to leading us into a future defined by even greater achievements.  Together, we will advocate tirelessly for our members, pioneer initiatives that elevate our profession and strengthen the bonds that unite us in our shared mission.

I look forward to meeting each of you and working closely to continue to improve and protect public health.

Sincerely,

Nicholas J. Novak

Executive Director

New York County Medical Society

 

 

April 19, 2024 

The New York State Budget is nearing finalization. The New York County Medical Society requests your support to ensure critical provisions remain intact by reaching out to your local legislators as negotiations reach their conclusion. Messages from NYCMS members have been instrumental in keeping these vital issues at the forefront of discussions.

 

  1. Preserve Oversight of Physician Assistants (PAs): Without physician supervision in hospitals and primary care settings, patient safety could be compromised. Take a moment to send an instant message in support of preserving physician-led team-based healthcare. Click here to act now.
  2. Support CPH (MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health): CPH plays a crucial role in treating physicians facing addiction, burnout, and mental illness, enabling their return to providing essential patient care. Click here to help restore funding to MSSNY's Committee for Physicians' Health.
  3. Protect the Excess Layer Program: Governor Hochul's proposal to charge physicians 50% for supplemental excess medical malpractice insurance coverage threatens healthcare providers. Click here to remove cost-sharing for excess medical malpractice insurance.

 

The New York County Medical Society, along with the Medical Society of the State of New York are actively advocating for these essential healthcare provisions.

 If you are interested in joining NYCMS Government Affairs Committee, Please contact Susan Tucker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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MSSNY House of Delegates 

Representatives from the New York County Delegation participated in the 2024 MSSNY House of Delegates. Several NYCMS-developed resolutions were approved. Here are the key highlights: 

  • Resolution in Support: The House supported Dr. Michael Goldstein, NYCMS Past President and Chair of the CME Committee, in his candidacy for the Fourth Congressional District, recognizing his longstanding commitment to NYCMS and MSSNY 
  • Practice Environment: A resolution addressing the need to redesign MIPS (CMS’s quality program) and ensure physician inclusion in the redesign team was approved, with an interesting amendment suggesting the elimination of MIPS or the requirement that all its elements measurably improve patient outcomes.
  • Retail Pharmacies: Concerns were raised regarding obstacles affecting patients' ability to obtain medications without errors or delays. This resolution was referred to the Council for deeper exploration due to its complexity. 
  • Physician Disciplinary Actions: NYCMS advocated for aligning the reporting of physician disciplinary actions on two different NYS Health Department websites, proposing a 10-year time limit for retaining data (except for license revocations). 

The participation of NYCMS and MSSNY in these deliberations underscores their commitment to advocating for crucial healthcare policies and improvements within the MSSNY framework. 

For more information, please visit MSSNY’s website by clicking HERE

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 The Change Healthcare Cyberattack

The recent cyberattack on Change Healthcare has led to additional challenges, with a second cybercriminal group attempting to extort ransom payments from Change's parent company, UnitedHealth Group. Details can be found by clicking HERE

Physicians have been significantly impacted, as highlighted by a recent survey conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA), where over 77% of respondents reported experiencing service disruptions due to the Change Healthcare cyber outage (link: AMA Survey Report). 

Despite these challenges, support for healthcare providers remains available. 

UnitedHealth Group continues to offer advanced/accelerated payments to providers in need, with no immediate plans or timetable for repayment (link: Temporary Funding Assistance Program for Providers). 

Additionally, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) provides similar assistance through accelerated payment programs. For more information, providers can visit the CMS webpage dedicated to Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) Accelerated Payments to Part A Providers and Advance Payments to Part B Suppliers (link: CMS Accelerated Payments Information). 

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CME: Improve Documentation to Improve Defense: Strategies For Better Medical Records

Join The New York County Medical Society and The Doctors Company on Wednesday, May 15, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m

Explore risk mitigation strategies and ensure sufficient documentation to enhance your defense against liability issues. Learn from Bill Vaslas, Esq., a partner at Vaslas Lepowsky Hauss & Danke with over 30 years of experience in medical malpractice defense litigation. Gain insights into addressing documentation challenges such as delayed entries, addenda, structured verbiage, and incomplete informed consent documentation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Reflect on medical liability claims data related to documentation inefficiencies.
  • Understand the importance of accurate and comprehensive medical record documentation.
  • Receive guidance from legal counsel on documentation concerns and avoidance strategies.
  • Implement risk mitigation strategies to address documentation gaps and enhance defense against claims. 

______________________________________________________________

From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration!  From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE

 

April 12, 2024

 

The Negotiations Continue:  Governor Hochul and the legislative houses are actively shaping the final budget for FY2024-25. The NYCMS maintains our advocacy for healthcare priorities throughout these discussions.

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Let's sustain the momentum for telehealth payment parity by advocating for its permanent adoption. The Senate supports maintaining the current parity law indefinitely, However, the Governor and Assembly propose only a one-year extension. During the pandemic, virtual connections were vital for patients and healthcare providers. While in-person visits have increased, telehealth remains essential for patient access to services. Please join the NYCMS in sending a clear message- by clicking HERE.

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New York remains one of the worst states to be a physician, and we don’t want to add to the difficulties via a huge increase in liability costs.  A.9232/S.8485, under discussion in the State Budget, would greatly increase the damages awardable in wrongful death actions. Governor Hochul recently vetoed similar legislation (for the second time), commenting on its “significant unintended consequences” - including an estimated 40% increase in liability costs, which could jeopardize our community healthcare infrastructure. Make your voice heard by contact your legislators by clicking HERE.

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Prioritizing Relief: Advocating for A.7268/S.3400 Amid the Budget Rush

A standalone bill risks being overshadowed in the budget rush. The NYCMS continues to highlight its importance. A.7268/S.3400 addresses excessive prior authorization (PA) requirements by:

  • Reducing insurers' time limit for reviewing PA requests and restricting the time period in which insurers can withdraw or repeat previously granted PAs.
  • Requiring insurers' utilization review criteria to be evidence-based and peer-reviewed.
  • Safeguarding patients' access to necessary prescription medications and diagnostic tests.

Click here to urge your legislators to support Prior Authorization Reform.                   

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Farewell and Thank You: Reflecting on 39 Years at NY County Medical Society

Dear Colleagues,

After 39 years of working for the best physicians you will find anywhere, it is time for me to say thank you and goodbye. I am retiring next week after a long and happy career at the New York County Medical Society, the past twenty-one as your executive director. I may know you because as a newbie, I processed your membership application, or because of a classified ad or newsletter article, or because you had a question (or an answer) regarding an issue important to Manhattan doctors. We may have met on a bus to Albany or at young physician mixer or at an Annual Meeting. It is amazing how many names and faces are familiar and not at all amazing that I will miss you all very much. I leave you in the capable hands of your new executive director, Nicholas Novak (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) who will provide you with the dedicated attention and leadership you deserve. Your patients are lucky to have you as their doctor. Thank you and bless you.

All the best,

Cheryl

Cheryl Malone, CAE, Executive Director Emeritus

New York County Medical Society  

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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

 

April 5, 2024

 

State Budget Is Still Being Negotiated: What do we want? We are calling for language in the budget to establish permanent parity for telehealth services. The New York State Senate sees the issue our way, but the Assembly and Governor Kathy Hochul only want a one–year extension on the existing law. Help us change their minds by clicking on Support Inclusion of Payment Parity for Telehealth Services in Final FY 2024-25 NYS Budget (p2a.co).
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New York’s Prompt Payment Law Needs Teeth: Provider complaints have brought many recoveries for Prompt Payment violations, but the existing sanctions still are not strong enough to make insurers pay all claims in a timely fashion. MSSNY wants penalties and interest to be significantly increased. We’re watching for a bill and will keep you posted.
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Update on NYS Hepatitis C Screening Recomendations for Adults: Beginning May 3, 2024, New York State will require that all persons 18 years of age and older, and persons under the age of 18 who are at risk, be offered a screening test for hepatitis C. These new requirements will align New York State with the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HCV screening recommendations. Hepatitis C infection can be cured; over 90 percent of infected people can be cured with 8-12 weeks of oral therapy. Without treatment, approximately 15 – 20% of adults with chronic hepatitis C infection will develop progressive liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.
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Addressing the Change Healthcare Cyberattack: MSSNY has been in discussions with the AMA, United Healthcare and state and federal agencies about relief steps from insurers and other entities. (In a recent MSSNY survey, 2/3 of respondents said insurers had not informed them about relief efforts.)

Claims Processing by United — Current Status: United has recently announced (see UnitedHealth Group Cyberattack Status Update - UnitedHealth Group) that it has restored Change Healthcare’s electronic payments platform and is proceeding with payer implementations, but how fast claims will begin to be processed may depend on which clearinghouse the physician uses. United also says it has advanced more than $3 billion to providers whose finances have been disrupted by the cyberattack. Providers needing financial assistance can register for the program at www.optum.com/temporaryfunding; they can view pre–populated funding assistance levels, and can use the Temporary Funding Inquiry Form (optum.com). (Alternatively, call (877) 702–3253.)

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Takes Action: DFS continues to press insurers for relief for doctors. DFS has told insurers that they should suspend certain requirements (preauthorizations, reviews, eligibility verifications, appeal and reconsideration time frames, etc.), and has developed a form (NYSDFS: Suspension or Tolling Certification Related to the February 2024 Change Healthcare Cyber Incident) for the provider to certify to the plan that suspension or tolling is necessary, because the cyber incident has had an adverse impact on the provider’s ability to comply with the requirements. Please provide your office’s full name and address, along with NPI#, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; MSSNY will forward it to DFS.

Speaking of Cash–Flow Problems: If a line of credit would help, MSSNY has arranged for designated teams at both Berkshire and Wells Fargo to help you get funding quickly, streamlining the process and saving you time and effort. At Berkshire, contact Shane Rauh (VP, Business Banking Officer, (518) 410–0255) or Sanya C. Lam (VP, Relationship Manager, (518) 857–2027). At Wells Fargo, contact Sam Faltas (Senior Business Banking Relationship Manager, (201) 280–6135).
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Tuesday, April 9, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., Monthly Open Agenda Call with CMS and NGS (National Government Services): Connect with the experts and get your questions answered! Join Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s VP for Physician Payment & Practice and an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement, for this meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month. Members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. When the time comes, click on Launch Meeting - Zoom (zoomgov.com).
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Thursday, April 11: Excellent Virtual CME Programs:

7:30 a.m.: What’s That Spot? (Dermatology; part of the Medical Matters 2023 –2024 series.) Faculty: William Valenti, MD & Kira Geraci–Ciardullo, MD, MPH. Register HERE.

8:40 a.m.: TBI in Returning Veterans (part of the Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025 series.) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

9:50 a.m.: Burn Pits: Psychological and Physical Impact on Veterans (Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

1:00 p.m. Common Claims Against Physicians: A Specialty Review

2:00 p.m. Supply Chain and Medication Resource Challenges: The Risk to Patient Safety

3:00 p.m. 2024 Healthcare Law Review

Register for all or any of the afternoon programs HERE.

Friday, April 12, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.: You’re invited to an in-person event, “Physician Advocates: Working Together for the Good of our Patients and Profession,” at the Long Island Marriott, 101 James Doolittle Blvd, Uniondale, NY 11553. You’ll hear from NYS legislators from Nassau County and from experienced physician advocates, including representatives from MSSNY and MSSNYPAC; you’ll be able to submit questions to the speakers, and network with physicians from around the state who are involved in advocacy at the state and federal levels. To RSVP, please send your name, email, and code: HOD24 to (text) 914-933-7722, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

March 22, 2024

One–House State Budgets Out: Now that the New York State Assembly and Senate have advanced their 2024 “one–house” State Budget proposals, three–way negotiations with Governor Kathy Hochul have begun, aiming at adoption by April 1. We are glad to say that both Houses oppose proposals the Governor has made that could jeopardize patients’ access to physician care. They both oppose her plan to cut $1.2 billion from Medicaid payments to healthcare providers; they say the State should obtain a special three–year federal waiver that could maximize federal reimbursements for Medicaid programs. See Your Guide to the 2024 State Budget Fight | New York Focus and also Lawmakers Reject Hochul's Medicaid Cuts in One-House Budgets.

Both Houses oppose expanding the scope of non–physicians. They are against letting physician assistants (PAs) practice without physician supervision or collaboration after 8,000 clinical hours if they practice in primary care or are employed by a hospital; letting dentists perform screening tests for HIV, hepatitis and diabetes; and letting pharmacists dispense PrEP on a non–patient–specific prescription basis. Please keep reinforcing these points with legislators – send an instant message by clicking on Preserve Physician-led, Team-based Healthcare

Both Houses oppose the Governor’s proposals to: Repeal funding for CPH, MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health (please send messages via URGENT: Help MSSNY Restore Funding for Critical Committee for Physician’s Health (CPH) Program ; limit physicians’ access to the IDR process (click on Retain Physicians' Right to Use Independent Dispute Resolution Process in Medicaid Managed Care Claims ; and impose 50% of coverage costs on physicians enrolled in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program (click on Urge Legislature to Reject Physician Cost-Share for Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program

Both Houses oppose the Governor’s proposals to repeal “prescriber prevails” protections for Medicaid prescriptions, and allow Medicaid to reimburse physicians for injectable drugs at amounts lower than the physicians’ original payments for those drugs. Both Houses oppose her proposal that New York enter the Interstate Licensure Compact. The Compact is supposed to make it easier for physicians and nurses licensed in other states to practice here; but as MSSNY has warned, it might also make it easier for insurers to build low–price out–of–state telenetworks, undercutting our own New York State physicians and nurses.

One last issue: Telehealth. We need both Houses to agree on making payment for telehealth services permanent, but so far the two are not together on this. The Senate is on board with us, but Governor Hochul and the Assembly have proposed only a one–year extension.

We will share updates as budget negotiations continue.
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One More Challenge: The Wrongful Death bill (A.9232/S.8485) has returned. This bill, by expanding the types of damages awardable in wrongful death actions, could increase liability costs by 40%; the Governor has vetoed it twice, noting the potential threats to our community healthcare infrastructure. Please point these problems out to legislators — send a message at Reducing Medical Liability Costs Must be a Critical Component of Wrongful Death Legislative Discussions .
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COVID Cautions Are Not Over: For the general public, the CDC has approved decreasing the COVID–19 isolation time from 5 days to 24 hours if the individual is fever–free (without taking fever–reducing medication) and symptoms are improving — but for healthcare settings, the original guidance is still in place. The CDC says that healthcare workers with mild to moderate illness who are not moderately to severely immunocompromised should isolate until at least 10 days have passed, and until at least 24 hours have passed since the last fever and symptoms are improving. Those who test negative by day 7 can return if fever has resolved and their symptoms are improving; for those with severe to critical illness, the isolation period is potentially longer. (See Hold Your Horses, Health Workers With COVID Still Must Isolate | MedPage Today.)
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MSSNY’s Latest Updates on the Change Healthcare Cyber–Problem: Medicare advance payments available. National Government Services (NGS) has sent out an alert (news - NGSMEDICARE) stating that Part A and Part B providers experiencing cash flow problems from the Change Healthcare cyberattack may be eligible for Accelerated/Advance Payments (AAP). This AAP expansion is only for the duration of the claims processing disruptions associated with the attack. Providers must submit their request in writing using the form on the NGS website (one for each billing PTAN). Requests must be signed by an authorized official of the provider, who is legally able to make financial commitments and assume financial obligations on the provider’s behalf. (Digital signatures and fax requests are acceptable.) Email the request to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Once the review is complete, NGS will send the provider a decision letter using the most expeditious method (e.g., email, fax, telephone), and if the request is approved the advance payments will be issued within five calendar days. For more information from CMS, see Change Healthcare/ Optum Payment Disruption Frequently Asked Questions | CMS.
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MIPS Reporting Delayed: In light of the Change issues, CMS has extended the MIPS data submission deadline for the 2023 performance period until April 15 (originally April 1). AMA and other groups say that the timeline is still insufficient; CMS should automatically apply the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances hardship exception to all MIPS–eligible clinicians.

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) is pushing insurers to waive claims submission rules and gathering information about practices that are having a cash–flow crisis related to the Change attack, to help get relief from insurers. The agency has told plans and PBMs that they “should ensure that there are no delays in health care services, and that prescription drugs remain accessible to insureds.” If you use Change Healthcare and your cash flow is in crisis, please provide your office’s full name and address along with NPI # to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and MSSNY will forward this information to DFS. The DFS has issued a circular letter to insurers stating that preauthorization and review requirements, appeal timeframes, reconsideration timeframes, claim submission timeframes and eligibility verifications should be eased in response to the cybersecurity incident. The DFS has developed a form for the provider to certify to the insurer that suspension or tolling is necessary, because the cyber incident had an adverse impact on the provider’s ability to comply with these requirements. First, you may want to get an overview by looking at the DFS’s Insurance Circular Letter No. 2 (2024) . Then, see the form itself, at NYSDFS: Suspension or Tolling Certification Related to the February 2024 Change Healthcare Cyber Incident.
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NYCMS Nominations Open: Any active member who wishes to make a nomination for elective office in the New York County Medical Society may do so now by alerting the Nominating Committee. In addition, nominations for officers and delegates to be elected at the next annual election may be made in writing by no fewer than 10 active members in good standing between April 1 and May 1. (Members must have paid 2024 dues. Names must be printed next to signatures.) These positions are open for 2024 – 2025: President–Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one Trustee. In addition, there will be between six and twelve at–large seats on the Board. Elections will also be held to fill spots for delegates and alternate delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. Direct nominations to Mark Milstein, MD, Secretary, care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Wednesday, March 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: “Safe Prescriber Pledge” CME (in person), at Williamson Theater, CUNY College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island. Hear from keynote speaker Deepa Avula (Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYC DOHMH) and other professionals in the field about the opioid epidemic, how to combat it, pain control alternatives and where we are now. Dinner reception and naloxone training to follow. Register today HERE
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Thursday, April 11, Excellent Virtual CME Programs:

7:30 a.m.: What’s That Spot? (Dermatology; part of the Medical Matters 2023 –2024 series) Faculty: William Valenti, MD & Kira Geraci–Ciardullo, MD, MPH. Register HERE.

8:40 a.m.: TBI in Returning Veterans (part of the Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025 series) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

9:50 a.m.: Burn Pits: Psychological and Physical Impact on Veterans (Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

1:00 p.m. Common Claims Against Physicians: A Specialty Review

2:00 p.m. Supply Chain and Medication Resource Challenges: The Risk to Patient Safety

3:00 p.m. 2024 Healthcare Law Review

Register for all or any of the afternoon programs HERE.
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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 


March 15, 2024

Society Voices Heard in Albany: On March 12, our contingent arrived in the “Egg” for morning presentations by key New York State legislators and the New York State Health Commissioner, and then fanned out to visit Senator Brad Hoylman–Sigal and Assemblymembers Linda Rosenthal, Rebecca Seawright and Grace Lee. We pushed against negative items in the Governor’s proposed Budget, including her bids to eliminate the Committee for Physicians’ Health, burden Excess Layer Program–enrolled physicians with 50% of medical liability premium costs, and permit physician assistants (PAs) to practice on their own (without physician supervision or collaboration) after 8,000 clinical hours, if they practice in primary care or are employed by a hospital.

Another important topic was the “Gold Card” bill (S.2680A/A.859A). The concept has always been positive — for a specific procedure, physicians with good preauthorization track records can skip the preauthorization step — but we have been concerned about reports that in some instances, even for “Gold Card” physicians, insurers have denied payment (or recouped retroactively), citing medical necessity issues. However, New York County Medical Society members urged language to help solve this problem, which has now been added to the bill.
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On the Federal Front: Congress has mitigated the 3.37% Medicare physician payment cut, but only halfway. Both houses have passed a 2024 appropriations package that includes a measure eliminating about 50% of the 3.37% cut that went into effect on January 1; the net result is a 1.68% increase in current payment levels, which will continue through the calendar year. Says AMA President Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, “The need to stop the annual cycle of pay cuts and patches and enact permanent Medicare payment reforms could not be more clear . . . Physicians are the only providers who do not receive automatic inflation updates to their Medicare payments, and they are the only group experiencing a payment cut this year despite high inflation.”
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Nominations Open: Any active member who wishes to make a nomination for elective office in the New York County Medical Society may do so now by alerting the Nominating Committee. In addition, nominations for officers and delegates to be elected at the next annual election may be made in writing by no fewer than 10 active members in good standing between April 1 and May 1. (Members must have paid 2024 dues. Names must be printed next to signatures.) These positions are open for 2024 – 2025: President–Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one Trustee. In addition, there will be between six and twelve at–large seats on the Board. Elections will also be held to fill spots for delegates and alternate delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. Direct nominations to Mark Milstein, MD, Secretary, care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Change Healthcare Cyber Attack: Organized medicine is gathering to help resolve claims problems that have put some practices under significant financial strain as a result of the cyber attack on the Change Healthcare clearinghouse. To help keep practices and hospitals afloat until the ransomware attack can be remedied, MSSNY and other organizations have been urging the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to take steps, including interim payments to keep providers going. In response, the DFS has issued Insurance Circular Letter No. 2 (2024): Department of Financial Services (ny.gov), which states that certain eligibility verifications, preauthorizations, utilization review requirements, and claims submission time frames should be suspended or tolled when necessary, and that plans and PBMs “should ensure that there are no delays in health care services, and that prescription drugs remain accessible to insureds.” Note: DFS is asking for a list of physician offices who are having a cash flow crisis due to the Change Healthcare cyber incident. If you are in this category, please provide your office’s full name and address, along with your NPI number, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and MSSNY will forward this information to DFS.

United Healthcare has issued a status update on the situation, Information on the Change Healthcare Cyber Response - UnitedHealth Group, noting that for most outpatient services, prior authorizations will be suspended for Medicare Advantage and Dual Eligible Special Needs plans through March 31. Timeline to restore functionality to Change systems: (Pharmacy systems:) E–prescribing is fully functional, with claim submission and payment transmission available. (Payment platforms:) Electronic payments will be connected by March 15. (Medical claims submission:) United expects to begin to restore functionality the week of March 18. Expanded funding programs: For “provider partners,” UHC will provide advance funding that represents the difference between historical funding levels and levels post–attack. Optum will provide funding to providers who have exhausted connection options, and will work with a payer that is not providing funding advances. Repayment date for all funding programs will be 30 days.

Help may also be available via CMS. MSSNY and the AMA have been working closely on efforts to waive various Medicare claim submission requirements (including MIPS reporting), and to make available interim payments until the problem is resolved. In response, CMS has announced a new opportunity for physicians who have been affected by the cyberattack and the resulting disruptions with Change Healthcare, to request advanced Medicare payments to help with cash flow disruptions. For details of the program, terms, and the steps needed to apply, see the attached “NGS Advance and Accelerated Payments.” For more information, see: Fact Sheet HERE; CMS Statement HERE. AMA updates HERE.
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Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 a.m. MSSNY is Medical Matters” CME Webinar, “A Primer on Natural & Technological Disasters.” To register, click HERE. Webinar Registration - Zoom. It sometimes seems that there is a constant barrage of disasters, both small and large scale. Physicians play an important part in mitigating these crises; you’ll get perspectives from this interesting session, with Arthur Cooper, MD, past chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, and New York County Medical Society Trustee. Educational objectives: To outline various types of natural and technological disasters, including causes, frequency and impact; to describe the medical impact that natural and technological disasters can have on the population as a whole; and to recognize the role and responsibility of physicians in disaster preparation and response.
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Wednesday, March 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: “Safe Prescriber Pledge” CME (in person), at Williamson Theater, CUNY College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island. Hear from keynote speaker Deepa Avula (Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYC DOHMH) and other professionals in the field about the opioid epidemic, how to combat it, pain control alternatives and where we are now. Dinner reception and naloxone training to follow. Register today HERE
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Thursday, April 11, Excellent Virtual CME Programs:

7:30 a.m.: What’s That Spot? (Dermatology; part of the Medical Matters 2023 –2024 series) Faculty: William Valenti, MD & Kira Geraci–Ciardullo, MD, MPH. Register HERE.

8:40 a.m.: TBI in Returning Veterans (part of the Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025 series) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

9:50 a.m.: Burn Pits: Psychological and Physical Impact on Veterans (Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

1:00 p.m. Common Claims Against Physicians: A Specialty Review

2:00 p.m. Supply Chain and Medication Resource Challenges: The Risk to Patient Safety

3:00 p.m. 2024 Healthcare Law Review

Register for all or any of the afternoon programs HERE.
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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

 March 8, 2024

Nominations Open: Any active member who wishes to make a nomination for elective office in the New York County Medical Society may do so now by alerting the Nominating Committee. In addition, nominations for officers and delegates to be elected at the next annual election may be made in writing by no fewer than 10 active members in good standing between April 1 and May 1. (Members must have paid 2024 dues. Names must be printed next to signatures.) These positions are open for 2024 – 2025: President–Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one Trustee. In addition, there will be between six and twelve at–large seats on the Board. Elections will also be held to fill spots for delegates and alternate delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. Direct nominations to Mark Milstein, MD, Secretary, care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Warn Legislators About Negative Proposals in the Governor’s Budget: Use MSSNY’s instant Grassroots message system to make sure your concerns about your profession and patients known. Click HERE to point out that the PAs’ bid to expand their scope of practice could jeopardize patient safety. (Don’t let hospitals and other healthcare facilities replace physicians with PAs – PAs have far less training.) Click HERE to help keep CPH (MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health) in operation – this program has treated physicians with addiction or behavioral health issues for over 40 years. Click HERE to oppose the Governor’s plan to load 50% of the coverage cost onto physicians who are enrolled in the program. Over 15,000 are enrolled; some might have to limit or even close their practices.
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Come with Us to Albany for MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day. Join us this coming Tuesday, March 12. We will be delighted to have you with us on our Albany bus, or you can travel on your own and meet us there. In the morning we’ll hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), the Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders, and the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health and Insurance Committees; in the afternoon we’ll go on our own prearranged, in–person small–group visits with Manhattan legislators. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; we’re back in New York City by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer HERE. Bring your residents and students. Register HERE.
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Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 a.m. MSSNY is Medical Matters” CME Webinar, “A Primer on Natural & Technological Disasters.” To register, click HERE. Webinar Registration - Zoom. It sometimes seems that there is a constant barrage of disasters, both small and large scale. Physicians play an important part in mitigating these crises; you’ll get perspectives from this interesting session, with Arthur Cooper, MD, past chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, and New York County Medical Society Trustee. Educational objectives: To outline various types of natural and technological disasters, including causes, frequency and impact; to describe the medical impact that natural and technological disasters can have on the population as a whole; and to recognize the role and responsibility of physicians in disaster preparation and response.
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Thursday, April 11, Excellent Virtual CME Programs:

7:30 a.m.: What’s That Spot? (Dermatology; part of the Medical Matters 2023 –2024 series) Faculty: William Valenti, MD & Kira Geraci–Ciardullo, MD, MPH. Register HERE.

8:40 a.m.: TBI in Returning Veterans (part of the Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025 series) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

9:50 a.m.: Burn Pits: Psychological and Physical Impact on Veterans (Veterans Matters 2024 – 2025) Faculty: David Podwall, MD. Register HERE.

1:00 p.m. Common Claims Against Physicians: A Specialty Review

2:00 p.m. Supply Chain and Medication Resource Challenges: The Risk to Patient Safety

3:00 p.m. 2024 Healthcare Law Review

Register for all or any of the afternoon programs HERE.
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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

March 1, 2024

PAs Want to Expand Their Scope: The Governor’s Budget package includes a provision that would let Physician Assistants (PAs) practice without physician supervision or collaboration after 8,000 clinical hours, if they practice in primary care or are employed by a hospital. This approach would make it easier for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to replace physicians, despite the huge gap in training. What can you do to help keep this from happening? First, send legislators an instant message via MSSNY’s Grassroots System – click on Preserve Physician–led, Team–Based Healthcare. Second, come with us to Albany for MSSNY’s Tuesday, March 12, Physician Advocacy Day. We will be delighted to have you with us on our Albany bus, or you can travel on your own and meet us there. In the morning we’ll hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), the Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders, and the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health and Insurance Committees; in the afternoon we’ll go on our own prearranged, in–person small–group visits with Manhattan legislators. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; we’re back in New York City by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer HERE. Bring your residents and students. Register HERE.
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More Negative Budget Proposals to Fight: Click on URGENT: Help Restore Funding for CPH Program, to fight Gov. Hochul’s proposal to eliminate CPH (MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health). For over 40 years, CPH has treated thousands of physicians facing behavioral health or addiction issues; it’s even more crucial now. Click on Reject Physician Cost–Share for Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program. Per the Governor’s proposal, the 15,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Layer program would be required to pay 50% of the coverage cost — which would mean, for many physicians, tens of thousands of dollars apiece.
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Tune into The Doctors Company’s Fascinating February 27 Webinar, “Current Headwinds for Claims, and Measures Taken.” Click HERE. (use passcode y57wY.=P). You’ll hear Doug McCullough, Vice President for Claims, talk about the latest problems in medical liability litigation: “Social inflation” (a pattern of significant increases in costs and verdicts, exceeding general economic inflation); the “reptile theory” (when reptiles are threatened they go into attack mode – something that plaintiffs’ attorneys also know how to do); third-party funding (a third party provides a plaintiff with financial assistance, getting an interest in the potential recovery); the new mind set of today’s juries; and “nuclear verdicts” (jury awards that surpass $10 million, increasing insurance premiums).

By clicking the link below, you certify that you listened to this one–hour program in its entirety. Please check in to record your attendance and evaluate the program to obtain CME. The CME certificate will be released within five business days.

Want CME Credit?
1.) Click on the "Obtain CME Credit" below.
2.) Check in to register your attendance.
3.) Complete the post webinar evaluation.
5.) A CME certificate will be issued within 5 business days.

Please claim credit by March 27, 2024 by going HERE.
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Change Healthcare Suffers Cyber Attack: If your clearinghouse is Change Healthcare, you may be wondering what to do following the cyber attack it recently experience. NGS says: “Medicare Part B Providers can use our provider portal, NGSConnex, for Part B claim submissions. This is a free option, and the provider may already be enrolled with NGSConnex. Please note, NGSConnex does not offer batch claim submission. Claims must be submitted one at a time.” For more information about NGSConnex, click on: NGSConnex - NGSMEDICARE. Alternatively, you may want to explore enrolling with another clearinghouse. For more information, click on: EDI Enrollment – NGSMEDICARE.
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The Congestion Pricing Plan: On February 16, physician representatives from MSSNY’s First District Branch submitted testimony through the MTA’s portal, noting that the plan contained no toll exemptions for patients traveling to hospitals or physicians’ offices. But on February 26, the MTA did announce two exemptions that would apply to disabled patients, at least: One for drivers with disabilities, and the other for taxi or Access–A–Ride drivers who transport people with disabilities. So that is a step in the right direction. Public hearings are planned for early March, and we will see whether exemptions are discussed for other patients, too. The First District Branch has physician representatives from all of the New York City boroughs, including New York County. For more information, click on: MTA announces two exemptions for congestion pricing (ny1.com).
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Three Saturdays in March (March 2, 9, 16), from 7:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.: MSSNY Invites You to the Spring Portion of the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: These interesting webinars are for physicians, residents and medical students. For March 2, “The Importance of Networking,” register at Meeting Registration - Zoom; for March 9, “Enhancing Physician Wellness and Belonging,” register at Meeting Registration - Zoom; for March 16, “Designing Your Medical Career,” register at Meeting Registration - Zoom.
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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

February 23, 2024

This Tuesday, February 27, at 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS and The Doctors Company will present a virtual CME webinar, “Current Headwinds in Medical Claims Litigation: What Are the New Challenges, and What Measures Are Being Taken?” Come to this conference and hear about new problems in medical negligence litigation. Program Objectives: To examine the effect of “social inflation” (a pattern of significant increases in costs and verdicts, exceeding general economic inflation) on the cost of defending medical malpractice claims; to recognize how plaintiff counsel use the reptile theory to influence the jury (when reptiles are threatened or frightened, they go into attack mode); to describe the impact of third–party funding on litigation costs and awards (a third party provides a plaintiff with financial assistance, getting an interest in the potential recovery); to identify the influence and mind set of younger jurors at trial; and to review the trend toward “nuclear” verdicts (jury awards that surpass $10 million). Doug McCullough, Vice President of Claims for Region II of The Doctors Company, entered the medical malpractice arena in 1991 with the Medical Inter–Insurance Exchange (MIIX) and joined The Doctors Company in 2001. He provides oversight on medical malpractice cases in 26 states in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Register HERE

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Keep warning our legislators about negative Budget proposals!  Send instant messages via MSSNY’s Grassroots system: Click on URGENT: Help Restore Funding for CPH Program, to fight Gov. Hochul’s proposal to eliminate CPH (MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health). For over 40 years, CPH has treated thousands of physicians facing behavioral health or addiction issues; it’s even more crucial now. Click on Reject Physician Cost–Share for Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program.  Per the Governor’s proposal, the 15,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Layer program would be required to pay 50% of the coverage cost — which would mean, for many physicians, tens of thousands of dollars apiece. Click on Preserve Physician–led, Team–Based Healthcare.  We must fight moves to expand the scope of nonphysician practitioners – such as, the Governor’s proposal to let Physician Assistants (PAs) practice without physician supervision or collaboration after 8,000 clinical hours, if they practice in primary care or are employed by a hospital.  Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should not be empowered to replace physicians; instead, the goal should be to increase the supply of trained primary and specialty-care physicians across the state.  We must also fight her proposal to let dentists perform screening tests for HIV, hepatitis and diabetes; and her proposal to let pharmacists dispense PrEP on a non-patient-specific prescription basis.

 

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On March 12, talk with legislators about these issues - come with us to Albany for MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day.  We’ll be delighted to have you travel to Albany with us on our bus, or you can travel on your own and meet us there. In the morning we will hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), the Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders, and the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health and Insurance Committees; in the afternoon we’ll go on our own prearranged, in–person small–group visits with Manhattan legislators. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; we’re back in New York City by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer HERE. Bring your residents and students. Register HERE.

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You’re invited to join a MSSNY Committee.  Your experience, perspectives and concern are needed!  There’s a long list of interesting possibilities – Addiction, Bioethics, Disaster Preparedness, Employed Physicians, Health Information Technology, Scope of Practice and more.  You can see the complete list, and sign up if you wish, on the volunteer form.   All applications must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, March 3, 2024. 

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How fast do patients get diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s, so they can start on disease-modifying therapies to slow the progression to later-stage dementia?   It depends on the location.  First, the patient needs cognitive assessment; the wait time for assessment varies widely from state to state, and also on whether the patient is in the city or in a rural area.  What can be done to speed up the process?  One study suggests that primary-care practices could make more use of special brief cognitive assessments, and also that neurology and geriatric practices, which may have long wait lists for appointments, could triage patients more efficiently using blood-based biomarker tests.  Read more at:  Modeling Early Detection and Geographic Variation in Health System Capacity for Alzheimer's Disease–Modifying Therapies | RAND

 

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The 2022-2023 respiratory virus season inspired the term “Tripledemic.”  Has the 2023-2024 respiratory virus season been comparable?  For ideas about this question, tune into MSSNY’s new Podcast, Respiratory Viruses 2023-2024: A Discussion with Dr. Bill Valenti on RSV, Flu & COVID.  Dr. Valenti speaks about ways to prevent and treat flu, RSV and COVID, and what to expect in future respiratory virus seasons.

 

February 16, 2024

Fight Physician–Unfriendly Proposals in the Governor’s Budget: These proposals may be negotiating ploys, but they could also create real problems for physician practices and jeopardize patients’ access to community–based care. Among these proposals: (1) making physicians pay 50 percent of the Excess Medical Malpractice coverage cost; (2) repealing authorization for MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians’ Health (CPH) program; and (3) expanding the scope of practice of physician assistants, dentists and pharmacists. Please do two things: On March 12, come with us to Albany for MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day – we’ll meet with legislators in person to talk about these issues; and right now, send instant messages to the legislators via MSSNY’s GAC (Grassroots Action System).


Planning for March 12: We’ll be delighted to have you travel to Albany with us on our bus, or you can travel on your own and meet us there. In the morning we will hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), the Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders, and the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health and Insurance Committees; in the afternoon we’ll go on our own prearranged, in–person small–group visits with Manhattan legislators. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; we’re back in New York City by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer HERE. Bring your residents and students. Register HERE

Communicate with Legislators Right Now via Mssny’s GAC System: Tell them to oppose the elimination of CPH. For over 40 years, CPH has provided treatment for thousands of physicians facing behavioral health or addiction issues, and last year the Legislature and the Governor agreed to continue the program for five more years. Why are they turning around now? Click on: URGENT: Help Restore Funding for CPH Program. Tell legislators oppose huge new charges for Excess Layer coverage. The 15,000 physicians enrolled in the Excess Layer program would be required to pay 50% of the coverage cost — which, for many downstate physicians, would mean tens of thousands of dollars in new costs apiece. Click on Reject Physician Cost–Share for Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program. Tell legislators to protect physician–led team care. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should not be empowered to replace physicians; instead, the goal should be to increase the supply of trained primary and specialty–care physicians across the state. We must fight proposals in the Governor’s budget that would permit Physician Assistants (PAs) to practice without physician supervision or collaboration after 8,000 clinical hours if they practice in primary care or are employed by a hospital; permit dentists to perform screening tests for HIV, hepatitis and diabetes; and authorize pharmacists to dispense PrEP on a non–patient–specific prescription basis. Click on Preserve Physician–led, Team–Based Healthcare.

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Elsewhere on the Battlefield: So far, Congress hasn’t solved the problems with Medicare payments. In November, CMS finalized a nearly 3.4% cut in physician payments for 2024, which took effect on January 1. Since then several bills have been introduced to either reduce or eliminate the cut, but nothing has yet been passed. At the American Medical Association (AMA) Advocacy Conference, Representative Larry Bucshon, MD (R–Ind.) said it would only cost $1.2 billion to fix these problems for a year. “I mean, it's a rounding error. I'm honestly appalled that Congress won’t fix this." Bucshon thinks that at least some solutions will materialize “either at the end of this month or in March,” when Congress’s short–term spending bills, passed to keep the government funded, will expire. Read more at: Not Passing a Bill to Fix Medicare Doc Pay Cuts Is 'Appalling,' Lawmaker Says | MedPage Today

Parity for Telehealth Coverage: We are pushing to make it permanent. Even with the end of the public health emergency, there is still enormous use of telehealth modalities to deliver care, particularly for behavioral healthcare services. We are working closely with the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) and other specialty physician organizations to advocate for permanency in the budget.

Reducing the Burden of Prior Authorizations: The New York State Senate Finance Committee is considering S.3400 (Breslin), which would reduce a variety of prior authorization (PA) requirements, including prohibiting repeat PA requirements after an initial PA has been granted. Identical legislation (A.7268, Weprin) is before the Assembly Insurance Committee. Please send a letter in support here: Urge Your Legislators to Support Prior Authorization Reform.
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Tuesday, February 27, at 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS and The Doctors Company present a virtual CME webinar, “Current Headwinds in Medical Claims Litigation: What Are the New Challenges, and What Measures Are Being Taken?” Come to this conference and hear about new problems in medical negligence litigation. Program Objectives: To examine the effect of “social inflation” (a pattern of significant increases in costs and verdicts, exceeding general economic inflation) on the cost of defending medical malpractice claims; to recognize how plaintiff counsel use the reptile theory to influence the jury (when reptiles are threatened or frightened, they go into attack mode); to describe the impact of third–party funding on litigation costs and awards (a third party provides a plaintiff with financial assistance, getting an interest in the potential recovery); to identify the influence and mind set of younger jurors at trial; and to review the trend toward “nuclear” verdicts (jury awards that surpass $10 million). Doug McCullough, Vice President of Claims for Region II of The Doctors Company, entered the medical malpractice arena in 1991 with the Medical Inter–Insurance Exchange (MIIX) and joined The Doctors Company in 2001. He provides oversight on medical malpractice cases in 26 states in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Register HERE
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Wednesday, February 21, at 7:30 am.: MSSNY CME webinar, “The Many Faces of COVID,” with William Valenti, MD, Chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee and member of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response. As we enter the fourth year of living (and dying and suffering) with COVID, the only certainty is COVID’s unpredictable nature. For this program, educational objectives are: To describe typical COVID symptoms and variant effects on progression and presentation; to define vaccine fatigue and the impact it has had on upticks in COVID spread; and, to identify methods to employ when diagnosing, treating and preventing the spread of COVID. For more information, or help with registration, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Register HERE.
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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

 

February 9, 2024

Plan to Come to Albany with Us on March 12 for MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day. Fight back against unfair program cuts! Fight expanded practice scope for non-physicians! Fight to reduce hassles with prior authorizations and claim payment! Our NYCMS bus will leave bright and early so we can join physicians from around the state. In the morning we hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), the Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders, and the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health and Insurance Committees; in the afternoon we go on our own prearranged, in–person small-group visits with Manhattan legislators. We’ll warn them about the threats we face in the Governor's proposed Budget, including: Requiring physicians to pay 50% of the Excess Medical Malpractice coverage cost; repealing authorization for MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health (CPH) program; and expanding the scope of practice of physician assistants, pharmacists, and dentists. We’ll also advocate for policies that address public health threats, reduce medical liability costs, remove barriers that make it difficult for patients to access care, and reduce problems with prior authorization and claim payment. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; we’re back in New York City by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer HERE. Bring your residents and students. Register HERE.

Meanwhile, legislators have already asked us for information that YOU may be able to provide. On January 28, we met with New York State legislators and they requested more information about how scope expansion may have jeopardized the safety and well–being of your patients. They want specific feedback on what you have seen when non–physician practitioners have been permitted to practice without physician supervision or collaboration (e.g., during the public health emergency), and patients were affected. Please share any experiences you have had in these situations. Take this SURVEY.
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COVID–19 Treatments Moving to Commercial Distribution: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) reminds you that New York City is seeing high levels of transmission of RSV, COVID and flu. The Department’s 2024 Health Advisory #2) says “Continue to prescribe antiviral treatment for eligible patients at risk for severe COVID–19, to reduce their likelihood of hospitalization and death. COVID–19 oral antiviral treatments have transitioned from U.S. government–managed purchase and distribution to the commercial market; access to Paxlovid at no cost is possible, but most patients with Medicare and Medicaid and those who are uninsured must enroll in Pfizer’s Patient Assistance Program to do so (see Home | Pfizer RxPathways). For more information on outpatient treatment options, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Clinical Considerations for COVID-19 Treatment in Outpatients and the National Institute of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines.
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Be Vigilant for Measles Cases: Measles is one of the most contagious infections (individuals are contagious from four days before to four days after rash onset), and the New York State Health Department is asking physicians in New York City to report patients with suspected measles immediately to the NYC DOHMH. Call (866) 692–3641. Do not wait for laboratory confirmation to report.
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Code G2211 Is Fully Operational: Get paid for extra E/M time that you put in for complex care, and/or when you have an ongoing relationship with the patient. Be sure to use this add–on code where it is appropriate. The definition: “Visit complexity inherent to evaluation and management associated with medical care services that serve as the continuing focal point for all needed health care services, and/or with medical care services that are part of ongoing care related to a patient's single, serious condition or a complex condition.” You list G2211 separately in addition to the code for office/outpatient E/M visit, new or established patient (99202–99215). But note: Don’t use G2211 when you are using modifier 25, “a significant, separately identifiable E/M service by the same physician or other qualified health care professional on the same day of the procedure or other service.” For more information on how to bill using G2211, go HERE.

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Wednesday, February 21, at 7:30 am.: MSSNY CME webinar, “The Many Faces of COVID,” with William Valenti, MD, Chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee and member of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response. As we enter the fourth year of living (and dying and suffering) with COVID, the only certainty is COVID’s unpredictable nature. For this program, educational objectives are: To describe typical COVID symptoms and variant effects on progression and presentation; to define vaccine fatigue and the impact it has had on upticks in COVID spread; and, to identify methods to employ when diagnosing, treating and preventing the spread of COVID. For more information, or help with registration, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Register HERE.
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Tuesday, February 27, at 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS and The Doctors Company present a virtual CME webinar, “Current Headwinds in Medical Claims Litigation: What Are the New Challenges, and What Measures Are Being Taken?” Come to this conference and hear about new problems in medical negligence litigation. Program Objectives: To examine the effect of “social inflation” (a pattern of significant increases in costs and verdicts, exceeding general economic inflation) on the cost of defending medical malpractice claims; to recognize how plaintiff counsel use the reptile theory to influence the jury (when reptiles are threatened or frightened, they go into attack mode); to describe the impact of third–party funding on litigation costs and awards (a third party provides a plaintiff with financial assistance, getting an interest in the potential recovery); to identify the influence and mind set of younger jurors at trial; and to review the trend toward “nuclear” verdicts (jury awards that surpass $10 million). Doug McCullough, Vice President of Claims for Region II of The Doctors Company, entered the medical malpractice arena in 1991 with the Medical Inter–Insurance Exchange (MIIX) and joined The Doctors Company in 2001. He provides oversight on medical malpractice cases in 26 states in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Register HERE.
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From Friday, May 17, through Wednesday, May 22, the New York Yankees Will Hold Its Healthcare Appreciation Celebration! From Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the tickets will include the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. From Monday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 22, the tickets will include a $15 Meal and Beverage Voucher, plus the choice between a tumbler or a Scrub top. All tickets can be purchased HERE.

 

February 2, 2024

Society January 28 Legislative Breakfast a Success: Members heard an address by keynote speaker Amy Paulin, Chair of the New York State Assembly Health Committee, and shared ideas with Manhattan Assemblymembers Alex Bores and Tony Simone. This event, co–hosted with New York County Psychiatric Association and the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, is only the beginning of our advocacy season. It highlighted some difficult, controversial issues, and we are urging all members to take the following next steps:

— Act now to fight proposals to expand the scope of nonphysician practitioners without physician supervision or collaboration – such as those in Governor Kathy Hochul’s initial State Budget. To help us fight for patients’ safety, please:

Tell us your own stories of situations in which you believe unsupervised non–physician practitioners provided care that you believe was delayed, incorrect or inappropriate – possibly jeopardizing patients. Go HERE to share your story.


Send legislators an instant message warning them not to let Physician Assistants (PAs) practice without physician supervision or collaboration after 8,000 clinical hours (these are PAs who practice in primary care or are employed by a hospital). Please click HERE. Watch for more Scope of Practice proposals, including bids to let dentists perform screening tests for HIV, hepatitis and diabetes and efforts to let pharmacists dispense PrEP on a non–patient specific prescription basis.

Help us fight other negative measures that Governor Hochul is proposing. She wants the Legislature to agree to repeal authorization for MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health (CPH) program, which for over 40 years has treated thousands of physicians facing behavioral health or addiction issues. Last year, the State Legislature and the Governor agreed to continue CPH for five more years – so why are they turning around now? Send legislators a letter HERE. Governor Hochul also wants to impose thousands of dollars in new costs on the 15,000 physicians who are enrolled in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program. These physicians would be required to pay 50% of the coverage cost — a nearly $40 million hit to community–based physicians across the state. For many downstate physicians, the new cost will be in tens of thousands of dollars a piece. Send a letter HERE.

Plan to come to Albany with us on March 12 for MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day, focusing on these hot controversies (and more). Our Society bus will leave bright and early so we can join physicians from around the state. In the morning we hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), key legislators and MSSNY experts; in the afternoon we go on our own prearranged, in–person small–group visits with Manhattan legislators. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; We’re back in New York City by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer HERE. Bring your residents and students. Register HERE.

Help us attack problems in retail pharmacies that are making it hard for patients to get the medications they need. We brought this issue up at our Legislative Breakfast and will continue warning legislators and regulators about errors, delays, out–of–stock difficulties and many other obstacles that patients and physicians are concerned about — some, problems due to understaffing in the retail stores, some due to tech glitches, some due to insurer and PBM overcontrol, and some due to other factors. Are there particular drugs your patients are having trouble obtaining? Particular locations that are problematic? Other things you want us to know? We’re gathering information for ongoing discussions. Please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. about issues you want us to include.
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Check Out the Recording of Our Highly Praised January 30 CME Conference, “Healthy Aging – What Is the Process, and How Can We Help Patients?” Go HERE to view. What are the modifiable and non–modifiable risk factors for problems with aging? Which people should be tested for aging–related problems, and when? What is the evidence to show that changes in behavior and lifestyles, with proper medical care, will lead to a healthy and/or successful aging lifestyles? When and illness occurs: What is the level of impairment, and what accommodations are needed to continue to promote quality care? Up–to–the– moment perspectives were provided by Doctor Varinder Singh, Senior Vice President for Cardiology at Northwell Health; Doctor Sofiya Milman, Associate Professor of Endocrinology and Geriatrics at Albert Einstein Medical College; Doctor Alan Manevitz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Payne Whitney–Weill Cornell Medical Center; and Doctor Gayatri Devi, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Northwell Health’s Zucker School of Medicine. The program was planned and guided by Doctor Jill Baron, Chair of our Physician Wellness Committee and solo practitioner in Integrative and Functional Medicine, and Doctor Steven Mandel, Professor of Neurology at Hofstra/Northwell.
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Thursday, February 8, at 6:00 p.m.: CME Webinar, “Diabetes and Diet: The Plant–Based Approach.” Register HERE. Doctor Sapana Shah will discuss how insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes, affects multiple organ systems. This presentation will outline the etiology of insulin resistance and the role of diet in treating the underlying causes. Diabetes risk varies with diet, including diets in the vegetarian category; one study found a 21 percent lower risk among “pesco vegetarians” (vegetarians who eat fish), a 38 percent lower risk among lacto–ovo vegetarians, and a 62 percent lower risk among strict vegans! We’ll talk about how and why a diet that is specifically plant–based can be helpful, with practical information on planning the diet and encouraging patients to follow it. Sapana J. Shah, MD, MPH, DipABLM, is Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School Of Medicine; Attending Physician, Adult Primary Care Center; and Director, Bellevue Plant Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Learning objectives: Participants will be able to: Understand the etiology of insulin resistance, understand the effects of insulin resistance on multiple organ systems, prescribe a diet (the plant–based diet) that treats the underlying cause of insulin resistance, and help patients understand how to reduce or eliminate animal foods from their diets, and how to substitute plant foods for animal foods.
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Friday, February 9, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: You are invited to a screening of “The First Wave,” a National Geographic Award–winning documentary film by Matthew Heineman — “inside one of the New York’s hardest–hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the COVID pandemic.” Hosted by Queens County Medical Society at the Museum of the Moving Image, 36–01 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY. Please RSVP by February 5 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Wednesday, February 21, at 7:30 am.: MSSNY CME webinar, “The Many Faces of COVID,” with William Valenti, MD, Chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee and member of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response. As we enter the fourth year of living (and dying and suffering) with COVID, the only certainty is COVID’s unpredictable nature. For this program, educational objectives are: To describe typical COVID symptoms and variant effects on progression and presentation; to define vaccine fatigue and the impact it has had on upticks in COVID spread; and, to identify methods to employ when diagnosing, treating and preventing the spread of COVID. For more information, or help with registration, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Register HERE.
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Tuesday, February 27, at 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS and The Doctors Company present a virtual CME webinar, “Current Headwinds in Medical Claims Litigation: What Are the New Challenges, and What Measures Are Being Taken?” Come to this conference and hear about new problems in medical negligence litigation. Program Objectives: To examine the effect of “social inflation” (a pattern of significant increases in costs and verdicts, exceeding general economic inflation) on the cost of defending medical malpractice claims; to recognize how plaintiff counsel use the reptile theory to influence the jury (when reptiles are threatened or frightened, they go into attack mode); to describe the impact of third-party funding on litigation costs and awards (a third party provides a plaintiff with financial assistance, getting an interest in the potential recovery); to identify the influence and mind set of younger jurors at trial; and to review the trend toward “nuclear” verdicts (jury awards that surpass $10 million). Doug McCullough, Vice President of Claims for Region II of The Doctors Company, entered the medical malpractice arena in 1991 with the Medical Inter–Insurance Exchange (MIIX) and joined The Doctors Company in 2001. He provides oversight on medical malpractice cases in 26 states in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Register HERE.

 

 

January 26, 2024

New York State Budget Concerns: The time to act is now. We are fighting cuts in the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program — send a letter from Urge Legislature to Reject Physician Cost-Share for Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program (p2a.co). We are fighting plans to remove physician collaboration and/or supervision from non–physicians’ care delivery — send a letter from Preserve Physician-led, Team-based Healthcare (p2a.co).
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Good News on the Gold Card Prior Authorizations (PA) Issue: The “Gold Card” approach (now under discussion in the Senate Insurance Committee) was supposed to relieve certain providers of PA requirements if, for a particular procedure, a certain percent of their PA requests had been approved. However, based on experiences in other states, we were seeing providers performing the pre–authorized procedure and then the insurers refusing to pay. MSSNY has been pushing for bill amendments (guaranteed payments, plus an extension of the time period), and we are happy to report that Senate Insurance Committee Chair Neil Breslin has agreed to include all of these amendments. Stay tuned as we watch the Assembly develop the companion bill; we hope it will contain identical language.
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Tuesday, January 30, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: CME Conference, "Healthy Aging," eligible for 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and free to NYCMS members and non–members. Register HERE. Learning objectives: Attendees will be able to discuss: What are the modifiable and non–modifiable risk factors for problems with aging? Which people should be tested for aging–related problems, and when? What is the evidence to show that changes in behavior and lifestyles, with proper medical care, will lead to a healthy and/or successful aging lifestyles? When and illness occurs: What is the level of impairment, and what accommodations are needed to continue to promote quality care? Don't miss it.
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Thursday, February 8, at 6:00 p.m.: CME Webinar, “Diabetes and Diet: The Plant–Based Approach.” Register HERE. Doctor Sapana Shah will discuss how insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes, affects multiple organ systems. This presentation will outline the etiology of insulin resistance and the role of diet in treating the underlying causes. Diabetes risk varies with diet, including diets in the vegetarian category; one study found a 21 percent lower risk among “pesco vegetarians” (vegetarians who eat fish), a 38 percent lower risk among lacto–ovo vegetarians, and a 62 percent lower risk among strict vegans! We’ll talk about how and why a diet that is specifically plant–based can be helpful, with practical information on planning the diet and encouraging patients to follow it. Sapana J. Shah, MD, MPH, DipABLM, is Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School Of Medicine; Attending Physician, Adult Primary Care Center; and Director, Bellevue Plant Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Learning objectives: Participants will be able to: Understand the etiology of insulin resistance, understand the effects of insulin resistance on multiple organ systems, prescribe a diet (the plant–based diet) that treats the underlying cause of insulin resistance, and help patients understand how to reduce or eliminate animal foods from their diets, and how to substitute plant foods for animal foods.
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Friday, February 9, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: You are invited to a screening of “The First Wave,” a National Geographic Award–winning documentary film by Matthew Heineman — “inside one of the New York’s hardest–hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the COVID pandemic.” Hosted by Queens County Medical Society at the Museum of the Moving Image, 36–01 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY. Please RSVP by February 5 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Tuesday, February 27, at 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS and The Doctors Company present a virtual CME webinar, “Current Headwinds in Medical Claims Litigation: What Are the New Challenges, and What Measures Are Being Taken?” Come to this conference and hear about new problems in medical negligence litigation. Program Objectives: To examine the effect of “social inflation” (a pattern of significant increases in costs and verdicts, exceeding general economic inflation) on the cost of defending medical malpractice claims; to recognize how plaintiff counsel use the reptile theory to influence the jury (when reptiles are threatened or frightened, they go into attack mode); to describe the impact of third-party funding on litigation costs and awards (a third party provides a plaintiff with financial assistance, getting an interest in the potential recovery); to identify the influence and mind set of younger jurors at trial; and to review the trend toward “nuclear” verdicts (jury awards that surpass $10 million). Doug McCullough, Vice President of Claims for Region II of The Doctors Company, entered the medical malpractice arena in 1991 with the Medical Inter–Insurance Exchange (MIIX) and joined The Doctors Company in 2001. He provides oversight on medical malpractice cases in 26 states in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Look for registration information soon.
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Tuesday, March 12: MSSNY’s Physician Advocacy Day: Come with us to Albany! Our NYCMS bus will leave bright and early so we can join physicians from around the state. Fight back against unfair program cuts! Fight expanded practice scope for non–physicians! In the morning we hear presentations by Executive Division representatives (including New York State Health Commissioner Doctor James McDonald), key legislators and MSSNY experts; in the afternoon we go on our own prearranged, in–person small-group visits with Manhattan legislators. Breakfast, lunch and interesting colleagues provided. Our bus leaves Albany around 4:00 p.m.; we’re back in NYC by 7:00 p.m. View MSSNY’s flyer at: MSSNY-Lobby-Day-2024-Flyer-CME.pdf. Bring your residents and students. Registration information on the bus coming soon.

 

January 19, 2024

Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget Means a Fight on Our Hands: Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal has some “pluses” for patient access (e.g., coverage for telehealth services, updated network adequacy standards, stronger enforcement of mental health parity laws), but also some “minuses” that are of great concern. They include repeal of the 40–year-old Committee for Physicians’ Health program, which provides crucial treatment for physicians suffering from burnout and/or addiction, and cuts to the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program, which since the mid–1980s has helped keep physicians in practice in our communities by offsetting the huge costs of medical liability insurance. Also worrisome are proposals to remove physician collaboration and/or supervision over care delivery by non–physicians. Among these are permitting PAs to practice without physician supervision in primary care and when employed by a hospital, and permitting pharmacists to administer vaccines, screen, and to dispense medication for MPOX and PrEP.
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More Scope Issues to Watch: Not all scope issues are created equal. For example, we support permitting Medical Assistants to perform immunizations. We are open to discussion on expanding the role of registered nurses to facilitate Hepatitis B testing, permitting EMS providers to provide care in the community during non–emergent situations, or creating a Paramedic Telemedicine Urgent Care program, which will use rural–area paramedics (and a healthcare provider via telemedicine) to deliver low–acuity emergency services. Look for more discussion of these ideas, with reasoned points on both sides.
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Back Again: A returning issue is having New York join the Physician Licensure Compact. In previous years, MSSNY has warned that if we were to make it easier for out–of–state physicians to obtain New York State licensure (which is how the Compact works), outside mega–entities might set up low–fee out–of–state tele–services that could undercut our own in–state physicians.
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The Budget’s Public Health Approach: The Governor’s preliminary budget has interesting proposals regarding pain management and substance use treatment. Among them: update the State’s controlled substances schedule to include xylazine, new fentanyl analogs, and prescription medications that are regularly subject to illegal distribution; permit healthcare providers in ERs to dispense up to a 3–day supply of buprenorphine; and re–establish a pain–management working group to update best practices, suggest changes in guidelines, and suggest non–pharmacological ways for patients to cope with pain management.
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Standards for Mental Health Networks: In line with the Governor’s message, New York State Department of Health (DOH) is proposing new standards for managed care organizations (MCOs). The MCO’s network would have to be large enough for a patient to get an appointment for behavioral healthcare services within 10 days of request. Access would be improved for a wide range of services, including sub–acute care in a residential facility, assertive community treatment services, critical time intervention services and mobile crisis intervention services. To learn more details, please see the full proposal.
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Masks in Healthcare Facilities: On January 8, 2024, the New York State Department of Health issued an official advisory (Notification_111766.pdf (mssny.org), recommending that all healthcare and residential facilities in New York State institute a facility–wide masking policy, due to a substantial increase in cases of influenza and COVID–19 (at least partially driven by an emerging SARS–CoV–2 variant). “The policy should apply to all personnel while working in areas where patients/residents/clients/ may be present. ‘Personnel’ . . . means all persons employed or affiliated with a healthcare or residential facility or agency, whether paid or unpaid, including but not limited to employees, members of the medical and nursing staff, contract staff, students, and volunteers. Visitors should also be encouraged to wear a mask while in the facility.”
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The ADA and Your Website’s Liability: The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that any “place of public accommodation” (including a physician practice) provide people with disabilities with equal access to goods, services and facilities, and that includes web accessibility. Society Counsel Scott Einiger, Esq., reminds us that “qualified individuals with disabilities” include those with a wide range of “covered impairments” including visual impairments, mobility limitations, deafness, mental illness, epilepsy, and more; he has listed key steps you can take to make your website accessible online (see the attachment, “Risk Management Message”), and will be offering an online course this spring. Physicians are receiving notice from plaintiffs “fishing” for a payout. The time to protect yourself is now.
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Wednesday, January 24, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Medical Matters CME Webinar, “Psychosocial Elements of Infectious Outbreaks: A History.” Register now. Infectious outbreaks, especially those on a pandemic scale, affect nearly every aspect of human existence. Learn more about the history and the psychosocial impact! Craig Katz, MD, vice–chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, will serve as faculty. Educational objectives: Outline common human reactions to infectious outbreaks; recognize factors that influence how people react; and identify how to apply these historical lessons to your own medical practice. You can view the flyer for this webinar here; for more information or help with registration, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Sunday, January 28, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Everyone is invited to the Annual Legislative Breakfast, at New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue (at 103 Street). This is a live event — we’ll be able to see and talk to our lawmakers right there on the spot. We co–host with the New York County Psychiatric Society and the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. With us will be Assemblymembers Amy Paulin (Chair of the Assembly Health Committee), Alex Bores, Inez Dickens and Tony Simone, and City Councilmember Diana Ayala; we hope to be joined by Senator Gustavo Rivera (Chair of the Senate Health Committee), plus other legislators who are particularly concerned about our healthcare system. Topics will include patient safety, hospital closings, consolidation of insurers with pharmacy chains, increasing use of nonphysicians without physician supervision, and other problems that affect all New Yorkers. A major focus will be on problems with retail pharmacies — errors, delays, technological glitches, unilateral flouting of rules — that are making it difficult for patients to receive the medications they need. Sign up now HERE
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Tuesday, January 30, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: CME Conference, "Healthy Aging" eligible for 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and free to NYCMS members and non–members. Register HERE. Learning objectives: Attendees will be able to discuss: What are the modifiable and non–modifiable risk factors for problems with aging? Which people should be tested for aging–related problems, and when? What is the evidence to show that changes in behavior and lifestyles, with proper medical care, will lead to a healthy and/or successful aging lifestyles? When and illness occurs: What is the level of impairment, and what accommodations are needed to continue to promote quality care? Don't miss it.

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Thursday, February 8, at 6:00 p.m.: CME Webinar, “Diabetes and Diet: The Plant–Based Approach.” Register HERE. Doctor Sapana Shah will discuss insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes, has effects on multiple organ systems. This presentation will outline the etiology of insulin resistance and the role of diet in treating the underlying causes. Diabetes risk varies with diet, including diets in the vegetarian category; one study found a 21 percent lower risk among “pesco vegetarians” (vegetarians who eat fish), a 38 percent lower risk among lacto–ovo vegetarians, and a 62 percent lower risk among strict vegans! We’ll talk about how and why a diet that is specifically plant–based can be helpful, with practical information on planning the diet and encouraging patients to follow it. Sapana J. Shah, MD, MPH, DipABLM, is Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School Of Medicine; Attending Physician, Adult Primary Care Center; and Director, Bellevue Plant Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Learning objectives: Participants will be able to: Understand the etiology of insulin resistance, understand the effects of insulin resistance on multiple organ systems, prescribe a diet (the plant–based diet) that treats the underlying cause of insulin resistance, and help patients understand how to reduce or eliminate animal foods from their diets, and how to substitute plant foods for animal foods.
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March 19, 2024, at 5:30 p.m.: Come to the Spring Membership Meeting of the Nassau County Medical Society, and hear Scott Gottlieb, MD, former Commission of the FDA and author of the best-selling “Uncontrolled Spread.” Doctor Gottlieb's public health expertise and his insights into combating infectious diseases make him an authority in the field; he will talk about the challenges we face and the strategies we can employ to effectively combat infectious diseases. At the Hofstra University Club in Hempstead, NY. RSVP HERE.

 

 January 12, 2024

Year–End Legislative Wrap Up: Here are bills we supported that the Governor has now signed into law: A.1673/S.1196 — Requires insurers and Medicaid to cover biomarker precision medical testing when medically appropriate. (Cancer biomarkers can include molecules such as proteins, or genetic alterations such as mutations, rearrangements or fusions.) A.463/S.2677 — Requires insurers to provide details on clinical rationale and appeal steps when the insurer has denied a request for a step–therapy override. A.5985/S.4401 — Requires New York’s Departments of Health and Education to set up a database of CME coursework on nutrition (thanks to MSSNY, this coursework won’t be required for physicians). A.219/S.942 — Changes the scope of practice for athletic trainers (thanks again to MSSNY – this bill doesn’t encroach on the practice of medicine). A.1707/S.599 — Requires drug manufacturers to provide the New York State Department of Financial Services with 60 days’ notice of their intent to increase a drug’s price, if that price has already increased at least 16% in the previous 24 months. A.4907–A/A.6275–A — Prohibits the reporting of medical debt to collection agencies.

Vetoes and Controversies: The Governor vetoed S.3100/A.1278, which would have prohibited non–compete clauses in future employment contracts. There were intense negotiations on a proposed carve out for certain persons who make above a certain threshold (plus other changes to the bill), but no agreement was reached. We all know how controversial this issue is with physician on both sides. Some physicians and specialty societies urged that the bill be signed into law as written, while other physicians (representing large medical groups) urged that it be vetoed or significantly narrowed. Non–competes will continue to be a major source of discussion.

The Governor also vetoed the Wrongful Death Bill, which would have improved survivors’ compensation for harms and losses on the death of a loved one, but would also have caused huge increases in liability costs for businesses, municipalities and our whole healthcare system (including physician practices). The Governor had proposed chapter amendments that would have eased some of the difficulties, but lawmakers rejected the compromise. MSSNY, New York County Medical Society and all county and specialty societies in the State are grateful to everyone who communicated with the Governor, urging her not to let the bill survive in its current form. We do know that these issues will come up again; we understand legislators’ concerns, particularly for low–income survivors, and will work to help shape a viable future proposal.

On the Agenda in 2024: Once again, watch for scope expansion bills. At the end of the 2023 session, the Legislature had not passed a series of inappropriate proposals, including S.66–A/A.1262–A — to give psychologists prescribing rights, A.5012/S.5520 — to permit PAs to practice independently, A.2217–A/S.2254 — to permit podiatrists to treat up to the knee, S.6800/A.6445 — to make permanent current temporary provisions for NPs to practice without physician collaboration, and S.769–A/A.6958–A — to allow CRNAs to administer anesthesia without physician oversight. However, we know that scope issues will come up again soon.
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Wednesday, January 17, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: New York County Medical Society Medicare Part B 2024 Update. Sign up HERE for this presentation from National Government Services (NGS), our Medicare intermediary. The speaker will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Topics will include: The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), final policy changes to the MPFS for calendar year 2024, new developments in Changes in Telehealth, Evaluation & Management, and Behavioral Health, and more!

 

January 5, 2024

Your Calls Did It — Governor Kathy Hochul Vetoed the Wrongful Death Bill: The Wrongful Death proposal had good intentions — improving survivors’ compensation for harms and losses on the death of a loved one — but certain details would have had major detrimental effects on New York State’s municipalities, businesses and healthcare system. Liability costs would have hugely increased, making it difficult for physician practices and healthcare facilities to continue to care for New Yorkers.

The Governor suggested chapter amendments to address key problems. She proposed applying the law only to deaths of New Yorkers 18 and under; removing a provision with retroactivity for existing lawsuits; lowering the statute of limitations from three years to two; rejecting new categories of family members eligible for damages; and establishing a sunset date of three years. But lawmakers rejected the compromise.

MSSNY, New York County Medical Society and all county and specialty societies in the State are grateful to everyone who communicated with the Governor, urging her not to let the bill survive in its current form. We do know that these issues will come up again; we understand legislators’ concerns, particularly for low–income survivors, and will work to help shape a viable future proposal.
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COVID/Flu/RSV Rates Heading Up With Masks Returning to NYC’s Health + Hospitals System: According to H+H, “staff and visitors are required to mask up at all 11 of New York City’s public hospitals, as well as at community health centers and post-acute care facilities.” In New York City, where COVID cases had averaged 900 a day in early December, cases were up to 1,400 a day by December 25 — and an average of 50 people were being hospitalized each day. Details are at NYC Health + Hospitals reinstate mask mandate amid Covid rise | Modern Healthcare.
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Tuesday, January 9, at 12:00 Noon Eastern Time: AMA Advocacy Insights Webinar, “The Latest on Medicare Payment Legislation — and How To Get Involved.” Register now. As 2024 begins, physicians are facing a 3.37% reduction in Medicare payments (absent congressional intervention); lawmakers have until January 19 to act. Congress needs to avert this potentially devastating cut to physician practices — practices that have already weathered the pandemic, a 2% pay cut in 2023, and no adjustment for inflation. Join this webinar to hear what’s happening with Medicare payment on Capitol Hill, what the AMA is doing to fight for legislative solutions, and how you can get involved in the AMA’s Physicians Grassroots Network campaign. Moderator: Willie Underwood III, MD, MSc, MPH, Chair, AMA Board of Trustees. Speakers: Rob Jordan, AMA Vice President, Political Affairs, and Jason Marino, AMA Director, Congressional Affairs.
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Does Your Practice Include Care of Cancer Survivors? The New York State Cancer Consortium and New York State Survivorship Action Team are hosting a series of presentations January through June. (Note that the first presentation is scheduled for January 11, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.) Topics include the lifestyles of survivors, their medical problems, and many more issues. See dates, titles, presenters and details HERE. You can register at that site too.
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Wednesday, January 17, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: New York County Medical Society Medicare Part B 2024 Update. Sign up HERE for this presentation from National Government Services (NGS), our Medicare intermediary. The speaker will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Topics will include: The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), final policy changes to the MPFS for calendar year 2024, new developments in Changes in Telehealth, Evaluation & Management, and Behavioral Health, and more!
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Wednesday, January 24, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Medical Matters CME Webinar, “Psychosocial Elements of Infectious Outbreaks: A History.” Register now. Infectious outbreaks, especially those on a pandemic scale, affect nearly every aspect of human existence. Learn more about the history and the psychosocial impact! Craig Katz, MD, vice–chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response, will serve as faculty. Educational objectives: Outline common human reactions to infectious outbreaks; recognize factors that influence how people react; and identify how to apply these historical lessons to your own medical practice. You can view the flyer for this webinar here; for more information or help with registration, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Sunday, January 28, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Everyone is invited to the Annual Legislative Breakfast, at New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue (at 103 Street). This is a live event — we’ll be able to see and talk to our lawmakers right there on the spot. We co–host with the New York County Psychiatric Society and the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. With us will be Assemblymember Amy Paulin (chair of the Assembly Health Committee), and we hope to be joined by Senator Gustavo Rivera (chair of the Senate Health Committee), plus other legislators who are particularly interested in issues with the healthcare system. Topics will include patient safety, hospital closings, consolidation of insurers with pharmacy chains, increasing use of nonphysicians without physician supervision, and other problems that affect all New Yorkers. A major focus will be on problems with retail pharmacies — errors, delays, technological glitches, unilateral flouting of rules — that are making it difficult for patients to receive the medications they need. Sign up now HERE.
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Save This Date! Tuesday, January 30, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for “Healthy Aging:” How much of longevity is attributable to genetic factors, and how much to family history, biomarkers, lifestyle and environment? Which factors are modifiable and which are non–modifiable, and what steps can patients take? Which patients should get prospective tests, such as full body scans and cognitive testing? When an illness occurs, what is the level of impairment, and what accommodations are needed for quality care? Where do older adults fit in our society — are there more drivers over 80, and should their capabilities be tested? Politicians over 80: Should there be age limits, or terms limits, or both? And what about aging physicians? Sign up information coming soon.
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Save This Date Too: Thursday, February 8, at 6:00 p.m.: Doctor Sapana Shah will discuss “Diabetes and Diet: The Plant–Based Approach.” Insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes, has effects on multiple organ systems. This presentation will outline the etiology of insulin resistance, and the role of diet in treating the underlying causes. Diabetes risk varies with diet, including diets in the vegetarian category; one study found a 21 percent lower risk among “pesco vegetarians” (vegetarians who eat fish), a 38 percent lower risk among lacto–ovo vegetarians, and a 62 percent lower risk among strict vegans. We’ll talk about how and why a diet that is specifically plant–based can be helpful, with practical information on planning the diet and encouraging patients to follow it. Sapana J. Shah, MD, MPH, DipABLM, is Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School Of Medicine; Attending Physician, Adult Primary Care Center; and Director, Bellevue Plant Based Lifestyle Medicine Program, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Sign up information coming soon.

 


December 8, 2023

Coming January 1: 3.37% Medicare Physician Payment Cut: Physicians face yet another Medicare payment cut starting January 1 unless Congress acts before the end of the year. The next couple of weeks are crucial – please contact your members of Congress today and urge them to fix the flawed Medicare physician payment system and cancel the cut before it takes effect. This potential 3.37% reduction comes after three years of consecutive cuts to Medicare services (physicians don’t get inflationary updates, which is one of the reasons why eliminating these potential cuts is so crucial);. If Congress does not act this year, Medicare payments will have been cut by almost 10% in four years. That is unsustainable for our nation's physicians. Due to these past cuts and the potential for additional ones, physician practices and integrated healthcare systems have been eliminating services and will continue to do so – and that includes implementing hiring freezes and delaying system improvements. We are protesting but we need you to act too. Contact your members of Congress today HERE.
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MTA Board Approved Congestion Pricing: Vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th Street will face a $15 fee on passenger vehicles from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekends. A comment period is expected, and New York County, along with an effort through the First District Branch comprised of the five boroughs, is requesting exemptions for patients who travel into midtown for medical care and for midtown hospital employees, many of whom come early and/or leave late (when public transportation delays are often greatest). However, exemptions are uncertain at this point. New York’s 2019 legislation does include exemptions for ambulances and vehicles transporting people with disabilities (as well as for fire trucks, NYPD vehicles and garbage trucks); but in this latest MTA decision round, none of the 122 other groups that have requested exemptions have received them. Mayor Eric Adams has said that although he supports congestion pricing, full exemptions should be granted to school buses, taxi drivers and people traveling to medical appointments; the MTA, on the other hand, says that discounts and exemptions need to be limited to keep overall rates law. Stay tuned as this controversy continues.
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Keep Telling Governor Hochul Not to Sign the Wrongful Death Legislation: This bill — A.6698/S.6636, sometimes called the “Grieving Families Act” — could send liability premiums up 40 percent, and our entire healthcare system could feel the damage. Let’s build the momentum as we get closer and closer to January. Let’s make more and more calls each day, and more and more letters each day — right up to our Special Call Day (December 19) and beyond!

But don’t know where the Governor herself stands. Interestingly, she herself may know about our objections and take them seriously — last year, before her veto, she was actually the one who suggested a medical malpractice exemption. (It was the lawmakers who got in the way.)

But I’ve already called/sent a message. Do it again! Numbers are crucial! If you’ve already called, call again. If you’ve already written, write again. Repeat, repeat, repeat . . .

But I don’t know how to call. Just dial (518) 474–8390 and select Option 1 to leave a voicemail, or Option 2 to connect with the Governor's staff. (Be sure to identify yourself, and state where you are from.)

But I don’t know what to say. Just say, “I am urging Governor Hochul to veto the Grieving Families Act.”

But I don’t know how to send a message. Just click on Urge Governor to Veto Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636) (p2a.co) for a prewritten letter. A few more clicks and off it goes.

But I don’t know the background. Earlier this year, the Governor vetoed a version that could have had a serious impact on our healthcare system, greatly expanding liability (more categories of people could receive awards). The new bill is only marginally different. It does include a shorter statute of limitations, and new restrictions on who qualifies as a victim’s close family member — but it would still include non–economic damages, greatly expanding the damages awardable in a wrongful death action and leading to significant increases in premiums. Both versions of the bill run completely counter to what the Governor did regarding the State Budget: At that time, she fought for substantial investments to help support our healthcare safety net, whereas now, this bill would completely undo those positive steps by putting grave new financial pressures on the providers. The bill should be re–drafted so it can protect our patients’ continued access to our healthcare system.
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Do You Have Patients with Epilepsy? The New York State Health Department has now developed materials to help you comply with the patient education law. You are required to educate patients and their families about SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) if (1) your patient has been diagnosed with epilepsy and is at high risk of SUDEP, and (2) you have primary responsibility for his or her epilepsy treatment and care. SUDEP is the term used when a person with epilepsy dies without warning signs and no cause of death can be found; patients and their families should know what SUDEP is, and how to reduce risk. You can find fact sheets for patient and provider, and updated website text HERE.
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Medical Students, Residents, Fellows: Now is the time to start dreaming up ideas for MSSNY’s Annual Poster Symposium, which will be held at the MSSNY House of Delegates in April 2024. The actual symposium date is April 12, 2024, but the submission deadline is January 12, 2024. Your poster can be about clinical research, health policy, quality improvement or medical education; you can send vignettes on clinical situations or student research. (See the attached flyer for details, and the “Guidelines” attachment for eligibility information.) To find out more, contact Kathy Rohrer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Tuesday, December 12, at 7:30 a.m.: “The Next Pandemic: What Might it Be?” Register now for this MSSNY CME event with William Valenti, MD, Chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases committee and member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee. History has shown us that the next pandemic may be lurking just around the corner, and the best way to prepare is to examine as many possible scenarios as we can. Educational objectives: Categorize types of threats that could manifest as the next pandemic; outline the roles of public health, medicine and science in preparing for the next pandemic; and identify the role of the physician in early detection of potential pandemic conditions. View the flyer for this webinar here; for more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Tuesday, December 12, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.: “Second Tuesday” with CMS. CMS’s New York (Region 2) Office conducts this Office Hours/Open Forum to provide updates on current Medicare topics, and to let physicians and their office staff interact with and ask questions of the CMS staff and representatives of NGS (National Government Services, our local Medicare intermediary). This is the regular monthly meeting, but now they’ve changed the hour to make it more convenient. There’s no need to register; on December 12, click here: https://cms.zoomgov.com/j/1601009631?pwd=WEZnZXJ0eEN5QzNlK1JkWG9IZEcxZz09 (-> urldefense.com) (-> urldefense.com).
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Tuesday, December 12, 12:30 p.m. (Eastern Time): Registration is open for the next webinar in the AMA Advocacy Insights series – “Strategies to address the Nation’s Worsening Drug Overdose and Death Epidemic.” The 2023 AMA Overdose Epidemic Report finds that – despite positive actions from physicians, growth in harm reduction services, and policy advancements – the nation’s drug overdose and death epidemic is deadlier than ever. The annual report details many of the reasons the epidemic persists, largely due to illicitly manufactured fentanyl and the continued lack of meaningful implementation and enforcement of policies that support affordable, accessible, and evidence-based care for patients with substance use disorders or pain.  Expert speakers in this webinar will discuss policy actions that need to be taken, harm reduction strategies that should be implemented more broadly, and efforts by physicians and the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force to end the epidemic.
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Tuesday, December 12, at 6:30 p.m.: Come to the Queens County Medical Society’s Holiday Party, at 112–25 Queens Boulevard, NY. Cocktails! Food! Music! Please RSVP by December 8 – call (718) 268–7300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Friday, December 15, 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.: An Introduction to Working with People with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities Across Health Care Settings. This event, from SUNY Albany’s Center for Public Health Continuing Education, will introduce you to this field. It will discuss the barriers to care and how these patients can be helped by culturally competent care, and will also include a conversation with a person with “lived experience.” The speakers: Kerri Neifeld, M.S.W., who is Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Claire Polin, a self–advocate and member of the “Hear Our Voices” organization, who has participated in many professional speaking opportunities. Register at: Working with People with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities Across Health Care Settings (constantcontact.com).
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Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: New York County Medical Society Medicare Part B 2024 Update. Sign up HERE for this presentation from National Government Services (NGS), our Medicare intermediary. The speaker will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Topics will include: The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), final policy changes to the MPFS for calendar year 2024, new developments in Changes in Telehealth, Evaluation & Management, and Behavioral Health, and more!
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Sunday, January 28, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Everyone is invited to our annual Legislative Breakfast, at New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue (at 103d Street). This is a live event — we’ll be able to see and talk to our lawmakers right there on the spot. We co–host with the New York County Psychiatric Society and the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Sign up now HERE.

 

December 1, 2023

Keep Telling Governor Hochul Not to Sign the Wrongful Death Legislation: This bill — A.6698/S.6636, sometimes called the “Grieving Families Act” — could send liability premiums up 40 percent, and our entire healthcare system could feel the damage. Let’s build the momentum as we get closer and closer to January. Let’s make more and more calls each day, and more and more letters each day — right up to our Special Call Day (December 19) and beyond!

But don’t know where the Governor herself stands. Interestingly, she herself may know about our objections and take them seriously — last year, before her veto, she was actually the one who suggested a medical malpractice exemption. (It was the lawmakers who got in the way.)

But I’ve already called/sent a message. Do it again! Numbers are crucial! If you’ve already called, call again. If you’ve already written, write again. Repeat, repeat, repeat . . .

But I don’t know how to call. Just dial (518) 474–8390 and select Option 1 to leave a voicemail, or Option 2 to connect with the Governor's staff. (Be sure to identify yourself, and state where you are from.)

But I don’t know what to say. Just say, “I am urging Governor Hochul to veto the Grieving Families Act.”

But I don’t know how to send a message. Just click on Urge Governor to Veto Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636) (p2a.co) for a prewritten letter. A few more clicks and off it goes.

But I don’t know the background. Earlier this year, the Governor vetoed a version that could have had a serious impact on our healthcare system, greatly expanding liability (more categories of people could receive awards). The new bill is only marginally different. It does include a shorter statute of limitations, and new restrictions on who qualifies as a victim’s close family member — but it would still include non–economic damages, greatly expanding the damages awardable in a wrongful death action and leading to significant increases in premiums. Both versions of the bill run completely counter to what the Governor did regarding the State Budget: At that time, she fought for substantial investments to help support our healthcare safety net, whereas now, this bill would completely undo those positive steps by putting grave new financial pressures on the providers. The bill should be re–drafted so it can protect our patients’ continued access to our healthcare system.
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Do Surgical Masks Provide Adequate Respiratory Protection? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is drafting a recommendation that would say that they do, but not all experts agree. The FDA, OSHA, and even the CDC itself (elsewhere) have indicated that surgical masks do not offer respiratory protection, especially against aerosol particles — the masks are loose–fitting and don’t filter the air breathed in by the wearer. One of the biggest issues is with the new "air" category, based on a respiratory pathogen’s transmissibility. This new “air” category includes three levels of precautions — "routine," "special," or "extended" — and the guidance states that "routine" air precautions (the lowest level) are to be used with "common, often endemic, respiratory pathogens that spread predominantly over short distances." But some experts say that any distinction between endemic and pandemic pathogens is arbitrary (they are transmitted the same way). The new CDC proposal would give let employers decide whether to implement the recommendations based on their own risk assessment, but is that wise? Read about this interesting, and possibly crucial, controversy at: CDC Advisors' Infection Control Guidance Leaves Us Unprotected | MedPage Today.
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The 2024 Medicare Fees Have Now Been Posted! Visit NGS’s Fee Schedule Lookup - NGSMEDICARE webpage. For how to navigate on that page, see the attachment, “How to Access the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.”
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Medical Students, Residents, Fellows: Now’s the time to start dreaming up ideas for MSSNY’s Annual Poster Symposium, which will be held at the MSSNY House of Delegates in April 2024. The actual symposium date is April 12, 2024, but the submission deadline is January 12, 2024. Your poster can be about clinical research, health policy, quality improvement or medical education; you can send vignettes on clinical situations or student research. (See the attached flyer for details, and the “Guidelines” attachment for eligibility information.) To find out more, contact Kathy Rohrer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Tuesday, December 12, at 7:30 a.m.: “The Next Pandemic: What Might it Be?” Register now for this MSSNY CME event with William Valenti, MD, Chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases committee and member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee. History has shown us that the next pandemic may be lurking just around the corner, and the best way to prepare is to examine as many possible scenarios as we can. Educational objectives: Categorize types of threats that could manifest as the next pandemic; outline the roles of public health, medicine and science in preparing for the next pandemic; and identify the role of the physician in early detection of potential pandemic conditions. View the flyer for this webinar here; for more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. EST: “New York County Medical Society Medicare Part B 2024 Update” Sign up HERE for this presentation from National Government Services (NGS), our Medicare intermediary. The speaker will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Topics will include: The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), final policy changes to the MPFS for calendar year 2024, new developments in Changes in Telehealth, Evaluation & Management, and Behavioral Health, and more!
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Save the Date: Sunday, January 28, 2024: Everyone is invited to our annual Legislative Breakfast, at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue (at 103d Street). It is a live event — we’ll be able to see and talk to our lawmakers right there on the spot. We co–host with the New York County Psychiatric Society and the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

 

November 17, 2023

Is the corporate practice of medicine decimating the medical profession? In New York, chain pharmacies and retailers like Walmart are hosting health care providers that are not just providers of drop-in episodic care – they’re opening multi-specialty facilities that aim to be the patient’s regular health care provider. We have pharmacy-based “retail clinics” and storefront “urgent care” sites: The pharmacy chain rents space to the “clinic” and provides management services and marketing. Granted, that’s different from outright ownership; New York has strong laws barring corporate practice of medicine, and so far, the chain drugstores and retailers have limited the scope of the services they provide.  Last year, Amy Paulin (Chair of the NYS Assembly Health Committee) and Gustavo Rivera (Chair of the NYS Senate Health Committee) introduced a bill concerning this issue, and after the holidays, as the 2024 state legislative session gets under way, we’ll be watching it again. 

 

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This is getting scary: “An algorithm, not a doctor, predicted a rapid recovery for Frances Walter, an 85-year-old Wisconsin woman with a shattered left shoulder and an allergy to pain medicine. In 16.6 days, it estimated, she would be ready to leave her nursing home.  On the 17th day, her Medicare Advantage insurer, Security Health Plan, followed the algorithm and cut off payment for her care, concluding she was ready to return to the apartment where she lived alone. Meanwhile, medical notes in June 2019 showed Walter’s pain was maxing out the scales and that she could not dress herself, go to the bathroom, or even push a walker without help.” We’ve all been reading stories about AI in medicine, and now it’s a major player in Medicare Advantage plans: Unregulated predictive algorithms are used to cut off payments for treatments, even where the patient is likely to die in just a few months. (An appeal can take more than two years.) Patient advocates say that in many cases the algorithms crank out “recommendations that fail to adjust for a patient’s individual circumstances and conflict with basic rules on what Medicare plans must cover.” Read more: See the article by Casey Ross and Bob Herman, STAT, March 13, 2023 – at How Medicare Advantage plans use AI to cut off care for seniors (statnews.com). 

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You can still watch & listen! On November 9, we had an interesting Zoom conversation about Restrictive Covenants in employed physician contracts. The speakers were MSSNY General Counsel Jay Silverman, and NYCMS Past President Michael Goldstein, MD/JD. Must employed physicians move miles and miles away when they decide to change jobs or open independent practices?  Courts used to take a tough line on restrictive “noncompetes,” but times have changed. Find out about this – click on https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/4GQPJYh6rJCA8weSNbp9c12GmjbO9yR5S1AutFNps1QgDHhx1qlO_HRUkoXF5mk.Gy4OvVuilT9ROrPb. (Use passcode Hic3hp*g.) 

 

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Thursday, November 30, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.: All are invited to a dinner event at Westchester County Medical Society, “Physician Payment & Practice.” Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President of Physician Payment and Practice, is an expert at helping physicians navigate claims, denials, delayed payments, etc. In addition, MLMIC will talk about Fraud & Abuse Investigations. The event is being held at Sam’s of Gedney Way, 50 Gedney Way, White Plains, NY. Register HERE

 

Now you can register!  "New York County Medical Society Medicare Part B 2024 Update" will be presented on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. EST. Sign up at:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4236693613723846492 . Speaker will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education.  Topics will include: The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), final policy changes to the MPFS for calendar year 2024, new developments in Changes in Telehealth, Evaluation & Management, and Behavioral Health and more! 

 

November 10, 2023

Learn About TM and “De-stress:” On Thursday, November 16, 7:00 to 7:50 p.m.: Join us for an online introductory talk, “Healthcare Provider Wellness Program through TM (Transcendental Meditation),” with Stuart Rothenberg, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Center for Resilience at David Lynch Foundation, and TM Teacher Cheryl Smith Alvarez. Through the David Lynch Foundation, the is partnering with the national “Heal the Healers Now” initiative to bring our membership an evidence–based wellness program, offering instruction in TM. This program has been documented to reduce burnout, depression, anxiety, and insomnia and promote mental wellbeing in healthcare providers; since its inception in April 2020, it has been implemented in over 80 hospitals nationwide, including 27 in New York City. Click HERE to join the meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 16. __________________________________________________________________

Have You Received an Exorbitant Refund Demand From an Insurer Connected With an Audit? The Society is concerned, and may be able to suggest avenues for assistance. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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How Serious Is the Crisis in Healthcare? Two investigations have led to discouraging findings. Staffing shortages: A study by Definitive Healthcare, a data analytics company, looked at causes (e.g., an aging workforce, and financial strains on hospitals due to labor expenses and declining patient volumes), and also at effects (e.g., patient safety risks, and the erosion of trust in rural areas). See Addressing the healthcare staffing shortage | Definitive Healthcare (definitivehc.com). Burnout: A CDC study found that healthcare workers’ mental health and well–being were significantly worse than those of workers in other essential industries, with depression, anxiety, compassion fatigue, substance use disorders and suicidal thoughts, linked to unsupportive leadership, extended work hours and overwhelming demands. See Vital Signs: Health Worker–Perceived Working Conditions and Symptoms of Poor Mental Health — Quality of Worklife Survey, United States, 2018–2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov).
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Tuesday, November 14, at 6:00 p.m.: Join MSSNY’s monthly (“Second Tuesday”) open–agenda call with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services). You’ll be able to connect with the experts and get your questions answered. Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice and an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement, holds this meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month. Members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. When the date/time arrives, you can go right into the meeting. Just click on Connect with the CMS and NGS.
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Wednesday, November 15, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY CME Webinar, “A History of Pandemics: Lessons Learned,” with Arthur Cooper, MD, past chair and current member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response committee, and NYCMS Trustee. Register now! View the flyer for this webinar here. Throughout history, there have been several pandemics that have had devastating global impacts on public health. Learn more about these events and the lessons that we have learned from the COVID–19 pandemic. Educational objectives for this session: Examine major pandemics from the modern and premodern eras; describe the impact smallpox has had on human health; discuss how bubonic plague was spread throughout the world; summarize the societal impact of recent pandemic influenzas; and explain how lessons of SARS[–CoV–1] could have been applied to SARS–CoV–2. For more information or help registering, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Thursday, November 30, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.: All are invited to a dinner event at Westchester County Medical Society, “Physician Payment & Practice.” Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President of Physician Payment and Practice, is an expert at helping physicians navigate claims, denials, delayed payments, etc. In addition, MLMIC will talk about Fraud & Abuse Investigations. The event is being held at Sam’s of Gedney Way, 50 Gedney Way, White Plains, NY. Register HERE
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Save the Date — Each January We Have an Excellent Medicare Update from National Government Services (NGS): This time it will be on Wednesday, January 17, at 8:00 a.m., and as usual our presenter will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Save that date!

 

 

November 3, 2023

CMS Releases the Final Rule for the 2024 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule: The conversion factor will decrease by 3.37 percent from $33.8872 to $32.7442, with an additional across–the–board cut due to budget neutrality requirements; and, with a budget–neutral implementation of the MEI (Medicare Economic Index) weights, overall physician work payment will be cut by 7 percent. Needless to say, organized medicine and the AMA are continuing to fight — mounting a ful–-scale advocacy effort in strong support of H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, which would provide a permanent, annual update equal to the increase in the MEI and allow physicians to invest in their practices and implement new strategies to provide high–value care. On October 11, the GOP Doctors Caucus Co–Chairs, working closely with the Ways and Means Committee Chairman and the AMA, released a discussion draft of legislation seeking to reform the budget neutrality policies applied to the Medicare physician payment schedule in 2025 and future years, and organized medicine recently sent a letter of support. Stay tuned: The AMA will analyze the final rule and develop a detailed summary in the coming days.
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Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 pm.: Save this date for a fascinating dialogue, “New Approaches to Restrictive Covenants in Physician Contracts” — A Conversation with MSSNY Counsel Jay Silverman, JD, and Michael Goldstein, MD, JD, a New York City ophthalmologist and Society Past President. Unfair “non–compete clauses” affect between 37% and 45% of physicians, the AMA says. These provisions can interfere with the employed physician’s legitimate interest in career mobility; they may be particularly problematic for residents, fellows and young physicians, limiting their opportunities for advancement and restricting their ability to provide care in economically or socially marginalized communities. But the employer has legitimate business interests too — such as, sometimes, a significant investment in recruitment and training. It is not always a David and Goliath situation; not all employers are MegaCorps — some are physician–owned practices that may need to use reasonable covenants to compete with large hospital systems or other dominant institutional employers. How do New York courts balance these interests today? What provisions can be built into the contract “up front,” to help forestall disputes in the future? What are the political chances for the NYS Legislature’s recent restrictive–covenants bill (A1278B/S3100A) – how likely is Governor Hochul to sign it? See what these presenters say, and participate yourself in this live, interactive web conference. Register HERE
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Join Us on Thursday, November 16, at 7:00 p.m. for An Informative, Introduction to TM (Transcendental Meditation): Learn how it can help you buffer stress – especially in today’s difficult world situation. Once again, the David Lynch Foundation will be offering its TM series, with free tuition for five Society members plus generously discounted rates for additional members. Find out about this training series, and how TM can help you decrease the stress response and help you optimize your health. Speaker Stuart Rothenberg, MD, is Chief Medical Officer of the David Lynch Foundation and National Director of the TM Health Professionals Association. Look for registration information soon.
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Thinking About a Change – from Independent Practice to Employment, or Vice Versa? The Medscape Employed Physicians Report 2023 looks at the pros and cons of both types of work — economic issues, administrative burdens, autonomy, work–life balance, generational perspectives — even the unique challenges of different medical specialties. Tough choices; valuable insights.
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Cyber Threats Are No Joke: What steps are crucial for healthcare organizations of all sizes? The U.S. government now has a special website (Healthcare and Public Health Cybersecurity | CISA) full of articles, remedies, links and other resources to address cyber hygiene, build strong cybersecurity foundations, strengthen defenses and stay ahead of constantly evolving threats. This website, called the Cybersecurity Toolkit for Healthcare and Public Health, is from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.
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Tuesday, November 14, at 6:00 p.m.: Join MSSNY’s monthly (“Second Tuesday”) open–agenda call with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services). You’ll be able to connect with the experts and get your questions answered. Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice and an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement, holds this meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month. Members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. When the date/time arrives, you can go right into the meeting. Just click on Connect with the CMS and NGS.
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Wednesday, November 15, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY CME Webinar, “A History of Pandemics: Lessons Learned,” with Arthur Cooper, MD, past chair and current member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response committee, and NYCMS Trustee. Register now! View the flyer for this webinar here. Throughout history, there have been several pandemics that have had devastating global impacts on public health. Learn more about these events and the lessons that we have learned from the COVID–19 pandemic. Educational objectives for this session: Examine major pandemics from the modern and premodern eras; describe the impact smallpox has had on human health; discuss how bubonic plague was spread throughout the world; summarize the societal impact of recent pandemic influenzas; and explain how lessons of SARS[–CoV–1] could have been applied to SARS–CoV–2. For more information or help registering, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Three–Day Medicare Conference: On November 6, 7 and 8, NGS is holding a three–day virtual conference, “Understanding Medicare Compliance for Part B Providers,” focusing on difficult areas — “incident to” provisions, correct coding issues, how to use the ABN, how to use modifiers to avoid claim denials, and more. There will be 14 different talks, on crucial topics including “Fraud Prevention and Detection,” “Medicare Part B Top Ten Denials” and many others you won’t want to miss. For the full list, go to the attachment (Three-Day Conference). To register for any talk, just click on that link.
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Last Chance! Check Out the New York State Neurological Society’s Annual Meeting: November 11 at the New York Metropolitan Pavilion, in person. Program includes Stroke, Headache, MS, Epilepsy and more. Check it out HERE.
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Thursday, November 30, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.: All are invited to a dinner event at Westchester County Medical Society, “Physician Payment & Practice.” Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President of Physician Payment and Practice, is an expert at helping physicians navigate claims, denials, delayed payments, etc. In addition, MLMIC will talk about Fraud & Abuse Investigations. The event is being held at Sam’s of Gedney Way, 50 Gedney Way, White Plains, NY. Register HERE.
_______________________________________________________________

Save the Date — Each January We Have an Excellent Medicare Update from National Government Services (NGS): This time it will be on Wednesday, January 17, at 8:00 a.m., and as usual our presenter will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Save that date!

 

October 27, 2023 

You Made the Call, Now Send the Letter! MSSNY’s Grassroots Action system makes it easy. Just click on https://p2a.co/kU6zLC0 to urge Governor Hochul not to sign the Wrongful Death bill (A.6698/S.6636). Your letter will tell her: Not only how much the bill will harm our healthcare delivery system, but also how much it will jeopardize patients’ health — and the well–being of the public. Repeat advocacy is crucial in this fight. Been there and done that? Good. Do It Again.
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Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 pm.: Save this date for a fascinating dialogue, “New Approaches to Restrictive Covenants in Physician Contracts” — A Conversation with MSSNY Counsel Jay Silverman, JD, and Michael Goldstein, MD, JD, a New York City ophthalmologist and Society Past President. Unfair “non–compete clauses” affect between 37% and 45% of physicians, the AMA says. These provisions can interfere with the employed physician’s legitimate interest in career mobility; they may be particularly problematic for residents, fellows and young physicians, limiting their opportunities for advancement and restricting their ability to provide care in economically or socially marginalized communities. But the employer has legitimate business interests too — such as, sometimes, a significant investment in recruitment and training. It is not always a David and Goliath situation; not all employers are MegaCorps — some are physician–owned practices that may need to use reasonable covenants to compete with large hospital systems or other dominant institutional employers. How do New York courts balance these interests today? What provisions can be built into the contract “up front,” to help forestall disputes in the future? What are the political chances for the NYS Legislature’s recent restrictive–covenants bill (A1278B/S3100A) – how likely is Governor Hochul to sign it? See what these presenters say, and participate yourself in this live, interactive web conference. Register HERE
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Did You miss MSSNY’s Excellent October 18 Webinar, “Respiratory Viruses 2023 – 2024,” with William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee? This presentation has now been posted on MSSNY’s CME website, https://cme.mssny.org, and you can get CME credit for attending. Your login is your email; if you don’t have a password already, you can create one. You take the pre–test, and then the session begins. This year’s flu season may see numerous “tripledemic” hospitalizations from flu, COVID, and RSV, but there have been recent developments in the treatment of COVID and RSV. This session’s objectives are: Identify strategies to effectively encourage eligible patients to get vaccinated for flu, COVID, and RSV; discuss vaccine efficacy and options for testing and treatment; and analyze the current and projected impact of flu, COVID, and RSV for 2023 – 2024. If you have any difficulties with the website, contact Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Help Shape MSSNY’s 2024 Legislative Program! MSSNY says, “We want to align our priorities with the pressing concerns of physicians in New York,” and obviously the big problem areas are liability, insurance abuses, scope of practice, burnout, etc. but within those areas, which “sore spots” should MSSNY work hardest on? (E.g., in the insurance area: Prior authorizations? Telehealth parity?) You can help MSSNY choose its targets by answering a brief set of questions at SurveyMonkey Powered Online Survey.
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AI: Friend or Foe? Some experts say artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing huge improvements in the way illnesses are diagnosed and treated — enhancing early–stage cancer detection, reducing medication dosing errors, and even assisting in surgeries. However, it can also reflect and amplify biases in healthcare. How much should we worry about AI? Read Artificial Intelligence’s Transformative Role in Healthcare (Quashie, Healthcare Dive, 10/13).
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Friday, November 3, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time: AMA Advocacy Insights webinar, “What’s Next with Medicare Payment Reform.” Register now. Payment cuts and temporary fixes have become predictable in Medicare physician payment over the past decade — leaving physician practices and patients’ access to care at serious risk. The AMA is urging lawmakers to work with the physician community to permanently reform the system. Congress needs to establish a permanent, annual inflationary Medicare physician payment update, that keeps up with the cost of practicing medicine and encourages practice innovation. In this webinar you’ll find out where Medicare payment reform stands now; how the AMA, alongside state and national medical specialty societies, is pushing for permanent payment reform; and how you can get involved in these advocacy efforts.
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Three–Day Medicare Conference: On November 6, 7 and 8, NGS is holding a three–day virtual conference, “Understanding Medicare Compliance for Part B Providers,” focusing on difficult areas — “incident to” provisions, correct coding issues, how to use the ABN, how to use modifiers to avoid claim denials, and more. There will be 14 different talks, on crucial topics including “Fraud Prevention and Detection,” “Medicare Part B Top Ten Denials” and many others you won’t want to miss. For the full list, go to the attachment (Three-Day Conference). To register for any talk, just click on that link.
_________________________________________________________________

Check Out the New York State Neurological Society’s Annual Meeting: November 11 at the New York Metropolitan Pavilion, in person. Program includes Stroke, Headache, MS, Epilepsy and more. Check it out HERE.
_________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, November 14, at 6:00 p.m.: Join MSSNY’s monthly (“Second Tuesday”) open–agenda call with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services). You’ll be able to connect with the experts and get your questions answered. Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice and an expert in practice management, billing, and reimbursement, holds this meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month. Members are encouraged to participate and open a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. When the date/time arrives, you can go right into the meeting. Just click on Connect with the CMS and NGS.
_________________________________________________________________

Save the Date — Each January We Have an Excellent Medicare Update from National Government Services (NGS): This time it will be on Wednesday, January 17, at 8:00 a.m., and as usual our presenter will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Save that date!

 

 

October 20, 2023

NYCMS Doctors, Time to Lead the Charge: Tuesday, October 24, we’re going into Phase Two of our intensive phone campaign against Wrongful Death legislation, we urge everyone to make more phone calls. Physician members from around the State will be working together as we ask Governor Kathy Hochul to veto the Wrongful Death bill (A.6698/S.6636). Have you already sent a letter or made a call? Thanks! That is wonderful. However, we need you to act AGAIN, so we can make the Governor aware of physician concerns by making a concentrated effort over the next several weeks. Society members will join our colleagues in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond in making MANY phone calls to Governor Hochul, urging her to veto this legislation. This is part of MSSNY’s coordinated campaign around the State. Multiple calls help. Have staff and family call too! Volume is essential. When you reach out, report back to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is the Issue With Wrongful Death (A.6698/S.6636): It would greatly expand liability (premiums could go up 40 percent); our healthcare system — hospitals, physician practices and other community–based providers — could be hit hard, with patients’ access to care in jeopardy.

How Do I Telephone the Governor? Dial (518) 474-8390: You can select Option 1 to leave a compelling voicemail, or Option 2 to connect directly with the Governor's staff. (Be sure to identify yourself, and state where you are from.)

What Do I Say?
‟I am urging Governor Hochul to veto the Grieving Families Act.”

— Earlier this year, the Governor vetoed a version that could have had a serious impact on our healthcare system, greatly expanding liability (more categories of people could receive awards).

— The new bill is only marginally different. It would still include non–economic damages, greatly expanding the damages awardable in a wrongful death action and leading to significant increases in premiums.

— Both versions of the bill run completely counter to what the Governor did regarding the State Budget. In the Budget negotiations, she fought for substantial investments to help support our healthcare safety net. This bill would completely undo those positive steps by putting grave new financial pressures on the providers.

— The bill should be re–drafted so it can protect our patients’ continued access to our healthcare system.

Background Points:

— This bill’s provision for non–economic damages is why studies have shown it would lead to a nearly 40% premium cost increase. Our healthcare system is already under enormous stress. New York physicians and hospitals face by far the highest medical liability insurance costs in the country.

— There would be a huge impact on such specialties as OB/GYN. Already, medical students cite high liability costs and fear of being sued as reasons for not training as OB/GYNs.

— This bill could affect employed physicians as well as those practicing independently. It is true that employed physicians do not pay for their own medical liability insurance; but by affecting the financial stability of employed physicians’ institutions, the bill could jeopardize their jobs.

— Businesses and municipalities would pay higher premiums for their liability insurance too.

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Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 pm.: Save this date for a fascinating dialogue, “New Approaches to Restrictive Covenants in Physician Contracts” — A Conversation with MSSNY Counsel Jay Silverman, JD, and Michael Goldstein, MD/JD, a New York City ophthalmologist and Society Past President. Unfair “non–compete clauses” affect between 37% and 45% of physicians, the AMA says. These provisions can interfere with the employed physician’s legitimate interest in career mobility; they may be particularly problematic for residents, fellows and young physicians, limiting their opportunities for advancement and restricting their ability to provide care in economically or socially marginalized communities. But the employer has legitimate business interests too — such as, sometimes, a significant investment in recruitment and training. It is not always a David and Goliath situation; not all employers are MegaCorps — some are physician–owned practices that may need to use reasonable covenants to compete with large hospital systems or other dominant institutional employers. How do New York courts balance these interests today? What provisions can be built into the contract “up front,” to help forestall disputes in the future? See what these presenters say, and participate yourself in this live, interactive web conference. Register HERE.
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Good News on Telehealth Prescribing of Controlled Substances: A key question has been: Should the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) require an initial in–person visit before tele–Rx starts? The DEA’s temporary flexibilities were to end on November 11, 2023, but the agency has now extended them through the end of 2024. All patient–practitioner relationships conducted over telehealth are covered — not just those relationships started on or before November 11, 2023. Read key details in: DEA Gets an Earful About Telehealth Prescribing of Controlled Substances | MedPage Today and DEA again extends telemedicine flexibilities | CNN
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Cyber–Attacks Can Jeopardize Clinical Operations and Endanger Patients. What can you do to help protect healthcare data, systems and patients? A good place to start is the AMA’s eight–part “Cybersecurity for the Clinician” video training series. Episode 1, Cyber Safety Is Patient Safety, discusses in non–technical language the threat that cyber–attacks pose to patients, including stealing patient data, disrupting clinical operations, and ultimately harming patients. Other episodes discuss medical device cybersecurity, social engineering techniques used by attackers to acquire patients’ personal information, and next steps that “bad actor” teams take after a cyber–attack occurs. The eight episodes, on the AMA Ed Hub™, are produced by the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group; they are hosted by Christian Dameff, MD, an emergency medicine physician and medical director for cybersecurity. Other resources: Check out the AMA’s physician cybersecurity webpage; also, the 405(d) Program offered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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Still Time to Register for MARCOEM 2023 October 27 – 29. The Mid Atlantic Region College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s virtual program this year includes CME presentations on Artificial Intelligence and Public Health; Aviation Medicine; Arthralgias, Myalgias and COVID–19; Emerging Infectious Diseases; and more. Learn more HERE and register HERE.
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Don’t Miss the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register HERE
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Thursday, November 2, at 6:00 p.m., Partners in Progress: You are invited to “Partners in Progress,” a cocktail reception for clinicians hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Mingle with clinical peers, learn about latest MSK research. At the Zuckerman Research Center, 417 East 68th Street in NYC. To RSVP, visit msk.org/partnersinprogress.
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Friday, November 3, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time: AMA Advocacy Insights webinar, “What’s Next with Medicare Payment Reform.” Register now. Payment cuts and temporary fixes have become predictable in Medicare physician payment over the past decade—leaving physician practices and patients’ access to care at serious risk. The AMA is urging lawmakers to work with the physician community to permanently reform the system. Congress needs to establish a permanent, annual inflationary Medicare physician payment update, that keeps up with the cost of practicing medicine and encourages practice innovation. In this webinar you’ll find out where Medicare payment reform stands now; how the AMA, alongside state and national medical specialty societies, is pushing for permanent payment reform; and how you can get involved in these advocacy efforts.
_______________________________________________________________

Check Out the New York State Neurological Society’s Annual Meeting on November 11 at the New York Metropolitan Pavilion, in person. Program includes Stroke, Headache, MS, Epilepsy and more. Check it out HERE.
______________________________________________________________

Save the Date — Each January We Have an Excellent Medicare Update from National Government Services (NGS): This time it will be on Wednesday, January 17, at 8:00 a.m., and as usual our presenter will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Save that date!

 

October 13, 2023

Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 pm.: Save this date for a fascinating dialogue, “New Approaches to Restrictive Covenants in Physician Contracts” — A Conversation with MSSNY Counsel Jay Silverman, JD, and Michael Goldstein, MD/JD, a New York City ophthalmologist and Society Past President. Unfair “non–compete clauses” affect between 37% and 45% of physicians, the AMA says. These provisions can interfere with the employed physician’s legitimate interest in career mobility; they may be particularly problematic for residents, fellows and young physicians, limiting their opportunities for advancement and restricting their ability to provide care in economically or socially marginalized communities. But the employer has legitimate business interests too — such as, sometimes, a significant investment in recruitment and training. It is not always a David and Goliath situation; not all employers are MegaCorps — some are physician–owned practices that may need to use reasonable covenants to compete with large hospital systems or other dominant institutional employers. How do New York courts balance these interests today? What provisions can be built into the contract “up front,” to help forestall disputes in the future? See what these presenters say, and participate yourself in this live, interactive web conference. Look for registration information soon.
_________________________________________________________________

Wrongful Death Bill (A.6698/S.6636, the “Grieving Families Act”) Is Back Before the Governor: This bill aims to increase the types of damages awardable to families in wrongful death lawsuits, but it may have severe unintended consequences, including increases in litigation (including more frivolous claims), ambiguities in calculating emotional anguish, higher healthcare and insurance costs, and more. If the Governor signs this new bill, the increased cost of practicing medicine in our state will almost certainly drive many physicians to leave the state or retire early, leaving many patients without the care they need—especially in underserved areas. Physicians and other professionals may suffer more burnout; malpractice premiums could increase 40 percent; patients’ access to care could drop; and more hospitals could close. It is an even more difficult battle this time, and we request that you once again ask your medical colleagues, friends, and families to contact the Governor and encourage another veto. Send a letter to the Governor here.
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Survey on Practice Costs: The AMA is collecting updated, accurate data on practice costs, a key element in physician payment, and your practice may be one of the thousands selected to receive their urgent survey. Watch for the email from consulting firm Mathematica (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), plus a USPS priority mail packet with a link to the survey and supporting information. See here for more information about this quick (two–minute) survey, and thanks so much for your help.
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Wednesday, October 18, at 7:30 a.m.: “Respiratory Viruses 2023 – 2024,” a MSSNY Medical Matters webinar. Register at: Webinar Registration - Zoom. The CDC expects that this year’s flu season will have “tripledemic” elements similar to those seen last year (in terms of total hospitalizations from flu, COVID, and RSV), but since last season there have been multiple developments in the treatment of COVID and RSV. William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, will serve as faculty for this webinar. Educational objectives: Identify strategies to effectively encourage eligible patients to get vaccinated for flu, COVID, and RSV; discuss vaccine efficacy and options for testing and treatment; and analyze the current and projected impact of flu, COVID, and RSV for 2023 – 2024. For more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Wednesday, October 18, at 6:00 p.m.: “Federal Student Loan Payments,” a webinar on loan forgiveness hosted by Nassau County Medical Society. Register HERE. This session, for physicians and residents, brings you information about navigating the loan forgiveness process, addressing common challenges, and exploring available resources. Learn the steps to returning to repayment: How much will my payment be, and when is it due? Who is my servicer? Should I recertify? Should I go with PAYE or with SAVE? And, what do I need to know about PSLF? To find out more, call (516) 832–2300, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Medical students, note: On Thursday, October 26, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a webinar about your side of the story — how to qualify and maximize PSLF, how to manage loans during residency, and more. Register HERE.
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Check Out MARCOEM 2023 October 28 – 29. The Mid Atlantic Region College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s virtual program this year includes CME presentations on Artificial Intelligence and Public Health; Aviation Medicine; Arthralgias, Myalgias and COVID–19; Emerging Infectious Diseases; and more. Learn more HERE and register HERE.
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Don’t Miss the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register HERE
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Thursday, November 2, at 6:00 p.m., Partners in Progress: You are invited to “Partners in Progress,” a cocktail reception for clinicians hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Mingle with clinical peers, learn about latest MSK research. At the Zuckerman Research Center, 417 East 68th Street in NYC. To RSVP, visit msk.org/partnersinprogress.
_________________________________________________________________

Friday, November 3, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time: AMA Advocacy Insights webinar, “What’s Next with Medicare Payment Reform.” Register now. Payment cuts and temporary fixes have become predictable in Medicare physician payment over the past decade—leaving physician practices and patients’ access to care at serious risk. The AMA is urging lawmakers to work with the physician community to permanently reform the system. Congress needs to establish a permanent, annual inflationary Medicare physician payment update, that keeps up with the cost of practicing medicine and encourages practice innovation. In this webinar you’ll find out where Medicare payment reform stands now; how the AMA, alongside state and national medical specialty societies, is pushing for permanent payment reform; and how you can get involved in these advocacy efforts.
_________________________________________________________________

Check Out the New York State Neurological Society’s Annual Meeting on November 11 at the New York Metropolitan Pavilion, in person. Program includes Stroke, Headache, MS, Epilepsy and more. Check it out HERE.
_________________________________________________________________

Save the Date — Each January We Have an Excellent Medicare Update from National Government Services (NGS): This time it will be on Wednesday, January 17, at 8:00 a.m., and as usual our presenter will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Save that date!

 

 

October 6, 2023

Will You Face MIPS Penalties in 2024? Better check your 2022 Performance Feedback Information. If you see errors, you should take action by October 9. CMS has released the 2022 MIPS performance feedback, which determines whether physicians will receive a positive, neutral, or negative payment adjustment on the Medicare services they provide in 2024. The AMA has heard alarming reports that in 2024, some physicians might get MIPS penalties for the first time since the program started. You are strongly encouraged to view your feedback information as soon as possible, and if there are any errors, to submit an appeal (a “targeted review” — submission deadline 8:00 pm ET on October 9, 2023). To view your feedback information: Go to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website, using your HCQIS Access Role and Profile (HARP) credentials. The CMS Payment Adjustment User Guide (PDF) tells you how to access and download your performance feedback. How to appeal: For directions, see the 2022 Targeted Review User Guide (PDF). If you have questions, contact Jennifer Hananoki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Koryn Rubin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The AMA is encouraging you to share this information with the AMA Advocacy staff, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. “You can help us advocate against Medicare physician payment cuts in 2024 by sharing de–identified score and corresponding payment adjustment information. [This will strengthen] our understanding of the impact of MIPS on physician payment in 2024, and help us in our conversations with the administration and Congress about making sure that physician payment supports high–quality care to Medicare patients.”
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Wrongful Death: We’ll be pushing on it all this month and beyond. Be sure to call Governor Kathy Hochul and urge her to veto the bill. Physician members from around the State will be working together as we call the Governor about the Wrongful Death bill (A.6698/S.6636, officially called the “Grieving Families Act”). Have you already sent a letter or made a call? Thanks! That is wonderful. However, we need you to act AGAIN, so we can make her aware of physician concerns by making a concentrated effort over the next several weeks.

How do I telephone the Governor? Dial (518) 474–8390. You can select Option 1 to leave a compelling voicemail, or Option 2 to connect directly with the Governor's staff. (Be sure to identify yourself, and state where you are from.)

Multiple calls help. Have staff and family call too! Volume is essential.

What do I say?

I am urging Governor Hochul to veto the Grieving Families Act.

Earlier this year, the Governor vetoed a version that could have had a serious impact on our healthcare system, greatly expanding liability (more categories of people could receive awards).

The new bill is only marginally different. It would still include non–economic damages, greatly expanding the damages awardable in a wrongful death action and leading to significant increases in premiums.

Both versions of the bill run completely counter to what the Governor did regarding the State Budget: In the Budget negotiations, she fought for substantial investments to help support our healthcare safety net. This bill would completely undo those positive steps by putting grave new financial pressures on the providers.

The bill should be re–drafted so it can protect our patients’ continued access to our healthcare system.
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Employed Physicians, Should You Renegotiate Your Employment Contract? Resolve, a physician–founded and physician–driven company, is bringing change to physicians’ employment contracts by providing data and transparency. Using the most accurate data on compensation and other contract terms from actual contracts, Resolve delivers the insights and expertise to help physicians negotiate for what they truly deserve and take control of their careers. As a valued MSSNY member, you receive 10% off any of the Resolve packages. (At checkout, use code MSSNY10.) In addition to paid packages, you can set up a FREE account and access these tools: rData, which lets you view salaries, signing bonuses, and more from real physician contracts in your specialty and location; Contract Scorecard, which lets you see how your contract stacks up against market data for your specialty; and more. (To see all of the Resolve packages, click on: Physician Contract Review and Physician Compensation Data packages - Resolve.com.)
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Each January We Have an Excellent Medicare Update from National Government Services (NGS): This time it’ll be on Wednesday, January 17, at 8:00 a.m., and as usual our presenter will be our longtime friend James Bavoso, NGS’s Manager for Provider Outreach and Education. Save that date!
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Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Surviving Litigation Seminar: The Doctors Company invites you to attend their virtual Surviving Litigation Seminar, providing constructive ways to deal with the stress of malpractice litigation. Acquire expert advice for becoming a strong, active participant in your own defense — now or in the future. This online seminar is approved for 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Register HERE
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Did You Miss Our September 21 Webinar from The Doctors Company (TDC), “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well–Being Movement”? You can still view the presentation and obtain CME. View the program video HERE (use passcode: PRLW8%t* for the video). Then, if you would like CME: (1) Click on "Obtain CME Credit,” at The Doctors Management Company (cnf.io). (2) Check in to register your attendance. (3) Complete the post-webinar evaluation. (4) A CME certificate will be issued within 5 business days. Please claim credit by October 25, 2023.
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Tuesday, October 10: Three NGS Webinars About Care Management Services — What They Are and How You Can Bill for Them: The CDC says that six in ten adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, and four in ten adults have two or more. NGS (National Government Services) is raising awareness of the benefits of care management services for Medicare beneficiaries who have chronic conditions. Register by clicking right here, on any webinar(s) you wish. The three October 10 webinars will be: 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Care Management: Principal Care Management Services; 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., Care Management: Chronic Care Management Services; and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Care Management: Transitional Care Management. You can also view three webinars that NGS presented on Tuesday, October 3: Care Management: Advanced Care Planning, Care Management: Cognitive Assessment, and Care Management: Psychiatric Collaborative Care Management and Behavioral Health Integration. Go to the Events page on the NGS website, at: Events - NGSMEDICARE. (You can also register for the individual webinars on that page.)
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Wednesday, October 18, at 7:30 a.m.: “Respiratory Viruses 2023 – 2024,” a MSSNY Medical Matters webinar. Register at: Webinar Registration - Zoom. The CDC expects that this year’s flu season will have “tripledemic” elements similar to those seen last year (in terms of total hospitalizations from flu, COVID, and RSV), but since last season there have been multiple developments in the treatment of COVID and RSV. William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, will serve as faculty for this webinar. Educational objectives: Identify strategies to effectively encourage eligible patients to get vaccinated for flu, COVID, and RSV; discuss vaccine efficacy and options for testing and treatment; and analyze the current and projected impact of flu, COVID, and RSV for 2023 – 2024. For more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Check out MARCOEM 2023 October 28 – 29. The Mid Atlantic Region College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s virtual program this year includes CME presentations on Artificial Intelligence and Public Health; Aviation Medicine; Arthralgias, Myalgias and COVID–19; Emerging Infectious Diseases; and more. Learn more HERE and register HERE.
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Don’t Miss the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register HERE
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Thursday, November 2, at 6:00 p.m., Partners in Progress: You are invited to “Partners in Progress,” a cocktail reception for clinicians hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Mingle with clinical peers, learn about latest MSK research. At the Zuckerman Research Center, 417 East 68th Street in NYC. To RSVP, visit msk.org/partnersinprogress.
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Check Out the New York State Neurological Society’s Annual Meeting on November 11 at the New York Metropolitan Pavilion, in person. Program includes Stroke, Headache, MS, Epilepsy and more. Check it out HERE.

 

September 29, 2023 

Call the Governor on Tuesday October 3 on Veto for Wrongful Death: Physician members from around the State will be working together as we ask Governor Kathy Hochul to veto the Wrongful Death bill (A.6698/S.6636). Have you already sent a letter or made a call? Thanks! That is wonderful. However, we need you to act AGAIN, so we can make the Governor aware of physician concerns by making a concentrated effort over the next several weeks. It’s our turn to lead the charge on Tuesday, October 3. New York County Medical Society Members will join our colleagues in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond in making MANY phone calls to Governor Hochul, urging her to veto this legislation. This is part of MSSNY’s coordinated campaign around the State (NYCMS will also be making calls on October 26).

How Do I Telephone the Governor?
Dial (518) 474–8390. You can select Option 1 to leave a compelling voicemail, or Option 2 to connect directly with the Governor's staff. (Be sure to identify yourself, and state where you are from.) Multiple calls help. Have staff and family call too! Volume is essential.

What Do I Say?
— I am urging Governor Hochul to veto the Grieving Families Act.
— Earlier this year, the Governor vetoed a version that could have had a serious impact on our healthcare system, greatly expanding liability (more categories of people could receive awards).
— The new bill is only marginally different. It would still include non–economic damages, greatly expanding the damages awardable in a wrongful death action and leading to significant increases in premiums.
— Both versions of the bill run completely counter to what the Governor did regarding the State Budget: In the Budget negotiations, she fought for substantial investments to help support our healthcare safety net. This bill would completely undo those positive steps by putting grave new financial pressures on the providers.
— The bill should be re–drafted so it can protect our patients’ continued access to our healthcare system.

When you reach out, report back to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
_________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Surviving Litigation Seminar. Join us and the Doctors Company for their virtual Surviving Litigation Seminar, providing constructive ways to deal with the stress of malpractice litigation. Acquire expert advice for becoming a strong, active participant in your own defense — now or in the future. This popular online seminar is approved for 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Register HERE
_________________________________________________________________

Did You Miss Our September 21 Webinar from The Doctors Company (TDC), “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well–Being Movement”? You can still view the presentation and obtain CME. View the program video HERE. (Use passcode: PRLW8%t* for the video.) Then, if you would like CME: (1) Click on "Obtain CME Credit,” at The Doctors Management Company (cnf.io). (2) Check in to register your attendance. (3) Complete the post–webinar evaluation. (4) A CME certificate will be issued within 5 business days. Please claim credit by October 25, 2023.
________________________________________________________________

Events:

NGS Invites You to Two “Care Management Tuesdays,” October 3 and October 10. The CDC says that six in ten adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, and four in ten adults have two or more. NGS (National Government Services) is raising awareness of the benefits of care management services for Medicare beneficiaries who have chronic conditions. Each day there will three webinars; you can find out what care management services are available and how to bill for them, and there will be Q&A time at the end of each webinar. Register by clicking right here, on any webinar(s) you wish. On Tuesday, October 3, the webinars will be: 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: Care Management: Advanced Care Planning. 12:00 noon to 12:45 p.m.: Care Management: Cognitive Assessment. 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Care Management: Psychiatric Collaborative Care Management and Behavioral Health Integration. On Tuesday, October 10, the webinars will be: 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: Care Management: Principal Care Management Services. 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.: Care Management: Chronic Care Management Services. 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Care Management: Transitional Care Management. For more information, go to the Events page on the NGS website, at: Events - NGSMEDICARE. (You can also register for the individual webinars on that page.)

Wednesday, October 18, at 7:30 a.m.: “Respiratory Viruses 2023 – 2024,” a MSSNY Medical Matters webinar. Register at: Webinar Registration - Zoom. The CDC expects that this year’s flu season will have “tripledemic” elements similar to those seen last year (in terms of total hospitalizations from flu, COVID, and RSV), but since last season there have been multiple developments in the treatment of COVID and RSV. William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, will serve as faculty for this webinar. Educational objectives: Identify strategies to effectively encourage eligible patients to get vaccinated for flu, COVID, and RSV; discuss vaccine efficacy and options for testing and treatment; and analyze the current and projected impact of flu, COVID, and RSV for 2023 – 2024. For more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Don’t Miss the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register HERE

Thursday, November 2, at 6:00 p.m., Partners in Progress: You are invited to “Partners in Progress,” a cocktail reception for clinicians hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Mingle with clinical peers, learn about latest MSK research. At the Zuckerman Research Center, 417 East 68th Street in NYC. To RSVP, visit msk.org/partnersinprogress.

 

 

September 22, 2023

 

Today’s COVID: Society Immediate Past President Erick Eiting, MD, talks about what is happening with COVID in New York right now. Check it out in the New York Post HERE.
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Strategies and Timing on the Wrongful Death Bill (A.6698/S.6636): Since the legislative session ended in June, Governor Kathy Hochul has been working through hundreds of pieces of legislation, but over 400 bills are still in the review stage; they haven’t officially been sent to her desk for signature or veto. Once a bill has actually been delivered, she has 10 days (minus Sundays) to sign or veto it before it automatically becomes law. So, legislators usually wait until she actually asks them to send a bill — they want to leave time to make sure she has sufficiently reviewed it, or has completed any needed amendment negotiations before the bill gets signed. (Bills that haven’t been sent, or she hasn’t acted on before the year ends, are automatically vetoed after 30 days.) Meanwhile, what can you do? Email the Governor today at Urge Governor to Veto Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636) (p2a.co). Telephone her at (518) 474–8390. You can select Option 3 to make a powerful statement, Option 1 to leave a compelling voicemail, or Option 2 to connect directly with the Governor's staff. Get more background: Listen to MSSNY’s September 15 podcast as Moe Auster, Senior Vice President & Chief Legislative Counsel, discusses the issues with the bill and the urgent physician actions that are required.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Surviving Litigation Seminar: The Doctors Company invites you to attend their virtual Surviving Litigation Seminar, providing constructive ways to deal with the stress of malpractice litigation. Acquire expert advice for becoming a strong, active participant in your own defense — now or in the future. This online seminar is approved for 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Register HERE
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Today’s Medical Students and Young Doctors Face Extra Challenges: A “2023 Survey of American Physicians” from the Physicians Foundation, including practicing physicians, residents, and students, says: The state of physician well–being — for both current and future physicians — remains low, and medical students’ overall well–being is lower than that of both residents and physicians. Current and future physicians alike report that stigma and structural barriers negatively affect their overall well–being and mental health; burnout is leading to tragic outcomes. However, a generational shift is happening: medical students are seeking mental health care, and are talking about it with peers and in classes. Both current and future physicians say that there is a need for systems and workplaces to prioritize physician well–being and perspectives. See the attached to this email for the full report. _________________________________________________________________

More Events

Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY presents a CME webinar, “MPox 2023 Update: An Evolving Story.” Register now. MPox, formerly known as monkeypox, remains a threat in New York State and globally. In this session you can learn more about identifying and treating this disease, and increasing vaccine uptake. Faculty: William Valenti, MD chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Immediate Past President, NYCMS. Educational objectives: To describe signs and symptoms of MPox infection; to outline treatment options, including available vaccines and vaccine schedules; and to identify at–risk populations. For more information or help with registration, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wednesday, September 27, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: You are invited to join a conference, “Lung Cancer Screening in New York State,” with the New York State Consortium’s Lung Cancer Screening Action Team. Register Here. Explore the current status of screening in our State, and avenues that may increase screening.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023: Golf Outing and Fundraiser, hosted by Westchester Academy of Medicine at Westchester Country Club, 99 Biltmore Avenue Rye, NY 10580. All are welcome. Check it out HERE.

Attend the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register HERE.

 

September 15, 2023

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.: CME Webinar from TDC, “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well-Being Movement.” Register HERE! Burnout, as well as hurting physicians, can be harmful to patients — in fact, to the entire public. This session focuses on system–level factors and evidence–informed strategies to reduce burnout, enhance physician well–being, and strengthen our systems of care. Topics include the perspectives of the different stakeholders; priorities set by the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General; signs of progress; and resources to help make clinician well–being a core value and a strategic organizational priority. Presenter: Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, CPHRM, ARM, Assistant Vice President, The Doctors Company. Learning objectives: Physicians will be able to (1) Identify system drivers of burnout in their own practice; (2) implement at least one strategy to reduce one of these system drivers; and (3) implement constructive strategies with team members, to boost healthcare workers’ well–being.
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A Second NYCMS Event: Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Doctors Company invites you to attend their virtual Surviving Litigation Seminar, a complimentary workshop that provides constructive ways to deal with the stress of malpractice litigation. Acquire expert advice for becoming a strong, active participant in your own defense—now or in the future. This online seminar is approved for 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. For more information, Angie Summers, (800) 421–2368, extension 5115, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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EHR–Related Medical Liability: Here are five steps to help you limit errors, and help make sure crucial flags are noted. (1) Dropdown menus are a high–error feature — be particularly careful with them. (2) Don’t rely on your EHR notes to convey information to other healthcare professionals — try to communicate directly as well. (3) Be sure your “Auto–Fill” settings are in line with your clinical practices. (4) Don’t copy and paste notes from previous visits, no matter how handy that approach might be. (5) When you’re interacting with patients, make sure they really “get heard” — prioritize listening over typing. For more about protecting yourself from EHR–related legal challenges, see Rachael Ellis, 5 Ways to Avert a Malpractice Lawsuit with Better EHR Techniques, in Medscape, September 1, 2023.
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Thinking About Integrating Behavioral Health in Your Practice? The umbrella term “behavioral health” includes many conditions that could affect medical illnesses, including substance abuse, mental illness, life stressors and crises, stress–related physical symptoms and health behaviors; in a primary care practice, an integrated team might deliver care for those conditions as well as for actual medical illnesses. To inform you about this approach, the AMA is offering two multiweek learning sessions: BHI in Private Practice (October 10 – November 7), and Intro to Psychopharmacology (Oct. 31 – Dec. 5). There’s also a live webinar on October 26 at 12:00 noon Central Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time), “How to Financially Sustain Behavioral Health Integration in Your Practice.” Register now.
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From the Health Insurance Front: In the battle to keep insurance workable for both patients and physicians, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced that for 2024, premiums will increase by an average of 12.4 percent for individual plans and 7.4 percent for small group plans — significantly less than the 22.1 percent/15.3 percent that insurers had originally requested. However, the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process remains temporarily suspended. The legal reasons are complex – see US Departments Suspend Federal IDR Process (natlawreview.com)
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Events:
Tuesday, September 19, 2:00 p.m.: Telehealth Licensure — Emerging State Models of Physician Licensure Flexibility for Telehealth. COVID–19 greatly accelerated the adoption of telehealth, and now three years later, states are exploring new policies to expand or streamline the state licensure process for physicians while ensuring continued authority to regulate and oversee the practice of medicine. Hear about some of the latest approaches being considered and implemented in states—and what physicians are experiencing from the AMA at this virtual webinar. Learn more HERE.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Come to a fascinating aerospace museum, the “Cradle of Aviation,” for the Nassau County Medical Society and Nassau Academy of Medicine’s fall membership meeting in Uniondale, Long Island, with guest speaker Nassau County Commissioner of Health Doctor Irina Gelman. Enjoy drinks, dinner, and a chance to meet like–minded people. Register HERE.

Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY presents a CME webinar, “MPox 2023 Update: An Evolving Story.” Register now. MPox, formerly known as monkeypox, remains a threat in New York State and globally. In this session you can learn more about identifying and treating this disease, and increasing vaccine uptake. Faculty: William Valenti, MD chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Immediate Past President, NYCMS. Educational objectives: (1) To describe signs and symptoms of MPox infection; (2) to outline treatment options, including available vaccines and vaccine schedules; and (3), to identify at–risk populations. For more information or help with registration, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday, October 24, 2023: Golf Outing and Fundraiser, hosted by Westchester Academy of Medicine at Westchester Country Club, 99 Biltmore Avenue Rye, NY 10580. All are welcome. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, October 26, 2023: Veterans Matters Collaborative Teaching Day, hosted by MSSNY, Crouse Health and Syracuse University. This event will be held in person in Syracuse, NY, but there will also be the option to attend virtually, and participants can earn up to 8 hours of CME credit free of charge. To sign up, click on: View the flyer and preregister. Programs: TBI in Returning Veterans, with David Podwall, MD; PTSD in Returning Veterans, with Frank Dowling, MD; The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans, with Maria Basile, MD, and Sharran Chambers–Murphy; Burn Pits: Psychological and Physical Impact on Veterans, with Mary Lee–Wong, MD; Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know About Veterans as Patients, with Lt. Col. Lance Allen Wang and Adolf Meyer, MD; Suicide in Veterans, with John McIntyre, MD; The Impact of Military Sexual Trauma on Veterans, with Janine Fogarty, MD, and Sharran Chambers–Murphy; and Substance Use Disorders in Veterans, with Thomas Madejski, MD.
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Women Physicians, Here’s a Great Chance to Attend Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register at: MESF/MSSNY Women Physicians Leadership Academy Registration (google.com). Leading the fall session: Patrice Harris, MD, Past AMA. For further information, click on More Details.
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New and Early–Career Physicians: The September 19 sign–up deadline is coming up for a Physicians Foundation fellowship program on social determinants of health (“drivers of health,” or DOH). (For details and the application, click on: Fellowship Program | The Physicians Foundation.) Each fellow will develop and implement a project to help physicians understand the DOH concept and how it can be integrated into medical practices; the program aims to enhance fellows’ leadership skills so that they can help physicians focus on the physician–patient relationship, support their practices’ sustainability, and navigate the changing healthcare system. Applicants must demonstrate experience with and/or interest in DOH, physician leadership, health policy, health equity and clinical/care delivery innovation; they must submit an application with a current resume/CV, and a statement of intent that briefly describes how participating will help them make positive, constructive contributions to the medical profession in the future. They must include two letters of recommendation, one of which is recommended to be from the fellow's state or county medical society. The Physicians Foundation was set up in 2003 after 19 state medical societies (including MSSNY) and others won a class–action suit against private third–party payers resulted in a significant monetary settlement.

 

 

September 8, 2023

 

Your “To Do” List: Make sure to send an instant message to Urge Governor to Veto Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636) (p2a.co). Don’t let up on the messaging.
__________________________________________________________________

Fantastic Opportunity to Attend the Women Physicians Leadership Academy: The virtual programs are all valuable, but don’t miss the October 28 session on advocacy featuring powerhouse women legislators, including Assembly Health Chair Amy Paulin. Pass it on to your medical students and residents as well and sign up for any or all of the fall sessions — Saturday morning from 7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. October 21, October 28, and November 4. MSSNY and the Medical, Education and Science Foundation are pleased to bring these special programs vital for women physicians facing leadership challenges. Register at: MESF/MSSNY Women Physicians Leadership Academy Registration (google.com). Leading the fall session: Patrice Harris, MD, Past AMA. For further information, click on More Details.
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New Fellowship Program Through The Physicians Foundation – September 19 Deadline: New and early–career physicians, you’re invited to start your sign–up process for a new fellowship program with the Physicians Foundation, focusing on the social determinants of health (“drivers of health,” or DOH). (For details and the application, click on: Fellowship Program | The Physicians Foundation.) Each fellow will develop and implement a project to help physicians understand the DOH concept and how it can be integrated into medical practices; the program aims to enhance fellows’ leadership skills so that they can help physicians focus on the physician-patient relationship, support their practices’ sustainability, and navigate the changing healthcare system. Applicants must demonstrate experience with and/or interest in DOH, physician leadership, health policy, health equity and clinical/care delivery innovation; they must submit an application with a current resume/CV, and a statement of intent that briefly describes how participating will help them make positive, constructive contributions to the medical profession in the future. They must include two letters of recommendation, one of which is recommended to be from the fellow's state or county medical society. The Physicians Foundation was set up in 2003 after 19 state medical societies (including MSSNY) and others won a class–action suit against private third–party payers resulted in a significant monetary settlement.
__________________________________________________________________

NYCMS Event

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.: CME Webinar from TDC, “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well-Being Movement.” Register HERE! Burnout, as well as hurting physicians, can be harmful to patients – in fact, to the entire public. This session focuses on system-level factors and evidence-informed strategies to reduce burnout, enhance physician well-being, and strengthen our systems of care. Topics include the perspectives of the different stakeholders; priorities set by the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General; signs of progress; and resources to help make clinician well-being a core value and a strategic organizational priority. Presenter: Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, CPHRM, ARM, Assistant Vice President, The Doctors Company. Learning objectives: Physicians will be able to (1) Identify system drivers of burnout in their own practice; (2) implement at least one strategy to reduce one of these system drivers; and (3) implement constructive strategies with team members, to boost healthcare workers’ well–being.
_________________________________________________________________

Other Events

Telehealth Licensure — Emerging State Models of Physician Licensure Flexibility for Telehealth, on September 19, 2:00 p.m.: COVID–19 greatly accelerated the adoption of telehealth, and now three years later, states are exploring new policies to expand or streamline the state licensure process for physicians while ensuring continued authority to regulate and oversee the practice of medicine. Hear about some of the latest approaches being considered and implemented in states—and what physicians are experiencing from the AMA at this virtual webinar. Learn more HERE.

Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY presents a CME webinar, “MPox 2023 Update: An Evolving Story.” Register now. MPox, formerly known as monkeypox, remains a threat in New York State and globally. In this session you can learn more about identifying and treating this disease, and increasing vaccine uptake. Faculty: William Valenti, MD chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Immediate Past President, NYCMS. Educational objectives: (1) To describe signs and symptoms of MPox infection; (2) to outline treatment options, including available vaccines and vaccine schedules; and (3), to identify at–risk populations. For more information or help with registration, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Come to a fascinating aerospace museum, the “Cradle of Aviation,” for the Nassau County Medical Society and Nassau Academy of Medicine’s fall membership meeting in Uniondale, Long Island, with guest speaker Nassau County Commissioner of Health Doctor Irina Gelman. Enjoy drinks, dinner, and a chance to meet like–minded people. Register HERE.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023: Golf Outing and Fundraiser, hosted by Westchester Academy of Medicine at Westchester Country Club, 99 Biltmore Avenue Rye, NY 10580. All are welcome. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, October 26, 2023: Veterans Matters Collaborative Teaching Day, hosted by MSSNY, Crouse Health and Syracuse University. This event will be held in person in Syracuse, NY, but there will also be the option to attend virtually, and participants can earn up to 8 hours of CME credit free of charge. To sign up, click on: View the flyer and preregister. Programs: TBI in Returning Veterans, with David Podwall, MD; PTSD in Returning Veterans, with Frank Dowling, MD; The Special Mental Health Needs of Women Veterans, with Maria Basile, MD, and Sharran Chambers–Murphy; Burn Pits: Psychological and Physical Impact on Veterans, with Mary Lee-Wong, MD; Military Culture: Everything Physicians Need to Know About Veterans as Patients, with Lt. Col. Lance Allen Wang and Adolf Meyer, MD; Suicide in Veterans, with John McIntyre, MD; The Impact of Military Sexual Trauma on Veterans, with Janine Fogarty, MD, and Sharran Chambers–Murphy; and Substance Use Disorders in Veterans, with Thomas Madejski, MD.

 

September 1, 2023

Don’t Let Up — Keep Communicating with Governor Hochul on Wrongful Death (A.6698/S.6636): This bill would greatly expand liability since more categories of people could receive awards, and as a result premiums could go up 40 percent, with a huge impact on such specialties as OB/GYN. As MSSNY President Paul Pipia, MD recently said, the bill “would ultimately undermine access to care, especially when it comes to maternal and reproductive healthcare; medical students already cite high liability costs and fear of being sued as reasons for not training as OB-GYNs . . . For OB/GYNs and other physician specialists, New York is already home to the highest medical professional liability premiums. That isn’t good for attracting more doctors to practice here.” Even if you’ve done this before, please repeat and send an instant message from Urge Governor to Veto Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636) (p2a.co).
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Some Good News on Prior Authorizations: CIGNA is removing prior authorizations for more than 100 surgical codes and nearly 200 genetic testing codes, plus many codes for durable medical equipment, orthoses and prosthetics, leaving fewer than 4% of procedures subject to prior authorization for CIGNA’s commercial policyholders. Last year, Aetna (owned by CVS) rolled back prior authorization requirements on cataract surgeries, video EEGs and home infusion for some drugs, and in March, UnitedHealthcare said it planned to remove nearly 20% of prior authorizations. (See Cigna removes prior authorizations for 25% of services | Healthcare Dive.) Congress has been pushing insurers to streamline prior authorizations, and the federal government has proposed changes, to be implemented in 2026, requiring insurers to provide more transparency about denials and speed up response times. But those rules would only apply to some categories of health insurance, including Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid plans – not to employer–sponsored health plans. About half of all Americans wouldn't benefit. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from denying or canceling coverage to patients due to their preexisting conditions, but “some patient advocates and health policy experts question whether insurers are using prior authorization as ‘a possible loophole’ to this prohibition, as a way of denying care to patients with the highest healthcare costs (Kaye Pestaina, a vice president of KFF (the Kaiser Family Foundation) and the co–director of its Program on Patient and Consumer Protections, quoted in Doctors, Patients Try to Shame Insurers to Reverse Prior Auth Denials | MedPage Today. )
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Help Fight Abusive Prior Authorization Requirements: As we all know, insurers’ delays in authorizing prescriptions, tests or procedures can cause patients stress and their conditions may actually worsen. MSSNY is asking you to take a survey to gauge prior authorizations’ impact in New York State. Please click HERE.
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Application Deadline September 19: New and early–career physicians, you’re invited to start your sign-up process for a new fellowship program with the Physicians Foundation, focusing on the social determinants of health (“drivers of health,” or DOH). (For details and the application, click on: Fellowship Program | The Physicians Foundation.) Each fellow will develop and implement a project to help physicians understand the DOH concept and how it can be integrated into medical practices; the program aims to enhance fellows’ leadership skills so that they can help physicians focus on the physician-patient relationship, support their practices’ sustainability, and navigate the changing healthcare system. Applicants must demonstrate experience with and/or interest in DOH, physician leadership, health policy, health equity and clinical/care delivery innovation; they must submit an application with a current resume/CV, and a statement of intent that briefly describes how participating will help them make positive, constructive contributions to the medical profession in the future. They must include two letters of recommendation, one of which is recommended to be from the fellow's state or county medical society. The Physicians Foundation was set up in 2003 after 19 state medical societies (including MSSNY) and others won a class–action suit against private third–party payers resulted in a significant monetary settlement.
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Employed Physicians, Ask Yourself “Should I Renegotiate Your Employment Contract?” Resolve, a physician–founded and physician–driven company, is bringing change to physicians’ employment contracts by providing data and transparency. Using the most accurate data on compensation and other contract terms from actual contracts, Resolve delivers the insights and expertise to help physicians negotiate for what they truly deserve, and take control of their careers. As a valued MSSNY member, you receive 10% off any of the Resolve packages. (At checkout, use code MSSNY10.) In addition to paid packages, you can set up a FREE account and access these tools: rData, which lets you view salaries, signing bonuses, and other key points from real physician contracts in your specialty and location; Contract Scorecard, which lets you see how your contract stacks up against market data for your specialty; and more. (To see all of the Resolve packages, click on: Physician Contract Review and Physician Compensation Data packages - Resolve.com.)
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NYCMS Event

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.: CME Webinar from TDC, “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well-Being Movement.” Register HERE! Burnout, as well as hurting physicians, can be harmful to patients – in fact, to the entire public. This session focuses on system-level factors and evidence-informed strategies to reduce burnout, enhance physician well-being, and strengthen our systems of care. Topics include the perspectives of the different stakeholders; priorities set by the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General; signs of progress; and resources to help make clinician well-being a core value and a strategic organizational priority. Presenter: Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, CPHRM, ARM, Assistant Vice President, The Doctors Company. Learning objectives: Physicians will be able to (1) Identify system drivers of burnout in their own practice; (2) implement at least one strategy to reduce one of these system drivers; and (3) implement constructive strategies with team members, to boost healthcare workers’ well–being.
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Other Events

Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., “Workers’ Compensation — Protecting Yourself and Your Team: Coverage Essentials for Businesses.” This session covers the basics of the workers’ compensation system, including insurance types, coverage requirements, and employers’ obligations under the law; who needs coverage and who does not; how and when to report an injury or illness (including COVID–19); considerations when hiring independent contractors, laborers, and domestic workers; how to lower premiums; and penalties. The session is free, and there will be time at the end for questions. Registration is not required. When the day arrives and you’re ready to join, just click on: Join webinar.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Come to a fascinating aerospace museum, the “Cradle of Aviation,” for the Nassau County Medical Society and Nassau Academy of Medicine’s fall membership meeting in Uniondale, Long Island, with guest speaker Nassau County Commissioner of Health Doctor Irina Gelman. Enjoy drinks, dinner, and a chance to meet like–minded people. Register HERE.

Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY presents a CME webinar, “MPox 2023 Update: An Evolving Story.” Register now. MPox, formerly known as monkeypox, remains a threat in New York State and globally. In this session you can learn more about identifying and treating this disease, and increasing vaccine uptake. Faculty: William Valenti, MD chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Immediate Past President, NYCMS. Educational objectives: (1) To describe signs and symptoms of MPox infection; (2) to outline treatment options, including available vaccines and vaccine schedules; and (3), to identify at–risk populations. For more information or help with registration, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

August 25, 2023

Help Fight Abusive Prior Authorization Requirements: As we all know, insurers’ delays in authorizing prescriptions, tests, or procedures can cause patients stress and their conditions may actually worsen. MSSNY is asking you to take a survey to gauge prior authorizations’ impact in New York State. Please click HERE to help build our case.
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Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming — Two “Live” Issues Still On Deck:
We need to keep warning Governor Kathy Hochul about the potential consequences of the “Wrongful Death” bill. Not only could this measure jeopardize our New York State healthcare delivery system (medical liability premiums could go up 40%), it could create problems for businesses and municipalities (general liability premiums could go up 11%) as well as problems for New Yorkers who drive (auto insurance premiums could go up 6%). Please send an instant message from Urge Governor to Veto Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636) (p2a.co). Note: If you think that because you are not in private practice, you are immune to the consequences of this legislation, think again and see above!

Congress needs to fix the Medicare physician payment system. With yet another cut planned for 2024, we need to keep urging Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as our US Representatives, to pass HR 2474, which would require inflation–based increases in Medicare physician payment. This legislation currently has 33 co–sponsors, including New York representatives Dan Goldman (D–NYC), Jerrold Nadler (D–NYC) and Brandon Williams (R–Central New York). Just click on Please urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor this bill today! Scroll down to “Take Action Now” and follow the prompts.
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Hot Weather and Health: Society Immediate Past President Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, was interviewed by Channel 7 (ABC) on effects of this hot summer and New Yorkers’ health. Click on The case for building green spaces in under-represented communities amid extreme heat - ABC7 New York (abc7ny.com).
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Thursday, September 21, 2023, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.: CME Webinar from TDC, “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well-Being Movement.” Register HERE! Burnout, as well as hurting physicians, can be harmful to patients – in fact, to the entire public. This session focuses on system-level factors and evidence-informed strategies to reduce burnout, enhance physician well-being, and strengthen our systems of care. Topics include the perspectives of the different stakeholders; priorities set by the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General; signs of progress; and resources to help make clinician well-being a core value and a strategic organizational priority. Presenter: Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, CPHRM, ARM, Assistant Vice President, The Doctors Company. Learning objectives: Physicians will be able to (1) Identify system drivers of burnout in their own practice; (2) implement at least one strategy to reduce one of these system drivers; and (3) implement constructive strategies with team members, to boost healthcare workers’ well-being.
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Other Events:

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Come to a fascinating aerospace museum, the “Cradle of Aviation,” for the Nassau County Medical Society and Nassau Academy of Medicine’s fall membership meeting in Uniondale, Long Island, with guest speaker Nassau County Commissioner of Health Doctor Irina Gelman. Enjoy drinks, dinner, and a chance to meet like–minded people. Register HERE.

Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY presents a CME webinar, “MPox 2023 Update: An Evolving Story.” Register now. MPox, formerly known as monkeypox, remains a threat in New York State and globally. In this session you can learn more about identifying and treating this disease, and increasing vaccine uptake. Faculty: William Valenti, MD chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Immediate Past President, NYCMS. Educational objectives: (1) To describe signs and symptoms of MPox infection; (2) to outline treatment options, including available vaccines and vaccine schedules; and (3), to identify at–risk populations. For more information or help with registration, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday, October 24, 2023: Golf Outing and Fundraiser, hosted by Westchester Academy of Medicine at Westchester Country Club, 99 Biltmore Avenue Rye, NY 10580. All are welcome. RSVP Form HERE. Details: For golf, the individual charge is $600. Tee times begin at 1:00 p.m., but why not come for registration, driving range and Halfway House lunch at 12:00 noon. (Golf reservations are limited—please RSVP today, by using the form or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..) After golf: Cocktails are at 6:00 p.m., and dinner and raffles are at 7:00 p.m. ($150 per person.) All proceeds will benefit the Westchester Academy of Medicine.
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Workers Compensation Programs on Coping with the MTGs (Medical Treatment Guidelines): The Workers’ Compensation Board offers you a special, specific “training” for each of the 16 MTGs, and once again you can get CME credit. Each training provides an overview of the General Guideline Principles, conditions associated with the body part or disease, and treatment recommendations. You can view the trainings and related guidance HERE. There’s also an easy–to–use MTG Lookup Tool, available via the Board’s Medical Portal. You enter the medical condition and the treatment (including tests) you want to search, and the Lookup Tool tells you whether that condition or treatment combination is "Recommended," "Not Recommended" or "Conditional." It also gives you the full MTG reference to the condition and treatment. View a tutorial on the Lookup Tool HERE or go HERE.

 

 

August 18, 2023

NYCMS CME Program: Thursday, September 21, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: CME Webinar from The Doctors Company, “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action for a Clinician Well–Being Movement.” Register HERE! Burnout, as well as hurting physicians, can be harmful to patients — in fact, to the entire public. This session focuses on system–level factors and evidence–informed strategies to reduce burnout, enhance physician well–being, and strengthen our systems of care. Topics include the perspectives of the different stakeholders; priorities set by the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General; signs of progress; and resources to help make clinician well–being a core value and a strategic organizational priority. Presenter: Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, CPHRM, ARM, Assistant Vice President, The Doctors Company. Learning objectives: Physicians will be able to (1) identify system drivers of burnout in their own practice; (2) implement at least one strategy to reduce one of these system drivers; and (3) implement constructive strategies with team members, to boost healthcare workers’ well–being.
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Good news! Once Again, Court Says “No” to NYC’s Planned Medicare Advantage Switch for Retirees: On August 11, Judge Lyle Frank wr ote in a decision and order that the City is permanently enjoined from requiring any City retirees and their dependents to be removed from their current health insurance plan(s). Said Marianne Pizzitola, president of the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees, “NYC retirees earned their right to federal Medicare, and we relied on the promise we would have this benefit through our lifetime . . . We hope this decision will help retirees nationwide stop their former unions and employers from privatizing the Federal Public Health Benefit of Medicare.” The City plans to appeal the ruling despite the judge’s order, but there was bipartisan praise from New York City Council members.
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Congestion Pricing Latest: The MTA’s Traffic Mobility Review Board (TRMB) is working on a final fee structure with all final discounts, exemptions, and rates for the program — a tolling zone that will extend south from 60th Street, except for vehicles driving through via the FDR Drive, the West Side Highway and the Battery Park underpass. The law itself only requires three exemptions — emergency vehicles, vehicles transporting people with disabilities, and residents of the congestion pricing zone who earn less than $60,000 per year. Many issues are still unresolved. There are calls for taxi and hire–car exemptions, passing the fee along to the rider. The New York County Medical Society also is still in the discussion, asking the TMRB and the City Council to consider exemptions for hospital workers (including physicians), and for vulnerable patients. New Jersey is still suing, saying the plan would divert extra traffic to New Jersey, harm that state’s environment and raise costs for the 400,000 New Jersey residents who commute into Manhattan every day. But if you’re at West 60th Street and Broadway, or West 61st Street and West End Avenue, you’ll see early signs. Vehicle–identifying scanners have been installed — E–Z Pass readers and license plate–scanning cameras similar to those already in use at approaches to the MTA’s nine bridges and tunnels.
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Thanks for the Assist on Scope–of–Practice Issues: Thanks go to all of our members who contacted legislators and Governor Kathy Hochul on the slew of scope–of–practice issues that come up this legislative session. We also appreciate the efforts of the AMA and other organizations working together on the SOPP (Scope of Practice Partnership) grant. The SOPP includes the AMA, the American Osteopathic Association, 18 national specialty societies, 50 state medical associations and 39 state osteopathic medical associations; MSSNY is among the 14 state medical societies that received SOPP funding to support state–level scope of practice advocacy during the 2023 legislative session. This year, numerous scope expansions were included in New York’s Executive Budget and at least 15 were introduced in the legislature, including one proposal to let physician assistants practice independently and another to let pharmacists test for (and treat) potentially serious illnesses over the pharmacy counter. MSSNY used SOPP funds for radio ads about physicians’ many years of education and training; MSSNY also communicated via social media on the harm to patients when physicians are removed from the health care team. Also defeated were a bill letting psychologists prescribe powerful psychotropic medications; multiple bills expanding the scope of certified registered nurse anesthetists; and a bill creating a license for naturopaths and others. Only one bill expanding scope did pass which lets pharmacists dispense contraceptives per a prescriber’s global order.
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Another Victory: MSSNY has made a tough law easier for smaller practices. There is a new law, effective August 1, that requires a physician practice (or other healthcare entity) to notify the New York State Department of Health (DOH) of any merger, acquisition, contract, or similar transaction that will increase the practice’s in–state revenues. Thanks to MSSNY’s advocacy, there is a lower limit than originally proposed in the legislation. The only transactions requiring DOH approval will be those that will increase in–state revenues by more than $25 million. DOH is closely watching purchases of medical practices by private equity companies, but it does not need information on small–practice deals.

However, if you still need the DOH’s Material Transactions notification form (to be posted shortly), note that it must be submitted to the email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least 30 days before the transaction closes. For more information, go to Required Reporting of Material Transactions (ny.gov). If you need help with the new law, please contact Moe Auster, MSSNY’s Senior Vice–President & Chief Legislative Counsel, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Public Listening Sessions on Telemedicine Regulations: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is hosting public listening sessions September 12 – 13, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. On March 1, 2023, the DEA and the Department of Health and Human Services issued notices of proposed rulemakings HERE to allow for the prescribing of certain controlled medications via telemedicine without an in–person patient evaluation, and on May 9 the two agencies announced the extension of COVID–19 telemedicine flexibility for an additional six months while considering the more than 38,000 comments from the public. In September, the agency will host public listening sessions on telemedicine regulations, with time for limited oral presentations by attendees. To attend in person, register HERE by August 21, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (The listening sessions will also be live streamed online with remote participation available; we’ll let you know as soon as we receive the link and the hours of the sessions.)
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Wednesday, August 23, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time: AMA Webinar, “Healing the Healer: Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy to Support Physician Wellness.” Register now at Personal Information - Healing the healer: Legislative and regulatory advocacy to support physician wellness (cvent.com). Physicians’ problems require individual support, but they also require system–level solutions. A number of state medical associations have successfully enacted laws providing confidentiality protections for physicians seeking help for burnout, and the AMA and state medical associations have urged state medical boards to eliminate or revise stigmatizing mental–health–related questions on licensing applications. Willie Underwood III, MD, MSc, MPH (Chair, AMA Board of Trustees and MSSNY member) talks with expert panelists from the Federation of State Medical Boards, the South Dakota State Medical Association, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and Sentara Healthcare.
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September 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Come to a fascinating aerospace museum, the “Cradle of Aviation” for the Nassau County Medical Society and Nassau Academy of Medicine’s fall membership meeting in Uniondale, Long Island with guest speaker is Nassau County Commissioner of Health Doctor Irina Gelman. Come and enjoy drinks, dinner, and a chance to meet like–minded people. Register HERE.

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Have You Updated Your New MSSNY Profile? Your own special data is ready to be updated in MSSNY’s new database system. You will receive an email telling you the steps. When you receive that email click on your unique link, provided in your email, to directly access your profile. Your username for login is the email address through which you receive MSSNY communications. When you log in, you will be prompted to set your new password. Please update your profile information in the Account Tab under Personal Information. If you would like to upload a recent headshot, click the Add Image button (200x200 pixels or square images preferred). Thanks to its new database, members will be able to handle changes to your own information!

 

August 11, 2023

 

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.:  CME Webinar from TDC, “Shift from a Burnout Crisis to Collective Action.”   Register HERE!   Burnout, as well as hurting physicians, can be harmful  to patients – in fact, to the entire public.  This session focuses on system-level factors and evidence-informed strategies to reduce burnout, enhance physician well-being, and strengthen our systems of care.  Topics include the perspectives of the different stakeholders; priorities set by the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Surgeon General; signs of progress; and resources to help make clinician well-being a core value and a strategic organizational priority.  Presenter:  Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, CPHRM, ARM, Assistant Vice President, The Doctors Company.  Learning objectives:  Physicians will be able to (1) identify system drivers of burnout in their own practice; (2) implement at least one strategy to reduce one of these system drivers; and (3) implement constructive strategies with team members, to boost healthcare workers’ well-being. 

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Via remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems, some patients may be able to receive hospital-level care in their own homes.  Certain patients (such as those with chronic illness) can be monitored remotely via advanced sensors that follow vital signs and other critical data; this information is transmitted to cloud-based platforms, and the system can alert the clinician early, when vitals exceed certain thresholds or indicate abnormal trends.  As a result, treatment may possibly start sooner, potentially mitigating conditions that could otherwise require hospital admission.  At this point, what’s the downside?   Physicians worry about being burdened by the sheer volume of data that the home monitoring devices might generate.  Typically, a doctor is already treating 10 to 15 patients in the hospital, and “the ability to digitally monitor an additional load of at-home patients, streaming data 24/7,” could be overwhelming.  How could these problems be dealt with?  Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) might be used to weed through the massive quantities of data, alerting the physician only to those cases that require an action or a decision.  Eventually, the integrated systems might move from just collecting data to helping with treatment decisions.  (Charbel Rizkallah, in HealthITAnswers, August 7, 2023:  How Remote Patient Monitoring Brings the Hospital to the Home - Health IT Answers.)   

 

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Question about credit-card surcharges:  We asked Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Vice President for Physician Payment & Practice.  One of our NYCMS members writes, “Are doctors allowed to charge a credit-card surcharge for their patients insured by plans with which we participate?  So many shops and companies now charge an extra 3 to 5% when you purchase items with a credit card, and I understand why.”  Heather says:  “This is not recommended; physicians are not allowed to charge more than what contracts allow.” However, if physicians do not have a contract with that insurance, they are allowed to impose a credit-card surcharge if the patient is informed in advance of the arrangement and signs off on it.  If you have Qs about coding, billing, health insurance, etc., email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 518-328-3532. 

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Building and running your practice:  Are you taking these important steps?  (1) Are you reaching out frequently to colleagues and other healthcare facilities? (2) Setting hours that work well for your community?  (3) Attending to referrals right away?  (4) Hiring staffers whose personalities fit their roles?  (5) Being supportive with staff – but also, respectful and professional? (6) Monitoring outsourced billers closely, making sure they report to you regularly, and that they vigorously pursue denials? See Amanda Loudin’s “5 Daily Mistakes that Can Sabotage Your Medical Practice,” Medscape, April 19, 2023 (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/990960?form=fpf). 

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Financial management for physicians:  MSSNY invites you to tune in on these interesting webinars from Altfest Personal Wealth Management (just click on the link):   

Real Estate Investing for Physicians
Behavioral Psychology & Economics - How to get out of your own way
The Realities of Retirement Planning 
How to Reduce Your Tax Bill

 

 

August 4, 2023

 

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccination update:  In June 2023, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices endorsed the use of RSV vaccines for older adults, recommending that adults aged 60 years or older receive a single dose of RSV vaccine.  The CDC stresses shared clinical decision-making:  In addition to the physician’s clinical discretion, the decision should involve a patient/physician discussion that takes into account the patient’s values and preferences as well as the risk of severe disease.  For details, see the New York State Department of Health Release.

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Beware of scammers impersonating DEA agents!  The Drug Enforcement Administration says there’s a widespread fraud scheme in which telephone scammers impersonate DEA agents in an attempt to extort money or steal personal identifiable information. (In reality, DEA will never phone you demanding money or asking for personal information.)  Some of these scammers claim that the target’s name was used to rent a vehicle which was stopped at the border and contained a large quantity of drugs; the scammer asks the target to verify a social security number, or claims that a bank account has been compromised.  Other scammers spoof legitimate DEA phone numbers to convince their target that the call is legitimate, or text photos of what appears to be a legitimate law-enforcement credential.  What you should do:  If you get a call from a person claiming to be with DEA, report the incident to the FBI at www.ic3.gov.  Also, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s site (reportfraud.ftc.gov) – they will take your report, list recovery steps and share the information with more than 3,000 law-enforcement agencies. And if you have given the caller personally identifiable information such as a social security number, find out how to protect against identity theft at www.identitytheft.gov.  For more information, see the DEA’s public service announcement; also, see their press release, at https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2021/03/03/dea-warning-scammers-impersonating-dea-agents-0

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EHR exhaustion:  Does your system have features that could be simplified, streamlined or just cut out?  “Stop doing unnecessary work so you can get back to doctoring,” says internist Marie Brown, MD, the AMA’s director of practice redesign.  The AMA has developed a de-implementation checklist pointing out processes or requirements that add little value to patients and care teams, but place unintended burdens on clinicians.  On the list are some tasks that don’t have to be done by an MD or DO (they could be done by other staff); some tasks that add no value and could be eliminated entirely; and some items that, by being simplified, could save time and aggravation.  For example, here are some strategies for:  Passwords, login/logout, etc.:  Extend the time before auto-logout; extend the intervals for password reset requirements; don’t require a physician who has already signed into the EHR, to re-enter a username and password when sending certain noncontrolled-substance prescriptions.  Ordering tests:  Cut down requirements for inputting excessive clinical data before ordering a test; set up the technology to auto-populate necessary discrete data fields if the information already exists in the EHR (e.g., if a medical assistant has completed a discrete field for “last menstrual period,” optimize your technology so no one has to reenter that data into the order for a pap smear).  Reduce “note bloat”:  Cut down on links embedded in visit-note templates that automatically pull in data from other parts of the EHR, adding little clinical value.  For more details, go to:  De-implementation Checklist | AMA (ama-assn.org)

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Staffing your practice:  Do you need an office manager, a biller/coder, a certified medical assistant – or one of the many other valuable health professionals?  Get help from Winston, the endorsed medical staffing firm for the New York County Medical Society.  Winston, which has been Joint Commission certified since 2009, offers Society members discounted rates on both temporary and direct-hire staffing needs. For immediate personal attention from a trained professional who understands your situation, contact Ivy Kramer, MSW, CSW - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 212-687-4667. 

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Can a doctor’s office be converted to a residence?  In some cases, this conversion may not be barred by New York City’s zoning laws - but it may still be difficult.  It’s true that there are doctors’ offices not only in NYC’s Commercial (C) zoning districts, but also in the Residence (R) districts - in buildings that are primarily residential.  (Offices in those residential buildings are classified as “community facilities,” rather than as regular commercial enterprises.)  But the laws and regulations have become stricter and more complicated over the years.  One recently retired NYCMS member says, “My office co-op is in a residential building on East 62nd St. in Manhattan and was originally a residence. In trying to sell my office, I have had more residential interest, but have been informed by my building’s attorney that Manhattan restricts this medical office conversion to residential use due to a belief that there are excessive residences in some areas of Manhattan.  This restriction is in place at the same time that there are public plans for supporting the needed conversion of ENTIRE office buildings into residential buildings!”  This member, Dr. Harvey Jay, urges a change in the rules; he would welcome information and anecdotes from fellow physicians who have run into a similar problem.  You can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 914-552-5563.

 

July 28, 2023

 

Our President Continues Wrongful Death Fight: Society President Thomas Sterry, MD was interviewed in a piece on ABC–TV News on why physicians were concerned about “Wrongful Death” legislation. Doctor Sterry talked about the consequences of increasing medical liability costs (estimated to be near 40 % if this legislation passes) on the health care system and especially in underserved communities. Help with this fight (even if you have done it before) by sending a letter on the issue to Governor Kathy Hochul HERE.
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We Must Keep Fighting Medicare Cuts: Medicare has released its proposed 2024 Medicare Physician Payment rule, with a drastic 3.36% cut to the Medicare conversion factor. Once again physicians must urge their Representative and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to enact HR 2474, which would instead provide annual positive updates in Medicare payment. Please click on Take Action | Fix Medicare Now to communicate with the lawmakers. (Use the quick message system on the right–hand side of that web page.)

Medicare physician pay has fallen 26% since 2001. How did we get here? Doctors’ payments have been partially tied to the Medicare Economic Index (MEI), an inflation index that has two categories (practice costs and physician compensation) and is adjusted to reflect the productivity of the whole U.S. economy; but between 1992 and 2015, the MEI’s role in shaping payment diminished dramatically. New factors came in, namely, prospective expenditure targets (first, MVPS, the Medicare Volume Performance Standards, and then SGR, the sustainable–growth rate). Those targets kept the growth of overall Medicare physician spending low — in fact, so low that the payment cuts were unsustainable. So Congress tried applying short–term payment “patches” that were subtracted from projected updates later in the budget window. But those patches didn’t completely work either, and by 2015 physicians were facing a payment cut of 21%.

The next development was MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. MACRA did change the payment system significantly: It eliminated the SGR and the “debt” that had accumulated over ten–plus years of payment patches. However, the problems were still unsolved: MACRA’s updates were required to be set at below–inflation numbers that, even at the beginning, experts knew would be unsustainable. Thus, it comes as no surprise that when adjusted for inflation, physician payment has effectively declined 26% from 2001 to 2023. And it is widely recognized that chronically inadequate payment rates will affect access to care.

For more information about the 2024 rule, see the CMS Press release, Fact sheet, and the other notable Medicare proposals for 2024 reported by the AMA.
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AMA Practice Expenses Survey Going Out: Soon, thousands of randomly selected individual physicians will be receiving a short survey about direct patient care hours (a critical component of the Medicare payment methodology). The Medicare physician payment schedule is out of date: It relies on 2006 cost information, but since then the U.S. economy and health care system have undergone substantial changes— inflation, the adoption of EHRs and more. The AMA needs accurate financial information to communicate effectively with CMS, Congress and other policymakers. For details, go to Physician Practice Information (PPI) Survey.
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Does Medicare Cover This? Have you ever searched to see if Medicare covers a certain CPT/HCPC code in the (POS) Place of Service 11? Some insurers are rejecting codes that indicate non–coverage by Medicare for office–based procedures. Medicare has designed a quick lookup tool for this where you can go and check the codes for coverage and reimbursement rates. Try this lookup tool today, and save it in your shortcuts! If you have questions about this or any other insurance concern, contact Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment and Practice, at (518) 328–3532.
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Wednesday, August 2, 12:00 Noon to 1:00 p.m.: Physicians who are employers, you’re invited to take part in the Workers Compensation Board’s free monthly “Lunch and Learn with the Office of the Advocate for Business.” This webinar will discuss the basics of the Workers’ Compensation system, including insurance types, coverage requirements and employers’ obligations under the law; who needs coverage and who does not; how and when to report an injury or illness, including COVID–19; what you should bear in mind when hiring independent contractors, laborers and domestic workers; penalties and where to get help with them; and more. There will be time at the end for questions, and registration is not required. To join, on August 2 at noon, please click on Join webinar. (Note: The next monthly session is on Wednesday, September 6, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. To enter that session, just click on that same link, Join webinar.)
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Latest Vaccine News: Find out the latest about vaccines from MSSNY’s updated podcasts, with Doctor Bill Valenti, chair of MSSNY’s Committee on Infectious Diseases. The COVID pandemic has affected everyone’s life, and one of the most significant and devastating impacts has been the lapse in routine childhood vaccines. Click on the podcast topic to hear Doctor Valenti discuss the following:

· Hepatitis B
· Hepatitis B (extended version)
· Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
· Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
· Respiratory Viruses (Influenza, COVID & RSV)
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July 21, 2023

 

Warning: UnitedHealthcare Unilaterally Cutting Physician Fees: UnitedHealthcare recently notified participating physicians that as of October 1, 2023, it will switch its commercial rates to 100% of 2020 Medicare for most services except for Radiology, Laboratory, Physical Medicine, DME and Immunization Administration. (Fees for those services will range from 42% to 95% of 2020 Medicare.) This change will be effected through a unilateral amendment which does not require the practice’s acceptance or acknowledgment. If you received and reviewed the proposed fee changes and do not agree with the changes, you must submit written notification of the termination of your UHC agreement in its entirety within 30 days of the date of UHC’s letter to you. (Most of those letters were dated June 30, 2023.) You should send this notification to the address in the specific letter that you received, or to the following address: UnitedHealth Care Contract Support, Attention Imaging Center, 2300 W. Plano Parkway, #C1E105, Plano, TX 75075-8427.

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The New York Health Act (“Single Payer”) Under Discussion Again: Even though the state legislative session has officially ended, new proposals are still being introduced. This bill, first introduced in 1992 by now–retired Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, has seen some changes; the current version addresses public–sector unions’ fears that the new system might take away hard–fought benefits from their members. The new Assembly sponsor, Amy Paulin, says, “We’ve added language to ensure that they would get 100% of the benefits that they currently have” and also keep their current cost–sharing structure. “New Yorkers,” she says, “are overly burdened by rising premiums, changing deductibles, co–pays, restrictive provider networks, out–of–network charges, coverage gaps, and denials of coverage . . . We can’t continue with the status quo.” Insurers and the business community say a single–payer program would be expensive, and would “restrict health care choices for New Yorkers, diminish the quality of health care in the State, increase the tax burden for every working New Yorker in almost unimaginable and staggering ways and make the New York the least attractive place to do business on the continent." (NY Business Council, quoted in Single-payer health care supporters signal new effort (nystateofpolitics.com).) Supporters say the current system already costs far too much; “single payer” could save money in the long run. We will continue to watch this legislation and make sure that physicians are included in the discussion of how health care in New York works.
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Events: Thursday, July 27, 8:00 a.m., the AMA invites you to a webinar: “August Recess Campaign — Fix Medicare Now.” (Go to: Webinar Registration - Zoom.) This session, on the problems of Medicare’s physician payment system, tells how you can help right now. Jason Marino, AMA Director of Congressional Affairs, will talk about current Medicare legislation and what lies ahead during the 118th Congress; advocacy expert David Lusk will discuss best practices for engaging our members of Congress in–district and via social media. Space is limited, so please be sure to register early.
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New Federal Targets — Cybercrooks: The Office of the National Cyber Director has released a National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan with nearly 70 initiatives, including use of the False Claims Act “to pursue civil actions against government grantees and contractors who fail to meet cybersecurity obligations.” Healthcare–related financial abuses are also part of the focus. The Feds are warning the public about risky medical credit cards, telling providers not to use contractual loopholes that allow surprise bills, and discouraging providers from charging facility fees for care outside the hospital. (Read details at: FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Lower Health Care Costs and Protect Consumers from Scam Insurance Plans and Junk Fees as Part of “Bidenomics” Push | The White House).
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Do You Have “Long COVID” Patients Filing Social Security Disability Claims: Are your Long COVID patients asking you for medical evidence when they file for disability? You may want to look at the Social Security Agency’s helpful fact sheet HERE. If you have questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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July 14, 2023

 

If Running for Political Office Intrigues You, Check THIS Out: Registration is now open for the AMA’s October 12 – 15 campaign school, at the AMA’s offices in Washington, DC. You can register HERE. You’ll gain a new understanding of how campaigns are run: Participants will run a simulated congressional campaign, using what they’ve learned during group sessions on strategy, vote targeting, social media, advertising and more. Attendees include physicians, spouses of physicians, residents and students, and state medical society staff. Space is limited, and the deadline to register is September 18 (or sooner if maximum capacity is reached). Registration fee is $350 for AMA Member/$1,000 for non–AMA members (waived for AMA residents and students). For more information, go to 2023 Campaign School or contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Medicare Advantage and the NYC Retirees – the Fight Isn’t Over Yet: On July 7, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank temporarily blocked the City’s move to switch retired New York City employees to a privatized Aetna plan, automatically. (As of now, the City’s Administrative Code does not allow retirees to keep an option to pay $191 per month and stay with their current health insurance.) Justice Frank wrote, “The retirees would likely find success on the merits of their [late–May] suit, in which they argued that the switch would force them to accept an inferior plan and that they had been promised the supplemental Medicare coverage they currently receive.” ( What you need to know about NYC retirees’ health care fight - City & State New York (cityandstateny.com)). Stay tuned as this story continues.
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Don’t Panic About Information Blocking Penalties: You may have heard that the Office of the Inspector General (Department of Health and Human Services) has now posted Information Blocking penalties, but you can relax — the penalties are for health IT developers, etc., and not for providers. Physicians will get a different approach (“disincentives”); HHS is in the process of developing a separate rule for them. We will keep you posted.
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MSSNY’s Library of Member Benefits Webinars Available: MSSNY’s Webinar Library contains interesting and useful information for your practice. To go to the Library (recordings – video with sound), click on: Webinars – MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK ORGANIZED 1807 (mssny.org). Scroll down to the list of webinars; to see one of them, you won’t need an additional link – the initial screen is already displayed, with a triangle you can click on to start the recording. Topics include Medicare (MIPS, E/M coding), billing laws & regulations, cybersecurity, employment contracts, and more; there’s even our own NYCMS Board Member Doctor Purvi Parikh presenting “How to Give a Medical Media Interview.”
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July 7, 2023

 

NYCMS Leaders Quoted on Medicare “Disadvantage” Plans: President Thomas Sterry, MD, and Board Member Loren Wissner Greene were interviewed in an article in Gothamist on “What 250K NYC Retirees Can Expect from Medicare Advantage as Opt–Out Deadline Approaches.” Caroline Lewis interviewed Society members on how physicians feel about Medicare Advantage plans in her article and noted the following:

“Dr. Thomas Sterry, a plastic surgeon affiliated with Mount Sinai, said he often helps with ‘touching things up’ after a patient at the hospital gets a major surgery done, and those procedures can require inpatient rehab after the fact. Sterry said he can readily send patients to a rehab facility if they’re on regular Medicare, but that ‘the Advantage plans never approve it.’
He added that these denials even happen after multiple clinicians recommend the inpatient rehab. ‘They force us to send the patient home, and they expect the patient to get some in–home physical therapy twice a week or something like that,’ Sterry said. ‘It's just not even close to the same thing.’”

Doctor Loren Wissner Greene, on the Society’s Board of Directors labeled the problem with the plans. “‘We call it Medicare Disadvantage,’ Greene said. That's a common parlance in the medical community.’”

Read the whole article about New York City retirees and their fight to keep traditional Medicare HERE.

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Medicare’s Payment Problems Getting Worse: A solution has been introduced in Congress, and we want our lawmakers to support it. Representatives Ami Bera and Larry Buchshon, along with four original co–signers, have sent House Leaders a “Dear Colleague” and sign–on letter in support of Medicare physician payment reform. We are urging you to locate your Congressional Representative at https://www.ny.gov/new-york-state-congressional-delegation, go through the Contact Tab, and type in the following message: “Please sign on to the Bera–Bucshon letter to House leadership, urging the leaders to make reform of MACRA a priority.”

Why Is Medicare In Trouble? Regular fees are losing ground. Beyond already–scheduled cuts, an extra 4.5% cut was required last year — so that with inflation, the Medicare dollar’s actual usefulness has dropped by as much as 10%. MACRA hasn’t worked out either. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (2015), while guarding quality, was supposed to apply “value–based” approaches that would save money across the whole system, and yet not starve out individual physicians or provider organizations. However, MACRA has had problems with incentives: MIPS (MACRA’s program for individual doctors) has been required to be budget–neutral, so that if some physicians have gotten bonuses, others have gotten cuts. There also have been problems with cost savings: provider organizations were offered a number of cost–saving strategies, or “Alternative Payment Models,” they could adopt (the best known being Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs), but as it turns out, only a few of these models have actually improved the bottom line.
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Get the Latest on Diabetes: You can still see and hear Cornell expert Gwendolyne Jack, MD, who gave us a fascinating, fact–packed presentation on June 28. For a recap of “Diabetes 2023: Classic Concepts and New Developments” go to https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/bBGAM4D5SHIUzAoY5CyvnNNUwFNG6jpu6yfGjelCktBdv2HAck9k5S2lpgxc_kFY.mPKsCeyFGH9uuE0Q, and use passcode: ^!JDRa%9.
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Heather’s Second Tuesday Call Upcoming: On July 11, at 6:00 p.m., you can take part in the monthly open–agenda call with Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President for Physician Payment and Practice. It is the monthly meeting with representatives from CMS and NGS (National Government Services), where you can connect with the experts and get your questions answered. On July 11 at 6:00 p.m. go directly into the session by clicking on: https://cms.zoomgov.com/j/1601009631?pwd=WEZnZXJ0eEN5QzNlK1JkWG9IZEcxZz09#success.
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Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY presents “The Business of Medicine, Part 2,” with Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Vice President for Physician Payment & Practice. Hear the answers to key questions, including: Contracts with payors (which are incredibly one–sided); how to negotiate fees, handle assignment provisions, indemnity and more. Learn about credit–card processing fees (e.g., under what circumstances are you permitted to charge patients for these). Register HERE.
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NYCMS Shines Harsh Light on Retail Pharmacies: Our members’ responses to our recent survey have exposed problems from bottom to top — all the way from repeat errors with specific items (e.g., “lancets that don’t work with the dispensed glucometer”) to structural issues with the entire system (e.g., “The treating of medical services as if [the system were] an industrial assembly line with the lowest possible labor costs, so they hire high–school graduates, call them pharmacy techs, and then poorly train them and supervise them”).

We’re still working on shaping this information into messages we would like legislators to hear. In the meantime, here are some comments that may sound familiar to you:

“Our office has to call about prescriptions”
“We’ve frequently waited on the phone for over 15 minutes.”
“We have problems especially with psychostimulant medications.”
“The need to preauthorize any generic medication is a waste of time for physicians and their office!!!”
“Cough syrups with Codeine: Once, I could not get through at all by telephone to multiple pharmacies to check supply.”
“They do not honor 1 yr Rx, e.g. 90d x3 refills.
“Make up their own policies independent of state law — As a surgeon, we have to give pain meds to post–op patients, [who] may need [the meds] for a couple of weeks; they make draconian rules”
“Pharmacy chains are making their own rules about how frequently and recently in–office visits [are required] before dispensing Adderall and other stimulants”).
“When contacted by a pharmacy, I have no idea if the patient needs the Rx or if the pharmacy just needs to fill a quota or make money. I turned off my fax because of constant faxes for refills that weren't needed.”
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MSSNY’s Newest Benefit for You: The “Connecteam” member benefit is an employee management app that offers time–clock tracking, seamless communication, task management, training programs, digital forms, an employee directory and more. As a MSSNY member, you can enjoy free access for practices with up to ten employees and a 10% discount for larger teams. To find out more, visit Connecteam - The Best Home Care App for Your Team. You’ll be able to sign up, providing your membership details, and bring Connecteam into your practice.
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June 30, 2023

 

You Should Have Been There! A good time really was had by all at the Society’ Annual Meeting on June 26, with sliders, cocktails, and a chance for new and old friends and colleagues to meet up. We thanked Doctor Erick Eiting on the conclusion of his presidency (look for his speech to be sent out soon). We honored Joshua M. Cohen, MD, MPH, as the inaugural winner of the Heroes in Medicine Award. We presented the Nicolas Romayne, MD Recognition Award to Malcolm D. Reid, MD, MPP. Thanks to vendors present: The Doctors Company, Winston Health Care Staffing, and Storage Quarters. Each awarded a $25 American Express Gift Card to a lucky attendee. The program for the event is attached — next year come and experience it for yourself!

Lastly, we were able to welcome our new President, Thomas P. Sterry, MD. Doctor Sterry is a graduate of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, New York. He trained at Mount Sinai in both general and plastic surgery. The first three years of practice were spent as an employee of Mount Sinai, and the last 16 have been in solo private practice on the Upper East Side. He is board certified in plastic surgery.

Doctor Sterry is Past President, New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS — an advocacy group). He recently finished a term as President of the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYRSPS — a separate, educational entity) and during the pandemic created a seven–state coalition of State Societies to come up with guidelines for restarting elective surgery in our regions. He is a delegate to the MSSNY House of Delegates, serving on HOD Reference Committees and on the MSSNY Interspecialty Committee.
Doctor Sterry is especially passionate about advocacy. We are very much looking forward to his presidency this year. __________________________________________________________

It’s Official: Congratulations to the Society’s newly–elected Board of Directors and this year’s slate of delegates to MSSNY below:

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH, President–Elect
Richard Schutzer, MD, Vice President
Mark Milstein, MD, Secretary
Ksenija Belsley, MD, Assistant Secretary
Jill Baron, MD, Treasurer
Stuart Gitlow, MD, Assistant Treasurer
Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Trustee

Board Members At Large
Clifford Bassett, MD
Michael Borecky, MD
Connie DiMari, MD
Loren Wissner Greene, MD
Aaron Kithcart, MD
Maria LoTempio, MD
Henry Magliato, MD
Purvi Parikh, MD
Ami Shah, MD
Richard Silvera, MD

Delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)
Arthur Cooper, MD
Paul Orloff, MD
Edward Powers, III, MD
Richard Schutzer, MD
Thomas Sterry, MD

Alternate Delegates to MSSNY
Jill Baron, MD
Michael Borecky, MD
Connie DiMari, MD
Maria LoTempio, MD
Richard Silvera, MD
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Rewind: The Society’s presentation of “Diabetes 2023: Classic Concepts and New Developments” with Gwendolyne Jack, MD, had the latest on this disease. You can check it out on this recording HERE, using passcode ^!JDRa%9
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“Session After the Session” Results: When the Assembly reconvened after the formal close of this year’s legislative session, two healthcare–related bills passed. S.3100–A/A.1278–A prohibits the use of non–compete agreements in employment contracts in New York State. (This measure would go farther than the proposed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule by also applying to non–profit entities, including large health care systems in New York State.) S.1066B/A. 1709B would include telehealth services for reproductive healthcare in our state’s safeguards for reproductive health services. Following the Dobbs decision, many states across the United States have enacted abortion bans and reproductive rights restrictions; this bill fills an important gap by safeguarding healthcare practitioners here in New York from out–of–state activities that could jeopardize their ability to provide patients with necessary reproductive health services. Both bills will now go to Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature.
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The Success Clock Continues to Tick: Over the last two years, MSSNY’s Division of Physician Payment and Practice, headed up by Vice President Heather Lopez, has dealt with over 1,000 different issues (including many prior authorization matters), recouping over $7.5 million from insurers for MSSNY members. Heather works closely with insurance companies and often goes directly to the appropriate regulator, including the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Labor or the Department of Health. Society members, this is one of your great benefits — just reach out to Heather for her assistance in practice management, CPT/ICD10 coding, contract negotiation, billing, insurance barriers, and reimbursement methodology.
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Events: Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Presents “The Business of Medicine, Part 2,” with Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Vice President for Physician Payment & Practice. Hear the answers to key questions, including: Contracts with payors (which are incredibly one–sided): How can you negotiate fees, assignment provisions, indemnity and more? Credit–card processing fees: Under what circumstances are you permitted to charge patients for these? And, deductions from your employee’s paycheck: Which ones are you permitted to make? Register HERE. __________________________________________________________________

Last Chance to Tell Us About Your Frustrations with Pharmacies: We are looking for information from our members on a problem that has raised concerns — experiences with pharmacies. Take this brief survey HERE. Tell us about unanswered calls to the pharmacy, long wait times on the phone, and lack of response to patients’ problems with prescriptions. Our survey will help us determine the extent of any issues in order to share with regulators and legislators.
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June 23, 2023

 

NYCMS Events This Week

Monday, June 26, 2023, 6:00 p.m., the New York County Medical Society’s Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, in person at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Come for drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required. Register HERE.

CME, Wednesday, June 28, at 6:00 p.m. “Diabetes 2023: Classic Concepts and New Developments (a Zoom CME conference): Register HERE. Over 10 percent of Americans actually have diabetes and are at risk for its serious complications. Hear about new thinking, new medications, and new technology. Faculty: Gwendolyne Jack, MD is an endocrinologist in New York, NY and is affiliated with New York–Presbyterian Hospital. Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to understand the person–centered and tailored approach to diabetes care; discuss updates in diabetes standards of care; understand the team–based approach to diabetes care; and discuss barriers and practical considerations for providing comprehensive diabetes care.

Accreditation Statement: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of the Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society. The Westchester Academy of Medicine is accredited by MSSNY to provide Continuing Medical Education for physicians. The Westchester Academy of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category I Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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Tell Your Story on Wrongful Death Implications: The New York State legislative session has ended, and unfortunately, the legislature did pass a new version of the “Grieving Families Act,” a.k.a “Wrongful Death.” But this fight is not over. Once again, we are asking Governor Kathy Hochul to veto the bill. In January, when she vetoed an earlier version of this bill at our urging, she accurately described the bill as over broad and under researched. This time, with only minor changes, we hope that she still recognizes that this legislation threatens businesses, municipalities, physician practices, hospitals and the whole statewide health care safety net. We have strong allies, including the Business Council and various municipal associations, but even more important, we have grassroots efforts by physicians like you. Even if you did it before, even if you wonder if it will help, PLEASE act again. We still have a chance, and the number of responses received (even multiple ones from you) can make the difference in the next step the Governor takes – whether it is reaching out to the legislature for changes OR refusing to accept a problematic bill.

Here are steps you, colleagues, staff, and family can take:

MSSNY’s Grassroots Action Center makes it easy. Please use this link Grieving Families Act Alert to send the Governor an instant, pre–written message.

CALL the Governor at (518) 474-8390 (press #3 and then #2 to speak to an operator live) and give your name and zip code, and say: “Veto or remove medical liability from Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636)”

TELL your story. MSSNY is looking for stories from physicians around the State about the impact the bill will have on their practices AND consequently patients. Examples: Younger physician, just coming out of training: “I will have to leave New York and go to a state with a less difficult liability climate.” Experienced, well–established physician: “I will shift my practice to stop doing certain procedures that are relatively high–risk.” Or “I may have to retire early.” What do these things mean to your patient — especially underserved groups. Will patients have to settle for “second tier” care when doctors aren’t available or change their practices. Share YOUR story by emailing Michael Bartlett at MSSNY: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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New York State’s Prevention of Sexual Harassment Requirements: Since 2018, New York State has required all employers to have a sexual harassment prevention policy and provide annual employee training on that issue. If you have one or more employees, this law applies to you. You need to keep your materials and procedures up to date; you must provide your employee(s) with training each October, and new employees should receive the training when they start. Taking these steps is essential for compliance, and is also an important strategy for mitigating risk. There is heightened awareness of this issue today, with increased scrutiny of sexual harassment claims by law enforcement, human resources departments and administrative agencies.

New York State provides model materials you can pick up or adapt, and has recently updated these items with three new topics: “Telework” (remote work settings), gender identity, and ways for bystanders to intervene in problem situations. You should review the New York State updates, and either make changes in your existing materials or replace your materials with new ones.

Why not take care of this now? The State makes it easy for you. All the needed information and materials are available on the state’s web page, Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy and Training (ny.gov). You can use or modify these items, or develop your own. (You must meet certain standards, which are also on the web page.)

Look for an email blast from us soon with more details.
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MSSNY Presents “The Business of Medicine, Part 2:” Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 a.m.: with Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Vice President for Physician Payment & Practice. In this useful program you’ll learn about issues including:

— Permissible employee payroll deductions: Which deductions an employer is permitted to make from an employee’s paycheck – including (but not limited to) costs related to non–required education and training.

— Charging insured patients a credit–card processing fee (it is not always permitted). Payor contracts have very stringent terms with regard to fees that can be charged to beneficiaries.

— The importance of negotiating payor contracts: Payor contracts are incredibly one–sided. This program will address the importance of negotiating a contract’s terms and conditions — fees, assignment provisions, indemnity and more.


Register HERE.
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Tell Us About Your Frustrations with Pharmacies: We are looking for information from our members on a problem that has raised concerns — experiences with pharmacies. Take this brief survey HERE. Tell us about unanswered calls to the pharmacy, long wait times on the phone, and lack of response to patients’ problems with prescriptions. Our survey will help us determine the extent of any issues in order to share with regulators and legislators.
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Are You Having Workers’ Comp Difficulties with the NYC Law Department? The NYC Law Department is a Workers’ Compensation self–insurer for many New York City employees. Problems with payment and large amounts owed have surfaced in Nassau County. Are you experiencing problems? If you have an example of an issue with this company, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. _________________________________________________________________

Patients Fighting Insurance Denials: You can help them get ammunition — suggest that they request the claim file. It may contain reasons the claim was denied, plus other revealing details; for example, it may show that the claim has been routed to a special program designed to cut costs, such as a Cigna cost-saving program that’s been associated with a number of denials. The Content: The patient should ask for case management information, medical utilization information, telephone logs and call summaries, recordings of telephone conversations, medical records and assessments, and all other correspondence and records related to the unique claim number(s). Other key items are the request date; the patient’s name, address and phone number; the patient’s Plan ID and unique Member ID (often listed below the patient’s name on the health insurance card); the unique case number(s) (or “service reference number,” or a similar term) associated with the denied claim; the dollar amount of the claim; the dates of the appointments, procedures or other services in question; the date the patient received notice of the denial; and a copy of the plan’s denial letter, or letter stating how much the patient owed for the treatment or service. The format: Some insurers have their own forms for this, but they may not contain enough space for the crucial information. Patients might take a look at a template provided by the independent journalism source ProPublica, at Claim File Request Template (propublica.org); this template lists all the needed records. Where to send the request: There may be an address on an insurer’s claim request form, and/or on any denial letters or explanation of benefit letters the patient has received. Most plans ask that the forms be mailed or faxed to a physical location. (Some legal advocates say they send these requests to the “appeals and member request” departments; employees in those departments often understand the process best.)

 

 

June 16, 2023

 

We Are Not Stopping on Wrongful Death — Steps to Take: The New York State legislative session has ended, and unfortunately, the legislature did pass a new version of the “Grieving Families Act,” a.k.a “Wrongful Death.” Once again, we are asking Governor Kathy Hochul to veto the bill. In January, when she vetoed an earlier version of this bill at our urging, she accurately described the bill as over broad and under researched. This time, with only minor changes, we hope that she still recognizes that this legislation threatens businesses, municipalities, physician practices, hospitals and the whole statewide health care safety net. Even if you did it before, even if you wonder if it will help, PLEASE act again. We still have a chance, and the number of responses received (even multiple ones from you) can make the difference in the next step the Governor takes – whether it is reaching out to the legislature for changes OR refusing to accept a problematic bill.

1. MSSNY’s Grassroots Action Center makes it easy. Please use this link Grieving Families Act Alert to send the Governor an instant, pre–written message.

2. CALL the Governor at (518) 474-8390 (press #3 and then #2 to speak to an operator live) and give your name and zip code, and say: “Veto or remove medical liability from Wrongful Death Liability Expansion! (A.6698/S.6636)”

3. TELL your story. MSSNY is looking for stories from physicians around the State about the impact the bill will have on their practices AND consequently patients. Examples: Younger physician, just coming out of training: “I will have to leave New York and go to a state with a less difficult liability climate.” Experienced, well–established physician: “I will shift my practice to stop doing certain procedures that are relatively high–risk.” Or “I may have to retire early.” What do these things mean to your patient — especially underserved groups. Will patients have to settle for “second tier” care when doctors aren’t available or change their practices. Share YOUR story by emailing Michael Bartlett at MSSNY: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Legislative Results: Two health insurance reform bills were passed. A.463–A/S.2677–A would require insurers to provide more detailed information and appeal rights when they have denied requests for step–therapy overrides; A.1673–A/S.1196–A would require insurers to cover biomarker tests that are supported by medical and scientific evidence. We will be urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign these bills into law — watch for message and contact information.

Luckily, the legislators did not pass Scope of Practice bills we opposed. Those bills would have expanded scope for nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and more, letting them practice with less (in some instances, no) physician supervision. We thank the many physicians who urged their legislators to oppose these proposals; there was also help from an AMA grant that MSSNY used for radio ads about crucial patient safety concerns.
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Gender–Affirming Care Protection for Doctors: The Senate and Assembly have passed S.2475–B/A.6046–B, protecting against out–of–state arrests. This bill would protect parents and guardians who come to New York so their children can receive gender–affirming care from being subjected to legal action from other states; it would also protect the physicians and other practitioners who provide gender–affirming care, from being subjected to such action. The bill would prohibit New York law enforcement entities from cooperating with, or providing information to, out–of–state agencies regarding gender–affirming care provided in New York State. It would also prohibit: (1) The extradition of gender–affirming care providers; (2) the arrest of individuals for performing gender–affirming care in New York State, or aiding in the provision of that care; and (3) the issuance of a subpoena for out–of–state proceedings related to individuals who had come to New York State seeking gender–affirming care. In addition, the bill would prohibit insurers from taking adverse action against healthcare providers for providing gender–affirming care.
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Medicare Physician Payment Continues To Be a Battlefield: Did you know that physicians are the only providers whose Medicare payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update? Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of inflation growth since 2001, and this statutory flaw amplifies the impact of ‟budget neutrality” adjustments and other policy changes — especially now, just after the pandemic, when we’re dealing with record inflation. A bipartisan group of physician members of Congress have introduced H.R. 2474, which would address these problems. Please contact your legislators today — urge them to help fix the Medicare physician payment system by supporting H.R. 2474. For a pre–written, instantly sendable message, just go to fixmedicarenow.org.
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Pharmacy Frustrations — Tell Us: We are seeking information from our members on a problem that has raised concerns — experiences with pharmacies. Take this brief survey HERE. Tell us about unanswered calls to the pharmacy, long wait times on the phone, and lack of response to patients’ problems with prescriptions. Our survey will help us determine the extent of any issues in order to share with regulators and legislators.
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Update on Medicare Advantage Plan for NYC Retirees: Aetna, hoping to intervene in the retirees’ suit against the City and Mayor Eric Adams, has released data about the 82 million–plus Medicare Advantage claims it received in 2022. It says its track record on prior authorizations was good: Only 3.4% of those claims were subject to prior approval, and only 0.49% were denied. Meanwhile, City Comptroller Brad Lander has declined to register the City’s Medicare Advantage contract for municipal retirees, saying, “I am seriously concerned about the privatization of Medicare plans, overbilling by insurance companies, and barriers to care under Medicare Advantage . . . Pending litigation calls into question the legality of this procurement.” Mayor Adams has the power to register the contract himself, so more to come.


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Great Membership Benefit — Medical Audit Protective Shield (MAPS): Health insurer audits and OPMC problems are only two of the many issues physicians face, and it is crucial that you speak right away with experienced counsel and make sure your initial response and all subsequent responses are exactly right. (Like an IRS audit, a carrier audit can mean a six– or seven–figure refund demand; an OPMC investigation, which will NOT be covered by your medical liability carrier, can jeopardize your medical license.) MAPS is a pre–emptive remedy for legal troubles. Pricing begins at $500 a year for the basic plan – group practice rates also available. To learn more and set up your protection, call Scott Einiger, Esq., at (516) 477–7909.
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Events

New York County Medical Society Presents Monday, June 26, 2023, 6:00 p.m., the New York County Medical Society’s Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, in person at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Come for drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required. Register HERE.

New York County Medical Society Presents Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m., “Diabetes: 2023,” a Zoom conference on classic concepts and new developments. Over 10 percent of Americans have diabetes, and there are new issues to discuss, plus new medications and new technology. Endocrinologist Gwendolyne Jack, MD is affiliated with New York–Presbyterian Hospital. She received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, and did her internship and residence at Johns Hopkins. She is board–certified in Medicine, and in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. REGISTER HERE!

MSSNY Presents Wednesday, June 21, at 7:30 a.m.: “Vector Borne Diseases: Prevention, Identification & Treatment,” part of MSSNY’s “Medical Matters” series. Faculty: William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee. Register HERE.

Columbia University Presents Wednesday, June 21, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. “ChatGPT, Knowledge, and Misinformation: Technology and Its Many Impacts on Health, Wellness, and Society.” In this free program, AI ethicist and criminologist Renée Cummings and researcher Michael Scroggins will discuss AI and other technologies that are changing the landscape of society, health, wellness, and scientific research. Register HERE.

MSSNY Presents on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon (EST): How Do I Know If I Should Renegotiate My Employment Contract? Do I need to wait until the end of the term? How do I know if compensation rates have changed? Kyle Claussen, CEO of Resolve, will talk about these questions and provide insights on what to expect during a contract renegotiation and how you can prepare for it. Register HERE.

 

 

June 9, 2023

Before Your Next DEA Registration: As of June 27, 2023, the next time you send in your registration or, if this is your first registration, you will be required to have completed eight hours of training in the treatment of opioid or other substance use disorders. You may already have taken MSSNY’s three–hour pain management, palliative care and addiction course to meet the New York State requirement, and those three hours would count toward this one–time federal requirement. The MSSNY course is available at MSSNY’s CME website, https://cme.mssny.org/. Attached to this email, you will find information on how you can fulfill the other five hours or if you are exempt.
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Update on the Wrongful Death Legislation: Unfortunately, this past week the New York State Senate passed the new version of the Grieving Families Act by a 55 – 7 vote. The Assembly passed it last week by 131 – 12 vote. So, once again we will need to urge Governor Kathy Hochul to veto the bill; look for the next step in our campaign soon.

In the meantime, if you have a personal testimonial or story that indicates how higher liability costs will affect you and your ability to take care of patients, send the story to Michael Bartlett at MSSNY at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Pharmacy Frustrations — Tell Us: We are seeking information from our members on a problem that has raised concerns — experiences with pharmacies. Take this brief survey HERE. Tell us about unanswered calls to the pharmacy, long wait times on the phone, and lack of response to patients’ problems with prescriptions. Our survey will help us determine the extent of any issues in order to share with regulators and legislators.
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Updates on Insurance Sore Spots: We were successful in fighting Cigna’s unpopular requirement that medical records be sent when Modifier 25 was used. Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Vice President for Physician Payment & Practice, was instrumental in taking this fight to the AMA and leading the charge against it. In addition, there is a temporary stay on United Health Care’s prior authorization program for endoscopies. We will keep you updated on these and other insurance issues.
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Did You Miss the NYRx Webinar? MSSNY’s June 7 webinar on NYRx, the Medicaid Pharmacy program, is still available with information on the Preferred Drug Program and how to obtain a 72–hour emergency supply. Check it out HERE.
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.
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Events

New York County Medical Society Presents Monday, June 26, 2023, 6:00 p.m., the New York County Medical Society’s Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, in person at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Come for drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required. Register HERE.

New York County Medical Society Presents Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m., “Diabetes: 2023,” a Zoom conference on classic concepts and new developments. Over 10 percent of Americans have diabetes, and there are new issues to discuss, plus new medications and new technology. Endocrinologist Gwendolyne Jack, MD is affiliated with New York–Presbyterian Hospital. She received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, and did her internship and residence at Johns Hopkins. She is board–certified in Medicine, and in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. REGISTER HERE!

MSSNY Presents Heather Lopez’s Monthly “Second Tuesday” Meeting: Tuesday, June 13, 6:00 p.m., you can take part in MSSNY’s monthly open–agenda call with representatives of CMS and NGS (National Government Services). Connect with the experts and get your questions answered. Heather Lopez holds this helpful meeting, in which members enjoy a direct communication line with policymakers who otherwise can be difficult to reach. When the date/time arrives, you can go right into the meeting — just click HERE on June 13, 6:00 p.m.

MSSNY Presents Wednesday, June 21, at 7:30 a.m.: “Vector Borne Diseases: Prevention, Identification & Treatment,” part of MSSNY’s “Medical Matters” series. Faculty: William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee. Register HERE.

Columbia University Presents Wednesday, June 21, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. “ChatGPT, Knowledge, and Misinformation: Technology and Its Many Impacts on Health, Wellness, and Society.” In this free program, AI ethicist and criminologist Renée Cummings and researcher Michael Scroggins will discuss AI and other technologies that are changing the landscape of society, health, wellness, and scientific research. Register HERE.

MSSNY Presents on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon (EST): How Do I Know If I Should Renegotiate My Employment Contract? Do I need to wait until the end of the term? How do I know if compensation rates have changed? Kyle Claussen, CEO of Resolve, will talk about these questions and provide insights on what to expect during a contract renegotiation and how you can prepare for it. Register HERE.

 

 

 

June 2, 2023 

MSSNYPAC! Doctor Edward W. Powers, III was one of our members who attended a fundraiser for the Democratic Senate last Thursday through MSSNYPAC. Doctor Powers is a member of MSSNYPAC. You should join too. Make a donation HERE and amplify physicians’ voices.
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Wrongful Death Crisis Continues: We need you to make calls to your legislators before the Legislative Session ends. The revised Wrongful Death bill has been reintroduced and has now passed the Assembly. We need you to call Senate Leadership TODAY. Hearing from physicians can affect how this legislation progresses. We were able to achieve a veto last term because of your efforts. Now it is necessary to act again.

Call Andrea Stewart–Cousins, Senate Majority Leader: (518) 455–2585 or 2715.

Call Michael Gianaris, Deputy Majority Leader at (518) 455–3486.

Even if you’ve done this before, send a pre–written letter NOW by clicking HERE. NUMBERS COUNT, EVEN IF YOU DID IT YESTERDAY.

Remember, this law affects you, no matter how you practice. More money spent on medical liability means less money in the health care system for other things. Even if your employer pays your medical liability premium, you WILL end up paying in the end.

What’s the Message?
— We are AGAINST S.6636 (Senate) and A.6698 (Assembly).

— Despite revisions from last year, this bill would still expand the legal cause of action to include “emotional damages,” which means many more people could sue.

— The annual cost of claims could increase by $600 million; liability premiums could go up almost 40 PERCENT.

— Additional suits (higher costs) would hit businesses and municipalities, as well as healthcare providers.

— Among the most severely affected providers: Those needed by underserved communities.

— Our statewide “safety net” of hospitals could be destroyed.

— This year’s New York State Budget strongly supported more access to health care, but this bill could greatly decrease health care access.

— We sympathize with those bearing the burden of grief, and are sorry for lives lost in gun violence, drunk-driving incidents and more. However, our State’s tort system needs holistic change. Let’s work on it together.
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Red Hot Legislative Session: Other proposals are also advancing in the Legislature. Prior authorization reform (A.7268/S.3400) would (1) require health plans to use evidence–based, peer–reviewed criteria for utilization review; (2) reduce plans’ time frame for reviewing PA requests; and (3) limit when they would be able to withdraw or repeat previously granted PAs. Send a letter to your legislators by clicking HERE. Ban on non–compete agreements (S.3100–A/A.1278–A) would bar non–compete agreements in employment contracts in New York State. (It would even apply to non–profit entities such as large healthcare system, making it tougher than the Federal Trade Commission’s US–level proposal.) Collective negotiation (A.6019/S.4785) would permit collective negotiation by independently practicing physicians, under specific circumstances. Physician due process in contract non–renewals (A.1777/S.3282) would create a new process whereby a contract could be unilaterally extended, and would modify the current process when a physician was terminated for cause under the contract. Step therapy overrides (A.463 /S.2677) would require plans to be more transparent regarding their denials of requests for step therapy protocol overrides. Biomarker testing (A.167/S.1196) would require health insurers to cover this testing. Audit look back periods (A.7590/S.7076) would limit insurers’ look back periods for audits to three months post–payment, down from the current 24–month period. Use of the IDR system for NYSHIP disputes (A7120/S.5638) would preserve the ability of physicians treating NYSHIP insureds to submit disputes to New York’s Independent Dispute Resolution System.
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New NYCMS Survey on Issues with Pharmacies: We’re interested in your experiences with pharmacies, including unanswered calls, long wait times on the phone, and responses to patients’ difficulties with prescriptions. Please take this very brief survey so we can determine the extent of any problems to share with regulators and legislators. Click HERE.
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Did you Miss The Doctors Company (TDC) Wrongful Death CME Program May 23? You can access the recording HERE and apply for CME until June 23. (Note: Use passcode z9%KvA55.) TDC’s expert panel gives you helpful detail on legal issues and also talks about what to explain if you’re named in a wrongful death claim, plus ways you can engage with patients that can strengthen trust and help to minimize the risk of litigation. By clicking the link below, you certify that you listened to this one–hour program in its entirety. Click HERE for CME. _________________________________________________________

Update on the Proposed Medicare Advantage Switch for NY City Employees: New York City retirees have now filed a class action suit. They allege that Mayor Eric Adams’ new plan violates (1) an administrative law that requires the city to provide its retired workers with premium–free health insurance for life; (2) State and City Human Rights Laws, which prohibit discrimination against disabled people; and (3), the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires the municipal government to go through certain transparency steps when developing new policies. As of now, the automatic enrollment in Medicare Advantage is to start on September 1, but the retirees are asking a judge to issue a temporary restraining order delaying implementation. Stay tuned.
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Events

Monday, June 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., join us in person at the New York County Medical Society Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Come for drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required. Register HERE.

Wednesday, June 7, at 7:30 a.m., “Training for NYRx,” the new Medicaid Pharmacy Program. There will be an overview and plenty of time for Q&A, and you’ll find out about the Preferred Drug Program, the “Brand Less Than Generic” Program, and how to access a 72–hour emergency supply. You don’t have to pre–register. At 7:30 a.m. on June 7, just click HERE. (Note: Use Password 662055.) If you have questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wednesday, June 21, at 7:30 a.m.: “Vector Borne Diseases: Prevention, Identification & Treatment,” part of MSSNY’s “Medical Matters” series. Faculty: William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee. Register HERE.

Wednesday, June 21, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.: Columbia University is hosting “ChatGPT, Knowledge, and Misinformation: Technology and Its Many Impacts on Health, Wellness, and Society.” In this free program, AI ethicist and criminologist Renée Cummings and researcher Michael Scroggins will discuss AI and other technologies that are changing the landscape of society, health, wellness, and scientific research. Register for the webinar HERE.

Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon, MSSNY presents “How Do You Know If I Should Renegotiate My Employment Contract?.” Do I need to wait until the end of the term? How do I know if compensation rates have changed? Kyle Claussen, CEO of Resolve, will talk about these questions and provide insights on what to expect during a contract renegotiation and how you can prepare for it. Sign up HERE.
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Parking Card Renewal Time: One of the unique services offered to you as a Society member is access to the Society’s “Doctor on Medical Call” card program. It’s time for renewal; the new card is valid from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. To order your “Doctor on Medical Call” card, send your check for $50.00, made payable to the New York County Medical Society, and this form to: Parking Renewal Program, New York Medical Society, 246 West 38th Street, Room 501, New York, NY 10018-9089. If you have questions, call (212) 684–4698. ___________________________________________________________________

 

 

May 26, 2023

Wrongful Death Legislation Is Back: As noted previously, we won a brief respite after Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed wrongful death legislation last year, but the bill (A.6698/S.6636) is back, and despite minor changes it poses the same threat to the fragile health care delivery system. More people could bring lawsuits, not just for economic damages, but also for emotional damages (“grief, sympathy and loss of consortium”). We are all sympathetic to grieving families, especially related to a number of painful events including the mass shooting in Buffalo a year ago. However, the proposed solution here is so broad that the number of troublesome consequences is massive. Healthcare providers, businesses and municipalities could see huge increases in potential liability. Physicians’ premiums could go up (by 40%), and our healthcare safety net could be destroyed. You are going to see this message over and over until the session ends. We need a volume of responses to remind our legislators and the Governor why this law hurts health care. So no matter how many times you click this link to contact legislators — do it again! even if you’ve done it before. Send an instant message HERE. Look for more calls to action as we coordinate with MSSNY, other counties, and specialty societies, as well as other members of a coalition to fight this legislation.
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No Better Time to Give to MSSNYPAC: One good way to help fight regressive legislation is with a contribution to MSSNYPAC, the political voice of New York State physicians. Trial lawyers, dentists, allied professionals, hospitals, union workers — all make sure to support their PACs. Doctors should make sure that they are heard. Make a donation HERE.
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Repeal of Mandatory Health Care Worker Immunizations for COVID: The New York State Department of Health has announced that it has asked for repeal of the mandatory health care COVID–19 immunizations for health care workers. The DOH has requested that the New York State Public Health and Planning Council take this action. For the DOH letter with details, see attached.
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Federal Level: Prior Authorization (PA) Reform and Medicare Advantage Plans: Last year the House of Representatives passed the Improving Seniors’ Access to Timely Care Act, which required Medicare Advantage plans to (1) explain their denials, (2) identify and issue real–time decisions for routinely approved services, (3) adopt standardized electronic PA processes, and (4) provide greater transparency with regard to utilization management guidelines. The bill didn’t get to a floor vote in the Senate, but CMS has now proposed new, similar rules and House and Senate champions are asking lawmakers to support them. Please add your voice - just click on: Urge your legislators to sign the #FixPriorAuth "Dear Colleague" letter today!
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Don’t Forget PA Reform in New York State: S.3400/A.7268, strongly supported by MSSNY, would (1) require that plans’ utilization review criteria be evidence–based and peer reviewed; (2) reduce the insurer time frame for reviewing PA requests; and (3) limit the period in which an insurer could withdraw or repeat a previously granted PA. Add your voice here too – click on: Urge Your Legislators to Support Prior Authorization Reform! (p2a.co).
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Victory on CIGNA Modifier 25 Policy: After hearing from members, MSSNY’s Payment and Practice Division brought to the AMA a number of concerns about CIGNA’s new policy about accompanying medical records whenever modifier 25 is used. Working with the AMA and other concerned organization’s, CIGNA was persuaded to not put the new policy into effect. If you need evidence about how organized medicine works for the profession, just bookmark this note. Thanks to Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Vice President of Payment and Practice Division, for leading the charge on this issue.
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Biomarker Testing Bill Moves in the NYS Legislature: New bill A.1673/S.1196 would require insurance coverage for biomarker testing, an approach that’s often used to help determine the best treatment for cancer patients. (A ‟biomarker” is a sign of disease or abnormal function that can be measured in blood, tissue, or bodily fluid.) Insurers and Medicaid would be required to cover biomarker testing for diagnosis, treatment, appropriate management, or ongoing monitoring of a person’s disease or condition when the test was supported by medical and scientific evidence.
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Parking Card Renewal Time: One of the unique services offered to you as a Society member is access to the Society’s “Doctor on Medical Call” card program. It’s time for renewal; the new card is valid from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. To order your “Doctor on Medical Call” card, send your check for $50.00, made payable to the New York County Medical Society, and this form to: Parking Renewal Program, New York Medical Society, 246 West 38th Street, Room 501, New York, NY 10018-9089. If you have questions, call (212) 684–4698.
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Mpox Still in Picture: The New York City Health Department reports that a group of mpox cases has been detected in Chicago; the majority were among individuals who had previously received two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine. Since February 1, 2023, there have been 20 cases in New York City (two cases in the last 30 days), as well as an additional five in New York State outside New York City (none in the last 30 days). For more information, go to: han-advisory-8.pdf (nyc.gov)
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NYCMS Events: Monday, June 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., join us in person at the New York County Medical Society Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Come for drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required. Register HERE.
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MSSNY Events: How Do You Know If I Should Renegotiate My Employment Contract? Thursday, June 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon. Do I need to wait until the end of the term? How do I know if compensation rates have changed? Kyle Claussen, CEO of Resolve, will talk about these questions and provide insights on what to expect during a contract renegotiation and how you can prepare for it. Sign up HERE.
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Congestion Pricing Update: The MTA’s plan to toll motorists who drive in Manhattan south of 60th Street has been approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). A 30–day review period is still required, but no further public hearings are scheduled, and the plan is expected to go into effect in summer of 2024. How much will the tolls be? The MTA is considering a number of scenarios that could lead to charges from $5 to $23, depending on the time of the day and the type of vehicle. Key points include: (1) Drivers would not be charged if they remained on the FDR Drive or West Side Highway; (2) for–hire vehicles (taxis, Ubers, Lyfts) would only be charged a toll once per day, no matter how many times they crossed in and out of the zone; (3) the price of overnight tolls would be at least 50% less than the cost to enter the zone during peak hours; and (4), there would be a low–income discount so drivers who made $50,000 per year or less would get a 25% discount if they crossed into the zone more than ten times in a calendar month. The toll revenue is to be used for mass transit improvements and $207.5 million will go to reduce pollution. New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer says his state will send the FWHA a formal complaint during the review period. New York County testified on concerns for health care workers and patients and the effects on them. For more information, go HERE.

 

 

May 19, 2023

Scam Alert: Physicians report getting calls from companies offering botox and filler at deep discount via the "grey market." When one doctor questioned as to whether these are FDA–approved, the caller hung up instead. Remember, that patients can be hurt and doctors can be liable for using non–approved medications/processes. Be very careful with anything too good to be true.
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“Wrongful Death” Legislation Is Back: Earlier this year, due in large part to your overwhelming grassroots response, Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill that would have greatly expanded awardable damages in wrongful death actions. Now, a new version (A.6698/S.6636) of that bill has been introduced; and again, more people could bring lawsuits, not just for economic damages, but also for emotional damages (“grief, sympathy and loss of consortium”).
Healthcare providers and businesses — even municipalities — could be threatened with steep increases in potential liability. Physicians’ premiums could go up (by 40%), and our healthcare safety net could be in jeopardy.

What to do: First: Right now, contact legislators — even if you’ve done it before. (Numbers count. Multiple efforts mean multiple concern.) The Bill is moving through committees now. It is time NOW to let legislators know how it affects you and your patients. Send an instant message at: Take Action to Prevent Untenable Increases in Malpractice Premiums in New York.

Second: This Tuesday, May 23: Join us in a 6:00 p.m. CME Web meeting, “Wrongful Death Legislation: Special Risks for Physicians.” This meeting, hosted by the Society and The Doctors Company (TDC), will discuss what is troubling in the legislation, what you should expect in a wrongful death claim, how you can strengthen relationships and minimize chances of litigation, and how we can work toward better laws. Peter A. Kolbert, JD, is Senior Vice President for Claim & Litigation Services for Healthcare Risk Advisors (a hospital insurance company, part of the TDC Group of companies); Remi Stone, JD, is TDC’s Regional Director for Government Relations, covering public policy in the Northeast, Midwest, and the Federal Government; and Lisa M. McCorkle, MSN, MBA, RN, is Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Region II, The Doctors Company.

Third: Help support the fight via a contribution to MSSNYPAC, the political voice of New York State physicians. MSSNYPAC will be a crucial element in the battle against the “Wrongful Death” proposal. Make a donation now HERE. Your contribution need not be large; what matters is that you’re part of the battle.
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Replay: If you missed our fascinating May 17 program, ‟Imposter Syndrome: New Developments in Burnout,” the recording is available. Here’s the link to the recording: Grand Rounds Program Video. (Note: Use Passcode Vy#r+10E.) You can also access a brief PowerPoint introduction by our Moderator, Dr. Steven Mandel (click on Imposter and Burnout), plus the PowerPoint presentations by each of our three speakers – click on Imposter Syndrome Dr Villwock, Imposter Syndrome Dr Gazelle and Imposter Syndrome Dr Bellehsen.
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NYCMS Events

Monday, June 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., join us (in person) at the New York County Medical Society Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Come for drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required. Register HERE !
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Scope Issues Back: Scope expansion bills could threaten patient safety. Even though some scope expansion proposals were voted down in the state budget, the issue is still with us as we move into the final weeks of the legislative session. We’re facing “stand–alone” bills:

— S.66–A/A.1262–A grants prescribing rights to psychologists, similar to the rights of psychiatrists. Please click on: Oppose Legislation Granting Prescriptive Authority to Psychologists! (p2a.co)

— A.5012/S.5520 allows Physician Assistants (PAs) to practice independently without physician oversight once they had had 3,600 hours of practice. Click on: Please Preserve Physician-Led Team Care! (p2a.co)

— A.2217/S.2254 would significantly expand podiatrists’ scope to treat conditions of the ankle and leg. S.2126 would let Physician Assistants perform fluoroscopy without adequate physician supervision. A.6958/S.769 would let Nurse Anesthetists administer anesthesia with reduced physician oversight.
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Reminder One–Time Training Requirement for DEA–Registered Prescribers: Are you scheduled to submit your next DEA registration on June 27, 2023, or thereafter? At that time you’ll be required to attest that you have completed eight hours of training on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. Bear in mind that:

— Your three–hour, NYS–required training can count as three of those eight hours. You may already have taken MSSNY’s three one–hour courses on pain management, palliative care and addiction. Those courses are currently available at the MSSNY CME site at: https://cme.mssny.org/, and are free of charge to all MSSNY members.

— MSSNY also offers a program titled “Substance Use Disorders in Veterans,” which can count as your fourth hour. (Go to https://cme.mssny.org/.)

— Courses are also available from other medical organizations; you can use them to fill in however many hours you still need. Check out the course offerings of: The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) click HERE.

— Certain physicians are exempt from this DEA requirement. They include:
those MDs/DOs who have board certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry from the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, or the American Osteopathic Association; and those who graduated within five years of June 27, 2023, having successfully completed a comprehensive curriculum that included at least eight hours of training on treating and managing patients with opioid or other substance use disorders (including the appropriate clinical use of all drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of a substance use disorder); or safe pharmacological management of dental pain and screening, brief intervention, and referral for appropriate treatment of patients with or at risk of developing opioid and other substance use disorders.
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What Does the End of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) Mean for Telehealth: On the New York level, several years ago New York enacted a law to require insurance coverage by state–regulated plans and Medicaid for services delivered by telehealth, and last year, MSSNY and local societies successfully advocated for a law requiring that these services be paid at the same rates as comparable in–person services. That law expires in April, 2024, but MSSNY is working with allies for legislation (A.4940/S.2776) that would make this requirement permanent. On the federal level, last December, Congress passed provisions to extend many Medicare telehealth coverage flexibilities through the end of 2024, (1) permitting Medicare beneficiaries in any geographic area to receive telehealth services (not just those beneficiaries living in rural areas); and, (2) permanently waiving “originating site” geographic restrictions for behavioral/mental telehealth services.

In addition, the DEA (the Drug Enforcement Administration) and SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) have issued a temporary rule that would (1) extend through November 11, 2023, all the telemedicine flexibilities regarding the prescription of controlled medications that were in place during the COVID–19 PHE, including prescribing controlled substance without an in–person visit; and (2) for any practitioner/patient telemedicine relationship established on or before November 11, 2023, assuring a one–year grace period through November 11, 2024. (If a patient and a practitioner have established a telemedicine relationship on or before November 11, 2023, the same telemedicine flexibilities that governed the relationship up to that point are permitted until November 11, 2024.)

For more information see MSSNY’s “Brief Summary,” HERE.

 

 

May 12, 2023

Telemedicine Flexibilities Extended Six Months: Telemedicine flexibility for prescribing controlled substances (schedule II – V) will continue, even though the COVID–19 public health emergency (PHE) ended on May 11. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have issued a “Temporary Extension of COVID–19 Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications,” a temporary rule that extends the full set of telemedicine flexibilities adopted during the COVID–19 public health emergency through November 11, 2023. Moreover, for any practitioner–patient telemedicine relationships that have been or will be established up to November 11, 2023, the full set of telemedicine flexibilities regarding prescription of controlled medications established during the COVID–19 PHE will be extended for one more year through November 11, 2024. (This added provision will provide a much–needed grace period, to help with situations — e.g., with buprenorphine prescriptions or in rural areas — where the initial prescription may be issued without an in–person visit and then a period of time elapses before an in–person visit is possible.) See the SAMSHA web page HERE. See the Federal Register page HERE.
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Wrongful Death Proposal Returns: A.6696/S.6636 is back for this legislative session. Please contact legislators by clicking HERE. Once again, the New York State Legislature is considering legislation that would hugely expand damages awardable in wrongful death lawsuits. There have been some technical adjustments. The new bill clarifies when the provision would retroactively take effect, limits damages that can be recovered, creates a shorter statute of limitations and provides a clearer definition of who is eligible to bring wrongful death claims. But last session’s bill passed without a serious evaluation of its potential impact on the economy, small businesses, individuals, and the health care system, and the new bill does not address those concerns either. It would open up new categories of damages (“grief and anguish”), which, studies show, will lead to a nearly 40% growth in liability costs.
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Nominated! The following members of the Society were nominated for office in the New York County Medical Society in the 2023 election.

Officers
Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH, President–Elect
Richard Schutzer, MD, Vice President
Mark Milstein, MD, Secretary
Ksenija Belsley, MD, Assistant Secretary
Jill Baron, MD, Treasurer
Stuart Gitlow, MD, Assistant Treasurer
Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, Trustee

Board Members At Large
Clifford Bassett, MD
Michael Borecky, MD
Connie DiMari, MD
Loren Wissner Greene, MD
Aaron Kithcart, MD
Maria LoTempio, MD
Henry Magliato, MD
Purvi Parikh, MD
Ami Shah, MD
Richard Silvera, MD

Delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)
Arthur Cooper, MD
Paul Orloff, MD
Edward Powers, III, MD
Richard Schutzer, MD
Thomas Sterry, MD

Alternate Delegates to MSSNY
Jill Baron, MD
Michael Borecky, MD
Connie DiMari, MD
Maria LoTempio, MD
Richard Silvera, MD
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NYCMS Events

Wednesday, May 17, 6:00 p.m.: CME web conference: “Imposter Syndrome: New Developments in Burnout.” REGISTER HERE. Imposter Syndrome is a constellation of difficulties that many physicians, physicians–in–training and students experience: Having a hard time recognizing one’s accomplishments … Feeling like a fraud for not knowing everything … Feeling insecure, doubting oneself … and more. It all leads to stress, emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization and a low sense of personal accomplishment. We’ll have a panel of experts who will talk about how Imposter Syndrome develops, which personality types are most prone to it, and what can be done to deal with it. We’ll also discuss how Imposter Syndrome fits into the larger picture of today’s healthcare environment, with widespread burnout, high pressure and conflicting organizational goals; and how addressing this syndrome and other “systemic symptoms” can help to improve patients’ experience, improve care and reduce healthcare disparities. Speakers: Mayer Bellehson, PhD, founding director of the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health in Glen Oaks (Queens), NY; Gail Gazelle, MD, internist, Harvard Medical School faculty member, and a physician coach focusing on mindfulness, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and decision–making; and Jennifer Villwock, MD, otolaryngologist at University of Kansas Hospital, and author of a study of impostor syndrome and burnout among American medical students. Steven Mandel, MD, Program Chair, is Clinical Professor of Neurology at Hofstra/Northwell and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College. Jill Baron, MD, Chair of the NYCMS Committee on Physician Wellness, is a Visiting Attending Physician at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

The Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society gratefully acknowledge the Clifford L. Spingarn, MD Educational Memorial Fund for the support of this CME activity.

Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of the Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society. The Westchester Academy of Medicine is accredited by MSSNY to provide Continuing Medical Education for physicians. The Westchester Academy of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category I Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 6:00 p.m.: The Society and The Doctors Company (TDC) will host “Wrongful Death Legislation: Special Risks for Physicians.” The 2022 Grieving Families Act did not get the Governor’s signature, but an equally troublesome legislative proposal has reappeared, and will be worrisome. The State’s “wrongful death” statue has known limits now, but this bill will expand those limits and introduce more uncertainty into the law. More people will be able to bring lawsuits — and not just for economic damages, but also for emotional damages (“grief, sympathy and loss of consortium”). Physicians, businesses, even municipalities will face a steep increase in potential liability. What should we know, so we can advocate strongly against this? What was in the 2022 legislation that made it so particularly troubling for physicians, and what we are seeing in the 2023 version? In addition, we will discuss what should you expect if you’re named in a wrongful death claim and, proactively, what ways of engaging with patients can you develop, to strengthen trust and minimize the chance that someone might pursue litigation against you? TDC legal experts will explore these questions with us in this Web event. More details are coming soon. Register NOW.


Monday, June 26, 2023, 6:00 p.m.: Join us at the New York County Medical Society Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required — register HERE !
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MSSNY Events

Wednesday, May 17, 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Medical Matters CME Webinar, “The Lasting Mental Health Impacts of COVID on Children & Adolescents.” It may be some time before the full mental–health impacts caused by the COVID–19 pandemic are known, but experts agree that the impacts experienced by children and adolescents are large. In webinar, with faculty Linda Chokroverty, MD (a child and adolescent psychiatrist), you’ll find out what is known so far about the mental– health impact of COVID–19 on children and teens; identify normal stressors that affect children and teens, and learn to distinguish them from stressors that have resulted from the COVID–19 pandemic; and, describe resources to assist children and teens and help them develop resiliency as the COVID emergency lessens. Register HERE.
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Worst Problems with Insurance? Take MSSNY’s brief survey HERE It probes frustrating issues including prior authorizations, excessive medical record requests, payment problems, special staffing needs, and more; and it encourages you to provide additional information or examples at the end if you wish. The more you say about your own worst difficulties, the more MSSNY will be able to help everyone. Questions? Call Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President for Physician Payment & Practice, at (518) 328–3532 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

May 5, 2023

State Budget Finalized: How did we make out? For the full rundown, see attachment (2023 NYS Budget Outcomes). Among the positive aspects for physicians and patients, the final budget supports the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program, MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health, the Health Insurance Guarantee Fund, the Doctors Across New York program and the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative — and raises cigarette taxes by $1per pack.
Furthermore, we are happy that the budget rejects several scope of practice expansions, elimination of “Prescriber Prevails” and implementation of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, and prohibits insurers from denying claims unless the reviewer is of the same or similar specialty as the treating physician. Unfortunately, the Budget also contains two new requirements for physicians: primary care providers must offer a Hep C test to every patient aged 18 and over; and with certain private–practice acquisitions, the parties are required to report to the New York State Department of Health.
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New York State Has Switched to a Single State Formulary for Medicaid Prescriptions: With the new Medicaid Pharmacy program (known as NYRx), utilization management protocols are standardized, negotiating power is centralized, prescription drug costs can be seen in full view, and prior authorization requirements may in some instances be reduced. For information on specific outpatient drugs and whether prior authorization is required, look on the eMedNY website, https://www.emedny.org/. Note, too: New York State Department of Health will use clinical editing criteria – so, members may continue to receive certain non–formulary/non–preferred medications. (The formulary is attached – see “NYRx.”) _________________________________________________________________

Be Sure to Take Our Survey on Value–Based Payment Models: The survey’s goal is to assess the impact on physicians of value–based payment programs (i.e MIPS, Capitation) and what it portends for the future of healthcare. The questions focus on four dimensions: quality of care (four questions), patient access (three questions), physician professionalism (three questions), and physician careers (five questions). An overview of value–based payment programs is attached. An Overview of Value–Based Payment Programs is attached. ANSWERS ANONYMOUS! Takes approximately 10 minutes. PLEASE RESPOND, even if you are NOT impacted! Concierge physicians, retirees, and medical students, your answers are valuable. Click on the link below to access the survey, hosted by Qualtrics. For any questions, clarifications, or comments, please call Connie DiMari, MD, at (917) 579–0197. We are thankful to have you as a member of the NYCMS and so grateful for your time and consideration in completing this survey.
Take Survey HERE.
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Keep Up the Heat on the Federal Level: Bipartisan legislation (HR 2474) has been introduced in Congress requiring automatic Medicare payment increases each year. Physicians are again urged ask Congressional Representatives to support this bill, which would require an annual inflationary update to Medicare physician payments. Unlike hospitals, health plans, long–term care facilities and most other health care providers, physicians do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update to their Medicare payments. Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of inflation since 2001. Between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2023, Medicare physician payments were cut, in real dollars, by 4 percent! It’s time to do something about this. Send a letter HERE.
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NYCMS Events

Wednesday, May 17, 6:00 p.m.: CME web conference: “Imposter Syndrome: New Developments in Burnout.” REGISTER HERE. Imposter Syndrome is a constellation of difficulties that many physicians, physicians–in–training and students experience: Having a hard time recognizing one’s accomplishments … Feeling like a fraud for not knowing everything … Feeling insecure, doubting oneself … and more. It all leads to stress, emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization and a low sense of personal accomplishment. We’ll have a panel of experts who will talk about how Imposter Syndrome develops, which personality types are most prone to it, and what can be done to deal with it. We’ll also discuss how Imposter Syndrome fits into the larger picture of today’s healthcare environment, with widespread burnout, high pressure and conflicting organizational goals; and how addressing this syndrome and other “systemic symptoms” can help to improve patients’ experience, improve care and reduce healthcare disparities. Speakers: Mayer Bellehson, PhD, founding director of the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health in Glen Oaks (Queens), NY; Gail Gazelle, MD, internist, Harvard Medical School faculty member, and a physician coach focusing on mindfulness, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and decision–making; and Jennifer Villwock, MD, otolaryngologist at University of Kansas Hospital, and author of a study of impostor syndrome and burnout among American medical students. Steven Mandel, MD, Program Chair, is Clinical Professor of Neurology at Hofstra/Northwell and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College. Jill Baron, MD, Chair of the NYCMS Committee on Physician Wellness, is a Visiting Attending Physician at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

The Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society gratefully acknowledge the Clifford L. Spingarn, MD Educational Memorial Fund for the support of this CME activity.

Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of the Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society. The Westchester Academy of Medicine is accredited by MSSNY to provide Continuing Medical Education for physicians. The Westchester Academy of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category I Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 6:00 p.m.: The Society and The Doctors Company (TDC) will host “Wrongful Death Legislation: Special Risks for Physicians.” The 2022 Grieving Families Act did not get the Governor’s signature, but that same legislative proposal (or something similar) will soon reappear, and it will be worrisome. “Wrongful death” (the proposal’s legal territory) has limits now, but this bill will hugely widen those limits. More family members will be able to recover — and not just for economic damages, but also for emotional damages (“grief, sympathy and loss of consortium”). Physicians, businesses, even municipalities will face a steep increase in potential liability. What should we know, so we can advocate strongly against this? What was in the 2022 legislation that made it so particularly troubling for physicians, and what are we likely to see in the 2023 version? What should you expect if you’re named in a wrongful death claim? Currently, what defense tactics are used in suits of this sort and, proactively, what ways of engaging with patients can you develop, to strengthen trust and minimize the chance that a patient or family might pursue litigation? TDC legal experts will explore these questions with us in this Web event. More details are coming soon, but REGISTER NOW.

Monday, June 26, 2023, 6:00 p.m.: Join us at the New York County Medical Society Annual Meeting and Networking Reception, at Connolly’s Pub, 14 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). Drinks, appetizers, and a wonderful chance to meet your fellow Society members, thank outgoing NYCMS President Erick Eiting, MD, and welcome incoming President Thomas Sterry, MD. No charge, but advance registration required — register HERE !
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MSSNY Events

Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 a.m.:“The Business of Medicine.” Register now at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7301632848912592480. When you started your practice, you likely didn’t realize you were actually opening a business. Many physicians just set up the office, hire a few staff, start scheduling patients and anticipate that it will all work out with a reasonable quality of life. Boy, did you think wrong! Running a medical practice requires not only traditional business skills, but also an up–to–date knowledge of such topics as Reimbursement Models, Anti–Trust and Stark, Accountable Care Organizations, RVUs, Risk Mitigation and CMS Compliance. Plus, you have to be an expert in human resources, employee benefits, accounting and finance, vendor contracts, commercial general liability and OSHA. All this while you’re taking care of the health of patients, which is why you wanted to be a physician to begin with! Don’t lose hope. Attend this webinar! You’ll learn: Practicing Medicine is not just about treating patients; business principles — both traditional and healthcare–specific; risks you must avoid and consequential actions; when to seek the right help from the right people; and more.

Wednesday, May 17, 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Medical Matters CME Webinar, “The Lasting Mental Health Impacts of COVID on Children & Adolescents.” It may be some time before the full mental–health impacts caused by the COVID–19 pandemic are known, but experts agree that the impacts experienced by children and adolescents are large. In webinar, with faculty Linda Chokroverty, MD (a child and adolescent psychiatrist), you’ll find out what is known so far about the mental– health impact of COVID–19 on children and teens; identify normal stressors that affect children and teens, and learn to distinguish them from stressors that have resulted from the COVID–19 pandemic; and, describe resources to assist children and teens and help them develop resiliency as the COVID emergency lessens.
Register at https://mssny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a2dScSLvRay8GaKZbGQs3g#/registration.

 

 

April 21, 2023

 

NYCMS Events

Wednesday, May 17, at 6:00 p.m. FOR CME “Imposter Syndrome: New Developments in Burnout.” REGISTER HERE! Imposter Syndrome is a constellation of difficulties that many physicians, physicians–in–training and students experience: Having a hard time recognizing one’s accomplishments … Feeling like a fraud for not knowing everything … Feeling insecure, doubting oneself … and more. It all leads to stress, emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization and a low sense of personal accomplishment. We’ll have a panel of experts who will talk about how Imposter Syndrome develops, which personality types are most prone to it, and what can be done to deal with it. We’ll also discuss how Imposter Syndrome fits into the larger picture of today’s healthcare environment, with widespread burnout, high pressure and conflicting organizational goals; and how addressing this syndrome and other “systemic symptoms” can help to improve patients’ experience, improve care and reduce healthcare disparities. Speakers: Mayer Bellehson, PhD, founding director of the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health in Glen Oaks (Queens), NY; Gail Gazelle, MD, internist, Harvard Medical School faculty member, and a physician coach focusing on mindfulness, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and decision–making; and Jennifer Villwock, MD, otolaryngologist at University of Kansas Hospital, and author of a study of impostor syndrome and burnout among American medical students.

The Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society gratefully acknowledge the Clifford L. Spingarn, MD Educational Memorial Fund for the support of this CME activity.

Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of the Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society. The Westchester Academy of Medicine is accredited by MSSNY to provide Continuing Medical Education for physicians. The Westchester Academy of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category I Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: The Society and The Doctors Company (TDC) will host “Wrongful Death Legislation: Special Risks for Physicians.” The 2022 “Grieving Families Act” did not get the Governor’s signature, but that same legislative proposal (or something similar) will soon reappear, and it will be worrisome. “Wrongful death” (the proposal’s legal territory) has limits now, but this bill will hugely widen those limits. More family members will be able to recover — and not just for economic damages, but also for emotional damages (“grief, sympathy and loss of consortium”). Physicians, businesses, even municipalities will face a steep increase in potential liability. What should we know, so we can advocate strongly against this? What was in the 2022 legislation that made it so particularly troubling for physicians, and what are we likely to see in the 2023 version? What should you expect if you’re named in a wrongful death claim? Currently, what defense tactics are used in suits of this sort — and, proactively, what ways of engaging with patients can you develop, to strengthen trust and minimize the chance that a patient or family might pursue litigation? TDC legal experts will explore these questions with us in this Web event. More details are coming soon, but why not REGISTER NOW!
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Replay!: If you missed the April 4 presentation on Physician Loans for Mortgages that we hosted with the Carbon Team at CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC, you can still “attend” via the video. Learn about the special benefits that are offered just for you! No down payment is required for a purchase price up to $1,500,000 (minimum $500,000 loan amount); closing costs can be financed; and no mortgage insurance is required. Presenters: David Ostrowsky, Senior Loan Officer at CrossCountry Mortgage, and Samantha Bhatty, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Douglas Elliman. Click on: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/a37nY2KuT2QsKt5LUKdDsBa0yutduaihWQSgmvsCusmAicY53icqc4VvcXXlr3cQ.otsdz9rthkItUiKe . Use this passcode: ^cXxA6^J.
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Are All EHR Problems Insoluble? The AMA offers food for thought, in three EHR–related resources. First: Taming the EHR Playbook: A system-level approach to EHR inbox reduction: Physicians from three organizations draw from their own experiences with eliminating unnecessary burdens and improving EHR workflows, providing a 9-step process (PDF) and checklist (PDF) that can be used to reduce EHR inboxes at the system level. Second: Digital Minimalism — An Rx for Clinician Burnout: This New England Journal of Medicine commentary weighs the cost–benefit balance for technology, and urges clear boundary–setting for longer periods of uninterrupted work and better patient care. Third: Can physicians openly discuss EHR issues? The latest entry in the AMA Debunking Regulatory Myths series addresses EHR gag clauses.
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Private Practices Can Survive and Thrive: The AMA offers resources. Their new (free CME) podcast mini–series, Private Practice: Attending to Business, helps you navigate business operations and efficiency solutions for a growing, satisfying business. And their eight–week series of learning sessions, Introduction to Marketing and Branding for Private Practices, brings you experts from Springboard Brand and Creative Strategy to address common issues that private practices encounter with basic marketing strategies. The series of sessions launches on May 23 at 11:15 a.m. EDT. Register Now.
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MIPS Participants: Based On Your 2023 Performance, Will You Still Need the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Hardship Exception to Avoid Up to a -9% Penalty in 2025? In response to advocacy from AMA and organized medicine about the ongoing impacts of the COVID–19 public health emergency (PHE), CMS has announced that it will continue to allow physicians and group practices to apply for this hardship exception. This is a big relief for physicians and their patients; CMS has estimated that up to one–third of MIPS–eligible clinicians would have received a penalty due to the increasingly stringent requirements for participation in MIPS in 2023. Note: The exception will not be automatic — you must actively request reweighting of the MIPS categories. CMS expects to release the hardship exception application in spring 2023.
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50 Years On: Congratulations to these members celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from medical school.

Michael Steven Brodherson, MD
Barry L. Brown, MD
Shun Chang, MD
Nga Chang, MD
David Tak Wai Chiu, MD
Albert M. DeFabritus, MD
Leon K. Demar, MD
Richard A. Dundy, MD
Ilene Fennoy, MD
David H. Fields, MD
Donald R. Fishman, MD
B. David Gorman, MD
Michael Gribetz, MD
Barry Jay Hartman, MD
Gerard C. Hellman, MD
George J. Kessler, DO
Ilana Kochen, MD
Roy Gerald Kulick, MD
Robert J. Kurtz, MD
Marjorie Lee, MD
Beth Lieberman, MD
John W. Lombardo, MD
Harriet E. Mc Gurk, MD
Navin C. Mehta, MD
Jerry Nagler, MD
Sudha P. Patel, MD
Robert A. Press, MD
Richard Julian Radna, MD
Ronald R. Rawitt, MD
John Francis Romano, MD
William B. Rosenblatt, MD
Jesse Samuel Rosenthal, MD
Michael Schmerin, MD
Neal Bruce Schultz, MD
David Seinfeld, MD
Wei–Yuan Shieh, MD
Stanford Norman Sullum, MD
Robert Raymond Walther, MD
Brighita Weinberg, MD
Richard Marc Wind, MD
David J. Wolf, MD

 

April 14, 2023

Push Flavored Tobacco Ban: With the budget unresolved and negotiations continuing, we must keep pushing to get the flavored tobacco ban in the final State budget, along with the increased cigarette tax. Please send legislators a message — click on Support Governor Hochul’s Plan to Create a Tobacco-Free Generation in New York! (p2a.co).

— Ending the sale of all flavored tobacco is necessary to eliminate the appeal to youth. Flavors like menthol make it easier to start using tobacco products, and also make it much harder to quit.

— Big Tobacco uses flavors like menthol cigarettes to target communities of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with lower levels of income — so these groups are disproportionately affected by tobacco–related diseases.

— New York has a historic opportunity and obligation to protect our children from a lifetime of addiction and suffering from the leading cause of preventable death: tobacco use.
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Federal–Level Legislative Alert: Physicians’ Medicare payments have declined relative to inflation, and they will continue to do so unless Congress acts to fix flawed and outdated payment rules. Please: Tell your legislators to cosponsor H.R. 2474 to provide annual MEI updates to physician payment. Physicians are the only providers whose Medicare payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update. Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of inflation growth since 2001. During this current period of record inflation and coming right after the pandemic, this statutory flaw often amplifies the impact of such other payment policy changes as “budget neutrality” adjustments and performance incentives. A bipartisan group of physician members of Congress have introduced H.R. 2474, legislation that would reform this flawed system and provide annual inflationary updates for Medicare physician services, similar to updates received by other healthcare providers. This legislation is a great first step toward fixing payment inequities and injecting more financial stability into physician practices, allowing them to invest in new ways of providing care and helping to assure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to high–quality care.
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NYCMS Events

Wednesday, May 17, at 6:00 p.m. FOR CME “Imposter Syndrome: New Developments in Burnout.” REGISTER HERE! Imposter Syndrome is a constellation of difficulties that many physicians, physicians–in–training and students experience: Having a hard time recognizing one’s accomplishments … Feeling like a fraud for not knowing everything … Feeling insecure, doubting oneself … and more. It all leads to stress, emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization and a low sense of personal accomplishment. We’ll have a panel of experts who will talk about how Imposter Syndrome develops, which personality types are most prone to it, and what can be done to deal with it. We’ll also discuss how Imposter Syndrome fits into the larger picture of today’s healthcare environment, with widespread burnout, high pressure and conflicting organizational goals; and how addressing this syndrome and other “systemic symptoms” can help to improve patients’ experience, improve care and reduce healthcare disparities. Speakers: Mayer Bellehson, PhD, founding director of the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health in Glen Oaks (Queens), NY; Gail Gazelle, MD, internist, Harvard Medical School faculty member, and a physician coach focusing on mindfulness, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and decision–making; and Jennifer Villwock, MD, otolaryngologist at University of Kansas Hospital, and author of a study of impostor syndrome and burnout among American medical students.

The Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society gratefully acknowledge the Clifford L. Spingarn, MD Educational Memorial Fund for the support of this CME activity.

Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Requirements and Policies of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) through the joint providership of the Westchester Academy of Medicine and the New York County Medical Society. The Westchester Academy of Medicine is accredited by MSSNY to provide Continuing Medical Education for physicians. The Westchester Academy of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category I Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: The Society and The Doctors Company (TDC) will host “Wrongful Death Legislation: Special Risks for Physicians.” The 2022 “Grieving Families Act” did not get the Governor’s signature, but that same legislative proposal (or something similar) will soon reappear, and it will be worrisome. “Wrongful death” (the proposal’s legal territory) has limits now, but this bill will hugely widen those limits. More family members will be able to recover — and not just for economic damages, but also for emotional damages (“grief, sympathy and loss of consortium”). Physicians, businesses, even municipalities will face a steep increase in potential liability. What should we know, so we can advocate strongly against this? What was in the 2022 legislation that made it so particularly troubling for physicians, and what are we likely to see in the 2023 version? What should you expect if you’re named in a wrongful death claim? Currently, what defense tactics are used in suits of this sort — and, proactively, what ways of engaging with patients can you develop, to strengthen trust and minimize the chance that a patient or family might pursue litigation? TDC legal experts will explore these questions with us in this Web event. More details are coming soon, but why not REGISTER NOW!
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CME Webinars Through MSSNY HOD — Open to All

Friday, April 21, Four interesting CME webinars, offered to everyone during MSSNY’s House of Delegates:

— 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on April 21, “Public Health Challenges of Three Respiratory Illnesses,” with William Valenti, MD. Register at: https://mssny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Jb_aMV_jQja4V7Kr7q49Mg#/registration. Objectives: Describe testing, treatment and prevention options for COVID, influenza and RSV; outline public health efforts to mitigate the burden of three respiratory illnesses spreading concurrently; and identify the particular challenges that arose when dealing with three respiratory illnesses at the same time.

— 8:40 a.m. to 9:40 a.m., “The Sum of Us: How Inequities in Health, Wealth, and Education Negatively Impact All of Us,” with Willie Underwood, MD. Register at: https://mssny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-MTnN26MSO69PRr1zDlpHA#/registration. Objectives: Describe strategies used in a community effort that resulted in a reduction of COVID mortalities; outline strategies used in five Buffalo zip codes to improve poor health outcomes; and identify ways in which attendees can contribute to the improvement of population health in their local communities.

— 9:50 a.m. to 10:50 a.m., “MSSNY Peer–2–Peer,” with Bonnie Litvack, MD, Frank Dowling, MD, and Charles Rothberg, MD. Register at: https://mssny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pIBCoU13TniaYzChwxVrOQ#/registration. Objectives: Explain why physician wellness is important for the organization; recognize and promote the concept that it is okay to not be okay; and identify the tools and resources to encourage resiliency and wellness within the physician and institution.

— 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, “The Impact of Military Sexual Trauma on Veterans” (a Veterans Matters program), with Janine Fogarty, MD. Register at: https://mssny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PT-wjI0bRv2K4uvriJfa7g#/registration. Objectives: Define military sexual trauma (MST), identify some of the residual effects MST can have on patients, and prepare providers to treat patients with MST.
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Other Events

Saturday, April 22, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Complimentary CME Breakfast Meeting, “The DETECT Initiative in Early Alzheimer’s Disease: ? Optimizing Collaboration and Multi–Disciplinary Care to Facilitate Timely Diagnosis.” This in–person meeting, hosted by the Public Health Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association and Caring Kind, will take place at the Westin New York Hotel in Times Square (270 West 43rd Street). You can learn more and register now at: www.AD-DETECT.com. Speakers: Alireza Atri, MD, PhD, Director, Banner Sun Health Research Institute (Sun City, AZ), and Lecturer on Neurology, Center for Brain/Mind Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and David Roane, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Lenox Hill Hospital, and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Hofstra/Northwell School of Medicine, Uniondale, NY. Learning objectives: Evaluate the burden of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), including the process of prolonged decline in cognitive function; provide an accurate and timely diagnosis of AD to allow for early disease management and/or referral to specialists; use cognitive assessments, biomarkers and imaging in distinguishing between normal aging and cognitive impairment; select and use the best therapeutic options for patients with AD, based on up–to–date clinical data on established and emerging disease modifying therapies; and employ best practices for multi–disciplinary care coordination, workflows, and best practices for referral of patients.

Thursday and Friday, May 18 and 19: Free Web Conference (CME), “Inflammatory Brain Disorders,” hosted by the Neuroimmune Foundation and fearing speakers from Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, NIH, UCSF, Duke, and other institutions. The link to register and request the fee be waived can be found on the Foundation’s website. For the fascinating flyer with a long list of speakers, see Attached (“2023 Neuroimmune Conference”).
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April Is National Stress Awareness Month: Dr. Neha Sangwan, founder of Intuitive Intelligence, joins the AMA STEPS Forward® podcast for two episodes on how to navigate conflict and challenging emotions: How to Master Communicating with the Most Challenging Personalities in Your Life (Apple Podcasts | Spotify) , and How to Handle Challenging Emotions—in Ourselves, Patients, and Those We Lead (Apple Podcasts | Spotify). You may also be interested in a new Journal of General Internal Medicine study, which showed that perceived work overload was associated with burnout and intent to leave across all health care roles, including physicians, nurses, and other clinical and non–clinical staff. Click on: The Association of Work Overload with Burnout and Intent to Leave the Job Across the Healthcare Workforce During COVID-19
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What is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?: The ERC is a retroactive credit that compensates U.S. businesses that weathered COVID and kept at least two employees on the payroll. The ERC is not a loan — it does not need to be repaid. It is a tax credit, so funds won’t run out. But there is a filing deadline to access the funds that your business may be eligible for.

— Up to $26,000 per W2 employee;
— No restrictions on how the money can be used;
— All businesses that took PPP funds may be eligible for an ERC for 2020 and 2021;
— The average ERC for a business is $150,000.

ERC Advisors USA team are tax experts who will ensure your claim is compliant with the latest IRS guidance. Learn more about maximizing your refund by completing this short form and we'll be back in touch quickly. Click Here to check it out.

 

 

April 7, 2023

State Budget at Critical Juncture: There are many issues on which we need to keep pressing legislators as the State’s budget negotiations continue. One of the toughest is the enormous number of scope of practice expansions contained in Part W of the Governor’s own proposal (rejected by both Houses in their “one–House” budgets, but still an idea that might come back in the course of the negotiations). Please send a letter from: Oppose Part W of Heath Executive Budget Bill – Preserve Physician-Led Team Care (p2a.co). Both the Senate and Assembly “one–house” budgets also rejected new regulations that could hobble private practice; in addition, they would both continue MSSNY’s Committee for Physicians Health and the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program, and would expand funding for the Doctors Across New York student loan repayment program. The Senate’s proposal also includes further funding for the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative; it would also bar insurers’ denials unless the case had been reviewed by a physician in the same or similar specialty as the physician providing the care.
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Telehealth Payment Parity for Mental Health and Substance Use Care: The New York State Senate has passed S.2776–Rivera/A.4940–Woerner, which would ensure that those telehealth treatments are reimbursed at the same level as comparable in–office visits, and would eliminate the sunset clause on last year’s parity law (in the 2021 – 2022 budget). Included are telehealth services for patients with developmental disabilities, mental health problems and substance use disorders; right now, the in–person rate for a service in one of those areas only applies with explicit authorization by the relevant New York State agency. A December 2022 Fair Health study showed that in the Northeast, use of the telehealth modality has risen to 6.3% of overall claims; top–using specialties are psychiatrists and primary care physicians, and most–frequent diagnoses are mental health conditions, acute respiratory infections, COVID–19, and substance use disorders. The bill now moves to the Assembly Health Committee for consideration.
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United Healthcare, Cigna and Aetna Are Planning to Reduce Prior Authorization (PA) Protocols for Many Procedures and Medical Devices: United proposes to eliminate some PA requirements specific physicians and hospitals with good PA “track records.” This news appears to be a positive development, but it may not be a comprehensive or permanent solution. MSSNY and specialty societies will continue pushing for a number of PA reforms, including “gold card” legislation (S.2680–Breslin/A.859–McDonald) designed to lift burdensome PA requirements from specific physicians whose requests are regularly approved.
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Value–Based Payment — What Do You Think? Take this quick survey! (Answers Anonymous – The survey takes approximately 10 Minutes.) Please respond, even if you are NOT directly affected! Concierge physicians, retirees and medical students, your answers are valuable. Value–based payment’s goal is to shift away from fee–for–service payments (which reward volume), to models that reward “value,” that is, high–quality care delivered cost–efficiently. (For a quick summary, click HERE. We would like to assess the impact on physicians of such value–based payment programs as MIPS and capitation, and think about the implications for the future of healthcare. Our questions look at four dimensions: Quality of care (four questions), patient access (three questions), physician professionalism (three questions), and physician careers (five questions). Click on the link below to access the survey (hosted by Qualtrics). For any questions, clarifications, or comments, please call Connie DiMari, MD, at (917) 579–0197. Click HERE for the survey.
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Events

Tuesday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m.: “Second Tuesday” with Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President for Physician Payment and Practice. This is the monthly open–agenda call with representatives from CMS and NGS (National Government Services). You’ll be able to connect with the experts and get your questions answered! You can go directly into the session by clicking on: https://cms.zoomgov.com/j/1601009631?pwd=WEZnZXJ0eEN5QzNlK1JkWG9IZEcxZz09#success

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Webinar, “MIPS Changes for 2023,” with STI Computer Services, Inc. Sign up HERE. Practice expenses are going up. To help ease the situation, why not work toward incentives with CMS’s Merit–Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)? MIPS–eligible clinicians can collect and report data in four categories: Quality, Improvement Activities, Promoting Interoperability, and Cost. In this webinar, you’ll get a better understanding of the MIPS incentives and penalties, learn eligibility requirements (your practice must exceed a low–volume threshold), identify important dates and reporting timelines, know the differences among the four MIPS categories, understand the Key Elements, and see how easy it is to use federal web sites to verify your status.

 

 

March 31, 2023

New DEA Training Requirement: If you have a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license, you’re subject to a new one–time eight–hour training requirement on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. The full letter is HERE. Here are initial questions (we’ll revisit this issue as more information develops):

What’s the deadline for satisfying this requirement? It’s the date of your next scheduled DEA registration submission, if that date falls on or after June 27, 2023 — either an initial registration or a renewal registration.

Are any physicians exempt? Physicians who are board–certified in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry from the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, or the American Osteopathic Association; and, MDs and DOs who graduated from a U.S. school within five years of June 27, 2023, with a curriculum including at least eight hours of training on treating and managing patients with opioid or other substance use disorders (including the appropriate clinical use of all drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of a substance use disorder); or safe pharmacological management of dental pain and screening, brief intervention, and referral for appropriate treatment of patients with or at risk of developing opioid and other substance use disorders.

If you’re not exempt: Where can you get this training? One valid source is MSSNY’s series of three one–hour pain management courses, available at the MSSNY CME site at: https://cme.mssny.org/ and free of charge to all MSSNY members. To find out when you last received the Pain Management education certificate, log into MSSNY’S CME website (https://cme.mssny.org) and go to “My CME Programs.” Click on the “certificate column” to see when you last received the certificate.

What about the remaining hours? MSSNY and the AMA are working on this question. The AMA is creating a dedicated web page, drawing on the AMA’s Opioid Therapy and Pain Management CME course and other AMA resources. You might also get the training from: The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Another valid source: Training you took to get the DEA’s waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. (For a list with other appropriate sources, click on: DEA Letter outlining training requirements for Medication Assistant Treatment.)

How will you indicate that you have satisfied the requirement? Effective June 27, 2023, you’ll be able to simply check a box on your DEA registration application or renewal form indicating that you have satisfied it. Will you be required to take another eight hours of training the next time you renew your DEA registration? This is a one–time requirement. What’s the origin of this requirement? At the end of December, 2022, Congress passed an Omnibus Bill, one of whose components was the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act. Included in the MATE Act were these training requirements.
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Keep Fighting for Physician–Led, Team–Based Care: We must continue to speak out against Part W of the Governor's proposals, which would significantly expand the scope of practice of non–physicians — permitting some physician assistants to practice without physician oversight, and permitting pharmacists to order numerous lab tests without physician coordination. We must keep telling our legislators that these scope expansions could jeopardize patient safety, and could also drive up healthcare costs by increasing utilization of healthcare services. Please thank the Senate and Assembly for keeping this proposal out of their “one–House” Budgets, and urge them to stick with their position as the Budget is negotiated. Click HERE to send a letter.

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Unprompt Payers to Pay More: In 2022, the New York State Department of Financial Services increased recoveries for insurers’ violations of the New York State Prompt Pay Law to $80 million, twice as much as in any of the last several years. However, more needs to be done. MSSNY has thanked the DFS for its diligent enforcement, and is asking for increased funding so the agency can hire even more enforcement staff. For more details, click on read full press release.
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Check the Replay: You can revisit “Helping Patients With Hearing Issues: What Every Physician Should Know,” with Dr. Ed Bravo, Au.D. For the video, click HERE. Use passcode: +4s.G0X+.
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Events

Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.: You can attend a presentation telling you all about the Physician Loans for Mortgages offered by the Carbon Team at CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. Register by clicking HERE. Learn about the special benefits that are offered just for you! No down payment is required for a purchase price up to $1,500,000 (minimum $500,000 loan amount); closing costs can be financed; and no mortgage insurance is required. Presenters: David Ostrowsky, Senior Loan Officer at CrossCountry Mortgage, and Samantha Bhatty, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Douglas Elliman.

Tuesday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m.:Second Tuesday” with Heather Lopez, MSSNY Vice President for Physician Payment and Practice. This is the monthly open–agenda call with representatives from CMS and NGS (National Government Services). You’ll be able to connect with the experts and get your questions answered! You can go directly into the session by clicking
on: https://cms.zoomgov.com/j/1601009631?pwd=WEZnZXJ0eEN5QzNlK1JkWG9IZEcxZz09#success

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Webinar, “MIPS Changes for 2023,” with STI Computer Services, Inc. Sign up HERE. Practice expenses are going up. To help ease the situation, why not work toward incentives with CMS’s Merit–Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)? MIPS–eligible clinicians can collect and report data in four categories: Quality, Improvement Activities, Promoting Interoperability, and Cost. In this webinar, you’ll get a better understanding of the MIPS incentives and penalties, learn eligibility requirements (your practice must exceed a low–volume threshold), identify important dates and reporting timelines, know the differences among the four MIPS categories, understand the Key Elements, and see how easy it is to use federal web sites to verify your status.

 

March 24, 2023

One House Budgets Are Out: The New York State Senate and Assembly have advanced their “one–House” budgets in preparation for three–way negotiations. Both Houses would support: Continuing the MSSNY Committee for Physicians’ Health, the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance Program and the expanded funding for the Doctors Across New York medical student loan repayment program; creating a Health Insurance Guarantee Fund; and increasing cigarette taxes by $1/pack (however, both Houses would reject banning the sale of menthol–flavored cigarettes). Also favorable, both Houses would oppose: Eliminating the “prescriber prevails” protections for Medicaid prescriptions; requiring private practices to get NYS DOH approval for “material transactions” (please keep sending letters, via Protect Private Practice In New York! (p2a.co)); and implementing the many scope of practice expansions the Governor proposed, including permitting certain PAs to practice independently, permitting pharmacists to prescribe and order lab tests, and expanding the collaborative drug therapy program to nurse practitioners. (Keep sending letters, via: Oppose Part W of Governor’s Health Budget Bill – Preserve Physician-Led Team Care (p2a.co).) In addition, the Senate’s “one–House” Budget added MSSNY–supported language to: Provide funding for the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative, and prohibit health insurers from denying medical necessity for patient care unless the issue is reviewed by a physician in the same or specialty as the physician providing the care. Stay tuned for further updates on negotiations on the State Budget.
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Do I Really Need to Keep Sending Letters on the Budget? Some ask, “do we still need to keep sending letters on budget issues that look good in the two–house budgets? We won, right?” KEEP sending letters. Negotiations do not end until the budget is final, and things that look settled can resurface. Stay vigilant and keep responding.
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NYC Retirees and the Shift Into a Medicare Advantage Plan: Mayor Eric Adams is digging in his heels on the battle to switch all New York City retirees into Medicare Advantage plans, but the battle continues. The Mayor has refused to authorize a proposed implementation structure that would have given retirees the option to stay on traditional Medicare at no extra cost. (As you remember, the City Council voted against his plan to let retirees keep their existing care for a fee.) Now, UFT members are demanding a unionwide referendum on any changes to healthcare plans for retirees or any union members; this is the first time current city workers have challenged union leadership over the issue. For more information, click HERE.
(A resolution introduced by New York County will be discussed at the upcoming House of Delegates calling for transparency so that patients understand what signing up for Medicare Advantage means for their healthcare.)
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Society Events

Tuesday, March 28, 6:00 p.m.: The Society hosts a CME webinar, “Helping Patients With Hearing Issues: What Every Physician Should Know.” In this program you’ll find out about symptoms of hearing loss; research showing connections between hearing loss and such conditions as dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression (plus, the increased risk of balance problems and falls); how to administer a brief in–office questionnaire to probe for hearing problems, and a simple screening test; and how to address patients’ fears and doubts. In addition, you’ll find out about modern hearing aids (types and technology), and how the new OTC hearing aids compare with prescription hearing aids. Dr. Ed Bravo, Au. D., founder of Audio Help (a chain of hearing centers), has served as Director of the Speech and Hearing Department at Brookdale Hospital and as a consultant to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary and Lenox Hill Hospital. Register HERE
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Are You a Medicaid Provider? By April 1, you need to have enrolled in NYRx, the Medicaid pharmacy program, if you have patients who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans, Health and Recovery Plans, and/or HIV Special Needs Plans. What is this all about? Beginning April 1, 2023, all Medicaid members enrolled these plans will receive their prescription drugs through NYRx, which allows the State to pay pharmacies directly for drugs and supplies. The New York State Department of Health says that moving all Medicaid members under the NYRx Program is designed to allow for a single, uniform list of covered drugs and standardized, consistent rules and regulations; Medicaid members will have comprehensive drug coverage and equitable access to an extensive network of over 5,000 pharmacy providers. You must enroll either as an Individual Billing Medicaid Provider, or as an Ordering, Prescribing, Referring, Attending (OPRA) provider. (If you wish to receive payment for covered services, you’re an “Individual Biller”; if not, you’re OPRA — the shorter pathway). You can find more details at Medicaid Pharmacy Program (NYRx), and check provider enrollment instructions at eMedNY.org.
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Thursday, March 30, at 1:00 p.m.: CME presentation: “Documentation Fundamentals: Strategies to Avoid Malpractice Claims and Improve the Physician-Patient Relationship.” (To register, click right on that link!) This session, hosted by MSSNY will describe how appropriate documentation can improve the provider–patient relationship and enhance reimbursement; documentation can also be a key factor in determining whether a plaintiff’s attorney will pursue a potential claim of medical malpractice.
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They’re Here! 2023 New Members: Congratulations to these new members who have joined the Society for 2023.

Iqra Arshad, MD
Peter Ashman, MD
Jade Avery, MD
Oladapo M. Babatunde, MD
Kerem H. Bortecen, MD
Darryl Brown, MD
Liboria Buscemi, MD
Libby R. Copeland–Halperin, MD
Michael Coplin, MD
Gary Esses, MD
Samantha Lauren Estevez, MD
Giovanni Gagliardo, MD
Anne Goldring, MD
Dennis George Grech, MD
Lawrence Marc Jacobson, MD
Daniel Kanzer, MD
Amel Komic, MD
Paul Sung–Chul Lee, MD
Sweta Maddipudi, MD
James Mc Neil Mumford, MD
Marc A. Nolan, MD
Brianna Olamiju, MD
So Youn Park, MD
Keval Ray, MD
Michael Seth Rosman, MD
Daniel Ross Schecter, MD
Asad Shakikh, MD
Min Ye Shen, MD
Richard Jason Silvera, MD
Ashley Simela, DO
Mansher Singh, MD
Dan Inder Sraow, MD
Alisa Turok, MD
Emily Wolters, MD
George Wanna, MD
Siyu Xiao, MD
Dana Zappetti, MD
Benjamin Zhang, MD

 

March 17, 2023

Neither Storm Nor Sleet Nor Power Outages Stops Physician Advocacy Day: Physicians, medical students and allies from around the state made time in busy schedules to hear from legislative leaders of important committees (Health and Insurance), and to meet with local legislators to discuss NYS budget items that could significantly affect healthcare delivery in our state. A March snowstorm in Albany saw us pivoting to virtual legislative visits. The Society met with Assemblymembers Linda Rosenthal and Tony Simone, and with legislative staff to Senator Brad Hoylman–Sigal, Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Assemblymembers Eddie Gibbs and Rebecca Seawright. One crucial issue: A push by Governor Kathy Hochul to extend practice scope for pharmacists, physician assistants and others — potentially jeopardizing patients’ safety, eliminating important physician oversight and guidance, and creating healthcare “silos” that don’t communicate with each other.
Also crucial: A costly, burdensome requirement that private practices get the Health Department’s approval if they are contemplating acquiring or merging with other practices.

Our political involvement will go on. Remember, supporting MSSNYPAC helps us to increase our access to and build relationships with the legislative leaders who make policy decisions affecting our patients’ access to medical care and the medical practice environment in New York State. If we are to have a strong voice in the policy–making arena, collective political action by physicians and our allies is vital. Donate to MSSNYPAC today! You can also text MSSNY to 52886 to subscribe to MSSNY’s web–based Grassroots Action Center, which lets you send instant messages to legislators about urgent issues. And you can become even more involved, as a Physician Advocacy Liaison – meeting personally with legislators through the year. Once the State’s budget is ironed out, there will be a number of bills to address. We will keep you informed and ask you to keep reaching out to legislators so they know that physicians are not stepping back from the discussion.
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What’s Happening With Congestion Pricing? Congestion pricing is the plan to toll motorists who drive south of 60th Street in Manhattan. This program, designed to help fund upgrades in the mass transit system, is in the final stages of approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation, but four members of Congress from New York and New Jersey have formed a “Bipartisan Congressional Anti–Congestion Tax Caucus,” hoping to stop it or at least slow it down. They want a federal audit of how the MTA spent the roughly $15 billion in federal COVID–19 relief funds it received in 2020 and 2021. (Those funds were used to offset losses to fare and toll revenue during the pandemic, the MTA's budget shows.) And they want the MTA itself to conduct another environmental study; an MTA report last year found that Staten Island traffic would increase, and that parts of New Jersey might also see changing traffic patterns as more drivers avoided Manhattan. The Society weighed in during hearings last year, concerned about patients traveling to New York hospitals who would be hit with fees, as well as effects on health care workers, already bombarded by working through a pandemic. For more information, click HERE.
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CMS Increases Some E/M Payments — What Does It Mean for You? An article in RevCycle Intelligence says, “Medicare payment policies have historically undervalued E/M visits — which are common in primary care settings, leading to lower reimbursement for primary care physicians compared to specialists.” In January 2021, CMS increased Medicare reimbursement for E/M services by all physicians, and at the same time reduced the conversion factor, cutting reimbursements for non–E/M services. Meanwhile, E/M documentation requirements were eased and the time–based billing guidelines were modified, making it easier to bill higher–intensity, more profitable E/M codes. So, what happened? “The largest gains relative to pre–period payments [were in] primary care — family practice (11 percent) and internal medicine (10.8 percent).” Among specialties, certain ones did well, particularly psychiatry (9.2 percent), neurology (5.7 percent) and obstetrics/gynecology (4.6 percent). However, reimbursements were decreased for radiology (–3.3 percent), ophthalmology (–2.8 percent) and general surgery (–0.1 percent). What about the primary–versus–specialty differential? “Between July and December 2020, the reimbursement gap between primary care physicians and specialists was $40,259.8. After pre–period services [were re–priced] at 2021 rates, the gap narrowed slightly to $37,759.5.” For more information, click HERE.
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NYCMS Events

Tuesday, March 28, 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS is hosting a fascinating CME webinar, “Helping Patients With Hearing Issues: What Every Physician Should Know.” In this program you’ll find out about symptoms of hearing loss; research showing connections between hearing loss and such conditions as dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression (plus, the increased risk of balance problems and falls); how to administer a brief in–office questionnaire to probe for hearing problems, and a simple screening test; and how to address patients’ fears and doubts. In addition, you’ll find out about modern hearing aids (types and technology), and how the new OTC hearing aids compare with prescription hearing aids. Dr. Ed Bravo, Au. D., founder of Audio Help (a chain of hearing centers), has served as Director of the Speech and Hearing Department at Brookdale Hospital and as a consultant to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary and Lenox Hill Hospital. Register HERE.
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Nominations Open: Any active member who wishes to make a nomination for elective office in the New York County Medical Society may do so now by alerting the Nominating Committee. In addition, nominations for officers and delegates to be elected at the next annual election may be made in writing by no fewer than 10 active members in good standing between April 1 and May 1. (Members must have paid 2023 dues. Names must be printed next to signatures.) These positions are open for 2023 – 2024: President–Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one Trustee. In addition, there will be between six and twelve at–large seats on the Board. Elections will also be held to fill spots for five delegates and alternate delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. Direct nominations to Richard Schutzer, Secretary, New York County Medical Society, care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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MSSNY Events

March 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon: MSSNY Presents “Protect Your Practice with Cyber Insurance.” Find out why your practice needs cyber insurance, what to look for in a high-quality cyber insurance policy, what preventative services are provided by cyber insurers, and how best to position yourself when applying for coverage. With Kate Sellers, JD, CLU, Vice President for Sales at Sellers Insurance, Inc. Register HERE.

Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 p.m.: MSSNY Webinar: How to Participate in a Media Interview. Register here. Do you have medical expertise to share with the public? Learn how to prepare for television, radio and print Interviews with an expert. Doctor Purvi Parikh (a member of the Board of Directors of New York County Medical Society) will share clips and slides as she walks physicians through the process, from how to begin your preparation to how to answer questions succinctly, and will conduct mock interviews with interested participants. Purvi Parikh, MD, FACAAI, FACP, is an Allergist and Immunologist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill in NYC, and is Clinical Assistant Professor in New York University’s Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics. A national media spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network, she frequently makes appearances on CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN and CNBC, and also contributes to print publications as a medical expert. She has conducted media training for the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, and has a weekly Health Watch segment on Fox 5 NY.
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In Memoriam

Manfred Blum, MD died July 19, 2022. Doctor Blum received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1957.

Pilar Gloria Carbajal, MD died July 3, 2022. Doctor Carbajal received her MD degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1957.

Ingram Cohen, MD died November 3, 2020. Doctor Cohen received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1956.

John M. Daly, MD died March 26, 2021. Doctor Daly received his MD degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 1973.

Richard Dubin, MD died August 14, 2021. Doctor Dubin received his MD degree from Cornell University College of Medicine in 1951.

Robert Charles Eberle, MD died May 30, 2021. Doctor Eberle received his MD degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine in 1954.

Martin Finkel, MD died October 11, 2022. Doctor Finkel received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1956.

Bruce M. Henry, MD died December 23, 2022. Doctor Henry received his MD degree from State University of New York, Upstate in 1961.

Julius H. Jacobson, MD died December 4, 2022. Doctor Jacobson received his MD degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1952.

Harvey Klein, MD died August 12, 2020. Doctor Klein received his MD degree from Harvard Medical School in 1963.

Lonnie Mac Donald, MD died August 10, 2022. Doctor Mac Donald received his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1954.

Martin Nydick, MD died June 28, 2021. Doctor Nydick received his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1957.

Neil Patel, MD died January 6, 2022. Doctor Patel received his MD degree from State University of New York, Downstate in 2005.

Herbert S. Rubinowitz, MD died August 22, 2021. Doctor Rubinowitz received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1959.

Peter H. Schween, MD died June 12, 2022. Doctor Schween received his MD degree from University of Hamburg in 1955.

Alan Harvey Seplowitz, MD. Doctor Seplowitz received his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1972.

Hiromi Shinya, MD died January 23, 2022. Doctor Shinya received his MD degree from University of Tokyo in 1960.

Hampson A. Sisler, MD died May 25, 2020. Doctor Sisler received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1957.

Peter M. Som, MD died September 19, 2022. Doctor Som received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1967.

Mark Sorensen, MD died January 16, 2023. Doctor Sorensen received his MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1984.

William T. Stubenford, MD died September 18, 2022. Doctor Stubenford received his MD degree from Cornell University School of Medicine in 1962.

N. Noel Testa, MD died June 29, 2022. Doctor Testa received his MD degree from New York Medical College in 1966.

Filippo Vita, MD, died September 19, 2020. Doctor Vita received his MD degree from Univ Degli Studi di Catania in 1954.

Henry Weinstein, MD died May 17, 2022. Doctor Weinstein received his MD degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1965.

 

March 10, 2023

NYCMS Events

Register Last Chance for Tuesday, March 14, 2023, Bus Trip to Albany: MSSNY is holding its annual Physician Advocacy Day LIVE on Tuesday, March 14. Join us on the New York County bus. Once in Albany, there will be speeches by top lawmakers and MSSNY experts in the morning and small–group meetings with our own Manhattan delegation in the afternoon. On the bus we’ll have information and a chance to meet interesting colleagues. We’ll have breakfast as we roll along; afternoon snacks as we unwind, homeward bound. Lunch will be provided by MSSNY. In our pre–arranged afternoon meetings, we’ll tell legislators our top concerns: non–physician practitioners’ efforts to increase their scope; New York State’s tough medical liability climate; controversies over opioid prescribing and harm reduction strategies; the changing landscape for reproductive health; and new funding and services for the mentally ill. You register with us (we will register you with MSSNY). Let us know if you’ll be part of our bus–riding team. You’re also welcome to travel to Albany on your own — just let us know so we can place you in our appointment groups with legislators. Bus riders: $50.00. (No charge for medical students and residents.) Sign up HERE.

Tuesday, March 28, 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS is hosting a fascinating CME webinar, “Helping Patients With Hearing Issues: What Every Physician Should Know.” In this program you’ll find out about symptoms of hearing loss; research showing connections between hearing loss and such conditions as dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression (plus, the increased risk of balance problems and falls); how to administer a brief in–office questionnaire to probe for hearing problems, and a simple screening test; and how to address patients’ fears and doubts. In addition, you’ll find out about modern hearing aids (types and technology), and how the new OTC hearing aids compare with prescription hearing aids. Dr. Ed Bravo, Au. D., founder of Audio Help (a chain of hearing centers), has served as Director of the Speech and Hearing Department at Brookdale Hospital and as a consultant to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary and Lenox Hill Hospital. Register HERE.
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What’s an Intrapreneur? According to Wikipedia, “intrapreneurship” has to do with “behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization.” On Thursday, March 16, at 12:00 noon, you can hear a live panel of physician entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs discuss their journey towards building the future of health “as we continue to see the development and implementation of digitally-enabled technologies and new modes of care delivery.” (And you can decide for yourself what’s just jargon and what might actually help.) Presented by the Future of Health Immersion Program and AMA STEPS Forward® Innovation Academy. Register Now. For more information, click on: Exploring Physician-led Innovation through Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship
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Did You Miss It? You have until March 16 to view the video and still get CME for last month’s program from the Doctors Company, High Reliability in Ambulatory Practice: Driving Improvement in Test and Contact Management.
In the ambulatory environment of a physician office or clinic, the test and consult management processes are at risk of gaps at any time, resulting in potential patient harm and potential allegation of negligence. Learn what it means to be a high reliability office practice or clinic, where specific process risks exist in test and consult management. Learn what has occurred in review of cases of negligence when factors related to test and consult management failures impact patient care.
Watch this Video Passcode: %4E&e*r7 — Then click on the “Obtain CME Credit” below. Check in to register your attendance. A CME certificate will be issued within 5 business days. Please claim credit by March 16, 2023. Click Here to Obtain CME Credits
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Check Out The Replay: If you missed the March 2 presentation, “Payment & Practice Breakdown: The How, Where, What, When and Why” with Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice, don’t worry! Check out the replay HERE. Passcode is ZSw3=!VV
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Nominations Open: Any active member who wishes to make a nomination for elective office in the New York County Medical Society may do so now by alerting the Nominating Committee. In addition, nominations for officers and delegates to be elected at the next annual election may be made in writing by no fewer than 10 active members in good standing between April 1 and May 1. (Members must have paid 2023 dues. Names must be printed next to signatures.) These positions are open for 2023 – 2024: President–Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one Trustee. In addition, there will be between six and twelve at–large seats on the Board. Elections will also be held to fill spots for five delegates and alternate delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. Direct nominations to Richard Schutzer, Secretary, New York County Medical Society, care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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MSSNY Events

March 15, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: “Virtual Drill 2023: Incident Command System & Public Health Reporting and Messaging,” a live CME webinar from MSSNY with William Valenti, MD, and logistics engineer Tom Henery. In a public health emergency, how does information reach the public and how do people plan and prepare? Learning objectives: Attendees will be able to outline information about the local, state and national chain of command in a public health emergency; they will learn how to access resources, analyze a scenario in which the incident command system plays a critical role, recognize the importance of planning and preparation for public health emergencies, and distinguish best practices for reporting and messaging. To register, click HERE.

March 22, 2023, at 12:00 noon: MSSNY Presents “Protect Your Practice with Cyber Insurance.” Find out why your practice needs cyber insurance, what to look for in a high-quality cyber insurance policy, what preventative services are provided by cyber insurers, and how best to position yourself when applying for coverage. With Kate Sellers, JD, CLU, Vice President for Sales at Sellers Insurance, Inc. Register at: https://mssny.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YKJ3XNAAS12zRu76TXfCQA .

Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 p.m.: MSSNY Webinar: How to Participate in a Media Interview. Register here. Do you have medical expertise to share with the public? Learn how to prepare for television, radio and print Interviews with an expert. Doctor Purvi Parikh (a member of the Board of Directors of New York County Medical Society) will share clips and slides as she walks physicians through the process, from how to begin your preparation to how to answer questions succinctly, and will conduct mock interviews with interested participants. Purvi Parikh, MD, FACAAI, FACP, is an Allergist and Immunologist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill in NYC, and is Clinical Assistant Professor in New York University’s Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics. A national media spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network, she frequently makes appearances on CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN and CNBC, and also contributes to print publications as a medical expert. She has conducted media training for the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, and has a weekly Health Watch segment on Fox 5 NY.

 

March 3, 2023

NYCMS Events

Register Now for Tuesday, March 14, 2023, Bus Trip to Albany: MSSNY is holding its annual Physician Advocacy Day LIVE on Tuesday, March 14. Join us on the New York County bus. Once in Albany, there will be speeches by top lawmakers and MSSNY experts in the morning and small–group meetings with our own Manhattan delegation in the afternoon. On the bus we’ll have information and a chance to meet interesting colleagues. We’ll have breakfast as we roll along; afternoon snacks as we unwind, homeward bound. Lunch will be provided by MSSNY. In our pre–arranged afternoon meetings, we’ll tell legislators our top concerns: non–physician practitioners’ efforts to increase their scope; New York State’s tough medical liability climate; controversies over opioid prescribing and harm reduction strategies; the changing landscape for reproductive health; and new funding and services for the mentally ill. You register with us (we will register you with MSSNY). Let us know if you’ll be part of our bus–riding team. You’re also welcome to travel to Albany on your own — just let us know so we can place you in our appointment groups with legislators. Bus riders: $50.00. (No charge for medical students and residents.) Sign up HERE.

Tuesday, March 28, 6:00 p.m.: NYCMS is hosting a fascinating virtual event, “Helping Patients With Hearing Issues: What Every Physician Should Know.”
In this program you’ll find out about symptoms of hearing loss; research showing connections between hearing loss and such conditions as dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression (plus, the increased risk of balance problems and falls); how to administer a brief in–office questionnaire to probe for hearing problems, and a simple screening test; and how to address patients’ fears and doubts. In addition, you’ll find out about modern hearing aids (types and technology), and how the new OTC hearing aids compare with prescription hearing aids. Dr. Ed Bravo, Au. D., founder of Audio Help (a chain of hearing centers), has served as Director of the Speech and Hearing Department at Brookdale Hospital and as a consultant to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary and Lenox Hill Hospital.
Register HERE.

Did You Miss It? You have until March 16 to view the video and still get CME for last month’s program from the Doctors Company, High Reliability in Ambulatory Practice: Driving Improvement in Test and Contact Management.
In the ambulatory environment of a physician office or clinic, the test and consult management processes are at risk of gaps at any time, resulting in potential patient harm and potential allegation of negligence. Learn what it means to be a high reliability office practice or clinic, where specific process risks exist in test and consult management. Learn what has occurred in review of cases of negligence when factors related to test and consult management failures impact patient care.
Watch this Video Passcode: %4E&e*r7 — Then click on the “Obtain CME Credit” below. Check in to register your attendance. A CME certificate will be issued within 5 business days. Please claim credit by March 16, 2023.
Click Here to Obtain CME Credits

Did You Miss Last Night’s Presentation? If you missed last night’s presentation, “Payment & Practice Breakdown: The How, Where, What, When and Why” with Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice, don’t worry! Check out the replay HERE.
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Nominations Open: Any active member who wishes to make a nomination for elective office in the New York County Medical Society may do so now by alerting the Nominating Committee. In addition, nominations for officers and delegates to be elected at the next annual election may be made in writing by no fewer than 10 active members in good standing between April 1 and May 1. (Members must have paid 2023 dues. Names must be printed next to signatures.) These positions are open for 2023 – 2024: President–Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one Trustee. In addition, there will be between six and twelve at–large seats on the Board. Elections will also be held to fill spots for five delegates and alternate delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. Direct nominations to Richard Schutzer, Secretary, New York County Medical Society, care of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Update on NYS Proposed $227 Billion Budget: Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed 2023 Budget (the Health & Mental Hygiene Budget bill, A.3007/S.4007) contains some items that are positive for the physician community, but also numerous items that could jeopardize patient care — limiting treatment options, promoting uncoordinated care, imposing new bureaucratic hassles and limiting patients’ choices for their care settings. You can download a summary of these key Budget items here: Oppose.jpeg (mssny.org)

We Support Proposals That Would:
— Help offset the enormous cost of liability coverage in New York by extending the Excess Medical Malpractice Insurance program for another policy year. (The Excess Program has nearly 16,000 physician enrollees!)

— Extend the MSSNY Committee for Physicians’ Health for an additional ten years. (Otherwise, the program will “sunset” this June.)

— Increase Medicaid’s currently inadequate E&M code payments to 80% of Medicare, and increase reimbursements for care provided under the State’s Essential Plan.

— Require insurers to pay towards a Health Insurance Guaranty Fund, to make sure that medical claims will be paid in the event of a health–plan insolvency.

— Maintain increased appropriation levels for the physician loan repayment program that is part of Doctors Across NY.

— Raise the cigarette tax by $1 per pack, and prohibit all flavored tobacco products. (On this item, a letter in support can be sent from here: https://p2a.co/aMMeSON.)

We Have Concerns About:

— Part W of the Budget bill contains dozens of new measures expanding the services that could be delivered by non-physicians. These measures could lead to disjointed and non–coordinated care; worse, they could fundamentally restructure New York’s healthcare delivery system. Please urge your legislators to oppose these provisions by clicking here: https://p2a.co/9FcKLg2 MSSNY and thirteen specialty medical societies have sent the entire State Legislature a joint letter warning that these proposals could compromise patient care by completely removing the important oversight and coordination role that a physician plays — particularly in regard to ordering diagnostic tests, evaluating the effectiveness of prescription medications and treatments, and assessing the patient’s ongoing response to treatment.

— Permitting independent practice for physician assistants if they have practiced for 8,000 hours under supervision, and are now practicing (1) in primary care or (2) as employees in a hospital.

— Permitting pharmacists to prescribe and order opioid antagonists and medications to treat nicotine dependence.

— Permitting pharmacists to execute a non-patient–specific order to dispense pre–exposure HIV prophylaxis.

— Permitting pharmacists to order all of the limited–service laboratory tests that the FDA authorizes, not just tests for COVID and flu.

— Permitting pharmacists to prescribe self–administered hormonal contraceptives.

— Permitting dentists to order diagnostic tests for HIV or hepatitis C.

— Permitting nurse practitioners and pharmacists to participate in collaborative drug therapy management programs, and to expand those programs outside of Article 28 settings.

— Overbroad regulation of private practice which we and several other groups are opposing Budget proposals that would require approvals from the New York State Department of Health for private–practice mergers and acquisitions, including approvals for some transactions involving private equity. Please urge your legislators to oppose this measure here: https://p2a.co/gD4eaG2 These proposed measures might create new, burdensome and prohibitively expensive bureaucratic requirements in a number of situations – for example, when one independent private practice seeks to acquire another private practice (some physician practices have sought to enhance their capital footing by acquiring smaller practices); or, when a practice seeks to strengthen its “back office” administration by involving a management services organization, or MSO. (MSOs have provided one pathway for physicians to remain in independent practice, rather than, for economic reasons, having to work for large health systems — where physicians might have clinical decisions dictated by the central employer, and might also be bound by excessive post–employment “non–compete” clauses.) The terminology in the budget is so vague that unintended consequences might result, and the measures should at least be more narrowly tailored, or better yet, completely removed from the Budget.
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Hats Off: At its February 16 meeting, the American Psychiatric Association counted up the results of its 2023 National Election and elected Doctor Gabrielle Shapiro as the APA’s new Secretary. Doctor Shapiro is a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York County Medical Society and a delegate to the MSSNY House of Delegates. Doctor Shapiro (MD, New York Medical College/Albert Einstein) is a general, child and adolescent psychiatrist; she is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and has also served on the faculty at UCSD, NYU and Bellevue Hospital. She practices in Harlem and the Bronx, in settlement houses and collaborative care settings; she also provides care to immigrants in New York and California. In addition to New York County, she has held leadership roles both locally and nationally for the NY County Medical Society Executive Council Board of Trustees, NY County Psychiatric Society, NY Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Political Action Committee and the Sweet Institute. She is former President of the California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the San Diego Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
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MSSNY Events

Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 p.m.: MSSNY Webinar: How to Participate in a Media Interview. Register here. Do you have medical expertise to share with the public? Learn how to prepare for television, radio and print Interviews with an expert. Doctor Purvi Parikh (a member of the Board of Directors of New York County Medical Society) will share clips and slides as she walks physicians through the process, from how to begin your preparation to how to answer questions succinctly, and will conduct mock interviews with interested participants. Purvi Parikh, MD, FACAAI, FACP, is an Allergist and Immunologist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill in NYC, and is Clinical Assistant Professor in New York University’s Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics. A national media spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network, she frequently makes appearances on CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN and CNBC, and also contributes to print publications as a medical expert. She has conducted media training for the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, and has a weekly Health Watch segment on Fox 5 NY.
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Beware of Scammers Impersonating DEA Agents: Recently, a number of members have received phone calls from individuals identifying themselves as DEA agents. This scam was prevalent a few years ago and seems to be resurfacing again lately. DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment, will never request personal or sensitive information over the phone, and will only notify people of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by official letter. Anyone receiving a call from a person claiming to be with DEA should report the incident to the FBI at www.ic3.gov. The Federal Trade Commission provides recovery steps, shares information with more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies, and takes reports at reportfraud.ftc.gov. For any victims who have given personally identifiable information like a social security number to the caller, learn how to protect against identity theft at www.identitytheft.gov.” More information is in the official DEA press release regarding this scam.
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Register now for the AMPAC Candidate Workshop in person in Washington D.C., March 31 through April 2! Registration now OPEN. Ever wonder how doctors get elected to Congress or the state legislature? Are you considering a run for office yourself? The AMPAC Candidate Workshop will teach you how to run a winning political campaign. Learn the importance of a disciplined campaign plan and message, the secrets of effective fundraising, what kinds of advertising may be right for your campaign, how to work with the media, how to build your campaign team, and how to build a successful grassroots organization. The Candidate Workshop is open to AMA physician members, member spouses, residents, medical students and state medical society staff. The registration fee is $250 for AMA Member/$1000 for non–AMA members. Faculty, materials and all meals during the meeting are covered by the AMA; participants are responsible for their registration fee, travel to/from Washington, D.C., and hotel accommodations.
Space is limited, and the deadline to register is March 17, 2023 (or sooner if the maximum capacity is reached). For more information, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Incorporating Collaborative Care Model In Residency: The Collaborative Care Model, a tested way of integrating behavioral health and general medical services, will be the topic of a Washington, DC, conference held by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) April 24 – 25, focusing on how to teach this model in residency programs in psychiatry and primary care. From each given residency program, one training director or faculty member is invited to attend, plus, one resident. The APA will cover travel/housing/per diem expenses; in return, the residency program will be asked to incorporate the Collaborative Care Model into its curriculum. To apply for this opportunity, please fill out the form HERE by Friday, March 17. If you have questions, please contact Agathe Farrage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

February 3, 2023

We Did It! Your Advocacy Works: Governor Kathy Hochul has vetoed the Wrongful Death bill, acknowledging that it could have “unintended consequences on the economy.” Calls from physicians played a big part. This bill had a near unanimous passage through the State Legislature, and the issue is a sensitive one. However, the community of organized medicine and a number of other allies worked together to urge the Governor to consider a more measured approach to the real problems of liability. The Medical Society of the State of New York saw members like you across the State send nearly 14,000 emails and over 1,400 tweets. Physicians and their families and staffs made thousands of calls in an organized campaign across the State.

We all know that this does not end the discussion. However, doctors are telling the Governor and our elected representatives that we need to balance the rights of grieving families with the need to protect our already stretched healthcare system. Why don’t you tell them yourself? Join us on Physician Advocacy Day on March 14. (See the next story for more details.)
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Save Tuesday, March 14, 2023, for Our Bus Trip to Albany: MSSNY is holding its annual Physician Advocacy Day LIVE on Tuesday, March 14. Join us on the New York County bus. Once in Albany, there will be speeches by top lawmakers and MSSNY experts in the morning and small–group meetings with our own Manhattan delegation in the afternoon. On the bus we’ll have information and a chance to meet interesting colleagues. We’ll have breakfast as we roll along; afternoon snacks as we unwind, homeward bound. Lunch will be provided by MSSNY. In our pre–arranged afternoon meetings, we’ll tell legislators our top concerns: non–physician practitioners’ efforts to increase their scope; New York State’s tough medical liability climate; controversies over opioid prescribing and harm reduction strategies; the changing landscape for reproductive health; and new funding and services for the mentally ill. You register with us (we will register you with MSSNY). Let us know if you’ll be part of our bus–riding team. You’re also welcome to travel to Albany on your own — just let us know so we can place you in our appointment groups with legislators. Bus riders: $50.00. (No charge for medical students and residents.) Sign up HERE.
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NYCMS CME Event on Thursday, February 16, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. How Tests and Consults Are Managed in Your Practice: The Doctors Company (TDC), the Society’s endorsed medical liability insurance carrier, will present a zoom conference, “High Reliability in Ambulatory Practice: Driving Improvement in Test and Consult Management.” How do you handle tests and consults in your practice? Think about it for a moment. There could be gaps any time; patients could be harmed, and there could be allegations of negligence. What to do? You can take specific “high reliability” steps: (1) looking for safety concerns before harm occurs; (2) reporting on those concerns; and (3), correcting them. The Doctors Company has reviewed a wealth of data on cases of negligence, when patient care has been jeopardized by test and consult management failures. You’ll hear what has happened in these situations, and how you can work to avoid similar problems. Presenter Lisa McCorkle, MSN, MBA, RN, CPHQ, CPPS, CPHRM, is Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager for The Doctors Company. Register at: High Reliability in Ambulatory Practice: Driving Improvement in Test & Consult Management (constantcontact.com).
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Thursday, March 2, at 6:00 p.m., Heather Lopez, MSSNY’s Director of Physician Payment & Practice, will give us a wonderful presentation, “Payment & Practice Breakdown: The How, Where, What, When and Why.” Ms. Lopez has a track record of taking care of many practice difficulties – this list of current “front-burner” projects gives you the picture: A insurer’s attempt to take back $5.9 million, reduced to zero (case closed, thanks to Heather). A contract negotiated (successfully). A dispute over a dense breast NCD (national coverage determination – re-evaluation pending). A question about cost–sharing for COVID office visits (pending.) Heather will explain, in detail, how you can approach common issues in your practice: How you can identify the type of insurance, gather information to submit a complaint, and determine which agencies and entities to complain to. Some of this preparation you’ll be able to do in advance – you may even solve some problems right away. But if your issue is more complicated, Heather will assist you. Come to this in–person meeting at the Society’s office, 246 West 38 Street, Room 501. Limited space, but a great opportunity to get hands on help. (Your staff is invited.) Look for registration information in the next week.
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The Budget Is Out: Governor Kathy Hochul has released her proposal for the 2023 New York State Budget. What does it mean for physicians and health care? Many good points, including: increased Medicaid payments; expanded insurance coverage for mental health services; investment in new psychiatric beds; a $1/pack increase in the cigarette tax; a ban on all flavored tobacco products including menthol, and more. Many not–so–good points, including: eliminating “prescriber prevails” on Medicaid prescriptions; permitting independent practice for PAs under certain circumstances; permitting pharmacists to prescribe self–administered hormonal contraceptives, and widen their scope in numerous other ways, and more. Points of concern, including: letting New York join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. (The worry is that insurers might create cheap out–of–state networks, undercutting New York physicians.) See the attached summary, “Governor’s Preliminary Budget Proposal.”
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Telehealth Bill Introduced: Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera, who successfully championed passage of telehealth payment parity legislation last year, has introduced a bill (S.2776) that would remove the law’s “sunset,” currently scheduled for 2024. Eliminating this provision will help to ensure that patients continue to have access to their regular physician and the best care. Watch for further developments on this issue.
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X–Waiver No Longer Required for Buprenorphine Prescribing: Congress has now eliminated the requirement for physicians to obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s “X–waiver,” to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. The X–waiver requirements have been a significant barrier to expanding access to this highly effective treatment for OUD, and this is a major advance for patients with OUD. For more information, click HERE.
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How Was Breakfast (Legislatively Speaking . . . ): A major theme at our January 29 legislative breakfast was our healthcare system’s increasing corporatization and profit orientation. For example, in a follow–up letter to Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, member David Brody, MD zeros in on the problem of chain pharmacies (e.g., CVS) that save money by skimping on personnel. Doctor Brody warns of endless lines at the counter and long phone waits — particularly tough on older patients, who aren’t comfortable with websites and smartphone apps. Pharmacy staff are usually “entirely professional and patient,” Doctor Brody says, but “I could only imagine how overwhelmed they felt, especially if they also had vaccinations to administer.”

That wasn’t the only topic people were discussing — value-based payment (VBP) models (a “cure” for US healthcare spending that may be worse than the disease) was another matter of concern. The VBP approach is an invitation to include financial considerations in medical decision–making, potentially putting patients at a disadvantage. Board member Connie DiMari, MD, an ophthalmologist, made this point vividly in her follow–up letter to our legislative guests citing real world examples of the unintended negative consequences of VBP models:

— A hospitalist is under pressure to either discharge or perform a procedure the next day for a 90–year–old. A physician family member knew enough to refuse the procedure, and the patient did well without it.

— A primary care physician under pressure of financial penalties to cut medication costs has a patient with chronic cough due to her anti–hypertensive medication. He observes that the cost of the new prescription “is coming out of my pocket.”

— Under the pressure of outcome scores, surgeons on Long Island refuse hip replacements for a higher–risk 40–year-old with congenital hip dysplasia. Eventually, the patient got treatment and had an excellent surgical result with an uneventful course, but he had to travel to Manhattan for care.

Other topics on the table were pre–authorizations and the new “Gold Card” law, wrongful death, mental health and emergency rooms, and the New York Health Act. Next year, maybe you can be the one asking questions. In fact, don’t wait. Join us on March 14 for Physician Advocacy Day in Albany. We have a seat on the bus for you!

 

January 27, 2023

 

Even If You Called, Call AGAIN: Our Wrongful Death veto campaign continues to the last hour on Monday, January 30, and every call counts! Even if you’ve called before, pick up the phone again. The Governor needs to hear that we are NOT backing away. S.74–A/A.6770 (the Grieving Family Act) is legislation that would harm not only physician practices, but also hospitals, other businesses and even municipalities. This bill would greatly expand the possible damages in a wrongful death action, and make liability insurance premiums even higher than they are now. The end of the window is no time to let up! When you call (518) 474-8390 (press #3 and then #1 to leave a message) and you’ve given your name and zip code, say:

— You’re urging the Governor to veto S.74–A/A.6770, or at least remove medical liability from it.

— The term “family member” in the bill is extremely vague – it needs to be defined and limited.

— Other states with this type of law also have caps on awards, and that’s what New York needs too.

Keep up the fight!
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Save Tuesday, March 14, 2023, for Our Bus Trip to Albany: MSSNY is holding its annual Physician Advocacy Day LIVE on Tuesday, March 14. Join us on the New York County bus. Once in Albany, there will be speeches by top lawmakers and MSSNY experts in the morning and small–group meetings with our own Manhattan delegation in the afternoon. On the bus we’ll have intros and explanations, “chalk talks” on the issues, and a chance to meet interesting colleagues. We’ll have breakfast as we roll along; afternoon snacks as we unwind, homeward bound. Lunch will be provided by MSSNY. In our pre–arranged afternoon meetings, we’ll tell legislators our top concerns. We’ll get into difficult issues with no easy answers: non–physician practitioners’ efforts to increase their scope; New York State’s tough medical liability climate; controversies over opioid prescribing and harm reduction strategies; the changing landscape for reproductive health; and new funding and services for the mentally ill. You register with us (we register you with MSSNY). Let us know if you’ll be part of our bus–riding team. You’re also welcome to travel to Albany on your own — just let us know. Bus riders: $50.00. (No charge for medical students and residents.) Sign up HERE.
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New Amendments to State Constitution: The New York State Legislature has approved an amendment to the State constitution codifying abortion rights and the right to seek gender–affirming care. The amendment would add to the state constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and protect against discrimination based on a number of factors, including ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, reproductive health care including “pregnancy outcomes,” and “gender expression.” The Legislative initially approved this amendment in a special session last summer, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. That was the first step in the amendment process; lawmakers have to pass a resolution twice in order to send it to voters. There will be a statewide ratification referendum in 2024, probably on the same ballot as the votes for the next U.S. President. The measure will not need Governor Hochul’s signature to become law, but the Governor has advocated for its passage.
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Allowing Non–Patient–Specific Prescriptions for Contraceptives: S.1043 has now advanced from the Senate Higher Education Committee to the Senate Rules Committee. This bill would authorize a licensed physician or a certified nurse practitioner to prescribe and order a non–patient–specific regimen on behalf of a pharmacist, for the dispensing of self–administered hormonal contraceptives.
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“Non–Compete” Clauses: The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has proposed a regulation to ban these clauses in all employment contracts (including health care), and a proposal has also been introduced in the New York State Legislature (A.1278, Joyner) that would prohibit restrictive covenants. The FTC says its rule “is based on a preliminary finding that non–compete clauses constitute an unfair method of competition and therefore violate Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.” As more and more physicians move from a private practice setting to an employed status, a growing number are affected by such clauses; many health–system–employed physicians have complained to MSSNY regarding excessive duration/distance restrictive covenants, which would limit their ability to continue delivering care in their community if they were to leave employment. MSSNY’s current policy calls for prohibiting these clauses in contracts with health systems and management services organizations (MSOs), but is silent as to other healthcare employment arrangements.
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National Government Services Offers Weekly Training Sessions: Here are upcoming topics. To register, just click on the session(s) you’re interested in:

— January 30, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Preventative Services: Flu and PPV Vaccine, HERE.

— January 30, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., 2023 E&M Updates, HERE.

— January 31, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Counseling to Prevent Tobacco Use, HERE.

— February 1, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Submitting Part B Medicare Secondary Payer Claims Appropriately, HERE.

— February 2, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Billing, HERE.

 

 

 January 20, 2023

 

Coming Soon

Our Legislative Breakfast, Sunday, January 29, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue in New York City. This in–person event has three co–hosts (New York County Medical Society, New York County Psychiatric Society and New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). Our guests will include: New York State Senators Gustavo Rivera (Chair, Senate Health Committee), Senator Brad Hoylman–Sigal; and Assemblymembers Inez Dickens, Alex Bores (who is now in the Dan Quart seat), Tony Simone (who is now in the Richard Gottfried seat) and more! We’ll talk about what’s urgent now — Mayor Adams’ plan to transport mentally ill homeless people to hospital emergency rooms; the push to shunt New York City retirees into a Medicare managed care plan; “Wrongful Death” (the “Grieving Families Act”) and other trial–bar moves that could make New York’s medical liability climate even worse; bids for practice scope expansion by NPs, PAs, psychologists, pharmacists and other non–physicians; and the new landscape for reproductive health care. Our legislative guests will give their own brief presentations, then join in a debate, and we’ll open the floor to everyone. Register HERE.
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Save Tuesday, March 14, 2023, for Our Bus Trip to Albany: MSSNY will hold its annual Physician Advocacy Day in Albany LIVE. Travel with us on our bus! The bus journey features introductions and explanations, “chalk talks” on the issues, breakfast on the bus, afternoon snacks, and a chance for you to get to know nice colleagues of all ages. Arriving, we’ll be joining hundreds of other MSSNY members from around the State. In the morning we’ll hear from New York Senate and Assembly leaders; in the afternoon, we’ll talk with our own Manhattan legislators in meetings we’ve prearranged. We’ll discuss public health threats, barriers to care, prior authorization delays and claim payment hassles; and we’ll be speaking out against policies that will increase medical liability insurance costs and inappropriately expand the scope of practice for non–physicians. Look for registration information soon.
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YES, You CAN Still Call the Governor on Wrongful Death: Governor Kathy Hochul has not yet signed the Wrongful Death legislation, in part because so many of our members and MSSNY members across the State are urging her to mitigate the damages this bill will do. EVEN if you called before, call the Governor’s office at (518) 474–8390, then option 3 and then option 1. Tell the Governor to veto S.74–A/A.6770, which would greatly expand the possible damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death action and dramatically increase our already outrageously high liability insurance premiums. Ask your staff and family to make calls too! It does not matter if you called previously; the volume of calls is making a difference.
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Governor Hochul’s State of the State Message: Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State message included two healthcare items of concern. She would like to (1) expand various health care ancillary practitioners’ scope of practice, and (2) bring New York State into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. It is true that bringing New York State into the Compact would make it easier for individual New York physicians to get licenses in other states. However, there is also a catch. It might help insurers create outside–of–New York State networks that would undercut New York State physicians.

The Governor also has a number of items that we favor, starting with a new one billion dollar investment in New York’s mental health care infrastructure, including adding 1,000 beds for psychiatric hospitals and expanding coverage for mental–health services (including for school–aged children). Other positive items: Increasing rates for childhood vaccine administration, increasing Medicaid reimbursement for primary care and reproductive health care providers, creating a Medical Guaranty fund to cover claims in the event of a health–insurer insolvency, increasing cigarette taxes by $1/pack, banning flavored tobacco products and more.
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Reintroduced: The “Gold Card” bill, has been reintroduced. It would reduce insurers’ excessive prior authorization Organized medicine is working with physician and patient advocacy groups in support of A.859, which would establish a “Gold Card” program, exempting physicians and other providers from prior authorization (PA) requirements for a specific treatment if they had in the past received at least 90% PA approvals for that treatment. Send an email in support now! Just click on: https://p2a.co/IwPiiFK.
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Accessing the 2023 Medicare Fee Schedule: To access the 2023 Medicare Fee Schedule, go to the Fee Schedule Lookup screen HERE. Or, depending on the situation, you may need to start at the www.ngsmedicare.com home page, click through the Attestation page, identify yourself as a Part B provider in New York, and then choose Fee Schedules at the upper right.) Then you “select a Fee Schedule” (enter Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Pricing) and choose “Full Fee Schedule,” enter a date of service using the little calendar, and then “Select Region” (important, it has to be New York Area 01). Then you press “Search,” and you are given a choice between an Excel file and a CSV file. You hit “Excel File.” On the lower left corner of the screen, you see the little grey “Portal Tools” rectangle, that announces the Excel file. You go down and hit that little grey rectangle, and the Excel file comes up. Any problems, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Office Temps: Staff up now and save! Take advantage of this special January–only offer from Winston. Save 10% off bill rate for any new administrative/clerical temps. Order by February 1. Call Ivy Kramer at (212) 687–4667/(917) 744–1265, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Events

Tuesday, January 24, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: CMS invites you to a “National Stakeholder Call” with CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks–LaSure and her team, to discuss CMS’ 2022 accomplishments and see how the 2023 priorities will advance the CMS Strategic Plan. RSVP HERE. These stakeholders calls will be held quarterly.

Wednesday, January 25, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Medical Matters Webinar, COVID Q & A: Pandemic vs. Endemic? Future of COVID? Long COVID? Faculty for this webinar are William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Bonnie Litvack, MD, past MSSNY president, serving as moderator. Learning objectives: Define the difference between pandemic and endemic; outline COVID treatment and vaccine procedures moving forward; recognize the impact of long COVID; and identify specific features of concurrent respiratory viruses. Register here: Webinar Registration - Zoom. For more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

February 23 – 25: Healthcare Burnout Symposium, held by the Los Angeles County Medical Association: At this CME event, healthcare leaders from around the country will address the multiple facets of the burnout crisis and share how to increase the well–being of physicians, nurses and administrators. HHS Secretary Becerra is keynote, California Surgeon General Dr. Diana Ramos is luncheon speaker, and there will be over 35 breakout sessions, plus a panel discussion on gun violence and its impact on physicians. Educational objectives: Understand the far–reaching consequences of burnout; discover strategies for burnout prevention and mitigation; and identify burnout in yourself and others. For more information, go to: https://www.stophealthcareburnout.com/. Note: The conference will be held in person.

 

January 6, 2023

Alert: Telephone Campaign Asking for Wrongful Death Veto!
Governor Kathy Hochul may yet sign the Wrongful Death legislation, and we have to urge her to veto it. Join in a telephone campaign on Wednesday, January 11, between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. During that time, call the Governor’s office at (518) 474–8390. Tell the Governor to veto S.74–A/A.6770, which would greatly expand the possible damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death action and dramatically increase our already outrageously high liability insurance premiums. The plan is to inundate the Governor’s office with calls. Ask your staff and family to make calls too! Please take a stand and make sure the Governor hears your voice on January 11.
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City Council Debates Medicaid Managed Care for New York City Retirees: On Monday, January 9, 2023, at 9:30 a.m., there will be a meeting of the New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor, in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The public is welcome to attend. (See The New York City Council - Meeting of Committee on Civil Service and Labor on 1/9/2023 at 9:30 AM (nyc.gov) . This meeting will cover the ongoing push to move New York City government retirees into a Medicare managed care plan. The Society has supported the retirees in their push against this change, which would unilaterally impose Medicare Advantage Plans on Retirees. Anyone interested can attend (and the retirees love physician support). If you are visiting City Hall to attend the hearing, please come prepared to enter through NYPD security and metal detectors. When you arrive, let the NYPD know you are attending the Committee on Civil Service and Labor Hearing. City Hall is located downtown in City Hall Park between Park Row, Chambers, and Broadway For more information on the issue check out Chris Sommerfeldt: NY Daily News, Jan. 3, 2023, NYC Council to consider paving way for Mayor Adams’ controversial Medicare plan (nydailynews.com) and Bob Hennelly: Work Bites, Jan. 3, 2023, NYC Speaker Says Medicare Advantage ‘Moving Forward’ — Retirees Jeer ‘Scare Tactics’ And Press Alternatives”
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Your Social Media Moment! The AMA says: If you happen to be passing through Times Square, take a quick picture or video of their new billboard (“The AMA is #FightingForDocs”) and share it on your social media accounts. Pose and take a selfie with the new sign HERE.
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Our Legislative Breakfast Back In Person: Plan to join us on Sunday, January 29, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when we will hold our 2023 Legislative Breakfast with lawmakers from Manhattan and around the region. This live event, with three co–hosts (New York County Medical Society, New York County Psychiatric Society and New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), will take place at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue in New York City. We’ll talk about what’s urgent now: Mayor Adams’ plan to transport mentally ill homeless people to hospital emergency rooms; the push to shunt New York City retirees into a Medicare managed care plan; “Wrongful Death” (the “Grieving Families Act”) and other moves by the trial bar that could make New York’s medical liability climate even worse; bids for practice scope expansion by NPs, PAs, psychologists, pharmacists and other non–physicians; the new landscape for reproductive health care, and more! Our legislative guests will give their own brief presentations, then join in a debate, and we’ll open the floor to everyone. Signup information and more details coming soon.
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More Political Happenings: On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, MSSNY will hold its annual Physician Advocacy Day in Albany LIVE. Join hundreds of your colleagues from around the State. In the morning (7:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) we’ll hear from New York Senate and Assembly leaders; in the afternoon, we’ll meet with our own Manhattan legislators in meetings we’ve prearranged. We’ll talk about public health threats, barriers to care, prior authorization delays and claim payment hassles; and we’ll be particularly speaking out against policies that will increase medical liability insurance costs and inappropriately expand the scope of practice for non–physicians.
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The Governor’s Desk Starts to Clear: Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law these bills supported by the Medical Society: A1741/S5299 — Bars insurers’ “co–pay” accumulator policies, that had kept patients from using prescription drug discount cards to help meet deductibles; A2085/S906 — Lowers the age to 45 for required coverage of colo–rectal cancer screening tests; A5411/S4620 — Requires insurers to give network physicians more efficient “point of care” formulary and co–pay information; A289/S2121 — Improves required coverage for the care of medically fragile children; and A372/S5690 — Bars insurers from imposing co–pays at opioid treatment programs.

Unfortunately, she has also signed two bills that are problematic. A273/S4640 (in effect as of December 23, 2022) — Requires prescribers, before an initial opioid prescription for neuromusculoskeletal pain, to consider and discuss non–opioid treatment alternatives. (Exceptions: For post–surgical or cancer pain, or for patients in hospice or receiving emergency care.) This bill does harmonize with the updated CDC guidelines (Guidelines| Opioids |CDC), but clearly the issues here are complex. A3470/S2521 — Requires providers to disclose facility fees not covered by their patients’ insurance.

She also has vetoed two bills we supported. One bill (S5909) would have eliminated unnecessary medication “fail first” protocols for mental health medications, and the second (A879/S8113) would have prohibited insurers from denying a claim submission or preauthorization request unless the reviewing physician was in the same or similar specialty as the treating physician.

We are still extremely worried that she may yet sign the Wrongful Death legislation. Even if you previously sent a letter or email or called, we NEED you to do it again. Ask Governor Hochul to veto the wrongful death bill that could raise doctors' medical liability premiums by 40 percent. Your sending an instant message to ask her to veto the Wrongful Death bill can help. Right now doctors around the State are inundating the Governor’s office asking her to veto this dangerous legislation. Even if you have responded before, PLEASE, send your protest AGAIN by clicking HERE. Act NOW!”
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NYCMS Events:

Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Medicare Part B 2023 Update. Our presenter is James Bavoso, Manager, Provider Outreach and Education, National Government Services (NGS). Register HERE. Find out about the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, final policy changes to the fee schedule for Calendar Year 2023, CY2023 changes in Telehealth/Evaluation & Management/Behavioral Health, and much more.
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More Events:

January 10, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.: Free CME Webinar, “Basics of Head and Neck Cancers,” offered by NYP Queens. Register HERE. The presenter: Baoqing Li, MD, PhD, Clinical Director, Radiation Oncology at NY Presbyterian Queens, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine. The information in this webinar will be consistent with national clinical guidelines. Attendees will understand: The biology, genetics and epidemiology of this area; advances and updates in disease management; interventional and current medical treatment options; and, future direction and upcoming therapeutics.

January 11, 2023, at 12:00 noon: Free MSSNY Webinar, “Be Prepared: Changes in 2023 Medical Evaluation and Management Coding.” Register Now. Learn about procedure codes that have been added, deleted and revised; the documentation updates; and the needed requirements to support levels of service. Best of all, you’ll learn how not to waste your time on inconsequential notes, as the 1995 and 1997 CMS Guidelines become obsolete! Jennifer Roth, CPC, of STI Computer Inc., has been in the medical billing and coding field for 18 years and has extensive knowledge of the revenue cycle process.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.: AMA Webinar on the origins, development and future of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT ®). Register Here. It’s important that physicians’ experience and voices remain at the center of the codes used to characterize and describe their work. In this presentation you’ll learn how the CPT process works, step by step from the CPT Editorial Panel through the participation of specialty societies and workgroups; and how you and your medical society can get involved to strengthen the collective voice of the CPT code set and its development process, now and in the future. Mark Synovec, MD, is President, Topeka Pathology Group and Chair, AMA CPT Editorial Panel; Christopher Jagmin, MD, is Vice President, Clinical Policy, Aetna, and Vice Chair, AMA CPT Editorial Panel; Kenyetta Jackson, MPH, is Health Equity Director, Health Solutions, American Medical Association; and Leslie Prellwitz, MBA, CCS, CCS–P , is Director, CPT Content Management & Development, American Medical Association.

Wednesday, January 25, at 7:30 a.m.: MSSNY Medical Matters Webinar, COVID Q & A: Pandemic vs. Endemic? Future of COVID? Long COVID? Faculty for this webinar are William Valenti, MD, chair of MSSNY’s Infectious Diseases Committee, and Bonnie Litvack, MD, past MSSNY president, serving as moderator. Learning objectives: Define the difference between pandemic and endemic; outline COVID treatment and vaccine procedures moving forward; recognize the impact of long COVID; and identify specific features of concurrent respiratory viruses. Register here: Webinar Registration - Zoom. For more information or help with registration, email Melissa Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

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