Our hearts go out to all those suffering through the historic floods in Texas.  As we continue to watch the harrowing and heroic rescue efforts, I have been asked by many physicians how New York doctors can be of assistance. 

Here is some further information on how to help.

Charles N. Rothberg, MD
Medical Society of the State of New York

Texas Suspending Barriers for Out-of-State Physicians
Texas has temporarily suspended barriers that prevent out-of-state health care providers from working with disaster response teams to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Office of the Governor has temporarily suspended all necessary statutes and rules to allow health care providers employed by a hospital and licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in Texas in order to assist with the Harvey disaster response operations.  More information is available at the Texas Medical Board website.

The suspension will remain in effect until the disaster declaration is either lifted or expires.

Medical professionals that are already employed with a hospital in another state should send their name, specialty type, state of license, and identification number to the following email address: [email protected]The temporary permit is good for 30 days at no charge. Those who apply need to be sponsored by a licensed Texas physician.

Do NOT deploy unless requested by and directed to by a proper VOAD, including the American Red Cross. We have heard that self-deploying folks are becoming a concern/challenge.

Other healthcare professionals, including physician assistants, radiology technicians and surgical assistants who are not currently affiliated with a hospital should fill out this temporary permit form.

To Donate Money

The best way to help Texans affected by disasters is to donate money to charitable agencies that are experienced in disaster relief, officials say.

New York State’s HHS Regional Emergency Coordinator provides the following info:

People interested in providing supplies or time/expertise to help disaster survivors in Texas should connect with organizations that are involved in the response. The National Voluntary Organizations Active In Disasters can assist you. In addition to the national organizations, the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors. Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

Legislation passed the Assembly and Senate prior to the end of Session that would greatly increase the medical liability statute of limitations for cases involving alleged misdiagnoses of cancer.  This legislation could produce significant increases in New York’s already exorbitant medical liability costs at a time when no cost increases can be tolerated.  Please urge Governor Cuomo to veto this legislation, and instead push for comprehensive medical liability reform.


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MIPS Participation Status Letter 

CMS is reviewing claims and letting practices know which clinicians need to take part in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System https://qpp.cms.gov/learn/qpp (MIPS), an important part of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP). In late April through May, you will get a letter from your Medicare Administrative Contractor https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Contracting/Medicare-Administrative-Contractors/MedicareAdministrativeContractors.html that processes Medicare Part B claims, providing the participation status of each MIPS clinician associated with your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

 Clinicians should participate in MIPS in the 2017 transition year if they:

*         Bill more than $30,000 in Medicare Part B allowed charges a year and

*         Provide care for more than 100 Part B-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries a year

QPP intends to shift reimbursement from the volume of services provided toward a payment system that rewards clinicians for their overall work in delivering the best care for patients. It replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and streamlines the "Legacy Programs" - Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value-based Payment Modifier, and the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. During this first year of the program, CMS is committed to working with you to streamline the process as much as possible. Our goal is to further reduce burdensome requirements so that you can deliver the best possible care to patients. Learn more about the Quality Payment Program https://qpp.cms.gov/

Percentage Arrangements With Billing Companies

By Ellen F. Kessler

The New York State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”) has recently embarked on a campaign to recover thousands of dollars of Medicaid payments plus interest from various health care providers who pay billing companies a percentage of collections for their billing services.

MFCU has been sending letters to Medicaid providers in New York State demanding the return of payments where Medicaid discovered that the providers used billing companies who were paid on a “percentage of collections” basis.  This demand by Medicaid is not based on a claim of overpayment or improper billing methodology by the provider.  Rather, Medicaid relies on an arcane provision found in the Medicaid rules1 which states that:

“A provider of medical care services or supplies may employ a business agent, such as a billing service or an accounting firm. Such agent may prepare and send bills and receive MA payments in the name of the provider only if the compensation paid to the agent is:

1.  Reasonably related to the cost of the services;

2.  Unrelated, directly or indirectly to the dollar amounts billed and collected; and

3.  Not dependent on actual collection of payments.”


Thank You Dr Miller For Your Tireless Effort to Make This Happen

East Meadow School District first in NY to stock nebulizers

East Meadow School District marks a milestone as first in the state to begin a comprehensive program under New York public health law, allowing schools to have nebulizers on hand as rescue aids for severe asthma attacks.

The program grows out of a year’s long mission by an Islip asthma and allergy specialist, Dr. Harvey Miller, to get nebulizers into New York schools — and especially in reach of coaches on athletic fields should a student have a severe attack. CLICK HERE for Newsday Article 

2017 Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Payment Adjustment Fact Sheet for Eligible Professionals

Overview of the Program

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Congress established payment adjustments under Medicare for eligible professionals that are not meaningful users of Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology. Eligible professional (EP) that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use for an EHR reporting period associated with a payment adjustment year will receive reduced Medicare payments for that year. The Medicare payment adjustments began on January 1, 2015 for EP and sunset in 2018 per the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).


  2017 Legislative Day Program


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