NYSSOS is proud to share this article from Ariana Lott, MD a resident at NYU Langone! She partnered with Drs. Weiss, Baker and Kim to explore the need for formal training on communication with patients.
Patient-physician communication skills have always been important for orthopaedic surgeons in providing patient-centered care. Although communication is important, orthopaedic surgeons have little formal training on how to communicate with patients. Compared to the countless hours dedicated to surgical training, there is little direct observation of orthopaedic resident and fellow communication skills. This lack of training is demonstrated in the literature, as orthopaedic surgeons ranked last out of 28 specialties with respect to patient-reported communication skills.
Studies have demonstrated that with improved communication, there is higher patient satisfaction, increased compliance with proposed treatments, and overall improved outcomes. In an analysis in the outpatient setting, physician empathy was found to be the strongest driver of patient satisfaction. Communication skills are particularly important for surgeons because establishing trust with patients presenting for surgical evaluation is essential. For true shared decision making, it is imperative that surgeons are able to communicate clearly so patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options for their specific medical conditions. Improved communication and trust also correlate with decreased medical-legal liability.
> Read the entire article
Recently enacted legislation has removed the McCarran-Ferguson Act, an antitrust exemption that has protected insurers since 1945. Insurers will now be required to follow the same free-market rules as the other industries. On an episode of AAOS’ advocacy podcast “The Bone Beat,” George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, discusses why this repeal took so long and how the new law will introduce more choice and opportunity into the marketplace. > Listen in
During these unprecedented times, a significant focus has been placed on implementation and integration of telemedicine within the traditional framework of in-person orthopaedic practice. Although the growth of telemedicine was expected previously, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated its widespread implementation. Recent publications have focused on pre-visit technical considerations, including obtaining requisite equipment and fostering pathways for viewing imaging studies. There remains a dearth of orthopaedic literature reporting on the prevalence of adverse events encountered in the setting of virtual visits. This lack of information presents a patient safety concern that must be addressed before telemedicine is considered a mainstay of everyday practice.
Defining such red flags is essential for a successful telemedicine program, given that a major disadvantage of telemedicine is the limited physical exam. Although surrogate examination maneuvers have been described for the upper extremity (pushing oneself up from a chair) and lower extremity (hopping in place on the involved leg) to conform to the video format, they may not be specific enough for particular diagnoses. Conditions that can potentially be missed because of a lack of in-person interaction include: > Read article
On Monday, February 8th, NYSSOS issued a memorandum in opposition to A273 (Gottfried) which Requires a practitioner to consider and prescribe non-opioid treatment alternatives for treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
NYSSOS stated the following:
The Society agrees that physicians should be looking at non-opioid alternatives to analgesia and work within the patient encounter to consider alternatives available before choosing an opioid prescription. However, legislating medical treatment or guidelines interferes with the doctor patient relationship. Advancing this type of legislation will negate the physician's expertise regarding treatment for neuromuscular problems. Mandating provisions like this will supersede the existing training and measures to reduce inappropriate prescribing of opioids. Going forward, physicians, public health officials, policymakers and health insurance companies must work together to take meaningful action and create an integrated approach to combat the opioid epidemic. Legislating a medical encounter will not achieve the shared goals of improving care to patients and supporting a sustainable, predictable and resilient public health system.
The opioid crisis is real, and steps are being taken within the profession to address it. Programs like ISTOP, although cumbersome as it was being set up, has helped prescribers to identify drug seeking patients and control prescribing. We do not agree with the principle to institute mandates of this nature which restrict a licensed physician from making decisions based upon their medical training and in their best judgement. This bill will limit the ability to appropriately treat patients in pain and can lead to additional liability. As such we are in opposition.
To see a copy of the full memo - please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, social media allows us to stay connected to loved ones. Beyond that, physicians have begun using social media platforms as tools in their practices—from offering medical information to the public to highlighting career achievements, social media has become personal marketing tools for the 21st-century doctor. With that in mind, this article provides five helpful tips for using social media as a part of your orthopaedic practice.
> Read the complete article
The next chapter in the modernization of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, the OnBoard Project, is well underway. The Board, with its integration partner CapTech Consulting, is building a new claims system that will replace the multiple legacy, paper-based claims systems, such as CIS and eCase, with a single, web-based platform.
The new system will offer improved and expanded access to real-time claim data, new electronic self-service features for interacting with the Board, and a reduction in the amount of overall paper forms to improve system responsiveness to stakeholder needs.
To learn more please visit: http://www.wcb.ny.gov/onboard/
Today the Governor began what will be a four-part series to his State of the State address. His rhetoric focused framing our current situation as war-like and calling on the Federal Government to provide financial relief.
Today’s overview included 7 areas that he wants to move forward simultaneously:
Of particular interest to the medical community, he mentioned:
What he didn’t mention in his overview but was released by his press office is a proposal to reform OPMC. According to the website: “The Governor will introduce legislation to update the Public Health Law to strengthen disciplinary actions for misconduct resulting in better misconduct enforcement and increased patient safety. In addition, the Governor will propose reforms to the investigation and hearing processes to ensure that the Office can act swiftly to hold physicians accountable, confirm investigations, and keep patients safe.” More details can be found here
He also spoke on mobile sports betting, increase in construction, affordable broad band, green energy, social injustice and housing.
A listing of the proposals can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/keywords/2021-state-state
The NYS Legislature is scheduled for session today beginning at 2:30pm for the Assembly and 3:00pm for the Senate. They are scheduled to meet for a total of 60 session days, running through June 10. The legislature changed its rules to allow for virtual voting and meeting. A calendar of session days is found here.
The pandemic and increasing deficit will be the main issue for the Governor and Legislature so we will see how it influences policy, especially health care. Citing New York’s deficit, estimated at $15 billion in the current fiscal year and an additional $16 billion in the fiscal year beginning on April 1st, the Governor is calling for legalized marijuana and sports betting to bring in revenue. We will see how the legislature responds. Progressive advocates, including those in support of the New York Health Act, are pushing for a package of measures designed to increase taxes on the wealthy, including increasing taxes on billionaires, a tax on inherited wealth, a capital gains tax and taxes for Wall Street and corporations.
As you may already know, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is in the process of developing a new business information system, OnBoard, which will provide an intuitive, user-friendly system, increased accuracy and quality, and paperless transactions to our system participants. Since building a new, integrated system from the ground up takes time, we’re starting with some high-priority processes that will benefit from moving online in what we are referring to as OnBoard: Limited Release.
This email includes several OnBoard: Limited Release resources to help you continue to learn about the new system and prepare for a smooth transition when it becomes available.
Thanks to everyone who joined last month’s OnBoard: Limited Release introductory webinar series for health care providers, insurers and attorneys. Recordings and slide decks of these sessions can be found on the OnBoard: Limited Release resources page.
Based on the feedback and questions received during these sessions, we developed three new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) documents that we hope you will find helpful:
We have also developed new fact sheets outlining what health care providers, insurers, insurer attorneys and claimant attorneys need to know about OnBoard: Limited Release, and what to do now to prepare:
Starting in January, the Board will be hosting additional OnBoard: Limited Release webinars for insurers, health care providers and attorneys. These webinars will include a brief project review and update, a walkthrough of the most frequently asked questions we have received, and plenty of time to answer any new questions you have.
No registration is required. To join, please select the "Join Webinar" link for each session below. Add it to your calendar so you don't forget! These webinar links will also be available on the Board's upcoming webinars page.
OnBoard: Limited Release for Insurers
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Add to your calendar!
OnBoard: Limited Release for Health Care Providers
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Add to your calendar!
OnBoard: Limited Release for Attorneys
Thursday, January 21, 2021
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Add to your calendar!
The NYS Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons (NYSSOS) strongly advises against the shutdown of medically necessary surgeries prior to the opportunity to review the criteria and provide surgical input and guidance.
Surgeons and providers should be the ultimate decision makers regarding the appropriate site of service for their patients keeping in mind quality, safety, and risks. With state guidance and coordination, hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities should be given the data and guidance to allow the appropriate level of elective cases best indicated by their medical staff, administration and current needs of the community.
Email your elected officials today!
NYSSOS serves the interests of New York orthopaedists and their patients by helping to create an optimal practice environment in which to provide quality and efficacious orthopaedic care.
Address: PO Box 38004, Albany, NY 12203