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NYS SOciety of ORTHOPAEDIC Surgeons


  • Mon, February 08, 2021 12:03 PM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    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 bgrey@nyssos.org

  • Mon, February 08, 2021 10:58 AM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    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

  • Wed, January 27, 2021 11:17 AM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    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/

  • Mon, January 11, 2021 10:51 AM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    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:


    1. Defeat COVID
    2. Vaccinate NY
    3. Manage Budget Crisis
    4. Invest in Future
    5. Transition to Green Energy
    6. Understand the Long-Term Effects of COVID
    7. Address systemic injustices

    Of particular interest to the medical community, he mentioned:

    1. Managing hospitalizations
    2. Looking at the public health system by
      1. Creating the Medical Supplies Act – which would have NY manufacture medical supplies and sell them across the state
      2. Increase in outlets for vaccine distribution
      3. Creation of a public health corps (lead by Cornell/Northwell) to increase emergency response and vaccinations
      4. Public training for NY health emergency volunteers (on-demand training - Cornell)
    3. Expand Telehealth legislation: more details here
    4. Legalize Adult Use Cannabis: more details here

    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.

  • Tue, December 22, 2020 10:05 AM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    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.

    Webinar Recordings and FAQs

    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:

    Fact Sheets Now Available

    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:

    Announcing Monthly Webinars – Starting in January

    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.
    Join webinar
    Add to your calendar!

    OnBoard: Limited Release for Health Care Providers
    Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Join webinar
    Add to your calendar!

    OnBoard: Limited Release for Attorneys
    Thursday, January 21, 2021
    12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Join webinar
    Add to your calendar!

    Additional Resources

    • Visit the Board’s OnBoard webpage to learn more about the project – including the new resources mentioned above.
    • For more details about the new system, view the Intro to OnBoard video!
    • Subscribe to receive OnBoard-related news straight to your inbox.
    For general questions about OnBoard, email OnBoard@wcb.ny.gov
  • Tue, December 01, 2020 4:21 PM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    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!

  • Fri, November 20, 2020 4:40 PM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    As you are aware, legislation was signed in 2017 that required the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) to establish a prescription drug formulary. After multiple public comment periods, the Board adopted the New York Workers’ Compensation Drug Formulary (Formulary) regulations in May 2019. These regulations required new prescriptions to comply with the Formulary by December 5, 2019, and refill prescriptions to comply by June 5, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board moved the date for refill compliance with the Formulary to January 1, 2021.

    As with any formulary, providers must have a way to prescribe non-formulary agents to treat worker-specific issues. To accommodate that need, a prior authorization process, using the Board’s online Medical Portal, was implemented. To date, there have been nearly 40,000 requests by providers to use non-Formulary medications through the Medical Portal prior authorization process.

    As the Board approaches the final step in Formulary implementation, refill compliance, it is taking some additional time to ensure that the Formulary and prior authorization process work for all stakeholders. Thus, the Board is temporarily suspending the January 1, 2021, date for refill compliance, and a new date (likely spring, 2021), will be announced soon. Between now and then, the Board will address feedback from providers and payers; make system and process improvements by aligning with the initial release of the Board’s new business information system, OnBoard; and continue outreach and education to key users.

    In the meantime, if providers have any difficulty getting needed medications for injured workers, or if payers have questions, please reach out to the Board’s Medical Director’s Office at wcbformularyquestions@wcb.ny.gov.

    About the Formulary Prior Authorization Process

    A full description of the Formulary and the prior authorization process, including two sets of Q&As, are posted on the Board’s website http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/hcpp/DrugFormulary/overview.jsp. You are encouraged to review the Q&As as a reminder of associated prior authorization requirements and parameters.

    To reiterate key points associated with the prior authorization process:

    1. Before prescribing a non-Formulary medication, a prior authorization request needs to be submitted and approved. Any and all requests for prior authorization must be submitted through the Board’s Medical Portal.
    2. Providers are expected to provide a specific rationale for the need for a non-Formulary medication as part of the prior authorization request. Payers are expected to respond specifically to the provider’s rationale. A denial response, such as “the medication is not on the Formulary,” is not acceptable, as it is, in fact, the reason that the prior authorization request is being made.
    3. It is currently the payer’s responsibility to communicate the final outcome of a prior authorization request to their pharmacy benefits manager (if one is utilized), so that there are no obstacles for the injured worker when they present at the pharmacy to get their medication.
    4. Currently, a prescription refill for a non-Formulary medication does not require prior authorization. Any medication that the injured worker has been on in the past year is considered a refill. It should be noted that a change in dosage, either upward or downward, is considered a new prescription and would require prior authorization if it is a non-Formulary medication.
    5. Formulary medications for established/accepted conditions do not require prior authorization. If a provider writes a prescription for a medication for a non-established/non-accepted body part/condition, the payer should notify the provider that the injured worker has not been accepted for that particular body part/condition.
    6. Formulary Special Consideration #4 should be used when there are no adopted New York Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs) currently in effect. Formulary medications marked with this Special Consideration are considered Formulary in the absence of MTGs, “as clinically indicated for causally related injuries or conditions utilizing accepted standards of medical care.”
    7. While not required at this time, if a provider submits a non-Formulary prior authorization request for a medication refill, or for a medication that is considered Formulary, the payer should review and respond to the request.
  • Mon, November 16, 2020 11:10 AM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    Training is available for the new Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs) that are to go into effect on January 1, 2021.  

    • Elbow Injuries
    • Foot and Ankle Injuries
    • Hip and Groin Injuries
    • Hand, Wrist and Forearm Injuries (including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
    • Occupational Interstitial Lung Disease
    • Occupational/Work-Related Asthma
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder*
    • Major Depressive Disorder*

    The Board has developed training for each of the MTGs so that stakeholders can familiarize themselves with the new guidelines. Each training will provide an overview of the General Guideline Principles, conditions associated with the body part or disease, and treatment recommendations.

    The training presentations are available as pdfs at Training for Non-medical and Administrative Staff

    * Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder have been posted for a 60-day public comment period starting on October 21, 2020.  Training for these MTGs will be adjusted if needed based on the feedback received during the public comment period.

    More Information

    For more information, please visit the Board's website or call (877) 632-4996. You can also email MTGTrainings@wcb.ny.gov.

  • Fri, August 07, 2020 2:39 PM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    AAOS President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, issued a statement in response to the newly released Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule, which would eliminate the inpatient-only list beginning with nearly 300 musculoskeletal-related services, adjust the criteria for procedures covered in the ambulatory setting, and remove certain restrictions on the expansion and development of physician-owned hospitals (POHs). “While we are cautiously optimistic about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) attempt to offer these flexibilities by promoting site neutrality and lifting restrictions on high-value POHs, we are concerned about the potential for unintended consequences associated with eliminating the inpatient-only list,” Dr. Bosco said. He emphasized that setting of care is best determined by physicians through the lens of patient safety and peer-reviewed evidence and strongly encourages CMS to carefully reassess this aspect of the proposal.

    Read Dr. Bosco’s statement…

  • Wed, July 01, 2020 12:39 PM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

    Structural inequities and barriers to health care existed prior to COVID-19. But the pandemic has put a spotlight on the problem, which has also recently become the focus of advocacy efforts nationwide.

    In this episode, Movement is Life Chair Mary O’Connor, MD, FAAOS, explains how public policy and individual surgeons together can strengthen community-based programs to ultimately help narrow the health equity gap.

    Listen to the podcast

About the Society

Advocating for the orthopaedic surgeon, patients and musculoskeletal health in New York.

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Address: PO Box 38004, Albany, NY 12203

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