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  • May 17, 2023 7:25 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier this year, a bill passed by the state legislature greatly expanding damages awardable in wrongful death actions was vetoed by Governor Kathy Hochul. New versions of the bills, A.6698 and S.6636, were recently introduced without addressing any of the real concerns physicians raised about the previous legislation.  This legislation will enable the awards of new categories of damages, expand the statute of limitations, and result in nearly 40% growth in liability costs.

    State lawmakers only have until June 8th to act on this bill.

    Surgeons cannot work in an environment where the state legislature increases their already enormous liability insurance cost burden, which exceeds every other state in the country. Worst of all, these costs disproportionately impact physicians working in underserved communities.

    Please contact your local Assemblymembers and Senators urging them that renewed legislation to update New York’s wrongful death law must be balanced to address the extraordinary medical liability costs in our state.

    What We're Reading

    AMA: One in Three Physicians Previously Sued in Their Career
    Nearly half of physicians age 55 and over have been sued in an inefficient system where most claims are dropped or decided in favor of physicians

    A new analysis shows the widest variation in claim frequency is attributed to the medical specialty that defines the clinical focus of a physician. In general, surgical specialties are at highest risk. Obstetricians/gynecologists (ob-gyns), general surgeons, other surgeons and orthopedic surgeons are at highest risk of being sued during their careers.

    Given the heavy cost associated with a litigious climate and the significant financial toll it takes on the nation’s health care system, the AMA continues to work with state and specialty medical associations and other stakeholders in pursuit of both traditional and innovative medical liability reforms that strike a reasonable balance between the needs of patients who have been harmed and the needs of millions of Americans who need affordable, accessible medical care.
    Medical Liability Reform– Now!

  • May 11, 2023 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the New York Chapter hosted a training at the New  York State legislative offices.  The event was sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chairman, Senator Gustavo Rivera.   Attendees included representatives from the Senate, Assembly, the Medical State Society of New York, and other interested stakeholders. As a result of the training, legislative offices are interested in learning more about hosting trainings in their districts. The Chapter continues to support legislation (A3868) that would place STB kits in schools across New York.

    Additionally due to the Chapter's efforts, the Governor Hochul has officially proclaimed May as STOP THE BLEED month in New York! 

    We look forward to making this an annual event.


    The Chapter is grateful to the NY Division of the New York State Trauma Society for helping to coordinate, volunteer and provide the free training. We'd also like to thank Kurt Edwards, MD, FACS, Chief of the Division of Trauma and Critical Care in the Department of Surgery at Albany Medical Center for providing opening remarks and helping to advocate for efforts to advance STB in the state.

  • March 16, 2023 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    The ACS Committee on Medical Student Education is hosting a free webinar, “What to Expect Now That You’ve Matched,” Wednesday, March 29, 7:00–8:00 pm CT, to mark this momentous occasion. The webinar will feature a panel of residents:

    • Nikhil Bellamkonda, MD | University of Utah | Otolaryngology 
    • Ryoko Hamaguchi, MD | Mass General Brigham | Plastic surgery
    • Jacob Mago, MD | Albany Medical College | General surgery
    • Paulina Villanueva, MD | The Ohio State University | Vascular surgery
    • Midori White, MD | The Johns Hopkins Hospital | General surgery

    Attendees will be able to submit questions ahead of time when they register, as well as submit questions to the panelists during the live session.

    For those unable to attend, a recording of this webinar will be posted on the National Professional Development Seminars for Medical Students webpage. 

    Register in advance to participate. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing the information necessary to join the webinar.

    For more information, contact Cassie Buchignani at

  • March 16, 2023 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    The ACS SSR™ is an online quality improvement tool and software application database that allows surgeons to track their cases and outcomes in an easy-to-use manner from their computer or mobile devices (iOS and Android). When performance can be tracked, outcomes can be improved. Clinically relevant data collection informs meaningful data review with several analytics and report functions being available in realtime. A new feature is the SSR Practice Improvement Initiative you can enroll in under SSR, Form Management, Clinician Form, Preferences, check PII.

    For ACS members, the SSR is free of charge (discount will be applied after ACS login); for non-members the annual subscription fee is $299.00.

    • Improve your practice and participate in the SSR Practice Improvement Initiative.
    • Use case logging for the individual surgeon.
    • Easily record cases and outcomes within a matter of minutes entering key clinical data variables.
    • Improve your practice using benchmark and real-time online reports.
    • Delegate account access and create custom fields.

    Visit the ACS website or more information about the Surgeon Specific Registry or e-mail

  • March 05, 2023 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has announced the availability of the Nizar N. Oweida, MD, FACS, Scholarships for surgeons who serve small communities. This program provides up to three awards of $5,000 each to subsidize the participation of a Fellow or Associate Fellow serving a small community. Awardees will either attend Clinical Congress or may propose a plan for additional training or research appropriate to a rural surgeon.


    The Oweida Scholarships are available to an ACS member in any surgical specialty who meets the following requirements:

    • Is a Fellow or Associate Fellow under age 55 on the date the application is filed
    • Serves a small town or rural community in the U.S. or Canada

    The deadline to apply is April 15, 2023.

    Learn more

  • January 12, 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is pleased to offer a limited number of scholarships to Resident members of the American College of Surgeons who are interested in attending the upcoming Leadership and Advocacy Summit, taking place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC, April 15-18, 2023.

    This annual Summit is a dual meeting that offers volunteer leaders and advocates specialized educational sessions focused on effective surgeon leadership,interactive advocacy training and coordinated visits to Congressional offices.

    This scholarship award will cover up to $500.00 in housing and transportation costs. This may also include your registration fees, but it may NOT cover food/beverage charges as all meals are provided at the conference.Note: you must be aU.S.Resident member in good standing with ACS to be eligible for one of these scholarships.

    As in previous years, scholarships will not be distributed on a “first come, first serve” basis. Rather, scholarships will be awarded to a broad representation of all facets of ACS Resident members. Special consideration will be given to first time attendees of the Leadership & Advocacy Summit, as well as candidates in the senior years of their residency programs.

    There will also be an expectation that scholarship recipients must stay for all programming on Sunday, April16th and Monday, April 17th, with preference given to those planning to stay through the Congressional Lobby Day on Tuesday, April18th.

    In years past, there were over 75 Resident scholarship award winners join us in Washington, DC to make their voices heard for surgery! So,if you are interested in applying, don’t delay! Please email D’Arcey Johnson ( before Monday, January 23, and include the following information:

    Your name

    Your contact information(address, email, phone no., cell no.)

    Your institution and year of residency

    A brief summary (no longer than one page) explaining why this opportunity interests you,what you hope to gain from it, and how you plan to utilize the knowledge you obtain.

    Your proposed travel dates

    Scholarship winners will be announced on/before Monday,January 30,2023, in order to give you ample time to register and make travel arrangements.

    For more information on the conference, including registration info (registration open slate January) and hotel information, visit:

    If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact D’Arcey at

  • January 11, 2023 12:56 PM | Anonymous

    On January 10th, Governor Hochul gave her one-hour long State of the State Address to a full Assembly Chamber.

    The 275-page book can be found here outlining 147 distinct proposals. The Governor made a commitment not to raise income taxes in 2023 and is looking to stem the exodus of NY residents. 

    The Governor's Health Care proposals are focused in several key areas:

    • Commission on Future of Health Care
    • Health care transformation funding and funding for technology
    • CON Reform
    • Expanding health care coverage
    • Workforce Issues: Reforming traveling nurse agency practices including registration and reporting key data
    • Curbing Tobacco Use

    The next step will be for her to deliver the  Executive Budget Presentation. 

    Reports indicate this will occur on February 1st.

  • January 06, 2023 12:48 PM | Anonymous

    January 4th was the opening day of the 2023 legislative session. While leadership in both the Senate and Assembly remained the same with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins voted as the Senate Majority Leader and Democratic Assemblyman Carl Heastie voted as Speaker of the Assembly, there were notable changes in several important committees:

    • Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) is the new chair of the Assembly Health Committee, replacing Richard Gottfried who retired.

    • Assemblymember Pat Fahy (D-Albany) is the new chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, replacing Assemblymember Deborah Glick who has become chair of Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.

    • Assemblymember David Weprin (D-Queens) is the new chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee, replacing Kevin Cahill who lost re-election.

    The Assembly Majority Leadership and Committee Chairs can be found HERE.

    The Senate Majority Leadership can be found HERE and Committee Chairs found HERE

    To see when the legislature is in session, you can view the calendar online:

  • December 03, 2022 9:24 AM | Anonymous

    At the conclusion of the NYS legislative session, the Senate and Assembly (S74a/A6770) passed the “Grieving Families Act” or the Wrongful Death Legislative Liability Expansion. 

    If enacted, the Grieving Families Act will:

    • Make it much easier to file wrongful death lawsuits by nearly doubling the statute of limitations and expanding the criteria for who can file wrongful death lawsuits.
    • Leave the decision regarding awards to the jury, without a cap on what can be awarded.
    • Result in substantial increases to medical malpractice premiums (and all other insurance premiums, as well).
    This bill, anticipated to be addressed before the end of the year by the Governor, will have a substantial and negative impact on patients and healthcare professionals in New York State. If enacted, surgeons could see a projected 40% increase in medical liability premiums.

    Contrary to other states that have enacted such laws, this bill does not provide for a cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits. Importantly, this legislation would apply to not only healthcare but to cases across all sectors of the economy and on local governments and municipalities.

    What’s Needed: A Veto and More Clarification

    • The Bill language is too vague about who’s eligible to recover damages and the types of damages recoverable.
    • The Bill also lacks important damages caps adopted by other states with similar laws.
    • Governor Hochul’s veto offers the Legislature the opportunity to clarify ambiguous elements in the Bill and bring NY into alignment with other states that have applied necessary and reasonable restrictions to similar legislation.
    • We need every surgeon to act through the Surgeons Voice and urge  Governor Hochul to veto the Wrongful Death Bill (S74A).  You can also call the Governor’s Office at (518) 474-8390

    What the Bill Does

    S.74A/A.6770 would amend the estates, powers and trusts law, to expand the damages available in wrongful death cases to include:

    • Compensation for grief or anguish,
    • The loss of love and companionship,
    • Loss of services and support and
    • The loss of nurture and guidance. 

    The legislation also expands with no limit the universe of individuals who may recover damages to include the undefined and unclear term “Close Family Members”.

    The legislation nearly doubles the statute of limitations for wrongful death actions from 2 years to 3.5 years.

    It should be noted that in the instance negligence results in death, current law does allow for the decedent’s estate to bring a lawsuit to recover economic damages and non-economic damages, suffered by the decedent before he or she died. Current law also allows family members of the decedent to bring a separate lawsuit to recover from the wrongdoer the family’s economic loss.

  • October 28, 2022 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    The New York State Department of Health has extended its completion deadline for the cultural competency CME requirements to November 1, 2022 for physicians and other network providers of Medicaid Managed Care plans. The requirement stems from the Mainstream Medicaid Managed Care, HIV Special Needs Plans, and Health and Recovery Plans Model Contract Section 15.10(c) requires that the MMCP “...ensure the cultural competence of its provider network by requiring Participating Providers to certify, on an annual basis, completion of State-approved cultural competence training curriculum, including training on the use of interpreters, for all Participating Providers’ staff who have regular and substantial contact with Enrollees.”

    DOH’s notification indicates the requirement can be fulfilled through courses offered by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health, Think Cultural Health. Only 1 of the 3 courses is necessary to fulfil the requirement.

    Attached is a previously published DOH letter to Health Plan Administrators with more details about the requirements. 

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New York Chapter American College of Surgeons
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