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  • January 08, 2020 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    Today marks the start of the 2020 legislative session and right outside the NY Chapter ACS offices, there are about 300 people participating in an anti-vaccination demonstration growing in size. 

    The NYS Senate and Assembly is set to convene at noon today.

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo will hold the 2020 State of the State Address  in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany at 1:30 PM today. 

    "Last year we laid out the most aggressive agenda in modern political history and we got it done," Governor Cuomo said. "This year we'll build on that record of accomplishment and continue restoring confidence in government as a force for good. We're going to set the bar even higher, making progress happen for the people of this great state and sending a signal to a weary country to follow New York as we lead the way upwards."

    Here is a list of his proposals that he has pre-released that will impact healthcare. What we didn't see in his original list is the legalization of marijuana, but do anticipate him introducing something.


    New York’s budget gap for the coming year stands at $6.1 billion. It’s the largest state budget gap since the Great Recession, mostly attributed to $4 billion in Medicaid overspending. 

    New York’s Medicaid program covers over 6 million residents and is projected to reach $74.5 billion in 2019, in total costs split between the federal government, state and local governments.

    In 2019, the Cuomo administration delayed  payments into April, thereby transferring the issue into the 2020 state budget.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has cited a trio of issues facing Medicaid spending including: An increase in the minimum wage, a phase out of federal funding and an aging population that has seen more people enroll in long-term care.

    On December 31, 209 - the NYS Department of Health released a proposal in the NYS Register to cut Medicaid payments by 1%. It’s expected to save $124 million in "gross Medicaid expenditures" in the final quarter of the current fiscal year, and $496 million in each subsequent year, according to the notice.

    The across-the-board rate cut would impact providers such as hospitals, nursing homes, doctors and others who provide care through the state’s Medicaid program, which serves roughly 6 million New Yorkers, most of whom are children, seniors or individuals with disabilities.

    The Medical State Society of New York and several organizations including the New York Chapter ACS have signed onto a joint letter calling on the Governor to reconsider across the board payment reduction, other Medicaid reductions and protect this critical program to our State’s most vulnerable residents, the workers who care for them and the providers who bear the responsibility. 


    Assemblyman Brian Kolb has officially resigned as minority leader, following a drunk driving arrest on New Year’s Eve just days after writing an op-ed against drinking and driving. Not only that He was apparently twice the legal limit when he crashed and tried to blame his wife for the crash.

    The new Assembly minority leader is William Barclay -  a nine-term legislator, who was named deputy minority leader in 2012 and served in that role in 2018.  Barclay currently serves as the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for all business that pertains to the state budget.  He lives halfway between Syracuse and Watertown.

    • The New York Chapter will participate in a press conference on 1/13/2020 to help launch the Statewide Campaign to Ban Flavored Tobacco. 
    • Mark your calendars for New York Chapter ACS PAC Reception is May 4th and Annual Advocacy Day: Tuesday, May 5, 2020!
  • January 07, 2020 4:05 PM | Anonymous

    The 2020 ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards nominations process is open through February 15, 2020.

    There are five award categories for which an individual can be nominated: humanitarian, domestic volunteerism, international volunteerism, military volunteerism, and resident volunteerism.

    The awardees will be announced in September and recognized at the ACS Clinical Congress 2020 in Chicago, IL.

    These awards recognize ACS Fellows and members whose altruism, vision, leadership, and dedication provide models to emulate and whose contributions have made a lasting difference.

    To learn more about the nomination process visit

  • December 26, 2019 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    On December 26th, the Governor vetoed S5294-A/A7431-B, a piece of legislation that would have authorized three classes of electric assist bicycles and electric scooters to operate in New York State, subject to local regulation.

    His veto message said the bill overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers this year didn't include enough safety measures, such as a helmet requirement. “Failure to include these basic measures renders this legislation fatally flawed," he said. He also cited recent accidents including the November death of a 16-year-old boy in Elizabeth, N.J., who was struck by a tow truck while riding a rental scooter.

    In a tweet, the Governor said "There is no need for us to choose between legalizing e-bikes and safety, and I will propose a bill that does both on January 8."

    The NY Chapter ACS will be monitoring the new proposal in 2020.

  • December 21, 2019 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2020 Nominating Committee of the Fellows (NCF) and the Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors (NCBG) will be selecting nominees for leadership positions in the College as follows:

    Call for Nominations for Officers-Elect

    The 2020 NCF will select nominees for the three Officer-Elect positions of the ACS: President-Elect, First Vice-President-Elect, and Second Vice-President-Elect. The deadline for submitting nominations is February 21, 2020.

    Call for nominations for Board of Regents

    The 2020 NCBG will select nominees for four pending vacancies on the Board of Regents to be filled at Clinical Congress 2020. The deadline for submitting nominations is February 21, 2020.

     Full details regarding the submission process can be found on the ACS website.

  • December 13, 2019 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that the 2020 State of the State Address will be held in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on January 8 at 1:30 PM.

    New Yorkers wishing to attend should visit the Governor's homepage to register between December 20th at 12:00 PM and December 30th at 5:00 PM.

  • December 11, 2019 1:55 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 & Advocacy Summit, March 28–31, 2020, at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Washington, DC. The ninth 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.

     The award will cover up to $500 in housing and transportation costs.

    Full details about the awards and how to apply can be found at the following link: The deadline to apply is Friday, January 10, 2020.

  • December 09, 2019 2:12 PM | Anonymous

    2020 Commission on Cancer Standards cover

    The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is pleased to announce that its new accreditation standards, Optimal Resources for Cancer Care (2020 Standards), are now available for download.

    Download Optimal Resources for Cancer Care (2020 Standards)

    The CoC hosted a high-level introductory webinar on the 2020 Standards on November 18. Links to the webinar recording and slides are available below.

    CoC Overview 2020 Standards Webinar Recording

    CoC Overview 2020 Standards Webinar PowerPoint

    Upcoming Education Opportunities


    • April 22–24, 2020—Rosemont, IL (CoC/NAPBC joint workshop)
    • August 27–29, 2020—Denver, CO

    Online Education

    • Online series with tips for each standard—To be released early 2020
    • CAnswer Forum LIVE 2020—Six webinars beginning in February 2020

    National Meeting Presentations

    • Association of Cancer Executives—January 22–24, 2020, New Orleans, LA
    • National Cancer Registrars Association—May 31–June 3, 2020, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • November 23, 2019 2:52 PM | Anonymous

    Governor Cuomo has signed into law legislation (S.1092-E/A.6325-C) that prohibits the performance of a pelvic examination without consent on an anesthetized or unconscious patient, except when clinically warranted.   The law takes effect on April 4, 2020.

    The law was designed to respond to reports of medical students being asked to perform such exams, without express patient consent, as part of their medical training in teaching hospitals. 

    Specifically, the legislation provides that “No person shall perform a pelvic examination or supervise the performance  of  a  pelvic examination on an anesthetized or unconscious patient unless the person performing the pelvic examination is legally authorized  to do so and the person supervising the performance of the pelvic examination is legally authorized to do so and:

    • The patient or the patient’s authorized representative gives prior oral or written informed consent specific to the pelvic examination;

    • The performance of a pelvic examination is within the scope of care for the surgical procedure or diagnostic examination scheduled to be performed on the patient and to which the patient has  already given oral or written consent; or

    • The patient is unconscious and the pelvic examination is medically necessary for diagnostic or treatment purposes, and the patient is in immediate need of medical attention and an attempt to secure consent would result in a delay of treatment which would increase the risk to the patient’s life or health.”

    This bill also makes violation of such provision an element of physician misconduct.

    Several other states have passed similar laws expressly banning this practice without clinical justification.

    The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists have issued an ethical opinion that “Pelvic examinations on an anesthetized woman that offer her no personal benefit and are performed solely for teaching purposes should be performed only with her specific informed consent obtained before her surgery”.

  • November 22, 2019 5:09 PM | Anonymous

    The New York Workers’ Compensation Board Drug Formulary (NY WC Formulary) becomes effective on December 5, 2019.

    All new prescriptions for injured workers in New York State must be listed within the NY WC Formulary unless an alternative medication has been approved through the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board’s new prior authorization process.

    The new electronic prior authorization process will soon be available through the Board’s Medical Portal; please watch for the notification.

    Please visit the Board’s Drug Formulary Overview webpage for:

    • An overview of the NY WC Formulary and the prior authorization process
    • The latest version of the NY WC Formulary (effective 11/5/19)
    • A video overview for Medical Providers
    • A Quick Guide to the NY WC Formulary
    • An NY WC Formulary Dashboard Guide for Medical Providers

    Information and resources related to requesting prior authorization through the Board’s Medical Portal, can be found on the Board’s Medical Portal Overview webpage.

    For more information or assistance:

  • November 20, 2019 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    The NY Chapter of the ACS has worked with MSSNY and numerous physician advocacy groups in support of multiple pieces of legislation to reduce physicians’ administrative burden to ensure that their patients can receive the medications they need. Recent successes  include a law that gives physicians greater authority to override a health insurer “step therapy” or “fail first” prescription medication protocol in certain circumstances. 

    However, there is still work to do to  reduce the need for unnecessary and repetitive prior authorizations that take time away from your patient care delivery.  During its annual advocacy day event, the NY Chapter advocated in support for prior authorization reform > read more

    MSSNY has developed a survey to obtain data regarding the extent of your  prior authorization hassles.

    We encourage you to take part in this survey and to help us educate the legislature on the necessity for reform!  Complete the survey

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