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  • May 06, 2022 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    The ACS New York Chapter organized a virtual advocacy day with state legislators and staff on April 26, which garnered participation from surgeons across the state. Their efforts included:

    • Advocating for state legislation that would establish a “gold card” prior authorization program, in which insurers will exempt physicians and other care providers from Prior Authorization requirements if they receive at least 90% approval for prior authorizations for that specific health care treatment (Senate Bill [SB] 8299/AB 9908A)
    • Creating a separate process for more timely prior authorizations (SB 6435A/AB 7129A)
    • Training school personnel on STOP THE BLEED® and installing bleeding control kits in public schools (AB 6462)
    • Requiring insurance coverage of colorectal cancer screenings for individuals aged 45 or older (SB 906B/AB 2085A)
    • Requiring insurance coverage for chest wall reconstruction after mastectomy in patients with breast cancer (SB 7881/AB 8537)

    As a result of those meetings, the New York Assembly Insurance Committee passed the chest wall reconstruction legislation the following day. The bill is expected to move to the Assembly floor for a full vote before the end of the year.

    Read more

  • April 30, 2022 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    When Is It Time to Let Go?

    By Karen Caplan Altfest

    For many people, retirement is their ultimate life goal. To achieve their desired retirement lifestyle, habitual saving — beginning early and compounding regularly — is important. As financial advisors, we strive to teach our clients that lesson well. We also have told them in which tax-advantaged vehicles they should save. But we often don’t let people know that at certain times in their lives, it’s appropriate to let go, to begin to use the money they diligently put away for decades. I think some are waiting for a sign: “Now it is all right to spend,” or “You will be OK if you spend on your medical needs, your retirement costs, even sometimes on your loved ones!”

    Rather than counseling clients on the freedom to spend as they age, we put a lot of time into thinking about whether retirees can safely withdraw either 3% or 4% from their portfolios in retirement.

    Read more

  • March 31, 2022 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    Financial Advisor, Jessica Nelson, CPA, CFP®, on March 23, 2022, shared top tax reduction strategies for clients as we approach tax season. As many people think about their tax situation in March, one of Altfest Personal Wealth Management’s top tax experts share strategies related to tax efficient portfolio management, tax retirement savings strategies, and tax deductions that could work for you.

     Watch the webinar replay

  • March 09, 2022 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in New York State. According to the New York State Department of Health, over 16,400 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

    A mastectomy is the surgical removal of one or both (double mastectomy) breasts and is typically performed to treat breast cancer or in some cases, decrease the risk of breast cancer. More than 100,000 US women undergo some form of mastectomy each year. After breast tissue has been removed, additional work is often required to smooth out and trim any excess skin to restore an optimal chest contour with a clean symmetric incision closure. While most breast cancer patients who forgo traditional breast reconstruction expect aesthetic flat reconstruction to be included with mastectomy costs, the operation is not currently covered under most insurance policies.

    The emotional and financial impact of breast cancer and subsequent mastectomies can be devastating, particularly if patients lack access to reconstruction surgery options available in today’s healthcare market.

    The New York Chapter issues its support for enactment of S.7881/A.8537

  • February 28, 2022 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    In the article titled, “The Right Dividend Stock Fund for You,” Dr. Lewis J. Altfest, Ph.D., CFA, CFP ®, CPA, PFS discusses strategies for researching and selecting dividend stocks. The article highlights dividend stock strategies that can increase total return on investment.

    Read more

  • January 10, 2022 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    We're helping to kick off ACS Surgeon Well-Being Month! Join us as we highlight a series of videos celebrating individual and team building well-being activities!

    This week is Living Life Now: Lessons on Thriving and Flourishing
    (7 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVp3nFkSQ0Y

    Taylor Riall, MD, PhD, FACS, joins Rohan Jeyarajah, MD, FACS to discuss her passion for living life in the now and the lessons in her life that led her to discover how to thrive and flourish as a surgeon and a person.

  • January 05, 2022 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $10 billion multi-year investment in healthcare, to rebuild and grow the healthcare workforce and strengthen the healthcare system as part of the 2022 State of the State. The plan will invest $10 billion in New York State’s healthcare sector, including more than $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers, and will invest in the healthcare workforce development pipeline to meet the current and increasing demand for medical professionals.  > Learn more

  • November 26, 2021 12:47 PM | Anonymous

     Preventing cuts to Medicare physician payment continues to be a top ACS advocacy priority as significant cuts (nearly 9%) to physician payment for most surgical services delivered to Medicare patients are slated to take effect January 1, 2022.

    As evidenced by record-breaking 2020 efforts, grassroots advocacy works and remains essential to stopping the cuts. Therefore, it is imperative to amplify surgery’s voice once again in Washington by urging House and Senate leadership to stop the cuts.

    ACS chapter involvement over the next month is critical. Participate today by calling and writing your lawmakers and letting them know how the cuts will impact you and your patients. For questions or assistance, contact DAHP staff at ahp@facs.org.

    Surgery is a specialized service that requires extensive training and expertise and should be viewed by Congress as an essential element to health care delivery across the country. Congress’ support of surgery must be demonstrated by prioritizing a year-end fix to stop the cuts.

    Please utilize tools provided by the ACS DAHP to take action early and often to elevate this important advocacy priority while protecting patients in the process.
  • November 15, 2021 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    Mini relaxation exercises are focused breathing techniques which help reduce anxiety and tension immediately. You can do them with your eyes open or closed (but make sure that your eyes are open when you are driving!). You can do them any place, at any time; no one will know that you are doing them.

    Start with Belly Breathing (Diaphragmatic Breathing):

    • Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth
    • You should feel your stomach rising about an inch as you breathe in, and falling about an inch as you breathe out
    • If this is difficult for you, try laying on your back or stomach—you will be more aware of your breath
    • Remember, it is impossible to practice belly breathing if you are holding your stomach in. Be sure to relax your stomach muscles

    When to Use Mini Relaxation Techniques

    • While being stuck in traffic or at a red light
    • When put on hold" during an important phone call
    • While waiting in your doctor's waiting room
    • When someone says something which bothers you
    • When you feel overwhelmed by what you need to accomplish in the near future
    • While standing in line
    • When you are in pain

    Four Mini Relaxation Exercises

    Option One: Count Backward from 10

    • Count very slowly to yourself from ten down to zero, one number for each out breath. (For instance, with the first diaphragmatic breath, you say "ten" to yourself,; with the next breath, you say "nine", etc.)
    • If you start feeling light-headed or dizzy, slow down the counting
    • When you get to "zero", see how you are feeling
    • If you are feeling better, great! If not, try doing it again

    Option Two: Inhale, Count to Four; Exhale, Count Back to One

    • As you inhale, count very slowly up to four; as you exhale, count slowly back down to one
    • Do this several times (for instance, as you inhale, you say to yourself "one, two, three, four," as you exhale, you say to yourself "four, three, two, one.")

    Option Three: Inhale, Count to Three; Exhale, Count to Three

    • After each inhalation, pause and count 1,2,3 (breath is held in)
    • After you exhale, pause and count 1,2,3
    • Do this for several breaths

    Option Four: Inhale "I Am;" Exhale "At Peace" 

    • On the IN breath, you think “I am”
    • On the OUT breath, you think, "at peace”

    Source: https://www.massgeneral.org/wellness/news/four-mini-relaxation-exercises

  • September 10, 2021 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company, and for the TDC Group of Companies

    Medical malpractice data can focus the search for ways to succeed at: (1) preventing adverse events, (2) preventing lawsuits if adverse events do occur, and (3) prevailing in lawsuits when all else fails.

    Read the complete article

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