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  • October 01, 2020 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    Purpose: The purpose of this weekly publication is to provide healthcare providers in New York State with a consolidated update of guidance released by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. This will show only current guidance for any given topic and will be updated to reflect new guidance.

    As a reminder, all advisories and informational messages (including webinar invitations) are distributed through the Integrated Health Alerting Network System (IHANS), an application housed on the Health Commerce System (HCS).

    If you are not receiving IHANS notifications, please work with your site’s HCS coordinator. Additional COVID-19 resources may be found on the NYSDOH webpage under Information for Healthcare Providers.

    Recordings of COVID-19 Weekly Healthcare Provider Updates are also available on the NYSDOH webpage

  • September 09, 2020 6:11 PM | Anonymous


    The Surgeon's Guide Series

    Join the New York Chapter American College of Surgeons and its preferred wealth management education provider, AltfestPersonal Wealth Management, for an interactive webinar series that aims to answer your financial questions and provide peace of mind during this uncertain time.

    Built upon ACS's Economic Survival Strategies in the COVID World initiative, each virtual event focuses on a different area of your financial life, and is led by an Altfest Personal Wealth Management expert in that field who is ready to take your questions.


    The Surgeon's Guide to Taking Control of Student Debt

    Date: Wednesday, September 30 from 7:30-8:30pm

    Presenter: Ben Lake, CFA, CFP®, student debt expert and senior financial advisor at Altfest Personal Wealth Management

    Overview: Just because you're paying down student debt doesn't mean you have to put your other financial goals on hold. Even in the midst of COVID-19, there are options for restructuring your loans and establishing a strategy to start saving for retirement and major purchases, such as buying your first home. Join this webinar for step-by-step guidance on:

    • Choosing the right debt repayment plan
    • Prioritizing financial goals beyond debt and making an action plan
    • Establishing the right cash flow and savings plan for your needs

    The Surgeon's Guide to Tax Reduction

    Date: Wednesday, October 21 from 7:30-8:30pm

    Presenter: Carolyn Yun, CPA, CFP®, tax expert and financial planning specialist at Altfest Personal Wealth Management

    Overview: As year-end approaches, understanding the unique tax planning opportunities that apply to your situation could help save you money - whether you are an employed surgeon, in private practice, or residency. Join this webinar for actionable tax planning insights, including:

    • Tax benefits and reduction opportunities for a lower income year
    • Tax-aware investment and retirement strategies
    • What the SECURE Act, CARES Act and recent tax law could mean for you

    The Surgeon's Guide to Assessing Your Financial Health

    Date: Wednesday, November 18 during the Annual Meeting

    Presenters: Andrew Altfest, CFP®, MBA, President, and Mike Prendergast, CFP®, MBA, Director and advisor at Altfest Personal Wealth Management

    Overview: Now more than ever, your financial health is vital to your personal health. At the Annual Meeting, join Altfest for an interactive guide to taking comprehensive control of your financial life, including:

    • Understanding the current state of your financial health
    • Evaluating variables and options to consider based on your current scenario
    • Establishing short- and long-term goals, as well as informed next steps

    Want to speak with a fee-only financial advisor now?

    Schedule a complimentary consultation with Altfest at this link, or reach them at (212) 406-0850 or Learn more about the firm’s comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for physicians at

  • September 09, 2020 6:09 PM | Anonymous

    New York Chapter American College of Surgeons (NY Chapter ACS) is pleased to announce it has selected Altfest Personal Wealth Management as preferred wealth management education provider for its members. 

    NY Chapter ACS advocates for over 3,300 members throughout the state.  In so doing, its efforts improve the quality of surgical practice and care to patients in New York.  NY Chapter ACS is an affiliate of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).  Founded in 1912, ACS is a scientific and education association of more than 82,000 surgeons.

    “Our relationship with Altfest demonstrates further NY Chapter ACS’s commitment to deliver value to its members throughout their professional lifecycle and beyond, especially through this challenging time,” said NY Chapter ACS’s President, Dr. Marina Kurian.  “Having Altfest as a partner enables members to receive custom tailored financial planning and investment management education as well as complimentary consultations on timely planning topics that are relevant to our members .  As the demands on our surgeon members seem set only to increase, we find it important to provide needed support and services to promote surgeon education, resilience, and well-being.  Our partnership with Altfest underscores this commitment to our members, and we look forward to The Surgeon’s Guide educational series, its contribution to our Economic Survival Strategies in the COVID World initiative.”

    Andrew Altfest, CFP®, president of Altfest Personal Wealth Management, said, “We are honored to have been selected by NY Chapter ACS.  Since its founding in 1983, Altfest has served the distinct financial planning and investment management needs of physicians.  As NY Chapter ACS’s partner, we will continue to offer members timely, helpful, and usable financial planning information through a variety of means, including webinars, email communications, Advisor Call-In Days, and when appropriate, live events.  We encourage members to take advantage of our educational content, which includes timely topics such as government relief programs and opportunities to take advantage of in a lower income year, in addition to creditor and asset protection, student debt management, tax reduction strategies, and more. We are pleased to offer NY Chapter ACS members a dedicated educational advisor who is on call to answer pressing financial questions at members’ convenience.” 

    “Given our many years of service to doctors,” Altfest continued, “we well understand the crucial part financial planning education plays in promoting their personal wellness.  Altfest Personal Wealth Management is gratified to have been chosen for this important role.”

    To learn more about Altfest Personal Wealth Management’s comprehensive financial planning and investment management service for physicians, visit NY Chapter ACS members can schedule complimentary consultations on the financial topic of their choice at this link.

  • September 01, 2020 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company Group, and Laura Kline, CPCU, MBA, Senior Vice President, Business Development, The Doctors Company (reposted with permission)hare

    Each year, The Doctors Company assembles healthcare leaders to discuss the most pressing issues affecting physicians, practices, and systems across the spectrum of care. The 2020 Executive Advisory Board meeting gathered top healthcare executives for a virtual discussion of shared pandemic experiences and lessons learned that can help healthcare organizations navigate through COVID-19 and beyond.

     Here are the top 10 meeting takeaways:

  • August 20, 2020 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    Urge Governor Cuomo to veto legislation (S.6678-A/A.7991-A) that would require every physician's office to post signage with information on how a patient can report a complaint to the NY Office of Professional Conduct (OPMC). 

    Let the Governor know that this proposal is unnecessary because the information is already publicly available on the OPMC website and could foster distrust in the physician-patient relationship.

    Take a moment to send an email to Governor Cuomo using the prepared editable letter. 

  • August 18, 2020 1:58 PM | Anonymous
    (reposted from ACS Bulletin Advocacy Brief - Aug. 13th Issue)

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposed rule on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule describes previously finalized changes to its coding and billing policies for office/outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) visits. Beginning in 2021, CMS will eliminate the history and physical exam as elements for evaluation and management code selection and will instead allow physicians to choose the E/M visit level based on the extent of their medical decision making or on time spent on the day of the encounter. CMS also will increase the value of most office, outpatient and E/M services, but these increases will not apply to global surgery codes.

    To offset the increase in payment for E/M, CMS must cut reimbursement for other services. The agency therefore proposes to decrease the conversion factor from $36.09 to $32.26—a significant change of approximately 10.6 percent. CMS estimates a 7 percent reduction in total allowed charges for general surgery services relative to its proposals for 2021. The American College of Surgeons will continue to oppose CMS’ failure to increase payment rates for the E/M portion of 10- and 90-day global surgical packages.

    In addition, the MPFS includes proposed changes to coverage for telehealth services after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. CMS proposes to add certain services to the Medicare telehealth list permanently, along with a series of services that may be added to the telehealth list temporarily and remain payable only through the calendar year in which the PHE expires. The agency also seeks stakeholder feedback on the development of permanent coding and payment for audio-only telephone E/M visits.

    The ACS is evaluating these and other proposals to determine the impact on surgery and will submit comments to CMS. The proposed rule is available for public review, along with a fact sheet on its payment provisions. Contact with questions.

  • August 14, 2020 1:59 PM | Anonymous

    You can help stop the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule cuts by writing to your senators and representatives in Congress. Call on your elected officials to enact legislation to waive Medicare's budget neutrality requirements for these E/M adjustments and to require CMS to apply the increased E/M adjustment to all 10- and 90-day global code values.

    Contact Congress today

  • August 12, 2020 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    In advance of the American College of Surgeons 2020 Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL, August 21–24, the College has posted the Best Practices Case Studies publication for 2020. The conference is being presented free of charge to ensure all can participate despite the economic hardships the COVID-19 has created.

    Through the Best Practices Case Studies, hospitals participating in ACS Quality Programs have an opportunity to share their expertise in implementing surgical quality improvement initiatives within their facilities, with the goal of showcasing how participating hospitals have used programmatic data to improve their performance and outcomes. The Best Practices Case Studies publication is intended to allow program participants to learn from the experience of others and develop similar quality improvement projects within their own organizations.

    Each Best Practices Case Study from the 10 hospitals highlighted in this year’s publication includes the following:

    • Description of the problem addressed
    • Context of the quality improvement process
    • Planning and development process
    • Description of the activity
    • Resources needed
    • Results
    • Tips for others

    View the 2020 publication, then review Best Practice Case Studies from previous years. And make sure to register for free for the 2020 Quality and Safety Conference, where you can expect much more content on how to improve quality and safety at your institution.

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