February 22, 2017 

Your Chapter in Action!

Public Health

New York DOH Weekly Influenza Report

The New York State Department of Health has provided its weekly update on influenza statistics:

During the week ending February 11, 2017:

  • Influenza activity level was categorized as geographically widespread. This is the eighth consecutive week that widespread activity has been reported.
  • There were 6,082 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports, a 14% increase over last week.
  • Of the 2,265 specimens submitted to NYS WHO/NREVSS laboratories, 649 (28.65%) were positive for influenza.
  • Of the 170 specimens tested at Wadsworth Center, 99 were positive for influenza. 4 were for influenza A (H1), 87 were for influenza A (H3), 6 were influenza B (Yamagata), and 2 were influenza B (Victoria)
  • Reports of percent of patient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI3) from ILINet providers was 10.77%, which is above the regional baseline of 3.00%.
  • The number of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza was 1065 a 13% increase over last week.
  • There were no influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported this week. There have been five influenza-associated deaths this season.

Read the entire report here.


Upcoming Educational Events

Register Today! NYACP Weekend Board Review Course in Buffalo
Co-sponsored by NYACP and Catholic Health Systems
Earn up to 27 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)!TM

The course will be held on Friday, March 24-Sunday, March 26, 2017
Catholic Health Administrative & Regional Conference Center • 144 Genesee Street • Buffalo, NY • 14203

The NY Chapter ACP and Catholic Health Systems are excited to announce that a Weekend Internal Medicine Board Review Course has been scheduled for Friday, March 24 – Sunday, March 26 in Buffalo, NY. Chapter members who are preparing to take the exam for the Board Recertification or first-time Certification can take advantage of this unique IM Board Review Course. The faculty will be Conrad Fischer, MD, FACP; Chris Paras, DO; and Niket Sonpal, MD.

Course Content:
This three-day course will cover pertinent topics you need to review for the upcoming exams. The topics will include: Cardiology, Nephrology, General Internal Medicine, Oncology, Hematology, Rheumatology, Neurology, Pulmonary, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and Infectious Disease

Board Review InformationFax BrochureOnline Registration

Need additional information? Please contact Karen Tucker at

This Activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education(ACCME) through the joint providership of the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians (NYACP). The University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences designates this live activity for a maximum of 27.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

Take a Look, Build a Life, Make a Difference in Upstate New York

Are you a medical student interested in primary care or an internal medicine resident thinking about your career path? The New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians and Iroquois Healthcare Association (IHA) are once again partnering to offer an all-expense paid “Take a Look” Tour in Upstate New York. 

Join us for a 3-day, all inclusive trip to Upstate New York to explore the practice opportunities! The next available tour will take place April 26, 27 & 28, 2017, highlighting opportunities in the Central New York and Finger Lakes Regions.

The tour will introduce you to primary care practice settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices, and will also incorporate several recreational activities so those on the tour can get a feel for what life in these communities would be like during non-working hours.    

Spouses are welcome and encouraged to join.  Expenses are fully covered by the Tour.  Please see the FAQ sheet and Take A Look Flyer for additional information. We encourge you to share this information with your colleagues as well; you do not have to be an ACP member to attend the tour.

For more information about the “Take a Look” Tours, please contact: Meg McCarthy, NYACP Special Projects Manager at or call 518-427-0366. Use the links below to access the “Take a Look” Tour flyer and FAQ sheet:

Register for the Take a Look Tour today!

District Meetings - Save the Date!

Queens: Thursday, March 2, 2017
A Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind:
(1) Changes to MOC
(2) Proving LGBT-welcoming Care
(3) Update on MACRA

Il Toscano Ristorante • 42-05 235th Street • Douglaston, NY 11363
Flyer Register Online

Nassau: Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kidney Disease: What's the Big Deal?
K Pacho Restaurant • 1270 Union Turnpike • New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Flyer • Register Online

Syracuse:  Tuesday, April 18, 2017
A Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind:
(1) You Can Be an Eye Expert
(2) Acute Stroke Therapies

Pascale Italian Bistro at Drumlins • 800 Nottingham Road • Syracuse, NY 13224

Buffalo:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017
A Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind:
(1) Statin Therapy: Reconciling Recent Recommendations
(2) Gout Update: Some New Thoughts on an Old Disease

Rizotto Ristorante • 930 Maple Road • Williamsville, NY 14221

Hudson Valley South:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017
A Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind:
(1) CKD
(2) Update on New Medications for Diabetes
(3) Update on VTE

Westchester Burger Company • 275 S. Ridge Street • Rye Brook, NY 10573

Bronx: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
14th Annual Doctors' Recognition Day Symposium, Poster Presentations & Physicians' Exposition

Hosted by:  Bronx County Medical Society, Westchester County Medical Society and the New York Chapter ACP
Mercy college, Conference Center - Bronx Campus - 1200 Waters Place, Bronx NY
Poster Session, Physicians Exposition Opens 3:30pm - Symposium 6:00pm

NYACP Annual Scientific Meeting & Poster Competition: Saturday, June 3, 2017
Hyatt Regency Hotel
125 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14604

Two New Educational Opportunities in Strategies for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction
Jointly Provided by the NYU Langone Medical Center and NYACP

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Offering 7.50 Hours of AMA PRA Category I Credits™
7:45am - 4:30pm
Event FlyerOnline Registration

Friday, May 12, 2017

Offering 5.0 Hours of AMA PRA Category I Credits™
7:15am - 1:30pm
Event FlyerOnline Registration

Practice Management

Federal Judge Blocks Anthem-Cigna Merger

On February 8, in a significant win for organized medicine and the nation’s patients, federal judge Amy Berman Jackson blocked the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger. The judge found that the merger would have substantially lessened competition for the sale of health insurance to national employers resulting in higher prices and diminished prospects for innovation. Judge Jackson concluded that an enhanced ability to coerce physicians to accept lower reimbursement is not a merger efficiency defense. She determined that it would not benefit consumers and “would erode the relationship between insurers and providers” and “reduce the collaboration” that is essential to innovation in payment and delivery. As of February 13, Anthem has filed a notice of appeal to reverse Judge Jackson's decision. Aetna and Humana also announced on February 14 that they will not appeal a judge’s decision to block their merger on antitrust grounds

CMS Final Rule on Medicare Part B Payment Policies: Find Out What's Changed

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the Federal Register the CY 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule on November 15, 2016. This final rule updates payment policies, payment rates, and other provisions for services supplied under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2017. These include additional codes for chronic care management, prolonged services, and more. ACP's summary of the physician fee schedule rule includes the key Medicare policy changes that physicians should know for 2017. 

Read the summary here.

CMS Extends Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline to March 13, 2017

CMS has extended the deadline to attest to meaningful use for the EHR Incentive Programs for 2016 performance until March 13, 2017. Clinicians must attest by the deadline to avoid a 2018 payment adjustment. To help providers prepare for the 2016 EHR Incentive Programs attestation period, CMS has released an attestation worksheet for eligible clinicians. Physicians can log their meaningful use measures for each objective in the worksheet and use it as a reference when attesting for the 2016 Medicare EHR Incentive Program in CMS’ Registration and Attestation System.

If you are eligible to participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, you MUST demonstrate meaningful use to avoid the negative Medicare payment adjustment. You may demonstrate meaningful use under either Medicare or Medicaid, depending on your patient mix.

To read more, please click here.

Submit PQRS Reporting for 2016 Before It's Too Late!

The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is open for submission of quality reporting data for the 2016 performance period. Physicians must submit PQRS data on their 2016 performance to avoid receiving negative payment adjustments in 2018. Submission dates vary based on how physicians choose to report, so practices should check with submission vendors for deadlines. Additional details are available on ACP’s PQRS page.

Check your PQRS Reporting Deadline here with ACP's Timeline Tool!

Member Benefits

Auto Insurance Reduction Course

The Chapter continues to offer a 6-hour Insurance and Point Reduction Course that is approved by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles and available to NYACP members, their families, office staff and friends.  This convenient online member benefit allows registered "students" the ability to start and finish the course within 30 days for only $42.00.  The benefit includes a 10% reduction on your automobile insurance (liability, no-fault and collision) and up to 4 points off of your driving record (if applicable).  More information can be found by clicking here.

MLMIC Update on Transition to Berkshire Hathaway

MLMIC, NYACP's endorsed medical liability insurance provider, announced in July its intention to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. The transaction is on track and progressing forward in accordance with the measures and actions required under New York State Insurance Law designed to protect the interests of the policyholders and the public. MLMIC had originally anticipated that the process would be completed by the third quarter of 2017, but now expect that process will be completed by year end 2017.

As such, policyholders can expect several major milestones to occur between now and the expected close of the transaction. The estimated timeline for these milestones is currently as follows:

  1. In accordance with Insurance Law regulating such transitions, MLMIC is being examined by the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) to assess the financial condition of the Company. That examination is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2017.
  2. The DFS will also conduct an independent valuation of the Company to assess the fairness of the cash consideration to be paid by Berkshire to owners of eligible MLMIC policies from July 14, 2013 through July 14, 2016. This valuation is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2017.
  3. Once the examination and independent valuation are done, MLMIC’s Board will request permission from the Superintendent to submit a Plan of Conversion for approval by DFS. MLMIC will then prepare and disseminate detailed information regarding the Plan of Conversion to all of those who are eligible to vote (i.e. those who were policyholders on July 14, 2016) on this transaction. The Superintendent will then hold a public hearing regarding the Plan of Conversion. Following this hearing, the Superintendent will review the Plan of Conversion, and if approved, will authorize MLMIC to conduct a vote.
  4. A vote of those eligible to vote on this transaction is expected during the fourth quarter of 2017. If two-thirds or more of those voting elect to proceed with the transaction, the transaction will close and Berkshire will authorize distribution of payments shortly thereafter.

NYACP continues to work with the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC) on issues of importance to our members, and will continue to post updates as they become available.

We will continue to report to our members as more milestones are reached. If you have any questions about the transaction, please call 1-888-998-7871.

New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians
744 Broadway, Albany NY 12207
Tel: 518-427-0366
Fax: 518-427-1991