October 9, 2015

Your Chapter in Action!

Practice Management

NYS Department of Health Marijuana Program Information

The Compassionate Care Act that was signed into law on July 5, 2014 authorizes the Department of Health to implement a Medical Marijuana Program in New York State.  Practitioners who wish to register with the Department and certify their patients for the Medical Marijuana Program must:

  • Be qualified, by training or experience, to treat patients with one or more of the serious conditions eligible for medical marijuana;                                                                                                                          

  • Be licensed, in good standing as a physician and practicing medicine, as defined in article one hundred thirty one of the Education Law, in New York State;

  • Possess a Health Commerce System (HCS) Medical Professions Account user ID and password;

  • Possess an active Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number; and

  • Complete the four hour Department-approved  medical use of marijuana course.

The 4-hour Department approved online course is not yet live, but will be available to practitioners within the next couple of weeks.  The online course will be provided by The Answer Page, an established online medical education provider.  The course content was created by physicians with contributions from academicians and will be fully referenced. The cost to take the course is $249, and practitioners will earn 4.5 hours of CME credit upon successful completion. The course will include the following topics: 

  • The pharmacology of marijuana;
  • contraindications;
  • side effects and adverse reactions;
  • overdose prevention, drug interactions, dosing, abuse and dependence;
  • routes of administration, risks and benefits;
  • warnings and precautions.

Additional information regarding the online course availability and the practitioner registration process will be posted in the near future on the Department’s Medical Marijuana Program webpage, which can easily be accessed via the following link:  HERE

Health Advisory: Influenza Surveillance and Reporting Requirements 2015-2016

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) provides a document annually to summarize and assist healthcare providers, clinical laboratories, local health departments (LHDs), hospitals, nursing homes, and others with influenza reporting requirements.

NYSDOH will conduct enhanced influenza surveillance beginning the first week in October 2015 through the third week in May 2016 (the week ending October 10, 2015 through the week ending May 21, 2016). Reporting requirements vary by setting and provider type and are detailed below.

Healthcare Providers in the Ambulatory or Outpatient Setting

  • Healthcare providers must report outbreaks of influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI) to the LHD of the county in which the outbreak is occurring. Contact information for LHDs can be found at http://www.nysacho.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3713.

  •  Healthcare providers are not required to report to NYSDOH positive influenza diagnostic tests performed outside of a full-service clinical laboratory (see Clinical Laboratory section).

You can view the full report:   HERE

ICD-10 Is Here! Make Sure Your Practice is Ready with These Great Resources

It's been several days since the implementation of ICD-10, and to ensure a smooth transition to the new coding system, here's a quick checklist of what should be done in this month:

  • Make sure diagnosis is consistent with the procedure (age, gender, provider type, and so on).

  • Be sure the code is valid? For Medicare FFS, it must at least be the right "family" -  but for private payers and Medicaid, it needs to be as specific as possible. Use a book or electronic tool to confirm valid vs. invalid codes.

  • Use the CMS free look-up tool and ACP's downloadable "Commonly Used ICD-10-CM Codes" list.

  • Keep medical necessity in mind. Does the code used support the CPT code? While this is nothing new, it is something to be hyper-vigilant about in the beginning.

  • Be aware of referrals and authorizations that used ICD9 codes. Map back to ICD9 if necessary. Double check date of service and use correct code set.

  • Track denials carefully – learn from mistakes and resubmit claims as soon as possible. Follow-up with payer as needed.

  • Contact payer representatives for problem payers.

For problems, contact the ICD-10 Ombudsman at: ICD10_ombudsman@cms.hhs.gov or get more information on how to contact the ICD-10 Ombudsman.

Coding and Clinical Documentation Resources
Official government coding guidelines cover:

CMS offers documentation and coding basics for clinicians in the Road to 10 Clinical Concepts Series with tailored guidance for:

Free lists of codes and ICD-9/ICD-10 mappings are available from CMS for example:


New Webinars from NYACP for E-Prescribing Preparedness!

The impending mandate to electronically prescribe all prescriptions, including prescriptions for controlled substances, is rapidly approaching. This webinar (co-hosted by Surescripts) will address the current state of pharmacy and physician adoption of  electronic prescribing in New York, inform prescribers as to what steps they need to take to legally use E-prescribing for controlled substances by March 27, 2016, and provide an overview of how to obtain and verify software installation.

Webinar topics will:

  • Summarize key aspects of the ISTOP bill as it relates to electronic prescribing (EPCS)
  • Address the current adoption of EPCS by New York pharmacies and prescribers
  • Review the steps to become enabled by EPCS in a short 5-minute video
  • Establish the value of e-prescribing vs. paper scripts

You can register for these dates by following the links provided:

  • Thursday, October 29, 2015, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT: Register Here
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST: Register Here
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 8:00 am - 9:00 am EST: Register Here

Pri-Med Opioid Screening Online Course Now Available

With approximately 100 million adults in the U.S. suffering from chronic pain, the nonmedical use of prescription opioids has become a public health issue, and prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to establish the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) mandate.  A total of 26 Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education providers, including ACP, have created educational initiatives to help prescribers ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks for patients receiving extended release and long acting opioids.

ACP developed online training modules with Pri-Med to educate clinicians about best practices when prescribing opioids to patients and to help prescribers manage risk for abuse and inappropriate use. The REMS training modules provide comprehensive educational information for primary care clinicians, and can be completed for CME credit.  Access the online modules for additional information. 

A brief video from Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, executive vice president and CEO of ACP, highlights the initiative’s goal of reducing misuse, abuse and overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids. 

Note: an ACP Username/password is required to login)



Physician Quality Reporting System: 2016 Informal Review Process

In 2016, CMS will apply a negative payment adjustment to individual eligible professionals (EPs), Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) practice sites, and group practices participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) group practice reporting option (GPRO) (including Accountable Care Organizations [ACOs]) that did not satisfactorily report PQRS in 2014. Individuals and groups that receive the 2016 negative payment adjustment will not receive a 2014 PQRS incentive payment. 

If practice sites believe they have been incorrectly assessed the 2016 PQRS negative payment adjustment, they may submit an informal review between September 9, 2015 and November 9, 2015 requesting CMS investigate incentive eligibility and/or payment adjustment determination. All informal review requestors will be contacted via email of a final decision by CMS within 90 days of the original request for an informal review. All decisions will be final and there will be no further review or appeal. 

All informal review requests must be submitted electronically via the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page (CSP) which will be available through November 9, 2015 under the Related Links section of the Physician and Other Health Care Professionals Quality Reporting Portal

Please see How to Request an Informal Review of 2014 PQRS Incentive Eligibility and 2016 PQRS Negative Payment Adjustment (available soon on the Analysis and Payment section of the PQRS website) for more information. 

For additional questions regarding the informal review process, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 (TTY 1-877-715-6222) or Qnetsupport@hcqis.org Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time. To avoid security violations, do not include personal identifying information, such as Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), in e-mail inquiries to the QualityNet Help Desk.

PQRS/Value-Based Payment Modifier: "What Medicare Professionals Need to Know in 2015" Video Presentation Posted to YouTube

A video recording of the "PQRS/Value-Based Provider Modifier: What Medicare Professionals Need to Know in 2015" presentation has been posted to the CMS MLN Connects® page on YouTube.  This presentation is the same as the webinars that were delivered on March 31, 2015 and April 7, 2015 by the Philadelphia Regional Office. 

Follow this link to view the video: https://youtu.be/Ww0oH-FhaYM      


NYACP Bronx and Brooklyn District Meetings A Success, More Meetings to Follow

The NYACP’s Brooklyn District Meeting on Tuesday, September 29, brought together a diverse crowd of physicians, medical students, residents and nurses. The meeting was held at Marco Polo Ristorante. Dr. Calvin Pan spoke on the topic of Hepatitis-C and finding a cure. Dr. Christos Paras educated the audience on the new drugs for the treatment of Diabetes. Attendees were enthusiastic about the presentations and networking opportunities.

The NYACP Bronx District Meeting was held in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation on Tuesday, September 29 at Jacobi Medical Center. Dr. Anjali Acharya spoke at length about CKD management for Internists and the attendees loved the presentation. Dr. Acharya was very passionate about specialists and primary care physicians working together to improve patient outcomes.

Pictured: Dr. Pan and Dr. McFarlane spoke to an attentive audience at Marco Polo Ristorante (Photo credit: Danielle Durkin)


October 2015: Save These Dates!

  • NYACP Suffolk District Meeting
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015
    (1) HCV Can Be Cured and (2) How to Address Advance Directives in the Office Setting

    6:00pm Registration / 6:30pm Dinner and Educational Program
    Insignia Restaurant - 610 Nesconset Highway, Smithtown NY  11787
    Event Flyer • Online Registration

  • New NYACP Webinar: 
    Prediabetes Epidemic...Can We Prevent Diabetes?
    Earn up to 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM
    Tuesday, October 20, 2015 (6:00 - 7:00 pm)
    Faculty: Jennifer Lindstrom, MD, FACP

    Learning Objectives:
  • Review risk factors for pre-DMII
  • Review treatment options for pre-DMII
  • Provide Practical tips for in-office dietary counseling for pre-DMII

    Register Here

The American College of Physicians is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The American College of Physicians designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Highlight on Member Benefits

The New York Chapter ACP is excited to offer these exclusive benefits for our members!

Infection Control Course                                                

This NYS Health Department approved training course is easy to use and offers a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category I Credits™.  For only $50, physicians and all licensed health care professionals can successfully complete an approved infection control course that is required every four years as part of their license renewal mandate.  This convenient online course offering is provided by NYACP in collaboration with MSSNY.

More information can be found here.

DOT Medical Examiners Training Course

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires all medical examiners who conduct physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to complete a training course and pass a certification examination.  To assist physicians in completing the necessary training course, NYACP continues to collaborate with the California Academy of Family Physicians to offer a convenient online course option.  The cost is $350 for ACP members and $500 for Non-ACP Members.

Additional information and registration details can be found here.

Auto Insurance Reduction Course

The NYACP 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.


New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians
744 Broadway, Albany NY 12207
Tel: 518-427-0366
Fax: 518-427-1991
Email: info@nyacp.org