Position Statements (50.000 – 99.999)


50.000          CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION:
                       (See also Education, 85.000)

50.988          Prevention of Unintended Consequences of the Physician
                       Payments 
Sunshine Act (PPSA)

The Medical Society of the State of New York reaffirms its support for the current ACCME Standards for CME and Commercial Support.

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports the position of the AMA and Alliance for CME:  that regulations implementing the Physician Payment Sunshine Act assure that manufacturers not be required to report payments made for a program where the topic, the speakers, and educational materials are independently chosen and have no relationship with a manufacturer which might be supporting the CME activity. (HOD 2012-64)

50.989           Continuing Medical Education for Maintenance of Certification (CME for MOC):

MSSNY is to support:

  • the current Continuing Medical Education (CME) accrediting system which provides high quality CME activities, thus ensuring continuous professional development as well as educational and practice improvement tools and resources;
  • the position of the Alliance, which opposes the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) plan as stated because it would undermine the existing interdisciplinary approach to education and would also redirect important resources away from existing educational programs;
  • the position of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), which opposes the creation of new systems that would impose unnecessary burdens upon ACCME-accredited providers, Recognized Accreditors, intrastate providers and physician learners. (HOD 2011-168)

50.990            CME Accreditation:

Programs offered by the Medical Society of the State of New York are to be considered, when appropriate, for American Medical Association (AMA) Category 1 credit for all physician participants when applicable under AMA Guidelines.  (HOD 2011-167)

50.991             CME Credits for Attending MSSNY House of Delegates:

MSSNY to provide to physician delegates who attend the MSSNY House of Delegates the appropriate number of Continuing Medical Education Credits for participating in the reference committees and the full House; and MSSNY’s Office of Continuing Medical Education to convene a group of individuals, comprised of various county medical society executives and physicians, to discuss the implementation of such a program, in accordance with the process as outlined by Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) for implementation at the 2011 House of Delegates.  (HOD 2009-154)

(MSSNY’s Continuing Medical Education Committee reviewed this resolution and, subsequently, determined that the House of Delegates was not an appropriate CME activity, recommended that it not be adopted and that the Committee’s report be filed for information.) 

50.992             Continuing Medical Education Application Forms:

MSSNY approved revised Continuing Medical Education application forms to be consistent with new standards and accreditation criteria mandated by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  (Forms are available from MSSNY’s Office of Continuing Medical Education.)  (Council 12/13/07; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

50.993             Continuing Medical Education Mission Statement:

The Office of Continuing Education of the Society of the Medical Society of New York (MSSNY) is committed to support a statewide system of effective continuing medical education which provides all physicians with broad learning opportunities to increase their skills.  The goal of this system is to upgrade medical care by maintaining, augmenting, and updating physicians’ medical knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to facilitate delivery of optimal medical care to their patients.  The CME program will address the professional practice gaps of physician learners as identified in their scope of practice and professional requirements. This is done by providing educational programming and accreditation of providers of Continuing Medical Education (CME) throughout the state.

Content Areas:

The Continuing Medical Education Program of MSSNY strives to provide educational activities relevant to the practice of all recognized medical disciplines and include forums for public health, socio-economic, ethical and legal issues, quality improvement, liability risk reduction, enhancement of the practice environment; impaired physician awareness and treatment; and legislative and regulatory issues related to the provision of quality healthcare.  To implement this most effectively, MSSNY, in addition to the education it provides directly, shall also serve as an accredited joint provider with non-accredited providers of continuing medical education to promote public health goals and an awareness of the public health resources available to physicians and their patients throughout New York State.

Target Audience:

Target audiences include physicians residing or practicing in New York State. Although MSSNY’s CME program primarily will serve New York physicians, some activities may be extended to a national audience when justified by need.

Type of Activities:

MSSNY”s CME offerings will promote high quality educational programs delivered in a cost effective and accessible manner.  These events take the form of didactic presentations, seminars, symposia, workshops, and grand rounds; enduring print, audio, and video material; interactive, live internet and web casting activities. The educational design, instructional method and learning format for each event is chosen to best serve the educational needs and learning objectives of the planned educational activity.

Expected Outcomes of the Program:

Improvements to MSSNY’s CME Program shall be made by evaluation of CME activities and self-assessment of the overall program.  Following an educational activity, MSSNY expects learners to report enhanced or reinforced knowledge upon evaluation.  MSSNY expects that learners will report an increased confidence in approaching clinical challenges or commit to changing behavior by applying newly acquired strategies in their practice.  MSSNY expects that learners will be able to demonstrate competence and an effective use of specific and specialized skills.  MSSNY expects performance parameters within the setting of clinical practice to show improvement or a favorable impact on targeted patient outcomes.  (Council 1/25/07; Reaffirmed HOD 2017; Amended and adopted Council 6/22/17)

50.994              MSSNY’s Task Force on Quality Medical Care:

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports regulatory or legislative efforts to require physicians to complete a certain number of continuing medical education credits periodically as evidence of competence and diligence in medical practice.  (Council 11/17/05; Reaffirmed HOD 2015)

50.995             ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support:  Standards to Ensure
                          Independence in CME Activities

MSSNY approved the following standards:

STANDARD 1: INDEPENDENCE

Standard 1.1 A CME provider must ensure that the following decisions were made free of the control of a commercial interest. (See www.accme.org for a definition of a “commercial interest” and some exemptions.) (a) Identification of CME needs;  (b) Determination of educational objectives; (c) Selection and presentation of content; (d) Selection of all persons and organizations that will be in a position to control the content of the CME; (e) Selection of educational methods; (f) Evaluation of the activity. 

Standard 1.2 A commercial interest cannot take the role of non-accredited partner in a joint provider relationship.

STANDARD 2: RESOLUTION OF PERSONAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Standard 2.1 The provider must be able to show that everyone who is in a position to control the content of an education activity has disclosed all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest to the provider. The ACCME defines “‘relevant’ financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

Standard 2.2 An individual who refuses to disclose relevant financial relationships will be disqualified from being a planning committee member, a teacher, or an author of CME, and cannot have control of, or responsibility for, the development, management, presentation or evaluation of the CME activity.   

Standard 2.3 The provider must have implemented a mechanism to identify and resolve all conflicts of interest prior to the education activity being delivered to learners.

STANDARD 3: APPROPRIATE USE OF COMMERCIAL SUPPORT

Standard 3.1 The provider must make all decisions regarding the disposition and disbursement of commercial support.

Standard 3.2 A provider cannot be required by a commercial interest to accept advice or services concerning teachers, authors, or participants or other education matters, including content, from a commercial interest as conditions of contributing funds or services.

Standard 3.3 All commercial support associated with a CME activity must be given with the full knowledge and approval of the provider.

Standard 3.4 The terms, conditions, and purposes of the commercial support must be documented in a written agreement between the commercial supporter that includes the provider and its educational partner(s). The agreement must include the provider, even if the support is given directly to the provider’s educational partner or a joint provider.

Standard 3.5 The written agreement must specify the commercial interest that is the source of commercial support.

Standard 3.6 Both the commercial supporter and the provider must sign the written agreement between the commercial supporter and the provider. 

Standard 3.7 The provider must have written policies and procedures governing honoraria and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for planners, teachers and authors.

Standard 3.8 The provider, the joint provider, or designated educational partner must pay directly any teacher or author honoraria or reimbursement of out-of–pocket expenses in compliance with the provider’s written policies and procedures.

Standard 3.9 No other payment shall be given to the director of the activity, planning committee members, teachers or authors, joint provider, or any others involved with the supported activity.

Standard 3.10 If teachers or authors are listed on the agenda as facilitating or conducting a presentation or session, but participate in the remainder of an educational event as a learner, their expenses can be reimbursed and honoraria can be paid for their teacher or author role only.

Standard 3.11 Social events or meals at CME activities cannot compete with or take precedence over the educational events.

Standard 3.12 The provider may not use commercial support to pay for travel, lodging, honoraria, or personal expenses for non-teacher or non-author participants of a CME activity. The provider may use commercial support to pay for travel, lodging, honoraria, or personal expenses for bona fide employees and volunteers of the provider, joint provider or educational partner.

Standard 3.13 The provider must be able to produce accurate documentation detailing the receipt and expenditure of the commercial support.

STANDARD 4: APPROPRIATE MANAGEMENT OF ASSOCIATED COMMERCIAL PROMOTION

Standard 4.1 Arrangements for commercial exhibits or advertisements cannot influence planning or interfere with the presentation, nor can they be a condition of the provision of commercial support for CME activities.

Standard 4.2 Product-promotion material or product-specific advertisement of any type is prohibited in or during CME activities. The juxtaposition of editorial and advertising material on the same products or subjects must be avoided. Live (staffed exhibits, presentations) or enduring (printed or electronic advertisements) promotional activities must be kept separate from CME.

 For print, advertisements and promotional materials will not be interleafed within the pages of the CME content. Advertisements and promotional materials may face the first or last pages of printed CME content as long as these materials are not related to the CME content they face and are not paid for by the commercial supporters of the CME activity.

 For computer based, advertisements and promotional materials will not be visible on the screen at the same time as the CME content and not interleafed between computer ‘windows’ or screens of the CME content.

Also, ACCME-accredited providers may not place their CME activities on a Web site owned or controlled by a commercial interest. With clear notification that the learner is leaving the educational Web site, links from the Web site of an ACCME accredited provider to pharmaceutical and device manufacturers’ product Web sites are permitted before or after the educational content of a CME activity, but shall not be embedded in the educational content of a CME activity. Advertising of any type is prohibited within the educational content of CME activities on the Internet including, but not limited to, banner ads, subliminal ads, and pop-up window ads.

For audio and video recording, advertisements and promotional materials will not be included within the CME. There will be no ‘commercial breaks.’

For live, face-to-face CME, advertisements and promotional materials cannot be displayed or distributed in the educational space immediately before, during, or after a CME activity.

Providers cannot allow representatives of Commercial Interests to engage in sales or promotional activities while in the space or place of the CME activity.

For Journal-based CME, none of the elements of journal-based CME can contain any advertising or product group messages of commercial interests. The learner must not encounter advertising within the pages of the article or within the pages of the related questions or evaluation materials.

Standard 4.3 Educational materials that are part of a CME activity, such as slides, abstracts and handouts, cannot contain any advertising, corporate logo, trade name or a product-group message of an ACCME-defined commercial interest.

Standard 4.4 Print or electronic information distributed about the non-CME elements of a CME activity that are not directly related to the transfer of education to the learner, such as schedules and content descriptions, may include product-promotion material or product-specific advertisement.

Standard 4.5 A provider cannot use a commercial interest as the agent providing a CME activity to learners, e.g., distribution of self-study CME activities or arranging for electronic access to CME activities.

STANDARD 5: CONTENT AND FORMAT WITHOUT COMMERCIAL BIAS

Standard 5.1 The content or format of a CME activity or its related materials must promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

Standard 5.2 Presentations must give a balanced view of therapeutic options. Use of generic names will contribute to this impartiality. If the CME educational material or content includes trade names, where available trade names from several companies should be used, not just trade names from a single company.

STANDARD 6: DISCLOSURES RELEVANT TO POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL BIAS

Standard 6.1 An individual must disclose to learners any relevant financial relationship(s), to include the following information: The name of the individual; The name of the commercial interest(s); The nature of the relationship the person has with each commercial interest.

Standard 6.2 For an individual with no relevant financial relationship(s) the learners must be informed that no relevant financial relationship(s) exist.

Standard 6.3 The source of all support from commercial interests must be disclosed to learners. When commercial support is “in-kind‟ the nature of the support must be disclosed to learners.

Standard 6.4  Disclosure of commercial support must never include the use of a corporate logo, trade name or a product-group message of an ACCME-defined commercial interest.

Standard 6.5 A provider must disclose the above information to learners prior to the beginning of the educational activity.

POLICIES SUPPLEMENTING THE STANDARDS FOR COMMERCIAL SUPPORT 

DEFINITION OF A COMMERCIAL INTEREST

A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.

The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests.  A commercial interest is not eligible for ACCME accreditation. Commercial interests cannot be ac-credited providers and cannot be joint providers. Within the context of this definition and limitation, the ACCME considers the following types of organizations to be eligible for accreditation and free to control the content of CME:

  • 501-C Non-profit organizations (Note, ACCME screens 501c organizations for eligibility. Those that advocate for commercial interests as a 501c organization are not eligible for accreditation in the ACCME system. They cannot serve in the role of joint provider, but they can be a commercial supporter.)
  • Government organizations
  • Non-health care related companies
  • Liability insurance providers
  • Health insurance providers
  • Group medical practices
  • For-profit hospitals
  • For profit rehabilitation centers
  • For-profit nursing homes
  • Blood banks
  • Diagnostic laboratories

ACCME reserves the right to modify this definition and this list of eligible organizations from time to time without notice.

FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria for promotional speakers’ bureau, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

The ACCME has not set a minimum dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship.

With respect to personal financial relationships, contracted research includes research funding where the institution gets the grant and manages the funds and the person is the principal or named investigator on the grant. 

Conflict of Interest: Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.

The ACCME considers financial relationships to create actual conflicts of interest in CME when individuals have both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest. The ACCME considers “content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest” to include content about specific agents/devices, but not necessarily about the class of agents/devices, and not necessarily content about the whole disease class in which those agents/devices are used.

With respect to financial relationships with commercial interests, when a person divests themselves of a relationship it is immediately not relevant to conflicts of interest but it must be disclosed to the learners for 12 months. 

DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIPS TO THE ACCREDITED PROVIDER

Individuals need to disclose relationships with a commercial interest if both (a) the relationship is financial and occurred within the past 12 months and (b) the individual has the opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest. 

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: DEFINITION & GUIDANCE REGARDING WRITTEN AGREEMENTS

Commercial Support is financial, or in-kind, contributions given by a commercial interest which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity.

When there is commercial support there must be a written agreement that is signed by the commercial interest and the accredited provider prior to the activity taking place.

An accredited provider can fulfill the expectations of SCS 3.4 – 3.6 by adopting a previously executed agreement between an accredited provider and a commercial supporter and indicating in writing their acceptance of the terms and conditions specified and the amount of commercial support they will receive.

A provider will be found in Noncompliance with SCS 1.1 and SCS 3.2 if the provider enters into a commercial support agreement where the commercial supporter specifies the manner in which the provider will fulfill the accreditation requirements.

Element 3.12 of the ACCME’s Updated Standards for Commercial Support applies only to physicians whose official residence is in the United States. 

VERBAL DISCLOSURE TO LEARNERS

Disclosure of information about relevant financial relationships may be disclosed verbally to participants at a CME activity. When such information is disclosed verbally at a CME activity, providers must be able to supply the ACCME with written verification that appropriate verbal disclosure occurred at the activity. With respect to this written verification:

  1. A representative of the provider who was in attendance at the time of the verbal disclosure must attest, in writing:
    1. that verbal disclosure did occur; and
    2. itemize the content of the disclosed information (SCS 6.1); or that there was nothing to disclose (SCS 6.2).
  1. The documentation that verifies that adequate verbal disclosure did occur must be completed within one month of the activity.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The provider’s acknowledgment of commercial support as required by SCS 6.3 and 6.4 may state the name, mission, and areas of clinical involvement of an ACCME-defined commercial interest but may not include corporate logos and slogans. 

COMMERCIAL EXHIBITS AND ADVERTISEMENTS

Commercial exhibits and advertisements are promotional activities and not continuing medical education. Therefore, monies paid by commercial interests to providers for these promotional activities are not considered to be commercial support. However, accredited providers are expected to fulfill the requirements of SCS 4 and to use sound fiscal and business practices with respect to promotional activities.   (Council 3/14/05; Updated/Adopted Council January 15, 2015)

50.996             CME Mission Statement:

MSSNY, in order to provide the physicians of the State with the means to enhance their competence to deliver high quality medical care, affirms its obligation to support a statewide system of effective continuing medical education.  The goal of this system is to upgrade medical care throughout the State by maintaining, augmenting and updating physicians’ medical knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to facilitate their delivery of medical care to their patients.  This CME system shall include educational activities relevant to the practice of all recognized medical disciplines.  To implement this most effectively, MSSNY, in addition to the educational offerings it provides and sponsors directly, shall also interact and cooperate with other creditable sponsors and providers of continuing medical education.  It shall be the policy of MSSNY that its continuing medical education offerings be reasonably accessible at reasonable cost to all physicians.  MSSNY shall utilize all conventional formats and modes to provide and deliver continuing medical education.  (Council 9/20/84; Reaffirmed Council 12/19/91; Revised Council 1/25/07..See Policy 50.993; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

50.997             Mandated CME:

MSSNY opposes the concept of legislatively mandating specific kinds of continuing medical education.  (Council 10/26/89; Reaffirmed HOD 2013; Reaffirmed in lieu of HOD 2017-205)

50.998             Hardship or Disability:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

50.999             Retired and Semi-retired Physicians:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

55.000             COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETIES:

55.996             Guidelines for Funding County Medical Society Meetings with Legislators:

MSSNY’s Board of Trustees developed the following guidelines in response to requests by county medical societies to be reimbursed for monies expended at county medical society sponsored meetings with their local legislators to discuss socio-economic and/or political issues of concern to the medical profession and issues affecting health care delivery in New York State:

(1)        Before any reimbursement is made from the Society’s funds, the county medical society must write the Medical Society of the State of New York for prior approval of the anticipated project and include a fiscal note with the request.

(2)        After the function takes place, the county medical society is requested to inform MSSNY of the amount of actual expenses incurred, the nature of the meeting, and the number of physicians and legislators in attendance.  The Trustees will determine the amount of reimbursement on the basis of this information.”

(3)        The Board also recommended that MSSNY be identified as a co-sponsor and be consulted in the development of a county medical society program, since MSSNY will be reimbursing the county medical societies for part of their expenses in these legislative activities.  (Board of Trustees 10/25/89; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

NB:  The MSSNY Board of Trustees recommends that the new legal guidelines concerning monies allocated to legislative activities be communicated to county medical societies and the MSSNY continue the policy of reimbursing counties for 50% of the costs incurred for such activities, with a cap of $1,000.

55.997             Health Care Coalitions for the Needy
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

55.998             Litigation – Legal Fee Aid Plan:

The following policies shall govern the administration of the MSSNY legal fee aid plan:

Guidelines to be Followed by County Medical Societies in Requesting Financial Assistance from the Medical Society of the State of New York in Connection with Legal Fees for Litigation or Administrative Hearings Concerning the County Medical Society or its Members

(1)  The County Medical Society shall promptly advise the Executive Vice-President of the contemplated litigation or administrative hearing giving full details of the matter involved.  The County Medical Society shall give an estimate of the amount of legal fees involved and a specific request for the financial assistance requested.

(2)  Aid will be provided for legal fees only in matters clearly redounding to the benefit of the Medical Society of the State of New York and its membership at large.

(3)  The final decision as to whether legal fee aid will be granted will be made by the Council of MSSNY with the concurrence of the Board of Trustees.

(4)  In the event that MSSNY wishes to participate in legal action initiated by a county medical society, it shall be understood that there may be a requirement for county medical societies to participate financially.

(Council 11/20/80; Amended Council 4/16/81; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

55.999          Patients’ Complaints Against Physician Members – Guidelines for Handling:
                     SUNSET HOD 2013


60.000          DEATH:

60.996          Survey:  New York Physicians’ Attitudes toward Medical Aid in Dying

The Medical Society of the State of New York will conduct a membership/physician survey to determine attitudes toward medical aid-in-dying with a report of findings to be forwarded to the MSSNY Council or House of Delegates.  MSSNY will involve its Bioethics Committee in the development of an unbiased survey on this issue.  (HOD 2017-163)

60.997          New York State Department of Health’s Task Force on Life and the Law:

MSSNY to seek to have more representation on the New York State Department of Health’s existing Task Force on Life and the Law; and MSSNY’s representatives to: (1) make an effort to set guidelines on discontinuing or not initiating treatment, which might then be used to aid treating physicians on a voluntary basis in discussion with a patient and/or his/her family; and (2) advocate that an appropriate mechanism for adjudication in end-of-life questions in the hospital setting be available for treating physicians.  (HOD 2007-261; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

60.998             Determination of Death:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

60.999             Pronouncement of Death:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013


65.000             DRUG ABUSE:

65.981             Supervised Injection Facilities

MSSNY will forward a resolution to the A-17 AMA meeting requesting a comprehensive study of Supervised Injection Facilities in the United States.  (HOD 2017-160)

65.982             Treatment of Opioid Overdoses in the Emergency Department

The Medical Society of the State of New York strongly encourages all physicians and hospitals to advocate substance use treatment options, including buprenorphine, available to patients in treating addiction.  MSSNY encourages collaboration with multi stakeholders for integrated Medicated Assistance Treatment (MAT) for the management of addictions and physicians and other medical staff voluntarily become certified to prescribe buprenorphine.  (HOD 2017-159)

65.983            Medication Assisted Therapy

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports legislation/regulation which will allow access to Medication Assisted Therapy and psychosocial strategies for substance use disorders and that insurance companies be required to provide coverage for these programs including in the primary care physician, non-psychiatric, non-addiction specialist setting. (Adopted Council, June 2, 2016)

65.984            Kratom and Its Growing Use within the United States

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports legislative or regulatory efforts which will prohibit the sale or distribution of Kratom in New York State but also do not inhibit proper scientific research.

This resolution will be transmitted to the American Medical Association.  (HOD 2016-156)

65.985              MSSNY Opposes Recreational Marijuana Legalization

The Medical Society of the State of New York opposes recreational marijuana legalization. (HOD 2015-166) 

65.986             Treatment Rather than Arrest for Marijuana Possession

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports promotion of drug treatment to those arrested or fined for marijuana related offenses and encourages communities to develop programs that emphasize drug treatment and rehabilitation rather than criminalization of marijuana. (HOD 2015-165; HOD reaffirmed in lieu of 2017-152)

65.987            Increasing Access to Care for Patients with Opioid Use Disorders

The Medical Society of the State of New York will encourage primary care physicians and psychiatrists to voluntarily complete appropriate training which would best increase access to care for opioid use disorders, and which would include, but not be limited to:

a) CME courses on screening, brief intervention, prescribing of medications for substance use disorders and referral for specialized care,

b) CME courses on opioid use disorders and

c) CME which meets the requirements for certification to become licensed to prescribe buprenorphine.

The Medical Society of the State of New York will support policies and initiatives to provide adequate compensation for primary care physicians and psychiatrists for the treatment and counseling of patients with opioid use disorders, as well as efforts to end the limitation of 100 patients per certified physician treating opioid dependence after the second year of treatment as currently mandated by the Drug Addiction Treatment Act

A copy of this resolution will be transmitted to the AMA House of Delegates for its consideration.  (HOD 2015-163)

65.988             Availability of Treatment Slots for Substance Abusers

The Medical Society of the State of New York will urge the New York State Department of Health to commission a study analyzing the projected substance abuse treatment slots needed from drug crime sentencing to ensure the system will be equipped to handle the increased volume and if there is a shortage of substance abuse treatment slots projected, the Medical Society of the State of New York will lobby to increase the number of treatment slots available to meet the need. (HOD 2014-114)

65.989             Driving While Intoxicated, Impaired or Distracted by All Substances

The Medical Society of the State of New York will advocate to ensure that when the ability to drive is impaired by recreational intake of drugs which are not listed as controlled substances under New York’s Public Health Law, those persons are still subject to penalties under New York law which prohibits driving while intoxicated or driving while ability impaired.  The Medical Society of the State of New York will continue to support programs that educate the public on the dangers of driving while intoxicated, or impaired. (HOD 2014-62)

65.990             Use of Naxolone to Prevent Drug Overdoses

MSSNY supports the use of intra-nasal Naxolone in the prevention of drug overdoses.  (Council 3/10/2014)

65.991             Recommendations to Address the Prescription Drug Abuse  and Diversion Issue

The Medical Society of the State of New York adopted the following consensus statement:

There have been several New York State legislative proposals from state legislators and officials to combat the abuse of prescription drugs.  The Medical Society of the State of New York and the above referenced specialty societies believe that any solution to the abuse of prescription drug problem must be multipronged.

This approach includes increased law enforcement efforts to prevent and punish inappropriate diversion of prescription medications.  It includes the need for increased accessibility of treatment for patients suffering addictions so as to reduce the likelihood of inappropriate diversion of prescribed medications.  It includes improvement in and better use of the existing database that is currently maintained by the New York State Health Department on all controlled substance prescriptions.  And it includes the need for additional resources for associations representing prescribers so that they can educate their members about the existence of the database and the circumstances of patients presenting themselves in health care settings that should trigger a prescriber to check the database.

New York State has for many, many years collected information on prescription drugs and has a Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)—an electronic monitoring system that is operated by New York State’s Department of Health Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE).  The issue is not the need to create a new database.  The issue is how the information that already exists within the database can be best used and improved upon in order to inform physicians and other non-physician prescribers, as well as pharmacists dispensing these medications, so as to prevent or reduce “doctor-shopping,” diversion and abuse.  Physicians have indicated that the present system which is operated on the Health Commerce System (HCS) is very difficult to use, has a significant lag in the reporting of such data, and requires a password that expires if the physician does not go onto the HCS within a certain period of time.    In addition, no information at all is given about an individual patient unless their prescription usage hits a too high threshold of obtaining multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors and filling them at multiple pharmacies in a short timeframe.  Specifically, no information at all is available unless a patient has two or more prescriptions written by two or more physicians that are filled at two or more pharmacies over the last couple of months or so.  Finally, since pharmacy data may be entered on a monthly basis, often the prescription information for the most recent few weeks is incomplete.

The Medical Society of the State of New York and the above referenced specialty societies note that as the State looks to identify ways to prevent misuse and inappropriate diversion, it will need to be careful that it does not “over correct” this problem.  In fact, there is a body of recognized expertise that has concluded that physicians are not actually prescribing pain medications enough.  As such, the medical community has serious concerns with proposals that would mandate reporting and checking a database each and every time a controlled substance prescription is written.  The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies are greatly concerned that such proposals would add to the already tremendous administrative burden facing physician practices and worse, would potentially discourage physicians from writing prescriptions for controlled substances in situations where they are necessary.  In addition, strict mandatory reporting may result in the unintended consequences of preventing patients with substance use disorders or chronic pain from seeking or staying in treatment or prevent them from reporting such behaviors to their treating physicians.

Therefore, the Medical Society of the State of New York and the above referenced specialty societies recommend that the following changes be made via regulation and/or statute: 

E-Prescribing of Narcotics

  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support the implementation of E-prescribing for all controlled substances.
  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support the implementation of connecting the PMP Database with Health Information Exchanges.

Improving the PMP Database

  • The Medical Society of the State of New York and the above referenced specialty societies support physicians having access to the PMP for ANY controlled medication prescriptions as far back as database will allow.
  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies are supportive of allowing a physician’s designee to have access to the PMP. The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support authorizing pharmacists to have access to the existing PMP database which would better enable pharmacists to provide relevant information to the prescribing physician.
  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support the use of improved technology to allow easier usage of the PMP.

Physician Access to PMP and Physician Education

  • MSSNY and the above referenced specialty societies support the principle that if a physician believes a patient is attempting to access a prescription for any reason other than treatment of an existing medical condition such physician has the obligation to decline to write the prescription or check the current data base before a script is written or submitted electronically.
  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support developing regulatory guidance with the input of appropriate physician organizations to treat acute pain and for chronic pain management care provided that this guidance is developed in consultation with physicians and appropriate physician organizations and that such guidance is mindful of the need for individualized medical evaluation and decision making. Such guidance may include information relative to the clinical conditions which would indicate physician recourse to the PMP database.
  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support voluntary education programs for providers on pain management, substance abuse and dependence, diversion and on the use of the PMP as a tool for prescribing, with the caveat that the prescribing authority remains independent of any educational requirement.

Patient Education

  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies believe it is imperative that NYS educate the public regarding the dangers of prescription misuse and diversion and the requirement to inform all prescribers of any controlled drugs they are taking.

Prescription Drugs

  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support elevating Hydrocodone to Schedule II and Tramadol to Schedule III. Importantly, this will limit the duration of Hydrocodone prescriptions to 30 days. 

Prevention Methods

  • The Medical Society and the above referenced specialty societies support data sharing of information through the PMP with other states.
  • The Medical Society of the State and the above referenced specialty societies support drug take-back programs for all prescriptions. 

Additionally, the Medical Society of the State of New York opposes any legislation requiring physicians to do patient background checking prior to prescribing controlled substances.

The Medical Society of the State of New York submitted a resolution to the AMA House of Delegates opposing federal legislation which would require physicians to do background checking prior to prescribing controlled substances. (HOD 2012-161 and 162)

65.992             Preventing Overdose Deaths – Community-based Naloxone Programs:

MSSNY and its respective specialty societies will continue to work with the New York State Department of Health to reduce overdose deaths and to expand Naloxone programs as part of its comprehensive overdose prevention programs.  (HOD 2011-155)

65.993             Preventing Overdose Deaths – “911 Good Samaritan”:

MSSNY supports efforts that would enact a “911 Good Samaritan” law that would provide immunity from arrest, charge, prosecution and conviction for drug and drug paraphernalia possession and for certain alcohol-related offenses for individuals or victims of a health-related emergency which resulted due to consumption or use of a controlled substance or alcohol and who have contacted 911 in good faith to receive emergency medical treatment for themselves or another individual.  (HOD 2011-154)

65.994             Dextromethorphan Abuse in Adolescents:

MSSNY supports policy that dextromethorphan-containing products be placed behind pharmacy counters to prevent abuse in adolescents.  (HOD 2007-150; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

65.995          Opioid Dependent Patients: Changes in Treatment Venue of Stable Patients:

MSSNY supports efforts of federal and state agencies to permit properly trained and qualified practicing physicians to engage in the independent treatment of opioid dependent patients who have attained behavioral and social stability under standard treatment.  (Council 9/7/00; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

65.996          Marijuana Alert 2000:
                     SUNSET HOD 2014

65.997          Hypodermic Needle and Syringe Exchange Program:
                     SUNSET HOD 2014

65.998          Drug Dependency as a Clinical Illness:

It is the policy of MSSNY that drug dependency should be treated as a clinical illness.  (HOD 1998-90; Reaffirmed Council 9/11/03; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

65.999          Testing in the Work Place for Drug and Alcohol Abuse:

MSSNY recognizes the right of employers to require drug and alcohol testing within certain limitations, as follows:  (1)  Drug and alcohol testing of applicants for employment in order to prevent drug and alcohol abusers from entering the work place.  Patients taking medication which artificially triggers a positive test should have due process to be retested to exclude illegal drug or alcohol.  (2) Drug and alcohol testing of employees for cause, provided that such testing is done under qualified medical supervision and that economic and other assistance is given in the rehabilitative process.  (3) Random drug and alcohol testing of employees whose jobs may have an impact on public safety, under conditions as in number 2 above. (4) Drug and alcohol tests must be performed by New York State certified laboratories where adequate quality control processes are in effect and where a full chain of custody procedure is maintained on each specimen.  In addition, each positive test result must be confirmed by means of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or an equally accurate test. (5) Confidentiality must be maintained at all stages of the process.  (6) Drug testing is appropriate when implemented in conjunction with a program for rehabilitation and treatment of employees who are psychologically or physically dependent.  (Council 12/21/89; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)


70.000             DRUG DISPENSING: (See also Children and Youth, 30.000)

70.937             Pharmacy Benefit Managers Medical Necessity Criteria for Prescribed Medications

MSSNY will seek regulation or legislation limiting Pharmacy Benefit Manager requests for information to pertinent and relevant information which demonstrates that a patient meets medical necessity for prescribed medications.  (HOD 2017-103)

70.938             Changes in Insurance Accepted by Pharmacies

The Medical Society of the State of New York will seek legislation that will require pharmacies to contact all physicians and patients affected by the pharmacy’s cessation of participation in a specific health insurance plan and also require the transfer, with notice to the patient, of all new and pending prescription refills to a pharmacy that accepts the patients’ insurance.  MSSNY will seek through regulation or legislation the creation of a prescription clearing house that would reduce the existing hassles of the current system for patients, pharmacies and physicians.  (HOD 2017-263)

70.939             Partial Fill of Schedule II Controlled Substances

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports legislation/regulations allowing partial fill of Schedule II controlled substance medications similar to partial prescription fills permitted under regulations for Schedule III and IV medications.  (Adopted Council, June 2, 2016)

70.940             Medications Return Program

The Medical Society of State of New York (MSSNY) supports medication disposal which provides daily access to safe, convenient, and environmentally sound medication return for unwanted prescription medications and that such a medication disposal program should be fully funded by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, including costs for collection, transport and disposal of these materials as hazardous waste.

MSSNY supports change in New York State law or regulation that would allow a program for medication recycling and disposal to occur. 

The New York Delegation to the American Medical Association will encourage the AMA to pursue the same efforts.  (HOD 2016-157)

70.941             Resolving E-Prescribing Problem

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) will urge the New York State Health Department’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) to issue rules permitting physicians to prescribe via paper/fax/phone in situations where the patient needs to comparison shop among pharmacies and to make regulatory changes to enable pharmacies that do not have a particular medication in stock the ability to transmit the prescription to another pharmacy that has the needed medication in stock.

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) will urge the AMA to work with the DEA and other appropriate federal agencies to enable the use of tokens in multiple care settings.

MSSNY will encourage member physicians to record incidents in which a patient is harmed by the law’s ban on prescribing via paper/phone/fax and provide that data showing evidence of patient harm which has occurred as a result of e-prescribing to MSSNY for its ongoing dialogue with the New York State Health Department’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) and the New York State Legislature on e-prescribing issues.

MSSNY will support legislation which (1) removes the requirement that all paper/fax/phone prescriptions be reported to the BNE, allowing instead that the prescription be recorded in the patient’s medical record and (2) ensures that a physician not be subjected to criminal charges, or other ramifications from the Department of Health or the Department of Education for having written a medically appropriate paper prescription.

The NYS DOH BNE shall provide prescribers and patients with educational materials that satisfy the HIPAA requirement of knowing where electronic data goes, who can access it and why, and how it is used. (HOD 2016-115)

70.942             Require Alternative Medication List after Denial

The Medical Society of the State of New York will advocate for ensurance that health insurers provide physicians an alternative list of medications when coverage for such medication is denied, instead of directing them to their website; and that health insurers create interfaces between physician e-prescribing systems and the insurer’s prescription formulary. (HOD 2016-68)

70.943             Regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Management Companies

The Medical Society of the State of New York will continue to advocate for legislation which will regulate the practices of Pharmaceutical Benefits Managers (PBMs); and for legislation which ensures that physicians have the final say in choosing which medications his or her patients should receive, and which would limit the ability of PBMs to interfere with the treatment recommendations of a physician prescribing medications for their patient. (HOD 2016-67)

70.944             E-Prescribing

The Medical Society of the State of New York will press for legislation or regulation that would allow patients’ requests for paper prescription and pharmacy choice to be honored and permit any patient to request opting out of electronic prescribing by requesting same in writing to a physician, who will then be permitted to issue a paper prescription in person or by fax. (Council 1/21/2016) 

70.945             Federal Agency Compliance with State Laws on Controlled Substances Databases

In order to better coordinate controlled substance prescribing with other physicians, the Medical Society of the State of New York, working with the AMA, will request that the Veterans Administration and other federal health programs comply with applicable State laws which require checking databases of controlled substance prescriptions and that they additionally comply with state laws with regard to respective requirements for entering data on prescription fills into controlled substance tracking databases.

MSSNY will work with the NYS Department of Health to address any technological obstacles that exist to impede the transfer of data from VA practitioners and other federal health programs to the NYS Prescription Monitoring Program.  (HOD 2015-100)

70.946             Generic Drug Pricing

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) recognizes that generic drugs are not identical to their brand name precursors.  MSSNY will advocate to ensure that a patient’s physician has final decision-making authority regarding which prescription medications are necessary for that patient’s well-being and it will further advocate to ensure the availability of affordable prescription medications for patients, including opposition to sudden unjustified price increases in prescription medications.

The Medical Society will continue to work with the Department of Financial Services, Department of Health and Attorney General’s office to expedite reviews of situations where insurers and their agents improperly delay responding to requests for pre-authorization of needed medications and further, MSSNY will advocate for sufficient fines to be imposed on insurers who fail to respond to pre-authorization requests in a timely manner. (HOD 2015-52)

70.947             Physical Appearance of Generic Drugs

The Medical Society of the State of New York will work with the pharmaceutical industry to help educate patients and physicians regarding the numerous online databases that help provide tools to enable the easy identification of medications. (HOD 2015-51)

70.948             Point of Care Dispensing

The Medical Society of the State of New York will seek legislation that permits in-office physician dispensing of prescription medication to the patients. (HOD 2014-113) 

70.949:            Insurance Coverage For A 90 Day Supply Of Maintenance Medications

Insurance plans should be required to fill prescriptions as written up to a 90 day supply for all maintenance medications at a pharmacy or by mail order. (HOD 2013-155) 

70.950:            E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances

MSSNY supports use of e-prescribing for controlled substances with the ability to screen for multiple prescribers of controlled substances.  (HOD 2013-107) 

70.951:            Electronic Prescription for Controlled Substances

MSSNY supports use of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances and termination of the requirement for “hard copy” prescriptions, unless an exception to the e-prescribing mandate applies.  (HOD 2013-106)

70.952             E-Prescribing of Class III-Narcotics and Other Controlled Substances

MSSNY will urge the New York State Department of Health to work proactively with all appropriate authorities on the state and federal level to make it possible for physicians to e-prescribe all medications including Class-III narcotics and other controlled substances. (HOD 2012-102 )

70.953             Inappropriate Export of Pharmaceutical Services

MSSNY will work with the pharmacists of New York and their Professional Organizations to maintain the option of patients to have their prescriptions dispensed at a local pharmacy and be counseled face-to-face by their pharmacist.  (HOD 2011-211)

70.954             Electronic Submission of All Prescriptions

MSSNY will work proactively with the Department of Health to implement regulations that will permit the electronic submission of all prescriptions in New York State.  (HOD 2011-101)

70.955             Unused Prescription Drug Drop-off Programs:

 MSSNY to work with government, the pharmacy and pharmaceutical industry as well as the hospital associations to advocate for the creation of a statewide program to facilitate the installation of appropriately secured “unused prescription return” boxes in various locations across the State.  (HOD 2011-67)

70.956             Return of Unused Medications in Long Term Care Facilities

MSSNY adopted as policy the existing AMA Policy H-280.959, “Recycling of Nursing Home Drugs.”

Recycling of Nursing Home Drugs

Our AMA supports the return and reuse of medications to the dispensing pharmacy to reduce waste associated with unused medications in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and to offer substantial savings to the health care system, provided the following conditions are satisfied:  (1) The returned medications are not controlled substances.  (2) The medications are dispensed in tamper-evident packaging and returned with packaging intact (e.g., unit dose, unused injectable vials and ampules).  (3) In the professional judgment of the pharmacist, the medications meet all federal and state standards for product integrity.  (4) Policies and procedures are followed for the appropriate storage and handling of medications at the LTCF and for the transfer, receipt, and security of medications returned to the dispensing pharmacy.  (5) A system is in place to track re-stocking and reuse to allow medications to be recalled if required.  (6) A mechanism (reasonable for both the payer and the dispensing LTC pharmacy) is in place for billing only the number of doses used or crediting the number of doses returned, regardless of payer source.

Also, MSSNY is to communicate this policy to appropriate Federal and State governmental agencies to urge its immediate adoption.  (HOD 2010-250)

70.957             List of Patients’ Medications Provided by Pharmacists:

MSSNY will encourage all pharmacies licensed in New York State to provide individuals with a complete listing of all their medications each time a prescription is filled.  This list of medications provided by the pharmacist to a patient would include the name of the drug (brand and generic, if appropriate), dosage and any other identifying information which will assist the individual in recognizing and understanding the medications they are taking.  (HOD 2010-103)

70.958             Use and Acceptance of E-Prescription

MSSNY will [1] encourage all physicians to adopt E-Prescription and make the information about E-Prescription including incentive payment from Medicare and Medicaid available to all physicians; and [2] urge all pharmacies, including mail order pharmacies, to accept E-Prescription from physicians.  (HOD 2010-101)

70.959Pharmacy Benefit Managers’ or Payors’ Interference with the Course of Good
                Treatmentand Requiring the Provision of Dangerous Quantities of Medicine:

MSSNY is to:

a)       seek legislation and/or regulation prohibiting a payor or Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) from either requiring a prescription to be filled with a quantity greater than that which is prescribed by a patient’s treating physician, or imposing significant additional cost-sharing responsibilities on patients for filling prescriptions with smaller quantities;
b)       work with the State Insurance, Health and Education Departments to assure that patients can obtain prescription drugs consistent with the dosage, frequency and duration as prescribed by the physician;
c)       continue to seek legislation and/or regulation that permits a patient to obtain a denied prescription drug pending an internal or external appeal of a denial by a health insurance company at the insurer’s expense; continue to advocate for legislation that would prevent insurance companies from coercing patients through financial disincentives to change a medication upon which a patient is stabilized, simply due to a change in formulary, change in plan or change in insurer.  (HOD 2010-61; Reaffirmed HOD in lieu of 2017-103)

70.960             Cancellation or Rescission of Renewals after the Prescriptions Have Been Delivered to the
                          Pharmacy:

MSSNY will seek appropriate measures including, if necessary, legislation to assure the ability of a physician to cancel or rescind a prescription for a patient if deemed warranted by the patient’s treating physician.  (HOD 2010-60)

70.961             NYS Prescription Pads:

MSSNY opposes any effort present or future to require physicians to pay a fee for the official prescription forms supplied by the state; and work to assure that an adequate supply of prescription forms are provided to each physician or licensed allied medical practitioner.  (HOD 2005-97; Reaffirmed HOD 2015)

70.962             Two-Part Official Prescriptions:
SUNSET HOD 2015

70.963             Electronic Prescription System:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

70.964             Pharmacies Should Be Required to Accept Faxed Prescriptions for Non-controlled
                          Substances:

MSSNY will work for legislation requiring all New York State pharmacies to accept faxed or electronically-transmitted prescriptions for non-controlled substances, when in the pharmacist’s professional judgment that faxed or electronically-transmitted prescription is legible and valid.  (HOD 2002-76; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.965             Coverage for Brand Name Medications as Prescribed by Physicians:

MSSNY must aggressively pursue enactment of MSSNY Policies 70.974 (Restrictive Formulary Medication Benefit Plans); 70.976 (Continued Coverage for Prescription Medications from Health Plan Drug Formularies); 70.977 (Restrictive Formulary Drug Prescription Sanction Through Managed Care); and 165.941 (Coordination of Pharmacy Benefit Into Existing Health Plans).

Enactment of the aforementioned MSSNY Policies should become a top priority during the upcoming legislative session in Albany.

Legislation will be sought to ensure that patients are not financially penalized for the prescription of a “non-preferred” drug by either: (a) seeking legislation to mandate that any “non-preferred” agent for which no bio-equivalent “preferred” agent exists in that plan be covered as a “preferred” agent; or (b) seeking legislation to mandate that the insurer provide a credit towards the cost of the “non-preferred” agent in the amount equal to that which would have been paid had a similar “preferred” agent been prescribed.  (HOD 2002-57; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.966             Mandatory Acceptance of the Currently Utilized Physician
                          Prescription 
Form by Pharmacy Benefit Plan Administration:
SUNSET HOD 2013

70.967             Public Notification of Expired Pharmaceuticals:

MSSNY will aggressively pursue legislation which would mandate the placement of expiration dates on prescription drug labels as stipulated in Resolution 95-62, 96-60, reaffirmed in Resolution 99-63 and as currently provided for in the MSSNY 2002 Legislative Agenda.

MSSNY will remind all physicians through their usual publications, i.e. News of New York, EVPgram, that all prescribed medications are to be utilized within a reasonable period of time so as to avoid the possibility of patients having unsafe or ineffective medications.

MSSNY will call upon the American Medical Association to encourage the Food and Drug Administration and/or other appropriate agencies to undertake a comprehensive study to determine how certain factors, including but not limited to time, storage and handling will affect the efficacy and safety of prescription drugs.  (HOD 2002-53; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.968             Single Dose Labeling of Medication in a School Setting by
                          Registered 
Professional School Nurses:
Sunset HOD 2011

70.969             Removing DEA Documentation from Uncontrolled Prescription Pad:

MSSNY adopted as policy the existing AMA Policy H-100.972 “Misuse of the DEA License Number.”

Misuse of the DEA License Number

MSSNY affirms its opposition to use of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license number for any purpose other than for verification to the dispenser that the prescriber is authorized by federal law to prescribe the substance; and will explore measures to discourage or eliminate the use of physicians’  DEA license numbers as numerical identifiers in insurance processing and other data bases, either through legislation, regulation or accommodation with organizations which currently insist on collection of this sensitive data.

MSSNY will seek through legislation or regulation limitation of the use of DEA numbers to those federal and state entities that use the number to oversee and enforce the law regarding the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances.

MSSNY will advocate for adoption of the AMA’s Medical Education number as the unique identifier for physicians.  (HOD 2001-154; Reaffirmed HOD 2011)

70.970             Drugs with Narrow Therapeutic Index:

MSSNY supports the passage of State legislation requiring third party carriers to cover patient’s costs for brand name drugs contained on the list of narrow therapeutic index drugs at the same cost as if generic substitution were permitted.  (HOD 2001-56; Reaffirmed HOD 2011)

70.971             Administration of Prescription Drug Programs Insuring Patient Access to Necessary Medication:

MSSNY will:

  1. express its concern to the New York Department of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services that the programs concerning prescription drugs be administered in such a way that patients will not be denied access to necessary medication; and
  1. oppose any third party payer reducing reimbursement beyond or below a physician’s and/or other health care practitioner’s cost; and
  1. support activity to ensure that all fair administrative costs be considered for reimbursement; and
  1. coordinate with the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York in a concerted effort to insure proper access to pharmaceutical drugs for all patients in New York State. (Council 1/25/01; Reaffirmed Council 1/22/04)
  1. vigorously advocate for fair and reasonable reimbursement for chemotherapy and other vaccines. (Council 1/22/04 addition) Policy 70.971 Reaffirmed HOD 2014

70.972             Require Pharmacies to Print the Expiration Dates of Medications On
                         All 
Prescription Labels:

MSSNY will support legislation to require that expiration dates of prescribed drugs be listed on the package for consumers, and to provide for enforcement of such provisions by the New York State Attorney General, and MSSNY will ask its delegation to propose a similar resolution to the American Medical Association.  (HOD 2000-162; Reaffirmed HOD 2014-65)

70.973             Insurance Companies, Pharmacies and Pharmaceutical Benefits Management
                         Companies (PBMs) Should Not Require a Diagnosis in 
Order for the Patients
                         Prescription to be Filled:

MSSNY will advocate for legislative/regulatory relief, requiring pharmacies, any health plan and pharmaceutical benefits managers to fill prescriptions even if their patient’s diagnosis is not divulged to them.  (HOD 2000-83; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

70.974             Restrictive Formulary Medication Benefits Plans:

MSSNY supports enactment in the State of New York of a pharmacy benefits management law that will regulate managed pharmacy benefit plans to prohibit interference in the doctor-patient relationship, to prevent interruption of ongoing medical care treatment and to promote access to medication that is consistent with accepted standards of appropriate medical care and treatment, to provide patients with advance notice of benefit limits and the right to pursue external review of medications denied due to formulary restrictions.

MSSNY supports legislation that requires that where a prescription is denied due to formulary restrictions the prescription drug must be dispensed to the patient for the pendency of the internal or external appeal process.

MSSNY will educate physicians and patients regarding the right to pursue external review when patients are denied or provided unequal access to medications because of formulary restrictions.  (HOD 00-78; Reaffirmed HOD 2001-53; Reaffirmed HOD 2011; Reaffirmed HOD 2016-67)

70.975             Continued Coverage for Prescription Medications From Health Plan Drug Formularies:

MSSNY will seek appropriate legislation that would allow a patient suffering from a chronic condition to continue to be reimbursed for medically necessary prescription drugs subsequently removed at the discretion of a health plan from its drug formularies provided that the patient’s physician believes that there is no appropriate alternate drug on the formulary.  (HOD 1998-74; Reaffirmed HOD 2001-53; Reaffirmed HOD 2011)

70.976             Restrictive Formulary Drug Prescription Sanction Through Managed Care:

MSSNY will develop and propose legislation or regulation requiring (a) pharmacists to contact the prescribing physician if a prescription written by the physician violates the managed care formulary under which the patient is covered, so that the physician has an opportunity to prescribe an alternative drug, which may be on the formulary; (b) which prohibits managed care entities, and other insurers, from disciplining, or withholding payment from physicians because they have prescribed drugs to patients which are not on the insurer’s formulary or have appealed a plan’s denial of coverage for the prescribed drug; (c) which ensures that all pharmacy benefit management companies and insurers which use restrictive drug formularies be required to impanel an independent group of physicians to determine the composition of the drug formulary; (d) will request the American Medical Association to examine the feasibility of establishing a standardized process for formulary development applicable to all managed care plans.  (HOD 1998-55; Reaffirmed HOD 2001-53; Reaffirmed HOD 2011)

70.977             Sanctioning More Than One Non-Controlled Substance To Be Prescribed On The Same                                Prescription Blank:
SUNSET HOD 2014

70.978             Contact Lens Prescription, Expiration Date for:

MSSNY has adopted the position that there is danger to the public health and safety by allowing prescriptions for contact lenses to be filled without time limitation and without any requirement for proper ophthalmic follow-up care and that the same strict standards that regulate the dispensing of oral and topical medications, medical devices and appliances also apply to the dispensing of contact lenses to the residents of New York, and that contact lens prescriptions have an expiration date of one year after the date they are written.    (HOD 1996-180; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

70.979             Expiration Date on Medicine Containers:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014 See 90.972

70.980             Generic Drug, Use of ‘A’ Rated:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

70.981             Generic Substitutions:

MSSNY will seek legislation to provide that where there is generic substitution because the physician has not designated “DAW” the pharmacist filling the prescription include on the label the words “Substituted for (brand name).”    (HOD 1994-152; Reaffirmed 2010-97; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

70.982             Optometrists Prescribing Drugs

MSSNY opposes legislation which would permit optometrists to administer or prescribe drugs for treatment of patients.  (HOD 1992-39; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

70.983             Triplicate Prescription Program:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

70.984             Expiration Date and Control Number on Prescription Drugs:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014  see 90.972

70.985             Opposition to Legalization of Non-Prescriptive Drugs Such as
                          Heroin 
and Cocaine

MSSNY physicians  oppose the legalization of the use of non-prescriptive, potentially dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine.  Use of such drugs poses a serious threat to the health of the individual and society.  Use of potentially dangerous drugs frequently leads to limited reasoning ability, unproductive and antisocial behavior, an increase in the development of neurologic, psychiatric, infectious and other medical diseases and fetal health problems.  These health considerations outweigh any potential reduction in crime or reduction in the transmission of infection which might be anticipated from the legalization of such drugs.  (Council 12/13/90; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

70.986             New Medications – Testing:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

70.987             Generic Drug Prescription:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

70.988             Opposition to Legalization of Drugs for Non-Medically Indicated Uses:

MSSNY is opposed to the legalization for non-medically indicated uses of the following substances:  hallucinogenics, narcotics, and cocaine and its derivatives. (Council 1/25/90; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

70.989             FDA ‘A’ Generic Drug Prescribing:
                         SUNSET HOD 2013

70.990             Political Pressure and Release of New Medications:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

70.991             Physician’s Right to Dispense Drugs and Devices

MSSNY supports the position taken by the AMA House of Delegates in June, 1986 to support the physician’s right to dispense drugs and devices when it is in the best interest of the patient and consistent with the AMA’s Ethical Guidelines.  (Council 4/23/87; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.992             Marijuana:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

70.993             “Look-Alike” Drugs

MSSNY encourages federal legislation prohibiting the manufacture, sale, distribution or gift of substances which look like controlled substances (“Look-alikes”). MSSNY supports stricter legislation controlling the advertising and sale of “Look-Alike” medications.  (Council 12/13/84; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.994             Qualitative Labeling of All Drugs:

MSSNY strongly supports efforts to promote qualitative drug labeling of all drugs, requiring the active and inactive ingredients of all drugs (over-the-counter as well as prescription) to be listed on the label or package insert for the drug.  (Council 12/13/84; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.995             Generic Drug Labeling:

All generic medications should have an identifying number or symbol.  (Council 12/13/84; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.996             Heroin for Pain Relief:

MSSNY opposes the use of heroin for pain relief in patients because there are sufficient pain medications available for treatment.    (Council 6/21/79; Reaffirmed HOD 1984-57; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.997             Generic Drug Substitution Statement on “Physician” Prescription Blanks

MSSNY supports the position that Doctors of Medicine and Doctors of Osteopathy be permitted to use the word “Physician” on their own personal prescription blanks and that those with D.D.S. degrees be permitted to use the word “Dentist,” those with D.V.M. degrees use the word “Veterinarian,” etc.  (HOD 1983-8; Reaffirmed HOD 2015)

70.998             Generic Drug Substitution

The members of the Medical Society of the State of New York are as interested as any other group of citizens in the State, if not more so, in eliminating unnecessary costs in the delivery of health care and are actively engaged in developing measures that will lead to the most effective use of the dollars expended on health care, provided that none of these measures results in a lowering of the quality of medical care available to and afforded the public.  Two measures that could lead to a wider use of generic drugs should be considered:

(1) The first is to conduct controlled, scientifically valid studies to conclusively establish that generic drug substitutes are equivalent in bio-availability and therapeutic equivalence.  Disturbing reports have appeared in scientific medical literature that seriously question whether generic drugs approved by the FDA do, in fact, satisfy these criteria.  In the face of such doubts, it is understandable that physicians will be reluctant to authorize drug substitutes for medications with which they are familiar by experience.  The necessary studies do entail expenditure of money and delays, but these are small prices to pay when one is primarily concerned with providing the very best available drug to an ill patient.

(2) A second major deterrent to physicians readily agreeing to generic drug substitution is the question of their liability if a substitute, of which they have insufficient knowledge and no control in choice, should prove to be ineffective for the purpose intended and the patient suffers thereby.  Our Society has had correspondence with both the State and Federal governments to determine the limitations of a physician’s liability and the responses have been equivocal.  It is our interpretation, as the Law now stands, that the physician may still be liable.  An unequivocal statement of acceptance, of complete liability, by either the Federal or State government, in the event of untoward effects developing solely from the use of a generic drug substitute such as was promulgated for the swine flu immunization program, would remove this anxiety from the physician’s mind and encourage wider use of generic substitution.

There is a basic principle to be stressed in the consideration of this subject, namely, that no law should curb the professional judgment of a physician in the treatment of his patient.  Years of intensive schooling and training mark the education of a physician and his licensure.  It is such training that establishes the physician as the one best able to determine the most effective means of therapy for the individual problems of a particular patient.  It is most earnestly hoped that no inadequate substitute for this professional judgment, based solely on cost, will ever be enacted.  (HOD 1983 Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

70.999             Generic Drug Prescription Forms

MSSNY is in favor, whenever possible, of reducing the cost of care to the patient.  Understanding that the freedom of the physician to specify a brand name remains inviolable and accepting the value of the freedom from liability incorporated in a 1982 generic drug substitution legislative proposal, The MSSNY adopted the position of not opposing a bill so long as the method of specifying brand name drugs on prescription forms remains simple, such as D.A.W. (in place of “Dispense as Written”) or checking one of two boxes.  (HOD 1982; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)


75.000        DRUGS AND MEDICATIONS: (See also Abortion and Reproductive Rights, 5.000; Drug Dispensing, 70.000; Home Health Care, 135.000; Pharmaceutical Advertising, 227.000Public Health & Safety, 260.000; Reimbursement, 265.000; Sports and Physical Fitness, 290.000 

75.973             Appeals Process for Medications with Proscribed Dosing

The Medical Society of the State of New York will seek regulation and/or legislation to ensure that Medicare, Medicaid and insurance plans in New York State allow physicians to make dosing adjustments for approved medications to allow the patient to achieve therapeutic levels regardless of their body mass index, as well as differing metabolic considerations.  The dose administered should be within the purview of the treating practitioners based on clinical parameters, documented in the medical record.  (HOD 2015-263, referred to Council, substitute resolution adopted 1/21/2016)

75.974          Pharmaceutical Practices

All pharmaceutical insurers must operate with complete transparency so as not to monopolize the industry.  MSSNY shall take action to immediately refer to the New York State Attorney General any evidence of collusion within the pharmaceutical supply chain.  (HOD 2015-103) 

75.975           Availability of Pharmaceuticals

The Medical Society of the State of New York will work with the New York State Department of Health and the American Medical Association to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appropriately uses its statutory power to aggressively investigate, remediate and prevent drug shortages, including imposing significant penalties on pharmaceutical manufacturers who fail to timely report shortages or discontinuances of medications. (HOD 2015-50)

75.976             Cannabis for Seriously Ill Patients

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) adopts as policy the following principles:

1) That the use of cannabis may have a role in treating patients who have been diagnosed with serious, debilitating illnesses, when all other treatments have failed; or when clinical trials have shown to demonstrate comparable efficacy to currently accepted treatments.

2) The Medical Society of the State of New York recognizes the risk of smoking cannabis and encourages the use of alternate delivery systems.

3) Physicians who recommend cannabis for patient use, subject to the conditions set forth above, shall not be held criminally, civilly or professionally liable.

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports continued high quality clinical trials on the use of cannabis for medical purposes. (HOD 2014-161) 

75.977:            Reducing Cost of Prescription Drugs to Low Income Seniors

AMA should engage in a dialogue with appropriate stakeholders (i.e., state medical associations, national specialty societies, consumer organizations, patient advocacy groups, etc.) in support of the concepts in the “Senior Protection Plan” that would reduce excessive costs of prescription drugs incurred by low income seniors.  (HOD 2013-270)

75.978:            Oppose Legislature Approval of Smoked Medical Marijuana

MSSNY reaffirms the process in which medications in the USA are regulated and approved by the FDA and not by state legislative action; opposes any process that entrusts the state legislature with the function of approving medications; reaffirms the fact that medication preparation needs to be strictly regulated by the FDA to assure safety, purity and effectiveness; and opposes, except for the terminally ill, any smoking formulation for medical marijuana as a delivery system for medication unless the FDA approves that delivery system. (HOD 2013-157)

75.979          Medical Marijuana:

MSSNY will take a leadership role in the development of any regulations resulting from the passage of state legislation pertaining to medical marijuana and also request the American Medical Association’s assistance in seeking a reversal of the Executive Order pertaining to the prosecution of physicians who prescribe or advise medical marijuana, legally under state statute.  Also, a copy of this resolution is to be transmitted to the American Medical Association for its consideration.  (HOD 2009-173)

75.980          Inappropriate Incentives for Recommending Generic Drugs over Brand Name Drugs:

MSSNY will introduce a resolution at the June 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) calling upon the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to abolish the provision of providing incentives for pharmacists to “push” generic drugs over brand name drugs; and, through the AMA, to urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to assure that there be greater transparency between the use of generics vs. brand name medications so as to enable patients to make informed and intelligent decision.  Also, MSSNY to seek passage of legislation similar to that passed in Maine in 2003 and, subsequently, in other states, that would allow for the regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Management plans by imposing contract transparency and conflict of interest requirements and would require that savings based on drug volume discounts be passed on to client health plans and consumers.  (HOD 2009-103)

75.981             “Pay for Delay” Arrangements by Pharmaceutical Companies

MSSNY will forward a resolution to the American Medical Association exhorting that organization to support the Federal Trade Commission in its efforts to stop these “pay for delay” arrangements.  (HOD 2008-207)

75.982             Extend Phase-out Period for Proven CFC Inhalers:

MSSNY will work with the American Medical Association to encourage the Food and Drug Administration to allow the availability of the Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) delivery system until the present stock runs out.  (HOD 2008-170)

75.983             Limiting Coverage for Psychiatric Drugs:

MSSNY will urge the appropriate state agency and/or State Legislature to prohibit the practice of health insurance companies restricting access to psychiatric drugs by (1) requiring failure of a generic drug prior to permitting coverage for a non-generic drug; (2) limiting doses by number of pills per day; or (3) limiting coverage to certain formulations.

MSSNY also will seek legislation or other appropriate remedies to assure that patients who switch insurance companies be able to continue on their existing chronic drug therapies.  (HOD 2008-54)

75.984             Medical Use of Marijuana/Synthetic Cannabinoids:

MSSNY encourages additional research on the use of cannabinoid products in the treatment of illness and the relief of human suffering without penalty.  (HOD 2007-151; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

75.985             Availability of Nicotine Replacement:

MSSNY supports the sale of nicotine replacement products in settings where cigarettes are sold and will work with the NYS Department of Health to make free nicotine replacement products available in physicians’ offices.  (HOD 2006-161; Amended HOD 2016)

75.986             Herbal Supplements:

(1)  MSSNY will work with the American Medical Association to educate physicians and the public to report potential adverse events associated with dietary supplements and herbal remedies to help support FDA’s database of adverse event information on these forms of alternative/complementary therapies;

(2)  MSSNY, in conjunction with the AMA, supports efforts to modify the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act to require that (a) dietary supplements and herbal remedies including the products already in the marketplace undergo FDA approval for evidence of safety and efficacy; (b) meet standards established by the United States Pharmacopeia for identity, strength, quality, purity, packaging, and labeling; (c) meet FDA post-marketing requirements to report adverse events, including drug interactions; and (d) pursue the development and enactment of legislation that declares metabolites and precursors of anabolic steroids to be drug substances that may not be used in a dietary supplement;

(3)  MSSNY will work with the AMA to support enforcement efforts based on the FTC Act and current FTC policy on expert endorsements;

(4)  That the product labeling of dietary supplements and herbal remedies contain the following disclaimer as a minimum requirement:  “This product has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”  This product may have significant adverse side effects and/or interactions with medications and other dietary supplements; therefore it is important that you inform your doctor that you are using this product;

(5)  That in order to protect the public, manufacturers be required to investigate and obtain data under conditions of normal use on adverse effects, contraindications, and possible drug interactions, and that such information be included on the label; and

(6)  MSSNY will continue its efforts to educate patients and physicians about the possible ramifications associated with the use of dietary supplements and herbal remedies.  (HOD 2004-151; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

75.987             Medical Marijuana:

MSSNY adopts as policy that the use of marijuana may be appropriate when prescribed or certified by a licensed physician solely for use in alleviating pain and/or nausea in patients who have been diagnosed as chronically ill with life threatening disease when all other treatments have failed, that the physicians who prescribe marijuana for patient use, subject to the conditions set forth above, shall not be held criminally, civilly or professionally liable and that it supports continued clinical trials on the use of marijuana for medical purposes.  Also, MSSNY to (1) recommend to sponsors of legislation that the use of medical marijuana should not be utilized in patients who suffer solely from psychiatric conditions; and (2) continue to work with members of the State Legislature and the New York State Department of Health to ensure that any legislation that is passed contains limits on certification time frames and provides a sunset to the law.  (HOD 2004-169) (Council 11/4/04 considered an editorial change but tabled action until the 2005 HOD at which time the resolution would be introduced as Old Business.) (Reaffirmed HOD 2009-173) (Reaffirmed and amended Council 12/9/10)

75.988             Medicare and ‘Off Label’ Uses of Drugs:

MSSNY confirms its strong support for the autonomous clinical decision-making authority of physicians to prescribe medications for ‘off-label” use.  (HOD 2004-67; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014; Reaffirmed HOD 2015-53)

75.989             Unregulated Sympathomimetic Amines:

MSSNY will work closely with the AMA to urge the FDA to formulate a definitive policy regarding the under-regulated sale of over-the-counter (OTC) Sympathomimetic Amines (SMAs) in medications (with particular emphasis on weight control supplements that contain SMAs) as a means of preventing morbidity and mortality.  MSSNY will encourage the FDA to reconsider the appropriateness of providing SMAs OTC, or as a prescription medication, while also investigating the onslaught of excessive advertising by companies that market and promote these products to the general public.  MSSNY will recommend the FDA, and other appropriate governmental agencies, perform clinical studies as to the potential parallel adverse effects of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine to the PPA experience with central nervous system events in women, as well as the potential effects all of the products have on hypertension in our population.  Also, MSSNY will work towards educating physicians and the public on the potential adverse events to the use of supplements through its website, news articles, and other avenues.  (HOD 2003-164; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

75.990             Opposition to Bill Mandating Electronic Submission of Prescriptions:

MSSNY opposes any bill that would mandate physicians type or electronically submit prescriptions and that instead, MSSNY supports legislation that encourages that prescriptions be legible and supports a state funded pilot program that studies the efficacy of the use of electronic prescribing technology in hospitals and physicians’ offices as a means to reduce medical errors involving prescriptions.  (Council 11/8/01; Reaffirmed 2011 HOD)

75.991             Herbal Substances:
SUNSET HOD 2014

75.992             Prohibition of Inappropriate Pill Splitting:

It is the position of MSSNY that the New York State Insurance Department and all other appropriated state agencies prohibit insurance companies from requiring pill splitting.  (HOD 2000-160; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

75.993             Schedule I Drug Butyrolactone (GBL or 2G3H)-furanone dihydro):
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

75.994             Enhanced  Funding for ADAP (Aids Drug Assistance
                          Program), 
including Drug Availability and Post Exposure
                          Prophylaxis):
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

75.995             Payment for Medications Containing Estrogen and Progesterone:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

75.996             Use Of Marijuana For Treatment of Glaucoma:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

75.997             Serialized Prescriptions:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

75.998             Diet Pills

MSSNY endorsed the banning of over-the-counter diet pills entirely until such times as there is sufficient proof of their safety and effectiveness. (Council 12/13/84; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

Amphetamines: SUNSET HOD 2013


80.000        DUE PROCESS FOR PHYSICIANS: (See also Reimbursement, 265.000)

80.991          Free John Natale, MD

The Medical Society of the State of New York sent a letter to the Natale Family outlining MSSNY’s opposition to the criminalization of good faith errors in medical judgment and record keeping.  The Council approved a resolution to the AMA which was adopted and amended AMA policy H-160.954 to read:  (1) Our AMA continues to take all reasonable and necessary steps to insure that errors in medical decision-making and medical records documentation, exercised in good faith, does not become a violation of criminal law. (2) Henceforth our AMA opposes any future legislation which gives the federal government the responsibility to define appropriate medical practice and regulate such practice through the use of criminal penalties.  (Council 4/14/13)

80.992             Proposal for a “Two-Tier” Pain and Suffering System in Medical Liability Cases:

MSSNY will seek legislation creating a two-tier pain and suffering award system for medical liability cases whereby

  1. the jury’s award for pain and suffering would be capped at $250,000;
  2. if the plaintiff’s attorney considered the award insufficient, he/she would be permitted to file a motion with the judge for a post-verdict modification;
  3. the judge would be permitted, in the interests of justice, to adjust all aspects of the award, including pain and suffering; and
  4. the judge’s decision regarding any pain and suffering award would not be limited to the $250,000 cap. (HOD 2010-63)

80.993             Collaboration with the Bar Association on Apology Legislation

MSSNY will:

-support collaborative efforts with the American Bar Association (ABA) and the New York Bar Association to pursue legislation to protect statements of apology, confessions of regret, or admission of errors to patients and/or their families regarding less than anticipated clinical outcomes from being admissible as admission of liability;

-ask the American Medical Association to support collaborative efforts with the American Bar Association and its affiliates to pursue legislation to protect statements of apology, confessions of regret, or admission of errors to patients and their families regarding less than anticipated clinical outcomes from being admissible as admission of liability;

-utilize this collaboration and the American Bar Association policy that supports enactment of apology legislation to facilitate movement toward medical liability reform.   (HOD 2009-55) 

80.994             Expungement of Record of Liability:

MSSNY will seek legislative, regulatory or other appropriate means to eliminate the requirement for a physician to report any information regarding a medical liability claim brought against him or her that has been concluded without monetary or other pecuniary relief being paid on behalf of that physician.  (Council 11/20/08)

80.995             Support the “Sorry Works” Program:

MSSNY supports the “Sorry Works” Program which also protects against the use of the physician’s admission against interest in a subsequent lawsuit as long as it is accompanied with meaningful tort reform and also urge the American Medical Association to support the Program.  (HOD 2008-97)

80.996             Bifurcation of Trial:

MSSNY will seek legislation to require bifurcation of trial in all medical liability cases.  (HOD 2007-53; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

80.997             Use of Expert Testimony

MSSNY continues to advocate for meaningful reform regarding the use of expert testimony, including but not limited to:  (1) requiring pre-trial disclosure of the identity of experts; (2) requiring the deposing of experts; (3) requirements that experts have a similar specialty, clinical background, and be in active practice similar to that of the physician whose care is the subject of the action; or (4) through the establishment of programs where expert testimony can be pre-approved by appropriate medical experts.  (HOD 2007-52; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

80.998             Medical Courts for Medical Liability Cases

MSSNY seeks the creation of medical courts which are composed of judges who have undergone specialty training and have been certified to hear medical liability cases.  (HOD 2007-51; Reaffirmed HOD 2010-64)

80.999             Professional Conduct Review

The basic principles of a fair and objective hearing should be accorded to the physician whose professional conduct is being reviewed. These basic guarantees are: a specific charge, adequate notice of hearing, and opportunity to be present and to hear the evidence, and to present a defense.  These principles apply whether the hearing body is a medical society tribunal or a hospital committee composed of physicians.  (Council 12/16/76; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)


85.000             EDUCATION: (See also Emergency Care, 87.000; Managed Care, 165.000; Tobacco Use                                 and Smoking, 300.000; Vaccines, 312.000; Weight Management & Promotion of Healthy                           Lifestyles, 320.000)

85.953             Expanding GME Concurrently With UME

MSSNY will support the expansion of residency slots with a view to the current and future needs of the United States population, and bring a resolution to this effect to the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.  (HOD 2016-208)

85.954            Educating Physicians and Students on the Identification and Care of
                         Human Trafficking Victims

MSSNY will publicize the availability of existing screening tools to assist in the identification of victims of human trafficking, and make them available through linkage on the Society’s website.  MSSNY will also work with all appropriate specialty societies to increase human trafficking awareness among medical students and physicians. (HOD 2015-205)

85.955             MSSNY to Endorse the “Choosing Wisely” Program

The Medical Society of the State of New York endorses the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Choosing Wisely program and the New York delegation to the American Medical Association will encourage the AMA to consider endorsing the ABIM’s Choosing Wisely program.  (HOD 2014-205)

85.956:            Life-Sustaining Treatment in the Developmentally Disabled with
                          Severe 
Dementia

MSSNY requests that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) study the problems physicians and surrogates face when seeking the required permission from the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Mental Hygiene Legal Service (MHLS) to withdraw or withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation and life-sustaining treatment in people with developmental disabilities who develop severe dementia. The DOH should educate the agencies (OPWDD, MHLS, and Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQC)) that make healthcare decisions for this population on the implications of severe dementia in people with developmental disabilities, as well as the futility and burden of care created for these patients by cardiopulmonary resuscitation and life-sustaining treatments such as long term artificial hydration and nutrition. MSSNY should work with the AMA and DOH to establish guidelines that define terminal dementia and give guidance for its diagnosis in the developmentally disabled.  (HOD 2013-259) 

85.957:            Protecting Biomedical Research

MSSNY supports legislation to further protect all participants in bio-medical research from violence, harassment, and cyberstalking from protesters (HOD 2013-70) 

85.958             First Do No Harm-Initiative to Improve Mistreatment Transparency
                          of
 Medical Students, Residents And Fellows

The Medical Society of the State of New York is very concerned about mistreatment of medical students, residents, and fellows; defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges in its Graduate Questionnaire of 2001 as behavior that “shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process.  It can take the form of physical punishment, sexual harassment, psychological cruelty, and discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age or sexual orientation.”

The Medical Society of the State of New York will request that the AMA Council on Medical Education produce a report in which the ACGME, LCME, and Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) accredited institutions and residency and fellowship training programs be invited to participate in a “First Do No Harm Initiative” by voluntarily disclosing to the Council recent internal records containing, but not limited to, anonymous individual institutional annual rate of formally and informally reported mistreatment, which may be reported  by department and by course/rotation, including mechanisms for reporting and efforts at transparency; and that the AMA Council on Medical Education report back to the Interim 2013 AMA House of Delegates.  (HOD 2012-164, amended & adopted by Council 11/29/12) 

85.959             Increasing Funding for Graduate Medical Education

MSSNY will:

  • encourage both public and private payers to contribute to Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding, through, for example, expansion of government grant opportunities similar to the Primary Care Residency Expansion Program;
  • encourage adjusting GME funding to account for the need of an expanded workforce;
  • advocate for transparency in the funding of residency programs and for how those programs in turn use allotted funding;

4)         urge the American Medical Association to work toward the removal of caps on the number of Medicare funded residency programs and physicians therein.  (HOD 2011-166)

85.960             Securing Quality Clinical Education Sites for US-Accredited Schools

MSSNY will support preference being given to students from LCME/COCA accredited medical schools over international and dual campus students for clinical clerkship rotations in hospital or affiliated clinics.  (HOD 2011-165)

85.961              AMA Encouragement of State Medical Societies to Form Committees
                          to 
Eliminate Health Care Disparities

MSSNY’s Delegation to the American Medical Association will introduce a resolution at its next meeting requesting that the AMA (1) urge that the state medical societies that are not yet members of the AMA Commission to Eliminate Health Care Disparities join and participate in this important public health initiative and (2) strongly encourage all state medical societies to form a Standing Committee to Eliminate Health Care Disparities and that those committees share ideas and work together as a coalition.  (HOD 2011-163)

85.962             Specialty Exams

MSSNY will request of the American Medical Association that:

(1) it recommend to the American Board of Specialties that a physician in private practice be required to take only one proctored board exam within that physician’s specialty every ten years, and that within the maintenance of certification at the same exam other optional sections should be devoted to the added qualifications; and

(2) it request that its component specialty societies restrain from dividing every aspect of their specialist physician practice into numerous added qualification exams and that, whenever possible, alternate methods be sought to ensure adequate qualifications and make the process less onerous for physicians in private practice.  (HOD 2011-115; Reaffirmed in lieu of HOD 2017-205)

85.963             Promotion of Financial Aid Opportunities for New York Medical Students:

MSSNY will:  (a) advocate for the expansion of the Doctors Across New York Physician Loan Repayment Program by increasing the number of available positions, and directing any unused funds in the Loan Repayment Program toward the Practice Support Program; (b) support the development of State funded loan forgiveness and repayment programs for physicians; and (3) advocate for the development of scholarships and/or grants for medical students who plan to work in the state.  (HOD 2011-108)

85.964             Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease:

Through its website and numerous publications, MSSNY will educate the public and physicians about the emerging entity, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), its link to Metabolic Syndrome, the possible dire consequences which may lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and that this disease is preventable by lifestyle changes, including proper diet, diabetes prevention and control and weight loss.  (HOD 2010-156)

85.965             Use of Prefilled Insulin Syringes:

MSSNY will create and highlight, through its various news outlets and website, educational articles for physicians and patients on the safe use of pre-filled insulin syringes and storage of these devices.  (HOD 2010-155)

85.966             Use of Waiting Room Educational DVDs:

MSSNY will assist in the distribution of available educational videos to members, as needed, on appropriate topics (i.e. medical liability reform) for use in physicians’ waiting rooms and also collaborate with the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC) and other entities, as appropriate, to produce and make available, at no cost to MSSNY, educational videos to be shown to patients on topics determined by MSSNY.  (HOD 2010-154)

85.967             The Importance of the Theory of Evolution in Science Education:

MSSNY endorses the teaching of the theory of evolution as an integral part of science curriculum throughout the continuum of the educational experience and will forward a resolution to the American Medical Association House of Delegates on this subject.  (HOD 2009-165)

85.968             Reform the Methodology for Calculating Direct Graduate Medical Education Payments:

MSSNY will urge that (1) the current methodology for calculating direct Graduate Medical Education (GME) payments be updated to reflect the actual costs that a hospital incurs for training residents, rather than a hospital-specific per resident amount determined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) for all teaching hospitals; (2) caps on Medicare’s support for GME residency positions be eliminated which would enable teaching hospitals to cover their costs and subsequently train more physicians.  Also, MSSNY to introduce a similar resolutions at the American Medical Association’s June 2009 Annual Meeting.  (HOD 2009-153)

85.969             Increasing Matriculation of Medical Students:

MSSNY will seek either legislation or regulation to provide financial support for increasing the number of medical students, provided that such expansion would not jeopardize the quality of medical education in New York State.  (HOD 2008-102)

85.970             Physician Education to Address Malpractice Insurance Crisis:

All physicians in the State of New York will be urged to participate in a series of malpractice educational seminars in their respective communities.  The urgency for such an educational program, to highlight the malpractice crisis and the prospective loss of available medical care, will be communicated to the general public via the media with citizens being directed to demand action by their State legislators for medical liability tort reform.  (HOD 2008-99)

85.971             Health Promotion Visits:
                       (Sunset HOD 2017)

85.972             Broad-based Education Campaign for New Yorkers on the
                         Medical 
Liability Crisis:
                       (Sunset HOD 2017)

85.973          Medical School and Graduate Medical Education:

That MSSNY work with the Associated Medical Schools of New York, to develop a program that would encompass: 1) Recruitment of interested community-based physicians to serve as preceptors/mentors for undergraduate medical students assigned to ambulatory clinical learning experiences; 2) Training for the role of preceptor/mentor for such volunteers, with appropriate CME credits for the training; 3) Appointment to the clinical faculty rolls of a medical school for such volunteers, who satisfy agreed-upon standards of performance as preceptors/mentors; 4) Assignment of medical students to the practice offices of such volunteer physicians for purposes of ambulatory clinical learning experiences, with appropriate access to the patients of the practice for educational purposes; and 5) Evaluation at intervals of the experiences of the students and the community-based physicians to determine the effectiveness of the program.  (Council 6/22/06; Reaffirmed HOD 2016)

85.974           Need to Expose and Counter Nurse Doctoral Programs (NDP) Misrepresentation:

 Institutions offering advanced education in the healing arts and professions shall fully and accurately inform applicants and students of the educational programs and degrees offered by an institution and the limitations, if any, on the scope of practice under applicable state law for which the program prepares the student; that MSSNY work jointly with the State Education Department to identify and prosecute those individuals who misrepresent themselves as physicians to their patients and mislead program applicants as to their future scope of practice; and that MSSNY encourage hospital staff organizations, to counter misrepresentation by Nurse Doctoral Programs and their students and graduates, particularly in clinical settings.  (HOD 2006-91; Reaffirmed HOD 2016)

85.975             Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS)

That the Medical Society of the State of New York supports beginning the process, by the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS), of compiling documents needed for medical licensure of International Medical Graduates, after 2 ½ years of medical residency, upon receiving certification by the Residency Program Director that the IMG will be competent to be licensed, pending satisfactory completion of the final 6 months of training; and that one month before the end of the Residency Program, FCVS send all necessary documentation for licensure of an International Medical Graduate to the New York State Education Department in order that the license be ready immediately upon the completion of the 3 year Residency Program. (Council 1/26/06; Reaffirmed HOD 2016)

85.976             Task Force to Eliminate Ethnic and Racial Health Care  Disparities Recommendations:
                        SUNSET HOD 2015

85.977             Oppose Tuition Increase for Medical Students:

MSSNY develop policy and take action to oppose any proposed legislation that would require students and graduates of the State University of New York (SUNY) medical schools to agree to practice in a particular locale as a condition of matriculating or paying New York State resident tuition.  (HOD 2005-68; Reaffirmed HOD 2015)

85.978             Preventing Excessive and Retroactive Tuition Increases:

That MSSNY and the Medical Student Section officially oppose implementation of retroactive tuition increases, that MSSNY encourage all medical schools in New York State to implement a “truth-in-tuition” policy, that would freeze the tuition charged for the four years, at the same amount a student was charged at the time of enrollment into medical school (with adjustments made for increases in the Consumer Price Index) to allow students to do financial and career choice planning, and that the MSSNY encourage all medical schools in New York State to implement a “timely disclosure” policy that discloses the tuition for the schools, prior to May 15, so that students can have this information before choosing which medical school to attend.  (Council 11/4/04; Reaffirmed HOD 2005-68; Reaffirmed HOD 2015)

85.979             Academic Medical Centers Resident/Fellow Recruitment:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

85.980            Nutrition, Physical Activity and Weight Management Curriculum in Medical Schools

MSSNY encourages all New York State medical schools to develop a nutrition, physical activity and weight management curriculum at both the basic science level and the clinical level;  (2) that MSSNY also encourage New York State medical schools to integrate nutrition and physical activity education into their residency programs and encourage the development of bariatric medicine fellowship programs.  (HOD 2004-161; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.981             State Mandated Training Programs:
SUNSET HOD 2013

85.982             Resident Work Hours:
SUNSET HOD 2013

85.983             Registration of MSSNY CME Credits:

MSSNY will enter continuing medical education (CME) information into the MSSNY database for its members who have taken a MSSNY CME course thereby allowing the physician to have his/her CME information available. (HOD 2002-167; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

85.984             Impact of Changes to Section 405 of Title 10 of the New York Code
                          of 
Rules and Regulations:
Sunset HOD 2011

85.985             Full Reimbursement for Training Costs of PGY V and VI of Child Psychiatry Training:

It is MSSNY’s policy that there should be full reimbursement for training costs of PGY V and VI years of child psychiatric training.  (HOD 2001-74; Reaffirmed HOD 2011)

85.986             Funding for Graduate Medical Education:
                        Rescinded HOD 2011-166; Replaced by 85.959

85.987             Adjusting Medical School Curricula:
SUNSET HOD 2014

85.988             Placement of Resident Physicians From Disbanded Residency raining Programs:

MSSNY reaffirms its support for AMA Policy H-310.943 on closing residency programs to strongly encourage residency programs to offer placement of their resident physicians in comparable positions before disbanding a training program.  (Council 3/19/98; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.989             Advocacy Policy to Increase Number of Minority Physicians:

MSSNY recognizes the threat to minority physician training incident to downsizing of training programs in the state; and will work with other organizations, including physician organizations and government toward maintaining and increasing relative numbers of minority physicians.  (HOD 1998-160; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.990             The HCFA Demonstration Project’s Potential for Abuse:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

85.991             Preservation of Opportunities for US Graduates and
                         IMGs 
Already Legally Present in This Country:

In the event of reductions in the resident workforce in the State of New York, the Medical Society of the State of New York will advocate for a mechanism of resident selection which promotes the maintenance of resident physician training opportunities for all qualified graduates of United States Liaison Committee on Medical Education and American Osteopathic Association accredited institutions.

MSSNY adopts and will publicize the position that if hospitals reduce the number of residency positions they offer, MSSNY will continue to advocate for equal consideration in the candidate selection process of IMGs who are already legally present in this country.

MSSNY will ask the AMA to urge the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to reduce the number of examinations it offers abroad, in the light of decreased availability of residency position; and make it clear to graduates of international medical schools that the opportunity for residency training and practice in the United States are becoming extremely limited.

This information should be included in the initial application materials given to the candidates prior to the examination.  (HOD 1997-228; Reaffirmed Council 3/19/98; Reaffirmed HOD 2014 with recommendation for development of more relevant policy)

85.992             Residents’ Ability to Write Restraint Orders:
SUNSET HOD 2014

85.993             Opposition to Medical Resident Education Fee:

MSSNY will continue to strongly oppose any legislation that includes an annual fee for medical residents.  The Division of Governmental Affairs of MSSNY will continue to strongly oppose any New York State budget that includes an annual fee for medical residents; and will report to the MSSNY-RPS any further action attempted by the State of New York regarding this issue as soon as possible.  (HOD 1997-86; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.994             Hepatitis Vaccinations for all Medical Students:

MSSNY supports efforts to require all medical students to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B unless they have already been vaccinated; and will also require everyone entering a US residency training program to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B if they have not yet received vaccination.  (Council 3/27/97; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.995             Infection Control Course, Mandated:

MSSNY will seek legislation to eliminate the statutory requirement that physicians complete course work or training in infection control practices every four years.  (HOD 1995-67; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.996             Funding for Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

85.997             Animals in Biomedical Research:

MSSNY supports the humane use of animals in biomedical research and advocates support of regulatory policies to protect animals from unnecessary uses in biomedical research.  (HOD 91-49; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

85.998             Graduate Medical Education:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

85.999             Manpower Assistance for Medical Students

MSSNY supports the concept of continuing some form of federal manpower financial assistance and support, including general institutional grants, special project grants for medical schools and the continuation of the National Health Service Corps and other support mechanisms such as long term, low interest loans for medical students.  (Council 6/26/80; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)


87.000         EMERGENCY CARE: (See also Drug Dispensing, 70.000; Managed Care, 165.000;                                           Medicaid, 175.000; Reimbursement, 265.000)

87.991          Support Three-Tiered System of Stroke Centers in New York State

The Medical Society of the State of New York supports development of a comprehensive stroke system within New York State as well as the development of either statewide or regional stroke protocols for New York State’s emergency medical service (EMS) agencies.  (Adopted Council, June 2, 2016)

87.992:        ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction

MSSNY supports efforts by the New York State Emergency Medical Advisory Committee and the Department of Health Bureau of EMS to encourage the adoption of protocols by the regional emergency advisory councils to transfer suspected STEMI patients, when feasible, directly to a PCI capable facility. (HOD 2013-162) 

87.993          Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injuries in Youth

MSSNY to advocate for the immediate removal from play/practice of any youth suspected of having a concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and also that any youth suspected of sustaining a concussion or traumatic brain injury need written approval by a physician before they can return to play or practice.  In addition, MSSNY will promote adoption of this policy within school settings and organized youth sports programs and support educational efforts to improve understanding of concussion and traumatic brain injuries in youth among coaches, trainers, athletes, school officials, parents and legal guardians.  (HOD 2011-153; Reaffirmed HOD 2014-151)

87.994             CPR Training as a High School Requirement

MSSNY to advocate for legislation requiring that high school students attend a training course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED), using the course guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  (HOD 2011-152)

87.995             Government Funding of Care Given by US Healthcare Providers to Haitian Evacuees

MSSNY to urge the American Medical Association to encourage the US government to cover the costs of the medical care required by Haitian medical evacuees receiving care in the US.  (HOD 2010-264)

87.996             Emergency Care Data Collection:

MSSNY to collaborate with the Department of Health and the American College of Emergency Physicians-New York Chapter to determine what data should be collected in Emergency Departments to address the problems of Emergency Department overcrowding, gridlock and diversion and be used for the strategic planning of the health care needs of communities.  (HOD 2008-110)

87.997             New York State Parking Placard for Physicians on Medical Call:

MSSNY and county medical societies to work with New York State and local agencies in designing and implementing a dashboard parking placard, similar to those used by police and Boards of Education, to function in lieu of MD plates for member physicians for parking in restricted areas in the course of rendering medical care.  (HOD 2007-158; Reaffirmed HOD 2017)

87.998             Automated External Defibrillators:
                        SUNSET HOD 2015

87.999             Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training

MSSNY support the training of private citizens in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation to enable them to assist others within their community.  (HOD 2005-152; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2015)


90.000            ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH:

90.988             Ban the Use of Paraquat

MSSNY supports state legislation to permanently ban the use of Paraquat in all forms in New York State and will transmit a copy of this resolution to the AMA for its consideration at its annual House of Delegates.  (HOD 2017-153)

90.989             Banning the Use of Gasoline Powered Leaf Blowers

The Medical Society of the State of New York will call upon the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the manufacturers of gas leaf blowers to develop guidelines that would dramatically reduce the toxic emissions and noise level of gas leaf blowers.  MSSNY will also encourage New York State and other governmental entities to promote the use of non-polluting alternatives to gas leaf blowers.

A copy of this resolution will be transmitted to the American Medical Association for consideration at its House of Delegates. (HOD 2016-152)


90.990            Smoke Free Residential Housing

MSSNY shall encourage those health care institutions that provide employee housing to make such housing smoke free to the extent allowed by applicable local laws. (HOD 2015-202)

90.991             Public Health Implications of Natural Gas Extraction using Hydraulic                   Fracturing

The Medical Society of the State of New York will support the planning and implementation of a Health Impact Assessment to be conducted by a New York State School of Public Health; advocate for the establishment of an industry-funded, independently-arbitrated state trust fund for people that may be harmed as a result of hydraulic fracturing; and oppose any non-disclosure provisions related to the practice of hydraulic fracturing that interfere with any aspect of the patient-doctor relationship and/or the ready collection of epidemiological data for future health impact studies. (HOD 2013-171)

90.992          High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale Area

MSSNY supports a moratorium of natural gas extraction using high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until valid scientific information is available to evaluate the process for its potential effects on human health and the environment. (Council 12/9/10; Reaffirmed HOD 2013-171)

90.993             Latex Gloves:

MSSNY supporst legislation to ban the commercial use of latex gloves in New York State.  (HOD 2010-152)

90.994          Global Climate Change and Public Health Implications:

MSSNY agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) position that global climate change is occurring and that there exists the potential for abrupt climate change resulting in significant public health consequences.

Also, MSSNY will continue to explore low-cost opportunities to address this matter, such as:  (a) sessions at educational conferences and the development of a policy position statement as well as other modes of communicating this issue to the MSSNY membership; (b) inviting qualified members to serve where appropriate on workgroups, coalitions and committees to advance climate change research, interventions, policies and legislation that are consistent with MSSNY’s mission and objectives; and (c) supporting policies and legislation that address measures to prevent or mitigate public health effects of climate change.  (HOD 2008-151)

90.995             Safe Disposal of Toxic Materials in Consumer Products:

MSSNY will seek clearer and more effective laws regarding the disposal of consumer products containing toxic substances sold in New York State to effectively deal with the future public health and financial impacts.  (HOD 2008-166)

90.996             PCB Contamination of the Hudson River:

MSSNY supports the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations for remediation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination of the Hudson River.(Council 3/19/01; Reaffirmed and Modified HOD 2011)

90.997             Polystyrene and Polyvinyl Chloride Products for Packaging

MSSNY opposes the use of polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride products for all retail food packaging in New York State.  (HOD 1989-40; Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

90.998             Toxic/Hazardous Substances:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

90.999             Radioactive Waste, Disposal of Low Level

MSSNY supports low-level radioactive waste disposal providing it contains the following principles:    (1) A disposal site must be promptly identified;  (2) Low level wastes should be segregated from high level wastes;  (3) Long term monitoring of such disposal must be included  (4) The costs of such disposal must be borne by those disposing of the wastes;  (5) The environment and the health, safety and welfare of those inhabiting nearby areas must be protected.  (HOD 1985; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2013)


95.000        ETHICS:

95.967        Truth in Advertising with Regard to Board Certification

The Medical Society of the State of New York will support legislative and regulatory efforts to require that a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine may not hold oneself out to the public in any manner as being “certified” by a public or private board including, but not limited to a multidisciplinary board, or “board certified,” unless all of the following criteria are satisfied:

  1. The advertisement states the full name of the certifying board.
  2. The certification is accurate, current and in good standing.
  3. The certifying board either:

i. Is a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA); or

ii.Is an organization that requires successful completion of a postgraduate training program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the AOA that provides complete training in the specialty or subspecialty certified, followed by prerequisite certification by
the ABMS or AOA board for that training field and further successful completion of examination in the specialty or subspecialty certified.

iii.The organization must have written proof of a determination by the Internal Revenue Service that the certifying board is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code pursuant to Section 501(c)

  1. The terms “board eligible”, “board qualified”, or any similar words or phrase calculated to convey the same meaning may not be used in physician advertising.
  1. A physician who is not board certified by, or a member, fellow, or diplomate of an organization that meets the above requirements in section (3) may not advertise a field of interest, except that the physician may advertise that his or her practice is “limited to” a certain area of practice.  (HOD 2017-55)

95.968             AMA Policy on American Health Care Act

MSSNY will call on the AMA to engage in negotiations with the current leadership of the United States in crafting healthcare policy that is in keeping with MSSNY and AMA values.  This resolution shall be sent to the AMA Annual 2017 meeting.  (HOD 2017-214)

95.969             Healthcare is a Fundamental Human Good

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) will help advance the health and well-being of patients, including their access to medical care; MSSNY will reaffirm its commitment to removing barriers to healthcare; and MSSNY will publicly state that healthcare is a fundamental human good. (HOD 2017-208)

95.970             Increasing Organ Donation

The Medical Society of the State of New York will support educational efforts by the New York State Department of Health to promote organ donation.

MSSNY will support laws and corporate policies allowing employees to use paid sick time to become living organ donors.  (HOD 2015-168)

95.971             A More Ethical Legislature and Advancing Medicine’s Agenda

The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) will advocate for legislation and regulation to promote improved ethics and transparency in the state legislature including but not limited to:

  • Measures that would sensibly limit all campaign contributions.
  • Measures that would restrict the campaign contributions made by law firms of which a legislator is a member, to that legislator only,
  • Measures to promote greater transparency and accountability with regard to the lawmakers’ professional activities outside the legislature.

MSSNY will pursue collaboration with health care stakeholders as well as key affinity groups to promote legislative accountability by means of

  • Limiting campaign financing,
  • Improved transparency and accountability, and
  • Limiting the outside impact of the relationship between lawmakers and the legal profession, in order to promote unity and more effective advocacy particularly as it relates to medical liability reform. (HOD 2012-112)

95.972             Organ Donation:

 MSSNY will:  (1) support efforts to increase education to New York State residents about organ donation; (2) promote physicians’ awareness of the need to discuss organ donation with their patients; and (3) continue its support of the New York State Department of Health’s Organ Donation Registry as a means of increasing organ donation in the state.  (HOD 2010-157 referred and adopted Council 1/20/11)

95.973             Physician Involvement in Interrogation and in Torture:

The following definitions are for purposes of this statement:

Torture is defined as the intentional infliction of physical or mental harm for the purpose of gathering information, or to secure control or cooperation of a detainee, or for disciplinary or retaliatory purposes.

Interrogation is defined as questioning related to law enforcement or to military and national security intelligence gathering, designed to prevent harm or danger to individuals, the public or national security.  Interrogations are distinct from questioning used by physicians to assess the physical or mental condition of an individual.

Coercive is defined as threatening to cause harm through physical injury or mental suffering.

Detainee is defined as a criminal suspect, prisoner of war, enemy combatant, or any other individual who is being held involuntarily.

Physicians who engage in any activity that relies on their medical knowledge and skills, regardless of jurisdiction or location, must continue to uphold principles of medical ethics.  Physicians must not engage, directly or indirectly, in torture or in interrogations.  Questions about the propriety of physician participation in interrogations and in the development of interrogation strategies may be addressed by balancing obligations to individuals with obligations to protect the public interest, e.g. from terrorist attack.  Precedent for this may be found in public health ethics in which physicians’ expertise inform guidelines, policies, and procedure that lead to the imposition of relatively minor hardships on individuals for public welfare.  However, when a physician is directly and clinically involved with an individual, the physician’s obligations to the individual take precedent over public interests.

Physician involvement with interrogations during law enforcement or intelligence gathering should be guided by the following:

(1) Physicians must not directly or indirectly participate in torture or in the development of techniques of torture.

(2) Physicians may perform physical and mental assessments of detainees to determine the need for and to provide medical care.  When so doing, physicians must disclose to the detainee the extent to which others has access to information included in medical record.  Treatment must never be conditional on a patient’s participation in an interrogation.

(3) Physicians must neither conduct nor directly participate in an interrogation, because a role as physician-interrogator undermines the physician’s role as healer and thereby erodes trust in the individual physician-interrogator and in the medical profession.

(4) Physicians must not monitor an interrogation with the intention of intervening in the interrogation, because this constitutes direct participation in interrogation.

(5) Physicians may participate in developing effective interrogation strategies for general training purposes.  These strategies must be humane, respect the rights of individuals, and must not be coercive, for example, threaten or cause physical injury or mental suffering.

(6) When a physician has sound reason to believe that an interrogation constitutes torture, he or she must report this concern to the appropriate authorities.  If the authorities are aware of the inappropriate interrogation but have not intervened to either stop the interrogation or prevent further inappropriate interrogations, physicians are ethically obligated to report such interrogations to independent authorities that have the power to investigate and/or adjudicate such allegations.  (Council 11/19/09; Reaffirmed HOD 2015-167)

95.974             Discourage Gifts from Pharmaceutical and Device Companies:

MSSNY will affirm its support for American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) Opinion No. 8.061 and disseminate this opinion to the membership so that it guides them in their contacts with industry.  (HOD 2009-203)

95.975             Politics Should Not Over Rule FDA Scientific Findings:
(Sunset HOD 2016)

95.976             No Place for Vicarious Liability:

MSSNY seeks legislation, regulation or other appropriate means to assure that settlements or judgments vicarious in nature, as determined by the liability carrier, NOT be posted, listed or utilized by the Department of Health for any physician public Website profile.  (HOD 2006-62; Reaffirmed HOD 2016)

95.977             Health Care Proxies:

MSSNY urges all physicians to complete their own Health Care Proxies and encourage their families and their patients to do the same.(Council 3/14/05; Reaffirmed HOD 2015)

95.978             Moratorium on Capital Punishment:
Sunset HOD 2011

95.979             Testimony in Professional Liability Cases:

MSSNY takes the position that a physician who provides expert medical testimony in bad faith and/or who provides expert medical testimony that has no recognized scientific validity, is guilty of professional misconduct, and should be reported to the appropriate Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

MSSNY shall encourage all national specialty organizations to enact rules and disciplinary methods, utilizing the American Association of Neurological Surgeons as a model, to promote fair and honest expert testimony.  (HOD 2000-82; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

95.980             Use of Percentage-of-Fee Based Compensation Arrangements:

The Medical Society reaffirms its support for the underlying principle that a physician’s dedication to providing competent medical service for his or her patient is paramount.  Moreover, we also support the opinion that the physician’s control over clinical decision-making must remain unencumbered and independent from non-clinical influence.  The Medical Society recognizes that the continuation of the corporate practice of medicine doctrine’s prohibition against an unlicensed person or entity’s influence in the practice of medicine is necessary to uphold these principles and to protect against potential abuses and fraudulent activityPhysicians must remain knowledgeable of and in control of the business aspects of their practice and should not relinquish such authority to non-physician business entities.  In our opinion, the following “business” decisions and activities involving control over the physician’s individual practice of medicine should be made by a physician and not by a non-physician or entity:

  • ownership and control of a patient’s medical records, including determining the contents thereof;
  • selection (hiring/firing as it relates to clinical competency or proficiency) of professional, physician extender and allied health staff;
  • set the parameters under which the physician will enter into contractual relationships with third party payors
  • decisions regarding coding and billing procedures for patient care services; and
  • approval of the selection of medical equipment.

Moreover, the following health care decisions should be made by a physician only and would constitute the unlicensed practice of medicine if performed by an unlicensed person:

  • determining what diagnostic tests are appropriate for a particular condition;
  • determining the need for referrals to or consultation with another physician/specialist;

responsibility for the ultimate over-all care of the patient including treatment options available to the patient; and

  • determining how much attention to devote to address a patient’s needs.

As a result of the foregoing, the Medical Society supports the continuation of the corporate practice of medicine doctrine.

Additional information on this position is on file at MSSNY Headquarters, Office of the Executive Vice-President, ext. 397, E-mail:  pschuh@mssny.org.  This information addresses the following topics:

1) Use of credit cards to pay medical bills (percentage commission to bank or credit card company).

2) Use of collection agencies for a percentage of the medical fee collected.

3) Use of a practice management company on a percentage-of-fee basis, under any circumstances, including practice enhancement or marketing of the practice.

4) Use of a practice management company on a percentage-of-fee basis for non-clinical services where no patient referral or practice enhancement is involved, compared with use of “fair market value” as the basis for determining charges and maintaining the same restrictions.

5) Use of a billing service on a percentage-of- fee basis, compared to charges based on “fair market value,” with periodic negotiation of the charges. What would be the effect of not permitting certain activities, such as referral of patients by the billing company to the practice?

6) Leasing/renting space, services or equipment to a physician (by another physician, for example) on a percentage-of-fee basis without restriction, compared to a situation where cost of the lease/rent is based on fair market value and there are restrictions, such as not allowing cross-referrals between the landlord and tenant physicians.

7) Sale of a practice for a percentage of future income by the widow(er) of a physician, or by him or herself, without restriction, compared to a sale where the seller severs all connections with the practice, including referrals.

8) Accepting or paying a fee for a patient referral to or from any source.

9) Receiving payment in return for ordering lab tests, prescription drugs, medical appliances etc.  (Council 3/18/99; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

95.981             Cloning:

It is the policy of MSSNY that there should be a moratorium by the medical and research communities on cloning a human being.  Congress should permit human, animal or cellular cloning related research that is not directed at producing a human being.  (Council 5/21/98; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

95.982             Gerald Einaugler, MD Full Pardon by Governor Pataki:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

95.983             Physician-Assisted Suicide
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

95.984             Health Care Proxy Identifier:
SUNSET HOD 2014

95.985             Physician Participation in Capital Punishment

MSSNY has adopted the following policy statement relative to Physician Participation in Capital Punishment:

(1) An individual’s opinion on capital punishment is the personal moral decision of the individual. A physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life, when there is hope of doing so, should not be a participant in a state execution. “Physician participation in execution” is defined generally as actions which would fall into one or more of the following categories: (a) An action which could automatically cause an execution to be carried out on a condemned prisoner; (b) An action which would assist, supervise, or contribute to the ability of another individual to directly cause the death of the condemned; (c) An action which could automatically cause an execution to be carried out on a condemned prisoner.

(2) Physician participation in an execution includes but is no limited to the following actions: prescribing or administering tranquilizers and other psychotropic agents and medications which are part of the execution procedure; monitoring vital signs on site or remotely (including monitoring electrocardiograms); attending or observing an execution as a physician; and rendering of technical advice regarding execution.

(3) In the case where the method of execution is lethal injection the following actions by the physicians would also constitute physician participation in execution: selecting injection sites; starting intravenous lines as a port for a lethal injection device; prescribing, preparing, administering, or supervising injection drugs or their doses or types; inspecting, testing, or maintaining lethal injection devices; consulting with or supervising lethal injection personnel.  (4) The following actions do not constitute physician participation in execution:

(a)  Testifying as to competence to stand trial testifying as to relevant medical evidence during trial, or testifying as to medical aspects of aggravating or mitigating circumstances during the penalty phase of a capital case; (b)  Certifying death provided that the condemned has been declared dead by another person;  (c)  Witnessing an execution in a totally non-professional capacity; (d)  Witnessing an execution at the specific voluntary request of the condemned person, providing that the physician observes the execution in a non-physician capacity and takes no action which would constitute physician participation in an execution; and (e)  Relieving the acute suffering of a condemned person while awaiting execution, including providing tranquilizers at the specific voluntary request of the condemned person to relieve pain or anxiety in anticipation of the execution.  (HOD 1995-71; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014)

95.986             DNR Within New York State Correctional Facilities:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

95.987             Expert Medical Witness – Ethical Guidelines of MSSNY Members

MSSNY declares as an “Ethical Consideration” that physicians should aspire to the following objectives in providing expert medical testimony: (1) In order to have the requisite skill, knowledge and expertise to offer expert medical testimony, medical experts should devote the greater part of their professional activities to practicing their specialties rather that testifying in litigation cases;  (2) That when medical experts do offer testimony in litigation cases, their testimony should be objective, represent generally accepted facts reflecting the consensus of the scientific community, consist of verifiable scientific truths and be limited to testimony in his/her sphere of professional medical expertise.

MSSNY defines an “Ethical Consideration” as a principle intended to be aspirational in character and which represents objectives toward which every member of the profession should strive.  An Ethical Consideration is intended to provide principles upon which a physician can rely for guidance in specific situations.  Being aspirational in character, while every member of the profession should strive toward the attainment of the objective, the failure to attain the objectives of the Ethical Consideration does not subject the individual to disciplinary action.  MSSNY will seek appropriate legislation that would require individuals to satisfy the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 above in order to be qualified to provide expert medical testimony.  (Council 9/22/94; Reaffirmed HOD 2000-82; Reaffirmed HOD 2014)

95.988             Ownership of Medical Facilities and Self-Referral:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

95.989             Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia:

MSSNY affirms as its policy:

Patients, with terminal illness, uncommonly approach their physicians for assistance in dying including assisted suicide and euthanasia. Their motivations are most often concerns of loss of autonomy, concerns of loss of dignity, and physical symptoms which are refractory and distressing. Despite shifts in favor of physician-assisted suicide as evidenced by its legality in an increasing number of states, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia have not been part of the normative practice of modern medicine.

Compelling arguments have not been made for medicine to change its footing and to incorporate the active shortening of life into the norms of medical practice. Although relief of suffering has always been a fundamental duty in medical practice, relief of suffering through shortening of life has not. Moreover, the social and societal implications of such a fundamental change cannot be fully contemplated.

MSSNY supports all appropriate efforts to promote patient autonomy, promote patient dignity, and to relieve suffering associated with severe and advanced diseases. Physicians should not perform euthanasia or participate in assisted suicide.

(Council 5/14/92; Reaffirmed HOD 1995-80; Modified and reaffirmed HOD 2014; Replaced by HOD 2015-162)

95.990             Futile Cardio-Pulmonary (CPR) Resuscitation Therapy:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

95.991             Gender Disparities in Medical Care and Research:
                       SUNSET HOD 2014

95.992             Capital Punishment – Physician Participation:
                        SUNSET HOD 2014

95.993             Advance Directives[1]:

MSSNY endorses the right of an individual to make an informed decision in advance of incapacity in order to guide surrogates and providers with treatment decisions.  (HOD 1988-40; Modified and Reaffirmed HOD 2013)

95.994             Pharmaceutical Companies – Compensation for Specified
                          Prescribing 
Practices:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

95.995             Terminal Care – Directives For:
SUNSET HOD 2013

95.996             Life Sustaining Apparatus, Withholding and Terminating:
                          SUNSET HOD 2013

95.997             DNR – Do Not Resuscitate – Guidelines for Physicians, Hospitals,
                         and
 Nursing Homes:.
SUNSET HOD 2013

95.998             Neonates – Decision Making for Treatment of Disabled:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

95.999             Euthanasia:
                        SUNSET HOD 2013

[1] Note by General Counsel – Article 29C of the Public Health Law, which became law on July 27, 1990, establishes a procedure for individuals to appoint health care agents to make health care decisions in the event the individual loses capacity to make such decisions.