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  • August 01, 2020 6:18 PM | Deleted user

    Robert Morton, CPHRM, CPPS, Assistant Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management

    True informed consent is a process of managing a patient’s expectations; it is not just a signature on a document. Achieving an accurate diagnosis requires the patient to provide accurate information to the physician. The physician must then provide sufficient information to the patient so that he or she can make a reasonable and informed decision regarding a comprehensive plan for medical or surgical treatment. This physician responsibility cannot be delegated.

    Informed consent cannot eliminate malpractice claims, but an established rapport between the patient and the physician based on robust exchanges of information can prevent patient disappointment from ripening into a claim.

    Avoid medical jargon. Define and explain medical words and concepts using simple pictures and analogies.

    Identify any uncertainty and risk involved with a specific treatment plan, including the probability factors, if possible. Discuss reasonable assumptions the patient may make about the treatment plan.

    Encourage questions. Questions provide a better understanding of the patient’s comprehension of the information and facilitate the dialogue between the patient and the physician.

    Documentation is another key component of the informed consent process that cannot be entirely delegated to a nurse or another member of the healthcare team. If the doctor-patient discussion proceeds successfully and the patient requests treatment, the doctor is required in some jurisdictions to write a note in the patient’s record.

    The consent form must be signed and dated by the patient

    Consent forms should also include statements to be signed by the patient and the physician. The patient attests that he or she understands the information in the treatment agreement. The physician attests that he or she has answered all questions fully and believes that the patient/legal representative fully understands the information. These statements help defend against any claim that the patient did not understand the information.

    The informed consent process for same-day surgery patients may occur in the physician’s office before scheduling the procedure. That will allow the patient time to think about the information, ask questions, and make an informed decision.

    Hospitalized patients must be informed as far in advance of the procedure as practicable. If the patient is incompetent or otherwise cannot consent, the physician is legally bound to obtain informed consent from the incompetent patient’s authorized representative, except in an emergency.

    Every physician should develop his or her own style and system for the informed consent process, making it easier to avoid omissions.

    Do not speed through the process. Give the patient and the family time to absorb and comprehend the information.

    Assess the patient’s level of understanding just before documenting the process. This will increase the likelihood that you will be able to manage the patient’s expectations effectively.

    The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

  • July 21, 2020 6:28 PM | Deleted user

    On June 9, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released "Preparing for the Next Pandemic," a white paper with recommendations to address future pandemics based on lessons learned from the current crisis and historical pandemic planning under previous administrations.

    Upon its release, Chairman Alexander encouraged public feedback on the paper, which explores (1) tests, treatments, and vaccines; (2) disease surveillance; (3) stockpiles, distribution, and surges; (4) public health capabilities; and (5) federal agency coordination. In its response, ASPS had two major objectives. The first was to stress those areas most central to continued operation of plastic surgery practices during an outbreak: the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing. While these are both well-known needs, ASPS took a novel approach in discussing domestic PPE production capacity based on what it has learned in talking with members of Congress and the White House over the last several months. Specifically, ASPS discussed how the United States has a profound deficit in our ability to make sewn goods, like masks, and that we need a flexible manufacturing base that allows us to redeploy domestic production capacity from a primary use in normal times (e.g., golf cart windshields) to a secondary, PPE-focused use during disease outbreaks (e.g., face shields).

    The second objective of the ASPS recommendations was to introduce a new concept to help ease the burden on stressed and overwhelmed hospitals during infectious disease surges. The concept, which is under exploration in the ASPS Legislative Advocacy Committee, would create and perpetuate programs that make it easier for hospitals and health systems to temporarily contract with private specialty practices to take specific types of severe acute trauma cases when a hospital has exhausted its ICU capacity. ASPS received reports from members in various hard-hit areas who tried to work with local hospitals to make the plastic surgeons' accredited private practice ASCs available to take emergency cases, and the common barrier they faced was a lack of one or more facility accreditation types that would allow them to see specific types of patients under their states' laws.

    States have varying requirements for their surgical facilities, with some requiring a state-based license, some requiring Medicare licensing, others requiring certification from one of the major private accreditation bodies, and yet others requiring a combination of certifications. ASPS's recommendation is for a federal program that allows, in extraordinary times, for any legitimate accreditation to satisfy reimbursement requirements for all patient-types. The hope is that some plastic surgeons will be able to keep their facilities and surgical skill in use, even during lockdowns, and the spread of the virus can be mitigated by keeping trauma victims out of disease-saturated facilities.

    Read the complete ASPS letter. 

  • June 05, 2020 12:40 PM | Deleted user

    Restarting elective procedures or surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic will require additional assessments to optimize your patients’ health for the best possible outcome. In today’s crisis, doctors must follow the standard of care when known, and customize and innovate when it is not. Physicians must assess not only the patients’ medical needs for surgery but also their potential for becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus during the peri-operative period.

    Review this program to assemble resources to prepare for elective surgery, formulate a consent discussion including COVID-19 risk mitigation steps, and thoroughly document discussions.

    The recorded presentation can be accessed here 

  • June 04, 2020 12:43 PM | Deleted user

    Strategic planning to reopen your medical/surgical office in the COVID-19 era is needed to provide safe patient care and mitigate the risk of virus spread. Many federal, state, local and professional society guidelines are available and recommended to be reviewed as practices prepare to reopen to provide healthcare to their patients.

    This presentation, provided by The Doctors Company and Garfunkel Wild, P.C., will review four areas of administrative considerations, environment of care, patient management and elective surgical considerations to prepare your practice and staff to meet the changing standard of care for your patients.

    The recorded presentation can be accessed here

  • May 27, 2020 12:49 PM | Deleted user

    While most resources are directed at screening for COVID-19 and treating affected patients, there is another important aspect of the pandemic: the impact on your patients’ mental health. Fear and uncertainty are driving the dramatic increase in stress, anxiety, and depression. While your patient’s immediate physical well-being is the primary concern, you also must consider the potential legal liability that can come from failing to adequately screen patients for suicide risk and taking the proper steps when needed.

    > Read complete article

  • May 22, 2020 5:16 PM | Deleted user

    Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses.

    The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. The forgiveness forms, instructions, and worksheets can be downloaded here.

    PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan.

  • May 21, 2020 12:59 PM | Deleted user

    As state stay-at-home orders proliferated in mid-March, ASPS leadership was faced with a difficult choice: cancel the June Northeast/Midwest Regional Fly-In and lose a precious opportunity to meet face-to-face with congressional offices, or keep it in place and risk a disruptive, costly last-minute cancellation. In the interest of ASPS member safety and recognizing the epidemiological reality more-and-more with each passing day, the in-person event was officially canceled on April 1. With that, planning immediately began for a "virtual" experience.

    The structure of the event – slated for September 15-16, 2020 – strives to offer an experience as similar as possible to the typical Regional Fly-In. It will have training for inexperienced fly-in participants and a briefing on the issues. It will have a congressional guest speaker, two if you are in the PlastyPAC Member Benefits Program at the Chairman's Club level or higher. And it will have face-to-face interaction, albeit through Zoom, with members of Congress and the healthcare staff that help them make decisions. Experiences to-date operationally at ASPS have shown that this can absolutely produce high-quality interactions.

  • May 19, 2020 5:20 PM | Deleted user

    This Guidance is directed at Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC) Office Based Surgery practices (OBS), and Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (DTC) that are located in counties without a significant risk of COVID-19 surge and are deemed eligible to perform Deferred Procedures, (i.e., elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures).

    These centers and practices are required to meet the same provisions  required of hospitals in these eligible counties that are also resuming deferred procedures.

    Any ASC, OBS, or DTC that fails to comply with this Guidance may be subject to civil penalties.

    Guidance for Elective Surgery and Non-Urgent Procedures in Ambulatory Settings.pdf
  • May 06, 2020 5:00 PM | Deleted user

    The purpose of this weekly publication is to provide healthcare providers in New York State with a consolidated update of guidance released by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) related to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

    This will show only current guidance for any given topic and will be updated to reflect new guidance.

    As a reminder, all advisories and informational messages (including webinar invitations) are distributed through the Integrated Health Alerting Network System (IHANS), an application housed on the Health Commerce System (HCS). If you are not receiving IHANS notifications, please work with your site’s HCS coordinator.

    Additional COVID-19 resources may be found on the NYSDOH webpage under Information for Healthcare Providers. Recordings of COVID-19 Weekly Healthcare Provider Updates are also available on the NYSDOH webpage.

    Access the publication here

  • May 06, 2020 10:55 AM | Deleted user
    In late April, Congress approved an additional $310 billion dollars for the Paycheck Protection forgivable loan Program (PPP) to assist small businesses, including physician practices. To date, the program has approved assistance to nearly 250,000 New York businesses in two different rounds of application periods.

    The Congressional package also provided $75 billion more for the CARES Act Health Provider Relief Pool, to assist hospitals and physicians. This is in addition to $30 billion dedicated to physicians and hospitals, in early April, based on 2019 Medicare payments, and $20 billion was just made available to physicians and hospitals based on 2018 total patient revenue.

    As with its first survey, MSSNY wants to gather data to determine how much New York physicians are benefiting from these new resources, to better guide our advocacy for further stimulus bills.

    Please help us evaluate this by taking a few minutes to fill out and submit the following Survey Monkey questionnaire.

    Please take the survey here

The New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons, Inc (NYSSPS) was founded in 2008 on the guiding principle that New York’s plastic surgeons need an entity focused directly on representing its member's interests at the state / federal legislative and regulatory levels.


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