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  • December 01, 2020 3:02 PM | Deleted user

    As the pandemic hits its third nationwide surge, families are gathering for the holidays, and practices are preparing for a potential increase in cases. Medical offices in states that were not strongly affected by the first and second waves of the virus may now be facing an influx of COVID-19 patients. Therefore, medical offices must remain very attentive to the widespread outbreak of COVID-19, continuing to proactively take steps to safely manage patients while protecting clinical staff.

    Below, you will find recommendations for this season of the pandemic, such as protective recordkeeping, documentation and follow-up for noncompliance and coordination of care, managing patients who resist infection-control measures, and tracking ongoing guidance from health authorities.

  • September 30, 2020 4:13 PM | Deleted user

    Contact Governor Cuomo and request that he veto legislation (S.6678-A/A.7991-A) requiring every physician's “practice setting” to post a sign regarding how a patient can file a misconduct complaint with the OPMC.

    Let the Governor know that this proposal would create unnecessary distrust in the physician-patient relationship and is unfair to physicians. Moreover, with nearly 10,000 complaints already made each year to OPMC (resulting in only a few hundred actual disciplinary actions), it is clear there is already strong public awareness of this oversight body.

    The bill was delivered to Governor Cuomo’s desk which means he has until Wednesday, October 7 to sign it into law or veto.

    Send an email today!

  • September 11, 2020 2:19 PM | Deleted user

    It’s been a challenging time but now we need to move forward and build the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons—we’re only as strong as our numbers.

    We need 10 of you to step up!

    We’ve got a plan to recruit new members. I hope you’ll be a part of it. We’ve established the NYSSPS Ambassador program. We need one person from each of the 10 regions detailed below to step up.

    So, what does it mean to be an Ambassador? You’ll reach out to non-members, talk to them about the Society and ask them to join. You’ll also be instrumental in getting members involved in our policy work—the Legislature is coming back in January, after all. And, you’ll help us maintain the members we do have in your area.

    I know everyone has been busy getting back up to speed. The pandemic threw a wrench into everyone’s practice. But through it all, the Society was there for you—with advice, with webinars, with help. Now, we need you to be there for the Society.

    Please take a moment and think about becoming a NYSSPS Ambassador. I know there are 10 of you who will be a part of this effort. Email us with your commitment: 

    Thomas Sterry,
    New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons

  • September 02, 2020 5:18 PM | Deleted user
    The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the New York State Society recognize the challenges faced by our member physicians as well as trainees and support staff in the daily care of patients. Enclosed is this month's featured resource to help you with coping with the challenges. The Society plans to promote Wellness on the first Wednesday of each month to members.

    It can be difficult to cope with fear and anxiety, changing daily routines, and a general sense of uncertainty about COVID-19. Although people respond to stressful situations in different ways, there are steps you can take to help manage stress.

    Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information at

  • August 25, 2020 10:23 AM | Deleted user

    The FDA issued an update to its breast implant safety webpages on Aug. 20 regarding adverse events reported to the Agency related to breast implants, including Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) and data on medical device reports (MDR) the FDA has received on "Breast Implant Illness." The BIA-ALCL update cites a total of 733 unique cases of BIA-ALCL and 36 patient deaths globally, representing an increase of 160 new cases (64 from the United States) and three deaths since the July 2019 update.

    The update calls for no changes in recommended routine follow-up care for patients with breast implants.

    The FDA also announced that the BREAST-Q – a patient-reported, quality-of-life outcomes measure for breast surgery funded by The PSF and developed by ASPS member Andrea Pusic, MD, MHS – has been approved as a qualified Medical Device Development Tool, which means it may be used in clinical outcomes assessment and regulatory decision-making for breast implant devices.

    For the complete story, click here.  

    ASPS provides a wealth of up-to-date resources on BIA-ALCL for physicians and the public at These resources include:

  • August 10, 2020 10:34 AM | Deleted user

    Keith M. Blechman, MD, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Reposted with permission from The Doctors Company.  Keith Blechman, MD is a member of the NYSSPS Executive Council and serves as the Treasurer.

    Just before New York temporarily banned elective procedures, I looked across the operating table and said, “Leave the sutures long, because the patient is probably going to have to take these sutures out.”

    I knew early on that COVID-19 was coming. Through personal connections, I was hearing about events in China, and as the outbreak hit Seattle, I started to prepare. After some rocky early days, leaping the hurdles set by the pandemic has created positive outcomes for my practice, as I have made changes to become more efficient through integrated telemedicine.

    So far, my key takeaways for creating a lean, adaptable practice have been:

    • Be prepared. I’ve experienced first-hand how practices with remote-work systems already in place have been better off.
    • Find efficiencies: Making changes now in light of the pandemic can save your practice time and resources later.
    • Choose vendors wisely: This crisis has shown which companies can be counted on to help, and those that fall short. Is it time to reconsider your business partnerships?
    • Embrace change: It’s happening (whether you like it or not).

    Read the full story

  • August 07, 2020 6:26 PM | Deleted user

    Recently, New York Governor Cuomo had an op-ed in the New York Times that touted the results of labs operating in New York State whereby 85% of the lab tests took a median of 2 days to complete.

    However, anecdotes from physicians are identifying instances where it is taking far longer. 

    As MSSNY continues to dialogue with the New York State Department of Health and Governor’s office regarding addressing testing delays, we invited you to take just a few minutes to complete this survey

  • August 05, 2020 6:32 PM | Deleted user

    The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the New York State Society recognizes the challenges faced by our member physicians as well as trainees and support staff in the daily care of patients.

    Enclosed are available resources to help you with coping with the challenges.  The Society plans to promote Wellness on the first Wednesday of each month to members. 

    New York Specific Resource
    1. NYSDOH - Managing Stress and Anxiety 
    2. NYSDOH - Supporting Well-being in COVID and Beyond - Webinar 
    3. MSSNY - Peer to Peer Program

    Coping with COVID-19

    1. Enhance Your Practice Podcast: Season 3 - Work/Life Balance
    2. Hackman Academy: Homeschool Classes and Workshops
    3. How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing
    4. Guided Meditation to De-Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic


    1. Physician Wellness Inventory
    2. Maslach Burnout Inventory
    3. Oldenburg Burnout Inventory
    4. Physician Work-Life Study's Single Item
    5. The Copenhagen Burnout Inventory
    6. Stanford Professional Fulfillment Index
    7. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)
    8. Depression Survey Article in Academic Psychiatry

    Mobile Apps

    1. Headspace
    2. Meditation Studio
    3. 10% Happier
    4. #Mindful
  • 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. 

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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