If you would like to access copies of any legislation you may visit the Legislative Retrieval System online and enter in the legislative bill number in the search field. If you would like to contact your elected officials on any of these issues, you may use the NYSSPS online grassroots advocacy tool
The 2019 session NYSSPS and ASPS closely monitored legislation regarding board certification advertising, congenital anomalies coverage, dental scope of practice, estheticians’ scope of practice, maintenance of certification, network adequacy, office-based surgery, out-of-network billing, practice management, and single payer.
Congenital Anomalies Coverage
Through a $10,000 grant from the ASPS State Advocacy Grant Program, the Society has worked closely with New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) and patient advocates to develop state-level legislation, Campaign to Give Kids a Chance, which would require coverage for the surgical repair of all congenital anomalies from birth. The bill mirrors ASPS’s white hat issue, the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act, which aims to ensure coverage nationally.
ASPS assisted NYSSPS and the patient family in drafting the original legislative language early in the session and supported NYSSPS as the state society began targeting leaders in the state house for bill sponsors. NYSSPS physicians advocated for the bill’s introduction during the society’s May lobby day in Albany. The New York Society has also conducted conversations with the state Department of Financial Services to discuss the possibility of regulatory action as the society pursues all possible approaches. NYSSPS used the grant funding provided by ASPS to drive awareness of the issue through its 1 in 38 campaign, which includes contracting with a public relations firm, creation of a website, and management of social media pages.
While the legislation has yet to be formally introduced, ASPS looks forward to working with NYSSPS to advance this important measure in 2020.
Since 1992, single payer legislation has been introduced in the state, but over the past four years the legislation has gained traction and secured passage in the New York Assembly. Last session, ASPS and NYSSPS engaged on four different occasions in the Assembly and Senate to oppose this measure. This year, the Senate Democrats have reclaimed the majority, increasing the threat that this proposal could pass out of both chambers and be enacted into law. To prevent the legislation from gaining traction, ASPS and NYSSPS submitted a memorandum to the legislature in opposition to the bill in March rearticulating the societies’ strong concerns with the cost of the measure and possible delays in patient care. The House and Senate proposals remain in their respective committees, but ASPS and NYSSPS will continue to be on the record in opposition of this measure and will work to defeat the proposal before the legislature adjourns in 2020.
In January, Sen. Gounardes introduced S.2824, which would expand dentists’ scope of practice by removing the qualification that any treatments or operations performed and/or prescribed by a dentist for the oral and maxillofacial area must be related to restoring and maintaining dental health. ASPS and NYSSPS wrote a letter explaining the significant differences between medical school and dental school, and urged Sen. Gounardes to withdraw the legislation. In May, Asm. Abbate introduced S.2824’s companion, A.7785. ASPS and NYSSPS again wrote Asm. Abbate to express our serious concerns with the bill. Both measures remain in their original committee of jurisdiction and will be eligible for consideration when the legislature resumes in 2020.
Adverse Event Reporting
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) released a proposal that would require physicians who perform procedures in office-based surgery settings to adhere to additional reporting requirements. The proposal aimed to minimize adverse events, yet the measure goes beyond that in requiring physicians to report on all procedures performed in office-based settings. ASPS and the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) believe that more work should be done with appropriate data-sharing between the recognized accrediting agencies and state departments of health, especially due to the fact that many office-based surgical practices are not readily-equipped to handle reporting requirements through advanced electronic health record systems.
NYSSPS conducted numerous discussions with the DOH in advance of the proposal’s release in hopes of enlightening the department on the proposal’s impact. In a collaborative effort, the New York state aided ASPS and the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYRSPS) in crafting additional responses to the proposal. The societies also sent a grassroots alert to members in the state asking them to sign on to a letter requesting changes to the proposal in order to protect office-based surgical practices.
Ultimately, a strong showing of 72 New York-based plastic surgeons signed on to the grassroots letter that was sent to the DOH, along with separate letters from ASPS, NYSSPS and NYRSPS.
Asm. Buchwald and Sen. Gallivan introduced companion legislation (A.97/S.5875) that would permit healthcare providers to contract with practice management companies who utilize percentage-based compensation arrangements. This legislation would eliminate the prohibition on fee based compensation models for practice management services and allow New York’s physicians to consider all potential companies without fearing sanctions. While movement at the beginning of session was nonexistent, S.5875 passed committee in May, which prompted ASPS and NYSSPS to send a letter of support. A.97 awaits further consideration in committee and S.5875 awaits further consideration by the full Senate.
Special thanks to our New York plastic surgeons who attended the 2019 Advocacy Summit this June: ASPS President Alan Matarasso, MD (New York), Scot Glasberg, MD (New York), Tom Sterry, MD (New York), Haritha Veeramachaneni, MD (Greenvale), Glenn Becker, MD (New York), Keith Blechman, MD (New York), George Kamel, MD (New York), David Nash, MD (New York), Ash Patel, MD (Loundonville), Edward Powers, MD (New York), Bharat Ranganath, MD (New York), Malcolm Roth, MD (Slingerlands) and Benjamin Schultz, MD (Long Island City). Together, the group conducted meetings with the offices of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Collectively, ASPS members met with 104 members of Congress and secured 26 new cosponsors for priority legislation.