MSSNY's Primary Care Caucus

Task Force Leadership

The MSSNY Primary Care Caucus was established in May 2017 under the direction of MSSNY President Charles Rothberg, MD. Its purpose is to bring primary care physicians together to focus on common goals and concerns, engage in discussions, and offer insights to MSSNY leadership. The Caucus will meet via teleconference or daytime webinars, and an in person meeting has been planned for the House of Delegates.

Current main issue areas

  • Burnout in Primary Care
    • Disproportionate burden of unfunded mandates
    • Coordination and numerous care and management functions
    • Time lost for patient care due to administrative duties
  • Adding Value to MSSNY Membership for Primary Care Physicians
  • Coordinating with Primary Care Specialty Societies
    • Engage with the three primary care specialty societies to identify their biggest issues and seek MSSNY’s support in addressing them
    • Scope of practice issues remain an important area of cooperation

Prospective Projects

  • Network of primary care members for mutual help in staying on top of important rules and deadlines, being successful in practice, and reducing stress
  • Expert education presentations and services in negotiating primary care employment contracts
  • Leadership training focused on special skills needed to advance careers through the hierarchies of large institutions


Recent MSSNY Legislative Accomplishments Working together, MSSNY members can affect changes that protect our patients.

In the 2017 Legislative Session, these negative proposals were defeated:

Allow stores to set up medical clinics, not staffed by physicians, and create an incentive to recommend products sold in the stores
  • Significantly increase the information required to be posted on the NY State Physician Profile
  • Limit injured worker choice of physician in Workers Compensation, allow less qualified individuals to treat Workers’ Comp patients, and eliminate the county medical society role in reviewing qualifications of physicians
  • Impose burdensome new requirements that will make it time-consuming for physicians to prescribe pain medications for patients who need them
  • Require urgent care and office–based surgery centers to use electronic health records
  • Expand the scope of practice of numerous non-physicians, including podiatrists, nurse-anesthetists, optometrists, psychologists, chiropractors, and naturopaths
  • Permit non-physicians to perform laser hair removal with virtually no physician oversight 

    Furthermore, the State Budget enacted this past April DID NOT contain these provisions that had been advanced by the Governor but opposed by MSSNY:

    Require physicians to receive a “tax clearance” to obtain Excess Medical Liability Insurance coverage
  • Expand prior authorization requirements when prescribing for Medicaid patients
  • Allow pharmacists to enter into arrangements with nurse practitioners to manage and change certain patients’ medications
  • Empower state agencies to override existing scope of practice laws without legislative approval
  • Workers’ Compensation reform provisions that would have required use of Workers Comp PPOs, expanded penalties that the Board could impose on WC-authorized physicians, and allowed non-physicians to provide services to WC patients without requiring that they collaborate with physicians.

    Working with many other public health groups, MSSNY scored an important public health victory by assuring that e-cigarettes are regulated similar to other tobacco products, and prohibited on school grounds.


Secured Changes to e-prescribing mandate

  • Eliminate requirement for physicians to send DOH information concerning the issuance of a paper script
  • Permit transfer e-prescriptions between pharmacies
  • Exemption for those who write 25 or less prescriptions

Health Insurance Simplification

  • Direct DFS/DOH to establish uniform standards for prior authorization requests to insurers for prescription medication coverage
  • Reduce timeframe for plan credentialing of new physicians from 90 to 60 days
  • Stronger standards for physician override of a health plan step therapy medication protocols