Archive for September, 2011


Robert Bruce Bergmann, MD

Friday, September 30th, 2011

bergmann photo

Robert Bruce Bergmann, M.D.


It is with deepest regret that we mourn the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend on September 21, after a lengthy illness.

Dr. Bergmann joined the Medical Society in 1961 and served faithfully for 50 years. A graduate of Rutgers University, Dr. Bergmann received his M.D. degree from The State University of New York – Brooklyn in 1948 and thus began his long and distinguished career in medicine.

Dr. Bergmann interned at Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn in 1948-49, continued his ophthalmology education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School in 1949-50, and completed his residency training at Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital from 1950 to 1952. From 1952 to 1955, he served as a Captain in the United States Air Force before entering private practice in 1955 in Massapequa where he continued to practice until just recently.

Dr. Bergmann was a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, a Life Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Life Member of the American Medical Association. His hospital affiliations included New Island and Syosset Hospitals, and Brunswick Hall where he was President of the Executive Medical Board and the Hospital Medical Staff.

In addition to his national society affiliations, Dr. Bergmann was a Past President of the Nassau County Medical Society and a Fellow and Past President of the Nassau Academy of Medicine as well as Past President of the NAM Section on Ophthalmology. Dr. Bergmann also chaired the NCMS Board of Censors and served on the Executive Committee and the Academy Board of Trustees.

Dr. Bergmann served on many committees of the Medical Society of the State of New York including MSSNY Councilor, President of the Second District Branch, MSSNY Delegate since 1985, Alternate Delegate to the AMA, and member of the Physician Discipline and Membership Committees.  He also served as a member of the NY State Board for Professional Medical Conduct for 12 years.

Dr. Bergmann was a Past President of the Long Island Ophthalmology Society and recipient of the New York State Ophthalmology Society 2004 Hobie Award for Lifetime Service.

Most recently Dr. Bergmann was honored as the 2010 Recipient of the Sidney Mishkin, MD Lifetime Distinguished Service Award from The Nassau County Medical Society.

Dr. Bergmann served on the Massapequa Board of Education, where he served as President.

All who were blessed to know him will sorely miss his indomitable spirit and his passion for the profession he loved so deeply and strove to preserve.

Posted in In Memoriam | No Comments »

Important E-Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Updates

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Please see the important deadline reminder below.


Good morning everyone,

Please share the message below with your internal and external partners interested in the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program. In your message, please direct eligible professionals and others interested in the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program to cut and paste the URLs into their internet browser should they have a problem accessing the URLs embedded in the message.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would like to remind eligible professionals and group practices participating in the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program that the deadline to request a hardship exemption for the 2012 eRx payment adjustment is November 1, 2011.

Eligible professionals and group practices should determine if they are subject to the 2012 eRx payment adjustment by reviewing the MLN Article SE1107.   If you believe that you may be subject to the 2012 eRx payment adjustment, you should determine if you meet any of the hardship exemption categories specified by CMS in the 2011 Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Final Rule.

In addition, a Quick Reference Guide is available to help you understand the changes that the eRx Final Rule made to the 2011 Medicare eRx Incentive Program.  As a result of changes to the program, eligible professionals and group practices have until November 1, 2011 to submit a significant hardship exemption request and rationale.

Please note, to be considered for an exemption under the significant hardship exemption category “Eligible professionals who register to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and adopt Certified EHR Technology,” an eligible professional must:

(1)   have registered for either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (for instructions on how to register for one of the EHR Incentive Programs, we refer readers to the Registration and Attestation page of the EHR Incentive Programs section of the CMS Web site at;


(2)   provide identifying information as to the Certified EHR Technology (as defined at 42 CFR 495.4 and 45 CFR 170.102) that has been adopted for use no later than October 1, 2011. Please note that, in order to qualify for an exemption to the 2012 eRx payment adjustment under this significant hardship exemption category, it is not necessary that an eligible professional receive an incentive payment under the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Eligible professionals wishing to register for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program in states that have not yet launched their respective programs may initiate the registration process at the CMS Registration and Attestation System, and obtain a registration number but will not be able to successfully complete registration. If a State has not launched its Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, the State name will not appear in the drop-down menu for eligible professionals to choose from. However, a registration number is assigned even if registration is not successfully completed.

In order to initiate registration for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please visit and follow the instructions to begin the registration process.  Obtaining a CMS EHR Incentive Programs registration number, even if the registration is not successfully completed, suffices for the purposes of applying for a significant hardship exemption for the 2012 Medicare e-Prescribing payment adjustment.

To request an exemption, individual eligible professionals must submit their hardship exemption requests through the Quality Communications Support Page and group practices participating under the group practice reporting option (GPRO) must submit hardship exemption requests via a letter to CMS.

Please remember that CMS will review these requests on a case-by-case basis.  All decisions on significant hardship exemption requests will be final.

For additional information and resources, please visit on the CMS website.

Geanelle G. Herring MSW

Geanelle Griffith Herring

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Provider Communications Group

Division of Provider Relations & Outreach

Posted in MEDICARE UPDATES | No Comments »

NYS Department of Health Medicaid Managed Care Call September 14

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Do you have questions regarding prescription drug coverage for your Medicaid patients when, starting October 1, their pharmacy coverage will be transitioned to Medicaid Managed Care?

At the request of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), on Wednesday, September 14, Department of Health staff led by Janet Elkind, Director of the Bureau of Pharmacy & Policy Operations, will host a call specifically for physicians and their staff to ask questions regarding this important change in Medicaid prescription drug coverage.

The call will take place at 5:00 PM.

The call-in information is:

Call in #: 866-394-2346
Passcode: 590 814 6107

Please confirm your participation in this call by e-mailing

As has been previously reported in the MSSNY e-news, all physicians that treat Medicaid beneficiaries should be aware that, effective October 1, their patients enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) plans will begin receiving their prescription drug coverage through their plans, rather than through the state fee for service program.  The change was one of a myriad of cost-saving measures that were proposed by the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team and enacted as part of the 2011-12 State Budget.   Medicaid prescription drug coverage had been “carved out” of MMC since the late 1990s.

MMC plans will establish their own formularies and prior authorization procedures.  However, health plans will be required to include on their formularies all categories of prescription drugs that are currently part of the New York State Medicaid fee for service prescription program.  Consistent with New York’s managed care utilization review laws, plans will also be required to maintain internal appeals systems and assure access to an external appeal to address circumstances where patients are denied coverage for medications that are prescribed by their treating physicians.

MMC plans are required to develop and implement comprehensive implementation and communication plans to assure patient access to needed medications.  These transition plans must be approved by the NYS Department of Health (DOH).  DOH has indicated that it will permit a one-time, temporary fill of non-formulary drugs for up to a 30 day supply of medication.  This would include drugs that are on a plan’s formulary but require prior authorization or step therapy under a plan’s utilization management rules.

Recognizing the confusion that implementation of this change may cause, MSSNY has urged DOH to take a number of steps to reduce transitional issues.  These include asking DOH to maintain a link on its website where physicians will be able to easily check the formularies and prescription authorization procedures that will be established by each MMC plan; assuring MMC plans have sufficient staff to promptly respond to physician requests for non-formulary medications; and facilitating meetings and communications with physicians across the State of New York to get local physician feedback.

Posted in MEDICAID UPDATES | No Comments »

The Countdown to Version 5010 Implementation Is Underway

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

National Government Services News

  • Did you know that effective January 1, 2012 all covered entities will be required to use the new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 5010 version for electronic filing?
  • Did you know that effective January 1, 2012 electronic submitters who are not using version 5010 for HIPAA electronic transactions will have their claims rejected and they won’t receive payment?
  • Did you know that there are less than 130 days for the version 5010 implementation?

Medical offices and providers should feel the pressure to get their systems ready for the version 5010 implementation. National Government Services has created several helpful resources to assist electronic submitters to prepare for the version 5010 transition. These resources are available on the Version 5010 Implementation page located on the Electronic Submission (EDI) section on the National Government Services Web site.

We have also offered free monthly Webinars for all providers and facilities to join and will continue to offer these free monthly webinars. However, despite these free education opportunities, medical offices are still not prepared for the version 5010 change. Be proactive and start preparing for version 5010 today!

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Posted in MEDICARE UPDATES | No Comments »

MESF to Launch Education at Sea Program in February

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

A special CME program entitled “Surviving 2012: Key Physician Practice Management Issues” will be offered on a 10 night Caribbean cruise scheduled for Feb 17-27, 2012 from the Port of New York’s Cape Liberty. The program has been scheduled for the Royal Caribbean Lines Explorer of the Seas and is designed specifically for physicians and office managers. Expert faculty will present a 14 hour CME program focused on critical Practice Management issues facing today’s physician community. Topics include:

  • Negotiating Sale of Your Practice
  • Staying Clear of Regulatory Agencies
  • Ways to Reduce Your Med Mal Risk
  • What to Do When the Auditors Arrive
  • Office Legal Issues.
  • Getting Your EHR to Pay Its Way

The specific cruise was selected because of Royal Caribbean Lines reputation for excellence and fact that it was over the President’s week holiday when many children are out of school. (The ship offers great kid-friendly facilities.) In addition, the cruise was in and out of New York harbor so most participants would not have to fly to reach the ship. Parking is available on the pier adjacent to the ship. Medical, Educational and Scientific Foundation (MESF) President Leah McCormack called the program “the first of what we hope to be an ongoing educational series, plus you get to visit some of the great fun spots in the Caribbean while the Northeast is freezing.”

Go to

or call 1-800-422-0711for more information.

Posted in SEMINARS AND PROGRAMS | No Comments »