Important AlphaBetterCare News

A letter from Dr. Howard Grossman

June 14, 2016

I am writing to inform you that AlphaBetterCare, my medical practices in New York and New Jersey, will be closing at the end of July, 2016. It is with hugely mixed feelings that I make this move. I have been offered a wonderful opportunity to in Florida, a chance to join a fantastic medical center and a chance to work with and live closer to my brother. Leaving my patients brings me tremendous sadness. Many of you have been with me for years and we have weathered enormous challenges both in health and in trying to obtain it in the face of a rapidly changing system. You have been so supportive of our efforts through this time and I know I speak for my staff, as well, when I say how grateful we are.

Some of the people receiving this letter are no longer active patients of AlphaBetterCare. I wanted to make sure you know how to access your old records if you need them in the future.

For those patients who are new to our practice I can only tell you that this has all happened very suddenly. If you have completed your intake and are awaiting your physical but want to cancel that, please let us know.

Closing the practice presents a lot of logistical problems and we want to try to make sure everyone moves forward in a healthy way. So here are some guidelines:

  1. We will be open regular hours through the middle of June. I will be in Maplewood Mondays and Wednesday and every other Saturday and in New York Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and every other Saturday. In addition New York will be open 9 AM to 1 PM on Wednesdays for blood draws with Wayne.
  2. As of June 18 we will no longer be working Saturdays. I will see patients in NJ on Mondays and Wednesdays and Artise will be there Monday through Friday. I will see patients in New York Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday full days. Wayne and Mikhael will be there Monday through Friday.
  3. In order to accommodate patients who need to come in for final visits we will no longer be doing physicals, pre-surgical clearances or other long visits after June 16. I apologize to those of you who have visits scheduled but it will probably be best if you arrange to have a complete physical wherever you go for medical care in the future.
  4. For those of you on PreP who will need medications it is imperative that you schedule to come in before mid-July to get renewals.
  5. Please check with your pharmacy for all medications to determine if you have enough renewals to last you until you make new arrangements. Please do this before you contact us to request more.
  6. I will be out of the office on June 17th and 18th for a medical procedure and again from the afternoon of Tuesday, June 21st returning Monday, June 29. If you have visits scheduled they will need to be moved. Please call to do so.
  7. We will no longer see patients after July 15 while we shut down the offices and arrange for my move. I will be available after July 15 through the patient portal and for emergencies only.
  8. Many of you need controlled substances every month. These include testosterone, sleeping medication, pain medication, ADD medications and more. If you request a renewal over the portal I will be able to give you 1 month of meds up until July 15. After July 15 no renewals of controlled substances will be done. If you wish to schedule an office visit before July 15 I will try to provide an extra written prescription for your medication so that you can have extra time to make other arrangements. This will only be done for those who schedule an office visit to see me. If you do not come in I will provide your final prescription in July and no further refills.
  9. After July 31 I will not be available to provide any medical care whatsoever. I will be moving to Florida and will no longer have malpractice coverage in New York. You must make arrangements for alternative care prior to July 31, 2016.

I am working with eClinicalWorks our electronic medical record company, to make sure that your medical records are available. If you request it, we will be able to download your records onto a flash drive or CD-rom for you to take to your next doctor. You can obtain a copy of our records release form which you must sign and send to us by visiting the office or calling Mikhael or Artise.

After July 31 the main numbers for both practices will remain operational. They will connect to a voice mailbox where you can leave messages. There will be instructions for requesting medical records in the future. Instructions should also be on our website. You will be asked to send a signed records release form to a PO box in Florida and I will then send you a flash drive with your records. These records will be maintained for 7 years. Requests for any medical care left after July 31 will not be answered. You will need to make other arrangements.
People are asking for suggestions other doctors that I might recommend.

If you are looking for LGBT supportive care in New York, here are some I can recommend. I am not sure who might be taking on new patients so you will need to make inquiries yourself.

Dr. Ricky Hsu 302 7th Ave, #1205, 212-627-7560 is excellent. His personal practice is closed to new patients, but he has wonderful nurse practitioners who are seeing new patients.

Drs Kris Bungay and Steve Dillon at 314 W.14th St #5, 212-620-0144 have a very strong team.

Dr. Larry Hitzman does primary care and HIV Medicine at NY Cardiovascular Associates at 275 7th Ave, 3rd Floor, 646-660-9999. They accept all insurance including ADAP and Amidacare.

Dr. Lawrence Higgins at 251 W.19th St, 212-741-2330 has provided excellent LGBT and HIV care for many years.

Dr. Joseph Arcuri is at One Medical, 408 W.14th St, Suite 201, 212-530-0639 has an excellent reputation and has expressed interest in picking up patients from my practice.

Dr. David Kim at 67 Irving Pl, #5, 212-253-2968 provides excellent care.

Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel doctors on W.14th St have a center of excellence for LGBT care. Check out their website at http://www.wehealny.org/services/lgbt_health_services/

NYU’s Men’s Health Center on Madison Ave bills itself as being gay friendly.

APICHA on the Lower East Side is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides extensive LGBT services in an affordable setting at 400 Broadway. https://apicha.org/

There are other options available that you may wish to research. You can always call the local medical society for referrals.

For transgender patients in New York your best option would be the Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel Medical Group. Mt. Sinai has made a very strong commitment to transgender medical care and is building out a center of excellence focused on this. It will include medical and surgical care and is being spearheaded by the wonderful Zil Goldstein, NP. The website is: http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/center-for-transgender-medicine-and-surgery

In New Jersey there is only one other openly LGBT practice. That is Dr. Tom Ziering at the Summit Medical Group. Dr. Ziering has extensive experience with LGBT medicine and HIV and is very sensitive to and knowledgeable about the needs of transgender patients.

I hope that this helps you. I understand that changing medical providers is a difficult thing. Again, I appreciate the trust that you have put in me for so long. I hope I can bring the lessons you have taught me about good patient care to the people in South Florida who I will be serving.

Wishing you all the very best of health.

Sincerely,

Howard A. Grossman, MD