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 The Weekly Electronic News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

Doctors have unique issues when building a Wealth Management strategy. 

Coming to retirement planning late, after years of education and loans means less time to accumulate the necessary assets to fund retirement.

A challenging work environment including long hours; decreasing reimbursements; changing medical landscape; a demand to increase RVU's; insurance woes; paperwork; the list goes on.

No wonder it's hard to get around to building a solid financial plan.  Planning to live to 94 and hoping to retire means a suitable strategy needs to be formulated.

I gained respect for those in the medical profession as I watched my mother work long and hard as an RN. Now as a Financial Advisor, I understand the many challenges you face in work and planning.

I conduct a one hour "Discovery Meeting" with potential clients.  This is an opportunity to explore if we should work together.  I focus on people in the medical community with whom I can have a tremendous impact.

Karen Clerici

For more information please contact Karen Clerici, Financial Advisor, at Webb Investment Services, Inc., an Independent Investment Advisory Firm at 828-252-5132 or karen.clerici@raymondjames.com.   

You can visit our website at laurawebb.com.  Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIP

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January 11, 2012

Here's what is happening in and around Western North Carolina:
In This Issue
Karen M. Clerici, Financial Advisor - Sponsor Message
Vendor/Discount Programs
Annual Celebration- RSVP Now
HeartStrings- Like us on Facebook
Charlotte AHEC Obesity Conference
WCMS Visits President Pro Tem of the Senate
From the AMA: Important Update on 2012 Medicare Physician Payment Rates
Medical Malpractice Costs Continue to Climb
We Need a Permanent Fix to SGR
BCMS Alliance Holiday Card Thanks
Job Board & Classifieds



Save the Date- Annual Celebration

Annual Celebration

Click here for more info and to RSVP!

HeartStrings- Like us on Facebook 

10th Annual HeartStrings
Find out more information at
our website.

Like us on Facebook

Charlotte AHEC Obesity Conference 

Charlotte AHEC & Carolinas Education Institute present Obesity Conference 2012: Defining Best Practices for Obesity and Comorbidity Management

March 2, 2012.  Find out more.

WCMS Visits President Pro Tem of the Senate 

On 1/10/12, Dr. Scott Langford (WCMS President Elect) and Donna Wiedrich (WCMS Membership Director) made a trip to Greensboro on behalf of WCMS members to attend the Phil Berger (President Pro Tempore of the Senate) fundraiser. It was well attended by physicians from the mid-state. Dr. Langford took the opportunity to thank Senator Berger for staunchly supporting the passage of NC medical malpractice legislation. Senator Berger was very appreciative that WCMS representatives traveled so many miles after a long day at work to meet with him.


Already efforts to overturn the tort reform bill have begun, so it is critical that physicians stay engaged. Dr. Langford observes, "Politicians will walk the halls in Raleigh listening to many voices. Those voices need to be informed, educated and reasonable. They MUST be our voices. The NCMS and the WCMS have always been a strong voice on our behalf, but they're pleading for support. I am too. If you can't travel to meetings across the state and if you can't walk the halls in Raleigh and physically respond to the questions legislators ask of us, do this: Join the North Carolina Medical Society. Join the Western Carolina Medical Society. At the very least, fund the organizations that are keeping us alive. These organizations spend thousands of man-hours researching, traveling, attending and informing on our behalf. Write a check and pay your dues. Ask your partners to pay their dues."


As well, Dr. Langford notes, "As important as medical malpractice reform has been and continues to be, there are many other issues that the North Carolina Medical Society and Western Carolina Medical Society battle on your behalf daily. Policies and plans that threaten, in a very real way, to derail the way we all practice medicine." These issues include declining Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, mid-level provider practice expansion without physician supervision, the lack of mental health funding, and legislation that regulates how physician care is delivered in the exam room.


For information on how you can get involved in these important efforts contact Donna Wiedrich at donna@mywcms.org.  


From the AMA: Important Update on 2012 Medicare Physician Payment Rates 

The payroll tax extension legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by the President on Dec. 23, 2011 (Public Law 112-078) delayed the 27.4% Medicare pay cut due to the SGR formula for two months.  It also extended the floor on the work geographic practice cost index (GPCI) and certain other policies. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has confirmed to the AMA, however, that all of the other changes that were included in the Medicare physician payment final rule for 2012 will still take effect.

Physicians should not expect that payment rates will remain unchanged.  As detailed in a memo sent to the Federation on Nov. 4, 2011 following release of the final rule, numerous changes are being made in the relative value units, GPCIs, electronic prescribing and quality reporting programs, and multiple procedure payment rules for 2012.  All of these changes will take effect as scheduled for dates of service beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Read more here.

Medical Malpractice Costs Continue to Climb 

The cost of defending a medical malpractice lawsuit continues to climb, as does the cost of liability insurance premiums for some specialties, according to two medical liability reform reports released in December by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Read the full article.

We Need a Permanent Fix to SGR 

Take Action! 

Congress just approved a mere 2 month patch to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.  Please take a moment to send another e-mail to your Senators and Congressman to let them know that it is time to stop kicking this can down the road.




BCMS Alliance Holiday Card Thanks 

Alliance Holiday Card Thanks
Click here for a list of donors.
Job Board

Teacher Assistant- AB-Tech


Instructor (Dental Assisting/Hygiene)- AB-Tech  


Medical Billing Manager- Blue Ridge Community Health Services (BRCHS)


RN/LPN- Community Family Practice


Accounts Receivable Rep- Summit Billing 



Testimonial from Mountain Kidney and Hypertension Assoc:

"The WCMS Job Board has proven to be a very successful endeavor for our practice.  The ad was posted on the webside two weeks ago and we have just hired a new employee with experience which is perfectly matched to the job description. Thank you again for taking the search out of our hands and for the positive outcome."


Becky Slaughter

Office Manager

Mountain Kidney & Hypertension Assoc., P.A



Click here for the complete list of job postings on our website.    


Classified Ads


Click here for the complete list of classified ads on our website.    

Why Join the Western Carolina Medical Society? 


WCMS is a thriving 900-plus member professional association of the physicians of western North Carolina and a chartered component medical society of the NC Medical Society and the AMA. The WCMS is an organization run by physicians for physicians.


Our Mission

The WCMS is the physicians' voice advocating for the health of the medical profession, the health of the patient, and the health of the community.


Our Vision

To be a dynamic physician community dedicated to a healthy, vibrant Western North Carolina.


About WCMS   

The purpose of WCMS is:

  • To strengthen the voice of WNC physicians in advocating for the health of the medical profession, the health of the patient, and the health of our region
  • To inform, educate and prepare physicians for rapidly occurring changes in health care at national, state, and local levels  
  • To share legislative and policy information and advocate on behalf of physicians in areas of mutual interest
  • To share available resources in areas of mutual interest
  • To promote physician-to-physician communication and dialogue in an open, honest and safe environment 

Click here for a complete listing of membership benefits.      


The Foundation is WCMS' non-profit, charitable arm. The Foundation is well-respected and nationally recognized for its leadership and innovation in addressing issues of access to quality health care, disparities in health, and wellness and prevention for people in WNC. We are committed to involving both community AND physicians in this work.  


Our flagship program is Project Access, a comprehensive, volunteer primary and specialty physician network providing access to healthcare at no charge for low-income, uninsured residents. Another key program is the WNC Interpreter Network, which addresses disparities in health due to linguistic barriers.   


The archive of WCMS e-newsletters is available from the publications menu on our website at http://www.mywcms.org/News-and-Events/Weekly-E-Newsletter  Thank you for your interest in WCMS. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact me or any one of our courteous, professional staff.


Miriam Schwarz signature
Miriam Schwarz, MPA
WCMS CEO/Executive Director