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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 




As a leading accounting firm in North Carolina, JPS offers the capabilities of a national firm, combined with the personalized, cost effective attention of a community based firm. We assist you in developing an understanding of the finances of your practice and the business of healthcare, allowing you to make sound financial decisions.
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Health Reform Info

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October 10, 2012

In This Issue:
Johnson Price Sprinkle, PA - Sponsor Message
Last chance to RSVP for the Annual Newcomers' Picnic
Women In Medicine...October Social
2012 WCMS Fall Conference - Register Now!
MedWest-Haywood to cut 56 staff positions
Mission Health Names William Hathaway, MD, Chief Medical Officer
2013 Membership Dues sent
Contact your US representative and senators about SGR
Major Physician Survey Confirms Alarming Trends
EHR Incentives and Penalties...Timing Considerations
From the AMA: Innovator Committee publishes payment reform paper
From the AMA: New resources for physicians on Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)
Job Board & Classifieds


Dear Western Carolina Medical Society members,
Please see the updated CDC Health Advisory (link below), which contains updated information and guidance regarding the multistate outbreak of meningitis and stroke associated with potentially contaminated steroid medication.
As of 10/9/12, 13,000 people have been exposed to the steroid medication.  119 cases have been identified in 10 states, resulting in 11 deaths associated with this multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis.  In North Carolina, three clinics have received the recalled product: 
  •  High Point Surgery Center - High Point, North Carolina
  •  Surgical Center of Wilson - Wilson, North Carolina
  •  North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic - Durham, North Carolina

All North Carolina providers listed as having received the recalled steroid product have been individually notified and all North Carolina patients who received these products for epidural injection have been contacted. If you believe you have received this product with the lot numbers listed below but have not yet been contacted, please contact the North Carolina Division of Public Health at 919-733-3419.
For updates on the medication recall, number of cases, clinician updates and patient information, please click the following link:  http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html   

For local information or questions related to this outbreak, contact Buncombe County Department of Health, Disease Control by calling 828.250.5109. 



Last chance to RSVP for the Annual Newcomers' Picnic (10/14)
The Annual Newcomers' Picnic will be held this Sunday, October 14th, from 4-8:00pm at beatiful Claxton Farm in Weaverville.  This is a FREE, fun-filled, family-friendly
Claxton Farm
afternoon that will include:
  • BBQ & Fixins'
  • Horse drawn wagon rides
  • Live music by Deep River
  • Beer & Wine
  • S'mores
  • Raffles & Give-a-ways
  • Fun filled activities for the kids!

All WCMS physician members, BCMS Alliance members, and all physicians who are new to western North Carolina this year - and their families - are invited to attend!  Register Here!

Women In Medicine October Social (10/18)
All women physicians are invited to join us for hors d'oeuvres, wine and discussion at the next Women in Medicine social on Thursday, October 18th at the country home of Dr. Shannon Hunter in Canton (Just over the Haywood County line). The topic for the October social will be "Many Hands Make Light Work - Growing Women Leaders in Medicine in WNC." Click here to RSVP.
2012 WCMS Fall Conference - Register Now! (11/14)

2012 FC Tree IconRegistration is now open for the 2012 WCMS Fall Conference held on Wednesday, November 14th from 8:00am - 4:30pm at MAHEC. This year's theme is Keep It Simple: Staying Underwhelmed in an Overwhelming Environment. Go to our website for topics/speakers, fees and registration information.


MedWest-Haywood to cut 56 staff positions 

MedWest-Haywood will cut its staff by 56 positions, according to a memorandum received at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday from John Young, MedWest-Haywood' interim chief executive officer. Read article in The Mountaineer.

Mission Health Names William Hathaway, MD, Chief Medical Officer 

Mission Health is pleased to announce the appointment of William R. Hathaway, MD, to the position of Chief Medical Officer of Mission Hospital. Dr. Hathaway, a long standing member of the Mission Health family, will focus on quality improvements to enhance patient safety while also developing strategies to integrate care processes and ultimately improve clinical outcomes. Read more here.


It's time to re-MEMBER WCMS!

2013 WCMS membership renewal invoices have been mailed and are due by January 1, 2013. Secure and easy payment can be made online here.


WCMS appreciates your continue support. Because of you, we were able to accomplish several key goals this past year including:

  • Connecting key physician leaders and WNC legislators through our Physician Liaison Program in an effort to build strong relationships with legislators and to provide them with their own go-to physician for all healthcare related questions.
  • Co-hosting educational forums for physicians on hot topics such as the implications of the Supreme Court Ruling of the ACA and the issues surrounding Chronic Pain Management, prescribing of narcotics and substance abuse.
  • Starting a Women In Medicine Section of WCMS allowing the fastest-growing segment of physicians to network and lend support to one another in a relaxed and casual setting.
  • Providing a 10% discount on interpreter services to practices with 100% members through our WNC Interpreter Network (WIN).
For a full list of our member benefits click here

Contact your US representative and senators about SGR!

Members of Congress may be primarily focused on their re-election campaigns, but they can't ignore another fast approaching deadline for the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Unless Congress acts, physicians again face a cut in Medicare reimbursement payments on Jan. 1.
This deadline and repeal of the SGR is just the first step towards the larger goal of comprehensive reform of the Medicare physician payment system. It's time to prepare Congress to act with a physician-led strategy on Medicare physician payment reform that:
  1. Stabilizes the Medicare program by repealing the SGR.
  2. Reflects the diversity of physician practices and provide opportunities for physicians to choose payment models that work for their patients, practice, specialty and region.
  3. Implements new systems in Medicare that refocus the delivery system away from a "one-size fits all" approach to one that promotes high quality and high value care.
  4. Adapts existing regulations that act as a barrier to reform, and integrate successful payment and delivery models being used in the private sector.
Physicians MUST lead the way on Medicare physician payment reform. Be an active part of this critical effort and call (800) 833-6354 or click here to email your members of Congress today.

Major Physician Survey Confirms Alarming Trends

The Physicians Foundation recently released the results of one of the largest physician surveys ever undertaken in the United States to provide doctors with a clear snapshot of the most pressing issues facing the medical profession and our nation...Continue reading.

EHR Incentives and Penalties
Timing Considerations (Medicare Program)

From the AMA: Innovator Committee publishes payment reform paper

"Physician Payment Reform: Early Innovators Share What They Have Learned" is a new resource developed by the AMA Innovators Committee, an advisory group of physicians with hands-on experience in the development and management of new delivery and payment models. It describes the
Innovators' own experiences in implementing value-based payment systems that reward high-quality, high-value patient care and offers practical guidance to physicians on how to customize models to their practice setting and service mix. This resource document and an earlier paper on delivery reform are accessible online

From the AMA: New resources for physicians on Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)

HIEs are organizations that supply the connectivity to allow for the electronic exchange of patient health information, and as such, they offer the potential to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care. Because HIEs are an emerging field within health information technology, many physicians
may be unfamiliar with HIEs and the potential benefits and risks involved in participation. To address this knowledge gap, the AMA has created two new resources to help educate physicians on HIEs. "Physicians' Frequently Asked Questions on Health Information Exchanges" provides answers to common questions related to physicians' participation in HIEs and addresses frequent topics of concern, while "What questions should I ask before I sign a contract to participate in a particular HIE?" provides a list of questions and topics that physicians should research before agreeing to join an HIE. The wide variation in HIE structure, services and data exchange models makes it critical for physicians to be fully informed prior to signing a contract with an HIE. Both of these new resources are available on the AMA's website here.  
Job Board


Blue Ridge Community Health Services (BRCHS): Chief Executive Officer 


Blue Ridge Community Health Services (BRCHS): BC/BE Family Medicine Physician 



Has your practice or business had good luck finding the right candidate using our Job Board? Tell us about it, and we'll add your testimonial to our website!     


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

Classified Ads

Grove Park Estate For Sale


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


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

We hope you enjoy our weekly e-newsletter. If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,Miriam Schwarz, CEO


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director