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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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January 2, 2013

In This Issue:
Doctor Directory - Sponsor Message
Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/19)
2013 WCMS Annual Celebration (1/26)
11th Annual HeartStrings (2/23)
Project Access® Program Receives Funding from TD Charitable Foundation
Project Access: Coordinated Healthcare for the Uninsured Poor.
Companies Prepare for Health Law
FROM THE AMA: SGR and Sequestration Cuts Averted


Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/19) 

On Saturday, January 19, 2013 citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County will celebrate our community's 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King.

Join Us!
WCMS has purchased a limited number of tickets for this engaging event, which we are offering to physician members (and one guest) on a first-come-first-served basis. There are only four tickets left! Join your local elected officials, physician colleagues, and fellow community leaders at the MLK Prayer Breakfast (the largest such gathering in the country). 
Saturday, January 19, 2013
8:30-10:30 a.m.
Grand Ballroom, Grove Park Inn
Reserve your ticket(s) by December 21 by contacting Denise Lewis (Denise@mywcms.org or 274-2267, ext 302).

2013 WCMS Annual Celebration (1/26)

All physician members, Board of Directors, Practice Managers from our 100% Member Practices, BCMS Alliance Members, their spouse/partners or guests are invited to attend the 2013 WCMS Annual Celebration! This year's event is graciously hosted and sponsored by BMW of Asheville; a long-time community supporter whose facility has become a premier event location in the area! Catered by Frankie Bones, and featuring live music by Chris Rhodes. 


Saturday, January 26th, 2013 

BMW of Asheville on Airport Rd. in Fletcher


This event is free, but you must RSVP (Click Here) to attend!



Also, you could win a trip for 2 to go to the BMW Performance Center in Greenville, SC!



11th Annual HeartStrings (2/23)

Save the date for the 11th Annual HeartStrings, a family-friendly, fitness fundraiser that raises money for Project Access® and the charitable programs of the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

1:00pm - 4:00pm
Asheville Raquet Club- Downtown Location 


Go to our website for more details!   


Project Access® Program Receives Funding from TD Charitable Foundation 

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, recently awarded an $8,500 grant to the Western Carolina Medical Society's Project Access® program. Go to our website to view full Press Release. 

Project Access: Coordinated Healthcare for the Uninsured Poor  

Read article in Angels of Medicine. 


Companies Prepare for Health Law
With Much of the U.S. Overhaul to Take Effect in a Year, Companies Weigh Employee-Benefit Options

One of the biggest decisions for many companies this year will be what to do about their health benefits. They have just 12 months before the major provisions of the federal overhaul law take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, reshaping health coverage in the U.S. Employers with at least 50 workers will owe penalties if they don't cover full-time employees. 2014 will bring significant change for many smaller companies above the 50-worker threshold, and those in industries that have lots of lower-income and part-time workers. Some offer no health benefits today, or limited coverage that won't meet the law's standards. Upgrading to richer plans could raise costs substantially; failing to do so could trigger the penalties, which can amount to $2,000 or $3,000 for each uncovered worker, depending on the circumstances, with the first 30 employees exempted from the count. Companies that already provide health benefits may see their spending go up as workers who had opted out of such plans in the past decide to take them because of the individual mandate. In a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans, nearly a quarter of employers said they were at least somewhat likely to provide coverage to some employees but direct others to the exchanges. Read more at the Wall Street Journal (Must be a subscriber).     

FROM THE AMA: SGR and Sequestration Cuts Averted

A nearly 30% cut in Medicare physician payments was averted on Jan .1 when the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8 the American Taxpayer Relief Act, also known as the Middle Class Tax Relief Act.  Previously the Senate approved the package on a vote of 89-8. Keep reading
From ModernHealthcare.com: The House of Representatives late Tuesday approved the Senate's last-minute fiscal cliff package (PDF) that staves off a sharp Medicare physician pay cut by cutting billions from other Medicare providers, including hospitals, pharmacies and dialysis clinics.

Early on New Year's Day, the Senate voted 89-8 to approve the American Taxpayer Relief Act, an amended version of a tax bill that House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced last summer. House members on Tuesday considered the Senate-passed legislation in meetings during the day and floor debate in the evening. In a vote of 257 to 167, the House passed the measure, which permanently extends middle-class tax cuts and postpones the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester for two months. The legislation also averts the expected 26.5% Medicare physician payment cut and extends current Medicare payment rates for doctors through Dec.31, 2013.

Now that both chambers have approved the package, Congress will send the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature. 
Member Announcements

Are you a WCMS Member who is opening a new practice? Are you a 100% Member Practice who has hired a new physician? Send us your announcements and we will post them for you in our new Member Announcements section of Vital Signs to keep other members informed about what's happening in our WCMS community!    

Job Board & Classified Ads

Internal Medicine Practice: Physician 


Orthopedic Surgery Practice: Physician Assistant 


Plastic Surgery Center: Medical Biller


Office Space Available - Arden


To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.


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