WCMS with tagline
 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

Endorsed Vendor Programs

Learn more.

Discount Programs 

 Learn more.


Health Reform Info

Project Access

WNC Interpreter Network

Boards of Directors



January 16, 2013

In This Issue:
Doctor Directory - Sponsor Message
Network with your colleagues at the 2013 WCMS Annual Celebration (1/26)
Meet female colleagues at Women In Medicine (2/20)
Sign up your family today for HeartStrings! (2/23)
URGENT - Project Access Pledge Campaign Reminder!
Where can I find updates on important news on a daily basis?
Learn about WNC's Patient Centered Medical Home Project
The votes are in! Meet your new WCMS Association and Foundation Boards for 2013!
What's new in the world of Accountable Care?
Medicaid payment increases being implemented for primary care
SGR, begone
A Guide to Health Insurance Exchanges
Job Board & Classified Ads


Network with your colleagues at the 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!



Meet female colleagues at Women In Medicine - February Social (2/20)

SAVE THE DATE! All women in medicine are invited to attend the next Women in Medicine Social on Wednesday, February 20th from 5:30-7:00pm at the residence of Dr. Lorena Wade. More details to follow. 

Sign up your family today for HeartStrings! (2/23)


HeartStrings title only  

Saturday, February 23 1-4 PM

Asheville Racquet Club (downtown location)

  • Spinning and 30 minute family- friendly classes
  • Workout in the state of the art facility, swim, play tennis
  • Family and Practice Teams encouraged (max 5 to a team) 

Register now at www.mywcms.org/HeartStrings2013



URGENT - Project Access Pledge Campaign Reminder! 

Project Access is now receiving physicians' pledges for 2013. It is vital that we receive these pledges so Project Access Navigators can take the guess work out of knowing which physicians are participating and at what levels, then apportion referrals equitably among participating physicians. 


Click here for details on the pledge process and to download the form. You can also forward the link to your Practice Manager and they can complete these forms for your practice.


Thank you for your continued volunteerism in helping the low-income, uninsured in our community! 

Where can I find updates on important news on a daily basis? 

WCMS strives to keep you up to date weekly with Vital Signs, but there's more news than can fit into a weekly newsletter. If you want daily updates, check out our Twitter feed and our Facebook page. 

Learn about WNC's Patient Centered Medical Home Project

The Western North Carolina Patient Centered Medical Home Project facilitates collaboration between existing community resources (MAHEC Center for Quality Improvement and CCWNC) to help Primary Care practices in western North Carolina implement a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care.   The three-year project, which is entering its second year, is funded by The Duke Endowment and The Mission Healthcare Foundation, and is managed by Mission Hospital. 

Read on: 



The votes are in! Meet your new WCMS Association and Foundation Boards for 2013! 

Congratulations to our new WCMS Association President, Frank Moretz, MD and our new WCMS Foundation Chair, Win Word-Sims, MD.

See Press Release


Click here for full roster of the 2013 WCMS Association Board of Directors. 

Click here for full roster of the 2013 WCMS Foundation Board of Directors.

What's new in the world of Accountable Care?

The Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS), along with many other North Carolina medical societies and organizations, are committed to helping the medical community face the challenges of a changing health care environment. Together we are launching the Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative for the purpose of providing the medical community with the knowledge and tools needed to understand, participate in, navigate, lead, and succeed in a value-driven health care system. Here are several updates for your information:

  • Click here for an updated version of the NC ACOs that we are currently aware of in NC. If you are aware of others, please let me know.
  • Click here for a list of 2013 deliverables you can expect from WCMS/the TAC Consortium.

If you have questions, ideas, comments, please email Miriam@mywcms.org. 


Medicaid payment increases being implemented for primary care 

Today is the opening day of the State Legislative Session. Now that we know who will be in office for the next few years we are deploying our physician liaisons to go out and build relationships with their assigned legislators. Our goal is for our liaisons to serve as the go-to physician for their legislator on healthcare related issues. Click on this link to find out who your physician liaisons are in WNC! Under a provision included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), starting on Jan. 1, 2013 through 2014, state Medicaid programs are required to begin paying for primary care services and vaccine administration
at rates no lower than Medicare. In a number of states, these increases are very substantial. CMSrecently posted a set of frequently asked questions about implementation of the new policy. Physicians are encouraged to review these FAQs to learn which primary care specialists and subspecialists are eligible for the payment increases and how to obtain them. In addition, physicians can look to their own state Medicaid program's website for state-specific resources such as attestation forms and other implementation details. State medical societies may also have resources on this topic for their members.

The payment increases apply to states' Medicaid fee schedules, Medicaid managed care plans, and state CHIP Medicaid expansion plans, and although not to federally-qualified health centers or separate
(stand-alone) CHIP plans.   

SGR, begone 

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission last week released a proposal that would permanently repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate formula, which is used to determine Medicare physician reimbursement rates. Earlier this month, President Obama signed "fiscal cliff" legislation (HR 8) that included a provision to delay for one year a 26.5% reduction to Medicare physician reimbursement rates called for by the SGR and freeze payment rates at current levels. Under the panel's proposal --which will be formally presented to Congress on March 15 as part of MedPAC's annual report -- the cost of repealing and replacing the SGR would be paid for by a range of pay freezes and cuts to providers. During the meeting on Thursday, the panel also unanimously voted to recommend against increasing payment rates for hospice programs and long term care hospitals in 2014. (Sources: CQ HealthBeat, 1/11 [Subscription Required]; Modern Physician, 1/11)  

A Guide to Health Insurance Exchanges

Note: you must sign in with Medscape to access this article. 

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

Asheville Anesthesia Assoc - Billing Specialist/Coder


Internal Medicine Practice: Physician 


Orthopedic Surgery Practice: Physician Assistant 


Plastic Surgery Center: Medical Biller


WCMS: Project Access Navigator


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