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VITAL SIGNS
 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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February 6, 2013

In This Issue:
Meet female colleagues at Women In Medicine (2/20)
Sign up your family today for HeartStrings! (2/23)
New for physician members--Cutting Edge Blog
Mission Health opens pediatrics practices in Sylva and Bryson City
Final Reminder - Project Access Pledge Campaign Reminder!
Local doctor uses rap, humor to educate teens
From the WCMS: Women's Heart Health
HIPAA Rule exception-when can you disclose information about a patient?
ACA rules on levying penalties for noncompliance with individual mandate
More than 450 provider organizations join payment-bundling initiative
Some ACA provisions have been delayed
Federally Facilitated Exchanges
Member Announcements
Job Board & Classified Ads

UPCOMING EVENTS  

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

Please join us for wine and other refreshments at the next Women in Medicine social on Wednesday, February 20th at the home of Dr. Lorena Wade. All women physician members are invited to attend, and encouraged to bring physician friends or colleagues (regardless of their membership).

 

The WCMS's Women In Medicine section offers an opportunity for women physicians to meet, network, and share experiences common to their profession. The WIM socials are held bi-monthly.  

 

Click here to RSVP you and your colleagues today!

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

EXERCISE FOR HEALTH AND GIVE FROM YOUR HEART

Saturday, February 23 1-4 PM

Asheville Racquet Club (downtown location)

HeartStrings Logo 
  • Free childcare (ages 6 wks-12 yrs) 
  • Every family team has a chance to win 1/2 off an ARC Pool Membership ($275 value)  
  • Spinning & 30 min family-friendly classes
  • Workout in the state of the art facility and/or swim
  • Family and Practice Teams encouraged (max 5 to a team) 

 

For more details, and to register go to www.mywcms.org/HeartStrings2013 

 

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LOCAL NEWS 
New for physician members--Cutting Edge Blog
The Cutting Edge is a WCMS members-only, healthcare innovations blog, highlighting WNC physicians, practices and programs that are on the cutting edge of healthcare transformation. WCMS supports local physician members who are change agents by recognizing them and sharing among other WCMS members and the general community information about these local innovations. Be sure to visit it often! To view our first blog entry and to respond to it, click here: http://mywcms.org/Practice-Mgmt-Resources/CuttingEdgeBlog.aspx.
Mission Health opens pediatrics practices in Sylva and Bryson City
Mission Children's Sylva and Mission Children's Bryson City opened today to provide comprehensive pediatric care to the westernmost counties of North Carolina. Formerly known as Sylva Pediatrics, the renamed practices in Sylva and Bryson City will now operate under the umbrella of Mission Children's Hospital to deliver the same high quality pediatric care provided by the original physicians along with access to the specialized services of a world-class health system. Keep reading
FINAL REMINDER - Project Access Pledge Campaign

Dear Buncombe County Physicians & Practice Managers: 

  • I thought I'd make one last appeal to you for your 2013 Pledge for Project Access. 
  • We prefer for you to tell us the specific number of PA patients that you're willing to see as we now have the ability to track your donations in our new IT system fhases and prevent over- or underutilization of your generosity.
  • However, if we do not receive a response from you by February 8th, we will assume you're comfortable with the historic default numbers of 10 patients per year for primary care physicians and 20 per year for specialists.
  • Download your 2013 Pledge form here

 

Once again, thank you for your continuing generosity for those of our Buncombe County neighbors in need.

 

With gratitude,

 

Sharon Lewis
Director of Foundation Programs
Local doctor uses rap, humor to educate teens
Like many doctors, Shannon Dowler does her day-to-day work in a white coat.

Deep in Dowler's closet, however, is a different doctor's coat. This one is trimmed in hot pink fur, silver buttons that form a skull and crossbones, gold buttons that spell out "drama queen" and the words "Rap Dkta D" in big letters on the back. 

Read article in BlueRidgeNow.com. 
From the WCMS: Women's Heart Health  
On Dec. 30, 1963 Lyndon B Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation declaring February as American Heart Month. He urged the people of the Unites States to, "...give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution." In 2004, the American Heart Association initiated the Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness that heart disease is as much a disease of women as it is of men. Continue reading in the Mountain Xpress.  
NATIONAL NEWS 
HIPAA Rule exception-when can you disclose information about a patient?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a letter to physicians and other providers to ensure that they are aware of their ability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to take action, consistent with their ethical standards or other legal obligations, to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when they believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people. This letter was issued in the wake of the Newtown, Ct., shootings and clearly articulates that HIPAA "does not prevent your ability to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when you believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people." 
ACA rules on levying penalties for noncompliance with individual mandate
The Obama administration yesterday published proposed rules outlining how the government will levy the penalties for noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The rules include exemptions from the mandate for several groups, including undocumented immigrants and low-income residents in states that have declined to participate in the Medicaid expansion. The rules also retain a controversial provision in the ACA that bases whether U.S. residents get subsidies to help purchase health coverage on the cost of an individual plan instead of a family plan, which could mean many families do not receive the subsidies depending on the cost of the plan as a percentage of an individual's income. (Sources: The Hill's "Healthwatch," 1/30; The Hill's "Healthwatch," 1/30; AP/Miami Herald, 1/30; Modern Healthcare, 1/30; New York Times, 1/30)  
More than 450 provider organizations join payment-bundling initiative
Click here to read article in Modern Healthcare. (Note: you must be a modernhealthcare.com subscriber to access this article. It's free!)  
Some ACA provisions have been delayed
Some Affordable Care Act provisions that were scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 -- such as higher reimbursements for primary care physicians that treat Medicaid beneficiaries and additional federal funding for states that eliminate Medicaid copayments for preventive care -- have been delayed as the federal government focuses on meeting the Oct. 1 deadline for the health insurance marketplaces and the Jan. 1, 2014, deadline for the Medicaid expansion. (Sources: Kaiser Health News/ MedPage Today, 2/2; Kaiser Health News' "Capsules," 2/1)  
ITEMS OF INTEREST  
Federally Facilitated Exchanges

States that do not establish an insurance exchange or 'partnership' model will have the federal government run one for them. Read article in Health Affairs. 

Member Announcements

Dr. Cindy Brown Honored with The William Bruce Award by WNCPA   

 

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 

 

Asheville Anesthesia Assoc - Resolution Specialist 

 

Canon Family Health, PLLC- Practice Administrator 

 

ECP: Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant

 

Internal Medicine Practice: Physician  

 

Orthopedic Surgery Practice: Physician Assistant  

 

Plastic Surgery Center: Medical Biller 

 

 

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