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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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November 13, 2013


CircOfFriends VS
In This Issue:
Free Affordable Care Act Classes for Your Patients/Employees who Need Insurance
Local Leaders Say Hospital Purchase Good for Communities
Public Health Update
Physicians' Voice in the News
2013-2014 Physician Directory "Blue Book"
NCMS CEO Meets with Governor and Health Care Leaders on Medicaid Issues
What is Accountable Care?
Member Announcements
Job Board & Classified Ads
Free Affordable Care Act Classes for Your Patients/Employees who Need Insurance
The Council on Aging of Buncombe County and Pisgah Legal Services are pleased to announce information sessions on the Affordable Care for individuals interested in learning how to purchase health insurance through the marketplace.  The purpose of the sessions is to explain the various parts of the Affordable Care Act, how an individual can apply for coverage and answer questions regarding the program.  Pisgah Legal Services and the Council on Aging are designated Navigator agencies offering unbiased information regarding the marketplace.

The classes are free and open to the public. No products are sold, recommended or endorsed. For class schedule, click here.
Local Leaders Say Hospital Purchase Good for Communities  
Read the Smoky Mountain News article which includes the topics below and more:
  • What about Mission?
  • What happens to MedWest? 
  • What's a hospital worth? 
Public Health Update   
Click here to view the recent notice from the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services regarding Requirements for Infection Prevention in Health Care Settings.   
Physicians' Voice in the News     
WCMS is proud to announce another high quality addition to the series of "The Physicians' Voice" media presentations aimed to showcase to the general public our physicians' world-class medical expertise and focus on patient/community health.  
Here is the latest release:
You can read all about The Physicians' Voice on our website.
2013-2014 Physician Directory "Blue Book" 
The 2013-2014 "Blue Book" is ready for ordering!  This comprehensive directory of physicians, produced by WCMS, now includes physicians and practices from all 16 WNC counties. If you would like to place an order, you can do that quickly and easily online.

(If you have a question or need to know if you're a 100% practice to get the discounted price, contact membership@mywcms.org)
NCMS CEO Meets with Governor and Health Care Leaders on Medicaid Issues 
North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) CEO Robert Seligson participated in a meeting yesterday with Governor Pat McCrory, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos, MD, Medicaid providers, state policy officials and other health care organization representatives to discuss the state's Medicaid program.

While the problem-plagued NCTracks Medicaid Claims system was not discussed at this meeting, some new insights were revealed about the administration's developing plans to reform the Medicaid system. These ideas include:


  • Providers' greater "assumption of risk" will be progressive over time.
  • There would be a move away from fee-for-service to pay-for-value.
  • The state would have five to seven regions in which provider groups, including accountable care organizations and managed care organizations would compete to enroll Medicaid patients.
  • There would be three categories of Medicaid patients:
    1. general, including mothers and children,  
    2. the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, and  
    3. institutional patients and those who are qualified for institutional care, but are receiving home and community services.


"The NCMS is strongly committed to working with the administration, department and legislature along with our health care partners to develop a viable and sustainable plan," Seligson emphasized. "Our common goal is to improve access, efficiency and address the many challenges that must be overcome first in order to effectively reform the system."


The administration hopes to present their plan to the General Assembly by March 17.

Your thoughts? Comment Now

What is Accountable Care?
Over 40 North Carolina medical societies and organizations- including WCMS- have joined together in a commitment to helping the medical community face the challenges of a changing health care environment, launching the Toward Accountable Care Consortium and Initiative. The Consortium was designed to provide the medical community with the knowledge and tools needed to understand, participate in, navigate, lead, and succeed in a value-driven health care system. The initiative will distribute resources to its members, such as user-friendly documents that contain relevant information for all physicians regarding accountable care; at least 20 specialty-specific toolkits; a merit-based, shared-savings pool distribution guide; a guide to negotiating bundled payments; related webinars and educational sessions; articles, podcasts, and short videos, and other print and social media.

Beginning this week, WCMS will weekly via Vital Signs share with membership in a stepwise fashion information, resources and toolkits to help you prepare for accountable care.

Let's begin at the beginning: What is Accountable Care?  For a relatively brief synopsis, read on at www.tac-consortium.org/accountable-care.

Next week: Physician Involvement in ACOs.
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! Contact Kristina Isenhour, Member Services Coordinator at kristina@mywcms.org   
Job Board & Classified Ads
Allergy Partners: Nurse Practitioner
Asheville Internal Medicine: PA or FNP

ECP: Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant 

ECP: Physicians


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.  


Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director