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VITAL SIGNS
 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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December 11, 2013

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In This Issue:
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
Save the Date: WCMS Annual Celebration! (1/18/14)
Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/18/14)
WCMS Certified Application Counselor Enrolls First Patient in Marketplace!
Join the Mobile Revolution with DocBookMD, a WCMS Benefit
Prevent Spreading and Getting the Flu
Physicians' Voice in the News
DHHS Seeks to Curb Mental Crisis ER Visits
Medicaid Overhaul Shifts to Regional Managed Care Plans
Medicaid Reform Advisory Group Holds Its First Open Meeting
Follow-up NC Audit Finds NCTracks Problems
Revised NC Death Certificates Starting Jan. 1, 2014
Meaningful-Use Deadline Pushed Back One Year
Senate and House to Take up Permanent SGR repeal
Member Announcements: Awaken Skin & Body
Job Board & Classified Ads
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
The 2013-2014 "Blue Book" is ready for ordering!  This is a comprehensive directory of physicians, produced by WCMS that:
  • Includes physicians and practices from all 16 WNC counties
  • Is pocket size for easy access
  • Has a discounted price for practices with 100% members of WCMS! 
To place an order, go to www.mywcms.org/BlueBook and pay online or download an order form.

Have questions or need to know if you're part of a 100% member practice? Email us at membership@mywcms.org)
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
Save the Date: WCMS Annual Celebration!  (1/18/14) 
Saturday, January 18th, 6:00-9:00pm
at
CarePartners
68 Sweeten Creek Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Sponsored by:
Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1/18/14)
On Saturday, January 18, 2014 residents of Asheville and Buncombe County will celebrate our community's 33rd 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) as a gift on a first-come-first-served basis. 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 18, 2014
8:30-10:30 a.m.
(Doors Open 8:00 am)
Grand Ballroom, Grove Park Inn
 
Reserve your ticket(s) by December 20th by contacting Julia Lockamy (Julia@mywcms.org or 274-2267, ext 311).
LOCAL NEWS 
WCMS Certified Application Counselor Enrolls First Patient in Marketplace!  
WCMS' new CAC, Katherine Hensley, who started with WCMS Foundation just a few weeks ago, has already passed her national certification test and met with her first client last week who was eligible to obtain subsidies via the ACA marketplace. The client works part-time for a local non-profit and therefore does not receive employer-based insurance. In only 35 minutes the client had completed her application and qualified for subsidies. She successfully enrolled in the marketplace with a $500 deductible and a monthly payment of $41!

In the coming weeks, Katherine will begin working with marketplace-eligible Project Access patients, with the goal moving as many patients as possible off the Project Access roles to fully insured health care services. WCMS is grateful to Mission Community Enhancement for providing one year of funding for the CAC position. 
Join the Mobile Revolution with DocBookMD, a WCMS Benefit
Sixty of your colleagues have already signed up for this free benefit. They are using the DocBookMD app to send one another HIPAA-compliant text messages and photos. Message content can include diagnosis, test results, or medical history. Physicians can also add a high-resolution image of an EKG, an X-ray, lab report, or anything that can be photographed with a smartphone.

They are also able to search the Western Carolina Medical Society directory. Physicians can look up other physicians in WNC by first or last name or by specialty. Physicians can then contact other physicians by messaging, office phone, cell phone, or email.

Want to sign up? Here's how: http://www.mywcms.org/Membership/DocBookMD/#SignUp 
Prevent Spreading and Getting the Flu 
Download posters to spread the message about preventing flu spread.

Click here
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.
STATE NEWS 
DHHS Seeks to Curb Mental Crisis ER Visits
A new Crisis Solutions Coalition meets for the first time Dec. 9 in a statewide effort to reduce the number of emergency room visits for those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Read article
Medicaid Overhaul Shifts to Regional Managed Care Plans
RALEIGH - A new proposal for changing North Carolina's Medicaid program would divide the state into regions to be served by medical and insurance networks rather than having companies bid to offer government insurance coverage statewide.

Read article
Medicaid Reform Advisory Group Holds Its First Open Meeting
Raleigh, NC - The Medicaid Reform Advisory Group yesterday held its first meeting to assist the Department of Health and Human Services in developing a reform plan for North Carolina's Medicaid system.

Read article
Follow-up NC Audit Finds NCTracks Problems
A new North Carolina Medicaid billing system continues to falls short on addressing defects months after coming online in the summer and on completing government-mandated changes on time, according to a state performance audit released Monday.

Read more
Revised NC Death Certificates Starting Jan. 1, 2014
All deaths occurring in NC on or after January 1, 2014, must be filed on the revised NC death certificate.

Click here for details. 
NATIONAL NEWS 
Meaningful-Use Deadline Pushed Back One Year 
The CMS is giving providers another year to show they've met the Stage 2 criteria of the federal government's incentive program to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records. That means the start of the next phase will be pushed back a year. 
Senate and House to Take up Permanent SGR repeal. 
The AP (12/11, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports that both Democrats and Republicans now favor a permanent change to "Medicare's broken physician payment policy," known as the "sustainable growth rate" (SGR) and are working towards a new system that would contain "financial carrots and sticks for doctors to provide quality, cost-effective care" for Medicare patients, with "up to 10 percent of an individual physician's pay" connected to "quality indicators." This week, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to take up "a broad bipartisan framework" on the matter which will also be taken up by the House Ways and Means Committee. Yet, Congress will still have to adopt a "temporary patch" for early 2014, as no one expects agreement on a plan before the beginning of the year. The biggest obstacle to that is the need to find "offsets" to the cost of the temporary fix. As to the permanent fix, the AMA is said to be "reserving judgment."
ITEMS OF INTEREST 
 
Member Announcements 
Awaken Skin & Body Press Release
Asheville, NC- Awaken Skin & Body today began offering western North Carolina's first noninvasive treatments for permanent fat reduction and skin tightening and rejuvenation. The devices used in the practice deliver high-intensity focused ultrasound and RF treatments that work with the body to achieve real results.

Dr. Jill Vargo is the medical director for the practice. She helps patients with aging issues on a daily basis in her practice as a Rheumatologist. Dr. Vargo has followed anti-aging technology and medicine for many years.  She has a keen interest in the rapidly changing aesthetics industry.

Read full press release.


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
WCMS: Information Systems Coordinator
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.  

Sincerely,

Miriam Schwarz

 

Miriam Schwarz signature




 

Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director