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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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Health Reform Info

Project Access

WNC Interpreter Network

Boards of Directors



January 15, 2014


CircOfFriends VS
In This Issue:
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
This Saturday: WCMS Annual Celebration (1/18/14)
WCMS Receives Grant for New Certified Application Counselor
The Votes are in for WCMS' 2014 Association and Foundation Boards of Directors
What did WCMS do for you in 2013?
Join the Mobile Revolution with DocBookMD, a free WCMS Benefit (a value of $299)
McCrory: "Feel fortunate that I did not expand Obamacare"
Status of Marketplace Enrollment in NC
ICD-10: Less Than One Year Out
2014 Final Physician Fee Schedule Rule Impact Table
From the AMA: CMS Seeking Information on Problems with Exchange Plans
What is Accountable Care?
Member Announcements
Job Board & Classified Ads
2013-2014 "Blue Books" Available 
Has your practice ordered the WCMS Physician Directory yet?

This is a comprehensive regional 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
This Saturday: WCMS Annual Celebration!  
You are invited to the
2014 WCMS Annual Celebration

Saturday, January 18th,

at CarePartners
68 Sweeten Creek Rd
Asheville, NC 28803


Enjoy an evening of food, music, camaraderie with fellow physicians and a chance to meet your new WCMS Board leaders.  Please RSVP ASAP! 


Register now


Sponsored by:
WCMS Receives Grant for New Certified Application Counselor 
The Community Catalyst and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced the award of $33,000 to the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation as part of the In-Person Assister/Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Initiative. These funds will increase WCMS' capacity as a certified application counselor organization to build upon existing outreach and enrollment efforts.  The additional Certified Application Counselor at WCMS will focus on assisting eligible Buncombe County Project Access® patients into the Marketplace allowing our current CAC to focus on the rural practices within our Region. The new CAC will work side-by-side with other Project Access®  staff and our safety net partners to identify, refer, educate and enroll Project Access® patients in the insurance marketplace. Well over 400 Project Access® patients are between the 100-138% FPL and may be eligible for subsidies to purchase health insurance from the Federally Facilitated Marketplace.  
The Votes are in for WCMS' 2014 Association and Foundation Boards of Directors
WCMS received well over the 10% membership votes required to vote in our  new boards and 100% voted Yes for the following board slates.

Congratulations, new board members! 

2014 Association Board
2014 Foundation Board 
What did WCMS do for you in 2013? 
Here's a summary of our strategic plan and what we accomplished.

Want to know what we're up to in 2014? Click here.

Comments? Questions? Email me at Miriam@mywcms.org.
Join the Mobile Revolution with DocBookMD, a free WCMS Benefit (a value of $299) 
Seventy of your colleagues have already signed up for this free benefit. DocBookMD is a HIPAA compliant clinical tool- you can securely send text messages regarding patient care! 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.

DocBookMD also allows you to electronically search the Western Carolina Medical Society physician 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, phone or email.

Want to sign up? Here's how: http://www.mywcms.org/Membership/DocBookMD/#SignUp

Click here to see who's already using DocBookMD. 
McCrory: "Feel fortunate that I did not expand Obamacare" 
In response to renewed calls for a special legislative session to expand Medicaid, Gov. McCrory firmly stands by his original stance not to expand, as Jason DeBruyn writes in this story.

Read more from the Triangle Business Journal, 12/24/13. 
Status of Marketplace Enrollment in NC    
North Carolina has the 5th highest enrollment in the insurance marketplace of the 50 states, going from 1,600 for October to 108,000 by the end of December. 
ICD-10: Less Than One Year Out    
If you are a provider, payer, or other health care entity, you should prepare for your ICD-10 transition now.

Read article from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 
2014 Final Physician Fee Schedule Rule Impact Table 
(submitted by Management Services On Call, one of WCMS' Preferred Vendors)
CMS has issued the 2014 Final Physician Fee Schedule Rule Impact Table. Notable adjustments were made, including a 6% decrease for Pathology and a 6% increase for Mental Health.
Click here to view the table.

If you have questions about how this affects your practice, please contact Lauren Ballew at L.Ballew@msochealth.com or (919) 442-1103.

Note that MSOC is a WCMS Preferred Vendor and offers discounts to our membership. Be sure to mention that you are a WCMS member if you call MSOC. 
From the AMA: CMS Seeking Information on Problems with Exchange Plans
Health insurance selected on the state and federal health insurance exchanges, also known as the Marketplace, became effective on January 1, 2014.  If state medical societies, specialty societies, or medical practices experience or learn about problems or issues with specific health plans that are being sold on the exchanges, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is anxious to hear about them so that they can work to fix them.  Please provide the specific implementation problem that arises with the plan, the name of the plan, the state in which it is located, and as many other details as possible, such as the group number.  To inform the AMA about problems that are identified, email all of this information to us at exchangeplans@ama-assn.org and we will advocate with CMS to get the problems resolved. 
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.

This week:
Shared Savings Guide
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
Family Physician  (Asheville Family Health Center)
PA or FNP  (Asheville Internal Medicine)
Physicians  (Extended Care Physicians)
Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant  (Extended Care Physicians)
Bookkeeper/Administrator  (WCMS)
Interpreter Network Program Administrator  (WCMS)
Certified Application Counselor  (WCMS)


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