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In This Issue:
Parsec Financial - Sponsor Message (Left)
Project Access Innovations Continue!
New Members to WCMS
WCMS Endowment Fund Contributes $10,125 to Polk County Wellness Center's New Diabetes Program
Physicians' Voice in the News
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Joins Mission
The Van Winkle Law Firm continues as WCMS Circle of Friends member
NC Public Health Chief Also to Oversee Medicaid
Report: Nearly 3.3 Million Americans Have Enrolled in Private Obamacare Plans
AMA-How You Can Tip the Balance for SGR Repeal
2-1-1 App
Benefits to WCMS Membership
2013-2014 Physician Directory "Blue Book"
Job Board & Classified Ads



The Community Pulse e-Newsletter is designed for community members and non-member physicians. We choose selected important news and information items to share with you, so you are able to stay in-the-know on topics of interest to you.

If you are a physician but not yet a member, click here to view benefits of joining WCMS, and click here to complete an application.


Thank you for your support of, and interest in, the Western Carolina Medical Society!    

Project Access Innovations Continue!
Project Access plans in the coming year to integrate with our Certified Application Counselor functions with the goal of enrolling as many uninsured people as possible into the marketplace. We have already started down that road to see if it works, and it does. In the past 20 days, with only one counselor trained/on board, we've successfully enrolled 17 PA patients into the marketplace at the silver plan or above level. All of them are paying less than $30/month in premiums, some as low as under $2/month. We've just hired a second bilingual CAC who passed her exam last week.

Our goals for the coming year are to
  1. Enroll uninsured Buncombe Countians with incomes up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) into either Medicaid, Medicare, Project Access® or the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) as eligible, in order to procure either a payer source or charity care as the case may be,
  2. Continue delivering wraparound services (screenings, procedures, specialty care, labs, medications, DME, interpretation...aka Project Access®) for low-income, uninsured Buncombe Countians up to 138% of FPL that complements the regional strategy of getting as many residents as possible into patient-centered medical homes. WCMS will accomplish these goals by cross-training our PA Navigators with our Certified Application Counselors (CACs) to create NaviCACs who'll be able to provide screening and enrollment services for all of these programs, depending on the unique needs of each of our patients/customers and safety net partners, and
  3. Provide CAC services to member physician practices across the 15 non-Buncombe rural counties that are in the Western Carolina Medical Society catchment area.
New Members to WCMS   
Click here to view the newest physicians to join WCMS!  
WCMS Endowment Fund Contributes $10,125 to Polk County Wellness Center's New Diabetes Program

2/10/14--The Polk Wellness Center received $20,000 in grant funds from the People In Need grant program of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The WCMS Endowment Fund is proud to have contributed $10,125 towards this grant.

Ten thousand dollars of the grant funds will be used to develop and implement the first diabetes education and support program in Polk County. At present, there is no existing diabetic education program in Polk County. Polk Wellness Center plans to develop a program that is nationally recognized and accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and focuses on low income insured and underinsured residents of the county that suffer from diabetes and related chronic health problems. 60 to 75 patients will be served in the first year. An additional $10,000 in grant funds will be used to replace and upgrade computer software equipment that works with the Electronic Medical Records System. The new equipment will allow Polk Wellness Center office staff to increase the number of patients receiving primary and integrated care services.

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.
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Joins Mission
"Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and Mission Health completed the legal process required to bring Highlands on as a full member of the system. ... Highlands CEO Craig James becomes an employee of Mission Health while all other..."

Read the Asheville Citizen-Times article.
The Van Winkle Law Firm continues as WCMS Circle of Friends member
Miriam Schwarz, CEO, is pleased to announce the Van Winkle Law Firm is once again participating in the WCMS Circle of Friends Program for 2014. Van Winkle has long been a supporter of WCMS and the physicians of Western North Carolina.

The WCMS Circle of Friends Program is by invitation only and has many advantages, including numerous opportunities to spend time with physicians and being recognized throughout the year as an over-arching supporter of WCMS.

If, as a WCMS member physician, you'd like to recommend a company to join the Circle of Friends Program or have comments about companies in this program, please contact Miriam@mywcms.org

NC Public Health Chief Also to Oversee Medicaid
NC public health chief also to oversee Medicaid. Click here to read more 

Report: Nearly 3.3 Million Americans Have Enrolled in Private Obamacare Plans
AMA-How You Can Tip the Balance for SGR Repeal
A long-awaited and hard-fought bill to permanently repeal Medicare's fatally flawed SGR formula finally is before Congress, following a milestone announcement Thursday. It's critical to maintain the momentum in Congress: Your voice could tip the balance to pass repeal this year. Read more. 

2-1-1 App
Did you know there is an app for finding help for seniors, children and others in need? Android smart phone users can link directly to community resource solutions with the new NC 2-1-1 Android App.

With the app, you can dial 2-1-1, you can search nc211.org or you can complete a simple search for services near you using your smart phone.

Visit here to download the new Android app. iPhone users can download the app from the iTunes store. 
Benefits to WCMS Membership 

Did you know that one benefit of being a WCMS Member is:

We advocate on behalf of the physicicians

WCMS is engaging with WNC legislators and policy makers on ACA; Medicaid reform; patient safety, health and access; managed care; and other key issues to help physicians play a role in a healthier Western North Carolina.

We are visiting legislators now.  If you are a physician looking to get involved, contact ceo@mywcms.org or apply for membership
2013-2014 Physician Directory "Blue Book"
Have you ordered the WCMS Physician Directory yet?
We only have a limited quantity left in stock, so order yours today!

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
Job Board  

Click here to see the latest jobs posted on our website. 


To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.

Learn more about the Western Carolina Medical Society on this page. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.   



Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director 
(828) 274-2267 ext. 312