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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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March 19, 2014


In This Issue:
Doctors Day Events
Early Career Affinity Group
Road Trip! Join WCMS Colleagues for White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh
WCMS Legislative Visit with Rep. Nathan Ramsey
Election 2014: More Throw Candidate Hats in Ring as NC Filing Period Ends
WCMS Wants to Help Enroll Your Patients in Insurance- Read Dr. McCann's Testimonial
Help Patients Fill Out Advanced Directives
Medicaid Reform Proposal Formally Announced at Press Conference Today
Join DocBookMD, a Clinical Communication Tool for Patient Care
What is Accountable Care? Radiologists' Edition
From CMS: Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice's Route to ICD-10
Member Announcements- Dr. Frank M. Sutton, Jr., is Presenter at UNC Anesthesia Seminar
Job Board & Classified Ads
Doctors Day Events (3/20) (3/26) 
Be sure to drop by Mission Hospital tomorrow for Doctors Day.  
Mission Hospital celebration
Thursday, March 20
6am - 10am
Mission Hospital Lobby- Main/Visitor Entrance
Visit WCMS' table, receive annual lab work and enjoy other goodies.
(Labs: CBC, Comprehensive Metabolic profile, Lipid profile, PSA, TSH)

Cherokee Indian Hospital celebration
, March 26
Cherokee Indian Hospital- Main Conference Room

Healthy snacks & Wellness screenings/activities

Early Career Affinity Group (3/27)
The Urban Orchard Cider Company, West Asheville
Thursday, March 27  6-8pm


All WNC physicians within the first 10 years of practice (residents and fellows are welcome!) - join your peers for an evening of casual conversation and a pint of local craft beer or a glass of wine compliments of WCMS. If you haven't visited The Urban Orchard, one of Asheville's new hangouts, you are in for a treat!
Road Trip! Join WCMS Colleagues for White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh (5/28)
White Coat Wednesday is your chance to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the government affairs and how best to approach your legislator regarding health care issues. The NCMS will hold a briefing in the morning with tips on "dos and don'ts" in relaying your message to your legislator and on the hot-button medical and patient issues currently in the spotlight at the General Assembly.

Following this briefing, head down with NCMS staff members to the General Assembly and meet one-on-one with your legislator; take part in committee meetings and see the General Assembly in action; and begin building relationships with your legislators for the future.

To sign up, contact Miriam Schwarz at Miriam@mywcms.org or 274-2267 x 312. For more information about WCW, click here.
WCMS Legislative Visit with Rep. Nathan Ramsey 
WCMS staff continued their legislative visits last Wednesday March 12.  Dr. Lydia Jeffries joined CEO Miriam Schwarz and Member Services Coordinator Kristina Isenhour in a meeting with NC Representative Nathan Ramsey.  Rep. Ramsey serves part of Buncombe county. 

The bulk of the conversation centered around Medicaid reform and ACO's.  Rep. Ramsey asked some good questions about how ACO's might work and what WNC providers would like to see as well as explaining his current stance on Medicaid.  Other items of discussion included the primary care shortage in WNC, mental health reform, Medicaid expansion and end of life care. 

Throughout March and April, WCMS staff will continue to meet with State Representatives and Senators throughout the 16 counties of WNC.  If you'd like to join WCMS staff on these legislative visits, please contact Miriam Schwarz at miriam@mywcms.org.  Having physicians present at these meetings to educate and share first hand experience is incredibly beneficial! 
Election 2014: More Throw Candidate Hats in Ring as NC Filing Period Ends
"As the campaign season kicked into high gear, candidates continued to file across Western North Carolina for seats in the state House and Senate and for the U.S. House. The filing period closes today, Feb. 28."

Read full article 
WCMS Wants to Help Enroll Your Patients in Insurance 
The Health Insurance Marketplace is working for many residents across Western North Carolina.  We aim to support your practice and your patients' health outcomes by moving self-pay patients into healthcare plans.  Here's a testimonial from one of our physician members:

"Yesterday, I saw a long standing patient who recently lost her job and her health insurance. She was struggling to afford her medications and was delaying medical care due to finances. While in the office I pulled up the WCMS website and directed her to contact Katherine Hensley, the WCMS Certified Application Counselor for the ACA Marketplace. Within 24 hours, my patient had an affordable health care plan that covers her medications, her office visits and gives her the peace of mind that she is not one emergency away from financial ruin. This is a tremendous service and I strongly encourage all WCMS members to take advantage."
-- William A. McCann, MD, Allergy Partners             

Sign up your uninsured patients! WCMS application counselors will be available throughout the Summer and Fall to serve and enroll your patients.

You must be a member of WCMS to take advantage of this offer for your patient population. To find out more please contact Katherine Hensley at 828-274-2267 x308 or Katherine@mywcms.org.

You can also send your patients to this event on Saturday March 22.

Help Patients Fill Out Advanced Directives   

Is getting your Medicare and other patients to finish advanced directives giving you a headache? Here's some free local help to actually get the job done, with minimal effort on your part.


Medicaid Reform Proposal Formally Announced at Press Conference on 3/17/14 

The NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group formally presented their proposal for Medicaid reform to the General Assembly and the media at a press conference on Monday at their offices. Legislators will take up the matter of reform during their short session this May. Review the complete Medicaid Reform plan (PDF).  

North Carolina Medical Society CEO Robert W. Seligson was invited by DHHS to attend the press conference. The following is Seligson's statement on the proposal:
"We are pleased with the direction of this proposal primarily because it focuses on fundamental reform of the health care delivery system, not solely on payment mechanisms. We also want to emphasize that success depends on a strong data collection and sharing system. The North Carolina Medical Society has long supported data sharing as crucial to true health care reform. Without robust data collection and sharing - for both clinical and claims information - accurate quality benchmarks and measures as well as financial forecasting will be unachievable. Over time, these essential changes will establish a more predictable and sustainable funding for our state's Medicaid program.
While there are many details yet to be worked through, we do know that a strong patient-centered-medical-home (PCMH) is the foundation of this reform model's ultimate success. Building on North Carolina's existing PCMH framework makes good fiscal sense.
We are encouraged by the state's forward-looking approach to Medicaid reform, and believe North Carolina can be a model for others nationally. We stand poised to continue to work with the state and the North Carolina General Assembly during its upcoming session in May to develop the operational plans necessary to build on this promising proposal for our most vulnerable citizens."  

Join DocBookMD, a Clinical Communication Tool for Patient Care 
Over seventy-five 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!

DocBookMD also allows you to electronically search the Western Carolina Medical Society physician directory

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

Click here to see who's already using DocBookMD. 
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.

This week:
The Physician's Accountable Care Toolkit
From CMS: Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice's Route to ICD-10
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce the  release of the Road to 10, a free online resource built with the help of physicians in small practices. Available on the Provider Resources page at cms.gov/ICD10, this tool is intended to help small medical practices jump start their ICD-10 transition.

The Road to 10 gives providers the capability to build ICD-10 action plans tailored for their practice needs. The customized action plans break down the transition into concrete steps:
  • Plan Your Journey - Look at the codes you use, prepare a budget, and  build a team;
  • Train Your Team - Find options and resources to help your team get ready for the transition;
  • Update Your Processes - Check  your clinical documentation and update policies, procedures, systems, and forms;
  • Engage Your Partners - Talk to your software vendors, clearinghouses, and billing services; and
  • Test Your Systems and Processes - Test within your practice and with your partners. 
The tool is designed for use by small practices in primary care as well as all specialties.
Member Announcements- Dr. Frank M. Sutton, Jr., is Presenter at UNC Anesthesia Seminar 

From AllCare Clinical Associates:


AllCare Clinical Associates partner, Frank M. Sutton, Jr., MD, MBA, will be a faculty presenter at a University of North Carolina Department of Anesthesiology seminar for anesthesia residents. Dr. Sutton will speak on the topic "Evaluating a Prospective Practice" at the Transition to Practice seminar to be held April 12, 2014 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

In addition to his clinical duties as a full-time Anesthesiologist, Dr. Sutton is the Clinical Director of Business Development for AllCare Clinical Associates. Dr. Sutton assists hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers by decreasing expenses through improving anesthesia clinical staffing and enhancing facility operating efficiencies.     

Job Board & Classified Ads
2 Bed/1Bath Condo near Mission
Doctor's Office for Lease

Job Board:
Part-time LPN  (Ob/Gyn practice)
PA or FNP  (Sisters of Mercy)
PA or FNP  (Asheville Internal Medicine)


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

WCMS is a thriving 800-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