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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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April 2, 2014


In This Issue:
WCMS Foundation Launches Annual Campaign
Improving Your Practice's Bottom Line
Road Trip! Join WCMS Colleagues for White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh
WCMS Signs Letter to Secretary WOS Regarding 3% Medicaid Cut
WCMS Participates In Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act
Are you experiencing significant delays in BCBS payment?
Triangle Medical Group Doctor Sees ACOs As "Right Way to Go"
Surge To Seven Million with Insurance Coverage
SGR, ICD-10 extensions approved by Senate
ICD-10 delay puts pressure on CMS for answers
Join DocBookMD, A Clinical Tool that Fits in Your Pocket
What is Accountable Care? Urologists' Edition
Member Announcements
Job Board & Classified Ads
WCMS Foundation Launches Annual Campaign "Expanding Access to Care" 

Join the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation in helping residents in our region who are uninsured. The 2014 WCMS Annual Campaign theme is "Expanding Access to Health Care in Western North Carolina." With your help, WCMS provides access to health care for low-income, uninsured people in need. We do this in two ways: For patients referred to us who are at/above 100% the Federal Poverty Level, we have Certified Application Counselors who work with them to apply for subsidized health insurance in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. These services are available to the patients of all physician members across WNC. For people who are below 100% FPL, we have Project Access Navigators who work with Buncombe County patients to apply for donated services through the PA Network. Your donations will help us help your patients get insurance and get much-needed medical care. Click here to donate today. 

Improving Your Practice's Bottom Line (4/30) 
Save the Date:
April 30, 2014  6-8pm

WCMS in collaboration with Member Services on Call (MSOC) will have an evening educational session on improving your practice's bottom line.

More information coming soon!

Sponsored by:
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 Signs Letter to Secretary Wos Regarding 3% Medicaid Cut
WCMS Participates in Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act, "Ban the Tan"
The NC House of Representatives approved this Act in March 2013. The bill remains eligible for consideration by the NC Senate in 2014. WCMS is working with the  North Carolina Medical Society and the NC Dermatology Association to help educate Senators and the general public about the bill, which (per NCDA) "protects children from the dangers of skin cancer by banning children under the age of 18 from indoor tanning facilities in NC." Current law prohibits anyone under the age of 13 from using a tanning bed. Teenagers must have parent permission to do so. Six states prohibit minors from using tanning beds and at least a dozen more are debating doing so. If you are a dermatologist, oncologist, pediatrician or family medicine physician interested in joining our work to Ban the Tan, please contact Miriam Schwarz at miriam@mywcms.org.
Are you experiencing significant delays in BCBS payment? 

WCMS is aware that many practices are concerned that BCBS is not processing their claims review backlog in a timely manner and that there is no information regarding when those payments will be made. We will be conferring with NC MGMA and NCMS this afternoon regarding this issue and discuss how best to take action. If you are experiencing significant delays in payment from BCBS, please contact Miriam@mywcms.org asap.  

A surge in visits to HealthCare.gov on the final day of the initial open enrollment period caused the website to go down temporarily before federal officials were able to bring it back up for U.S. residents trying to sign up for coverage. Meanwhile, federal call centers and enrollment offices nationwide reported long lines and extended wait times. Federal officials said the large demand for help and surge in visits could help total enrollment reach the Congressional Budget Office's original estimate of seven million. Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that between 80% and 90% of enrollees already have paid their first month's premiums. (Sources: The Hill's "Briefing Room," 3/31; The Hill's "Healthwatch," 3/31; Modern Healthcare, 3/31; New York Times, 3/31; Reuters, 4/1; Wall Street Journal, 3/31; Washington Post, 3/31; AP/Washington Times, 4/1)

The Senate approved a bill Monday evening that prevents steep cuts to Medicare physician payments from going into effect for one year and delays the conversion to ICD-10 for at least one year. (MODERN HEALTHCARE)

Read the full story 
Join DocBookMD, A Clinical Tool that Fits in Your Pocket 
DocBookMD is a clinical tool that fits in your pocket!  Download this free mobile app to send HIPAA compliant text messages to your colleagues with your smart phone phone or look up contact information with the online directory of WCMS physicians. 

WCMS staff showed this app to physicians at Mission's Doctors' Day event and 5 doctors signed up that very day.  If you'd like a 3-minute tutorial on using this app, contact membership@mywcms.org and we'd be glad to get you connected!

Or follow these steps:
  1. Download the free app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Open up the app and it will guide you through the easy registration process. (To login, use the e-mail address you provided to WCMS. If you do not know, contact membership@mywcms.org for the correct e-mail address or your medical society ID number).
  3. Start using DocbookMD to contact your colleagues! 
Over eighty-five of your colleagues have already signed up for this free member benefit. Start communicating with them today.
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:
Basics of What is Accountable Care
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
2 Bed/1Bath Condo near Mission
Doctor's Office for Lease

Job Board:
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