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In This Issue:
Deerfield - Sponsor Message (Left)
HOPE Banquet- Celebrating MMMP (5/22)
March 30th is National Doctor's Day
New Members to WCMS
WCMS Helps Enroll Patients in Insurance
WCMS Legislative Visits with Reps. Michele Presnell and Nathan Ramsey
Help Patients Fill Out Advanced Directives
Medicaid Reform Proposal Formally Announced at Press Conference
Permanent 'Doc Fix' Unlikely as Deadline Nears
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!    

HOPE Banquet- Celebrating MMMP (5/22) 
May 22, 2014   6:00 PM-8:00 PM 
The Minority Medical Mentoring Program allows high school seniors to shadow medical providers as student interns.  
MMMP aims to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in the health professions in order to promote culturally consistent care. We invite you to join us in the effort of growing our future leaders in healthcare that will potentially come back to practice in Western North Carolina. Your donation and attendance will contribute to the sustainability of this program as well as provide scholarships to program participants.

This program is a collaboration of:  
Asheville-Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement (ABIPA), the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), Mission Health and the Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS).

Location: MAHEC, Blue Ridge Room, 121 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 
Faculty: Larry Rosenberg, MD 

March 30th is National Doctor's Day  
WCMS will be running radio spots in March, beginning March 10 through March 30, on ESPN (WISE AM) and Mix 96 (WOXL FM).  (Listen to the spots on our website)

And watch for newspaper columns like this one "Western NC Marks Doctors Day".  We thank you for all that you do for western North Carolina! 

New Members to WCMS   
Click here to view the newest physicians to join WCMS!  
WCMS Helps Enroll Patients in Insurance  
The Health Insurance Marketplace is working for many residents across Western North Carolina.  We aim to support practices and 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 uninsured patients! WCMS application counselors will be available throughout the Summer and Fall to serve and enroll 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
WCMS Legislative Visits with Reps. Michele Presnell and Nathan Ramsey  
On Monday March 3, Dr. Al Mina from Haywood county, WCMS CEO Miriam Schwarz and WCMS Member Services Coordinator Kristina Isenhour met with NC Representative Michele Presnell.  Rep. Presnell serves Haywood, Madison and and Yancey counties. 

Dr. Mina, Miriam and Kristina discussed the difficulties some WNC physicians are having with NC Tracks reimbursement, getting patients enrolled in the new Health Insurance Marketplace, the new Medicaid reform proposal and the difference between MCO's and ACO's.  WCMS, on behalf of Haywood, Madison and Yancey physicians, looks forward to a continued relationship with Rep. Presnell.

WCMS staff continued their legislative visits Wednesday March 12.  Dr. Lydia Jeffries joined Miriam and Kristina 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.  Having physicians present at these meetings to educate and share first hand experience is incredibly beneficial! 
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 3/17/14 at their offices. Legislators will take up the matter of reform during their short session this May. Review the complete Medicaid Reform plan.  

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."  


Permanent 'Doc Fix' Unlikely as Deadline Nears
The prospects for a permanent doc fix before the March 31 deadline are looking increasingly remote. No agreement has been reached on how to pay for a repeal and replacement of Medicare's SGR formula.

Read the full story

Job Board  

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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