WCMS with tagline
 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

Preferred Vendor Programs

Learn more.

Discount Programs 

 Learn more.


Health Reform Info

Project Access

WNC Interpreter Network

Boards of Directors



May 7, 2014


In This Issue:
12th Annual HeartStrings Family Fun Challenge Supporting WCMS' Project Access
The ABCs of 2014 Clinical Quality Measures
WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign Report
Physicians' Voice in the News
Local 'Ban the Tan' Press Conference
WCMS Continues Legislative Visits: Meets with Rep. Queen & Sen. Davis
Political Involvement for Physicians
Pardee Hospital Shutters Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic
Update on Medicaid Reform: ACOs as the solution
Member Announcements
Job Board & Classified Ads
12th Annual HeartStrings Family Fun Challenge Supporting WCMS' Project Access (5/25)
What: Heartstrings Family Fun Challenge at Mountain Sports Festival

When: Sunday, May 25 from 1pm to 4pm at Carrier Park

Why: To raise funds to support WCMS's Project Access® Program, which provides uninsured, low-income individuals annually with the critical healthcare they need and enrolls eligible uninsured into the health insurance marketplace.

Where: Heartstrings Family Fun Challenge will be part of Asheville's popular Mountain Sports Festival held over Memorial Day Weekend at Carrier Park.

The ABCs of 2014 Clinical Quality Measures (MAHEC Event) (6/5) 
Beginning in 2014, the reporting of clinical quality measures (CQMs) will change for all providers. Eligible professionals (EPs), which include physicians, mid-level providers, dentists, podiatrists and chiropractors, will be required to report using the new 2014 criteria regardless of whether they are participating in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the Medicare or Medicaid Incentive Programs.

MAHEC encourages a minimum of two persons per practice to attend this timely look into CQMs. They are offering a "Tag Team Special" registration fee of $175 for two participants from the same practice. Additional registrants from the same practice or individual registrants may enroll for $115 per person.

When: Thursday, June 5, 2014
    5:30pm (Registration & Dinner)
    6:15pm (Program)
Where: MAHEC Education Building

Click here for more information.
2014 WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign Report  
The 2014 Annual Campaign is underway.  With just over $21,000 in donations we are almost half way to our goal of $50,000.

The funds from this campaign allow the WCMS Foundation to help residents in our region who are uninsured- they are vulnerable to health crises from chronic conditions or illness. With your help, the WCMS Foundation provides access to health care for uninsured and under-insured people in need and enrolls those who are eligible into the insurance marketplace. As of March 31, we've enrolled over 80 individuals into insurance plans. 85% self-reported purchasing  the Silver 3000 Blue Advantage plan, with premiums under $30 a month and a $500 deductible. We need funding to continue to help the uninsured get insurance!

Please help us reach our campaign goal.  Join our Campaign division chairs in support of the WCMS Foundation and donate today.
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.
Local 'Ban the Tan' Press Conference
Press Conference Date: May 6, 2014

Dr Zivony will host the NC Dermatology Association press conference on the tanning bed bill at Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery this Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.  At the press conference, we will call on the NC Senate to approve the tanning bed legislation during the 2014 session, which begins May 14.

All derms, peds, paths and other providers are welcome to attend the press conference to show their support of the bill. You need not talk to the press to participate - even just being there in support will be a great help.

RSVP requested: Please let Rob Lamme (roblamme@rlamme.com (p) 919-630-3375)  know if you plan to attend. If you cannot attend the press conference, please consider sending a letter to the editor and/or to your state senator supporting the bill.

Click here for more information on the press conference and sending letters to the editor/your senator.
WCMS Continues Legislative Visits: Meets with Rep. Queen & Sen. Davis 
On Monday May 5, Dr. Al Mina and WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, traveled to Haywood County to meet with Rep. Joe Sam Queen.  The discussion centered around the issues of Medicaid Reform & Medicaid Expansion.  They also discussed NC Tracks and the value Tort reform has had for physicians.

On Tuesday May 6, Miriam was joined by Dr. Gus Wilde to meet with Sen. Jim Davis in Macon County.  They primarily talked about Medicaid Reform and how physician-led ACO's are a better solution than other options.  WCMS looks forward to being a continued resource for Sen. Davis on healthcare issues.

The NC Legislative Short Session starts next week.  If you'd like to be involved in legislative advocacy, please contact miriam@mywcms.orgRemember, in order to represent a strong "Voice of the West" in Raleigh for physicians, we must have a strong membership.  If you know any physicians who aren't members of WCMS, let us know!
Political Involvement for Physicians 
Click here for a primer on becoming engaged in the political process.

With deep thanks to author and WCMS Board Member Frank Moretz, MD, who has over 30 years of experience with the legislative process.
Pardee Hospital Shutters Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic 
"After the unexpected departure of two full-time psychiatrists, roughly 700 patients who receive psychiatric counseling and medication management services from a Pardee Hospital outpatient clinic are being redirected to Blue Ridge Community Health Services for care.."

Continue reading.
Update on Medicaid Reform: ACOs as the solution
On May 1, 2014, CEO Miriam Schwarz remotely attended the NCMS' NC ACO Collaborative meeting. A number of excellent topics were discussed, including  presentations by Triad HealthCare Network about their experiences as an ACO, National Association of ACO's activities, and an update from Steve Keene about Medicaid reform. Regarding the latter, here are key takeaway points (along with commentary).
  • The Medicaid budget must be cut somehow. The three options recommended to date have been reimbursement cuts to physicians, commercial managed care, or ACOs. NCMS (and WCMS) support physician-led ACO development as the (obvious) best option of the three.
  • The challenge is that NC ACOs are building the plane as they fly it. Legislators would like an immediate solution. MCOs are aggressively offering themselves up as the panacea. NC ACOs need to recommend initial actions that can be taken to begin moving the dial toward budget control in order to satisfy legislators.
  • There are a number of concerns with DHHS' current ACO proposal that NCMS is trying to work through.
    • Mental health is not integrated into the ACO model. LME's are still a carve out.
    • The "shared risk" is largely on the provider side.
    • Uncertainty about CCNC's future
  • It is up to physicians and medical societies to vigorously advocate to DHHS and legislators that the ACO model is the best model for lasting success.  It is not sufficient to protest MCOs; the medical community MUST come up with a viable solution and then take the lead on developing the proposal. (WCMS and regional physician leaders are currently meeting with WNC Senators and Representatives to discuss Medicaid reform and push the ACO model. The discussion will continue in Raleigh when the short session begins on May 14. WCMS and physicians are traveling to Raleigh on May 28 to do so. Please consider joining us.) 
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
Job Board:
Certified Application Counselor  (WCMS)
Family Physician  (Our Family Doctor)

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