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 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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May 14, 2014


In This Issue:
12th Annual HeartStrings Family Fun Challenge Supporting WCMS' Project Access
Road Trip! Join WCMS Colleagues for White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh
Women in Medicine Affinity Group
Meet & Greet with US House Representative Patrick McHenry
The ABCs of 2014 Clinical Quality Measures
2014 Strategic Plan Quarterly Update #1
2014 WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign Report
WCMS Continues Legislative Visits: Meets Sen. Terry Van Duyn
NC Ranks Last for Minorities with Regular Access to Health Care
Toward Accountable Care- New Toolkit for Hospice and Palliative Care
ICD-10 Update
$1.6 Trillion, 10 Million Jobs: Study Shows Physician Impact on Economy
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.

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.

Women in Medicine Affinity Group (5/29)
Join the WCMS Women In Medicine Section on Thursday, May 29th at 5:30pm at the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, downtown Asheville.

Come join us for a relaxing evening of good wine, good food, and great conversation with your fellow women in medicine.


Bring a non-member physician along

Two Free tickets to see "Driving Miss Daisy" will be given to anyone who brings at least one non-member physician to this gathering  "Driving Miss Daisy" is scheduled for August 7th at the Asheville Community Theatre.

Meet & Greet with US House Representative Patrick McHenry (6/2)
When: June 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm
Where: Highland Brewing Tasting Room

A message from Dr. Frank Moretz, past president of WCMS and legislative physician advocate:

"I want to invite and encourage WCMS physicians to meet Congressman Patrick McHenry from the North Carolina 10th Congressional District that includes most of the City of Asheville and Biltmore Forest to a "meet and greet" at the Highland Brewing Tasting Room on June 2, 2014 from 5:30-7:30 pm.  This is a unique opportunity for physicians to speak with a sitting member of Congress with no strings attached.  Contributions would be appreciated but are not required.  Patrick has been a strong supporter of physicians, but he can only be so if he speaks with physicians from different practices, and he is probably tired of hearing from me.  He needs to hear from primary care physicians, specialists, solo practice, group private practice, and employed physicians as to what your concerns are.  

As an additional incentive, AllCare Clinical Associates will provide one free beverage for each attendee.  Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to see you on June 2."
- Frank H. Moretz, MD

Click here for more information.

Disclaimer from Miriam Schwarz, CEO of WCMS: This is not an endorsement of the candidate by WCMS. However, during election years, WCMS is committed to encouraging all incumbents and candidates to make WCMS aware of any fundraising events where they would like the support of physicians. We will share this information, when made available to us, on our website.  Click here for a complete list of our legislative activities. If you are aware of other political meet and greet events/fundraisers, let WCMS know and we will post these events. 

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 Strategic Plan Quarterly Update #1  
In August of 2013, WCMS embarked on its second year of aspiration-driven strategic planning. Over 70 individuals were interviewed from our key community partners, including physicians (both employed and independent, with emphasis on counties other than Buncombe); health system leadership (included both Mission and other hospitals across the region); funders/donors, community leaders, practice managers, patients and employees. On October 28th, 47 of our key partners participated in a town hall meeting to discuss the thematic results of the interviews. Participants broke into key partner groups and wrote strategies based on the thematic findings. Both the Association and Foundation Boards of Directors along with WCMS staff subsequently prioritized the strategies in accordance with our mission, while insuring that the final, approved plan represented input from all key community partners.

WCMS is committed to providing quarterly updates to our key partners. Click here for our first quarterly report.
2014 WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign Report  
The 2014 Annual Campaign is underway.  With $25,405 in donations we are just over 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.
WCMS Continues Legislative Visits: Meets  Sen. Terry Van Duyn 
On Monday May 12, Dr. Frank Sutton and WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, met with Sen. Terry Van Duyn; she is filling the seat of the late Sen. Martin Nesbitt.  The discussion centered around the issues of "What is an ACO" and why physician-led ACOs are key to Medicaid Reform, issues with NC Tracks reimbursements, why CON is a hot button issue, mental health concerns, and the "Ban the Tan" bill up for vote in the Senate.

The NC Legislative Short Session starts this 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!
NC Ranks Last for Minorities with Regular Access to Health Care
05/01/2014-  North Carolina ranks dead last in terms of adult minorities without a usual source of health care. We also rank 50th out of 51 (the ranking includes Washington, D.C.) in minorities who do not have health insurance, and rank 47th in the overall equity category according to the latest Commonwealth Fund State Health System report. In terms of the overall health ranking, which factors access, prevention and treatment and avoidable hospital use, among other factors, North Carolina ranks 36th, although that's an improvement over 2009, when this state ranked 44th. The Commonwealth Fund estimates that if North Carolina performed like the best performing state, an additional 1.1 million people would have health insurance, emergency department visits among people with medicare would be reduced by 60,000 and 719,000 fewer adults would go without needed health care because of cost.

Read more
Toward Accountable Care- New Toolkit for Hospice and Palliative Care
Here is a link to the most current specialty-specific toolkit that has just been released: Accountable Care Guide for Hospice and Palliative Care.  This is the 8th toolkit produced by TAC to date.  
Others guides that are currently under development and that will be released soon include: Accountable Care Guide for Emergency Medicine Physicians,  Accountable Care Guide for Cardiologists, and Accountable Care Guide for Oncologists. The  bundled payment guide also will undergo a review by a small workgroup before it is finalized and released.
New workgroups currently are working on, a community health partners guide, and specialty guides for pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and child psychiatry.  
ICD-10 Update  
On April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) (Pub. L. No. 113-93) was enacted, which said that the Secretary may not adopt ICD-10 prior to October 1, 2015. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015. 
$1.6 Trillion, 10 Million Jobs: Study Shows Physician Impact on Economy
From the American Medical Association:
Each physician in the United States supports 13.84 jobs on average and contributes $2.2 million in economic output, underscoring how physicians influence the health of both their patients and the economy, according to the AMA's new Economic Impact Study.

The study, prepared by IMS Health and released this week, focused on the roughly 720,000 physicians who primarily engage in patient care activities, as opposed to those who focus on research or teaching. Nationally, these physicians support $1.6 trillion in total economic output-that's $2.2 million per physician-and 10 million jobs.

The study also found that:
  • Physicians support $775.5 billion in wages and benefits at the national level.
  • Physicians contribute $65.2 billion in total state and local taxes nationally, or $90,449 in local and state tax revenue per physician. 
The study estimated the total economic impact of patient care physicians at the national level and for each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., measuring output, jobs, wages and benefits, and state and local tax revenue. At the national level, physicians support greater economic output than the following industries: legal services, home health care, higher education and nursing home and residential care.

"Physicians carry tremendous responsibility as skilled healers, trusted confidants and patient advocates, but their positive impact isn't confined to the exam room," said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, in a news release.

"The new AMA study illustrates that physicians are strong economic drivers that are woven into their local communities by the jobs, commerce and taxes they generate," Dr. Hoven said. "These quality jobs not only support the caring role of physicians, but also generate taxes that support schools, housing, transportation and other public services in local communities."

#KnowTheImpact: Visit the Economic Impact Study Web page to access an interactive map and see a specific break-down of economic contributions for each state.
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)
Executive Assistant  (AllCare Clinical Associates)

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