Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 The Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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June 4, 2014


WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
WCMS Forum- Getting Patients Actively Engaged and Accountable
Join Us For Another WCMS Road Trip to Raleigh
Advance Care Planning Workshop
Primary Care Affinity Group Meeting
WCMS Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday
JPS Joins WCMS Circle of Friends
Action Alert: Tell NC Representatives that Senate Budget Hurts Physicians and Patients
The Economic Impact of Physicians in North Carolina
Using WCMS Member-Only Benefit, DocBookMD, to Connect Rural Communities Together
Member Benefits- Did You Know?
Member Announcements
Job Board & Classified Ads
WCMS Forum- Getting Patients Actively Engaged and Accountable (6/11) 

Wouldn't it be great to increase the percentage of patients that utilize your practice's tools and resources to self determine when it is time to seek care or to request a Rx refill?  Attend this educational session and receive communication tips that can substantially improve processes so each provider and staff member assist patients in becoming more active participants in their healthcare decision-making. 

Speaker: Susan Childs, Evolution Healthcare Consulting

When: Wednesday, June 11th
6:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: MAHEC Education Building
Blue Ridge Room A

Other: Heavy hors d'ouevres and beverages will be provided.


 Register Now

Physician members and their practice managers are encouraged to invite non-member physicians to attend as their guest.  This event is free to attend.


Click here for more information.  


Sponsored by:

Mag Mutual logo
Join Us For Another WCMS Road Trip to Raleigh (6/18) 
See the articles below under "Local News" about WCMS' trip to Raleigh on May 28.

White Coat Wednesdays bring NC physicians, PAs, residents, and med students to Raleigh, where NCMS offers a legislative briefing in the morning regarding the important issues brewing in the General Assembly and then takes attendees down to the legislature, where they can meet one-on-one with their representatives. WCMS had a very productive visit and intends to go once again on June 18. Please contact Miriam for details at 274-2267, x312 or miriam@mywcms.org.
Advance Care Planning Workshop (6/19) 
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.

Next workshop is June 19.
Inaugural Primary Care Affinity Group Meeting (6/26) 
Join us for our new Primary Care Physicians Affinity Group (first meeting to be held in Henderson county) for an evening of education and networking featuring:

Primary Care Physicians - To Be or Not To Be - in an ACO, CIN, IPA
A frank one-on-one discussion with Carolyn Coward, a health care attorney with Van Winkle Law Firm, about the issues challenging primary care physicians in the wake of health care reform.

When: Thursday June 26, 2014
From 6pm - 8pm

Where: Eleanora W. Meloun Community Education Room
Blue Ridge Community Health Services
2579 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

WCMS Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday 
On May 28, WCMS staff were joined by Dr. Bob Henderson (Ob/Gyn) in attending White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh.  The day began with a briefing on current issues at the North Carolina Medical Society.  Then we met with five WNC Representatives and Senators (Van Duyn, Moffitt, Hise, Ramsey & Whitmire), as well as Senator Pate from Pitt County who co-chairs the Appropriations on Health & Human Services committee.  

The primary topics of discussion were our opposition to Medicaid cuts to reimbursements and beneficiaries (the Senate's budget proposal was released later that same day), the payer mix in WNC, physician-led Medicaid reform, mental health, physician shortage, tort reform upkeep and scope of practice (specifically a current bill in committee that would eliminate physician supervision of Certified Nurse Midwives).

Click here to read more about the White Coat Wednesday visit and to see photos.   

Read the White Coat Wednesday summary from NCMS.
JPS Joins WCMS Circle of Friends 
Circle of Friends Logo Miriam Schwarz, CEO, is pleased to announce that Johnson Price Sprinkle, PA (JPS) has joined the WCMS Circle of Friends Program for 2014.  JPS has long been a supporter of WCMS and the physicians of Western North Carolina.  

JPS is an accounting and technology services firm in WNC.
The WCMS Circle of Friends Program is by-invitation only and has many advantages, including numerous opportunities to spend time with physicians and being recognized throughout the year as an over-arching supporter of WCMS.  
If, as a WCMS member physician, you'd like to recommend a company to join the Circle of Friends Program or have comments about companies in this program, please contact Miriam Schwarz,
CEO/Executive Director of the Western Carolina Medical Society at miriam@mywcms.org.
Action Alert: Tell NC Representatives that Senate Budget Hurts Physicians and Patients
The North Carolina Senate released their version of the 2014-2015 state budget late last Wednesday night. The Senate's budget has many provisions of concern to us, and we believe there are more effective ways to control costs than those adopted by the Senate.

The Senate budget proposal is moving rapidly through the legislative process. We are encouraging the members of the House of Representatives to carefully consider their budget proposal and not adopt many of the provisions the Senate has proposed.

It is important to contact your House member today and let them know that the Senate budget needs to be modified to correct the following issues:
  • Additional Rates Cut to Physicians
    • This budget not only maintains the 3 percent rate cut from last year's budget, but it also removes the requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services develop a withhold or shared savings plan to support it. In fact, instead of correcting the Department's misstep, the Senate endorses the rate cut and piles on an additional 2 percent cut.
  • Study a Tax on Physicians
    • In the attempt to explore new revenue options, the NC Senate is also requiring that the Department of Health and Human Services study the feasibility of taxing all North Carolina physicians for the medical services they provide. This study is not limited to physicians enrolled as Medicaid providers.
  • Prohibit any work to be done regarding ACOs and Medicaid Reform
    • In very clear and simple terms the Senate states that "The Department of Health and Human Services shall cease any activities related to implementing Medicaid reform based on its proposed accountable care organization (ACO) model." This budget rejects the positive, quality-centered solutions proposed for Medicaid reform, wasting over a year's worth of work and state resources dedicated to this goal.
Contact your Representatives today and ask them to support policies that will move NC forward by providing high quality care to our state's most needy patients - without punishing the physicians who treat them.
The Economic Impact of Physicians in North Carolina
Given the changing health care environment, it is paramount to quantify the economic impact physicians have on society. WCMS' 2014 Strategic Plan calls for WCMS to "educate legislators and businesses on the high positive impact of a strong medical community on the economic development of WNC). To that end, WCMS is working with several business partners in the community (JPS, First Citizens, Parsec) to research and obtain key data for North Carolina and ideally WNC counties, which may be used by policymakers, legislators, and thought leaders in medicine to demonstrate how patient care physicians critically support local economies and enable jobs, growth, and prosperity in addition to ensuring the health of the community. By sheer coincidence and our good fortune, the AMA commissioned a state-by-state study of the economic impact of physicians.

Click here for a summary of the North Carolina findings.
Using WCMS Member-Only Benefit, DocBookMD, to Connect Rural Communities Together
Testimonial from Jed Grisel, MD (Otolaryngologist) in Texas

"The app has been extremely helpful for us. It will be even more helpful as we get more physicians working in small, rural areas on board. The app gives rural physicians direct, immediate access to their colleagues in other parts of the state. Physicians can communicate efficiently and securely without having to wait for a phone call. DocbookMD provides a support network at your fingertips that is beneficial to physicians and their patients."

"DocbookMD is a prime example of technology that allows healthcare providers to work together to better take care of patients."

Continue reading testimonial.
Member Benefits- Did You Know?  

Did you know that one benefit of being a WCMS Member is:

We advocate on your behalf

WCMS is engaging with WNC legislators and policy makers on ACA; Medicaid reform; patient safety, health and access; managed care; and other key issues which means you play a role in shaping healthcare policy!

Want to be more involved in political advocacy? We are visiting legislators NOW. Email ceo@mywcms.org.

Member Announcements
AllCare Clinical Associates, PA, announces a partnership with Blue Ridge Regional Hospital (BRRH) to provide anesthesia services at the hospital. Effective June 2, 2014, the anesthetists previously employed by Blue Ridge Regional Hospital are now employed by AllCare Clinical Associates. Anesthesiologist Thomas R. Hill, MD, has also joined the BRRH Anesthesia Team. AllCare will provide comprehensive anesthesiology services, including anesthesia clinician scheduling, employee services, benefits management, recruitment and retention services under contract with the hospital.

Read full press release.
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Practice Manager  (Mountain Kidney & Hypertension)
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 700-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.  


Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director