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In This Issue:
Southeastern Sports Medicine - Sponsor Message (Left)
WCMS Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday
Physicians' Voice in the News
JPS Joins WCMS Circle of Friends
Doctors Slam Senate Budget, Back McCrory's Medicaid Reform Plan
NC House of Representatives Budget
Say What? Many Patients Struggling To Learn The Foreign Language Of Health Insurance
The "MemoryCare Plays"
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!    

WCMS Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday 
WCMS CEO Miriam Schwarz and member physicians Drs. Diane Hankes (AllCare) and Dave Pucci (Asheville Pulmonology) travelled to Raleigh on June 18th to participate in WCMS' second White Coat Wednesday.  We met with Senators Apodaca and Jim Davis, Rep. Roger West, had a hallway conversation with Rep. Joe Sam Queen, and left messages for 6 other WNC legislators. The focus of our discussion was the Senate and House budgets and Medicaid Reform. We emphasized that Medicaid Reform should be a physician-led solution that incentivizes higher quality care for lower total cost, and NOT a Managed Care solution that will likely result in decreased access to care for patients and lower reimbursement to physicians. Abandoning value-based care for corporate managed care will wind up costing more for the State.
White Coat Wed. photo
Dr. Pucci notes, "I was very pleased at how receptive the legislators were during our discussions.  Even if we didn't necessarily agree they were willing to discuss their viewpoint and hear ours.  What was also very evident is that they need our guidance."

Read the full story

Want to see who what we're doing and who we're meeting with in Raleigh? Follow us on Twitter!  
Physicians' Voice in the News 
WCMS is proud to announce high quality additions 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 are the latest releases:
You can read all about The Physicians' Voice on our  website.
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
Smoky Mountain Center's Needs/Gaps Analysis
Smoky LME/MCO contracted with Addiction Consulting and Training Associates (ACT, LLC) to conduct a Needs and Gaps Analysis of the 23 counties comprising the Local Management Entity (LME)/Managed Care Organization (MCO) region. The purpose was to identify the unique needs and gaps of geographic service area and to make recommendations about how to accommodate the specific needs of this region.

Medicaid Management Nonprofit Faces Closure 
"An award-winning system of managing Medicaid patients in North Carolina would be dropped under the state Senate's budget proposal.

Community Care of North Carolina, a nonprofit with 14 networks across the state - including Western North Carolina - would lose its contract with the state under the Senate's plan."

Continue reading.
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.

Doctors Slam Senate Budget, Back McCrory's Medicaid Reform Plan 
"Physicians criticized a provision in the state Senate budget that would task an outside entity with managing North Carolina's Medicaid program, removing Medicaid from the domain of the state's Department of Health and Human Services."

Continue reading.
NC House of Representatives Budget  
The House released its budget on Tuesday, June 10, which is more favorable than the Senate version. 

Click here to read summary.

Say What? Many Patients Struggling To Learn The Foreign Language Of Health Insurance 

Click here to read the article


Note that WCMS has developed a partnership with OnTrack Financial for health insurance literacy classes. For more information, contact Katherine Hensley here at WCMS. 828-274-2267.


Additionally, CMS has just launched a national initiative "From Coverage to Care" (C2C), which is designed to help answer questions that people may have about their new health coverage, to help them make the most of their new benefits, including taking full advantage of primary care and preventive services.  The launch also marks the release of the new Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You, which includes 8 steps to help consumers and health care providers be informed about the diverse benefits available through their coverage and how to use it appropriately to access to primary care and preventive services. Among other things, the "Roadmap" contains information on health care coverage terms, the differences between primary care and emergency care, and the cost differences of decisions to seek care in- and out-of-network, where applicable to the consumer's health plan.  


More information about C2C and other helpful resources, including a 10-part video series, to help those with new health care coverage make the most of their coverage, and raise awareness about the importance of getting routine primary care and regular preventive care are available at: marketplace.cms.gov.  


People with related questions about the C2C initiative should write to  Coveragetocare@cms.hhs.gov. 


The "MemoryCare Plays"
Chosen by a juried panel from over 90 submissions from the U.S. and other countries, the three professionally crafted plays contained in The MemoryCare Plays anthology strive to dramatize the full impact of progressive memory disorders upon the individual, and to illustrate the richness and complexity of the caregiving relationship, with all of its challenges and rewards. All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to benefit families affected by dementia.  The book may be ordered on Amazon.

Job Board  

Click here to see the latest jobs posted on our website. 


To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.

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