Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
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July 16, 2014


WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
WCMS President's Message
Good-bye Party for Donna Wiedrich
Am I Getting Paid for Everything I Do?
Congratulations to Four Seasons for their Health Care Innovation Award
Deal Reached for Sale of Haywood Hospital
MedWest Haywood Reopens
VA Mental Health Care Expands
NCMS Leadership College Taking Applications
Pay for Some Medicaid Doctors Headed for 'Especially Big Cliff'
CMS Proposes Updated 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Among Other Changes
100% Member Practices Get Extra Benefits!
Job Board & Classified Ads
WCMS President's Message 
"Be at the table, not on the menu"
Gus Vickery, MD, WCMS President

The reality of medicine is that often Physicians do not determine how they practice medicine, legislators and administrators do.  The old saying, "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu" rings true more than ever.  Insurance companies, trial lawyers, and hospital administrators participate in the political process in large numbers. Physicians typically do not. WCMS-in collaboration with NCMS-- is working hard to change this because if physicians do not participate in influencing policy decisions, whose information do you think the legislators will use to make their decisions? As Dr. Dave Pucci recently noted after visiting with legislators on White Coat Wednesday, "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."

Continue reading
Good-bye Party for Donna Wiedrich (7/17) 
Donna Wiedrich, Director of Member Services, has served WCMS for 16 years, but next week she will be moving on to a new opportunity.  You've probably worked with Donna in some capacity over the past few years- whether a physician, a practice manager, a vendor, a partner, an Alliance member, a co-worker, etc.

WCMS will be hosting a good-bye "open house" to show our appreciation.  Drop-in at FIG Bistro between 4:30pm and 6:30pm, tomorrow, July 17th to say thank you to Donna and wish her a fond farewell.

Because beverages and hors d'ouevres will be provided, please RSVP if possible.  But you're still welcome to attend even if you don't RSVP!

When: Thursday, July 17th, 4:30pm - 6:30pm  (drop by anytime)
Where: FIG Bistro (Biltmore Village) 
MAHEC CME Events (July - Nov) 
MAHEC and WCMS are committed to improving the health of persons in WNC through health provider education. To that end, WCMS will now post on our centralized website calendar MAHEC's CME offerrings.

Click here to see the calendar. 
Am I Getting Paid for Everything I Do? (9/2) 
We are commonly asked this question.  It is also a question we regularly hear in our discussions with other managers and practices.  This presentation will focus on how to answer this question for your healthcare practice.  We will provide analytical tools that you can take back to your practice and utilize within your organization.

This seminar is ideal for physicians who are business owners and their practice managers. This is a benefit for WCMS members, but we encourage you to invite your practice administrators and non-member physician colleagues to attend as well.

Speaker: Cameron Cox, Management Services on Call


When: Tuesday, September 2nd
6:00pm - 8:00pm


Where: Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Lenoir-Rhyne Boardroom


Other: Hors d'ouevres and beverages will be provided.




Sponsored by Med Mutual

Congratulations to Four Seasons for their Health Care Innovation Award
Project Title: "Increasing patient and system value with community based palliative care"

Geographic Reach: North Carolina

Estimated Funding Amount: $9,596,123

Summary: The Four Seasons Compassion for Life project will test a new model for community-based palliative care (in conjunction with Duke University), which spans inpatient and outpatient settings. The model features interdisciplinary collaboration and the integration of palliative care into the health care system, continuity of care across transitions, and longitudinal, individualized support for patients and families. This expands upon a successful program in four Western North Carolina counties to include an additional ten counties.  With community-based palliative care, care coordination ensures clinical follow-up of patients as they transition across settings. Standardized assessments and data infrastructure facilitate quality monitoring/improvement and high-quality patient care leading to decreased hospital readmissions.

Read more
Deal Reached for Sale of Haywood Hospital 
"The agreement on the terms for the acquisition of MedWest Haywood by Duke LifePoint Healthcare calls for the company spending $36 million on capital improvements to the facility over 10 years..."

Continue reading.
MedWest Haywood Reopens 
VA Mental Health Care Expands 
Asheville's Charles George VA Medical Center unveiled a new treatment center for veterans dealing with PTSD. The Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center will serve up to 50 veterans on the road to recovery.

Read More.
NCMS Leadership College Taking Applications
Click here for details.
Pay for Some Medicaid Doctors Headed for 'Especially Big Cliff'
"Family doctors in North Carolina are bracing for a looming deadline that will slash the amount they're paid for the treatment of the state's poor and disabled."

Read article.
CMS Proposes Updated 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Among Other Changes
100% Member Practices Get Extra Benefits!
Benefits include:
  • Recognition on the WCMS website as a 100% Member Practice.
  • 10% Discount on WCMS WIN interpreter services.
  • Discounts for office staff at WCMS educational events.
  • Vital Signs Weekly e-Newsletter sent to your Practice Manager (in addition to physician members) to keep your office up-to-date on the latest news, issues, and events.
  • Practice Managers invited to attend our Annual Celebration.
  • Free posts on the Job Board/Classified Ad section of our website with links in Vital Signs, our weekly e-Newsletter.
  • Free posts in the Member News section of Vital Signs, our weekly e-Newsletter, to keep our member community informed about the latest changes within your practice.
  • Discounts on our Physician Directory 
If you think your practice should be on the 100%  list, but don't see it listed, please email Membership@mywcms.org

Click here to apply for membership online.
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Physician Assistant  (FastMed Urgent Care)
Certified Medical Assistant  (North Buncombe Family Medicine)
Certified Application Counselor  (WCMS)

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