Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
VITAL SIGNS
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

Sponsor Message:  

Preferred Vendor Programs

Learn more.

Discount Programs 

 Learn more.
QUICK LINKS
News

HIT/EHR Info

Health Reform Info

Project Access

WNC Interpreter Network

Boards of Directors

 

Join Our Mailing List
Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter

September 24, 2014
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
Van Winkle Law Firm- Sponsor Message (Left)
Newcomers'/Cornerstones' Picnic
Retirement Celebration for Drs. Frank Moretz & James Brown
Meaningful Use & Quality Improvement: Getting Paid
Alert from BCDH: Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in NC
New Members to WCMS
Health Insurance Costs Dent Bottom Line at Pardee
WCMS Health Access Counselors Study for CAC Exam!
DHHS Realigning Medicaid to Strengthen Foundation, Position for Future
Medicare Gives First Glimpse of ACO Quality Performance
The Study You Never Heard of: Small Practices Aren't Dead Yet
Dr. Blythe Winchester Appointed as IHS Chief Clinical Consultant for Geriatrics and Palliative Care
Job Board & Classified Ads
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
2014 Newcomers'/Cornerstones' Picnic (9/28) 
Last change to register!  The Picnic is this Sunday.  We hope to see you (and your family) there.  All members are invited- be there to represent WCMS to our newest physicians!

Enjoy a fun-filled, family-friendly afternoon to welcome new physicians to Western North Carolina and celebrate physicians who have served our community for 30+ years (Cornerstones). 

View the 24 Cornerstone physicians being honored this year
View the 80+ Newcomer physicians being welcomed at the Picnic

When: Sunday, September 28th  4:00-7:00pm
Where: Yesterday Spaces in Leicester, NC
Food: Buffet dinner provided along with beer and wine.  Plus s'mores at the outdoor fire pit!
Activities: Wagon ride, petting farm animals, cornhole and other outdoor games and a short presentation to welcome the Newcomer physicians and honor the Cornerstone physicians!   

Plus enjoy live music by Deep River, one of WNC's premier country/bluegrass bands.                            

This event is free to attend, but please RSVP as soon as possible. 
RSVP Now.

  

Thanks to our sponsors: 

Asheville Radiology logo

All Care Clinical Associates
Southeastern Sports Medicine
The Buyers Agent
Retirement Celebration for Drs. Frank Moretz & James Brown (10/12)  
Retirement party for Dr. Frank Moretz & Dr. Jim Brown
Sunday, October 12
4pm to 6:30pm
Highland Brewing Company

The evening will include a cash bar, food available for purchase form Cici's Culinary tour and two live bands (Carolina Blue, a bluegrass band, and Blues Crew, Dr. Andrew Hart's blues band).  Weather permitting, it will be hosted in the outdoor field at Highlands Brewery, otherwise it will be in the tasting room. 

Please RSVP if you know you'll be attending to give an idea on head count. 
Meaningful Use & Quality Improvement: Getting Paid (11/6)  
MAHEC Center for Quality Improvement team is hosting an evening of informative presentations and focused break-out sessions tailored to diverse practice needs. 

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid E.H.R. incentive program has changed dramatically over the past year. With the new final ruling made on August 29th, your practice may be eligible to "change the course" of your Meaningful Use path. Learn field tested tips for maximizing your MU incentive payments and get paid for quality improvement (e.g., transition of care visits, e-visits, Patient-Centered Medical Home).

Thursday, November 6th at 5pm

Click here for more information or to register.
LOCAL NEWS 
Alert from BCDH: Enterovirus D68 Confirmed in NC 
Earlier this week, the NC DHHS confirmed the presence of enterovirus-D68 in NC.
  • Per DHHS, the confirmed cases were scattered across the state.
  • Buncombe County Health and Human Services has not heard of any confirmed cases locally; however, that doesn't mean it isn't here.
Click here to read more and to find the provider guidance in dealing with EV-D68. 
New Members to WCMS 
View the newest physicians to join WCMS.

A special thanks to Cherokee Indian Hospital for signing up a group of their physicians for membership! 
Health Insurance Costs Dent Bottom Line at Pardee  
"The FY2014 loss is attributable to skyrocketing employee health expense, a dip in inpatient admissions and federal government cuts, Kirby said."

Read full article.
WCMS Health Access Counselors Study for CAC Exam!
Our five Health Access Counselors are studying for their annual certification as application counselors in the health insurance marketplace. They are prepping for the open enrollment period that begins Nov. 15th. Note that three of our Counselors are fluent in Spanish!

If you would like our Health Access Counselors to come to your practice to enroll your uninsured patients into the insurance marketplace, contact Sheri Atkins at sheri@mywcms.org. We serve the 16 westernmost counties of NC.

Photo: From left to right: Erin Burks (new employee), Sydney Idzikowski (new employee), Sheri Atkins (sadly hidden from view, but our veteran Project Access employee), Shaneka Simmons, and Jose Armando Lopez.
STATE NEWS 
 
DHHS Realigning Medicaid to Strengthen Foundation, Position for Future  
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, MD, addressed a letter to the NC Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee.  This letter provides an excellent overview of the actions DHHS has taken to build a foundation for a stronger NC Medicaid program. 

Read Secretary Wos' letter.

A few notes from Robin Cummings, MD, NC Medicaid Director:
"I also wanted to ensure you had the latest information on a significant undertaking: The first complete realignment of the Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) since Medicaid was introduced to our state over 40 years ago. The new functional structure, outlined in the letter, will ensure DMA's capability to effectively deliver the services and supports necessary in today's health care environment and beyond.
 
We are proud of the strides the Department and DMA have made. I am excited about delivering an efficient, practical and sustainable Medicaid program that improves the health care for the people in this state.
 
I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the letter from Secretary Wos."
NATIONAL NEWS 
 
Medicare Gives First Glimpse of ACO Quality Performance  
"The CMS for the first time publicly released individual performance data for Medicare accountable care organizations on 33 measures of healthcare quality.

The results for 220 of the participants (PDF) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program reveal how ACOs performed on measures (PDF) of patient experience, preventive care and disease management for some of the leading causes of death among U.S. elderly, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes."

Read full article.
ITEMS OF INTEREST 
 
The Study You Never Heard of: Small Practices Aren't Dead Yet
"The study of over one thousand practices of various sizes and ownerships, conducted by some of the most respected names in health care, found that the smallest independent primary care practices, that are physician owned, provide better care at lower overall cost."

Read the full article from KevinMD. 
Member Announcements- Dr. Blythe Winchester Appointed as IHS Chief Clinical Consultant for Geriatrics and Palliative Care 
Dr. Blythe S. Winchester, MD, at Cherokee Indian Hospital was recently appointed to serve as the Chief Clinical Consultant for Geriatrics and Palliative Care for the entire Indian Health Services across the country.  Dr. Winchester was chosen for her skills in administration, communication, teaching, medical practice and her desire to serve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. 

Congratulations Dr. Winchester on this national appointment!
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Family Physician  (North Buncombe Family Medicine)
Member Services Coordinator  (WCMS)
Coding & AR Billing Administrator  (Asheville Radiology)
Quality Improvement Consultant  (MAHEC)
Medical Interpreter  (WCMS)

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

WCMS is a thriving 750 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.  

Sincerely,

Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz

 

Miriam Schwarz signature




 

Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director