Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
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October 15, 2014
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
OneWhoServes, Inc- Sponsor Message (Left)
Women in Medicine Affinity Group
Networking Forum on Advance Care Planning
Recruitment Tool: Medical Loan Repayment
2014 Candidate Forum
Voting Records of WNC Incumbents from 2013-14
Whatever You Do, Vote!
Alert from BCDH: Updates on Ebola, Flu, EV-D68 and Pertussis
Newcomers'/Cornerstones' Picnic Photos
Physicians' Voice in the News
North Carolina ACOs Rank in Top 15 Percent Nationally for Quality of Care
Toward Accountable Care: Bundled Payment Guide for Physicians Now Available
Job Board & Classified Ads
Women in Medicine Affinity Group (10/15)  
Join the WCMS Women In Medicine tonight at 6:00pm at the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, downtown Asheville.

Even if you haven't RSVP'd, please feel free to come and enjoy a relaxing evening with good wine, hors d'ouevres and great conversation with your fellow female physicians.

Due to a last minute change, Mary Williams Matthews from JPS will not be speaking tonight about basic financial reporting (we'll save that for another time!).  Instead we'll be having a discussion about physician burnout and re-capturing the joy in practicing medicine.

We hope to see you there this evening!
Networking Forum on Advance Care Planning (10/16) & (10/17)  
We all know that when done well, planning ahead for a medical crisis or for end-of-life care (a.k.a. advance care planning) leads to clearer guidance for healthcare providers, better care for individuals and peace of mind for their loved ones.

Please join us for a regional meeting in either Asheville or Franklin. This meeting is an opportunity to network with colleagues involved in advance care planning from all sectors of our community including faith,  healthcare, aging services, human resources, and others.

Thursday Oct. 16th in Asheville
Friday Oct. 17th in Franklin

Click here for more details.
Recruitment Tool: Medical Loan Repayment (10/22)  
Join MAHEC for a two-hour information session on medical recruitment and available student loan repayment through the N.C. Office of Rural Health.

Presenter: Jerry Boylan, medical placement specialist, N.C. Office of Rural Health & Community Care

October 22, 10am - 12pm at MAHEC Education Building.  

Click here for more information.
2014 Candidate Forum 
WCMS wants to help physicians, their staff, families and patients make the most informed decisions on election day.  So we conducted a "virtual" candidate forum.  We sent e-mails to each candidate running for NC State House and NC State Senate with five key questions on important healthcare topics.

Click here to view the 2014 Forum and candidates' responses.

Here are the 5 questions we asked the candidates:
  1. What are your recommendations for reforming Medicaid in North Carolina?  Specifically, do you support private Managed Care Companies, physician-led Accountable Care Organizations or another solution, and why?
  2. What is your stance on expanding Medicaid eligibility to all persons under 138% FPL in the state of NC, and why?
  3. What are your solutions for addressing the mental health crisis facing Western North Carolina?
  4. Do you support mid-level practitioners having privileges to practice medicine without physician supervision?  Why?
  5. What actions would you take to strengthen, maintain or weaken tort reform in NC?
Voting Records of WNC Incumbents from 2013-14
Want to know how your WNC legislators voted during the past two sessions on various health care issues?  Click here to find out.
Whatever You Do, Vote! 
Do you know about early voting?  Do you know all the races where you are eligible to vote?  Do you know about all or even many of the candidates who are running? 

If you don't have good answers to those questions, go to the Board of Elections website

If your schedule is booked on November 4th and you think you can't make it to the polls, then vote by absentee ballot. Absentee voting allows registered voters to vote on a day other than Election Day. There are three types of absentee voting in North Carolina. Click here for more information.
Alerts from BCDH: Updates on Ebola, Flu, EV-D68 and Pertussis
Due to the diagnosed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the US, the NC Division of Public Health (NC DPH) is pushing out updated guidance for medical providers and reminding providers of their critical role in identifying and isolating suspected cases.

Click here for information on Ebola guidance.

Although Ebola is on everyone's mind, here are also some updates on current recommendations and surveillance regarding respiratory illnesses that we are seeing or expect to be seeing soon in our community.  (Influenza, EV-D68 and Pertussis)

Click here for information on Flu, EV-D68 and Pertussis recommendations.
Newcomers'/Cornerstones' Picnic Photos
Thanks once again to the 150+ physicians families who attended the Sept. 28th Picnic to welcome new physicians and honor Cornerstone physicians (30+ years practicing in WNC).

Enjoy this gallery of photos from the event on our website!
Physicians' Voice in the News  
WCMS is proud to announce another high quality addition 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 is the latest release:
You can read all about The Physicians' Voice on our website.
North Carolina ACOs Rank in Top 15 Percent Nationally for Quality of Care
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the quality reports for the 220 accountable care organizations (ACO) nationwide that have participated in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) starting in 2012 and 2013. Four of the six participating ACOs in North Carolina ranked in the top 15 percent in quality of care for their patients.

Read more.
Toward Accountable Care: Bundled Payment Guide for Physicians Now Available
As detailed in the Toward Accountable Care ("TAC") Consortium's companion document, The Physician's Accountable Care Toolkitę, to control spiraling health care costs, we are moving toward a health care payment system that rewards value, not volume. That is, we are shifting away from rewarding utilization, toward rewarding the highest quality at the lowest appropriate cost. This shift must align the incentives of payers, physicians and hospitals. "Bundled payment" is one such experiment. Bundled payment refers to a single predetermined payment to multiple providers for an entire episode of care. These teams are jointly accountable for clinical costs, quality, outcomes and coordination. The payment is apportioned across providers. An episode can relate to a particular procedure, sometimes including post-acute care, or all treatment of a chronic condition for an extended period of time.

Realizing the dearth of physician-oriented guidance in this field, the purpose of this Guide is to acquaint physicians with this emerging health care reform model and to provide non-technical guidance specifically for physicians.

Download the guide.
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Health Access Counselor  (WCMS)
Family Physician  (Family Care of Fairview)
Orthopedic Joint Replacement Surgeon  (Pardee Hospital)
Family Physician  (North Buncombe Family Medicine)
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.  


Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director