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

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November 5, 2014
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
Southeastern Sports Medicine- Sponsor Message (Left)
WCMS Fall Conference
Independent Physicians Affinity Group
Join WCMS' Table at MLK, Jr. Breakfast
Election Results
WCMS Health Access Counselors Reach out to Underserved Populations
CMS to Pay Docs for Care Coordination, Telehealth
CMS Releases Final Payment Rules for the Medicare Program
Meaningful Use in 2014- The Flexibility Rule Can Make a Difference for You
Ways Residents Have Found to Conquer Burnout
AllCare Clinical Associates Receives MGMA Certificate of Superior Performance
Job Board & Classified Ads
WCMS Fall Conference  (11/20)
"Risky Business:
Managing Risk in Today's Medical Practice"
presented by PNC Bank

Join WCMS for our 16th Fall Conference.  The theme this year follows one of the main trends currently in healthcare: RISK.  This event is perfect for practice administrators, independent physicians, and other allied health providers wanting to stay up on important topics in healthcare.

When: Thursday, November 20th from 8:00am - 4:00pm
Where: MAHEC Education Building in Asheville, NC  (121 Hendersonville Rd)

Click here for the agenda, topics, speakers and to register. 
Independent Physicians Affinity Group  (12/2)
Join the first meeting of our newest Affinity Group: Independent Physicians.  This is a great time to meet and mingle with other physicians who work in a similar setting, as well as hear some helpful content.

Speakers: Carolyn Coward (Van Winkle Law Firm) and Mary Williams Matthews (Johnson Price Sprinkle PA)

When: Tuesday, December 2nd 6:30pm - 8pm

Where: Lulu's On Main in Sylva, NC  (612 West Main St)

RSVP to attend  (Please RSVP as space is limited and we need an accurate head count)
Join WCMS' Table at MLK, Jr. Breakfast  (1/17)
On Saturday, January 17, 2015 residents of Asheville and Buncombe County will celebrate our community's 34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King.

Join Us!
WCMS has purchased a limited number of tickets (10) at our own table for this engaging event, which we are offering to physician members (and one guest) as a gift on a first-come-first-served basis. Join your local elected officials, physician colleagues, and fellow community leaders at the MLK Prayer Breakfast (the largest such gathering in the country.)
Saturday, January 17, 2015
8:30-10:30 a.m.
(Doors Open 8:00 am)
Crowne Plaza Resort on Resort Drive (West Asheville)

Keynote speaker: Rodney Johnson, Executive Director of the Office of Parent Services at George Washington University
Reserve your ticket(s) by December 19th by contacting Kelly Kurdyukova (kelly@mywcms.org or 274-2267, ext 1301).
Election Results  
The 2014 mid-term elections have come and gone.  What does that mean for Western North Carolina?

US Senate
NC Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R) defeated incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D) for one of North Carolina's two Senate seats.  Tillis' victory helped tip the balance of the US Senate in favor of Republicans and now both the US Senate & House are controlled by the GOP.

US House
Incumbents Patrick McHenry (R) (District 10) and Mark Meadows (R) (District 11) both dominantly held onto their US House seats. 

NC Senate
All four incumbents in WNC maintained their NC Senate seats.  Three Republicans (Sen. Ralph Hise, Dist. 47, Sen. Tom Apodaca, Dist. 48 and Sen. Jim Davis, Dist. 50) and one Democrat (Sen. Terry Van Duyn, Dist. 49). 

NC House
There were two significant upsets in NC House races, both in Buncombe county districts.  Brian Turner (D) defeated incumbent Tim Moffitt (R) by a narrow margin in Dist. 116 and John Ager (D) defeated incumbent Nathan Ramsey (R) by an even closer margin in Dist. 115.  District 118 also saw a close race, with incumbent Michele Presnell (R) narrowly keeping her seat over challenger Dean Hicks (D).  In the other seven WNC races, the incumbents easily won. 
Republicans maintained a super-majority in both the NC Senate and NC House.

Click here for a full breakdown of all WNC election results or view a map of WNC Senators and Representatives. 

WCMS staff will continue meeting with our local legislators about important healthcare topics (i.e. Medicaid reform, Medicaid expansion, mental health, tort reform) in their offices here in WNC in 2014 and in Raleigh once the 2015 legislative session kicks off.  Please let WCMS know if you're interested in joining us as we meet with legislators by emailing ceo@mywcms.org.
WCMS Health Access Counselors Reach out to Underserved Populations
Last Spring WCMS Health Access Counselors developed and began implementing an outreach plan to provide information to the uninsured about how to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM), Medicaid, Medicare and Project Access, as eligible, targeting traditionally underserved populations such as: African Americans, Latinos, Eastern Europeans, and LGBT.

Two outreach events occurred during the third quarter (July-Sept), one with the YWCA and one with ABIPA focusing on the Latino and African-American communities. This resulted in 18 face to face appointments, 11 HIM applications including two enrollments, and nine appeals.

In August WCMS worked with the ACA Partners of WNC including Pisgah Legal, the BC Council On Aging, WNCCHS, Mountain Projects, Legal Services of Sylva and BRCHS to host a celebration honoring all the WNC CACs and Navigators who contributed to NC's success enrolling so many of its citizens in the Health Insurance Marketplace during Open Enrollment One.

Outreach events with Blue Ridge Pride and Fiesta Latina took place in October.
CMS to Pay Docs for Care Coordination, Telehealth
Doctors will be paid for Medicare care coordination, wellness and behavioral telehealth visits. But, under final rules issued by the CMS late Friday, physicians also could see all Medicare payments cut by roughly 21% in April if the Medicare sustainable growth-rate formula cuts are allowed to take effect.
CMS Releases Final Payment Rules for the Medicare Program
New policies focus on value, improve how care is provided, and increase transparency of information on quality.

Read article.
Meaningful Use in 2014- The Flexibility Rule Can Make a Difference for You!
Do you find that you are forced to use the last calendar quarter of 2014 as your meaningful use reporting period due to installation delays? Are you finding that the certified EHR technology you need to support you in meeting the Stage 2 objectives is just not available or has not been implemented yet? Are you experiencing training nightmares as a result of these delays? If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you may experience significant relief from the Flexibility Rule published by CMS on 9/4/2014.

Click here for more information and key points.
Ways Residents Have Found to Conquer Burnout

"Emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, detachment from patients-do these symptoms sound familiar? They can signal professional burnout, which studies show is more prevalent among physicians than other professionals. Experienced residents and fellows offer advice on what you can do to avoid burnout during training and become a more satisfied, resilient physician."

Read article.

Member Announcement- AllCare Clinical Associates Receives MGMA Certificate of Superior Performance
AllCare Clinical Associates has been recognized by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) for the fourth consecutive year for its "Superior Operational Performance" compared with similar medical groups nationwide. The MGMA award is given only to medical practices that have demonstrated superior performance in cost management, productivity, capacity and staffing, and patient satisfaction. AllCare Clinical Associates, www.allcareclinical.com, is one of the largest private physician-owned anesthesia practices serving North Carolina and is able to provide services across the state. MGMA's Performance and Practices of Successful Medical Groups report has been the nationally recognized benchmarking standard among medical groups for more than a decade.

"It is an honor to receive MGMA recognition for what is now four successive years. This award recognizes the hard work performed by our staff and our practice's commitment to delivering high quality care in a cost efficient manner to the patients, hospitals and surgical facilities that we serve," said Dr. Rodney Pugh, President and Chair of AllCare Clinical Associates. "The medical professionals at AllCare Clinical Associates are dedicated to providing high quality anesthesia and pain management services and we are available to assist hospitals that employ their anesthetists by offering the high quality service demonstrated by this award."
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Orthopedic-Joint Replacement Surgeon  (Pardee Hospital)
Physician III-A  (Buncombe County Health & Human Services)
Health Access Counselor  (WCMS)
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