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  Community Pulse- October 2014



Health Reform Info

Project Access

WNC Interpreter Network

Boards of Directors





In This Issue:
Van Winkle Law Firm- Sponsor Message (Left)
WCMS Fall Conference
New Members to WCMS
2014 Candidate Forum
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
Alert from BCDH: Ebola Guidance
Physicians' Voice in the News
Flat Rock Family Health Center to Close
Mission Health Budget Statement
NC Lawmakers Look to Other States for Medicaid Restructuring Ideas
North Carolina ACOs Rank in Top 15 Percent Nationally for Quality of Care
A Rural Practice Fights to Stay Solvent
In Memory- Dr. Fred Berger



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 Fall Conference (11/2)
"Risky Business: 
Managing Risk in Today's Medical Practice"

Join WCMS for our 16th Fall Conference presented by PNC Bank.  The conference 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. 

Thanks to our sponsors!

New Members to WCMS   
2014 Candidate Forum    
WCMS wants to help physicians, patients and community members 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?

Remember to vote on November 4th!  If you want more information on early voting, absentee ballots and more, go to the  Board of Elections website.   

The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)     
The 2014-2015 "Blue Book" is ready for ordering!  This is a comprehensive directory of physicians, produced by WCMS that:
  • Includes physicians and practices from all 16 WNC counties
  • Is pocket size for easy access
  • Has a discounted price for practices with 100% members of WCMS! 
Practice and physician information changes frequently, so this directory has hundreds of updates from when the last book was published. 

To place an order, go to www.mywcms.org/BlueBook and pay online or download an order form.

Have questions or need to know if you're part of a 100% member practice? Email us at membership@mywcms.org.
Alert from BCDH: Ebola Guidance 
Please see general guidance to North Carolina health care providers in non-hospital facilities regarding assessment for Ebola virus disease (EVD) and initial management of suspected cases.

You can also download this fact sheet for patients regarding Ebola.  It includes topics like:
  • What is Ebola?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How does it spread?
  • Ways you CAN'T Get Ebola
  • Protect yourself from Ebola and Other Illnesses
  • If you have symptoms
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
Flat Rock Family Health Center to Close 
Read article.
Mission Health Budget Statement 
Statement from Ronald Paulus:
"As Mission Health finalizes its budget process for fiscal year 2015, we know that many in our community are looking to us for indications of the strength of our system, and ultimately, our ability to provide quality healthcare to people close to where they live and work.  We take this responsibility and privilege very, very seriously.  
Earlier, we shared a video (link below) with our Mission Health family highlighting the challenging budget process.  In the end, we were able to improve our financial performance by $52 million to offset federal and state reimbursement cuts while providing our deserving caregivers merit increases and making important investments in our system and our community.  We now have an approved 2015 budget that achieves an improved operating margin and that not only maintains, but expands Mission Health's mission and vision."

 Click here to read more and watch Paulus' video. 

NC Lawmakers Look to Other States for Medicaid Restructuring Ideas 
North Carolina lawmakers want to consult with other states on how they've restructured their Medicaid systems to provide better and more cost-effective care.

The desire to look at alternative management structures comes as the top official over North Carolina's Medicaid division continues to assert that the health insurance program for the poor and disabled is best housed exactly where it is today, in the Department of Health and Human Services.

 Read more here.
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.

A Rural Practice Fights to Stay Solvent 
"Despite the challenging environment, and state bureaucratic changes that have nearly bankrupted her practice, Ahoskie Pediatrics' sole doctor says she's been living the dream."

Read article.
In Memory- Dr. Fred Berger  
"We are saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Fred Berger of Franklin NC on Sat 10/18/14. He was the first pediatrician in Macon County, and founded Pediatric Associates of Franklin. His obituary can be found here."

Says Dr. Kevin Foley, pediatrician in Franklin, NC, "He recruited me here to Franklin 4 1/2 yrs ago.  Incredible man... Taught me a lot about small town pediatrics and the office would not have been a success without him.  Whole town will miss him!"
Job Board  

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


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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