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  Community Pulse- November 2014



Health Reform Info

Project Access

WNC Interpreter Network

Boards of Directors





In This Issue:
Quest Diagnostics- Sponsor Message (Left)
New Members to WCMS
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
Leadership Can't Afford to Duck Changes in Health Care
Physicians' Voice in the News
Health Insurance Basics & Budgeting for Health Classes
Election Results
In Surprise Move, Supreme Court Will Examine Key Part Of Health Law
Federal Marketplace Open for "Window Shopping"
CMS to Pay Docs for Care Coordination, Telehealth
How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted
Quotes from a New WCMS Member
Job Board & Classified Ads



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!    

New Members to WCMS   
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.
Leadership Can't Afford to Duck Changes in Health Care     
Dr. Ron Paulus, CEO of the Mission Health System, talked about the challenges of leadership in tumultuous times at the Lead Through Change event Wednesday Nov. 12th.

Read article
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
Health Insurance Basics & Budgeting for Health Classes 

Free two-part series taught by WCMS Health Access Team and OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling


Monday & Wednesday, December 1 & 3

  • Learn key health insurance terms
  • Understand how to effectively use your health insurance
  • Learn how income, expenses, and debt all affect a successful budget
  • Create a realistic budget for your healthcare costs

Click here for more information.

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. 

In Surprise Move, Supreme Court Will Examine Key Part Of Health Law   
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Rovner reports: "Once again, the Supreme Court will decide whether the Affordable Care Act lives or dies. Defying expectations, the court announced Friday it has agreed to hear - during this term - a case that challenges the heart of the law: subsidies to help people pay their insurance premiums. In about three dozen states, the federal government runs the online marketplaces where individuals can find health plans." (Rovner, 11/7)
Federal Marketplace Open for "Window Shopping" 
Consumers can now shop for health insurance and compare their options on HealthCare.gov.  You can sort plans not only by the amount of the premium, but also by the size of the deductible. In addition, you should be able to see all health plans that have special programs to manage certain conditions like asthma, heart disease, depression, diabetes, lower back pain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
To see plans go to: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/
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, 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.

How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted  
"Financial forces largely hidden from the public are beginning to corrupt care and undermine the bond of trust between doctors and patients. Insurers, hospital networks and regulatory groups have put in place both rewards and punishments that can powerfully influence your doctor's decisions."

Continue reading.
Quotes from a New WCMS Member  

"I am a new member and I have already found tremendous value working with the Society:

  • Mission's plan to form ACO. I didn't even know what ACO meant. I contacted WCMS and they took a very impartial view, referring me to two doctors-one who enrolled and one who did not. I found this extremely valuable. I have decided not to sign up right now, but probably will in the future.
  • I was very close to deciding not to take Medicaid patients based on problems I was having with NC Tracks. I called the Medical Society and explained the situation. Something I had been struggling with for months was taken care of in a few weeks.
  • Communication is the best. Email, calls, newsletter is excellent. They have been very responsive to my needs and are unbiased in helping us.

I don't feel as "naked" out here as I did before becoming a member of the Society."

- from a WNC Physician

Job Board  

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


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

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