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

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January 14, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
Deerfield- Sponsor Message (Left)
Women in Medicine Affinity Group
Annual Celebration
Ward and Smith Roundtable Lunch
2015 Strategic Plan
Expanding Medicaid Would Bring Millions to WNC
Asheville-Area Lawmakers Differ on Medicaid Move
Haywood Regional Medical Center Announces New CEO
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Selects New President/CNO
2015 Preferred Vendors
WCMS Foundation Receives Grant for Interpreter Network to Expand in McDowell County
New WCMS Member Benefit
WCMS Faces of the Uninsured Series
Job Board & Classified Ads
Women in Medicine Affinity Group (1/15)
The WCMS Women In Medicine Affinity Group will be meeting tomorrow night, January 15th at 6:00pm.  Dr. Rebecca Bernstein, with Asheville Hospitalist Group, will be hosting this affinity group at her home in North Asheville.

The topic for this Affinity Group will be Women in Leadership.  Come join a discussion on this important topic with other female physicians, many of whom hold leadership positions in healthcare. 

Light hors d'ouevres and beverages will be provided.

Please RSVP for head count: register now.
Annual Celebration  (1/25)
RSVP now to attend an evening of food, music and camaraderie with fellow physicians, and a chance to meet your new WCMS Board leaders.

Sunday, January 25th
6pm - 9pm
Highland Brewing Company in Asheville
Entertainment provided by Blues Crew (Dr. Andrew Hart's blues band)

RSVP Here.

Thanks to our Sponsors:

Ward and Smith Roundtable Lunch  (2/4)
Ward and Smith, P.A. is hosting quarterly healthcare roundtable discussion groups to their healthcare clients and friends in Western North Carolina.  Ward and Smith attorneys serve as the facilitators of these discussion groups, which are comprised primarily of healthcare practice administrators and managers.  In past meetings, we have discussed healthcare "hot topics" such as Accountable Care Organizations, the Affordable Care Act, the Certificate of Need law, HIPAA, managed care contracting, and the Stark law.

Click here for more information about the Feb. 4th lunch.

Ward and Smith, P.A. is a WCMS preferred vendor.
2015 Strategic Plan & Legislative Agenda 
WCMS has finalized our Strategic Plan for 2015.  Thanks to so many of you for being a part of our collaborative strategic planning process which we embark on every year to best fill your aspirations.

The 2015 Strategic Plan highlights issues of physician burnout, physician leadership and legislative advocacy.  Click here to view the 2015 Strategic Plan.

Our legislative agenda for 2015 is as follows:
  • Physician-led  Accountable Care Organizations as a solution to Medicaid reform. We do NOT support Managed Care Organizations, particularly for-profit, out-of-state entities
  • Medicaid expansion for all low-income residents of North Carolina
  • Increased mental health services, more providers, and integration of mental health into primary care in WNC, and appropriate use of state facilities
  • Protecting medical liability reforms that were passed in 2011
  • Appropriate scope of practice by non-physicians and supervision of non-physician practitioners by physicians to ensure patient safety
Also, note that we will likely be asked by NC Derm Society to support the "Ban the Tan" bill again this session, as we did during the short session.
Expanding Medicaid Would Bring Millions to WNC  
A new study released in December highlights the economic and employment costs of not expanding Medicaid in counties across North Carolina.  Western North Carolina stands to lose big. From 2016 to 2020, the cumulative business activity lost In Buncombe County totals $745 million; it reaches 54.5 million in Haywood, another 168.1 million in Henderson, 54.1 million in McDowell, and 21.7 million in Mitchell County.

Read article.
Asheville-Area Lawmakers Differ on Medicaid Move
"Area legislators disagreed Friday on expanding Medicaid in the state but supported replenishing a state fund used to lure new businesses or industrial expansions to the state.

State Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, told about 175 people attending the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce's legislative luncheon on the Biltmore Estate that accepting federal funds to extend Medicaid coverage would increase jobs in the state and address the imbalance between what North Carolinians send to Washington and what they get back.

But state Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, said he and his colleagues "are not here to chase the federal dollar, the federal money that's coming forward" as Medicaid is currently structured."

Read full article
Haywood Regional Medical Center Announces New CEO  
"We look forward to welcoming Phillip to Haywood Regional Medical Center and the Haywood community," said Frank Powers, chairman of the HRMC Board of Trustees. "Everyone involved in the selection process was very impressed with the depth of experience and leadership capabilities that Phillip will bring to our hospital.

Continue reading
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Selects New President/CNO
Jacqueline Ring takes on a newly combined role of president/CNO created as part of a regional restructuring process at Mission Health's member hospitals, according to a news release from the health system.

Read full announcement.  
2015 Preferred Vendors 
WCMS has a preferred vendor program with companies that provide services to WCMS members at a discounted rate.  WCMS vendors are experts in the areas of:
  • Financial
  • IT
  • Legal
  • Practice Management

In 2015, we have two new vendors.  Current Medical Services provides practice management assistance to independent practices and eHealth Consulting helps make practices' EHRs work well within their workflow.  Plus we've continued services with Johnson Price Sprinkle (IT/accounting), Parsec Financial, The Van Winkle Law Firm and Ward and Smith Law Firm.   


For more information about WCMS vendors and the discounted services you could receive from them, go to our website.  

WCMS Foundation Receives Grant for Interpreter Network to Expand in McDowell County
A language barrier will no longer prevent the sick from seeking medical care in McDowell County.  The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) was granted $14,000 to expand the WCMSF Interpreter Network (WIN) to McDowell County.  This grant will help the McDowell County hearing impaired and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) population gain access to trained medical interpreters.

Read more.
New WCMS Member Benefit 
Open Enrollment Two (OE2) for the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) began November 15th and will close on February 15th, 2015. WCMS has a limited number of days on which member physicians can host at their practices one of our Health Access Counselors between now and Friday, February 13, 2015 to help your patients enroll in either the HIM, Medicaid, Medicare or Project Access® as eligible.

Alternately, you can download, print and post an informative flyer about OE2 in your waiting- and exam rooms which encourages your patients to call and make an appointment with one of our Health Access Counselors here at WCMS.

Click here to download flyer and/or informational video. 

To contact WCMS staff about getting help for your uninsured patients, call 828-274-6989 or email cac@mywcms.org
WCMS Faces of the Uninsured Series 
The third and final video in the series of our "Faces of the Uninsured 2014" is complete. This project was funded by a generous donor to WCMSF and by a contribution from WNCCHS. Kata Bates of Twang Creative worked with WCMS Foundation staff, WNCCHS, and BRCHS to make this happen. The purpose of the series is to "put a face and a voice" to the uninsured in WNC who would have qualified for Medicaid had it been expanded in NC. Below, please find links to all 3 videos. We are continuing the series in 2015, working with both Kata Bates and Sandi Boyer. Your feedback/comments are welcome!
Spencer's story

Jerry's story
Sharon's story
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Medical Assistant  (Trillium Family Medicine)
Receptionist/Patients Account Rep  (AllCare Clinical Assoc)
Chief Medical Officer  (Blue Ridge Community Health Services)
Bilingual Nurse or Certified MA  (French Broad Pediatrics)
Orthopedic-Joint Replacement Surgeon  (Pardee Hospital)
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
WCMS Association: WCMSA is the physicians' voice advocating for the health of the physician, the patient, and the community, through strengthening the physician-patient relationship.

WCMS Foundation: WCMSF is the physician and community-led charitable arm of the medical society improving access to quality healthcare, decreasing disparities in health, and promoting health & wellness.   

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