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

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February 11, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
Parsec Financial- Sponsor Message (Left)
Emeritus Luncheon
Independent Physician Affinity Group: Learn about CCNC's New Clinically Integrated Network
Save the Date: White Coat Wednesdays
Health Care Transforming at a Dizzying Pace
CCNC Launches State-wide Community Physicians of NC, A Clinically Integrated Network
An Apology from ABIM Regarding MOC: "We Got it Wrong. We're sorry."
Message to CMS: Shared Savings Program Not Good Enough
Innovations in Medical Practice in WNC: Trillium Family Medicine Revisited
Physician Burnout Program Targets Effects of Sentinel Events
EHR Updates (from eHealth consulting)
Donald L. Helfer, II, MD, Joins AllCare Clinical Associates
Job Board & Classified Ads
Emeritus Luncheon  (2/19)
All retired physicians are invited to a luncheon for the Emeritus Chapter of Western Carolina Medical Society. The luncheon will be at the Country Club of Asheville on February 19, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.

Dr. Robert Fields, Medical Director of Mission Health Partners will present: ACOs and Population Health in North Carolina: A Brave New World.

Lunch is $15 per person.  You may pay online via credit card or send in a check.  To register online, click here
We look forward to seeing you on February 19th!
Independent Physician Affinity Group: Learn about CCNC's New Clinically Integrated Network  (3/3)
All Independent Physicians are invited to an affinity group meeting on March 3.  This is a time to network with other physicians and receive valuable information.

Topic: New Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) coming to North Carolina. Hear a brief presentation about the new CIN, Community Physicians of North Carolina (CPNC), which is faciliated by Community Care of NC (CCNC) and then engage in a question and answer session about the new CIN and other ACO-related questions.

When: Tuesday, March 3 from 6pm - 8pm

Where: Asheville Event Centre (less than one mile off I-40 exit 51)
291 Sweeten Creek Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Panel for Q&A:
  • Dr. Chip Watkins- Senior Physician Consultant with CCNC
    • Dr. Watkins will present information about the new Community Physicians of North Carolina and help answer questions about this new CIN
  • Denise Levis Hewson- Senior Vice President of Network Development and State Programs at CCNC
    • Denise will also help answer questions about this new CIN as a CCNC representative
  • Carolyn Coward- Healthcare Attorney with the Van Winkle Law Firm
    • Carolyn will help answer questions about the changing healthcare environment, specifically any legal issues or technicalities
  • Mary Williams Matthews- CPA with Johnson Price Sprinkle, PA
    • Mary will help answer questions about the changing healthcare environment, specifically any financial implications

To view panelist bios or full event information, click here

Space is limited, so please RSVP ahead of time to secure your spot.  Physician members of WCMS are encouraged to invite their physician colleagues to attend, regardless of membership status.

If you have questions or want more information, email kristina@mywcms.org.
Save the Date: White Coat Wednesdays
WCMS is coordinating two trips to Raleigh this spring for "White Coat Wednesday".  This is a time to meet with our legislators about the important healthcare topics being discussed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Mark your calendars to attend White Coat Wednesdays in Raleigh on:
  • March 25th
  • May 13th

More details to follow! 

Health Care Transforming at a Dizzying Pace
Opinion piece in the Asheville Citizen-Times by Ronald Paulus, Mission Health CEO:

"There may not be words strong enough to describe the magnitude of the health care transformation underway today, but it's safe to say terms like "enormous," "revolutionary" and "seismic" are not exaggerations. Whether you're experiencing this as a consumer or a provider, we all know how things "used to work" has been forever changed. While talk of these shifts abound, it's not always clear what is happening even when we feel it in our own community."

Continue Reading.
CCNC Launches State-wide Community Physicians of NC, A Clinically Integrated Network
The NC Academy of Family Physicians, the NC Community Health Center Association, and the NC Pedicatric Society in collaboration with Community Care of NC have launched Community Physicians Network of North Carolina (CPNC), LLC, a clinically-integrated network through which independent physicians "can work together to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care." 

CPNC says it will serve as "a vehicle for independent practices to participate in Medicaid ACOs, Medicare Shared Savings Plans, and other new value-based healthcare models."  CPNC will offer collection and reporting of quality data; care management; health coaching; transitional support for patieints; comprehensive medication management; population stratification; behavioral health integration; and palliative care.

For more information, please contact pmahoney@n3cn.org. Locally, you may contact CCNC Senior Physician Consultant, Dr. Chip Watkins cwatkins@n3cn.org or CCWNC's Executive Director, Jennifer Wehe jwehe@ccwnc.org.
An Apology from ABIM Regarding MOC: "We Got it Wrong. We're sorry."  
"Dear Doctor:

The American Board of Internal Medicine clearly got it wrong. We launched programs that weren't ready and we didn't deliver an MOC program that physicians found meaningful. We want to change that."

Continue reading.
Message to CMS: Shared Savings Program Not Good Enough
More than 30 groups representing providers have asked CMS to make changes to its Medicare Shared Savings Program, saying the proposals to offset risk in Medicare are not enough to ensure providers continue to sign up for it. (Sources: CQ HealthBeat, 2/6 [Subscription Required]; Modern Healthcare, 2/8)
Innovations in Medical Practice in WNC: Trillium Family Medicine Revisited
Trillium Family Medicine is one of a number of independent small practices in WNC that are successfully challenging conventional thinking about the capacity of small practices to be financially stable while growing and delivering quality care in a cost-efficient manner.  About a year ago, WCMS staff interviewed Dr. Mark McNeill about his innovative solo practice, Trillium Family Medicine. For last year's article, click here.

Mark's model is "low overhead." He maximizes the use of his web-based patient portal in order to keep costs down. A year later, and in the midst of the turmoil of health care reform, we thought we'd check back with him to see how he was faring.

Your intrepid reporter for this update was Rivers Woodward, 3rd year medical student and WCMS Foundation Board member.

Read interview.
Physician Burnout Program Targets Effects of Sentinel Events
"The pilot program is still in its first year, but Meltzer-Brody hopes this is a training ground for rolling out more programs that support physicians. "One of my goals is de-stigmatizing that burnout only happens to other doctors," she says."

Read article.
EHR Updates (from eHealth consulting)
Meaningful Use
Good news is on the horizon! The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to make changes this spring to provide relief for providers trying to achieve the Stage 2 measures in 2015. Shortening the reporting period to 90 days and re-evaluating the complexity of Stage 2 requirements to make requirements more reasonable are among the changes being considered. In addition, rule makers are re-evaluating the scope of Stage 3 based on the feedback they have received from providers and other stakeholders in the program. Your voice is heard!

Important deadlines - February 28th is the deadline for MU attestation. Choosing not to attest will result in penalties in 2016.

It is not too late to participate in PQRS to receive the .5% incentive this year and avoid penalties. Depending on how you report, deadlines vary, but February 28th is the most common.

Upcoming events offered by eHealth Consulting
  • February 10th - Meaningful Use Question and Answer session $25.00
  • March 10th - Audits and Attestation $50.00
  • April 9th - Sharing Patient Data Electronically $50.00
    • What you see in the chart is not necessary what you send to the recipient. Learn how data sharing really works when you communicate electronically.
For more information about these educational offerings, click here.

eHealth Consulting is one of WCMS' Preferred Vendors.
Member Update: Donald L. Helfer, II, MD, Joins AllCare Clinical Associates 
Donald L. Helfer, II, has joined AllCare Clinical Associates, PA. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Dr. Helfer received his Medical Degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Helfer completed his residency training in anesthesiology at Washington University, where he was Chief Resident for the Department of Anesthesiology. Prior to joining AllCare Clinical Associates, Dr. Helfer was the Clinical Director of Anesthesia Services at the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico.

Dr. Helfer is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and is also a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners. He is a member of the Western Carolina Medical Society, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Christian Medical Dental Associations (CMDA), International Anesthesia Research Society, International Association for the Study of Pain and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia.

AllCare Clinical Associates, www.allcareclinical.com, is one of the largest private physician-owned anesthesia practices serving North Carolina and employs over 200 Anesthesiologists, Anesthetists and business and management professionals. AllCare Clinical Associates provides anesthesia, pain clinic management services and perioperative care for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers of all sizes. 
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board: 
Physician  (The Bariatric Clinic)
Physician  (Buncombe County Health & Human Services)
Credentialing Specialist  (AllCare Clinical Assoc)
Medical Assistant  (Trillium 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
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