Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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March 25, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA

In This Issue:
Quest Diagnostics - Sponsor Message (Left)
WCMS is Gearing Up for Doctor's Day!
Physicians' Voice in the News
Carolina Vascular and The Vein Specialists Collaborate with Mission Health
Updates from the Buncombe County Dept. of Health
WCMS is in Raleigh Today for White Coat Wednesday
TAKE ACTION NOW. STOP the 14 Month Retroactive Taking of Payments from Medicaid's Doctors
Certificate-Of-Need Reforms Face Tough Test In NCGA
Bill to Bar Teens from Tanning Moves Forward
Health Advisory - Ocular Syphilis Infections
SGR Update
Job Board & Classified Ads
MAHEC regularly provides courses for CME credit.
Check out our website calendar to see upcoming opportunities. Here are the next few events:

4/16 - Motivational Interviewing (Evening)
4/30 - Parkinson Disease (Evening) 

WCMS is Gearing Up for Doctor's Day!

For Doctor's Day (March 30th) we are running radio spots on ESPN and Mix 96.5 between March 9-30th. Take a listen to one of the spots just recorded with Mary Williams Matthews of Johnson Price Sprinkle by Asheville Radio Group here (Click here to listen). We will also have announcements on WCQS between March 27-30th. 

WCMS has written an article about Doctor's Day that has been sent to media outlets around WNC. You can read that article here. We'll be out at Park Ridge Health for breakfast and at Cherokee Indian Hospital for lunch. We look forward to the opportunity to thank WNC physicians on March 30.  

Also, please be aware that Dr. Ed Diez is one of 10 finalists for the North Carolina Doctor of the Year award.

Voting has begun. We want Dr. Diez to win by a landslide.


Click here to vote 


Article about Dr. Diez in the Citizen Times:

Asheville physician in running for statewide award
ASHEVILLE - Dr. Edgardo Diez is among 10 finalists for the North Carolina Doctor of the Year Award. The North Carolina Medical Society is...

Physicians' Voice in the News 

Guest column: Become a Donor & Share the Gift of Sight

A patient recently commented: "I have been told I have a corneal dystrophy. I would like to know more information about what a corneal transplant is and how successful corneal transplantation surgery is." 

Click here to read more

Carolina Vascular and The Vein Specialists Collaborate with Mission Health

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 23, 2015) - Mission Health is pleased to announce new collaborations with Carolina Vascular and The Vein Specialists. Carolina Vascular specializes in providing the most comprehensive care available for the treatment of vascular disease. The providers at The Vein Specialists offer a full spectrum of vein treatments, from cosmetic to medically necessary.

Click here to read more 

Info for Patients Regarding Location Changes to Buncombe Dept. of Health 

Buncombe County will begin construction of an addition to 40 Coxe Avenue April 1st. To keep staff and visitors safe during construction, some Health Department services from 40 Coxe Avenue will be moving temporarily to 53 S. French Broad beginning in April 1, 2015.

Click here and here to learn more.

WCMS is in Raleigh Today for White Coat Wednesday 

CEO Miriam Schwarz, President Bob Henderson, MD and Diane Hankes, MD (AllCare) are in Raleigh today meeting with many of our WNC legislators (we have appointments with Van Duyn, McGrady, Dobson, Turner, Ager, Fisher) to stop the recoupment of 3% of Medicaid funds that have already been disbursed to doctors over the past 14 months. (See article below under State news and help us by voicing your concern!) We will be pushing for physician-led ACO's as the solution to Medicaid reform and NOT MCO's. Finally, we will be advocating for the legislature to address the insurance gap in caused by lack of Medicaid expansion. 

TAKE ACTION NOW. STOP the 14 Month Retroactive Taking of Payments from Medicaid's Doctors  

In 2013, the NC General Assembly included a 3% "withhold" for all Medicaid services with the intention of using that money as the foundation of a shared-savings program with providers. After difficulty developing the program, the withhold was re-drafted as a cut with an effective date of January 1, 2014.

Doctors treating Medicaid patients now face a mandate to PAY BACK 3% of everything they have been paid by Medicaid for the last 14 months. Call or email your representative/senator and tell them how much you will have to send back to Medicaid, what it will mean to you and your practice, and that you cannot afford a massive recoupment at the same time you are being asked to transform the entire way we dieliver health care to the Medicaid population. 

Read more about the impact and take action here. 

Certificate-Of-Need Reforms Face Tough Test In NCGA 

Bipartisan Measure Touted as Benefit to Taxpayers and Health-care Consumers

The legislation would exempt diagnostic centers, ambulatory surgical facilities, gastrointestinal endoscopy rooms, and psychiatric hospitals from certificate-of-need review. A CON is basically a permission slip a provider must receive from the state in a regulatory approval process that is dominated by hospitals that currently provide the services.

Click here to read more

Bill to Bar Teens from Tanning Moves Forward  

RALEIGH - State Rep. Donny Lambeth, a Winston-Salem Republican who is a former health-care industry executive, asked members of the House Health Committee on Wednesday to support a bill that would ban the use of tanning beds by minors under 18 to reduce the risk of cancer. The bill won the committee's approval in a matter of minutes.

Click here to read more 

Health Advisory - Ocular Syphilis Infections 

Since December 2014, Communicable Disease Branch surveillance data has identified six ocular syphilis cases in North Carolina. Five of the six cases were male, all presented with visual changes and had a rapid plasma reagin (RPR) titer ≥ 1:64. Due to concern for an uptick in ocular syphilis cases, the North Carolina Division of Public Health is asking medical providers to be proactive in ordering syphilis serologies in all patients who present with visual complaints and risk factors for syphilis infection. 

Click here to read more

SGR Update
House leaders are nearing a deal to permanently replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula, two House aides said Friday. The deal would offset about $70 billion of the $200 billion cost for permanently repealing and replacing Medicare's SGR and include a two-year extension of CHIP. The proposal could spur opposition from conservatives who do not want to increase federal spending. Meanwhile, Democrats in the Senate have threatened to oppose the deal because they are seeking a four-year extension of CHIP. (Sources: The Hill, 3/13; Modern Healthcare 3/15)

Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board: 
Practice Manager (Hendersonville Ob/Gyn Associates)
Hospitalist (MAHEC)
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