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


Join Our Mailing List
Like on Facebook

April 29, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA

In This Issue:
Quest Diagnositcs - Sponsor Message (Left)
WCMS Survey Results are in: How will the 3% Medicaid Cut Affect Your Practice?
MAHEC CME (April and May)
Tonight - Early Career Affinity Group April 29
WCMS Road Trip to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday
How an Accountable Care Organization Works - Mission Health Partners
Pardee to Launch $5 Million Campaign for Cancer Center
Mission Health: The Health Care System that Keeps On Growing
Op-Ed in ACT: Mission Facing Huge Hurdles
WCMS Hosts Rural Medicine Dinner
Family Health Centers Name Change
Legislative Action Alert! Senator Hise: Relaxing Nurse Regulations Would End Doctor 'Monopoly
Public Health Alert: Blue Bell Recall Due to Possible Listeria
The Accountable Care Guide for Gynecologists
Job Board & Classified Ads
Survey Results are in: How will the 3% Medicaid Cut Affect Your Practice? 
Thank you for responding to our survey. 49 of you answered our questions about the 3% retroactive Medicaid cut and how this will affect your practice. Respondents were split about 50/50 independent vs. employed, and about 50/50 primary vs. specialty providers.

Comments from physicians are posted on our website as well as the demographic breakdown. Click here to view.

The survey will be open until the end of the week if you would like to add your opinion. We plan to take this information to Raleigh. While the cut has already been enacted, we think it's important to drive home the impact that this is having on access to care. 
MAHEC CME (April and May)
MAHEC regularly provides courses for CME credit.
Check out our website calendar to see upcoming opportunities. Here are the next few events:

4/30 - Parkinson Disease (Evening) 
Early Career Physicians: Join us tonight for a beer at Thirsty Monk South
If you are a physician in your first ten years of practice, please join us at the Thirsty Monk on April 29 from 6-8 p.m. for an informal meet-up. First round and appetizers are on us. Click here to RSVP

WCMS Road Trip to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday 

It's time for another White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh!  Here are the details:

What: Meet with legislators in Raleigh to talk about important healthcare topics.  We will most likely focus on Medicaid expansion and Medicaid reform (promoting physician-led ACOs), scope of practice bills, and the budget. We'll get more details as the date draws nearer.

When: Wed. May 13th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (will try to make all appts for morning/early afternoon if possible so we can leave earlier than 4)

Where: Raleigh  (NCMS/Legislative buildings in downtown)

RSVP here if you are interested in joining us. 

How an Accountable Care Organization Works - Mission Health Partners

ASHEVILLE - Mission formed an Accountable Care Organization called Mission Health Partners in June 2014. This group is different than Mission Medical Associates, which represents the company-employed doctors. But it still can have an impact on the number of patients Mission serves.

Click here to read more

Pardee to Launch $5 Million Campaign for Cancer Center 

Pardee Hospital is about to embark on a $6 million capital campaign to build a cancer center that will centralize all cancer services in one location.

Mission Health: The Health Care System That Keeps On Growing 

Mission Health System dominates the healthcare field in Western North Carolina, owning or partnering with six hospitals and controlling more than 40 percent of hospital beds in Western North Carolina. The nonprofit company began its expansion in the 1990s. It absorbed small rural hospitals struggling to foot the bill for an aging, low-income and under-insured population in Western North Carolina.
Click here to listen to the report from Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Jon Ostendorff.

Op-Ed in ACT: Mission Facing Huge Hurdles 

In running a business, a simple rule of thumb would be not to give away $55 million of your product every year.Yet that's the challenge Mission Health System faces.

Click here to read more

WCMS Hosts Rural Medicine Dinner 

On 4/22, Dr. Kate Queen, Chair of WCMS Foundation, hosted a dinner gathering in her home for 12 rural physicians, residents, and medical students across WNC  to discuss common interests such as access to care, integration of mental health, innovative ways to practice in rural settings, training pipelines for rural health professionals, recruitment/retention, and more. At the end of the evening, one of the participants commented, "For the first time in months, I'm with people who understand me (what it's like being a rural doctor)." The group agreed to continue meeting to begin working on a strategic plan for both urgent and longer term issues. For more information or to join this group, contact Miriam Schwarz. 

Family Health Centers Name Change
Asheville Family Health Center, PA (originally formed in 1978) announces that effective December, 2014, its new name is The Family Health Centers of Asheville, Arden & Hominy Valley, PA. "Our new identity reflects our continued focus on providing easy access to quality family medical care." said Dr. Wendy Coin, Medical Director.  "We appreciate the opportunity to support the life-long health and wellbeing of Western North Carolina families." The Family Health Centers will toast the name change with a Ribbon Cutting provided by the Ashville Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 6, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Colleagues are invited to enjoy the Ribbon Cutting and refreshments at The Family Health Centers' 206 Asheland Avenue, Downtown Asheville location.   

Legislative Action Alert! Senator Hise: Relaxing Nurse Regulations Would End Doctor 'Monopoly'

North Carolina is facing a physician shortage - particularly in primary care and in rural areas - but nurses say loosening restrictions on their scope of practice will alleviate that problem.

North Carolina law requires physicians' supervision for procedures that in other states may be done by nurses or other mid-level providers alone. Supporters of SB 695 say relaxing these regulations will reduce the doctor shortage as nurses can handle some of that health care demand.
Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, a bill sponsor, pushed back against the North Carolina Medical Society's objections saying, "when you have a monopoly on a system, you tend to fight things that make changes to that system." 

Click here to read more about the issue. 

Click here to read the bill.

Click here to read the NCMS response. 

Take action:

Now is the time to contact your state senator to explain why physician supervision helps ensure the safety of your patients. Our current law allows nurses to expand their expertise well beyond their formal education by working side by side with a supervising physician. In fact, advanced practice nurses in North Carolina can perform any medical act approved by a supervising physician. The current supervision law allows nurses to practice to the fullest extent possible, while maintaining the safety net of physician expertise vital to patient safety. Contact your legislator now.  

For more explanations about this this bill, click here. 

Public Health Alert: Blue Bell Recall Due to Possible Listeria

On April 20, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries of Brenham, Texas, voluntarily expanded its recall to include all of its products currently on the market because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The status of the investigation can be found here. Outbreak investigations or routine monitoring of food production and processing facilities may lead to identification and recall of a food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. In these situations, persons at elevated risk for invasive listeriosis may seek medical care because of concern that they have been exposed to to L. monocytogenes. This document provides a suggested framework for medical management of these persons. 
The Accountable Care Guide for Gynecologists
The Accountable Care Guide for Gynecologists has been released and is available here on the TAC website. 
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board: 
Physician (Bariatric Clinic)
Physician (MedPlus Disability Evaluations)
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