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  Community Pulse- April 2015




In This Issue:
Deerfield - Sponsor Message (Left)
Letter from the WCMS Foundation Chair, Dr. Kate Queen
Survey Results are in: How will the 3% Medicaid Cut Affect Your Practice?
WCMS in Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday
Expanding Medicaid Would Help Hospital
CarePartners Opens Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
Physicians' Voice in the News
Family Health Centers Name Change
New Members to WCMS
Senate Bills Put Squeeze on Hospitals
Mission's Big Company Tactics Anger Rural WNC Doctors
Legislative Action Alert! Senator Hise: Relaxing Nurse Regulations Would End Doctor "Monopoly"
Why are Politicians Playing Doctor?
Why Managed Care is not the Answer for...North Carolina
Job Board & Classified Ads
Attention Doctors:

Do you enjoy your monthly Community Pulse? Did you know that if you become a member you can get even more critical information sent to you weekly right to your inbox? Information such as how to take action to address impending Medicaid and SGR cuts, important new bills introduced into the NCGA, public health alerts, advice on how to get paid in your practice, new ACO developments, and how to improve quality in your practice? 

Sign up today to become a member. Don't miss out on critical information that will help drive your professional decisions.

Letter from the WCMS Foundation Chair, Dr. Kate Queen

The Challenges of Access to Care - Redefining the Focus of WCMS's Foundation

The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation, as the physician and community led charitable arm of the Medical Society, has a longstanding commitment to the challenge of securing access to quality health care for community members in need, reducing health disparities, and promoting health and wellness.


The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation as a charitable organization finds itself with new opportunities to expand and sharpen its focus and identity. Your WCMS Foundation Board is strategically engaging colleagues throughout the region, particularly those in more rural settings, to learn from them about their own unique struggles with access to care and local innovations to address those challenges. WCMS Foundation's larger aim is to build on and replicate existing resources and programs in rural communities to improve access to care across the region. 
Click here to read full message.
Survey Results are in: How will the 3% Medicaid Cut Affect Your Practice? 
Thank you to our members who responded 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. 

WCMS in Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday
CEO Miriam Schwarz, WCMS President Bob Henderson, MD and Diane Hankes, MD (AllCare) went to Raleigh to meet with many of our WNC legislators: Sen. Van Duyn, and Reps. McGrady, Dobson, Turner, Ager, and Fisher to stop the recoupment of 3% of Medicaid funds that have already been disbursed to doctors over the past 14 months.
(Click here for background info) We pushed for physician-led ACO's as the solution to Medicaid reform and NOT MCO's. 

Dr. Bob Henderson, Miriam Schwarz, and Dr. Diane Hankes in Raleigh with Rep. McGrady (R-Henderson County) discussing the adverse results of a 3% Medicaid retroactive cut. While we were at the NCGA, we were interviewed by a reporter from NC Health News. Here's the Article: Docs Raise Familiar and New Issues with Legislators
Expanding Medicaid Would Help Hospital 

ASHEVILLE - The Emergency Department is a great place to look to illustrate how expanding Medicaid would have helped Mission Hospital.

North Carolina was among the 21 states that did not expand government health coverage for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Click here to read more. 

CarePartners Opens Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
CarePartners, a local nonprofit health organization and affiliate of Mission Health, has announced the opening of its PACE Center. CarePartners PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is the first one in western North Carolina and will serve Buncombe and Henderson counties. PACE is now accepting applications and will be open to participants March 1.
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. You can read all about The Physicians' Voice on our website.

Here's the latest release: "Why you should quit smoking, and why you can't" by WCMS member Dr. Eric Smith.

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. 

New Members to WCMS   

Senate Bills Put Squeeze on Hospitals
With machinations in Raleigh seeking to make not-for-profit hospitals play by free-market rules, consumers may wonder if they will end up footing the bill for more piecemeal health care "reform."
Mission's Big Company Tactics Anger Rural WNC Doctors
SPRUCE PINE - Dr. Chad Smoker was disappointed when Mission Health System moved the CEO of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital to a job at headquarters early last year.
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.

Why are Politicians Playing Doctor?
This is an excellent op-ed piece focusing on lawmakers "playing doctor" through legislation. Read it. It's happening right here in NC.
Click here to read more.
Why Managed Care is not the Answer for North Carolina
For over two years now, the North Carolina Medical Society has unequivocally opposed corporate managed-care organizations running North Carolina.
Click here to read more.
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