Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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June 24, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
WCMS deals with the medical and political morass for me

In This Issue:
Medical Mutual - Sponsor Message (Left)
Register Now: Independent Physicians Affinity Group - June 29
Save the Date: Burnout Prevention Retreat - August 15
NC Senate Considers Repeal of Law Governing Mission
Ron Paulus Discusses Repeal of Mission Anti-trust Law
Welcome New WCMS Members
Legislative Update- H562 (Firearms Law)
Insurers, Health Providers Anxious About Decision On Health Law Subsidies
Impending Supreme Court's Decision Regarding ACA Subsidies
Nearly Half of Primary Care Doctors Unaware of ACA Pay Hikes
Job Board & Classified Ads

Register Now for the Second Quarterly Independent Physicians Affinity Group - June 29

All member physicians who are in independent private practice are invited to attend a Q & A session with Ward and Smith, PA.



  • Contracts, including non-compete covenants and cost-sharing provisions
  • Physician-hospital arrangements, such as co-management agreements, medical directorships, professional services arrangements, and on-call coverage
  • Medical practice  arrangements, such as mergers, alliances, and asset sales agreements
  • Certificates of Need ("CON") and CON "no review" letters.

When: Monday, June 29, 2015 - 6 - 8 p.m.

Where: The Asheville Event Centre  (less than one mile off I-40 exit 51)


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. Contact Megan Hare with any questions. 

Save the Date: WCMS "Burnout Proof" Physician Retreat on August 15 

Lower Your Stress
Prevent Burnout
Improve Work-life Balance
Enhance Your Relationships
Warren Wilson College

Free to WCMS Members

CME Offered by MAHEC 

Significant Others Invited

Childcare Available (ages 3+)



Saturday August 15th  
9:30am - 2 pm  
Warren Wilson College - 10 miles east of downtown Asheville



Presented in Partnership with:

   Parsec Financial

And Support from: 
 Mission Health logo


 CME Jointly Provided By: 

MAHEC www.mywcms.org    

The Mountain Area Health Education Center designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Read more on our website.  


NC Senate Considers Repeal of Law Governing Mission

RALEIGH - A law that limits Mission Health's profit margin and caps the number of doctors it can employ would be repealed by language in the state Senate's proposed budget bill.

Ron Paulus Discusses Repeal of Mission Anti-trust Law 

Asheville Citizen-Times

Paulus sent a nearly three-page statement, complete with footnotes, to the Citizen-Times for a story earlier this week on the possible end of the state certificate of public advantage law that was adopted in the 1990s. That was more than we had room for in the story, but those following health care issues in Western North Carolina will find Paulus's complete answers below of interest.

Click here to read more.

Welcome New WCMS Members
Click here to view our newest members. 

Legislative Update- H562 (Firearms Law)

WCMS asked you to contact your NC legislators about House Bill H562, which would have prohibited physicians from talking to your patients about firearms, or even documenting it. 

See below for good news from NCPA (NC Psychiatrists Association)

"On Wednesday 6/17, the NC House voted to approve H562 and send it to the Senate. You can see the bill and its history here.

The good news is that because of your calls and emails to NC House members, H562 was amended to remove the Medical Professional provisions that would have prevented you from documenting any patient information concerning firearms. "

WCMS will continue to keep you informed about important legislative updates as this session continues. 

Insurers, Health Providers Anxious About Decision On Health Law Subsidies

The Wall Street Journal reports that some people are making medical appointments now in anticipation of a ruling that could end their health coverage. Also bracing for the ruling, hospitals would explore ways to increase charity care if subsidies end for millions, while insurers might reexamine their participation in some markets. Business Insider, meanwhile, looks at the two men who will likely decide the law's fate -- Justices Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts.

Impending Supreme Court's Decision Regarding ACA Subsidies  

Senate Democrats yesterday said they are ready to respond promptly with a legislative solution should the Supreme Court strike down subsidies to help U.S. residents purchase coverage through the federal exchange. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that if the court strikes down the subsidies, Democrats would propose a one-sentence bill stating that federal exchange enrollees are eligible for the subsidies. Meanwhile, a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that households and hospitals would immediately experience the financial effects of a ruling against the subsidies. (Sources: Modern Healthcare, 6/23; Reuters, 6/23)

Nearly Half of Primary Care Doctors Unaware of ACA Pay Hikes

Five years after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), almost half of primary care physicians are in the dark about pay raises the law bestowed on them, according to a new survey of these practitioners.

That survey, conducted earlier this year by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Commonwealth Fund, also reported that 48% of primary care physicians said they did not know enough about the law to understand how it was affecting their practices.

One ACA provision raised their Medicare rates for office visits and preventive care by 10% from 2011 through the end of 2015. Yet 49% of physicians surveyed said they were unaware of this increase.

Another part of the law increased Medicaid rates for office visits and vaccine administration to Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014 for primary care physicians. Roughly one third of the states are using their own money to preserve all or part of this Medicaid raise in 2015.

The survey found that 47% of primary care physicians did not know about the so-called Medicaid payment bump. Of those in the know who had received the bonus, 22% said it made a big difference in motivating them to see more Medicaid patients, and another 30% said it made a small difference.

In another test of ACA knowledge, 41% of primary care physicians incorrectly answered the question of whether their state expanded its Medicaid program, or else said they did not know. Physicians were more likely to be misinformed or uninformed if their state had failed to expand its Medicaid program.

Reaction From Organized Medicine:
Robert Wergin, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), said he was "almost shocked" by survey results revealing widespread ignorance of how the ACA increased reimbursement for primary care physicians. 

Click here to read more. (Need account and password).

Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board: 
Medical Director (Community Care of WNC) 
Medical Interpreter  (WCMS)
To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.

WCMS is a thriving 700+ 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