Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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July 15, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
Four Seasons - Sponsor Message (Left)
Register Now: An Evening with Rural Providers 7/24/15
Register Now: Early Career Affinity Group 7/29/15
Register Now: WCMS "Burnout Proof" Physician Retreat 8/15/15
Cherokee Indian Hospital Improves Patient Care, Wait Times with Integrated Care Approach
Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and Who Got Left Behind
NCMS and WCMS Boards Meet in Asheville
100% Member Practices Get Extra Benefits
Project Access® Awarded $500,000 Grant by The Duke Endowment
Medicare Proposes Paying for Discussions on End-of-Life Care
CMS Begins Implementation of Key Payment Legislation
Significant Changes to Medicare for Knee/Hip Replacements
Advanced Care Planning for Patients: Letter from WCMS Member Dr. David Mouw
Job Board & Classified Ads
Register Now: An Evening with Rural Providers 7/24/15


Click here to register.
Register Now: Early Career Affinity Group 7/29/15

All early career physicians- join your peers for an evening of casual conversation and good brews on Wed. July 29th at Catawba Brewing Co. First round is on us!

Click here to register. 

Register Now: WCMS "Burnout Proof" Physician Retreat 8/15/15

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

Click here to register now.
(Register by Wed. August 5th)



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.  

Cherokee Indian Hospital Improves Patient Care, Wait Times with Integrated Care Approach 
The Cherokee Indian Hospital is working to improve the overall care of its patients as well as improve appointment access with its integrated health care approach.

Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and Who Got Left Behind

WCMS CEO Miriam Schwarz speaks about Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and "who got left behind" on the Four Seasons CFL Healthcare Cafe. 

Listen to the recording of the July 6th radio show here.


Medicaid expansion is an issue that affects all North Carolinians, even those who are on private insurance plans. According to a report from the Cone Foundation, the decision not to expand Medicaid in North Carolina directly resulted in 23,000 fewer jobs created statewide in 2014 and 29,000 fewer in 2015. At a county level, there are 1,500 fewer jobs in Buncombe County in 2015 due to the decision not to expand Medicaid. 


A special thanks to Project Access® physician volunteers who continue to ensure that those who fall into the Medicaid gap are able to obtain much needed medical services.

In a time where the NC legislature has opted not to expand Medicaid for all low-income residents of North Carolina, and subsidies are not available for the poorest people in our state to buy health insurance, the charitable work of Project Access® physicians is nothing short of life-saving. Without the generous services donated by these physicians, many in our community would not have access to quality healthcare. 

NCMS and WCMS Boards Meet in Asheville

The NCMS Board, NCMS staff and CEO Bob Seligson traveled to Asheville to meet with the WCMS Board on Saturday, July 11. Topics included revising the current NCMS House of Delegates annual resolution/voting structure to a more streamlined, "nimble" process,  concerns about MOC, and Medicaid reform. A "Mix and Mingle" event was held the night before and was enjoyed by approximately 80 guests. Thanks to Highland Brewery for the excellent venue. 


100% Member Practices Get Extra Benefits

Benefits include:

  • Recognition on the WCMS website as a 100% Member Practice.
  • 10% Discount on WCMS WIN interpreter services.
  • Free posts on the Job Board/Classified Ad section of our website with links in Vital Signs, our weekly e-Newsletter.
  • Vital Signs Weekly e-Newsletter sent to your Practice Manager (in addition to physician members) to keep your office up-to-date on the latest news, issues, and events.
  • Practice Managers invited to attend our Annual Celebration.
  • Free posts in the Member News section of Vital Signs, to keep our member community informed about the latest changes within your practice.
  • Discounts on our Physician Directory 
If you think your practice should be on the 100%  list, but don't see it listed, please email membership@mywcms.org.

Click here to apply for membership online.

Project Access® Awarded $500,000 Grant by The Duke Endowment

ASHEVILLE. N.C. (June 24, 2015) - Together with Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMS Foundation), Mission Foundation today announced it has been awarded a $500,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to cover funding shortfalls in WCMS Foundation's Project Access® charity medical care program. Project Access® offers access to free healthcare for low income, uninsured residents of Buncombe County. 

Read the full press release here.


Medicare Proposes Paying for Discussions on End-of-Life Care

After years of debate about whether the government should encourage end-of-life planning - an idea that Sarah Palin claimed would lead to "death panels" cutting off care to the sick - Medicare, the federal program that insures 55 million older and disabled Americans, is now proposing to reimburse doctors for having conversations with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they become too sick to speak for themselves. 

Click here to read more. 

CMS Begins Implementation of Key Payment Legislation

Proposed Update to Physician Fee Schedule is First Since Repeal of SGR


Today, CMS released the first proposed update to the physician payment schedule since the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The proposal includes a number of provisions focused on person-centered care, and continues the Administration's commitment to transform the Medicare program to a system based on quality and healthy outcomes. 
Significant Changes to Medicare for Knee/Hip Replacements
CMS yesterday proposed significant changes to Medicare reimbursements for knee and hip replacements. Under the changes, providers would have to repay the federal government part of their reimbursements for the procedures if patients contract infections or other complications that could have been avoided. In addition, the changes would allow Medicare to give providers extra payments for positive patient outcomes. Meanwhile, CMS in a final coverage decision released yesterday said Medicare will now cover joint Pap smear and human papillomavirus testing for women every five years. (Sources:Modern Healthcare7/9; Modern Healthcare,7/9; Reuters 7/9; Wall Street Journal 7/9; Washington Post 7/9)
Click here to read more.

Advanced Care Planning for Patients: Letter from WCMS Member Dr. David Mouw

Dear Fellow WCMS members,


Do you have trouble getting patients to legally document their wishes for end of life care (Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will)? If you introduce the idea at an office visit, my colleagues and I can get your patient to complete documentation if you refer them to us for one afternoon or evening.


At the UNCA College for seniors (now called O.L.L.I.), one of my retirement activities is to coordinate an Advance Care Planning Workshop every 4 months. Click here to learn all about these free 2-hr sessions, open to any adult.


So far we have had 11 workshops, attended by over 600 adults, nearly half of whom completed the NC Short form (used by local hospitals and includes Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney). We notarize the form for them before they leave the workshop.


All you'd have to do after introducing Advance Care Planning to a patient is to "Google" OLLI ACP to get to the web site and find out the date for the next workshop, advise the patient how to prepare, and write the patient an Rx slip to be at OLLI on that particular date. We'll take it from there.


I hope we can help you.  And....thanks for helping me by referring some patients.




David Mouw MD PhD

MAHEC Family Practice Faculty 1997-2007

Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board: 
Community Sites Director (AllCare Clinical Associates)
Physicians (Asheville Specialty Hospital)
Certified Medical Coder (Sisters of Mercy)
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