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

June 8, 2016

In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Four Seasons Compassion for Life
Webinar: Surviving Value-Based Payment Reform
White Coat Wednesday 6/15/16
OLLI ACP Workshop at the Reuter Center on UNCA Campus
Upcoming MAHEC Events
Women in Medicine Affinity Group 7/6/16
Bowtie Briefing for 6/3/16
NC Senate Budget Addresses Use of CSRS
Medicaid Reform Plan Sent to Feds, Now the Negotiation Starts
New Accountable Care Toolkits Now Available from NCMS
Learn About MACRA and the Quality Payment Programs
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Job Board & Classified Ads
Webinar: Surviving Value-Based Payment Reform, Including an Update on the New MACRA Proposed Rule 6/14/16
Featuring Kathy Whitmire Regional Vice President for the Southeast Division of National Rural Accountable Care Consortium (NRACC)

The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation in cooperation with the North Carolina Medical Group Managers, invites you to join us for a webinar demonstrating how the Practice Transformation Network (PTN) program helps providers transition from fee-for-service payment models to advanced payment models and succeed under the new guidelines for the Physician's Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Value-Based Modifiers (VBM). Get the latest update on the new MACRA proposed rule. Learn about the billable care coordination program; preparing to become Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH); MIPS: clinical improvement activities; redesign your practice to better manage population health; and utilize Lightbeam technologies. The PTN program is administered by National Rural Accountable Care Consortium (NRACC) as funded by the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (TCPI).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 ~ 12:00 pm to 1:00pm

This webinar is free but you must be registered to attend. Space is limited so register early!

After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.

Continuing education credit may be granted through your professional organization (MGMA, PAHCOM, AHIMA, etc.)
White Coat Wednesday 6/15/16 - Join Us!
Next Wednesday, WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, and several WCMS physician Board Members will be making the trip to Raleigh to discuss key healthcare issues with North Carolina legislators.

Topics of discussion include: 

*  Patient and Provider Protections in the new Medicaid Reform legislation
*  Medicaid expansion
*  Upgrades and Mandates to NC Controlled Substance Reporting System

If any WCMS Member Physicians would like to join us, please contact megan@mywcms.org. Have your voice heard!
OLLI ACP Workshop at the Reuter Center on the UNCA campus 6/16/16
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville will hold an advance care planning (ACP) workshop Thursday, June 16, 2016, 7-9 p.m. at the Reuter Center.

The workshop will feature a panel whose members are experienced in addressing end-of-life issues. Discussion will include communicating your treatment wishes to loved ones and to medical personnel, ethical and legal issues, and the uses of advance directives.  Ample time will be reserved for questions. Assistance will be provided for anyone wishing to complete a legally valid advance directive, including the notarization required in North Carolina, using the NC ACP "Short Form". Click here for more details
Upcoming MAHEC Events
Women in Medicine Affinity Group 7/6/16
The Women in Medicine Affinity Group will have their next event on Wednesday, July 6 from 6-8 p.m. at The Thirsty Monk in Biltmore Park. We will be joined by our Circle of Friends partner JPS and they will be leading a presentation and discussion regarding contract negotiations and receiving equal pay. This topic was suggested by several of our female members at our last Women in Medicine event, so we are looking forward to this being an engaging topic. Appetizers and drinks will be served. 

Bowtie Briefing for 6/3/16
Our first guest host shares the legislative and advocacy updates for the week.
Click here to view the video. 
NC Senate Budget Addresses Use of CSRS
The North Carolina Senate released its proposed budget late Tuesday and various Senate committees started to review the $22 billion spending plan first thing this morning. Review the Senate's budget bill here.

One significant provision for North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) members in the North Carolina Senate's recently released budget concerns the state's Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS), which allows doctors to see previous controlled substance prescriptions filled by a patient. The Senate budget allocates nearly $1.5 million to upgrade the CSRS to connect it to the state's Health Information Exchange and to the controlled substance reporting systems in surrounding states. The NCMS has supported these measures. The budget also includes money to enhance reports available through the database to identify unusual prescribing patterns or behavior indicative of abuse, addiction or criminal activity.

Legislators, faced with an opioid abuse epidemic, also have concerns that CSRS usage among physicians remains low. The Senate's budget proposal seeks to mandate usage of the CSRS, requiring a physician to register for and check the database before prescribing an opioid or risk having their medical license suspended or revoked. The NCMS has opposed such mandates in the past and will continue to work with legislators to find ways to meaningfully address the opioid epidemic using all the tools available to legislators and physicians. We welcome physician input and viewpoints on this important issue.

The Senate's vote on their budget is expected by the end of the week. House and Senate conferees then will begin to negotiate a compromise spending plan next week. Several legislators have predicted a final budget will be adopted and this short Legislative session should conclude by July 4.
Medicaid Reform Plan Sent to Feds, Now the Negotiation Starts
North Carolina's Medicaid plan is poised on the brink of change. The first big step was putting in an application to the federal government to approve plans to make change a reality.
Click here to continue reading. 
New Accountable Care Toolkits Now Available from NCMS
Two new specialty specific toolkits for those physicians interested in the accountable care organization (ACO) model of care are now available online. Now dermatologists and ophthalmologists can gain a better understanding of how their specialties may fit into an ACO with these guides.

These bring the total number of toolkits produced through the Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative to 26, with several more specialty specific guides on the way in the coming weeks. Review the list of all the guides and download those of interest to you here. Download the toolkit for dermatologists here and that for ophthalmologists here.
Learn About MACRA and the Quality Payment Programs
To help make sense of what implementation of the massive MACRA legislation might mean to you and your practice, check out the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) webpages dedicated to this topic. Background information, fact sheets, press releases, a comprehensive list of upcoming webinars on the quality payment programs and how to comment on the proposed rule all are accessible here.
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Did You Know Absence of Fairness Causes Job Related Burnout? 

In her book, The Truth About Burnout, Dr. Christina Maslach asserts that, "A workplace is perceived to be fair when three key elements are present: trust, openness, and respect." In her studies, she found all three of these elements to be essential in order to maintain a person's engagement with work. In direct contrast, the absence of any of these three key elements will contribute directly to job related burnout. -
Click here to read more.
Job Board & Classified Ads

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