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

July 20, 2016

In This Issue:
New Blue Book Directories will be Available in October
Register Now: Independent Physicians Affinity Group 7/25/16
Elizabeth Woodcock and More Presenting at the NCMGMA-NCHFMA Roadshows 8/5/16
MAHEC Diversity Summit 8/19/16
Register Now: Newcomers Picnic 9/18/16
Breaking News: Park Ridge Forms ACO in Region
Dr. Brian Ling Memorial Scholarship Awarded
Insurance Coverage Gap Linked to Stalled Progress on Infant Mortality
Congress Sends First Major Opioid Bill to Obama's Desk
MACRA Delay?
MACRA 2017 and Beyond: What You Need to Do Now
From JPS: Health Care Practice: Ins & Outs of A Winning Billing Process
Apply Today for NCMS Leadership Development Courses
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Job Board & Classified Ads
Register Now: Independent Physicians Affinity Group - Marketing Your Practice Webinar with White Coat Solutions 7/25/16 (for Practice Mangers, too!)

Want to attract more patients to your practice? In this webinar, you'll learn 7 proven marketing strategies to help you stand out from the competition and position your practice as the local leader in your specialty. From online marketing to increasing referrals, this webinar will give you plenty of ideas on how to step up your practice's marketing game. There will also be time at the end of the webinar for questions.

About the Speaker: Amanda Kanaan, President & CEO of WhiteCoat Designs

Amanda is a medical marketing specialist who founded WhiteCoat Designs (based in North Carolina) after recognizing a strong need for physician-focused marketing services. She's a national speaker on the topic of medical marketing and has published over a hundred medical related articles. Her agency, WhiteCoat Designs, has helped practices across the country cumulatively increase revenues by millions of dollars.

Elizabeth Woodcock and More Presenting at the NCMGMA-NCHFMA Roadshows
Join NCMGMA & NCHFMA in Asheville on August 5th and New Bern on October 14th for a day filled with great educational content supplied by Elizabeth Woodcock and Appalachian State University.  This event will also provide great networking opportunities with other members and exhibitors. Registration includes lunch.
MAHEC Diversity Summit 8/19/16
On August 19, MAHEC is offering a diversity and health equity summit. This is a day long conference offering discussion around a variety of topics including the promotion of health equity, diversifying the workplace, and addressing unconscious bias. See attached flyer. Continuing medical education credits will be available for health professionals. 
Click here for more information. 
Register Now: Newcomers Picnic 9/18/16 - Bring the Whole Family
The picnic will again be held at Yesterday Spaces in Leicester. We're looking forward to welcoming physicians who are new to the area and meeting Physician Assistants who will be eligible for membership in 2017! Bring the whole family for an afternoon of food and fun!

Breaking News: Park Ridge Forms ACO in Region

Park Ridge Health has formed a strategic partnership with CHESS, a population health management company based in High Point that will guide Park Ridge's new Accountable Care Organization in the western part of the state.
Click here to continue reading.
Dr. Brian Ling Memorial Scholarship Awarded
The Western Carolina Medical Society is pleased to announce Abhishek Das as the 2016 high school senior recipient of the Dr. Brian Ling Memorial Scholarship.  Abhishek, who graduated from TC Roberson, sent a hand-written letter to WCMS to express his thanks for being awarded.
Click here to continue reading. 
Insurance Coverage Gap Linked to Stalled Progress on Infant Mortality; Problems Acute in WNC

A new study from NC Child finds North Carolina's slowed progress in combating infant mortality could be a result of a lack of insurance for women.  One in five women across the state lack health insurance, a problem exacerbated by the so-called "Medicaid gap."  That's the coverage gap people fall into who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough for tax credits on the Affordable Care Act.  The ACA originally required states to expand Medicaid coverage, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law could not force states to do that.  North Carolina is one of 19 states that has not expanded Medicaid because of refusal from Republican leaders in the General Assembly. 
Click here to listen or read the story. 
Congress Sends First Major Opioid Bill to Obama's Desk
The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill aimed at fighting opioid addiction, reaching the finish line on legislation that's likely to be one of Congress's top achievements this year.

With the 92-2 vote Wednesday evening, the bill now heads to President Obama's desk after nearly a year of negotiations.
Click here to continue reading. 
MACRA Delay?
Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt during a Senate Finance Committee hearing 7/13 said the agency is considering pushing back the start date for payment reforms called for under the  Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Slavitt said CMS is concerned that some physicians, and particularly small physician practices, might not be prepared for changes set to take effect under MACRA on Jan. 1, 2017. Slavitt also said CMS is open to alternative strategies to achieve the agency's objectives under MACRA. For example, Slavitt said CMS is considering shorter reporting periods and allowing physicians to implement MACRA changes before the "impact ... really hits them." (Sources:  Healthcare Informatics, 7/13; Modern Healthcare, 7/13; Morning Consult, 7/13)
MACRA 2017 and Beyond: What You Need to Do Now
MAHEC presented these slides at the local Medical Managers meeting on July 12, 2016. 
Click here to access slides.
From JPS: Health Care Practice: Ins & Outs of A Winning Billing Process

Claim denials can be a major source of frustration for physicians and their practice managers, and can have a real impact on cash flow and the financial performance of a practice. If office procedures are good in gathering correct information and submitting clean claims, you can still expect to see at least 5% of denials for claims. So, how can you conquer the issue? Read on.
Apply Today for NCMS Leadership Development Courses
The Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership's (KIPL) seminal Leadership College and, the most recent addition to the Institute's curriculum, the Health Care Leadership and Management (HCLM) course, are now both accepting applications. Submit applications for Leadership College by Aug. 1 and those for HCLM by Sept.1. Learn more about each of these highly regarded programs here. 
Drs. Richard Bunio and MaryShell Zaffino, along with CEO Miriam Schwarz, have enrolled in the KIPL for 2017. Join us!
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Stop Physician Burnout Video - Tour of the Grand Canal of Venice

One of the most overlooked components of your strategy to prevent physician burnout is to make sure you take regular long vacations - two weeks every other year at a minimum. A previous blog post shows you a foolproof method to get your vacations scheduled and implemented. 
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