Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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August 31, 2016

In This Issue:
Sponsor Message from 21st Century C.A.R.E. (Left)
WCMS Rural Medicine Affinity Group 9/8/16
Newcomers Picnic 9/18/16
MAHEC Job Fair 9/21/16
Passing of Dr. William Gough
Physicians' Voice in the News
Mission, GE Healthcare Partnership Aims to Reduce Medical Test Costs
MAHEC Family Health Center at Swannanoa Opens
NC Medical Board to Explore Issues Facing Employed Physicians
New Opioid Prescribing CME Rules Approved
Doctors Raise Concerns for Small Practices in Medicare's New Payment System
Opioid Letter from U.S. Surgeon General
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Dr. Bailey A. Balentine and Dr. Jeffrey B. Graham join The Family Health Centers
Survey: EHRs Have Taken Over, Except for Hearts and Minds
Job Board & Classified Ads
WCMS Rural Medicine Affinity Group 9/8/16
Community Care of Western North Carolina will join the group to discuss the opioid crisis and potential resources for providers in the Region. We'll be meeting from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Mars Hill location of the Hot Springs Medical Program. Dinner will be provided. 

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!

MAHEC Job Fair 9/21/16
To register, contact julie.michalove@mahec.net

Passing of Dr. William Gough 
WCMS is saddened to learn of the death of Dr. William Gough of Asheville Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center.  Dr.  Gough passed away last Saturday evening, August 27, 2016 after a brief illness.  A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm Saturday, September 3rd at Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801.
Memorials may be made to: The Division of Rheumatology for the David S. Caldwell, M.D. and John R. Rice, M.D. Rheumatology Fund. (c/o Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs c/o Jake Pope, 710 West Duke Street, Suite 200 Durham, NC 27701) or to Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801.
WCMS sends our deep condolences to Dr. Gough's family, friends, and colleagues.
Physicians' Voice in the News
WCMS is proud to announce another high quality addition to the series of "The Physicians' Voice," a series of media presentations for the general public that showcase physicians' world-class medical expertise and focus on patient/community health.

Here's the recent article from WCMS Member Dr. Gregg Goldin, Radiation Oncologist with 21st Century Oncology, "Aggressive Prostate Cancer is on the Rise"

Excerpt: September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us know someone who has had cancer of their prostate gland because it is still the most common malignancy that plagues American men, and it's also the second deadliest (30,000 men die each year) to lung cancer. Despite these facts, in 2012 the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer (other organizations, like the American Urological Association, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Physicians disagree and still promote screening for certain populations). Consequentially, use of the PSA test has dropped since 2012, especially among primary care providers.
Click here to continue reading
Mission, GE Healthcare Partnership Aims to Reduce Medical Test Costs
A new partnership between Mission Health and GE Healthcare, announced at a press conference Friday morning, could save the health care system and consumers more than $40 million in unnecessary health care costs over the decadelong course of the project.The partnership calls for optimization of imaging experience and use, as well as easing patient-care transitions.
Click here to continue reading.
MAHEC Family Health Center at Swannanoa Opens
Drs. Aiken and Evans offer primary care for the entire family from pregnancy and newborns to elderly care and they are focused on you as a whole person. They provide an exceptional patient experience through open access scheduling, innovation, the use of technology, and compassionate care.

The office is located at 2313 US Hwy 70 in the Swannanoa Valley Shopping Center and appointments are now available - (828) 407-2400.
NC Medical Board to Explore Issues Facing Employed Physicians
NCMB will host a roundtable discussion in November to explore challenges specific to physicians who work in salaried positions, as opposed to independent solo or group practice.

As more physicians have moved to employment arrangements, NCMB has noticed that policies and protocols put in place by employers sometimes make it challenging for the employed licensee to comply with individual professional obligations to patients. For example, when a physician retires or departs a practice, the Board's expectation is that the physician will be permitted to provide appropriate notice to patients, ensure continuity of care, and allow patient selection.

The roundtable is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday Nov. 15. Do you have suggestions for issues related to employed physicians that should be discussed at this event? Send them to forum@ncmedboard.org.
More information is available here.
New Opioid Prescribing CME Rules Approved
The NC Rules Review Commission has granted final approval to North Carolina Medical Board rule changes that establish a new requirement for physicians and physician assistants (PAs) to earn continuing education hours in controlled substances prescribing.
Click here to continue reading. 
Doctors Raise Concerns for Small Practices in Medicare's New Payment System
To independent doctors in small practices: PAY ATTENTION. This is your future. If you cannot clearly demonstrate your practice's quality and value to a large network or system, you will be left out in the cold. WCMS members: contact me if you need resources to prepare yourself for the future of medicine.

Steve Findlay reports for KHN: "The focal point of their angst is a 2015 federal law that changes the way Medicare pays doctors. The Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act - is Congress' boldest step since the 2010 Affordable Care Act to push the health care system to reward quality over quantity. It replaces a reimbursement system that was widely criticized by doctors and regularly ran into budget problems on Capitol Hill." (8/25)
Click here to continue reading. 
Opioid Letter from U.S. Surgeon General
Click here to read the letter.
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Physician Family, a publication of the AMA Alliance, focuses on medical families and the special joys and challenges they may face. The publication is free online here.

Beginning with the Summer 2016 magazine now available, each issue will detail a different stage on the journey of medicine - from medical school to residency to active practice to retirement. The current issue features six articles that focus on the first stage of the journey, medical school, in addition to several other pieces for physician families at ALL stages of the journey.

Other articles focus on
* Relationships
* Health and wellness
* Work/life balance
* Financial and legal issues
* Making a difference
* Food, travel, humor

Click here to view the most recent edition.
Dr. Bailey A. Balentine and Dr. Jeffrey B. Graham join
The Family Health Centers of Asheville, Arden & Hominy Valley
For Immediate Release
Asheville, August 30, 2016

The Family Health Centers of Asheville, Arden & Hominy Valley, Western North Carolina's largest privately-owned primary health care practice, announces the appointments of Bailey Balentine, DO and Jeffrey Graham, MD, MPH as its newest family physicians. 

A native of Asheville, Dr. Balentine earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at the Edward Via College in Blacksburg, VA, and graduated from the Family
Medicine Residency Program at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, an affiliate of UNC Chapel Hill in Wilmington, NC. Her professional interests include Women's Health, Pediatrics and Osteopathic Manipulation. Dr. Balentine is accepting new patients at the Arden office.

Dr. Graham earned his Medical Doctorate at the University of Arkansas and a Master of Public Health degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Dr. Graham's interests include Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Contraceptive Care
and Pediatrics. Dr. Graham is also an advocate for patients suffering from Gender Dysphoria, and will provide Hormone Replacement Therapy for those in need.
Dr. Graham is accepting new patients at the Downtown Asheville office.


About The Family Health Centers of Asheville, Arden & Hominy Valley, PA
The Family Health Centers, PA is the largest independent family practice in Western North Carolina. The organization employs twenty-five board-certified providers and more than seventy full-time staff members. The practice was an early-adopter of electronic medical records, and, secure online access to personal health records for its patients. The practice is a founding member of the Western North Carolina Independent Physician's Association. (WNC IPA, LLC.) Find The Family Health Centers online at www.fhconline.com
Survey: EHRs Have Taken Over, Except for Hearts and Minds
Medscape EHR Report 2016 shows that the overwhelming majority of physicians are now on the bandwagon, except that it now resembles a police department's paddy wagon. Most of the people inside aren't happy to be there.
Click here to continue reading. 
Job Board & Classified Ads
Family Medicine Physician - Apple Valley Family Medicine
Family Nurse Practitioner - Center for Rural Health Innovation
Office Manager - Grace G. Evins, MD
Medical Assistant - Vickery Family Medicine
Front Office Receptionist - Asheville Neurology Specialists
Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner - Andrews Internal Medicine
Nurse Practitioner -  Apple Valley Family Medicine

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