Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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September 14, 2016

In This Issue:
Sponsor Message from 21st Century C.A.R.E. (Left)
Independent Physicians Affinity Group: Tips & Tricks to Improve your Practice using the Patient Portal with Dr. Mark McNeill 10/4/2016
Registration Now Open for Upcoming Opioid Focused Training in Western NC
Message from the President
WCMS Rolls out Grassroots "Get Out the Vote" Materials
New Belgium Brewery Donating Tips to Project Access
Plans for the Quality Payment Program in 2017: Pick Your Pace
CEO Power Panel: Are your physicians ready for reform?
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Job Board & Classified Ads
Independent Physicians Affinity Group: Tips & Tricks to Improve your Practice using the Patient Portal with Dr. Mark McNeill 10/4/2016
This session will be open to any WCMS physician member who is interested in attending, regardless of whether employed or in independent practice. 

This session will focus on practical ways to improve your practice and get home earlier, specifically by becoming more efficient and effective using your EMR's patient portal.
Registration Now Open for Upcoming Opioid Focused Training in Western NC - Events in Henderson, Haywood, and Buncombe Counties
Message from the President: "This election is very relevant to us..."
As we find ourselves hurtling towards an election with an uncertain outcome,
we at Western Carolina Medical Society seek to stay centered with questions such as, "Why are we here? How will these elections affect our members? What in this election cycle is particularly relevant to us? How can we join in the political conversation?"

This election is very relevant to us, in Western North Carolina, North Carolina, and across the nation. Local, State, and national elections will help to define the future of healthcare--which parties control the Senate and the House, who our governor is, and who the president is will affect how we practice medicine and just as important, how the patient is able to access our care. You can easily join in the political conversation by researching candidate positions on issues important to medicine and by casting your vote. WCMS has made researching NC candidate positions a breeze for you: for a run down on WNC and governor candidates' positions on issues such as mental health, access to care, and scope of practice.
Click here to read Samantha's full letter and find the links to the WCMS "Get Out the Vote" materials.
WCMS Rolls out Grassroots "Get Out the Vote" Materials 
WCMS is excited to announce that we have prepared some materials to help you educate your patients and staffs about the very important issue of Medicaid Expansion. We have a poster for exam/waiting rooms as well as bookmarks that a consumer may take with them.

Click the image to preview the materials.
Contact membership@mywcms.org to request materials for your practice
New Belgium Brewery Donating Tips to Project Access
Did you know that New Belgium employees donate 100% of their tips to local non-profit organizations? New Belgium Brewery Is a community driven organization and feels the best way to support and give back to the Asheville community is to give their tip money to a variety of local non-profits! Beginning on Monday, September 19th, tip money from the brewery will be collected to support Project Access! So grab your family and head to New Belgium for a beer and support Project Access! Only cash tips are accepted. 
Public Health Update from BCHHS:  Zika Guidance Update
Click here for an update from Dr. Jenni Mullendore. 
Plans for the Quality Payment Program in 2017: Pick Your Pace
CMS Makes Major MACRA Implementation Announcement

Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced in a blog posting that the agency heard concerns expressed by the American Medical Association and other physician organizations about the proposed start date for performance reporting by physicians under the new payment systems created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. In a draft regulation issued last April, CMS proposed to require physicians to begin reporting under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or through the advanced alternative payment model (APM) option on January 1, 2017, even though final regulations promulgating MACRA's sweeping payment system changes would not be issued until the fall. Today, CMS announced that the final MACRA regulation will exempt physicians from any risk of penalties if they choose one of three distinct MIPS reporting options in 2017, in addition to the option of participating in an advanced APM:

* Full-year reporting that begins on January 1;
* Partial year reporting for a reduced number of days; and
* A "test" option under which physicians can report minimal amounts of data.

Click here to continue reading.
A Quick Tour of MACRA
Want a short version of what you need to know about MACRA without getting too much heartburn? Some of our members have been asking for a digestible set of slides with the essentials spelled out. Terri Roberts, Senior Practice Consultant at MAHEC's Health Innovation Partners, was a champ and came through with "MACRA-- short version for Leaders." Thank you, Terri and MAHEC! 
Click here to view the slides.
CEO Power Panel: Are your physicians ready for reform?
Like it or not, ready or not, MACRA is coming.

Anxiety is rippling through the healthcare industry as the initial reporting period for Medicare's new payment system for physicians fast approaches.
Click here to continue reading. 
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Click the image to hear Dr. McLean's interview on Finding Joy in Medicine. 
Job Board & Classified Ads
Triage Nurse - Dr. Grace Evins, MD
Family Medicine Physician - Apple Valley Family Medicine
Family Nurse Practitioner - Center for Rural Health Innovation
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