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  Community Pulse - September 2016

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In This Issue:
WCMS Membership Available to Physician Assistants in 2017
New Members to WCMS
Message from the President: "This election is very relevant to us..."
WCMS Rolls out Grassroots "Get Out the Vote" Materials
Pre-Order 2016-17 Physician "Blue Book" Directories
Public Health Alert from BCHHS: Acute Flaccis Myelitis - Provider Guidance
North Carolina Levies Record Fine Against BCBS Over IT Fiasco
Doctors Raise Concerns for Small Practices in Medicare's New Payment System
Physicians are Frustrated with the Affordable Care Act
Clinton and Trump Health Plans Compared
The Rising Cost of Patient Care
WCMS Job Board
Attention Doctors:

Do you enjoy your monthly Community Pulse? Did you know that if you become a member you can get even more critical, time-sensitive information sent to you weekly right to your inbox? Information such as our calendar of educational and networking events,  how to take action to address reimbursement cuts, important new bills introduced into the NCGA, public health alerts, advice on how to get paid in your practice, new ACO developments, how to address burnout, updates on philanthropic and innovative physician programs in WNC, and how to improve quality in your practice? 

Sign up today to become a member. Don't miss out on critical information that will help drive your professional decisions.

New Members to WCMS
Click here to view the newest physicians to join WCMS!  
LOCAL NEWS

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. 
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

Pre-Order 2016-17 Physician "Blue Book" Directories
The 2016-17 Physician Directory listing over 
1,600 WNC Physicians is now available.  
 

Remember, the price is discounted if you are a 100% Member Practice. Contact membership@mywcms.org if you're not sure. 
Public Health Alert from BCHHS: Acute Flaccid Myelitis - Provider Guidance
 
Click here to view the full alert on our website. For more public health updates, click here.
STATE NEWS

North Carolina Levies Record Fine Against BCBS Over IT Fiasco
Blue Cross Blue Shield and North Carolina's Department of Insurance have reached an agreement on the fine amount to be paid by BCBS for IT issues that have been ongoing since January. BCBS is placing blame on its software program and technology platform, stating that the problem stemmed from attempts to transfer accounts from a previous platform in late 2015.
Click here to read the full article. 
NATIONAL NEWS

Doctors Raise Concerns for Small Practices in Medicare's New Payment System
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. 
Physicians are Frustrated with the Affordable Care Act
Perhaps this frustration comes from four years of having to deal with the negative ramifications of the law. In particular, as Zebley notes, collecting patient deductibles has become more challenging for physicians and their practices due to changes stemming from the ACA. Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents say this was their biggest challenge deriving from the reform law, the top concern. Moreover, 45 percent of physicians say collecting copays and deductibles for patients with exchange plans was their largest collection issue. This, in turn, has led to a changing, more tumultuous patient-doctor dynamic, say physicians interviewed for this article. 

Brenda Fortunate, a retired family physician who works as a part-time faculty member for Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, Mich., saw a similar impact on her practice before she hung up the stethoscope last year. "On one hand, we were able to offer preventive exams to almost anyone since that was a provision of the [ACA] and as a family doc, I believe prevention is key. On the other hand, the individuals who have high deductible plans aren't coming to the office because all of a sudden they not only have to pay their healthcare premium, but the full cost of their office-based services as well," she says.
Click here to continue reading. 
Clinton and Trump Health Plans Compared
Hillary Clinton's top healthcare proposals would decrease the number of uninsured by nearly 40%, but would cost the government up to $90 billion in 2018. The key elements of Donald Trump's healthcare plan would result in up to 25 million people losing healthcare coverage, and would produce a net loss to the federal treasury of up to $41 billion in 2018. 
Click here to continue reading. 
ITEMS OF INTEREST

The Rising Cost of Patient Care
Physicians are becoming increasingly alarmed about the meteoric rise in costs to provide healthcare to their patients. 
Click here to continue reading.
Job Board

Click here to see the latest jobs posted on our website. 

 

To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad, click here.

Learn more about the Western Carolina Medical Society on this page. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.   

 

Sincerely,

Miriam Schwarz

 

Miriam Schwarz signature




 

Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director 
(828) 274-2267 ext. 312