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  Community Pulse - December 2016


In This Issue:
Ad (left): WCMS 2016-17 Blue Books Available to Order
New Members to WCMS
Innovative Care at Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center
Order Now: 2016-17 Physician "Blue Book" Directories
Bowtie Briefing for 12/16/16
Trump's HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price: The CliffsNotes Vetsion
Hospitals Warn Trump, Congress of Massive Losses with Affordable Care Act Repeal
30M Would Be Uninsured if 'Replace' Stalls after 'Repeal' Goes Through
CDC Says Opioid-Related Deaths at All-Time High
A Change in Policy Regarding Physician Burnout by the NC Medical Board
WCMS Job Board
Happy New Year from the WCMS Staff!

On behalf of everyone at WCMS, Happy New Year! We hope that 2017 is full of happiness and fulfillment for each and every one of you!


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!  

Innovative Care at Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center
Read the full interview with Drs. Kate Queen and Al Mina.
Order Now: 2016-17 Physician "Blue Book" Directories
The 2016-17 Physician Directory listing over 1,600 WNC Physicians is now available.  Order yours now!
Remember, the price is discounted if you are a 100% Member Practice. Contact membership@mywcms.org if you're not sure.

Bowtie Briefing for 12/16/16


Trump's HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price: The CliffsNotes Version 
President-elect Donald Trump early Tuesday morning confirmed a mountain of industry hearsay when he announced he would nominate Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for HHS Secretary. 
Click here to continue reading.
Hospitals Warn Trump, Congress of Massive Losses with Affordable Care Act Repeal
The nation's hospital industry warned President-elect Trump and congressional leaders on Tuesday that repealing the Affordable Care Act could cost hospitals $165 billion by the middle of the next decade and trigger "an unprecedented public health crisis." The two main trade groups for U.S. hospitals dispatched a letter to the incoming president and Capitol Hill's top four leaders, saying that the government should help hospitals avoid massive financial losses if the law is rescinded in a way that causes a surge of uninsured patients. (Goldstein, 12/6)
Click here to continue reading. 
30M Would Be Uninsured If 'Replace' Stalls After 'Repeal' Goes Through, Report Finds
The Urban Institute study found that 22.5 million people would lose coverage directly due to repeal of the law, while another 7.3 million would become uninsured because of the ripple effects of market upheavals.
Click here to continue reading. 
CDC says opioid-related deaths at all-time high
The Washington Post (12/8, Ingraham) reports data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday revealed that "opioid deaths continued to surge in 2015, surpassing 30,000 for the first time in recent history." The data shows "an increase of nearly 5,000 deaths from 2014." CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, said in a statement, "The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen." He added, "Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems." To continue reading, click here

A Change in Policy Regarding Physician Burnout By the NC Medical Board
Submitted by Bob Henderson, MD
Medical Director of WCMS' Healthy Healer Program

Previously, I shared with you my experience of meeting with the widow of a North Carolina physician who committed suicide last year, a victim of burnout. As you recall I discussed three factors which contributed to his death. One of those was his fear of seeking assistance due to possible negative repercussions with the state licensing board.

At the time of that physician's suicide the North Carolina Medical Board's license renewal application, question 4, asked the applicant if he/she "was aware of any medical condition that impairs or limits your ability to practice medicine safely?" Medical conditions included 
"... psychological conditions or disorders ..." Such language was viewed as a deterrence against a physician reporting burnout and seeking help from therapists, coaches or the North Carolina Physician Health Program, which was designed to assist physicians with such problems. 
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.   



Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

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