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

In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Membership now Open to PAs (Left)
Register Now: WCMS Annual Celebration at Highland Brewing 1/29/17
Order Now: 2016-17 Physician "Blue Book" Directories
Bowtie Briefing for December 9, 2016
CDC says opioid-related deaths at all-time high
Five Quick Ways a New HHS Secretary Could Change the Course of Health Policy
The Playbook: Better Care for People with Complex Needs
Significant Change to DEA Registration Renewal Process
QI Minute from CCWNC: Short Segments to Introduce the pay-for-performance model
Job Board & Classified Ads
Register Now: WCMS Annual Celebration at Highland Brewing 1/29/17
Come welcome your new boards, drink a beer, and try some unique hors d'oeuvres from around the world!

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 December 9, 2016
Chip Baggett, JD, has a request. Watch to see what important action you can take
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. 
Five Quick Ways A New HHS Secretary Could Change The Course Of Health Policy
Prospective Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, currently the chairman of the House Budget Committee, brings a distinctive to-do list to the agency.  And, if confirmed by the Senate, he will have tremendous independent power to get things done.

While he will report to the president, heads of major agencies like HHS - with a budget of more than $1 trillion for the current fiscal year - can interpret laws in different ways than their predecessors, and rewrite regulations and guidance, which is how many important policies are actually carried out. To continue reading, click here.
The Playbook: Better Care for People with Complex Needs
Five Foundations release 'Playbook' of Best Practices to improve care and lower costs for Americans who face medical, behavioral, and social challenges. 

A new nationwide survey of patients with complex medical needs shows that the health care system is failing them, with these individuals having far more unmet behavioral health and social service challenges than other adults. While nearly all of the high-need patients surveyed have consistent access to health care (95%), they nevertheless struggle to get the coordinated medical, behavioral, and social services they need to stay well and avoid costly hospital visits. Specifically, they had limited access to: care coordinators, assistance in managing functional limitations, emotional counseling, and transportation services. Click here to read the full article.
Significant Change to DEA Registration Renewal Process
Through a notice on its website, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced significant changes to its registration renewal process.  Effective January 1, 2017, the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations.  Only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant's "mail to" address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided.  To read more, click here.
QI Minute from CCWNC
Welcome to the QI Minute, short segments to introduce the pay-for-performance model. Each segment will focus on core concepts that build the foundation for CCWNC network practice support.  Topics will include population health management, care coordination, team-based care, quality improvement and more! See our next installment:

Defining Your Patient Population
Contact Carrie Pettler, QI Team Lead, with questions or feedback.
Job Board & Classified Ads
RN / LPN - Asheville Pediatrics Associates

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. WCMS is an organization run by physicians, for physicians. In 2017, benefits of membership will be open to physician assistants, as well. 

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