Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
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 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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January 18, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Membership Now Open to PAs (Left)
Register Now: Early Career Affinity Group 2/15/17
Recovery Within Reach: Building Team Expertise in Office Based Opioid Treatment 2/16/17 or 6/26/17
Results of WCMS' 2017 Board Slates & Survey
Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation Receives Anonymous Donation
The Physicians' Voice in the News
WCMS Foundation Partners with VISION USA
As Obamacare Repeal Heats Up, Newly Insured North Carolinians Fret
Beyond Medicaid, Lawmakers Have Lots of Health Care Priorities
Legislature Opens Session with More Questions than Answers
Bowtie Briefing for 1/13/17
Senate Takes First Big Step to Repeal ACA
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Job Board & Classified Ads
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
Register Now: Early Career Affinity Group 2/15/17
Retirement Planning, Saving Money and Tax Efficiency

The first Early Career Affinity Group of 2017 is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15. We'll be meeting at Catawba Brewing on the south slope for a casual Q&A with representatives from Parsec Financial. Parsec will answer any questions you may have regarding retirement planning, paying down student loan debt, saving money, and tax efficiency.

Beer and appetizers will be provided. We hope to see you there!

Recovery Within Reach: Building Team Expertise in Office Based Opioid Treatment 2/16/17 or 6/26/17
Click here for information and registration. 
LOCAL NEWS
 
Results of WCMS' 2017 Board Slates & Survey
With 108 responses to the survey which was emailed to all members, both the Association and Foundation boards were approved by quorum.

Other survey questions asked about topics of interest. The top three were Legislative Advocacy, Opioid Crisis and other Public Health issues, and Burnout Prevention/Physician Wellness.

The survey also yielded interest in sharing experiences among membership via voice memo. We'll be reaching out to those interested in participating very soon!

We look forward to rolling out our 2017 Strategic Plan to you this year. It's not too late to attend the Annual Celebration and welcome the new board members. 
Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation Receives Anonymous Donation from The Community Foundation of WNC to Help Uninsured Cancer Patients
An anonymous fund at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is designated for nonprofits to support unmet medical needs across the region, with a preference for programs serving cancer patients.  This distribution to Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation supports Project Access's care for cancer patients including medications, durable medical equipment, navigational services, transportation vouchers, interpreters and other wrap-around services.
Click here to continue reading. 
The 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.

E. Blake Fagan is a family physician and the chief education officer at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC). He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and is a graduate of MAHEC's Family Medicine Residency Program in Asheville. He is a Western Carolina Medical Society board member. The article is titled: "Lessons of the Opioid Addiction Epidemic."

Excerpt: 
"Opioids, which include Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin and morphine, are powerful painkillers. In the past, opioids were mainly used for patients with cancer pain, at the end of life, or after major surgery. But starting about 20 years ago, there was a big push for doctors to prescribe opioids for acute and chronic pain of all types, such as headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis and back pain."
Click here to continue reading. 
WCMS Foundation Partners with VISION USA
WCMS Foundation would like to announce a new partner, VISION USA, for our Project Access® patients. VISION USA provides free eye exams to eligible, low-income individuals. Services are donated by volunteer optometrists who are members of the American Optometric Association and may be limited in some areas.
To qualify, applicants must meet all five of the eligibility requirements outlined below:

1. Have no private or government insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid
2. Have income below the established level based on household size
3. Have not had an eye exam within the past 24 months
4. Must be a US citizen or legal resident with a social security or legal resident number
5. Have not received a doctor referral through the VISION USA program in the last two years
NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE

Beginning January 23, 2017, Project Access® physicians can refer patients to be screened for this service by selecting the Optometry box on the Project Access® Patient Referral Form. Our referral form can be found on our website: www.mywcms.org/projectaccess

We are excited to be offering this valued resource to the community.
STATE NEWS
 
As Obamacare Repeal Heats Up, Newly Insured North Carolinians Fret
WFAE's Michael Tomsic reports: "Darlene Hawes lost her health insurance about a year after her husband died in 2012. Hawes, 55, is from Charlotte, N.C. She ended up going without insurance for a few years, but in 2015 she bought coverage on HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act marketplace, with the help of a big subsidy. "I was born with heart trouble and I also had, in 2003, open-heart surgery," she said. "I had breast-cancer surgery. I have a lot of medical conditions, so I needed insurance badly." After the results of the 2016 election, she was scared she'd lose her insurance immediately." (Tomsic, 1/13)
Click here to continue reading. 
Beyond Medicaid, Lawmakers Have Lots of Health Care Priorities
North Carolina's lawmakers returned to Raleigh on Wednesday to be sworn in, take photos with family, meet and then return home for the next two weeks.

Even as they packed boxes of files to move to another office and showed around grandchildren, legislators involved with health and human services took a few moments to talk about their priorities for this session.
Click here to continue reading. 
Legislature Opens Session with More Questions than Answers
RALEIGH - What's next? The gavels came down at noon Wednesday and the North Carolina House and Senate began a mostly ceremonial first day of the 2017-2018 session.

The process of swearing in members and electing leadership was almost identical to previous years, but the session opens with more questions than usual, driven by the fractious ending to 2016's unprecedented string of special sessions and an already contentious relationship with the incoming administration of Gov. Roy Cooper.
Click here to continue reading. 
Bowtie Briefing for 1/13/17
Click here to view the video. 
NATIONAL NEWS
 
Senate Takes First Big Step to Repeal ACA
Republicans have been attempting to do away with the ACA pretty much from day one. However, a "scorable" plan for replacement coverage has never been presented, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said during her exit speech earlier this week. Trump, who has repeatedly urged Congress to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, has yet to be inaugurated. So the question that many have recently raised is: What's the rush?
Click here to continue reading. 
ITEMS OF INTEREST
 
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine 
Burdened by bureaucracy, more physicians are burning out. Click here to read the report.

  • More than half of all U.S. physicians are experiencing burnout, according to the new Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017, which summarizes the results of the most recent Medscape Physician Lifestyle Survey. The survey includes responses from 14,000 physicians.
  • The worst stressors are related to the non-medical aspects of the job, such as bureaucratic tasks and the ever-growing use of EHRs, according to the survey.
  • In addition, half of the physicians surveyed admitted having biases against patients with certain attributes, including lack of health coverage.
Job Board & Classified Ads

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.  

Sincerely,

Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz


 

Miriam Schwarz signature




 

Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director