Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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February 15, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Membership Now Open to PAs (Left)
Register Now: Independent Affinity Group 3/13/17
Register Now: WCMS Emeritus Group 3/15/17
Register Now: Integrative Health Care Across the Lifespan 4/29/17
Physicians' Voice in the News
New WCMS Members
N.C. Medicaid Drops Provider Rate Cut
Bowtie Briefing for 2/10/17
QI Minute
Tom Price Confirmed as HHS Secretary
The Healthy Healer
WCMS Job Board
Register Now: Independent Affinity Group 3/13/17
As healthcare shifts away from patient satisfaction & towards patient experience, it is important for physicians, practice executives and staff to understand how this shift in ideology will impact their practice.

Physicians & PAs
Practice Managers & Executives
Office Staff

- Examine the components of the patient experience
- Explore how a great patient experience can impact quality, safety, staff engagement & financial results.
- Develop tools to improve the patient experience and exceed patient expectations
- Recognize the importance of raising awareness of the patient experience and spreading culture change throughout the practice
- Learn techniques to better engage physicians, providers, patients & families to provide safer and more effective care

Register Now: WCMS Emeritus Group 3/15/17
Dr. Jeff Heck will provide an update on all that is happening at MAHEC. Look for your mailed invitations soon. 

Register Now: Integrative Health Care Across the Lifespan 4/29/17
The 2017 Integrative Healthcare Conference is an annual regional event where healthcare providers across disciplines gather to collaborate and learn about evidence-based integrative healthcare approaches across the life span. This seminar is appropriate for physicians, advance practice providers, mental health providers, nurses, social workers, and counselors. 
Click here for more information. 
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:  "Providers and the Community Response to Opioids."

Excerpt: Many individuals and organizations in WNC have been responding to this issue for years, but now there are collective, region-wide responses to this crisis. For example, The Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services is leading an effort to build a coalition of providers in Buncombe County, including community clinics and the hospital, to tackle this problem.  VAYA Health (formerly Smoky Mountain LME), a regional health organization helping those with behavioral health and intellectual or development disabilities, is leading the effort to build a regional coalition to attack this problem for the 23 westernmost counties. There are many other individual efforts - too numerous to mention all of them in this short article - underway in hospitals, clinics and practices across WNC to address the opioid crisis.
Click here to continue reading. 
New WCMS Members
Click here to view our newest members. 
N.C. Medicaid Drops Provider Rate Cut
Due to the ongoing advocacy effort of a coalition of state medical societies, N.C. Medicaid has abandoned a rate cut that has been pending since Jan. 1, 2015. NCMS estimates that approximately $28 million in physician payments have been preserved.
You may recall that the General Assembly approved a 1 percent rate reduction in late 2014. The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) opposed the cut in the legislature and continued working to prevent its implementation while under review by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). NCMS teamed up with the NC Pediatric Society and the NC Academy of Family Physicians to show CMS the cut's potential negative impact on the ability of Medicaid patients to access care.

Now more than two years later, NC Medicaid is no longer seeking approval from CMS for the 1 percent cut, and the reduction will not be implemented now or retroactively. Had the cut been applied, physicians would have been required to repay 1 percent of their Medicaid payments from the last two years. Beyond the lost revenue, the recoupment effort likely would have affected cash flow and business operations for many Medicaid practices.

Read the memo updating the State Plan Manual with this change here.
Bowtie Briefing for 2/10/17

QI Minute
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:
Contact Carrie Pettler, QI Team Lead, with questions or feedback.
Tom Price Confirmed as HHS Secretary
Price, an orthopedic surgeon, received early endorsements from major industry groups like the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association but those groups faced anger from members who noted that Price opposes the ACA, which both organizations have stood behind.
Click here to continue reading. 
The Healthy Healer
Physician Burnout - how did Einstein get to be such an expert?

If you want to lower your stress levels, build a more balanced life and an more Ideal Practice, remember these two quotes from Albert Einstein and there is literally nothing you can't change.

Click here to read more. 
WCMS Job Board
If you are a 100% Member Practice, posting job openings here is FREE! 
Click here for more information. 

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