VITAL SIGNS
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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March 22, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Membership Now Open to PAs (Left)
2017 WCMS Dues - Stay with us!
Weigh In on WCMS' Position on the STOP Act
Register Now: Physician Assistant Welcome Event 4/12/17
Register Now: Healthy Healer - Mindfulness in Medicine Retreat 4/22-23
Register Now: Integrative Healthcare Across the Lifespan 4/29/17
Nurses Make A Full Court Press for Regulatory Changes
Bowtie Briefing for 3/17/17
What Should Physicians Make of the GOP Health Bill?
How Republicans Have Revised Their Plan to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Mayo Clinic: Privately insured patients to get priority over Medicaid, Medicare patients
From the American Academy of Pediatrics on Immigrant Children
The Healthy Healer
Here's Why Deaf People Hate the Medical Community
WCMS Job Board
2017 WCMS Dues - Stay with us!
If you haven't already, please pay your 2017 dues! 

This is a big year for legislative advocacy. Stay with us to:
* Keep legislation out of the physician-patient relationship and exam room
* Make your voice heard about patient safety issues
* Fight for patient access to high quality health care

And we're building up our Healthy Healer program. Will include:
* Discounts on counseling/coaching
* Mindfulness in Medicine Retreat, April 22-23
* Large event with renowned speaker, November 4

There's a lot happening at WCMS - check out our full 2017 Strategic Plan.

Not sure whether you've paid? 
Weigh In on WCMS' Position on the STOP Act
The WCMS Executive Committee has been discussing the proposed STOP Act and has formulated a position statement. They are in the process of voting, and we'd love your input, as well. 

Here's WCMS' proposed statement:

WCMS supports the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention STOP Act, with important modifications, such as (but not limited to):

1. The scheduled drugs included in the bill (Schedule II - Schedule V) are too broad. The drugs fueling the opioid crisis are mainly Schedule II-III drugs. Providers should not be required to check the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS) for all scheduled drugs. This pre-check will be an administrative burden with no benefit. For example, commonly prescribed Schedule IV and Schedule V drugs, such as Lyrica, Lomotil, and Ambien, do not need to be included. WCMS recommends limiting the mandate for a CSRS check to Schedule II and III drugs only.

2. Funding is needed to improve the efficiency and interoperability of the CSRS. The CSRS as it stands is usable but burdensome. It requires logging into an entirely different system that doesn't interface with the practice's EHR. According to the bill, prescribers will be paying an annual $20 fee for use and 90% of those funds will go to CSRS. However it is unclear if those funds will be earmarked for improvements in usability and interfacing with EHRs and the NCHIE. WCMS recommends that if physicians and other prescribers are going to be required to use and pay for the CSRS, there should be clear assurance in the law that the funds will go to improvements as mentioned above. 

Do you support WCMS' proposed statement? Yes or no? Why or why not?


***
Note from WCMS CEO - Our intention for this effort is to garner physician input on various health care policy issues so that we can advocate appropriately. We are not endorsing one policy over another; we are looking for input and dialog from a diverse physician community so that we can appropriately focus our efforts on what's most important to the majority of our physicians without losing the voices (or membership) of physicians who may dissent with the prevailing opinions of the day.
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
Register Now: Physician Assistant Welcome Event 4/12/17
Attention PAs!
Please join us on April 12 at Thirsty Monk, Biltmore Park! This will be an excellent opportunity to connect with other PAs and learn about the benefits of membership at WCMS! We encourage you to come with any questions or ideas to boost growth of our PA membership base! 
Register Now: Healthy Healer - Mindfulness in Medicine Retreat 4/22 & 23

This 2-day retreat is part of our Healthy Healer program and will focus on these topics:
* Mindfulness
* Resilience
* Narrative Medicine
* Appreciative Inquiry

Earn 13 hours CME. Click here for more information and to register. 
Register Now: Integrative Healthcare 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, as well as the public.
Click here for more information and registration. 
STATE NEWS
 
Nurses Make A Full Court Press for Regulatory Changes
In almost every legislative session of the past decade, advanced practice nurses have made attempts at the legislature to change the way they are licensed and regulated. This year, they think it will actually happen.
Click here to continue reading. 
Bowtie Briefing for 3/17/17

NATIONAL NEWS
 
What Should Physicians Make of the GOP Health Bill?
With the release of the CBO Score, Gilberg believes it has become clear that Congress is attempting to do something they have never done before - take away benefits provided by a social program. "Colin Powell used the doctrine I would echo for what's happening here, there's a saying in Washington, 'if you break it, you own it.' Eventually [the Republicans] are going to own the new healthcare system if they push this through at the speed at which they are going. If they don't step back and think about some of the opportunities to improve the legislation, and reduce the disruption it would cause in the delivery system, it's going to be perceived by many as taking away benefits that were previously provided..."
Click here to continue reading. 
How Republicans Have Revised Their Plan to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
House Republicans on Monday released several key changes to their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, two weeks after its initial unveiling.
Click here to continue reading. 
Mayo Clinic: Privately insured patients to get priority over Medicaid, Medicare patients
Citing tighter profit margins, the chief executive of the Mayo Clinic recently told his employees that the prestigious health system will prioritize the care of privately insured patients over those on Medicare and Medicaid.
Click here to continue reading. 
From the American Academy of Pediatrics on Immigrant Children
"Immigrant children seeking safe haven in the United States, whether abstract arriving unaccompanied or in family units, face a complicated evaluation and legal process from the point of arrival through permanent resettlement in communities. The conditions in which children are detained and the support services that are available to them are of great concern to pediatricians and other advocates for children."
Click here to read more. 
ITEMS OF INTEREST
 
The Healthy Healer
Strategies for Reducing Physician Burnout

The fastest growing ailment seen in doctors' offices across the country very well may be the rising rate of physician burnout.
Click here to continue reading.
Here's Why Deaf People Hate the Medical Community
Time after time I've read posts or watched vlogs of horror stories from Deaf and Hard of Hearing people dealing with doctor offices and hospital visits.
Click here to continue reading. 
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, WCMS opened membership to physician assistants.

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