Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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April 4, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Membership Now Open to PAs (Left)
Register Now: Physician Assistant Welcome Event 4/12/17
Register Now: Healthy Healer - Mindfulness in Medicine Retreat 4/22-23
Physicians' Voice in the News
Rural Medicine Affinity Group Meeting
MedServe: Helping Solve a Health Care Shortage
Bowtie Briefing for 3/31/17
How the Docs vs. Glocks Ruling Affects Physicians
Survey: Nearly 75% of Providers are Not Ready for MACRA or Need Help
ACP: Stop Saddling Docs With Administrative Tasks
The Healthy Healer
WCMS Job Board
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. 
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 "How opioid crisis affects our health care".

"...the crisis is worse than ever. In January and February alone, our first responders went to 150 overdose calls - more than all of the overdose calls in 2015. Sadly, 20 of the overdose victims could not be saved; they died.

This article is to inform the public of two things. First, your provider may be treating temporary or short-term (also called "acute") pain differently than in the past. Second, you as the patient have the right to ask for information and get answers to the questions you have about the treatment prescribed to you."

Click here to read full article on our website, plus read the preceding 2 articles of this series.
Rural Medicine Affinity Group Meeting

On March 28, the Rural Medicine Affinity Group met at Haywood Regional Fitness Center. It was a well attended meeting of physicians, residents, medical students, a healthcare consultant, and MAHEC staff member who presented on two special initiatives, the Bernstein Fellowship and MedServe.

The group had a chance to catch each other up on happenings in their various counties, as well as hear a first hand account of a practice transformation from independent to FQHC. WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, informed the group of possible Project Access® expansion beyond Buncombe County, distributed an anti-discrimination flyer for practices to display, and gave a legislative update. 

If you are interested in learning more about this group, please contact
MedServe: Helping Solve a Health Care Shortage
Does your practice need extra hands for clinical and community work?

"Less than a year after she earned her degree from Carolina, Misty Cox is already putting her skills to work - and helping make North Carolinians healthier in the process. Cox, a 2016 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, is one of 13 fellows participating in MedServe, a program focused on helping solve the problem of health care shortages across North Carolina."
Click here to print a one-page information sheet.
Bowtie Briefing for 3/31/17

How the Docs vs. Glocks Ruling Affects Physicians

The conversations doctors are allowed to have with their patients regarding guns and other firearms, if any, are the central part of a new ruling overturning most aspects of a highly controversial law that has undergone several appeals and reversals since its inception in 2011.

The law, called the Firearms Owners' Privacy Policy Act, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Feb. 16, 2017. According to attorney Janet Bastawros, owner of The Law Office of Janet Bastwaros, "the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recent ruling was based on the decision that the law violated medical professionals' constitutional right to free speech. In other words, medical professionals no longer have to fear sanctions or potentially losing their license for having potentially lifesaving conversations with their patients about gun safety and providing medical advice."
Click here to continue reading.
Survey: Nearly 75% of Providers are Not Ready for MACRA or Need Help
Dive Brief:

In a recent survey of more than 2,000 providers published by Healthcare Informatics, 43% said they need help with MACRA preparation, 30% said they are not at all prepared while 27% said they are ready to go.

Only 13% of respondents said they participate solely in value-based payment models and 35% said they participate in both fee-for-service and value-based models while 52% said they participate solely in fee-for-service models.

Asked whether strategies on value-based care have shifted since the November election, 47% said they are awaiting direction from the new administration, 33% said they have not made adjustments, and 20% said they were unsure.
Click here to continue reading. 
ACP: Stop Saddling Docs With Administrative Tasks
It's time for all those involved in the healthcare industry to reevaluate and reduce the administrative task burden placed on clinicians, according to policy recommendations from the American College of Physicians (ACP).

The position paper, published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, offered a framework to free physicians from the daily churn of prior authorizations, computerized order entry, billing-related documentation -- and the resulting risk for burnout...
Click here to continue reading. 
The Healthy Healer
Life Coaching for Physicians is an Underused Physician Burnout Tool

Coaches are trained to listen. In our careers, we are the ones constantly listening to the problems of our patients. However, we have our own problems, dilemmas, goals, and dreams. Often we don't have the same access to dedicated listeners in our lives. Our colleagues are tapped out for the same reasons we are (listening to problems all day). Our friends may listen, and may even be in our corner, but don't always know how to listen without "fixing" or giving unsolicited advice. Our spouses may listen, but are also likely to want to try to problem solve rather than simply allow you to express fully. Plus, your spouse or significant other is typically listening to you from a "what I already know about you" perspective and may not be able to see what's missing. They are inside of the fish bowl with you.
Click here to read full article on

Did you know that WCMS now offers discounted coaches that we've personally vetted through our Healthy Healer program? For more information about our coaches, send us an email.
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.  
Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz

Miriam Schwarz signature

Miriam Schwarz, MPA
WCMS CEO/Executive Director