VITAL SIGNS
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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April 19, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Current Medical Services (Left)
Buncombe County Rx Take Back 4/29/17
MAHEC CME Event: GI Update 2017 Gastroenterology for the Primary Care Physician 5/6/17
First WCMS Physician Assistant Group Meeting
NCMS Leadership College Participants from WNC Focus on Opioid Prescribing Practices
WNC Initiative to Promote Mental Health, Reduce Emergency Department Use
Public Health Provider Alert from BCHHS: Please be on the lookout for mumps
Senate Bill 629: Balance Billing for Out-of-Network Providers
Maps Show A Dramatic Rise In Health Insurance Coverage Under ACA
Top 10 Challenges Facing Physicians in 2017
The Healthy Healer
WCMS Job Board
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
Buncombe County Rx Take Back 4/29/17
Click here for flyer and details.
MAHEC CME Event: GI Update 2017 Gastroenterology for the Primary Care Physician 5/6/17
Join us for an intense day of continuing medical education as we journey along the GI tract to address clinical hot topics and current recommendations on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal disorders in the primary care setting, including when to refer for specialty intervention.
Click here for more information and registration. 
LOCAL NEWS
 
First WCMS Physician Assistant Group Meeting
On April 12, six physician assistants met at Thirsty Monk South to discuss possibilities for the future of the newest segment of WCMS membership. Some themes that emerged in the course of the discussion were:
 
1. PAs practicing up to their full scope of skill sets
2. Opportunity for legislative engagement from PAs
2. Need for better access to information about local job market

We hope that more of our growing PA membership will attend next meeting! Physicians, please let your PAs know that they are now able to join!
NCMS Leadership College Participants from WNC Focus on Opioid Prescribing Practices
Miriam Schwarz, along with medical student Anne Cotter and Drs. Richard Bunio (Cherokee Indian Hospital) and MaryShell Zaffino (Blue Ridge Community Health Services) are participating in the 2017 NCMS Leadership College. The NCMS Leadership College Program "builds and enhances physician and PA leadership skills and equips graduates to become more influential in motivating and inspiring their peers to be leaders in their medical settings and their communities." Dr. Bunio, Anne and Miriam are carrying out their 2017 leadership project as a team. Our project involves collecting data about physician attitudes and practices related to opioid prescribing and pain management.

We will be sending out a short survey to WCMS membership shortly, so be on the lookout. Please be sure to complete the survey (less than 10 minutes of your time) so that we have a robust data set to analyze and share with you!
 WNC Initiative to Promote Mental Health, Reduce Emergency Department Use
April 11, 2017 - Western N.C. healthcare leaders expect a new $2.3 million initiative will help reduce overcrowding at Mission Hospital's emergency department by ensuring people with mental health or addiction disorders receive proper outpatient care and avoid repeated trips to the hospital.
Click here to continue reading. 
Public Health Provider Alert from BCHHS: Please be on the lookout for mumps 
A student at Appalachian State was recently diagnosed with mumps. At this time, no additional cases of mumps have been identified in NC that are connected with this case. However, numerous outbreaks of mumps are occurring throughout the US, and it appears that recent Spring Break travel (e.g., to South Padre Island, Texas) may be contributing to some spread of the illness. If you should see a patient with signs and symptoms compatible with mumps, please assess their travel history and report that suspected mumps case to your local health department immediately.
Click here for more information. 
STATE NEWS
 
Senate Bill 629: Balance Billing for Out-of-Network Providers
This bill states that if an insurer determines an in-network provider is able to meet the needs of the insured, and is reasonably available to the insured without unreasonable delay, the insurer will pay for any out-of-network services provided using a new benchmark outlined in this bill unless the provider and the insurer create another agreement.  This bill would not require an insurer to make any direct payment to a health care provider.
Click here to continue reading. 
NATIONAL NEWS
 
Maps Show A Dramatic Rise In Health Insurance Coverage Under ACA

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau present the most detailed picture yet of the dramatic rise in the number of people covered by health insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
Click here to continue reading. 
Top 10 Challenges Facing Physicians in 2017
2016 was a challenging year on many fronts for healthcare providers.

Physicians have just started to digest the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and its changes to physician reimbursement. A long presidential election finally reached its conclusion, but the consequences of a Republican Congress and President-elect Donald J. Trump for U.S. doctors and patients remain unclear. And running a private practice did not get any easier. Balancing the need to deal with patients who won't listen or won't pay while also seeking positive patient satisfaction scores remains a daily struggle for many.
Click here to continue reading. 
ITEMS OF INTEREST
 
The Healthy Healer
Physician Burnout and the Dangers of Venting - VIDEO Training


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 650+ 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