Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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June 21, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: MedMal Direct (Left)
Urgent Action Alert from AMA: Senate Plans to Rush Vote on Health Care Bill as Early as Next Week
Register Now: Women in Medicine 7/13/17
Save the Date for Fall WCMS Events
Legislative Update with Chip Baggett
Discrimination Has No Place in Medicine: Op-ed in Citizen Times Submitted by WCMS Leaders Drs. Zaffino and Peterson
Bowtie Briefing with NCMS' Chip Baggett 6/16/17
CMS Proposal Exempts Another 134K from MACRA
Healthy Healer
WCMS Physician Members have FREE Access to the DocBookMD App
Want to feel more confident in your leadership role? Apply for the Leadership College today!
WCMS Job Board
Urgent Action Alert from AMA: Senate Plans to Rush Vote on Health Care Bill as Early as Next Week
Last month the House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation that according the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) could result in an estimated 14 million Americans losing their health care coverage in 2018 in addition to a projected cut of more than $800 billion to Medicaid over the next decade.

Now it's the Senate's turn and prospects for an improved bill that addresses the concerns expressed by physicians from across the country look grim. As early as next week, Senate leadership is moving forward with plans to vote on a bill that has not yet been made public nor scored by the CBO.

Physicians stand united with their patients in opposition to any legislation that would cut coverage for Americans with health insurance, take quality health care coverage away from those who have it now and increases out-of-pocket health care costs.

Contact your Senators now and tell them to vote NO on any legislation that would make coverage more expensive for millions of Americans. It's time to put patients above politics!

Register Now: Women in Medicine 7/13/17
Michelle Bilsky will explain the benefits of self-care and relaxation for member
physicians and physician assistants. 

Michelle is an RN, Board Certified Massage Therapist, Esthetician, and Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been using these and other techniques to help people for over 20 years. The event will be held at East/West Events in West Asheville. 
Save the Dates: Newcomers' Picnic 9/24/17 & Healthy Healer Retreat Featuring Rebecca Sotile Fallon 11/4/17
Please mark your calendars for the 2017 Newcomers' Picnic at Yesterday Spaces! Bring the whole family to this inter-generational, fun, and collegial event! September 24 at 4 p.m.

Also mark your calendars for the 2017 Healthy Healer retreat, Finding Balance in Love and Medicine, presented by Rebecca Fallon of the Sotile Center for Resilience. This years retreat will focus on relational health and coping with changes at home and in the work place. The retreat will be held Saturday, November 4th at the Montreat Conference Center.
Legislative Update with Chip Baggett - Take Action!
On June 15, 10 WCMS members attended a presentation and Q & A with NCMS Lobbyist Chip Baggett. Chip updated the group on topics such as the STOP Act, which has been amended and improved. 
"As of June 20th, This bill received a favorable report in the Senate Rules and Operations Committee, and will now move to the Senate floor."

Chip also went over the current status of SB 629, Balance Billing for Out-of-Network Providers. The bill didn't move out of the Senate, and then certain pieces were taken out of the bill and put into the budget. Take action on getting those portions out of the budget. 

Last but not least, Chip informed the group about HB 403. We sent out an Action Alert on this earlier in the week. Click here to learn about these major changes to Medicaid Reform Provisions. You can take action on this bill here.
(you'll need to register with Muster to take action on the bills mentioned). 

Click on the image below to hear Chip's June 15th testimony before the NC Senate Health Committee. 

Discrimination Has No Place in Medicine
Op-ed in Citizen Times Submitted by WCMS Leaders Drs. Zaffino and Peterson
We have been greatly concerned about the recent reports of harassment toward patients of different ethnic and religious groups. An Asheville Citizen-Times article by Julie Ball in March, "Local doctors speak out about incidents of hate speech" reported an incident of verbal assault in a waiting room toward a Muslim woman expressing her faith by wearing a hijab, as well as reports of patient-on-patient and patient-on-staff intimidation and harassment.
Click here to continue reading the piece from Zaffino and Peterson. 
Bowtie Briefing with NCMS' Chip Baggett 6/16/17

CMS Proposal Exempts Another 134K from MACRA
The much-anticipated rule continues the CMS' trend of letting more and more physicians delay MACRA implementation. Small and rural providers have frequently said their lack of capital and resources make complying with the reporting requirements too taxing. 
Click here to read full article.
Healthy Healer
From Burned out? Just say no and teach others to as well

Without question, the interconnectivity created by social media is a plus when it comes to talking about physician burnout, suicide and policies affecting our practice of medicine. We are no longer in independent silos with the surgeons suffering in one corner and pediatricians elsewhere. Physicians are no longer isolated contemplating if what they are experiencing is just unique to them. We are developing collective voices. It is incredible to believe a profession that requires some of the top academic performers and minds of any field is struggling with basic concepts of control, equity and justice in the workplace - but we are.
Click here to continue reading. 
WCMS Physician Members have FREE Access to the DocBookMD App
If you are a WCMS member physician, then you have access to the DocBookMD smartphone app that allows physicians to:

* Send HIPAA-compliant text messages and photos. Message content can include diagnosis, test results, or medical history. Physicians can also add a high-resolution image of an EKG, an X-ray, lab report, or anything that can be photographed with a smartphone.
* Assign an urgency setting to outgoing text messages. Physicians can assign each message a 5-minute, 15-minute, or normal response time
* Enable enhanced notifications. The email feature will send a weekly reminder to view DocBookMD messages.
* Search the Western Carolina Medical Society directory. Physicians can look up other physicians in the WNC region by first or last name or by specialty. Physicians can then contact other physicians by messaging, office phone, cell phone, or email.

Join the mobile revolution and sign up for your DocBookMD account today. Questions? Contact us
Want to feel more confident in your leadership role? Apply for the Leadership College today!
This year, WCMS CEO Miriam Schwarz, medical student Anne Cotter, and Drs. MaryShell Zaffino and Richard Bunio all participated in the NCMS Leadership College. We can all attest to the value of participating in this program. The North Carolina Medical Society Leadership College provides you with the tools to handle the rapidly changing health care environment and call-to-action as a physician leader.

The requirements to participate in the year-long program are: membership in the NCMS; the endorsement of your nominating organization; and a willingness to grow professionally and personally. WCMS will be delighted to nominate you to the college!
Click here to learn 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 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.  
Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz

Miriam Schwarz signature

Miriam Schwarz, MPA
WCMS CEO/Executive Director