WCMS with tagline
  Community Pulse - June 2017



In This Issue:
Ad (left): WCMS 2016-17 Blue Books Available to Order
Physicians and PAs: Enjoy 2017 with WCMS!
New Members to WCMS
Discrimination Has No Place in Medicine
Mission Health Votes to Close Blue Ridge Hospital's Labor and Delivery Department
Mission Closes Sylva Women and Children's Practices
Public Health Provider Alert from BCHHS
Opioid Funding In & Out in NCGA Budgets
Two Hospitals Selected to Increase Rural Psychiatric, Substance Abuse Treatment
NC Policy Responses to Opioid Crisis Address Prescribing Practices
HealthCare.gov Dropout Trend Continues Under Trump
CBO Deals Blow to Senate Health Bill
Study Reveals Decline in Physician Practice Ownership
WCMS Job Board
Physicians and PAs: Enjoy 2017 with WCMS!
Physicians and Physician Assistants: If you haven't already, please become a member! 

This is a big year for legislative advocacy. Join 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
* Large event with renowned speaker, November 4
* Other resources to prevent burnout
There's a lot happening at WCMS - check out our full 2017 Strategic Plan.

Join Today and make your voice heard!
New Members to WCMS
Click here to view the newest physicians to join WCMS!   

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. 
Mission Health Votes to Close Blue Ridge Hospital's Labor and Delivery Department
Young and old gathered next to Blue Ridge Hospital with signs on Monday, urging Mission Health's board of directors to keep the labor and delivery department open. 
Click here to continue reading. 
Mission Closes Sylva Women and Children's Practices
In an effort to consolidate women's and children's services in Franklin, Mission Health has announced it will be closing those practices in Sylva.

Mission Children's-Sylva and Mission Women's-Sylva, which came under Mission's umbrella four years ago, will likely close in September as the consolidation is completed. 

This news comes just weeks after Mission made the announcement it would discontinue labor and delivery services at Angel Medical Center in Franklin, forcing women to have to travel 25 minutes to an hour and a half to deliver their babies.
Click here to continue reading. 
Public Health Provider Alert from BCHHS: Updated Zika Virus Testing Guidance 
Click here  to read.

Opioid Funding In & Out in NCGA Budgets
Despite all the buzz this legislative session about the opioid addiction problem across North Carolina, the Senate budget didn't include much money towards addiction recovery. And the House only added funds near the end of the budgeting process.

In April, House Appropriation Chair Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Cary) pledged to fund at least $20 million toward addiction recovery as part of the
During the House budget press conference on Thursday, Dollar said his chamber is still working on funds for the STOP Act.
Click here to continue reading. 
Two Hospitals Selected to Increase Rural Psychiatric, Substance Use Treatment 
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the selection of two hospitals to increase the number and availability of inpatient psychiatric and substance use treatment beds in rural hospitals across the state.

Duke Life Point Maria Parham Medical Center LLC in Henderson was selected in the central region, and Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville was selected in the western region. The request for applications for the state's eastern region was reposted.
Click here to continue reading. 
NC Policy Responses to Opioid Crisis Address Prescribing Practices (written by CCWNC)
As a response to the opioid crisis builds at the federal level, North Carolina continues its progress towards policy changes that will impact the prescribing and dispensing of opioids. The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act introduced in the House this March has moved to the Senate Health Care Committee, and would increase the use of the Controlled Substance Reporting System and limit initial prescriptions for acute pain, among other changes (summarized by the NC Medical Society here). At the same time, NC DMA considers changes, currently in draft form, to the Medicaid Prior Authorization Criteria for opioid analgesics. 

These policies, once passed or finalized, could impact patients, providers and pharmacists considerably. In the meantime, CCNC's Opioid Safety toolkit has multiple resources that can be used today to increase provider comfort with the issue and help educate patients about the seriousness of the public health threat. One such document discusses safe disposal of opioids. To prevent diversion or accidental overdoses, we can all remember to share drop box locations at area police or sheriff departments and at Walgreen's Safe Medication Disposal Kiosk at 1835 Hendersonville Road in Asheville.

HealthCare.gov Dropout Trend Continues Under Trump
WASHINGTON - Continuing a dropout trend seen in the Obama years, about 16 percent of consumers who signed up for coverage this year through public health insurance markets had canceled their plans by early spring, the government said Monday.
Click here to continue reading. 
CBO Deals Blow To Senate Health Bill with Estimate Of 22 Million More Uninsured
Senate Republicans' legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act would leave an additional 22 million people without health care coverage over the next decade and cut the federal deficit by $321 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released late Monday.
Click here to continue reading. 


Study Reveals Decline in Physician Practice Ownership
For the first time ever, less than half of physicians are independent.

Less than half of practicing physicians in the U.S. owned their medical practice in 2016, marking the first time that the majority of physicians are not practice owners, according to a new study. 
Click here to continue reading. 
Job Board

Click here to see the latest jobs posted on our website. 


To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad, click here.

Learn more about the Western Carolina Medical Society on this page. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.   



Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director 
( 828) 274-2267 ext. 312