Weekly e-News of the  Western Carolina Medical Society 
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August 16, 2017
In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: MedMal Direct (Left)
Newcomers' Picnic Registration
Save the Date for Fall Healthy Healer Retreat
MAHEC Job Fair 9/20/2017
BCBSNC responds to Mission Health Offer
BCBS Axes Mission Health's Offer to Keep ACA Exchange Policy Holders
WCMS Strategic Plan Update--Q2 2017
NCDHHS Releases Updated Plan for Medicaid Reform
Upcoming MAHEC Events
WCMS Launches New Preferred Partner Program
WCMS Job Board

Newcomers' Picnic 9/24: Register Now!
Registration is now open for our Newcomers' Picnic! Join us for this fun, inter-generational event at Yesterday Spaces farm in Leicester. All WCMS physician members and their families are invited to attend-you don't have to be a "newcomer!" Colleagues, significant others and kids are welcome! We'll have dinner, drinks, lawn games, a bonfire and more. September 24 from 4-7pm.
Save the Date: Healthy Healer Retreat Featuring Rebecca Sotile Fallon 11/4/17
Also mark your calendars for the 2017 Healthy Healer retreat,  Medicine and Family: New Challenges; New Solutions, 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. 

MAHEC Job Fair 9/20/17
Bringing MAHEC Residents in touch with practice opportunities in WNC.  Reserve your spot today! Space is limited to 30 practice sites and includes 2 representatives per site. Click here for more details
Updated: Blue Cross NC responds to Mission Health offer for health exchange customers
Mission Health announced today that it has taken proactive and immediate steps to protect options for consumers who participate in the North Carolina health insurance exchange. Specifically, Mission Health has offered to stay in-network and accept its current payment rates with no increase from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) for care provided to anyone covered by a policy purchased on the exchange. Mission Health will honor these current payment rates - the "forever zero" approach BCBSNC has demanded - for all persons insured through the exchange for 2018 or until such time as a new agreement is reached with BCBSNC that covers all care provided to all patients.  Read article here
BCBS axes Mission Health's offer to keep ACA exchange policyholders in-network
Amid a rate negotiation deadlock, Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health System offered  to continue in-network recognition of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina's ACA exchange policyholders Thursday; however, BCBSNC quickly rejected the proposal.  Read article here
WCMS Strategic Plan Update--Q2 2017
WCMS is committed to providing quarterly updates to our staff, boards, council, interviewees, and full membership. Our detailed second quarterly report for 2017 can be found here.   Note that you can click on the table of contents to jump to a section of interest to you. I welcome all feedback. This report now resides on our website.

With appreciation for your continued engagement with and support of WCMS,
NCDHHS Releases Updated Plan for Medicaid Reform
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) yesterday, Aug. 8, released an updated proposal for implementing the Medicaid reforms adopted by the General Assembly in 2015.  Review the 77-page plan .

NCDHHS is soliciting public comment on the document until Sept. 8.
Upcoming MAHEC Events
Treating Pain Safer: Fewer Opioids and Better Results Controlled Substances Education for Prescribers

When : August 29, 2017, October 24, 2017 Register here

Mountain Children's Network - Unraveling Liver Function Tests

When: August 31, 2017   6:00 PM-8:00 PM Register here
WCMS Launches New Preferred Partner Program
WCMS is now offering a unique partnership program allowing medical practices and local businesses an upgraded sponsorship & advertising opportunity. The program is intended to help organizations gain exposure to the WNC medical community and general public through multiple avenues.  Benefits to being a Preferred Partner include things such as sponsorship of our Annual Celebration or Newcomers' Picnic, exposure on the WCMS website and in our multiple e-Newsletters, ad space in our physician directory, and more!

We're thrilled to announce that our first Gold Level Preferred Partner is EmergeOrtho (formerly Blue Ridge Bone & Joint) and they will be sponsoring our Newcomers' Picnic in September!

To learn more about our Preferred Partner program, please  contact us !
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