Weekly e-News of the  Western Carolina Medical Society 
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August 2, 2017
In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Advantage Printing (Left)
Newcomers' Picnic Registration
Save the Date for Fall Healthy Healer Retreat
MAHEC Job Fair 9/20/2017
Blue Cross NC, Mission Health Split would affect Thousands in WNC
Mission Health Board Inks Op-ed on BCBS Feud
NC Special Legislative Session Coming Aug. 3;Thoughts On Federal Healthcare Debate
"Skinny Repeal" Measure Rejected
Upcoming MAHEC Events
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, 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.

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
Blue Cross NC, Mission Health split would affect thousands in WNC
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Mission Health are engaged in a debate as both go public in pursuit of the upper hand ahead of an Oct. 5 deadline.

 Thousands of Western North Carolina residents face not knowing what their insurance will cover for a visit to their family physician or where they can have a surgical procedure done.

Blue Cross NC has around 70 percent of the state's private health insurance market, insuring about 3.5 million people in the state. In 16 WNC counties, about 260,000 people have Blue Cross NC health insurance.  Read article here
Mission Health board inks op-ed on BCBS feud: 5 things to know 
Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health System representatives penned an op-ed stating a "fair contract" with the state's largest insurer - Durham-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina - "is not a want, it is an absolute need."
Here are five takeaways from the op-ed, published in
  Mountain Xpress July 24.

1. Earlier this month, Mission Health said it plans to leave BCBSNC's network by Oct. 5.  In the op-ed, board members wrote Mission Health worked collaboratively with BCBSNC to negotiate rates in the past. Six months ago, Mission Health requested a "modest, mid-single digit reimbursement increase," expecting mutual negotiations.

2. However, the nonprofit health system said BCBSNC denied the request, "forcing a 'forever zero' contract, claiming it can't afford any increase despite dramatically raising premiums to its own customers during each of the last four years." Read article here.
NC Special Legislative Session Coming Aug. 3; Thoughts On Federal Healthcare Debate
Chip Baggett, NCMS Senior VP for Advocacy and Advancement, provides a look at the NC General Assembly's upcoming special session beginning next week, and reflects on the dramatic events taking place in Washington, D.C. around health care reform. Watch here.
7/28/17 Senate "Skinny Repeal" Measure rejected
The Senate early this morning voted 49-51 to reject a so-called "skinny repeal" measure that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual and employer mandates, while making a few other smaller changes to the law. Senate Republican leaders attempted to unite their caucus around the plan after the failure this week of procedural votes on two broader health reform measures. But, ultimately, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined all Democrats in voting against the latest measure, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) casting the deciding "no" vote. The vote prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to call for his party to "move on" from its ACA repeal efforts, while President Trump responded by renewing his call to "let ObamaCare implode." Read New York Times article here.  Read axios article here.  
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 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