Weekly e-News of the  Western Carolina Medical Society 
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July 5, 2017
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In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Advantage Printing (Left)
Register Now: Women in Medicine 7/13/17
Save the Date for Fall WCMS Events
Attention Providers: Project Access has Switched Pharmacy Benefits Manager
Project Access Receives Three-Year Funding Award from The Duke Endowment
Bowtie Briefing with NCMS' Chip Baggett 6/30/17
Governor Signs STOP Act into Law
NC Medical Board's Opioid Prescribing CME Requirement Takes Effect 7/1
Congressional Republicans working on plan to prevent IRS from enforcing ACA's individual mandates
Hospitals could face more uninsured patient costs under GOP health plans
Healthy Healer
WCMS Job Board
Register Now: Women in Medicine 7/13/17
Michelle Bilsky will explain the benefits of self-care and relaxation through reflexology and aromatherapy.

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 at 278 Haywood Road from 6-8pm
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.
Attention Providers: Project Access has Switched Pharmacy Benefits Manager
Due to an unpredicted and unprecedented increase in medication costs for PA over the past 18 months, a Medication Committee was formed to explore ways in which to lower costs while continuing to be advocates for our PA patients with their medication needs. Effective July 1, 2017 our Pharmacy Benefits Manager (currently OPTUM) will change to Sona Benefits.

To read the full list of changes, click here
Project Access Receives Three-Year Funding Award from The Duke Endowment
Together with Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS), Mission Health today announced it has been awarded a $750,000 grant over three years from The Duke Endowment to support and expand WCMS' Project Access charity care program.

In 1996, WCMS and its physician leaders recognized the real need to create a model of care that ensures all of our community members have access to preventive and specialty care, and to address the ever-widening chasm of health disparity in our area. Thus Project Access was born in Buncombe County-a model that has been nationally replicated in hundreds of communities with its ability to weave together a comprehensive network of care at low or no cost for the most indigent residents. To continue reading, click here
Bowtie Briefing for 6/30/17
Governor Signs STOP Act into Law
On Thursday, June 29 th , Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 243, the STOP Act, into law in a ceremony at the North Carolina State Capitol. The STOP Act, which stands for the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention Act, seeks to help curb epidemic levels of opioid drug addiction and overdose in North Carolina. To read the full article, click here.
NC Medical Board's Opioid Prescribing CME Requirement Takes Effect 7/1
The North Carolina Medical Board's (NCMB) new CME requirement for physicians and physician assistants who prescribe controlled substances of any kind takes effect July 1. For details on the requirement as well as a list of CME offerings to fulfill it,  visit the NCMB website.
Congressional Republicans working on plan to prevent IRS from enforcing ACA's individual mandate
The New York Times (7/3, Pear, Subscription Publication) reported that congressional Republicans are moving to stop the IRS from enforcing the ACA's requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. While the plan "is separate from Republican efforts to repeal the health care law, and appears more likely to be adopted because it would be written into the annual spending bill for the Treasury and the I.R.S.," it "has a similar purpose: to weaken the health law that President Trump and Republicans in Congress want to dismantle." In the event that the ACA repeal effort comes up short, the House Appropriations Committee "has drafted a provision to stop the I.R.S. from enforcing the mandate." The provision is "included in an appropriations bill that was approved on Thursday by the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government." 
Hospitals could face more uninsured patient costs under GOP health plans
USA Today (7/3, Groppe) discussed who pays when uninsured patients visit the emergency department, an issue the paper said "is important as Republicans debate health care legislation that could result in more than 20 million fewer Americans having health insurance in ten years." Federal law "requires emergency departments to stabilize and treat anyone entering their doors, regardless of their ability to pay," although hospitals can "try to bill someone without insurance." Hospitals "also receive federal funding to offset some of the costs of treating the poor." While the ACA reduced those payments "in anticipation that hospitals' uncompensated care costs would go down," Republican health care plans "would reinstate the payments." But these new payments "wouldn't be enough to offset the unpaid bills, according to an analysis by the Commonwealth Fund." 
Healthy Healer
Breaking the Stigma - A Physician's Perspective on Self-Care and Recovery

My name is Adam. I am a human being, a husband, a father, a pediatric palliative care physician, and an associate residency director. I have a history of depression and suicidal ideation and am a recovering alcoholic. Several years ago, I found myself sitting in a state park 45 minutes from my home, on a beautiful fall night under a canopy of ash trees, with a plan to never come home. For several months, I had been feeling abused, overworked, neglected, and underappreciated. I felt I had lost my identity. I had slipped into a deep depression and relied on going home at night and having a handful of drinks just to fall asleep. Yet mine is a story of recovery: I am a survivor of an ongoing national epidemic of neglect of physicians' mental health.

Click here to continue reading. 
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