Weekly e-News of the  Western Carolina Medical Society 
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July 26, 2017
In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Advantage Printing (Left)
Newcomers' Picnic 9/24: Register Now
Save the Date for Fall Healthy Healer Retreat
MAHEC Job Fair 9/20/2017
Angel Medical Center ends baby deliveries
MAHEC begins surgical residency program
Mission Health board members release op-ed about BCBSNC contract
Error in Asheville Citizen Times news article regarding Project Access
NCMS Takes Firm Stand on Federal Health Care Legislation
CBO evaluation of "Repeal and Delay" health care bill
Senate Votes Down Broad Obamacare Repeal
Healthy Healer
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
Angel Medical Center ends baby deliveries
July 14 marked the last day for delivering babies at Angel Medical Center in Franklin.  Mission Health, which runs the hospital, made the decision in April to shut down labor and delivery because of a multimillion dollar budget shortfall.

"The biggest problem is labor and delivery loses between $1-$2 million per year," Mission Health President and CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus said in April.
Administrators plan a $45 million replacement hospital for Angel, but, because of costs, labor and delivery won't be included.  Generations of mothers who've delivered at Angel disagree with the decision . Click here to continue reading
MAHEC begins surgical residency program
"There's a big shortage nationally, there's a big shortage in North Carolina and there's a big shortage in Western North Carolina."

Mountain Area Health Education Center is trying with precision to turn that around by starting a state-funded General Surgery Residency Program in Asheville.

"We hear in the news that we are missing primary care practitioners, and that's true, but we are also missing surgeons," explained Dr. Michael Schurr, director of MAHEC's General Surgery Residency Program. "Right now, in the state of North Carolina, we have 25 counties without a single general surgeon in the county."

"That's one of the reasons I applied to the MAHEC residency is because they focus on under-served communities," said Dr. Harold Campbell, a MAHEC second-year resident. To continue reading, click here
Mission Health board members release op-ed about BCBSNC contract
We don't pick any fight lightly, and certainly not with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), our state's overwhelmingly dominant insurer.

Mission Health and BCBSNC have had a good relationship for many years.  We've worked together to provide exceptional care to the people of western North Carolina.   Although we had a similar fight more than a decade ago, everything turned out just fine.  We need them, and they need us.

So when Mission approached BCBSNC six months ago to request a modest, mid-single digit reimbursement increase, we expected BCBSNC to work collaboratively toward a mutually acceptable contract.  Instead, BCBSNC flatly refused, 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. Click here to read more
Error in Asheville Citizen Times news article regarding Project Access
On 7/20/17, the Asheville Citizen Times published an article entitled "Mission's Project Access Receives 3 Year Funding Award." We received calls from WCMS members and patients wondering why Mission had acquired Project Access. The headline was in error. Project Access is not under the auspices of Mission Health (although Mission Health donates its services very generously to Project Access, so we thank them for their philanthropy). Project Access remains a program of the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation and is celebrating its 21 st birthday this year. 

We have contacted the ACT; they've made the correction to the article on line and will clarify as well in print. And the good news is that Project Access did indeed receive a 3 year funding award from The Duke Endowment. Here's the corrected article
NCMS Takes Firm Stand on Federal Health Care Legislation
As the debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare continues to unfold in Washington, DC, you can be assured that your medical society has been working diligently on Capitol Hill and with local and national stakeholder groups to make sure any legislation protects - and enhances- your patients' access to affordable, high quality care.

North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) President Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson and longtime NCMS member and past president of the North Carolina Pediatric Society and the American Pediatric Society David T. Tayloe, MD, were on Capitol Hill last Thursday, meeting with Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, when Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) unveiled revisions to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The BCRA subsequently has been removed from consideration having failed to gain enough support among Republican Senators to bring it to debate. To continue reading, click here
CBO evaluation of "Repeal and Delay" health care bill
An updated version of congressional Republicans' 2015 Affordable Care Act (ACA) "repeal-and-delay" bill would increase the United States' uninsured population by 32 million people and nearly double health plan premiums by 2026, according to a report released July 19 by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. The updated repeal-and-delay bill is among those Senate GOP leaders are trying to bring to the Senate floor for a vote next week, though as of last night none (7/19) of the current health reform proposals being considered appeared to have enough support to pass. (Sources: USA Today, 7/19;   Politico, 7/19)
Senate Votes Down Broad Obamacare Repeal

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted narrowly on Tuesday to begin debate on a bill to repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but hours later, Republican leaders suffered a setback when their most comprehensive plan to replace President Barack Obama's health law fell far short of the votes it needed. To read the full article, click here
Healthy Healer
The problem of martyrdom in medicine

So if we want to do the right thing for our patients, we have to prioritize our own needs in order to continue to be able to practice medicine over the long haul. The time has come to accept that it is not healthy for us to martyr ourselves on the altar of medicine. We must not use our job as an excuse to avoid nurturing our relationships, or as a security blanket to prevent us from trying things that are new and potentially scary or as a way of feeding our ego. 

We also have to give ourselves permission to be human, to be imperfect, and to make mistakes which are inevitable despite our best efforts. Yes, we do require sleep-at least seven to eight hours nightly, and our demand for sleep actually increases with age.

To read the full article, click 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