VITAL SIGNS
  Weekly e-News of the  Western Carolina Medical Society 
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August 9, 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
Mission Offers Its Own Health Care Plan
Mission and Blue Cross NC Speak With Business Group
NC Special Legislative Session Review With Chip Bagget
Upcoming MAHEC Events
Project Echo CME Opportunity
New Resources From The AMA
WCMS Job Board
UPCOMING EVENTS 

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
LOCAL NEWS
 
Mission offers its own health care plan
If Mission Health doesn't strike a deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina by October, the health system may be pushing more Western North Carolina employers to sign up for its own health care plan - Healthy State - to keep their employees inside the Mission network.
After trying to negotiate for an increased rate of reimbursement from BCBS, Mission is threatening to let its contract with the health insurance provider lapse, which means thousands of WNC residents would have to pay higher deductibles and co-pays to see out-of-network providers at Mission.  Read full article here .
Mission and Blue Cross NC tell business group "there are other options"
You don't have to do business with the other guy, representatives of Blue Cross Blue Shield NC and Mission Health, two organizations locked in a contract dispute, told a business group Friday.

Most of the dollars Blue Cross NC paid for claims in WNC over the last year went to providers that are not part of Mission, said Steve Crist, vice president for group markets at the insurer.  Read full article here.
STATE NEWS
 
Chip Baggett, JD, provides a quick re-cap of the special session that took place at the NC General Assembly August 3, 2017
Chip Baggett, NCMS Senior VP for Advocacy and Advancement, provides a recap on the NC General Assembly's special session that took place August 3, 2017. Watch here.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
 
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
Opioid and Pain CME Opportunities and Project ECHO for Medication Assisted Treatment 
In the state North Carolina, 17 of our western 23 counties ranked among the top for fatal overdoses in 2014, and all but 5 counties had higher-than-average rates of opioid pills prescribed per resident. To respond MAHEC is providing Treating Pain Safer CME, which meets the Controlled Substances CME requirement, and training to increase the number of providers offering Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorders.  Click here to view flyer.  
From the AMA: MACRA/QPP Pick your pace and new resources  
The AMA continues to hear form physicians who feel unprepared to participate successfully in Medicare's new Merit-based Incentive Payment System, despite the transitional flexibility provided for 2017.  In particular, it seems that physicians who never participated in Medicare reporting programs before need basic information on how to avoid a payment penalty in 2019 through minimal reporting in 2017.  View AMA resources 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.  
Sincerely,
Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz

 
Miriam Schwarz signature



 
Miriam Schwarz, MPA
WCMS CEO/Executive Director