VITAL SIGNS
  Weekly e-News of the  Western Carolina Medical Society 
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September 6, 2017
In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: Advantage Printing (Left)
Register Today for WCMS' Newcomers' Picnic
Registration is Now Open for WCMS' Healthy Healer Retreat
MAHEC Job Fair 9/20/2017
BCHHS Public Health: Infections Associated With Tattoos by Unpermitted Tattoo Artists
Vaya, MAHEC Make Opioid Overdose-Reversal Kits Available to Buncombe County Schools
State's two largest health care systems combine, raising questions about effect on patients
Bowtie Briefing for Sept. 1, 2017
Comment period ends soon for DHHS NC "Medicaid Transformation Detailed Design"
In wake of opioid crisis, Joint Commission issues new pain standards for hospitals
Healthy Healer Article
Wait times down, patient portal use up at practices
WCMS Job Board
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
Regsiter Today for WCMS' Newcomers' Picnic
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.
Registration now open for WCMS' Healthy Healer Retreat: Medicine & Family: New Challenges; New Solutions 
In this entertaining and thought-provoking seminar, noted speaker Rebecca Fallon of the Sotile Center for Resilience and Center for Physician Resilience, will shed light on the inner workings of contemporary medical providers and their families who manage to have it all: productive careers, high levels of collaboration and collegiality in the medical workplace, and thriving personal lives. Drawing material from the Sotiles' books, over 15 years of clinical and consulting experiences, and her practice's ground-breaking research with medical families, Rebecca will teach practical strategies that can immediately make a difference in your work and family relationships, regardless of how you define "family."

This event is FREE for all WCMS Members. Discounts apply for non-member physicians and PAs of Gold Level sponsoring hospitals. $75 for non-member physicians and PAs. Significant others attend free of charge! CME will be offered and we'll be giving a copy of the Sotile's book "Letting Go of What's Holding you Back" to all attending physicians and PAs.
Register online today HERE!


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
 
BCHHS Public Health: Infections Associated With Tattoos by Unpermitted Tattoo Artists
Recommendations for Clinicians Clinicians are encouraged to take the following actions when caring for an individual with a recent tattoo: 
  • Inquire where the individual received the tattoo. Notify the local health department if the individual reports receiving a tattoo from an unpermitted tattoo artist or in a home setting. 
  •  Assess the individual for skin and soft tissue infections, and consider bloodborne pathogen testing for patients who received tattoos from an unpermitted artist or in a home setting. 
  • Ensure that HBV and tetanus vaccinations are up to date in individuals who are considering getting a tattoo. Read full health alert here
Vaya, MAHEC Make Opioid Overdose-Reversal Kits Available to Buncombe County Schools
Buncombe County Schools are now better prepared to prevent fatal overdoses on campus thanks to collaborative efforts by Vaya Health, MAHEC and the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office.
 
On Wednesday, September 6, Lieutenant Mike Ruby of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office delivered opioid overdose-reversal kits and training to student resource officers for more than 14 Buncombe County middle and high schools in Enka, Erwin, North Buncombe, Owen, Reynolds, and Roberson school districts.

Each kit contains two doses of NARCANĀ® nasal spray, the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, which can be administered by
student resource officers and school nurses for emergency treatment of a suspected opioid overdose. These kits were made possible through a state grant to Vaya Health, a regional public managed healthcare organization.  Read more here
STATE NEWS
 
State's two largest health care systems combine, raising questions about effect on patients
UNC Health Care, the Triangle's largest health care provider, is partnering with Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare to create one of the largest nonprofit health care networks and academic research centers in the nation, employing some 90,000 people and running more than 50 hospitals.

The state's two largest hospital systems are forming a company to oversee their joint operations under a new corporate name with a headquarters at a location to be determined. In an interview at The News & Observer's offices on Wednesday, executives of the two companies said the partnership would give them the leverage to negotiate better deals with insurance companies and vendors, saving the hospitals millions of dollars. They also promised to increase access to health care in rural areas and provide their patients access to experimental treatments through their research programs.  Read full article here
Bowtie Briefing for Sept. 1, 2017: NC Med Board News; 'Garbage Juice' Bill Developments
A measure on its way to the governor's desk would allow landfills to collect the contaminated liquid that leaks from the trash and shoot it up into the air over the dump, using giant blowers called aerosolizers.

Backers of the measure say the water will form smaller droplets and evaporate, while the contaminants in it will form larger droplets and fall back down. But critics say there's not enough evidence that the process is safe, especially for neighborhoods surrounding landfills, where they worry the spray could drift.

The process would save waste companies money by reducing the amount of contaminated wastewater they have to pay to treat.  Watch video here
Comment period ends soon for DHHS NC "Medicaid Transformation Detailed Design": Make your voice heard
September 8th is the deadline to submit comments for the DHHS NC Medicaid Transformation "Detailed Design." Please share this among your colleagues and make your voices heard. The link below provides more information on how to submit a comment and includes a link to the proposed design.  Read here
NATIONAL NEWS
 
In wake of opioid crisis, Joint Commission issues new pain standards for hospitals
The Joint Commission has released new pain assessment and management standards that will take effect January 1 for all accredited hospitals.

The new and revised standards come in response to the country's opioid crisis, which every day claims 91 American lives as a result of overdoses, the Joint Commission said in an  announcement.

As part of the national effort to address the opioid epidemic, the accreditor said it would implement those new pain standards and released a  report that provides hospitals with its rationale and evidence for the standards.  Read full article here
ITEMS OF INTEREST
 
Healthy Healer -  Bring Back the Joy of Practicing Medicine
At a time when it seems that all we hear about in healthcare revolves around the political folly of legislating healthcare, there has been little attention paid to the underlying crisis that threatens access, quality and cost; a workforce that is exhausted, depressed, and clinically, burnt out.

This problem has been lurking behind all the grandstanding of repeal and replace and has been evolving and increasing at an alarming rate. Burnout, in this case, is defined as a syndrome characterized by a loss of enthusiasm for work (emotional exhaustion), a feeling of cynicism (depersonalization), and a low sense of personal accomplishment. Our 2016 physicians survey found that 48.6 percent of physicians report feelings of significant burnout often or always.  Read full article here
Wait times down, patient portal use up at practices
Patients aren't waiting as long to hear the words, "The doctor will see you now."

In what is good news for both patients and practices, the average wait times for physician visits are down five minutes from last year to an average of only 20 minutes between the waiting area and the exam room. And at hospital-owned practices, the news is even better with an average wait time of 17 minutes,  according to a survey by the Medical Group Management Association.

With wait times down, another good piece of news is that patient portal use is up, according to the 2017 MGMA DataDive Practice Operations Survey that  looked at practice operations and patient satisfaction.  Read full article here
WCMS Job Board








Medical Office Space: for a 1-2 provider practice to share with an established wellness/GYN solo practitioner.  We are most interested in office based practitioners of lifestyle, integrative, or functional medicine.  Please contact Erin Elliot at (828)489-3942 for more information.

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