Newsroom

Parsec Financial Discusses HCA Retirement Plans

June 21, 2019

As the dust begins to settle on the recent acquisition of Mission by HCA, we continue to field questions about the various changes to the health system’s employee benefits and retirement plans. The benefit changes are only a few of the countless moving pieces set in motion by the acquisition. Even so, the retirement plans, in particular, continue to generate enough interest and concern that the Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) membership might benefit from additional coverage of these changes.

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NC AHEC PRACTICE SUPPORT: The NC resource for practice improvement and success

June 21, 2019

It is estimated 15% of patients will choose a Prepaid Health Plan (PHP), and over 80% will be assigned to an Advanced Medical Home (AMH). These tips will help ensure that you maintain relationships with your established Medicaid patients, and establish new relationships with patients who are attributed to your practice who you have never seen.

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Foundation Board Chair Message by Susan McDowell

June 10, 2019

Hi, my name is Susan McDowell and I am the current Foundation Board Chair at WCMS. I am a family practice physician who has been working in Madison County for the past 6 years at the Hot Springs Health Program. In 2018, we were lucky enough to be the first expansion site for Project Access. 

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HCA Charity Care Policy Update

May 28, 2019

The WCMS Association Board met with HCA/Mission Health’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, William Hathaway, MD, at the May 13, 2019 meeting to discuss changes from the Mission charity care policy to the HCA policy following the transition. We were informed that the amount of funds devoted to HCA’s Charity Care will be significantly more than what had been provided by Mission. We also discussed the two policies currently in place:

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Interview with Dr. Blake Fagan, MD on Opiate Crisis in WNC

May 22, 2019

1. Please introduce yourself (background/education/experience/current organization & role, etc.)

Blake Fagan, MD

  • University of Missouri at Columbia

  • Medical School at Vanderbilt Nasheville TN

  • Residency at MAHEC in Asheville

  • Family physician for 20 years working with pregnant women and delivering babies (30% of practice working with kids)

  • Prescribing suboxone for patients with Substance Use Disorder for the last 3 years

  • Clinical Consultant for Opiate Crisis

  • Chief Education Officer at MAHEC

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Update on the Future of Project Access®

May 14, 2019

Background: Since 1996, WCMS Foundation’s Project Access® has served the local community as a dedicated network of now more than 700 independent and employed physicians providing free/low cost healthcare to low income, uninsured, under-resourced residents in Buncombe and Madison counties. Project Access® is not health insurance, it is however a way to help our community members stabilize their health so that health insurance is more attainable. This comprehensive network includes primary care physicians/providers (eg,  4 FQHCs, MAHEC), specialists, HCA/Mission Hospital, labs, imaging, physical and occupational therapy, medication/DME funding, local pharmacies, WCMS Interpreter Network, mental health providers, community service navigators, social service agencies, optometrists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and more. WCMSF is a certified application entity for the ACA; we enroll eligible Project Access® patients into the Marketplace so that they have private health insurance.  Project Access®  been replicated in hundreds of communities across the country.

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Discussion on Cost of Care and Social Determinants of Health with Dr. Coin

May 7, 2019

First, please tell us a little bit about you and your practice

I graduated UNC Chapel Hill Medical School then  from the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency in 1993, worked in Franklin, Angel Hospital  Emergency Department for a year, then came to the Family Health Centers (FHCs) in 1995 and have been here ever since. FHCs are privately owned by the physicians and there are 3 offices now that function seamlessly as one unified practice largely thanks to our EHR integration in 2005, which was a progressive step at the time.  I served as our Medical Director for quite a few years but now am joyfully back to only patient care.

 

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CMS Advances Agenda to Re-think Rural Health and Unleash Medical Innovation

April 30, 2019

CMS Advances Agenda to Re-think Rural Health and Unleash Medical Innovation
Proposed changes to Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System would improve quality, expand access

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Let’s close the coverage gap for all uninsured in NC

April 23, 2019

Dr. Mark McNeill

Wouldn’t you want to bring a $4 billion investment into NC that could add 40,000 jobs to our economy in just five years?  What if these funds also helped address the opioid crisis and lowered insurance premiums? You probably would.  

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ACTION ALERT: HB 655 - NC Health Care for Working NC Families

April 15, 2019

HB 655 - NC Health Care for Working NC Families is a common sense solution that provides an alternative insurance product to low income North Carolina citizens. The plan would emphasize preventative care and wellness programs to incentivize health. Through covering more lives, this plan helps your patients gain greater access to the health services they need. 

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Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital Reaches Agreement with UnitedHealthcare for Employed Physician Services

April 15, 2019

Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital Reaches Agreement with UnitedHealthcare for Employed Physician Services UnitedHealthcare - insured patients will again have “in - network” access to employed physician* services 
 
Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital is pleased to announce that we have reached a new agreement with UnitedHealthcare that reinstates “in-network” status for employed physician* services. This is a win for our patients who deserve access to quality healthcare here at home, and we appreciate their patience as we have worked through this process.  
 

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New Online Summer Certificate Courses at Wake Forest for Bioethics Graduate Program

April 12, 2019

The Graduate program in Bioethics at Wake Forest University recently announced that it will be offering on-line course offerings this summer for existing and newly enrolled students in Wake Forest’s Graduate Certificate in Bioethics program who live outside the central-NC area.  Applications are now being received.

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More Powerful NC Campaign Launches in Effort to Educate Public About Opioids

April 12, 2019

April 11, 2019 – More Powerful NC, a public education campaign to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and empower North Carolinians to take action to address the epidemic in their homes and communities, launched in early April. 

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Annual Minority Medical Mentoring Program (MMMP) HOPE Banquet

March 22, 2019

On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement (ABIPA), Mission Health, the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will host the annual Minority Medical Mentoring Program (MMMP) HOPE Banquet. This is a program for underrepresented high school students with an interest in high-level health professions. The primary goals of the program are to increase the number of underrepresented minorities training and practicing in WNC, enhance quality of care (prevention and wellness) as a result of increased workforce diversity, and achieve increased levels of health parity for populations of color in WNC.

This year’s keynote address will be given by four MMMP Alumni: Davon Washington, Melvis Madrigal, Darryl Jayda Hart, and Zaria Bunn. Proceeds from the event will support the Dr. Charles Blair Health Parity Scholarship Fund that awards each MMMP intern a scholarship. The HOPE Banquet will be held at the MAHEC Mary C. Nesbitt Biltmore Campus on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 6:00-7:30pm.

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President's Message

March 22, 2019

Presidents Message WCMS 3/2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


As I write this message I sit preparing for an exciting week ahead, a week that makes me proud to be part of the WCMS.  In a couple of days I will leave with a cohort of WCMS staff and physicians for our first White Coat Wednesday of the year at the North Carolina General Assembly.  For years, advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients to our representatives in government has been a key strategy of the WCMS. However advocacy this year is special. With the shakeup of power in Raleigh after the last election, we can now discuss access to affordable healthcare for all more easily.  The association board has chosen to make closing the coverage gap in NC our top legislative priority this year. WCMS has already been hard at work meeting with representatives locally in Asheville, and with the support of our allies at the NCMS, we will take the discussion to the next level in Raleigh this week.

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