WCMS Goes Back to Raleigh for Second White Coat Wednesday!

June 23, 2014

On May 28th CEO Miriam Schwarz along with Dr. Bob Henderson (Ob/Gyn) travelled to Raleigh to meet with Sens. Hise, Van Duyn, and Reps. Ramsey, Moffitt, and Whitmire. We left notes with Sen. Tom Apodaca and Rep. Chuck McGrady since they were in meetings at the time of our visit.

Because of the high stakes issues on the table (Medicaid Reform, Medicaid budget, cuts to beneficiaries, scope of practice issues), WCMS decided to return for a second White Coat Wednesday. On June 18th, Miriam and Drs. Diane Hankes (AllCare) and Dave Pucci (Asheville Pulmonology) made the trek back to Raleigh. The day began with a briefing on current issues at the North Carolina Medical Society.  Then we walked over to the legislative buildings and met with senators and representatives.

The WCMS contingency met with Senators Apodaca (Henderson, Transylvania) and Jim Davis (Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Swain), and Rep. Roger West (Cherokee, Clay, Macon, Graham). We had a spirited impromptu hallway conversation with Rep. Joe Sam Queen, and left messages for 5 other WNC legislators who were in meetings during our visit (Sen. Van Duyn, Reps. Nathan Ramsey, Susan Fisher, Josh Dobson, Michelle Presnell). The focus of our discussion was the Senate and House budgets and Medicaid Reform. We emphasized that Medicaid Reform should be a physician-led solution that incentivizes higher quality care for lower total cost, and NOT a Managed Care solution that will likely result in decreased access to care for patients and lower reimbursement to physicians. Abandoning value-based care for corporate managed care will wind up costing more for the State.

WCMS is committed to representing the voice of WNC physicians in legislative advocacy. We will continue to keep you apprised of key votes, send you calls to action, and engage with legislators in their home districts once the current session has ended.  If you'd like to get involved legislatively, email Miriam Schwarz at miriam@mywcms.org.

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From L to R: Dr. Dave Pucci, Miriam Schwarz, Sen. Tom
Apodaca and Dr. Diane Hankes

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Dr. Diane Hankes gets a prime seat in the
Senate Chamber!

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L to R in the Senate Chamber: Dr. Diane Hankes, Sen. Jim Davis,
Dr. Dave Pucci, Miriam Schwarz