January 3, 2018
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that doctors and other eligible clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program can begin submitting their 2017 performance data using a new system on the Quality Payment Program website (qpp.cms.gov). The data submission system is an improvement from the former systems under the CMS legacy programs, which required clinicians to submit data on multiple websites. Now, eligible clinicians will use the new system to submit their 2017 performance data for the Quality Payment Program during the 2017 submission period which runs from January 2, 2018 to March 31, 2018, except for groups using the CMS Web Interface whose submission period is January 22, 2018 to March 16, 2018.
December 21, 2017
As of yesterday, Henderson County’s pertussis outbreak had increased to 52 cases, mainly in school-aged children. So far, in Buncombe County, we have had 1 probable case (lab negative, but symptoms consistent with pertussis).
Please remain vigilant and continue to promote pertussis immunization for everyone, but especially those in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy or in contact with infants.
December 19, 2017
On Friday, December 15, local doctors, healthcare professionals, and community members met in the Asheville High School auditorium to debate “Healthcare: Right or Commodity?”
December 15, 2017
Literature has shown that prescribers receive little education on the treatment of pain, resulting in less effective pain treatment with worse outcomes. Attendees will learn the evidence-based analysis of the relative effectiveness of medications and their side effects, recommendations on how to improve treatment of acute and chronic pain, and recognizing substance use/opioid use disorders. This program will include the three required topics outlined by the new CME requirement in 21 NCAC 32R .0101:
December 6, 2017
As you are likely aware, an outbreak of pertussis is currently happening in Henderson County – as of last night, 10 cases have been identified, affecting numerous schools. Investigation and contact tracing by Henderson County Department of Public Health is ongoing. Additionally, other surrounding counties have confirmed cases.
December 4, 2017
Buncombe County, N.C., - The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) and Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides federal funds to low–income families in a heating or cooling crisis or to those who are in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency and sufficient, timely, and appropriate assistance is not available from any other source.
November 22, 2017
CMS updates Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model for 2019
Expansion of model to 25 total states to provide Medicare beneficiaries with more choices and lower costs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced several updates to the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model for 2019 that encourages customized benefit designs and flexibilities that meet the health needs of beneficiaries in a total of 25 states.
“This Administration is committed to making sure that our seniors have more choices and lower premiums in their Medicare Advantage plans,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “CMS expects that this demonstration will provide insights into future innovations for the Medicare Advantage program.”
CMS recently announced in the Medicare Advantage and Part D proposed rule that it is providing new flexibility for customized benefit designs that address the specific health needs of certain beneficiaries under Medicare Advantage. This allows additional plan variety and options, reduced cost sharing for customized benefits and different cost-sharing for beneficiaries that meet specific medical criteria
November 21, 2017
MAHEC hosts RWJF-funded workshop on December 7 to support shared decision making for patients
On December 7, the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will host the first of two national skilled communications workshops to support shared decision making in healthcare.
"Person-centered care requires that patients and providers have the communications skills to talk about what matters at critical points in the treatment process,” shares Gwen Darien, NPAF executive vice president for patient advocacy. “This workshop brings patients, providers and community advocates together to identify and develop those skills.”
November 15, 2017
It has long been known that physicians are at high risk of depression and suicide, and the problem is not getting better. A study published this July in Academic Medicinefound that suicide was the second leading cause of death among resident physicians from 2000-2014 (the first in males). And it's clear that burnout can contribute to the problem, experts say. When Michael Myers, MD, was researching his book Why Physicians Die by Suicide: Lessons Learned by Families and Others Who Cared, he interviewed surviving family members of physicians who had killed themselves. "What they described was straightforward burnout," says Myers, professor of clinical psychiatry at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, and specialist in physician health.
November 14, 2017
Buncombe County Commissioners will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 to announce the filing of a lawsuit in the fight against the distribution of opioids.
November 13, 2017
The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) is offering Basic Life Support in Obstetrics (BLSOSM) trainings on November 30 and December 11 at its Biltmore campus to help healthcare providers, first responders and emergency personnel effectively manage normal deliveries and obstetrical emergencies.
November 6, 2017
By: Tammy Dills, RN, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital, Director Care Management
It’s no secret that being sick is the pits, whether it’s a nasty virus that clears up after a few days or a long-term condition like cancer or diabetes. And while illness obviously takes a big toll on the patient, it can have just as big of an impact on the primary caregivers, particularly when the illness extends over a long period of time.
That’s why this November, in honor of National Family Caregivers Month, Harris Regional Hospital wants to help take care of the caregivers in our community. And according to the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), there are quite a few. Currently, more than 90 million Americans act as primary caregiver for a family member who is living with a chronic medical condition or battling the fragile effects that come with old age.
November 6, 2017
On Monday, November 13, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will welcome
Dr. Hendrée Jones from UNC Chapel Hill to discuss strategies for improving health outcomes for women with opioid use disorder during pregnancy.
November 6, 2017
The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation’s (WCMS) Healthy Healer Program has been awarded a two-year grant from The Physicians Foundation to develop a replicable program for medical societies to address the growing trend of physician burnout.
November 3, 2017
WCMS is now offering confidential, voluntary peer to peer assistance for physicians flagged by the NCMB for opioid prescribing practices.