Newsroom

AMA Letter to Senate Leadership on Cassidy-Graham Amendment

September 19, 2017

The attached letter was sent to the Senate leadership today, expressing the AMA’s opposition to the Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson Amendment to H.R. 1628, the “American Health Care Act of 2017.”  The legislation does not meet the principles for health system reform that the AMA shared with Congress on the first day of the 2017 legislative session.  In particular, it would result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage, further destabilize the health insurance marketplace, undermine the health care safety net provided by Medicaid, and jeopardize important insurance reforms such as guaranteed issue and the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions and benefit caps.

To take advantage of the preferred procedural rules provided for budget reconciliation bills that would allow passage by the Senate with a simple majority, the legislation must be passed by September 30.  House passage could be delayed until after that deadline, but no changes could be made.  A Congressional Budget Office estimate of the amendment’s impact is expected early next week; due to time constraints, it is not expected to include estimated impacts on coverage or other important details.

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2017 Recipient of the Dr. Brian Ling Memorial Scholarship Selected

September 15, 2017

WCMS is pleased to announce that Asheville High School student Justin Sech has been awarded the scholarship. Justin is an excellent student eager to continue his education and well-deserving of this award.

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Public Health Provider Alert From BCHHS: Updated Guidance on Care of Pregnant Women With Possible Zika Exposure

September 15, 2017

This memo is intended to provide updated guidance on Zika virus testing and caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure.

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Submission from NCRHLA on Proposed Design for Medicaid Managed Care

September 13, 2017

The North Carolina Rural Health Leadership Alliance (NCRHLA), a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, appreciates this opportunity to submit feedback ont he North Carolina Proposed Program Design for Medicaid Managed Care. 

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NC Medicaid Comments Submission by NCMS

September 12, 2017

On behalf of the more than 12,000 physician and physician assistant members of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS), we respectfully submit these comments on the Proposed Plan Design for NC Medicaid.

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Vaya, MAHEC Make Opioid Overdose-Reversal Kits Available to Buncombe County Schools

September 6, 2017

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 NARCAN® 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.

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State-Funded Rural Training Provides More Doctors in Underserved WNC Counties

August 30, 2017

Five MAHEC Family Medicine Residency graduates are currently participating in yearlong fellowships through MAHEC in rural locations, where they plan to stay and practice upon completion.

Paulette Doiron, MD, and Kelly Garcia, MD, began their Maternal Child Health Fellowships at Haywood Health Center in Waynesville this past July. Winona Houser, MD, started her Rural Family Medicine Fellowship at Cherokee Indian Hospital in early August. Jessica White, MD, will begin her Rural Family Medicine Fellowship on September 4 and will see patients at Celo Health Center in Yancey County and Bakersville Community Health Center sites in Spruce Pine and Bakersville in Mitchell County. Robyn Restrepo, MD, also a Rural Family Medicine Fellow, began practicing in Highlands on August 21, 2017

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BCHHS Public Health: Infections Associated With Tattoos by Unpermitted Tattoo Artists

August 30, 2017

Clinicians are encouraged to take the following actions when caring for an individual with a recent tattoo:

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MedServe Fellows Can Help You and Your Practice Thrive!

August 29, 2017

WCMS strives to keep our members “in the know” when it comes to valuable resources for our members! When we learned about MedServe, a unique educational pipeline program created by UNC Medical School graduates, we knew it was something that we wanted to share with you.

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Medicaid Opioid Safety Policies

August 28, 2017

Medicaid will implement new Prior Authorization policies for safe prescribing of opioid analgesics beginning August 27, 2017.

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From the APHA: Administration Shows Disregard for Research, Preference for Anti-Evidence Policy

August 28, 2017

In the first half of this week, the Trump administration has shown a disregard for science and evidence when it comes to the environment and safeguarding health.

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New MAHEC Residency Will Address Critical Shortage of Psychiatrists in WNC

August 28, 2017

Rural Western North Carolinians should have better access to mental health support over the next few years thanks to a new, state-funded Psychiatry Residency at MAHEC that started on July 1, 2017.

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Medicaid Reform White Paper

August 10, 2017

On August 8 2017, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released its detailed proposed program design for Medicaid Managed Care. The proposed program design (pdf) and supporting materials can be found here. 

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Opioid and Pain CME Opportunities and Project ECHO for Medication Assisted Treatment

August 8, 2017

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.

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From the AMA: MACRA/QPP Pick your pace and new resources

August 4, 2017

The AMA continues to hear from 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.

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