May 19, 2019
A Fresh Perspective on Patient Experience
Maryland’s hospitals have steadily raised their patient experience scores. And, while our hospitals are improving faster than the nation, it has not been enough to close the gap. Delivering a consistently positive experience to all patients remains a challenge.

That is why MHA launched a pilot program with five hospitals aimed at re-energizing your teams to continue to improve patient experience. Each member hospital that participated in this pilot program visited a peer hospital and hosted a one-day site visit for another peer hospital. Through the program, peers offered guidance, support, and fresh perspectives on what works and on opportunities to improve patient experience.

Findings from the program and useful tools and resources were showcased during MHA’s Patient Experience Shared Learnings Conference last Friday.

Pilot participants shared use of data that supports improvement rather than data overload, effective rounding techniques that engage patients as well as software that support these efforts, and organizational structures that support hospitals’ focus and alignment on select goals rather than too many. 

Hospital participants identified their next steps including use of the staff engagement tools provided and interest in participating in the peer-to-peer program, and refocus on rounding and use of data.

We will share outputs in this newsletter in the coming weeks.

Not surprising, a key to success and sustaining performance is leadership support at the highest levels. Also needed is engagement of staff beyond those on the front lines with patients.

We’ll continue to bring you resources and tools to help you improve patient experience and provide effective platforms to encourage shared learning.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
MHA Comments on HSCRC Draft Update
The Maryland Hospital Association submitted a comment letter May 13 on behalf of the hospital field to the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) requesting the HSCRC raise this year’s proposed update by 0.33%. This modest increase allows transformation to be expanded under the Total Cost of Care Model. HSCRC staff recommend a total revenue increase of 3.56%, or 3.25% per capita for global budget hospitals, and a rate increase of 2.46% for those not under global budgets. For additional information, please contact Brett McCone, bmccone@mhaonline.org , or Mike Robbins, mrobbins@mhaonline.org .
AHA Highlights Sinai Hospital's Efforts to Improve Maternal Health
In testimony before the US House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee May 16, the American Hospital Association shared how some hospitals are making strides to improve maternal health, including overcoming racial disparities and addressing social determinants of health. Among the hospitals AHA highlighted as leaders in this area was Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. The hospital launched a Perinatal Depression Outreach Program in 2003 to improve infant and maternal well-being through the identification and treatment of maternal health struggles. The program provides free services to high-risk mothers who may otherwise not have access to care.
Changes To Measurement of Potentially Avoidable Utilization
At the most recent meeting of the Health Services Cost Review Commission's (HSCRC) Performance Measurement Work Group, HSCRC staff shared their planned recommendations on Potentially Avoidable Utilization for fiscal year 2020 and an early look at fiscal 2021 (calendar 2019 performance). The fiscal 2020 recommendation is part of the annual update recommendation, Appendix A .

Staff plans to remove the protection that capped the reduction for hospitals with a high Medicaid share, align the readmission measure with the Readmissions Reduction Improvement Program, and remove PQI-02 Perforated Appendix. The HSRC’s preliminary calculation of the fiscal 2019 impact is available here .

Larger changes are anticipated for the performance period that began in January. For fiscal 2021, HSCRC plans to measure PQIs on a population basis following the MPA attribution for the Medicare population, and add Pediatric PQIs. For all payers other than Medicare, PQIs will be assigned based on the residence of the patient. Population denominators will be distributed according to the geographic method used in the MPA. HSCRC staff is working with CRISP to begin reporting the PQIs according to population through the CRS portal.
The work group will hold a final meeting of this cycle on June 18 from 9:30 a.m. to noon to review the Medicare Performance Adjustment and HSCRC’s summer priorities related to future quality strategy.
Leapfrog Ratings Released
The semiannual release of the Leapfrog Safety Grades was published publicly Wednesday. The single letter grades assigned to hospitals are intended to represent overall performance in patient safety and quality. For the Spring 2019 update, a quarter of Maryland’s hospitals received an “A” rating, and more than half received an “A” or a “B”. The distribution among Maryland hospitals for this release compared to the last is shown below, and available talking points can be found here .
Commission To Study Mental and Behavioral Health Begins Work
During the 2019 Maryland General Assembly’s legislative session, Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order establishing a Commission to Study Mental and Behavioral Health in Maryland. The group, chaired by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, now has begun its work and plans to schedule four public regional meetings. It also has established four subcommittees to focus on specific topics.
Below are the upcoming meetings, where members are encouraged to offer comments. Additional details can be found here .
  • Finance and Funding Subcommittee
May 28 at noon
Conference Call
Call-In Number: 1 657-845-2423; PIN: 847387760#
  • The next full commission regional meeting is:

May 29 at 5 p.m.
Prince George’s Community College, Room TBA
301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774
U.S. News & World Report ranks Maryland the
8th best state for health care.
This ranking is based on three benchmarks,
where Maryland fell:
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