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February 2, 2020
A Model for the Nation
Maryland’s hospitals and health systems are getting it right. More validation keeps rolling in. The message is resonating in Annapolis, where it really counts.

Last week I briefed the House Health and Government Operations Committee on the Maryland Model, alongside representatives of HSCRC and the Maryland Primary Care Program. There, I touched on our progress and showcased the great care your organizations deliver every day.

I also pointed to a recent Vox article , “The answer to America’s health care cost problem might be in Maryland,” which featured some of your hospitals.

That piece and its underlying message—our global hospital budget system is working—resonated with legislators, including some who shared the article with their followers online (depicted above).

This piece follows a positive evaluation of the Maryland All-Payer Model by RTI International. During a January webinar on the findings, evaluators pointed out that Maryland met its goals by transforming care—setting us apart from our counterparts nationwide.

The Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard released by Altarum Healthcare Value Hub, ranked Maryland one of two top states in health care affordability outcomes and policy efforts.
Legislators clearly like hearing about our success. But they do also express concerns about some reports on quality and patient satisfaction. MHA staff, in partnership with your own representatives, steadily assure them you’re listening and working hard to deliver peak performance.

With your continued efforts, creativity and problem-solving, we know we’ll have many more positive stories to tell. 
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
#Caring4Md Focus on Behavioral Health
This week we have several new social media graphics (access here ) for your hospitals to share on their social media channels. You’ll notice that some of the graphics will be grouped in themes, including this week’s focus on behavioral health . We know that behavioral health needs are a continued focus for your organizations, and these graphics shine a light on your work and some challenges you face in ensuring these vulnerable patients receive the right care in the right settings. To view all of the #Caring4Md graphics we’ve shared through the course of the campaign, click here .

Above, you’ll also see a highlight video from last month’s legislative breakfast in Annapolis, which most of your organizations were represented at.

Thank you again for participating in the #Caring4Md campaign, and let us know if you have ideas or questions on how to be a part of this message.
Coronavirus Declared Global Emergency
The World Health Organization last week declared the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to be a global emergency as the outbreak continued to spread worldwide and the U.S. confirmed the first person-to-person transmission.

In Maryland, our hospitals’ emergency preparedness teams that shored up their preparation, training and education amid the Ebola outbreak in 2014 are putting similar practices into place in response to the Wuhan virus. Since the outbreak has been concentrated in China, where it is believed to have originated, hospitals and ambulatory sites are prepared to ask patients if they recently have visited China—as they did with nations affected by Ebola.

Hospitals continue to take cues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health, which has issued regular advisories since the outbreak was discovered.
Hospitals also work with four coalitions that encourage and support interagency cooperation among hospitals, emergency medical services and other groups that would be affected by a more widespread outbreak in Maryland.

Long-term, hospitals should expect disruption to their supply chains as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as some medical equipment, including surgical masks are manufactured in China.
The American Hospital Association is hosting a call February 3 at noon with Michael Bell, M.D., deputy director of Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion in the CDC’s National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases. The call will include advice for hospitals and health systems on how they should be preparing.

AHA members must register for the call by clicking here . You will receive a confirmation email once you register. If you need assistance registering, please contact Markisha Redwood at mredwood@aha.org
Annapolis Update
With the Senate bill introduction deadline on Friday and the House deadline this Friday, your MHA team is reviewing hundreds of bills to determine any potential impact to the hospital field. Last week, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee held a hearing on the Life Care Act of 2020 with several members testifying in support. Additionally, MHA President & CEO Bob Atlas presented at a Total Cost of Care Briefing before the House Health & Government Operations Committee (other presentations here ). Several priority bill hearings will be held in the coming weeks. For more information on bills MHA is tracking, click here .
MHA Presents to American Hospital Association’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council
Last week, MHA staff presented to the American Hospital Association’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council on Maryland’s recently released human trafficking guidelines . Members of the advisory council include experts from national and international organizations, such as HEAL Trafficking and Jones Day. MHA shared how the guidelines were developed as well as next steps for Maryland’s hospitals. This week all Chief Medical Officers will receive a letter asking for commitment, at some level, to voluntarily adopt the guidelines. Adoption of these recommendations will move Maryland forward in developing a statewide, champion-based response to human trafficking. MHA will also host a member call on Thursday morning to review the guidelines, the commitment letter and answer any questions.  
MHA to Host First Combined HCIP & ECIP User Group
MHA will host the first combined user group, bringing together hospitals participating in either Care Redesign Program, the Hospital Care Improvement Program, the Episode Care Improvement Program, or both. The meeting will be held at MHA (6820 Deerpath Road, Elkridge) Wednesday February 5 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. RSVP to Pat Ross pross@mhaonline.org .

hMetrix will also host two opportunities for ECIP participants to learn about the new ECIP Management Interface on:

  • February 18, 10-11 a.m. Register here
  • February 21, 3-4 p.m. Register here
Plant-Forward Menus: Strategies and Case Studies Webinar
Whether because of health, environmental, ethical, or taste reasons, consumers are increasingly asking for more plant-forward menus. For the health of our patients, our planet, and our bottom lines, the health care sector has a role. Join a free webinar with experts from leading environmental and health organizations who will make the case for healthy, climate-friendly menus, share concrete strategies and successful case studies from hospitals in our region, and provide resources that will equip you to accelerate the shift toward plant-forward menus at your institution. Friday, February 14, noon-1 p.m., Register here .
Recent Initiatives Related to Maryland’s Individual Insurance Market
Earlier this week, MHA participated in a Maryland Citizens Health Initiative event to promote Maryland’s Easy Enrollment Program. The program will allow individuals to indicate if they would like the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to reach out to them and share information on affordable health insurance options. More information is available on the  MHBE website . The MHBE will host a webinar February 5 at 2 p.m. to boost community awareness of the program (to join by phone, dial  +1 470-228-6181  PIN: ‪ 107 689 498 #).
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Maryland Hospital Association | www.mhaonline.org