January 26, 2020
Caring For Ourselves, So We Can Care For Others
It’s likely by now, nearly four weeks into 2020, that many of us already have given up on our New Year’s resolutions.

Those well-intentioned goals to eat better, work out more and invest more time and energy into our physical and mental well-being already have been replaced by stresses at work and home that make these new habits seem impossible to form.

Over the holidays, while eating at a Japanese restaurant in Easton with my family, I was reminded about the importance of prioritizing our own health—so that we are better equipped to care for others. That reminder came in the form of the teacup shown above this column (with my daughter in the background).

The messages are simple. Common sense. They resonated with me, as I hope it will with you. The decision to be healthy and make good choices for our own health are surprisingly simple.

As we start a new year, I’ll carry this reminder to take better care of myself, my family and my MHA team. As we work on your behalf, and as you work to care for all Marylanders, it’s important to take a step back and take care of yourselves too.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
How Do You Care For Maryland?
Thank you to all of our members who are participating in the #Caring4Md campaign. This week we’d like to share an opportunity for you to add the voices of your own employees. At your request, we created customizable graphics. You can insert your own photos and text into this social graphic to share how your own employees care for Maryland. Additional materials are available here . To learn more about how you can share your hospital’s story visit caring4md.org and continue to check this space weekly.
CDC: Coronavirus from China Reported in U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization continue to monitor a coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, and resulted in growing numbers of cases and deaths. The first, isolated, U.S. case was announced Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington state, and the CDC has since confirmed at least two other cases in the U.S. The American Hospital Association is providing updates and resources here . The Maryland Department of Health issued a clinician letter last week, which can be found here . In it, MDH offers guidelines on identification, reporting and infection prevention and control for the outbreak. Additional details and resources may be found in this CDC Health Alert Network notification at emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00426.asp
HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (N-PEP) Pilot Program-Interim Guidance
The Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) released interim guidance on the HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (n-PEP) pilot program, which went into effect October 1. Under the law, the state is required to cover the cost of the full course of n-PEP treatment (28 days) for victims of sexual assault that meet clinical guidelines for receiving n-PEP.
Depending on your infrastructure, the state can cover the cost of n-PEP in a variety of ways:

  • A qualified health care provider (hospitals, pharmacies) can dispense the full course of treatment (28 days) to the patient at the time of discharge and submit appropriate documentation to the state for reimbursement
  • With consent, a patient can use their insurance to cover the cost of the medication, however any co-payment or out of pocket cost must be billed to the state. Qualifying patients cannot be billed for this medication
  • Patients who meet certain criteria can apply for assistance through a pharmaceutical manufacturer’s patient assistance program

It is important to note that the final state guidance is forthcoming. If your hospital dispenses the medication directly to a patient, then you are eligible to submit for reimbursement as outlined in the attached guidance. If your hospital is unable to dispense the full course of medication, contact Barbara Darley with GOCCP’s Sexual Assault Reimbursement Unit.

Additional information is available here and here .
Annapolis Update
This week, your MHA team met with several key legislators regarding priority issues as bills continue to be introduced and bill hearings begin to be scheduled. The week began with a fiscal briefing from the Department of Legislative Services to the budget committees regarding Governor Hogan’s fiscal year 2021 proposed budget and the overall state budget landscape moving forward. A briefing on network adequacy and parity was held in the House Health & Government Operations Committee, and MHA supported a peace order bill that seeks to address concerns regarding workplace violence. For a full list of bills MHA is tracking, please click here .
National Group Buys Program Offers Savings for MHA Members 
Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) members are eligible for Vizient’s National Group Buys through MHA Prime. The program offers opportunities for members to realize substantial savings and enhanced contract value on select products and services. To date, Vizient’s capital equipment group buys have saved members more than $421 million. Group buys are available in 45 major categories, including biomedical engineering, imaging, business office, cardiology, laboratory, central supply, emergency room, medical records, and surgery. For more information contact your MHA Prime Client Executives: Joy Money at 240-856-3303 or Diane Bruno at 410-790-8031.
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