March 1, 2020
Mid-Session Reflection
A longtime Annapolis insider recently remarked that in nearly three decades of experience, he’s never seen so many bills aimed at hospitals.

They’re challenging us on how we run our hospitals, care for and bill our patients, and deliver community benefit. The narrative is often negative—and often far off base. Opponents misconstrue data to deliver an unflattering blow to our field.

MHA is combatting the specific threats. We appreciate the great partnership of many of your government affairs representatives. And we’re resetting the tone generally, in part through the #Caring4Md campaign many of your hospitals have joined. We are changing hearts and minds in Annapolis and beyond.

We also are playing offense with proposals to strengthen your workforce, improve care for behavioral health patients, and rescue our state’s medical liability climate—all priorities the field adopted to advance your mission of care. Our loan repayment and emergency department diversion bills are advancing. Liability reform proposals are getting legislative acknowledgement we haven’t seen in some time.

As we enter the final weeks of a tumultuous session, we appreciate your continued engagement. It’s been noted that hospitals are delivering a unified message in Annapolis—strengthening the impact of our collective voice
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
MDH Healthcare Facility PPE Assessment
As state preparations commence for potential coronavirus infections, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is holding weekly conference calls and working to assess readiness. Part of this planning includes gathering a global view of personal protective equipment (PPE). If your organization has not responded, please take the survey to assess statewide PPE assets and gaps. If you have any questions, contact Bernadette Eichman or Sara Barra .
Have You Joined the #Caring4Md Conversation?
Maryland hospitals and your employees are truly part of our state’s communities. Over the last week we buoyed the many face-to-face legislative meetings with #Caring4Md messages showcasing how you support patients beyond their health care needs with social support, transportation, housing, food security, and more.

To further help legislators understand your efforts, we’re looking for financial counselors, social workers, or others who have moving experiences they can share related to assisting patients and their families with financial burdens. Please contact us if you have a wonderful employee or news to highlight.

To join the conversation, use the social media material found here . And, be sure to read the great hospital stories from across the state.
SIG Emergency Medical Services Subgroup Meets
MHA hosted the second meeting of the Stakeholder Innovation Group (SIG) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) subgroup on Monday February 24 th . The EMS subgroup was formed to discuss the potential of expanding an innovative program available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to all payers in Maryland. The group heard a proposal from the Health Services Cost Review Commission creating a voluntary global budget program for EMS. The group will meet one more time on April 17. For more information contact Erin Dorrien .
Learn More About HSCRC EQIP
MHA is hosting a learning session on the Episode Quality Improvement Program (EQIP). EQIP is a proposal the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) is recommending to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. The program, set for a January 2021 launch, allows for certain non-hospital providers to participate in risk-sharing arrangements not currently available in Maryland—in much the same way as the national Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced program. At this meeting HSCRC will detail the proposal and answer questions including how this program will interact with the current Episode Care Improvement Program.

The meeting will be March 2 at 10 a.m. at MHA’s office, 6820 Deerpath Road, Elkridge, Md. R.S.V.P. to Pat Ross .
CRISP Hosts Training on Public Health Dashboard 
The public health dashboard can help users assess community health and examine conditions of public health interest. Users can analyze Maryland hospital utilization and filter on metrics of interest, including demographics, conditions, geography, payer type, and utilization type. The dashboard hosts two interactive maps of Maryland to drill down further into utilization by county or ZIP code. Trending and hospital claim service line analysis are also accessible. To access this new report, get more information contact support@crisphealth.org .
CRISP also will host a webinar to help navigate the public health dashboard:

Medicare Denies Maryland’s Request for Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program

Maryland officials received an unfavorable response from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to receive reimbursement for the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) when deployed virtually to Medicare beneficiaries. Maryland sought the waiver in alignment with the statewide priority of reducing the impact of diabetes on Marylanders. Maryland Medicaid reimburses DPP providers for beneficiaries’ virtual participation in the program.
Annapolis Update
LARP: Susan Lawrence, Dr. Bruce Jarrell, Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, Nicole Stallings and Erin Dorrien

Last week, the Budget Reconciliation & Financing Act was heard in both chambers. MHA expressed support for the Medicaid Deficit Assessment reduction and the $400,000 allocated for the Loan Assistance & Repayment Program (LARP). MHA also testified in support of enhancing LARP for physicians and physicians’ assistants before the House Appropriations Committee. 

A bill requiring implicit bias training for perinatal providers was heard this week. As an important step in reducing disparities in maternal health outcomes, MHA testified in support on the bill sponsor’s panel.
MHA also testified on legislation regarding medical debt and hospital financial assistance policies on behalf of the hospital field.
MHA’s legislation to expand access points for behavioral health patients beyond hospital emergency departments passed the Senate unanimously and is now awaiting action in the House.
For more information on bills MHA is tracking, please click here .

Implicit Bias: Jane Krienke, Dr. Stacy Garrett-Ray, and Donna Jacobs
Nominate a Health Care Hero
The Daily Record is calling for nominations for its Health Care Heroes awards . MHA is an event partner for the awards, which honor organizations and individuals who have made an impact on the quality of health care in Maryland. Nominations are due March 4. For more information and to fill out a nomination form or application, click here
National Group Buys Program Offers Savings for MHA Members 
MHA members are eligible for Vizient’s National Group Buys through MHA Prime. The program offers opportunities to realize substantial savings and enhanced contract value on select products and services. To date, Vizient’s capital equipment group buys have saved hospitals 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  
Want to receive your Toward Better Health
newsletter via text message?
Click here to sign up.
Maryland Hospital Association | www.mhaonline.org