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March 29, 2020
The Playbook: Trust
So many are saying there’s no playbook for what we’re going through right now. You know better.

You’re working nonstop according to the health emergency protocols that were prepared for situations of this sort. What you’re battling most are challenges created outside your control, like the faulty supply chain of PPE and testing materials and ventilators. 

Another thing you have in your playbook is this: When people are fearful, you are transparent and truthful.

We’re all seeing the misinformation and bizarre speculation flowing across social media. At MHA we’re flooded with questions from the traditional media that show deep misconceptions or simple ignorance. 
As we tamp down rumors and counteract falsehoods, we help the public and patients. It keeps people safe and limits the strain on the health care system.

Fortunately, hospitals and doctors are very trusted right now. A Gallup poll taken the week before last shows Americans overwhelmingly approve of the job hospitals are doing handling the response to the crisis: 88%. That’s above state governments (82%), elected federal leaders (60%), and the news media (44%). 

And a CBS/YouGov poll taken the same week found 88% of Americans trust medical/health professionals about what to do regarding the virus. That beats the CDC (82%), governors (66%), the president (44%), and social media/online sources (23%).

You’ve earned that approval and that trust. It’s one of our best weapons in the war against COVID-19.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
For a comprehensive list of resources, guidance for hospitals, and updates from MHA, go to mhaonline.org/coronavirus .
FEMA Guidance on Expense Reimbursement
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance can be found at fema.gov/coronavirus . On March 21, the federal government extended its 30-day filing window for the duration of the emergency. See FEMAs Public Assistance guidance and short summary of eligible emergency protective measures for reference.

MHA prepared this summary to capture expenses with general examples of one-time costs. For more information and questions, contact Brett McCone
HSCRC Approves Charging Structure for Telehealth and COVID-19 Lab Testing
The HSCRC approved charging structures for telehealth and COVID-19 lab testing . Though a charge structure for telehealth was approved, MHA continues to advocate for expanded coverage by insurance carriers of remotely delivered services including telephonic services. For more information or questions, contact Brett McCone or Maansi Raswant
MHA Hosting HR Executives Call This Week
MHA will host a conference call for hospital and health system human resources executives on March 31 to discuss HR challenges and strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. An attorney from Epstein Becker Green (EBG) is joining to help address legal matters. For more information or questions, contact Nicole Stallings or Brian Frazee .
AHA Launches 100 Million Masks Challenge to Aid Health Care Workers
The American Hospital Association announced a national initiative to secure millions of masks for health care workers, including physicians, nurses and caregivers treating COVID-19 patients and at greater risk due to the nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment. The effort will facilitate private sector partnerships to address these shortages in the fight against COVID-19.

MHA asked your PR leads for details on how you are handling donation requests and is looking for ways to support these efforts and streamline requests. For more information or questions, contact us at mha@mhaonline.org .
Register today for MHA’s Annual Membership Meeting, June 15-16 
Hospital Capital Bond Program 2020 Application Process Delayed
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the timeline for the application process for the Maryland Hospital Bond Program has been delayed. Application documents will be available to download April 24. MHA will host a webinar to review changes to the scoring criteria and guidelines April 22 at 1 p.m. To register, click here

Additional information is available here . For questions, contact Jane Krienke
Maryland Community Health Worker (CHW) Certification Updates
The deadline for community health workers (CHWs) to apply for certification based on experience has been suspended until 30 days after the state of emergency in Maryland has been terminated.
CHWs may continue to submit certification applications based on experience until 30 days after the state of emergency has been terminated in Maryland. The previous deadline of March 31 for CHWs to apply for certification based on experience is no longer in effect. CHWs also no longer need to request an extension to submit a certification application based on experience while this deadline suspension is in effect.

For more information or questions, contact the Maryland Department of Health CHW team at MDH.CHWApplications@maryland.gov .
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Maryland Hospital Association | www.mhaonline.org