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June 23, 2019
What's Your Novel Payment Model Idea?
Our state’s hospitals and health systems continue to strive for new and different ways to transform care.

To support that work, your Maryland Hospital Association is leading the Stakeholder Innovation Group (SIG) which convened at the request of the Maryland Health Secretary Robert Neall. Part of the group’s work was the launch of the Innovations for Better Health website. This inventory demonstrates what we already knew: Hospitals and care providers are working together to innovate and advance health care for all Marylanders.

We are encouraged by the quality of the advances already in place and your eagerness to think differently about how we care for people in our communities. We also know there may be other improvements our hospitals and their care partners would like to undertake that require approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or the State of Maryland.

That is why last week we launched a solicitation for innovative payment models that hospitals and other provider groups would like to see implemented.

We’ve already received a handful of submissions and encourage you to submit yours by September 30 for consideration for the 2021 payment model launch date.

The SIG also will review all submissions and make recommendations to the Secretary’s Vision Group. Those that are approved will be submitted to CMS or the state agency having approval authority.

Your creativity and energy will be essential as we work to fulfill the promise of the Total Cost of Care Model.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
MHA Submits Comments on FY20 IRF PPS Proposed Rule
In its comment letter submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week, the Maryland Hospital Association sought further thought and consideration on the implications of the redistribution of case mix groups given their disparate impact on Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF). Additionally, MHA recommended a phased-in approach of the use of the proposed weighted motor score methodology. Given that IRF revenue would fluctuate unpredictably under the proposed rule, MHA asked CMS to aid IRFs through data-sharing to ensure proper planning for these reforms. Finally, MHA supported the proposed definition of “rehabilitation physician.”

MHA Contact: Neal Karkhanis , Director, Government Affairs
Senate Revises Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions released a revised version of the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 (S.1895) – bipartisan legislation focused on reducing health care costs. Most notably, the bill would hold patients harmless from surprise medical bills and use a benchmark rate to resolve payment disputes between plans and out-of-network providers. The American Hospital Association, Maryland Hospital Association (MHA), and hospital members support the committee members’ commitment to protect patients from surprise medical bills, along with proposals to invest in public health and health information technology, lower the price of prescriptions drugs, and improve maternal health outcomes. Hospitals do remain concerned with the benchmark payment rate for providers and provisions that may result in narrowing networks limiting access to care within the current proposal. Your MHA will continue to monitor this legislation and advocate for the hospital field’s priorities. The committee is expected to mark up the bill as early as June 26.
Registration Open For Md. Violence, Injury Prevention Forum
The Maryland Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program and the Partnership for a Safer Maryland will host the 2019 Maryland Violence and Injury Prevention Forum for those interested in or working on violence and injury prevention projects and programs. The forum will include presentations on shared risk factors and protective factors for injury prevention.

The one-day event will offer participants the opportunity to:

  • Engage with local and state leaders in injury and violence prevention initiatives, data and laws
  • Discuss various topics mentioned above in detail
  • Discover opportunities for collaboration across injury and violence prevention topic areas with peers and colleagues

When : June 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where : Greater Waldorf Jaycees, 3090 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601

Registration  is now open. For questions, contact Trisha Grob
Md. Joins Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
On July 1, Maryland will become one of more than 25 states participating in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). For a complete list of participating states, minimum applicant qualifications, and information on how to apply for licensure through the IMLC, visit the IMLC website .  MHA advocated for the compact as a pathway to strengthen the health care workforce and streamline the process for physicians to become licensed in multiple states, improving access to care. If you are a Maryland licensed physician who wants to apply for licensure in another compact state, you must also apply through the IMLC. For questions call 720-621-9464 or email  inquiry@imlcc.net .
Md. Hospital Opens Behavioral Health Emergency Department
Western Maryland Health System will officially open its latest addition, a Behavioral Health Emergency Department (BHED), this week. The new BHED will feature eight patient rooms constructed as a safe space for its occupants, as well as specialized equipment and an open nursing station allowing for therapeutic interaction with staff. All ages – including adolescents – will be eligible for admittance, and a protected entry system will separate the facility from the hospital’s emergency department. The new addition was built to provide a secure environment for care and treatment of patients with behavioral health emergencies, including opioid abuse and addiction issues.

Shamonda Braithwaite and Erin Dorrien, of the Maryland Hospital Association, attended a tour and ribbon cutting for the facility Friday.
AHA Releases Tools Aimed At Integrating Behavioral Health Care
The American Hospital Association Center for Health Innovation released a series of new tools for hospital and health system leaders focused on integrating behavioral health with physical health. They include:

  • A report examining the various ways health care systems can help address the issue of access to behavioral health services by better integrating behavioral health care into their physical health care operations. 
  • Questions for hospital and health system leadership teams to consider as they develop integration strategies to help achieve the goals of better care for patients and healthier communities.
  • An interactive map indicating behavioral health integration across several care settings, allowing organizations to benchmark against their peers.
  • On-demand webinars and podcasts of hospitals and health systems that are integrating behavioral health expand access and improve care in their communities.
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