May 27, 2019
Addressing the Behavioral Health Crisis
May is Mental Health Month. Though we in health care don’t need a designated month to know that our nation — and our state — is in a behavioral health crisis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in 2016, one in six 12-17-year-olds was diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in six children aged 2-8 had a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data reveal that only 43% of the 44.7 million adults with any mental health disorder received treatment, and just 11% of 19.9 million adults with a substance use disorder received treatment.

MHA continues to prioritize behavioral health. Our Behavioral Health Task Force convenes member representatives to work on collective action and guide our policy advocacy.

Last week, the task force was joined by community providers to discuss next steps in building a statewide referral system. Participants described local projects — primarily those that use technology or brief case management to facilitate referrals between medical and social service providers. MHA staff released a directory of some of the resources available to support Marylanders having behavioral health needs.

You’ll recall that our task force in 2017 issued a roadmap for the behavioral health care delivery system in Maryland. More recently, MHA:

There is still more we can do. MHA will continue to work with the hospital field and behavioral care partners to improve the behavioral health story in Maryland.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
MHA Supports Proposal To Consolidate Market Shift Measurement
The Maryland Hospital Association supports a proposal by the Health Services Cost Review Commission’s staff to consolidate market shift measurement and to study the annual Demographic Adjustment. In a comment letter sent May 22, MHA Senior Vice President of Health Care Payment Brett McCone writes that the changes will make the policy more simple and predictable.
MHA Releases Tools to Boost Patient Experience
The Maryland Hospital Association recently released findings from a five-hospital pilot program aimed at re-energizing teams to continue to improve patient experience. Each member hospital that participated in this pilot program visited a peer hospital and hosted a one-day site visit for another peer hospital. Through the program, peers offered guidance, support, and fresh perspectives on what works and on opportunities to improve patient experience.
Findings from the program and useful tools and resources were shared during an event on May 17. Two tools from the program are available here and here .
MHA Contact: Nora Hoban , Senior Vice President, Strategic Analytics
MHEI Offers Leadership Development Program For Physicians
Registration is open for the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute’s fall Practice of Leadership program for physicians. The sessions — in September, October, November and December — are focused on preparing physicians for the complex role of leading groups of individuals responsible for accomplishing critical strategic goals within constantly changing organizations. Details can be found here , and a recent MHEI blog post on this topic can be found here . For questions and registration details, contact Alison Burrows .
MEEHP Advisory Group Seeks Members
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is seeking applications for the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program (MEEHP) Advisory Group. The program, signed into law May 13 by Governor Larry Hogan, will use the tax filing process to help enroll uninsured Marylanders into health coverage offered through Medicaid or private health insurance carriers. The advisory group will guide the development of the MEEHP, including assessing whether the state should implement an individual responsibility amount or automatic enrollment of individuals in a qualified health plans.

To apply, fill out an application and email it to  mhbe.policy@maryland.gov  by June 13.
ED Discharge Delay Study Wrapping Up
The Maryland Hospital Association’s behavioral health emergency department delay survey is wrapping up May 31. The data — 3,700 entries so far — will help identify factors that contribute to discharge delays for this population. This work, which builds off an inpatient discharge delay study completed earlier this year, further explores why patients are delayed in moving from the ED to the appropriate care setting. We expect the data to be available in the coming months, and MHA will use it to inform the work of the Behavioral Health Task Force.
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