March 17, 2019
MHA Evolves With Health Care Landscape
Last week we announced our esteemed colleague, Mike Robbins, will retire on June 30. Until that date, Mike will continue to lead all efforts on matters related to the Health Services Cost Review Commission.

We are fully prepared to continue our high-energy regulatory advocacy work beyond Mike’s transition. Moreover, your changing needs have spurred us to alter our staff structure. We are strengthening our focus on quality and health improvement, efficiency in total costs of care, and the widening uses of data in health care management.

These four units will now serve MHA member hospitals and health systems:

  • Health Care Payment - Global budgets, annual update, Total Cost of Care model, capital funding, price transparency, uncompensated care.
  • Strategic Analytics - Analytics for MHA’s advocacy, performance improvement, and quality efforts; health trends research; and health data strategy.
  • Quality & Health Improvement - Quality-based payment programs and quality improvement; population health, health equity, and behavioral health.
  • Government Affairs & Policy - State and federal advocacy; policy engagement on issues other than payment such as coverage, access, and workforce.

I’m pleased to announce the promotions of Traci La Valle to SVP, Quality & Health Improvement, and Brett McCone to SVP, Health Care Payment. They both will continue to work under Mike’s direction through June. Nora Hoban and Nicole Stallings are our SVPs in charge of Strategic Analytics and Government Affairs & Policy, respectively.

These internal changes will not affect most of your interactions with MHA. Just know that your association is advancing to help you lead the coming changes in health care.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
Commissioners Raise Concerns With Draft MPA Efficiency Adjustment Policy
As part of this month’s public commission meeting, commissioners raised concerns with the staff proposal to implement a Medicare Performance Adjustment Efficiency Component (originally MPA Efficiency Adjustment) policy, designed to adjust Medicare payments on a semi-annual basis to achieve the $300 million in Total Cost of Care (TCOC) savings required under the TCOC model by the end of calendar year 2023. Other items addressed by commissioners have been included in this month’s edition of Newsbreak .
Atlas: How Hospitals Care For the Community
Maryland’s hospitals are proud to make investments that improve the health of our communities. In this WYPR commentary , Maryland Hospital Association President & CEO Bob Atlas discusses a few of these important services, including programs that support vulnerable and underserved people, financial or in-kind support of public health programs — including the management of chronic diseases like diabetes — and contributions to community health priorities, such as curbing obesity and addressing substance abuse.
Webinar: Creating a Safety Culture
The American Hospital Association will host a free webinar April 10 focused on creating a safety culture to achieve high reliability in health care. David Feldman, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Hospitals Insurance Company, will review the necessary ingredients for such a change using the operating room as a typical, and challenging, example. Four key topics will be reviewed: creating a respectful environment as the prerequisite for any culture change; changing the “people” culture using TeamSTEPPS emphasizing advanced techniques including observation and feedback of teamwork skills; changing the “system” by focusing on concepts in human factors engineering; and creating a Just Culture stressing the role of leadership in creating the balanced approach to a punitive v. blame-free culture.
Maryland General Assembly Update
Last week, the Maryland General Assembly was busy working to meet tomorrow’s crossover deadline, which is the day by which each chamber must send to the other chamber bills it intends to pass favorably. After the Department of Legislative Services recommended delaying the entire $40-million Medicaid Deficit Assessment reduction from Governor Larry Hogan’s budget, the House of Delegates provided a $20 million and the Senate provided a $25 million reduction in the assessment in their respective versions of the state budget. Your Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) will advocate for the budget conference committee to adopt the Senate position of a $25 million reduction in the state’s fiscal year 2020 budget. MHA’s  Certificate of Need bill  was voted favorably out of the House Health & Government Operations and Senate Finance Committees, and MHA testified in support of the  Life Care Act  of 2019. MHA is also working to amend a bill that requires hospitals to provide patients with oral or written notice of an outpatient facility fee. For more information on bills MHA is tracking, click here .
Bond Program Application Process Opening, Webinar Scheduled
The 2019 Maryland Hospital Association Hospital Bond Program application process will open on March 29. The Hospital Bond Program provides an opportunity to apply for state allocated funding to complete private capital projects. Hospitals applying for funding under this program must request the appropriate approvals/exemptions from both the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) and Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) no later than April 26. Additional information and application documents will be available soon on MHA’s website. If you have questions, please contact  Brett McCone Jennifer Witten , or  Jane Krienke . MHA will host a webinar that provides an overview of the 2019 Hospital Bond Program on March 25 at 10:30 a.m. Please contact Jane Krienke for more details and to register.
Save the Date: MHA's 2019 Annual Membership Meeting
Registration is now open for your Maryland Hospital Association’s 2019 Annual Membership Meeting. An evening reception is scheduled for June 10, and the general session is scheduled for June 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The keynote speaker for the event is Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, and Adam Boehler, senior adviser to the Secretary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, also will be featured.
Study of home health care found:
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