January 27, 2019
Model Messaging
The new Total Cost of Care Model presents ambitious targets for hospitals and health systems. And as you well know, the hospital field cannot meet them alone.

That is why leaders in Annapolis and elsewhere must become fully informed about the model – its aims and the challenges our hospitals face – and how they can support your efforts.

Staff of your Maryland Hospital Association have worked diligently to spread the message. Last week I had the privilege to brief the full House of Delegates Health and Government Operations Committee; many members of the Appropriations Committee also attended.

Other presenters were Katie Wunderlich, executive director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, and Howard Haft, executive director of the Maryland Primary Care Program.

My message to the delegates was plain. The hospital field is committed to advancing the health of all Marylanders and to achieving goals under the model, including cost savings, quality improvement, and population health gains.

Together, the panel presented a unified message about the importance of the model and ways in which our elected state leaders could work with us to support its goals. I was encouraged by the higher-level questioning by the delegates, showing they are informed and engaged on this topic.

I’ll deliver a similar message this week to the Senate Finance Committee.

Before closing, I’ll note that the need for education isn’t confined to in-state stakeholders. The nation is watching us. Recently, a former colleague who works on national health policy matters told me the CEO of the nation’s largest health insurer said to her, “Maryland basically has a single-payer model.” Yikes!

That misconception of Maryland’s model shows there is still plenty more work to do.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
Analysis Shows Shared Physician Utilization Patterns (Splitters) in Md. Hospitals
Last week, the Maryland Hospital Association shared with MHA’s Medicare Performance Adjustment Work Group an analysis detailing how individual physicians’ utilization is shared across hospitals. The data show that hospitals in certain regions in Maryland may want to consider shared accountability under the Medicare Performance Adjustment. The analysis also identifies where hospitals in a region may want to coordinate their outreach and support to physicians in managing care. For more information or to see the full report, contact Traci La Valle , MHA Vice President, Rate Setting.
Atlas: Giving the Best Care to Mothers and Babies
Maryland is home to 32 birthing hospitals where 66,000 newborns arrive each year. In this commentary, Bob Atlas, President & CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, shares how Maryland’s hospitals are working to follow best practices to provide the best care possible to new families.

To listen to the full segment, click here .
Md. General Assembly Update
This week, the Maryland General Assembly continued holding briefings on topics of interest, including the Total Cost of Care Model. Maryland Hospital Association President & CEO Bob Atlas presented that briefing on a panel with Health Services Cost Review Commission Executive Director Katie Wunderlich and Maryland Primary Care Program Executive Director Howard Haft before the House Health & Government Operations Committee. Other briefings included the status of Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the state budget landscape, and Medicaid. Tuesday marked the deadline for bill requests, so we expect that a significant volume of legislation will be officially introduced soon. You can view MHA’s current bill status chart by clicking here
Workplace Violence Prevention Steering Committee Adopts Goals
The Workplace Violence Prevention Steering Committee, formed through a collaboration between the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and the Maryland Nurses Association (MNA), recently adopted a charter and established goals. The committee’s goals are to:

  • Build a comprehensive understanding of current hospital practices and policies to address workplace violence
  • Create clear guidance to help health care staff understand the legal process
  • Create a long-term work plan that will emphasize concrete actions to address key drivers of workplace violence

To address the initial goal around hospital practices and policies, in the upcoming months, MHA will request member organizations complete an online survey aimed at gathering information on current workplace violence prevention efforts. MHA will continue to update members on the work of the steering committee. The committee, which includes four representatives appointed by MHA and four appointed by MNA, began meeting in October.

MHA Contact: Erin Dorrien , Director, Policy & Data Analytics
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