April 7, 2019
Public Health Challenges
Maryland’s hospitals embrace an innovative, far-reaching model of health care delivery that holds the promise to keep people healthier and reduce the overall cost of providing care for all.

To help meet these goals, the state’s hospitals work to address the causes of poor health and disease risk in our communities, which often are rooted in how and where we live, learn, work, and play.

National Public Health Week , which ends today, offers an opportunity to consider our most pressing community health challenges:

  • An estimated one in five Marylanders suffers from mental health and substance use disorders.

  • With one of every eight Marylanders affected, we face a virtual obesity epidemic which contributes to a wide range of health problems — such as heart disease, joint problems, some cancers, and diabetes.

  • Violence plagues our communities, causing physical harm to some and traumatizing secondary victims, often children.

Maryland’s hospitals work year-round to tackle these challenges — partnering with state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. The goal: healthy communities everywhere.

When people do need health care, hospitals are working to make it more affordable and accessible. And, our hospitals and doctors and nurses are treating the whole person.

But hospitals and clinicians cannot do this all on their own. Keeping people healthy takes steady commitment from other stakeholders, like state and local governments, the education system, health insurers, nursing and assisted living centers, and individuals and families themselves.

Let’s all work together to build a healthier Maryland.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
Maryland General Assembly Update
Tomorrow is the final day of the 2019 Legislative Session and your MHA team spent last week wrapping up several priority legislative issues in Annapolis. For information on bills MHA has tracked this session, click here . Members will soon be receiving several 2019 session wrap-up materials:
  • 2019 Legislature: Hospital Post-Session Action Plan (a synopsis of relevant legislation that may require action to remain in compliance with new laws). These bills have passed the legislature and the governor has until May 28 to sign or veto them.
  • 2019 Legislature: Legislative Summary (a summary of all health care bills of interest that passed the legislature).
  • 2019 Legislature: PowerPoint Presentation (tailor this to your needs as you discuss the legislative session with your board, staff, public, and others).
Md. General Assembly Passes "Blueprint for Maryland's Future"
Last week, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation implementing recommendations from the Innovation and Excellence in Education Commission, also known as the Kirwan Commission. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future mandates a $355 million investment in public education in fiscal year 2021 and $500 million in FY 2022. This is in addition to the $255 million provided in the state’s FY 2020 budget. The new funding will primarily be allocated for increasing teacher pay, expanding prekindergarten, and establishing community schools, which provide social and health services for families in high-poverty areas throughout Maryland. MHA has been highlighting key linkages between health care and education under the new Total Cost of Care Model as the Kirwan Commission efforts continue to progress.
RALI Announces New Partnership
MHA is a proud member of the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI), which recently announced a new partnership with the Prescription Drug Safety Network to teach Maryland high school students about the risks of misusing medication. For more information on this effort, click here . RALI is also planning to highlight member efforts for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 27. If you would like your hospital’s Take Back Day plans to be highlighted in this effort, please send the information to Brian Frazee, Vice President of Government Affairs, at bfrazee@mhaonline.org
AHA Offers Webinar Series on Bundled Payments
The American Hospital Association Center for Health Innovation is offering a series of webinars entitled “Bundled Payment: Learning in Action.” These events are valuable for any hospital enrolled in the Episode Care Improvement Program, those who have submitted letters of Intent to join ECIP on July 1, or those still contemplating building an ECIP program in 2020. For more information click here .

As a reminder to members who have submitted a LOI for participation beginning July 1, CRISP is offering the following webinar series:
Health Benefit Exchange Work Group Considers Affordability, Exchange Plan Certification
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange’s (MHBE) Affordability Work Group met for the second time Friday. The group heard from national experts on incentivizing insurers to make investments in primary health and the pros and cons of standardizing benefit design. The work group will make recommendations in a report to the MHBE’s Board of Commissioners to help guide the agency’s work affordability and exchange plan certification standards over the next few years. For more information contact Maansi Raswant , Vice President of Policy at the Maryland Hospital Association.
MHA Task Force to Study Discharge Delays in EDs
The Maryland Hospital Association’s (MHA) Behavioral Health Task Force is launching a study of emergency room discharge delays for behavioral health patients. 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. Previous work in this area has already helped to influence the state’s progress on long-stay patients through the Secretary’s Vision Group. For more information or to participate in the study, contact Erin Dorrien , Director of Policy.
AHA Seeks Candidates for Board of Trustees
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is asking for assistance to help recruit top candidates for its Board of Trustees. AHA is seeking volunteers for its:
  • Committee on Governance: a national committee comprised of trustee leaders
  • Regional Policy Boards: regional committees comprised of CEOs, physicians and trustees
The AHA Invitation for Trustee Involvement and the AHA Trustee Involvement Application provide more information for interested applicants. The application deadline is May 23.
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. 
National Group Buys Program Offers Savings for MHA Members
Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) members are eligible for Vizient’s National Group Buys through MHA Prime. The program offers opportunities for members to realize substantial savings and enhanced contract value on select products and services. To date, Vizient’s capital equipment group buys have saved members more than $421 million. Group buys are available in 45 major categories, including biomedical engineering, imaging, business office, cardiology, laboratory, central supply, emergency room, medical records, and surgery. For more information contact your MHA Prime Client Executives: Joy Money at 240-856-3303 or Diane Bruno at 410-790-8031.
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