February 3, 2019
State of Health Care
Maryland is a national leader in health care, Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed during Wednesday’s State of the State address.

He held up Maryland’s success under its unique health care financing model against what he described as the health care failures at the federal level.

Governor Hogan also praised our state’s efforts to stabilize the insurance markets, stop steep hikes in insurance rates, and protect coverage for many Marylanders.

We are pleased that Governor Hogan highlighted the pioneering efforts by Maryland’s health care field in his address before both chambers of the General Assembly.

We’re also heartened that after touting proposed tax-relief measures, funding for public schools, expanded job training, and the need to address violence in our communities, Governor Hogan dedicated a portion of his address to the ongoing opioid crisis.

Governor Hogan rightly says that he was the first governor in the country to declare a full state of emergency over the scourge of opioids. He said the state has invested $800 million in education, treatment, and other interventions aimed at curbing the effects of heroin, opioids, and substance use.

And he echoed what the hospital field has long known: It will take an “all hands on deck approach” to address this crisis.

The state’s health care providers and your Maryland Hospital Association stand ready to join that fight and will look for ways to partner with our state, local and national leaders in that effort.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
MHA to Facilitate Seminars at HFMA Meeting
Brett McCone and Maansi Raswant, both vice presidents at the Maryland Hospital Association, will facilitate two seminars February 25 during the Maryland Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) winter meeting at the Westin in Annapolis. Raswant will facilitate a panel discussion with Maryland Insurance Administration Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. and Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Executive Director Michele Eberle. McCone will facilitate a legislative panel discussion with state Sen. Brian Feldman, Sen. J.B. Jennings, and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk. Dennis Schrader, chief operating officer and Medicaid director at the Maryland Department of Health, will also provide an update on important Department of Health and Medicaid Issues.

To learn more, click here or here
Hospitals' Price Transparency Under Scrutiny
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reportedly is asking people to visit their local hospitals’ websites to confirm they are in compliance with a new price transparency requirement that took effect January 1. At a recent conference, your Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) learned CMS promoted the hashtag #WheresThePrice. This follows an article that appeared in USA Today this week that is critical of hospital price sheets. Your MHA produced a variety of resources to help the hospital field comply with this new requirement and field questions about them, including talking points .

MHA Contact: Brett McCone , Vice President, Rate Setting, or Justin Ziombra , Director, Policy & Data Analytics
Ebola Remains a Concern
There have been more than 700 reported cases of Ebola since the start of the epidemic, according to recently released data . This includes nearly two dozen newly confirmed cases, with most occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo . Though the outbreak is a considerable distance away, the risk that cases could soon appear in other parts of the world, including here in Maryland, is real. Your Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) will be organizing a meeting with the Maryland Department of Health and those hospitals that are designated assessment and/or treatment facilities in the near future to discuss issues related to continued readiness. When available, meeting details will be sent to designated hospital leads. The MHA also has a number of useful resources on public health matters, including the Ebola outbreak.

MHA Contact: Justin Ziombra , Director, Policy & Data Analytics
Md. General Assembly Update
This week, Gov. Larry Hogan delivered his fifth State of the State Address to the Maryland General Assembly. He focused on his record as a bipartisan leader and proposed targeted tax relief for retirees and small businesses, while also mentioning the successful signing of the Total Cost of Care Model contract. Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) President & CEO Bob Atlas was joined on a panel by Health Secretary Bobby Neall, Health Services Cost Review Commission Executive Director Katie Wunderlich and Maryland Primary Care Model Executive Director Howard Haft Haft regarding the Total Cost of Care Model in the Senate Finance Committee. With the Senate and House bill introduction deadlines next week, MHA is processing several bills related to health care. For more information on bills MHA is tracking, please click here .
Website Showcases Health Care Innovations
Your Maryland Hospital Association is asking for your help in capturing and spreading the health care innovations that are happening across the state. A new website , Innovations for Better Health, has launched to showcase the innovations that put Maryland on the leading edge of care delivery transformation. The site, initiated by the Stakeholder Innovations Group established by Health Secretary Robert Neall demonstrates how health care providers — including hospitals, doctors, skilled nursing facilities, and community organizations are working together to make care more preventive, more personalized, and more productive. The site includes a searchable database and an option to submit a case study of your own. We invite you to submit a case study to shine a light on the impressive work taking place at your organization.

MHA Contact: Erin Dorrien , Director, Policy & Data Analytics
Md. Judge Dismisses State's Case on Constitutionality of Affordable Care Act
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander ruled that Maryland does not have standing to sue for declaratory judgement deeming the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Effectively, this means the judge found that the state did not sufficiently show that it would experience imminent and material harm if the Affordable Care Act was not enforced, vis-à-vis the outcome of the Texas v. United States case. The judge did note that the state may bring suit again at a later time if it is justified. “The effect of the court’s ruling today is simply that we must wait to pursue our case,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement . “We will resume this litigation immediately if the President breaks his promise of continued enforcement or when the stay of the Texas Court’s decision is lifted.” 
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