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December 9, 2018
Spotlight on Innovation
Maryland’s hospitals work every day to coordinate care across service domains, to build efficiencies, to raise up quality and patient safety, to eliminate health disparities in your communities, and much more.

As was clearly demonstrated at last week’s Population Health Summit: Innovation Under the Maryland Model , hosted by the Maryland Department of Health, hospitals already are thinking outside of the box – and their four walls – to provide the best possible care.

As the state’s advocate for improving health care and the health of all Marylanders, your Maryland Hospital Association set out to provide a resource to both celebrate these innovations in health care and learn from them.

The Innovations for Better Health website launched the same day as the summit. Already it features case studies showing how many of the state’s health care providers and community organizations are working together to improve care delivery.

Our goal is to shine a light on the novel ideas our hospitals are pursuing and expand the impact of those accomplishments by sharing them with other health care leaders. This is vital as we enter into the Total Cost of Care Model.

We want to encourage you to share details about your own innovative programs and practices that have demonstrated outcomes. To learn more or submit your own case study, click here .
Bob Atlas
President & CEO
MHA Comments on Commission's CON Report
Your Maryland Hospital Association sent a comment letter on the Maryland Health Care Commission’s (MHCC’s) final report to modernize the Certificate of Need (CON) process. This culminates more than a year of work with hospital members to develop consensus positions to shape and influence the commission’s final report. The final report will be discussed at the December 20 public commission meeting, when the commission will vote to adopt final recommendations. The final report adopted by the commission will be sent the Maryland Senate Finance and House Health and Government Operations committees.

To read the final comment letter click here .

MHA Contact: Brett McCone , Vice President, Rate Setting
Hospitals Improve Leapfrog Grades
As of fall 2017, hospitals in Maryland are now included in the semiannual release of the Leapfrog Safety Grades (hospitals in the rest of the country have been part of these grades for several years). Hospitals’ inclusion is made possible by the Maryland Health Care Commission, which supplies data to Leapfrog. The Safety Grades, which are published publicly online , assign a single letter to each hospital to represent overall performance in patient safety. The fall 2018 update, which was published last month, indicates significant improvement for Maryland hospitals over the past year with 18 hospitals receiving better grades. This noticeable improvement is likely indicative of hospitals’ focus on quality, but may also be reflective of a greater number of Maryland hospitals participating in the Leapgrog survey, which is considered by Leapfrog for those hospitals that provide this information. For those hospitals that don’t complete a survey, Leapfrog considers other, publicly-reported measures. Hospitals are encouraged to consider completing a survey in order to provide the most complete picture of quality performance possible. For questions, please contact GradeHelp@LeapfrogGroup.org.
Webinar: How Hospitals Can Improve Maternal Health
Hospitals have an opportunity to improve maternal health by addressing challenges in communication and teamwork, according to Neel Shah, MD, MPP, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Harvard’s Ariadne Labs. He spoke during a webinar last week hosted by the American Hospital Association. The goal, he said, is to make the right thing to do, the easy thing to do. That includes goals focused on the safety of the baby and the mother, and long-term health for both. Nationwide, data show that the United States has the highest maternal death rate among the world’s developed nations. The topic has attracted attention from US lawmakers, including the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

To access the webinar and slide deck, click here .

For additional maternal health resources, click here .
Hospital CEOs, MHA Ask Gov. Hogan to Reduce Medicaid Assessment
The Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) is asking Gov. Larry Hogan to reduce the state’s $334-million Medicaid assessment by $40 million in his fiscal year 2020 budget submission. MHA sent a letter to Hogan Friday signed by hospital CEOs from across Maryland. The letter states the tax artificially inflates health care spending in the state, making it harder to meet the terms of the new Total Cost of Care Model and putting at risk the additional $2 billion in federal funds the model brings to Maryland each year.

To view the letter, click here .

MHA Contact: Nicole Stallings , Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
MHA Publishes Top 5 Things to Know About Md. Hospitals
The Maryland Hospital Association recently released its Top 5 Things to Know about Maryland’s Hospitals list. The list includes hospitals’ not-for-profit mission, economic impact, commitment to health equity, mission to provide care for all, and practice of keeping health costs in check while providing state-of-the-art care.

Here is the complete list, which MHA encourages you to distribute.
MHA Opposes Change to Public Charge Rule
The Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) submitted a comment letter Friday to the US Department of Homeland Security in opposition to a change to the rule on Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds. In the letter, MHA President & CEO Bob Atlas states the proposal could jeopardize access to health services for thousands of legal immigrants in the state, including children, seniors, the disabled, and those with chronic conditions. At issue, Atlas states in the letter, is the potential for people to forgo enrollment in Medicaid and Medicare Part D subsidies, which could exacerbate medical conditions and delay access to care. The letter also notes that the proposal could be particularly detrimental to children, for whom access to health coverage produces positive outcomes beyond just those related to health, such as increased educational achievement. As hospitals continue their efforts to address whole-person care under the Total Cost of Care Model, consideration of interrelatedness of health and other social factors will be integral to success. The letter notes that the proposal runs directly counter to these efforts and considerations.

To read the letter, click here .
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