MHA's Update newsletter will return January 5, 2018.
December 15, 2017
Mary Pat Seurkamp, Ph.D.
MHA Board Chair
2017: A Year of Change
and Progress

As you well know, the past year has been tumultuous for health care.
At the national level, a fierce debate over the Affordable Care Act came down to a simple question for hospitals: how would any change affect your ability to care for patients and communities? At the state level, Maryland's hospitals continued to be on the leading edge of the transformation from volume to value all while working with the state on the next iteration of the state's unique hospital payment system, efforts that are expected to soon bear fruit in the form of a new contract with CMS. And closer to home, your Maryland Hospital Association said farewell to Carmela Coyle, who served as president and CEO for nine years.
Reflecting on 2017, it is clear that the only constant is change. It is how we adapt to that change that defines us. And by all accounts, Maryland's hospitals have excelled at responding to change. Consider some of your collective accomplishments in the past year: the implementation of universal measures to mitigate the state's opioid crisis, a reduction in readmissions that outpaces the national trend, and new community-based initiatives that mean Marylanders' health care providers are connected like never before.
This is meaningful work of which you and your teams should be proud. And we at your hospital association are proud of the work we do to help you succeed.
During this holiday season, I take some extra time to reflect on the past year, so that I can learn from my experiences and plan for what's ahead. When it comes to the health of your hospital families and your own families, I hope that this is a time of peace and joy. And as we move forward in the coming year, I am heartened knowing that our greatest strength comes from each other.
Wishing you and yours happy, restful, and safe holidays.
My best,
HSCRC to Address Policy Options White Paper
At this month's Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting, commissioners initiated a discussion on a series of potential revisions to a number of the commission's payment policies addressed in a white paper prepared by Commissioners Keane and Colmers. Commissioners also took action on a GBR adjustment for Anne Arundel Medical Center and acted on the final QBR recommendation for FY 2020. Read more in this month's Newsbreak.
First Opioid Swap & Share Held This Week
The Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC), in partnership with the Maryland Association of Counties, yesterday held the first Opioid Intervention Team Promising Practices Swap & Share. Stakeholders from Emergency Medical Services, law enforcement, and county health departments across the state met to educate each other about initiatives that have been implemented in their local areas to combat the opioid epidemic in Maryland. The OOCC recognizes hospital services for overdose patients as a promising practice. Doctors from Bon Secours Health System shared their hospital's emergency department protocol for patients that have been identified as having a substance use disorder or who were treated for an opioid overdose. You can view their presentation here
ED Discharge Protocol Recommendations Available
MHA has developed Recommendations for Components of Emergency Department Discharge Protocols to help hospitals comply with a requirement in the HOPE Act of 2017 that all Maryland hospitals have a discharge protocol in place for patients treated for an overdose or identified as having a substance use disorder. The document was produced after a series of forums for emergency department and clinical leaders, who developed a consensus on recommended components for a discharge protocol. It includes a summary of the key takeaways from these forums, including recommendations, considerations, and additional resources. The HOPE Act also requires hospitals to submit their approved protocols to MHA beginning in January 2018 and for MHA to report on those protocols in December 2018. MHA will begin to accept protocols now so that you can meet this legislative requirement. We are using a SharePoint site called SUD Resources to receive hospital discharge protocols. Click here to access the site.

Medicare Performance Adjustment Webinar Set
MHA and HSCRC will host a Medicare Performance Adjustment Methodology webinar on Thursday, January 11, at 1:45 p.m. HSCRC Director, Clinical and Financial Information, Chris Peterson, and Health Policy Analyst, Laura Mandel, will review the methodology in detail with opportunities for questions from attendees. The session will be of particular interest to hospital executives responsible for managing total cost of care, including financial leads, population health leads, chief medical officers, and others. To participate in the live presentation at MHA, please RSVP to Tracy Blanchard by Monday, January 8, 2018. To view the presentation remotely, register here.
New Quality Measures Added to Two Hospital Compare Websites
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week added four quality measures for health care consumers to view on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility and Long-Term Care Hospital Compare websites. The measures focus on vaccination and infection rates. Both sites will now include the percentage of patients and employees who were given the flu vaccine. The sites will also now display facility-wide data on the amount of patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a common hospital infection, and the Clostridium difficile infection. The Long-Term Care Hospital Compare site also includes the percentage of patients with pressure ulcers, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections and unplanned 30-day readmissions. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Compare website will also show the percentage of patients with pressure ulcers, catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates and unplanned readmissions.
Maximize Your MHEI Membership for 2018
At MHEI we are as concerned about providing your organization with great value as you are about maximizing the value you receive from us.

Prime Offers Guaranteed Savings on Biomedical and Diagnostic Imaging Service Costs
Are you looking for an approach to technology that fixes not just medical equipment, but the workflow and inventory management challenges health care organizations face?

Federal Mental Health Committee Issues Recommendations to Congress
A committee created by the 21st Century Cures Act to better coordinate federal efforts to address serious mental illness and emotional disturbance has released its recommendations to Congress and federal agencies. 

The Daily Record, By Tim Curtis, December 10
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels and Meredith Cohn, December 11
The Baltimore Sun, By Kate Magill, December 11
Capital Gazette, By Phil Davis, December 12
The Baltimore Sun, By Erin Cox, December 12
Bethesda Magazine, By Andrew Metcalf, December 12
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, December 13
The Baltimore Sun, By Erin Cox, December 13