August 10, 2018
Elevating the Pursuit of Equitable Health Outcomes
Earlier this week, the Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities announced a new focus on strengthening its partnership with Maryland Medicaid, a strategy designed to boost enrollment and expand access to coverage and care.
Doing so, according to the office's director, could yield measurable reductions in Maryland's health disparities.
And those disparities are significant. For example, according to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data, the rate of hospital admissions in Maryland for congestive heart failure is more than double for blacks than it is for whites. For asthma, the rate is more than triple.
Our state needs to do better on health equity. This will demand serious attention and resources.
Failure to tend to these issues could undermine the potential for hospitals to succeed under the Total Cost of Care Model, which calls for not only cost savings, but also widespread improvement on chronic diseases like diabetes.
That's why your Maryland Hospital Association is in the early stages of forming strategies to help hospitals reduce health disparities, with a focus on health outcomes. For now, we're talking with experts, researching data, and determining what resources may be needed to make an impact.
Achieving health equity is about much more than the health care process itself; it also demands action on other fronts - the social determinants of health. So, no matter how this work manifests, we will need to partner with state agencies, political leaders, community organizations, and others.
Next month, MHA's Executive Committee will hold its annual retreat. One of the discussions will center on the association's strategic plan, and how to incorporate work toward achieving health equity for the people of Maryland.
Putting a spotlight on pivotal issues like health disparities is an important step toward success under our new model, whose challenges necessitate broad endeavors that can make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people we're privileged to serve.

Bob Atlas
President and CEO

Perkins Named CEO of Capital Region Health
The University of Maryland Medical System has announced the appointment of Sherry B. Perkins, PhD, RN, FAAN as the new President & CEO of University of Maryland Capital Region Health.
MDH Appointments Announced
Maryland Health Secretary Robert Neall  this week announced the appointment of Dr. Howard Haft as the new executive director for the Maryland Primary Care Program and Fran Phillips as the new deputy secretary for Public Health Services. Dr. Haft will assume his new role August 28. The primary care program officially launches January 1. Phillips, current acting Anne Arundel County health officer, returns to the Maryland Department of Health, having previously served as deputy secretary for Public Health Services from 2008 to 2013.
Trivedi Named to AHA Board of Trustees
The American Hospital Association has elected Dr. Harsh K. Trivedi, President and CEO of Sheppard Pratt Health System, as one of seven new members to its Board of Trustees for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2019. Trivedi serves on MHA's Executive Committee, represents the field of psychiatry in the American Medical Association House of Delegates, and chairs the Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing for the American Psychiatric Association. The AHA Board of Trustees is the highest policymaking body of the AHA and has ultimate authority for the governance and management of its direction and finances.
Comments Submitted on Sexual Assault Forensic Kits
MHA has submitted a comment letter to the Attorney General in response to draft regulations from the passage of HB-255-Chapter Law 159. The law affects hospitals with Sexual Assault Forensic Examination programs that conduct and submit Sexual Assault Forensic Kits. The new law establishes rules for chain of custody of all kits, preservation of evidence for 20 years, and requires notification of victims before such evidence is destroyed.
Resources Available for Primary Care Program
Following CMS' preliminary approval of organizations to serve as Care Transformation Organizations for the Maryland Primary Care Program, the Maryland Department of Health has compiled several new resources to learn more about the program and application process:  
Also available are mini-webinars that provide a concise, easy-to-understand overview of important topics. They answer questions applicants frequently have during the application process. Recently added webinar topics include:  
In addition, the Maryland Primary Care Program is hosting a webinar from 5 p.m. top 6 p.m. August 23 for those interested in applying. Applications can be submitted online until Friday, August 31. The Request for Applications has the full program requirements.
Architecture of High Value Health Care Conference Being Held in Baltimore
The High Value Practice Academic Alliance and the American Hospital Association will hold the 2018 Architecture of High Value Health Care National Conference in Baltimore from September 22-23. The conference will share leading practices and provide immersive skill-building experience around value-based care. The program offers over 200 value-based performance improvement abstract presentations from more than 50 academic medical centers, 25 targeted sessions on appropriate use of tests and treatments, and eight workshops led by experts in value-based quality improvement. Learn more and register here .
MPSC to Screen Patient Safety Film
The Maryland Patient Safety Center and the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety will hold a free screening of To Err is Human - a Patient Safety Documentary on September 20 at the Senator Theatre in Baltimore. Hospital care providers, managers, and administrators are invited. Seating is limited. RSVP by September 14 to Anna Koerbel at 410-796-6210 or .
Working With People Made "Easier"
As long as we have to work with others there will be difficulties, misunderstandings, and inefficiencies.

Looking for a Cutting Edge Provider for Blood and Associated Services?
For more than 60 years, Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has provided blood and blood components to hospitals throughout the Delmarva region, helping avoid blood shortages and saving thousands of lives with assistance from more than 150,000 current donors.

CDC: Hospital Births by Women with Opioid Use Disorder Quadruple
The number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder at labor and delivery more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2014, to 6.5 per 1,000 hospital births, according to a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday, August 14
- MHA Council on Clinical & Quality Issues meeting
MHA Medicare Performance Adjustment Work Group meeting
WBAL-TV , By David Collins, August 3
Local DVM , By Thao Ta, August 3
WMDT , By Taylor Lumpkin, August 8
WYPR , By Tom Hall and Rob Sivak, August 8