October 26, 2018
Exceeding (Very High) Expectations
It's no secret that health care, particularly hospital care, is ripe for disruption. Why else would giants like Amazon, Google, and CVS be diving into clinical practices with both feet?
They think they can build better mousetraps, and profit mightily from doing so. For example, Apple and Amazon have hinted at improving electronic health records systems, so they could be standardized and interoperable. Then they'll mine the huge datasets to inform both immediate clinical decision-making and long-term health system strategies.
These disruptors intend to exploit a gap between expectations and performance. Health care consumers expect a lot of their providers. Notwithstanding the miracles that occur daily at Maryland's hospitals, patients and families expect a superb experience every time they use our services. And they expect us to meet them where they are, including through the devices in their pockets or on their wrists.
The effects of disruption and consumerism were central themes at last week's Healthcare Leadership Conference, hosted by the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute. A clear take-away: hospitals and health systems must quickly and deftly adapt to meet the sky high expectations of customers.
In fact, consumers' expectations of health care - which they mainly regard as hospitals - are higher than for any other industry. More than 80 percent believe hospitals will meet or exceed their expectations. For banks it's 71 percent, government 61 percent, and airlines 59 percent. The pressure is on us, as health care leaders, to deliver.
One reason is the massive growth in patient out-of-pocket costs. Consumers' cost shares have risen from about 5 percent in 2000 to about 30 percent today. It's also that the people we're privileged to serve are literally placing their lives or the lives of their loved ones in our hands.
The good news is that idea of meeting people's health needs and saving lives is already embedded in the mission statement of every hospital in Maryland. We share the same goals as the people we serve.
It's now a matter of learning, in depth, the needs and expectations of our customers, whether they're seniors actively under our care or millennials in our communities not yet using any health services. Armed with that knowledge, we must meet those needs and expectations in ways that work for each individual.
As we strategize to meet this demand, I encourage you to share stories of your success, so we can help disseminate the most effective approaches. 

Bob Atlas
President and CEO

AAMC's Buckley Named to AHA Committee
Dr. Brooke Buckley, associate chair of surgery at Anne Arundel Medical Center, has been named to the American Hospital Association Committee on Clinical Leadership. Buckley's three-year term begins January 1. The committee provides input to the association's advocacy and public policy process, serving as a clinical resource on policy issues, as well as guiding the ongoing work of AHA's physician activities.
Meeting and Webinar Offered on Correct Coding Initiative Edits
MHA will hold a special statewide meeting and simulcast a webinar on November 5 at 1:30 p.m. to address the recent changes in the National Correct Coding Initiative edits that apply to Maryland's hospitals. The meeting and webinar will cover:  
  • Background and implementation of edits W7020 and W7040
  • October 1 - December 31 grace period
  • Edits related to Health Services Cost Review Commission requirements
  • Solutions to limit payment impacts 
All hospitals are invited. If you want to participate in the live presentation at MHA, please RSVP to Tracy Blanchard . If you would like to view the presentation remotely, register here .
State Issues RFP for $5.9M in Grants
The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission is seeking proposals for $ 5.9 million in new grant funding this fiscal year. Letters of intent are due November 13, and grant proposals are due December 17. Grant recipients are expected to be announced in mid-February. This year's grants are focused on three categories of programs:
  • Promoting delivery of essential health care services: primary/preventative care, dental services, and women's health care 
  • Addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic through integrated behavioral health service delivery
  • Promoting food security and addressing childhood and family obesity
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Is Saturday
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday. The event provides an opportunity for Americans to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. About 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study shows a majority of abused prescription drugs came from family and friends - and often from the home medicine cabinet. For a list of collection sites, click here .
Keep Performance Improvement Simple
It is easy for managers, especially new ones, to be overwhelmed by the amount of information and the number of management "tools" at their disposal.

Reduce Lighting Energy Costs Up to 50 Percent
Lighting accounts for 30 to 60 percent of annual electric costs for many facilities, and many new advances in lighting technology can help your organization conserve energy and save money.

OCR Issues Guidance on Nondiscrimination in Opioid Disorder Treatment
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights this week announced guidance and a public education campaign highlighting how federal nondiscrimination laws, such as those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability or limited English proficiency, apply to opioid use disorder treatment and recovery services.

The Baltimore Sun , By Michael Dresser, October 19
The Baltimore Sun , By Meredith Cohn, October 24
The Baltimore Sun , By Erika Butler, October 22
WCBC , October 23
The Baltimore Sun , By Lillian Reed, October 24
Herald-Mail Media , By Sherry Greenfield, October 23