April 14, 2017
Legislature Helps
Battle the Opioid Crisis
For Maryland's hospitals, the state's behavioral health crisis has been a priority - both on the front lines of care and in the halls of Annapolis. Some important bills were passed during this year's just-adjourned legislative session that hold the promise of hope for those who are suffering:  
  • The Keep the Door Open Act will provide more than $100 million in funding for community-based health providers, important partners for your organizations as you work to direct patients suffering with substance use and mental health disorders to the most appropriate care setting
  • The HOPE & Treatment Act, a comprehensive package to address opioid addiction that expands programs to care for patients suffering with substance use disorders, creates local teams to reduce overdose deaths and near-death cases, establishes a crisis hotline, develops educational materials on opioid use disorder, and increases the availability of opioid treatment prescribers
  • The Start Talking Act requires the State Board of Education to develop and implement a drug addiction and prevention education program in public schools, and mandates that county school boards establish a policy to authorize school personnel to administer naloxone
  • The Prescriber Limits Act requires providers to prescribe the lowest effective dose of an opioid, and a quantity that is no more than what is needed for the expected duration of a patient's pain
  • The expansion of telehealth programs will help substance use disorder treatment providers, who are in short supply, offer services remotely and as a result treat more patients 

In addition to these new laws, the state is beefing up its opioid enforcement, prevention and treatment services after Governor Hogan in March declared a state of emergency and committed an additional $50 million to the problem. The Department of Health & Mental Hygiene is now working with hospitals to increase emergency department access to the opioid-reversing drug naloxone and expand universal screenings for substance use disorders.
Together, the new laws and the additional state aid provide some of the much-needed support that hospitals have long sought not only to combat the state's behavioral health crisis, but also to help others realize that the right care, at the right time, in the right setting goes beyond the emergency department.

2017 Legislative Session Synopsis Available
The 2017 legislative session adjourned Sine Die at midnight Monday. Your MHA team sent an early morning Member Alert on Tuesday, providing a quick synopsis of this year's accomplishments. This was a busy session with nearly 3,000 bills introduced, more than 40 of which focused on Maryland's behavioral health crisis. Many bills met their end during the last few hours of session, including a bill that would have mandated an assessment be applied to all hospitals to cover the cost of retraining and employee support services in the event of a conversion to a freestanding medical facility. Look for another Member Alert next week with resources including: a bill summary document, PowerPoint presentation, and post-session action map.
Schrader Reappointed as Health Secretary
Governor Larry Hogan this week named Dennis Schrader to continue to head the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, despite withdrawing Schrader's name for consideration during the General Assembly session. Schrader was first named health secretary in December following the departure of Van Mitchell from that role.
HSCRC Discusses Draft Readmissions Policy
At its public meeting this week, the Health Services Cost Review Commission received a draft recommendation on the Readmission Reduction Incentive Program for fiscal year 2019 (calendar year 2017 performance), which will be finalized at the May commission meeting. Commissioners also received a draft recommendation on funding for the Maryland Patient Safety Center, and reports on infrastructure investment activities for fiscal year 2016. Read more in this month's edition of Newsbreak.
Maryland Green Registry Accepting Applications for Leadership Awards
The Maryland Green Registry, a free membership program that promotes and recognizes sustainable practices at organizations of all types and sizes throughout the state, is accepting applications for its Leadership Awards, given yearly to five organizations that have shown a strong commitment, measurable results, and continual improvement. The deadline for applications is April 26 and information can be found here. Award winners will be recognized at the "Gathering of the Greens," a networking event on June 14 with state officials and members of the Maryland Green Registry, Annapolis Green Drinks, and U.S. Green Building Council Maryland at the Governor Calvert House in Annapolis.
Hospitals Across Maryland Promote Donate Life Month
April is National Donate Life Month and The Living Legacy Foundation is in the middle of its #In1Word campaign. Hospitals and other organization, including MHA, are flying the Living Legacy Flag this month. Many are also helping to promote the campaign by using the hashtag #In1Word on Twitter and Facebook along with pictures that display the "one-word" reason why people are organ donors. More information, resources to promote Donate Life Month, and a link to register as a donor are available at in1Word.org Photos of people celebrating National Donate Life Month from the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center, Fredrick Memorial Hospital, and MHA are below. 
Donate Life Flag at MHA
#In1Word post from the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center
Frederick Memorial's #In1Word
When 10% Is Greater Than 10%
A familiar diagram used when explaining the impact health care has on the overall health of any individual depicts a set of gears where health care providers affect approximately 10 percent of a person's overall health; personal behaviors of that individual account for 40 percent of their health; family history/genetics make up 30 percent; and environmental and social factors account for the remaining 20 percent.

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.

CMS Finalizes Policies Aimed at Stabilizing Health Insurance Marketplaces
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Thursday issued a final rule designed to help stabilize the Health Insurance Marketplaces. 

Tuesday, April 18
MHA Council on Financial Policy meeting

Wednesday, April 19
MHA Operations Committee meeting
Capital Gazette, By Phil Davis, April 9
Baltimore Business Journal, By Morgan Eichensehr, April 7
The Baltimore Sun, By Ian Duncan, April 10
The Baltimore Sun, By Ian Duncan, April 10
Maryland Reporter, By Len Lazarick, April 11
Your 4 State, By Sarah Gisriel, April 12
Your 4 State, By Emilie Ikeda, April 12