July 6, 2018
Maryland, Again, Is a Trailblazer
On Monday, July 9, Maryland's top leaders will join with their counterparts in the federal government for a signing ceremony in Annapolis to celebrate a new agreement that extends our state's role as a national health care innovator.
Governor Larry Hogan and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma will share highlights of the Maryland Total Cost of Care Model - the Maryland Model, for short. The new agreement, which goes into effect in January, builds on the current All-Payer Model by creating greater incentives for collaboration among health care providers and by setting challenging spending growth targets.
Hospitals are the heart of this new framework. To succeed, we must partner with other health care providers across the spectrum, as well as payers, to enhance quality, hold the costs of all services in check, and improve the health of whole populations.
This is no small challenge. But we're not starting from scratch.
Under the All-Payer Model, you've proven that significant advances can be made in these arenas. Since the start of the current model in January 2014 through June of this year, hospitals have:  
  • Held per capita hospital spending growth to a cumulative 9.7 percent, about half the target growth of 19.3 percent
  • Saved Medicare more than $1 billion, well ahead of the five-year target of $330 million
  • Reduced readmissions by 8.25 percent, beating the target reduction of 5.6 percent
  • Reduced the hospital-acquired conditions rate by 52.7 percent, surpassing the 30 percent target 

With the new model's laser focus on how we care for people - whether it's in our facilities, in physicians' offices and other non-hospital settings, or proactively in their homes and communities - the opportunities to do even better are boundless.
Monday's ceremony is both a recognition of the extraordinary achievements you've made so far and an expression of the desire for you to do more. That desire comes from the same place as the core mission of your hospitals and health systems: to help people.
With that as our "true north," the path before us is set. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to walk it with you as we work together to help all Marylanders live healthier lives.

Bob Atlas
President and CEO

MHA Discharge Delay Webinar to be Held July 11
MHA is examining the factors that contribute to discharge delays for behavioral health patients who could be served in lower acuity settings. To complete the study, a survey must be filled out by hospital discharge planners for each patient who has experienced a delay in discharge, or has been unable to be discharged. Survey data will provide information needed to advocate for investments in capacity, or for regulatory changes to make sure every patient receives the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. The study aims to capture data not only from hospitals with inpatient psychiatric units, but also from hospitals that serve behavioral health patients in other inpatient units. We ask that every hospital participate so the data will be comprehensive and accurately reflect what's taking place on the front lines of care. The study is based on a similar one done in Minnesota.
Please join us for a webinar to learn more about the study on Wednesday, July 11, at 1 p.m. Click here to register. The webinar is intended for hospital behavioral health leads and discharge planners.
Contact: Erin Dorrien
Materials Available from Workplace Violence Summit
Last week, MHA and the Maryland Nurses Association co-hosted a workplace violence summit featuring national experts sharing strategies on violence prevention programs. During the Safe Harbors: Protecting Providers and Patients summit, attendees also took part in facilitated discussions of employee resiliency, security protocols, and creating a culture of safety. Slides from the summit are on the MHA website .
Resources Available for Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
The Legal Action Center's Addiction Policy Forum has released a " Hospital Toolkit ," resources for emergency medicine providers treating patients with substance use disorders. The toolkit is designed to improve access to care in hospital emergency departments. The toolkit features a new legal resource by that explains the way federal privacy law permits hospital emergency departments to notify a patient's family after an overdose. The toolkit also features a video series, " Best Practices for Emergency Departments to Address Addiction ." Additional resources include printable materials for hospitals, including flyers and infographics about prescription opioid misuse.
Webinar Offered on Peer Support Programs
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute, through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant, is offering a free webinar to hospitals on peer support groups. Peer support programs can provide practical advice for managing health problems, help link individuals to services in the community, and provide emotional support, connection, confidence, and hope. Yet, peer support is not available for a broad range of health conditions. "Introducing the Roadmap to Peer Support" will provide guidance to anyone seeking to create and sustain a peer support program. The webinar is July 19 at noon. You can register here .
Understanding Emotional Intelligence
We give so much attention to technical skills (mostly because they are easy to identify and measure) that it's easy to ignore the social skills that really ARE the best way to tell whether a person (staff, manager, physician) will be productive and succeed in their job.

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.

House Committee Releases 340B Legislation Ahead of Hearing
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee this week posted more than a dozen bills and discussion drafts related to the 340B drug savings program as it prepares to hold a July 11 hearing on improving the program.

Wednesday, July 11
Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting

Thursday, July 12
MHA Technical Work Group meeting
Governing , By Alan Greenblatt, July 2018
Becker's Hospital Review, By Laura Dyrda, June 29
CBS Baltimore , By Mike Schuh, July 2
The Baltimore Sun , By Sarah Gantz, July 3
The Baltimore Sun , By Alexandra Rockey Fleming, July 3