October 5, 2018
Our Clear Sense of Purpose
Last week, during MHA's very productive annual Executive Committee retreat, committee members deliberated upon a new strategic plan for your association. The conversation was high energy and yielded excellent insights. Staff will use the time until our November meeting to make the plan ready for formal ratification and dissemination.
To anchor the strategic plan, the Executive Committee also revamped MHA's mission and vision statements. A unanimous vote by the committee affirmed the following statements:
MHA serves Maryland's hospitals and health systems through collective action to shape policies, practices, financing and performance to advance health care and the health of all Marylanders.
MHA will be Maryland's most effective advocate for improving health care across our state and the health of all Marylanders.
While subtle, the changes from our old mission and vision statements are significant.
First, see the overt reference to collective action. This conveys the idea that our hospitals and health systems must work together not only to educate and influence external audiences as powerfully as possible but also to find ways to enhance the value delivered by the whole field. Our state's unique financing model makes collective action imperative.
Second, note the phrase, "... shape policies, practices, financing and performance...." There's a lot in there. It includes influencing how regulators and payers treat hospitals and health systems to give us the best conditions in which to succeed. Plus, it speaks to how MHA will help the field raise its own game.
Third, see the points about advancing health care - that is, the business of delivering health services to patients and communities - and advancing people's health - that is, the well-being of the population. That second one is really what hospitals are about, after all.
Finally, and very crucially, are the words "... the health of all Marylanders." Yes, everyone could be healthier. However, some sets of people suffer more health challenges than do others - and improving their health, to achieve greater health equity, will benefit our whole state. Those benefits are cost savings, greater productivity, and much more, not least ... happiness. 
We do understand that the journey to health equity will be arduous and will call upon us to engage with partners in many domains beyond the health care field, in both the public and private sectors.
We will share a lot more about our mission, vision and strategy in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, we welcome all your ideas on how best to fulfill our purpose as the association of all of Maryland's hospitals and health systems.

Bob Atlas
President and CEO

Materials Available from Webinar on Behavioral Health Capacity Study
MHA hosted a webinar on the Behavioral Health Capacity Study on October 1. Data collection for the project began on August 8 and will continue through November 16. Materials from the webinar can be found here .
Contact: Erin Dorrien
MHA Hosts 3M Webinar
MHA will host a webinar October 11 at 2 p.m. to p review version 36 of 3M's potentially preventable complications (PPC) grouper, which will be used for payment policy purposes beginning in January. Leaders at 3M will review key updates, which will include those prompted by hospitals during the spring meeting, as well as field questions. Given that version 36 has been finalized, 3M will not process requests to change the grouper logic during this webinar. The next opportunity to petition 3M for changes will take place in the spring (MHA will put out a call for requests closer to the event). For those who cannot participate, a recording will be made available. Register for the webinar here .
Contact: Justin Ziombra
Health Care Leaders Among Sun's 25 Women to Watch
Two Maryland health care leaders were included in The Baltimore Sun's 25 Women to Watch list, published October 1. Gail Cunningham, senior vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, was recognized in part for her efforts to get to "zero patient harm." Cunningham is credited with restructuring the hospital's quality and performance improvement departments. Leslie Simmons, executive vice president of LifeBridge Health, who oversees Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and LifeBridge Health's Post-Acute Division noted that one of her main missions is to connect with staff at all levels to improve the quality of care.
MHCC Hosts Learning Session on Telehealth
The Maryland Health Care Commission is hosting a virtual learning session October 9 at noon on the selection, adoption, and use of telehealth. The presentations will consider how to address patient readiness and fit for telehealth interventions. For details or to register, click here .
Free Program Offered on HIV Management
The Maryland Department of Health Medicaid Pharmacy Program and Health Information Designs LLC, in conjunction with St. Agnes Hospital, is offering a free program on HIV Management in Primary Care. The event is October 27, and the deadline to register is October 20. Click here for more details and to register.
Webinar Teaches ED Personnel to Recognize, Respond to Suicide Risk
The American Association of Suicidology will host a series of webinars on recognizing and responding to suicide risk in the emergency department (ED). The program is intended to help ED personnel improve skills in triaging, screening, assessing, treating, and making discharge dispositions for patients at risk of suicide. To register or for more information, click here .
October Marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year there were 46 domestic violence-related deaths in the state and 15,301 domestic violence-related crimes, according to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence. The state has taken important steps to support these victims. Your Maryland Hospital Association has a seat on The Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Policy & Funding Committee, which was established by legislation in 2017 and is led by Attorney General Brian Frosh. The committee recently has focused on the services the state provides to victims of sexual assault and other types of violence. MHA has advocated for expanded reimbursement for forensic services beyond injuries sustained as a direct result of "alleged rape or sexual assault" to include injuries resulting from domestic violence, human trafficking, and nonfatal strangulation. Reimbursement for these services would help hospitals operating these critical programs be sustainable and allow them to continue offering these needed services for all victims of violence.
"If You Were Able To...."
If you were able to improve patient satisfaction by 50 percent, how much time, effort and energy would you dedicate to that effort?

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Twitter Chat Next Week on Building Healthy Communities
U.S. News and World Report will host a Twitter chat on building healthy communities at 1:30 p.m. on October 10 using #HealthcareOfTomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9
MHA Council on Clinical & Quality Issues meeting

Wednesday, October 10
Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting

Thursday, October 11
MHA Technical Work Group meeting
The Baltimore Sun , By Tom Murphy, September 30
Axios , September 28
The Baltimore Sun , By Andrea K. McDaniels, October 2
Health Affairs , By Darrell J. Gaskin, et al., October 2018
The Baltimore Sun , By Andrea K. McDaniels, October 2
WTOP , By Rachel Nania, October 3
The Baltimore Sun , By Andrea K. McDaniels, October 4
The Daily Record , By Tim Curtis, October 3