May 19, 2017
See You Soon
MHA's Annual Membership Meeting is less than a month away, and already close to 100 of your colleagues have registered. We're hoping you'll join us in Baltimore as well, to take time to reflect on your accomplishments, assess Maryland's - and the nation's - health care landscape, and spend some quality time with your peers.
There's still plenty of time to register.
As is the case every year, our speakers bring expertise, insight, and humor. We'll begin with David Brooks, the bestselling author and conservative columnist for The New York Times and a regular contributor to NPR's All Things Considered and PBS NewsHour. Brooks will share his views on the new Trump administration, its impact on health care, and how both the immediate and long-term future might be changed.
Brooks will be followed by Rick Pollack, President & CEO of the American Hospital Association. A good friend and long-time colleague of mine at the AHA, Rick and his team are highly respected in Washington and, as a result, they give all of us a credible national advocacy voice. Rick will give us the latest from his front-row seat as he discusses where health care legislation is headed on Capitol Hill and how hospitals can ready themselves in this unpredictable environment.
Then we'll move from politics and policy to leadership and innovation. NASA astronaut Dr. David Wolf has been very a popular at other state hospital associations and across the globe, and he will bring to you not just his experiences in space -- he spent 41 hours performing zero-gravity spacewalks - but also his role as the father of a tissue engineering technology used for cancer research and much much more. Using humor and his wide-ranging expertise, Wolf brings a truly unique perspective to our gathering.
You can check the full brochure here. And while I look forward to all our speakers, I look forward even more to the time we get to spend together that Monday evening and Tuesday morning, learning from one another and listening to each other in a non-work setting. In MHA's role as a convener, the annual meeting is among our most satisfying times of the year - when each of us is enriched by the time we spend with our friends and colleagues.
I look forward to seeing you there.

MHA Submits Letter on PQI Metrics
MHA has submitted a comment letter to the Health Services Cost Review Commission on the Draft Recommendation for the Maximum Revenue Guardrail for Maryland Hospital Quality Programs for Rate Year 2019, and the Draft Recommendations for the Potentially Avoidable Utilization Savings Policy for Rate Year 2018. MHA supports the HSCRC staff recommendations on the maximum penalty that a hospital may be assessed as a result of performance-based policies. However, MHA believes that HSCRC staff are using Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) in a way that their developer, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, did not intend. The letter states that the metric was created to measure prevention opportunities in a broader population and not just hospitalized patients. MHA believes that the use of PQIs without the ability to define an individual hospital's at-risk population is a shaky foundation on which to move forward.
Hospitals Updated on Ransomware Attack
A new ransomware attack called WannaCry received worldwide attention last week when the UK's health service was the first major computer system affected. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sent to hospitals this update on the incident, along with additional guidance on how the WannaCry program spreads, what users should do if they have been infected, and how to protect against similar attacks in the future. Visit AHA's cybersecurity webpage for additional guidance and resources. 
Board of Physicians Updates Hospitals on Reporting Requirements
Earlier this year, Governor Larry Hogan signed a bill repealing the requirement for hospitals, related institutions, and alternative health systems to report to the Board of Physicians every six months certain information about physicians and individuals in postgraduate training programs. The legislation, effective April 18, 2017, means the six-month reports that were originally due to the board in August are not required. This legislation does not change requirements regarding reports due to the board at other times.
Retaining the Best Staff
Becker's Hospital Review recently reported that "hospitals will need to replace nearly half of their staff every five years." The issue of "staff turnover" appears to be here to stay and will prove crucial to our ability to accomplish the many goals we have to improve our systems and advance our work on population health.

Improve Patient Access Management
With increasingly changing reimbursement models and high-deductible health plans forcing patients to shoulder more payment liability, health systems must improve their registration and financial clearance to ensure up-front cash collections, reduce front-end denials and improve patient registration efficiencies to maintain patient satisfaction.

State AGs File Motion to Defend Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments on Appeal
The attorneys general for 15 states and the District of Columbia this week filed a motion to intervene in the House Republicans' lawsuit challenging federal cost-sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act, which reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income individuals purchasing coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Wednesday, May 24
Carmela Coyle presents on Maryland's All-Payer Model at the LifeBridge Board meeting
The Daily Record, By Tim Curtis, May 14
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, May 12
WBAL, By Tyler Waldman, May 15
Baltimore Business Journal, By Tina Reed, May 15
The Baltimore Sun, By Lorraine Mirabella, May 16
Baltimore Business Journal, By Anne Stych, May 16
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, May 17
Annapolis Patch, By Mona Kazour, May 17
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